3 word of mouth marketing tips for startups

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Launching a business? We know that means you have a tight budget and an even tighter schedule. So we’ll get right to it:

1. Make great partnerships
2. Don’t overlook the right talkers
3. Try new things often

1. Make great partnerships

Partnerships can help you share fans with other businesses and find new and better ways to serve your customers. For example, Parking Panda, a startup for helping people find places to park, worked with Federal Parking, a longstanding parking and transportation firm, to spread the word about their unused parking spaces. In this case, both businesses benefit from telling their customers about each other — and win-wins like these are what make great partnerships.

2. Don’t overlook the right talkers

A lot of startups go after big influencers like Wired, TechCrunch, or Gizmodo to talk about their stuff. But your best talkers may be a different group — one that’s not always getting inundated with pitches and would be truly excited to advocate for you. To find them, look for the people who are already talking about topics similar to yours in forums, blogs, and Meetup groups. They can be taxi drivers, PTA moms, and hair stylists — the people who talk to your customers already. They don’t have to be famous, just passionate, talkative, and curious.

3. Try new things often

Even if you had a big budget, you wouldn’t instinctively know what word of mouth strategy works best for you — and you’re definitely not going to know with a smaller budget. So you’ve got to keep trying new stuff. Consider making videos, or making people laugh. (Think of Dollar Shave Club’s viral promo video or this digital startup that got attention by sending everyone yams.) This is the best part of word of mouth marketing: If you fail, no one will hear about it, which is one more reason to get out there and go for it.


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