Building the product is not the hardest part. The hardest part is generating the sales. What strategy does a startup need to follow to get their first 100 customers?

I suggest promoting your services on Linkedin. Your results should be consistent, easy to measure and scalable. You could pay Linkedin for advertising but there are more effective and less expensive ways to do it yourself. In most cases a premium account isn't even necessary. Here are some easy to follow steps..

1. Identify your target market. What industries, titles, locations and keywords do your "lowest hanging fruit" share?
2. Send invites to as many of these people as possible. 20% of them will accept the invite. Now you can message them via Inmail for free and they can see any status update you post.
3. Curate some interesting content and use tools like Hootsuite or to automate your posts. This will keep you top-of-mind with your target audience. You can even use services like to add banner overlays across the content you post.
4. Create short messages and send them to the first level connections that match your "lowest hanging fruit" criteria. Never blast them with info. Instead send a short message like this... Hi Joe. Great connecting with you. I wanted to contact you because my services should be of interest to you. Would it be ok if I sent you more details about what we do?
5. Anyone who responds back send them another short message that encapsulates what you do into 2 paragraphs max. Be sure to include why your service should be of benefit to them. Make sure you end the message with a sentence like this... Joe, would you like to set up a time when we can speak about the possibility of working together? You want them to say either yes or no. No answers are fine. They save you time and let you find the cream of the crop (people who have an interest now and are willing to speak with you).
6. Be sure to keep up your daily postings and follow up every week or every other week with the people who responded.

For every 1,000 messages that you send out you will generate 30-40 really good leads. Most of my clients close 1-3 deals for every 30 leads. Depending on your sales cycle it might take a few weeks or months to get your first deal but follow up and persistence is the key on Linkedin.

I hope this helps.

Answered 3 years ago

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