Headshot of Robert Gerrish for 5 Marketing Tips for Startups Business Insights Interview | Jen Clark DesignRobert Gerrish is the founding director of Flying Solo, an online solo and micro business community.  We asked him what were his 5 top marketing tips for startups.

Marketing Tip for Startups 1.  Know thyself

In the early days, any customer is a great customer, but therein lies a trap. To succeed in your new business, it’s important you know yourself and your value from the get go. What is it that you do? How is what you do different to your competitors? Why would anyone come to you in preference to someone else? Hmmm. Is that an iphone in your pocket? You know you could have bought something that functions the same for a lot less, right?

Marketing Tip for Startups 2.  Get in position

Hot on the heels of understanding value is positioning. Let’s continue the iphone analogy. Just look at where they’re retailed (Apple Store), where they’re promoted (Apple.com) and how they’re marketed and promoted. You’ve probably seen the minimalist, Jony Ive videos. Yummy. How do you front up? Does your shopfront – or market stall or website or app or business card or personal appearance – project an image that aligns with the value you’re pursuing? Marketing isn’t just getting the phone to ring. It’s getting the right person to ring and have them seek what you want to sell.

Marketing Tip for Startups 3.  Choose your channels

So you’ve cracked tips 1 & 2 and it’s off all guns blazing, right? Er, no. Ad man David Ogilvy is credited with the phrase: “Don’t count the people you reach. Reach the people who count.”…and this was 50 or so years before the arrival of Facebook. Don’t aim for numbers, aim for quality. Put your marketing effort into the right place.

Marketing Tip for Startups 4.   Be consistent

In today’s world of immediacy, we expect results and we want them now. Get real. Marketing takes time. Be prepared to experiment and test and make a commitment to marketing. A little effort every day, trumps a one-off misplaced splurge

Marketing Tip for Startups 5.  Act like a business, not a startup

The majority of startups fail and yet – contrary to common opinion – most small businesses survive. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you something. Behave like a business from day one and be prepared to love for the long haul. What’s that got to do with marketing? Everything. People work with those they like and word-of-mouth will be the most effective marketing you ever do. Get your act together behind the scenes, before you make a splash.

Robert Gerrish: A brief bio

Robert Gerrish is the founding director of Flying Solo, an online solo and micro business community, boasting a membership of over 60,000 Australian businesses. Each day their site, forums and social channels welcome over 5,000 visitors and around the country Flying Solo meetup groups gather to share ideas and strategies.

Robert’s been a business commentator on the ABC’s Four Corners, A Current Affair, Sky Business, Fairfax Digital, CBS, 2UE and ABC Radio and he regularly presents at small business events and conferences.

His first book, the bestseller, ‘Flying Solo: How to go it alone in business’, has recently been updated with his co-authors Sam Leader and Peter Crocker.

See a selection of Flying Solo images below:

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Have you got any marketing tips for startups that you would like to add to this list?  We would love to hear them.