As you start creating your startup one of the things that you will notice is that many times your advantage is not about the software you have, but rather about your business model and your brand.
If you are in this situation something that can help a lot is to try to build your brand and position yourself as an expert in the field.
This is important because we can divide the sale cycle into 5 elements: Awareness, Evaluation, Purchase, Delivery and After Sales.
By awareness we mean reaching our customers. Because unless they know that you exist there is no way for them to use your service and no way for you to actually help them or offer them value.
So for that, you need them to know that you exist and the question is: How do we raise awareness about our company’s products and services?
The answer I found and the approach I am using is based on content marketing.
Marketing implies trying to understand what your »customer» wants, what are their needs, what are their pains, and which are the questions that they want answered.
Content marketing is based on producing exactly that kind of content, the content that they want and need, the content that is useful for them and at the same time the content that can position you as a leader in the sector.
The content that can give you credibility by showing that you aren’t only there to sell but also to provide them value, that you are willing to wait until they think that you have provided enough value before doing the first sale.
Search for the places where your customers gather, search for the things they are interested in and how they communicate whenever they speak about them.
Once you know that find out which are the questions they have that are still unanswered. Research what they need and provide value. Find out where they want to be reached and start posting there. And repeat this process as many times as needed.
By following these steps you will get a content strategy that will let you position yourself as a thought leader in the field, to let you get their trust because trust is our most valuable resource.
Read the second part on the elements of the sales cycle.
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