Launching a new startup can be exciting. However, that excitement can soon be tempered if you aren't acquiring new customers.
Acquiring new customers is one of the biggest challenges that startups face. I've put together a list of the tools that are my go-to tools and resources for growing a startup:
- SEMrush: With SEMrush, I am able to take a deep dive into what keywords I'm already ranking for as well as the keywords competitors are pursuing. I can then take top performing keywords and create new blog posts for them. At a quick-and-dirty level for SEO purposes, I am primarily ensuring the keyword is in the page title, meta description and blog post slug/URL, as well as ensuring a subheading within the post itself contains that keyword.
- Buzznami: This is a service that does some of the heavy lifting for content promotion by reaching out to people likely to share your content, leaving blog comments on similar content, and more.
- Becorate: This is a newer service I just started implementing, which will take your blog post content and add custom designed images to it. They put all the thought into what should be designed as well as add it to your post for you. This way, your blog posts aren't just walls of text, but include helpful supportive imagery. This is a much better solution than using standard stock photos.
- Calendly: Cut out the back and forth by using a calendering system like Calendly to book your appointments and place them on your calendar. People just see your available times (you have control over what times you are available) and can book a time that works for them. Because Calendly sends automated reminders to everyone, your no-shows will drop dramatically.
- Sigstr: Sigstr adds a nice signature block to your emails which can lead to more click-throughs and sign-ups. The nice thing about Sigstr is that you can ensure everyone on your team is using the same signature block. You can also rotate what you are promoting (webinar, signup, lead magnet, etc.) and this will update everyone's signature block as well.
- Start a Fire: If you are sharing other people's content via social media, you should consider using a tool like Start a Fire. When you share a link, the reader will also see recommendations for your other content. This way you are driving people back to your content, but still being helpful when you share it.
- Edgar: Edgar is a handy tool that always keeps your social media profiles active. You simply add posts you want to share to your library, and Edgar will randomly pull from that library and share them at different times you have set to post. Once it goes through your library, it starts the process over again. Simply add evergreen posts (i.e. not about events or other time-sensitive items) to your queue so you don't have to remember to post them.
- Buffer: Buffer is nice for scheduling a series of tweets. For example, for each piece of content you publish you may want to schedule 10 to 20 different tweets, but you might not want all of those posted in perpetuity (otherwise, you'd use Edgar for that).
- Drip: Marketing automation is all the rage these days, and for good reason. The problem, most solutions can get expensive. Drip is a more cost-effective alternative, and a series of emails for every signup you receive. It can also get much deeper and send triggered notifications based on actions customers have already taken (such as a purchase or certain events within your app).
- ClickFunnels and EverWebinar: You can use these tools independently of one another, but combining these is where the true power lies. Using ClickFunnels allows you to easily set up landing pages and registration forms. EverWebinar allows you to setup automated webinars that run on demand or at various times you schedule. This means you can sit back, drive ads to your landing pages, and watch the conversions come through.
- LeadDyno: LeadDyno is my recommended affiliate management software. Creating an affiliate program allows others to do some of the heavy promotional work for you. The challenge is in actually motivating your affiliates to promote you, though. Just because they signed up, doesn't mean they'll take action.
- HARO: Using HARO can help position you as a resource for journalists that need feedback from experts in your industry. That's why this handy guide can provide some tips on getting started using this service.
- JustReachOut: You don't need an expensive PR company to help you get press mentions. Using JustReachOut can help automate some of this workload for you. The JustReachOut team was also helpful enough to put together several tools that can help you with your PR efforts.
What tools have you had success with for your startup's growth?
Justin McGill is CEO and co-founder of LeadFuze, a B2B lead generation platform that automates prospect discovery and personalized outreach at scale.