Consumer acquisition lead at publicly traded telecom by day, CMO for fast growing B2B SaaS startup (Paubox) by every other hour. Expert in marketing strategies that drive growth.
Agree with looking at tools like SEMrush, Spyfu, and Alexa to find out what your competitors are doing. That will not only help you understand what they're doing, but also show you opportunities that may be undervalued, and areas you should ignore for now since they are so competitive.
But you should also be looking at how you will measure ROI, not just spend. Measuring spend is ridiculously easy, be sure you have a digital sales funnel set up for every ad you do so you can properly track ROI. You should be able to show 3x return for every dollar spent.
There are tons of resources and templates online to help you develop an elevator pitch. I will keep this short and just say that the one thing you need to do is be flexible. Just because you come up with one, doesn't mean you have to keep it forever. Hell, change it every month and see what resonates the best for your audience. Get feedback and keep tweaking until you get something that works.
There's a few way to do pricing, and you need to consider a few things, but three main things are: costs, competitors, value.
Costs are pretty self-explanatory, you need to be sure you're not going to lose money. Don't consider just the hard costs, but any soft costs as well, what's maintenance going to be, human costs, opportunity, etc.
Are there things similar, what do competitors charge? How you price against them is a positioning of your overall brand and relates to value. Are you a premium product, or a commodity?
Value speaks to how your audience views it. You say potential audience, but do you have access to it ahead of time? You can come up with a better educated guess on what to start a price at by polling a sample size and ask a few questions: At what price is this product too expensive you won't buy it? At what price is this a good deal? At what price is this too cheap and something must be wrong with it?
A/B testing price is always tricky when it's for the same product, especially if it's a published price and the target audience will talk to each other. If it's not published, then it gets easier and not so bad to A/B.
Shaun Nestor has a great outline of things, but just to add a couple more points.
Your content that you build should be targeted at keywords to boost organic search. You can research competitors to find out what keywords they're using and find opportunities to get ranked quicker.
Be sure the Keywords you're targeting are valuable to YOUR BUSINESS. Some people make the mistake of trying to rank for keywords with large daily results, but you want to attract well qualified visitors that will convert. This may mean lower search volumes but better monetization of your visitors.
Lastly, be sure that your outreach plan includes things that will help build quality links like guest posting on popular blogs.
Content and SEO go hand in hand, keep that in mind when you do your research and build your personas.
There's a lot of great answers already about creating an online presence and I definitely agree that content marketing will be very important.
However, if I read this correctly you do specialty designs and installs, so does that mean you are localized in your business where you need to physically meet the customer?
If that's the case, then you need to be sure that you are exploiting the proper networks in your local area. This means joining the right groups, associations, attending industry events, and trying to do demos or speaking engagements. Be a thought leader in your space for your local area.
In the end, just ask yourself - Where does your target market like to hangout online AND offline? Be sure to have a presence in both places.
Who do you have the better relationship with? If you know the marketing director, then by all means go for it directly.
If you go through the agency, just make sure they have buy in and will be a champion of the idea. If not, then they may not be able to push it through anyway.
If you are going to start a business, getting your first client should be no problem assuming that you have a done some sort of validation of your business idea.
In doing that validation you most likely found that there was a need/opportunity to sell your widget. So I would start there. What is the need and opportunity, why do you think the widget your selling is valuable and more importantly - who will find it valuable?
Then, as stated earlier, start with your personal network. Let them know about your new business and ask if they can refer someone that can benefit from what you're selling.
You should be able to get your first few clients this way. The quality of your product/service will give you a platform of growth from there. Make sure to learn and iterate fast from your early customers.
I've had to do something like this for an established company I work for to grow subscribers, as well as a startup I'm a part of.
It will be hard to give you any specific advice without knowing your exact business model and services.
But I would start with your own data and your current customers. Why did they buy from you? How did they hear about you? What do they like about the product and what can you improve?
Analyze your sales funnel and website metrics. Do you have a lot of leads but low conversion or vice versa? Once you answer that drill down to get a solution.
Where are your leads or highest converting customers coming from? Can you double down or exploit anything there?
Then start a list of areas to test with specific hypothesis and a process to test, analyze and iterate.