Here’s how to successfully prepare your brand for a digital launch before even getting started.
“San Diego is an incredible place to live, and an even cooler place to launch.” That’s the mindset at San Diego Startup Week, the weeklong celebration of entrepreneurship we attended in June. Our purpose for attending: see what businesses in their startup phase are doing & how things are going. We had a blast, learned some valuable networking tactics & also got a feel for how businesses are going about handling their content & social media online.
One important thing we noticed is that many companies were struggling with their pre-launch startup phase. Many have solid, amazing ideas – from apps to services – they just need a process in place before launching. So we pieced together our notes, your pain-points & wins into a list of seven pre-launch strategies. Browse below before presenting your great idea to the digital world.
The Pre-Launch Checklist For Startups
Before we work together to create an out-of-this-world launch campaign, give these tips a shot – espresso not included.
- Do your research. Is now the right time for your business to be in the market? Is now the right time for you to launch your business? Factor these important questions into your initial research & analysis, before deciding to move forth with your big launch.
- Know Your Vision. “Beyond just a memorable logo, good branding increases the value of a company, provides employees with direction and motivation, and makes acquiring new customers easier.” (source) From the tone, audience, pricing to credibility – it’s important to know the message you want to send to your online audience. Have your team (or if solo, yourself & close network) review your brand goals, packaging, product, catalog, etc – if you know & love it, others will do the same.
- Brainstorm Your Higher-Level Goals. A one-day, meeting of the minds to organize your launch vision. Before even contacting an agency, before looking for new employees or placing Craigslist ads out of frustration – talk it out, think it out and write out. Ask yourself & others: What is my digital vision? Who is my target audience? What can my company do to make an impact? Record your meeting so you can make sloppy, ugly, all-over-the-place notes & doodles that help your mind relax. Then, listen to it all over again (and again).
- Develop a Business Plan. Assign one person on your team to take all the mumble-jumble from your brainstorm, organize the key takeaways and write one-page, high-level action plan for your business. (If you are rolling solo, well then look yourself in the mirror and give yourself a pat on the back). Make a simple-one sheet to start, like this.
- Focus on 3 T’s – Time, Team & Trust. Every moment counts – set tasks and goals to make sure your team is on track to prepare for your brand launch. Investing in measuring your time, creating a solid internal team built on trust and dedication, will prepare your company for larger goals beyond your push – like culture and consistency.
- Develop a Digital Content Strategy. Here’s where you might need an extra hand. First off, a content strategy is the “process of planning, creating and sending the right content to the right audience in the appropriate timeframe through a repeatable editorial framework.” Did we mention – this process is vital to a successful outcome? Organize or recruit a team of experts – like our visual storytellers – to create content magic for your brand.
- Set Your First Campaign Milestone. When will your big launch, be? You know your brand, you have a solid action plan, a great team, a strong content strategy & a promising idea- heck it’s time to piece it all together. Here, you will align your brand vision with your digital strategy to creatively share your brand online. – think visual content, video, social media content & more. Additionally, it is vital to distribute & track your content to assure you are seeing the KPI’s (key point indicators), like sales, that you want to see! Make sure your efforts are showing results to assure your first campaign is a success on all fronts. Need a little help? Learn the details of our visual launch campaign service, here.
- Prepare for Takeoff. Don’t miss your milestone – keep with your launch date. Why? “Don’t let fear of failure paralyze you from even attempting to start your small business. If you keep waiting around for that “perfect” moment, it will never come, and the opportunity for success will have passed you by.” (source) Here’s an extra tip: A/B test your content before its public. Soft-launch with your family & friends, share it with old coworkers or personal Twitter followers. Get feedback before your launch milestone for fine-tuning.
Need an extra hand (or paw)? Learn about our Launch Campaign Service & don’t forget to share your tips & strategies for getting your digital ducks in a row on social, using the hashtag #LifeIsReel.