The first quarter is complete for most, Spring is finally here, and you’ve decided to launch your product OR service. Hold it.
I sincerely believe that the number one reason why most startups fail is because entrepreneurs invest so much time and resources in building products or services without having an online community (i.e. dedicated followers) to patronize or vet ideas before launching. So many people start plowing away on developing their product or services first, then try to scramble and attract a community of consumers.
Yet I believe in today’s business environment, it is best to start a company, building community first and product second; it’s one thing to build a product, it’s another thing to have someone or a platform to purchase it. Your business and brand’s strongest assets are your social media networks.
Think about it this way. Building a product first is like being in a room alone and trying to sell awesome things inside of it to people walking by room.
Like…fill the damn room first (meaning: build an online community) that is in love with you and what you have to offer.
Nevertheless, here are 4 solid reasons why you should invest in building an online community before trying to sell products or services.
1. Increase your reach and opportunities
Even if your focus is local, your product or service can satisfy someone’s need beyond your geographic focus. I’m sure you wouldn’t turn down business opportunities. Digital channels are open to the world and can provide you with an exponentially wider reach (as there is a greater propensity for media to be shared with a greater audience), provide cross-country branding opportunities: speaking engagements and partnerships as well as investment opportunities.
2. Cut cost/ expenses
Launching products and services through digital platforms eliminates large expenses.
Have you ever launched a new product or service without the right connections to owners of media platforms (niche and mainstream) or the perfect concoction of digital marketing and PR efforts, or access to target audiences? Exactly. Old school marketing and PR efforts revolve around investing dollars in already established networks and platforms that appeal to your target audience. Why not create and own media platforms that do this for you? Alternatively, you could always pay established owners of media platforms that appeal to your target audience, however, there are quite a number of downfalls to this, one being you lack full control over analytics and consumer data.
3. Establish credibility
Hosting an online platform allows you to establish trust amongst users. Once trust is established amongst users, they easily become life long supporters (and loyal customers )
4. Provide a platform for email collection
Creating digital content that is engaging and useful (note the words: “engaging” and useful) on your online community, is a great way to collect emails.
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