Every start-up should have a communications plan.
No reason to worry: it can be drafted in a couple of hours and it will end up saving you a lot of time and headache.
You only need to answer these 4 questions.
You have created an innovative solution, a ground-breaking product, a cutting-edge technology or life-changing service? Good job! Now all you need to do is to make sure that the world knows about you and your company.
This is where communications come in. With a solid strategy and consistent effort, impact communication helps you spread the word about your innovation, gain credibility and in the end, improve sales and create long-term customer relationships. No matter if you’re selling a small-scale physical product on the domestic market or a scalable service solution globally.
And better yet, you don’t need a big, fancy comms team or a huge budget. You can create – and execute – a complete communications plan with little resources, while you’re putting your energy into business operations.
Question NO 1: On which platforms do I spend my time?
Social media is fun and you already have your personal Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Snapchat accounts, so let’s just go and open all those for the company too! After a month, you get tired or swept away with other business emergencies and let the accounts face a slow death.
Or maybe the other extreme is true for: you don’t understand that much about social media and you just open the accounts and then forget all the passwords and let go.
Whichever extreme you fall into, the cure is the same: niche down to one or two main channels and show up once or twice a week. Once you’ve got this handled, grow your presence steadily. Trying too much too soon is the quickest way to kill your comms plans.
Question NO2: How will I gather data?
Once you have your channels in order, you need content. One simple and very quick way to create added value to your followers and shedding positive light on your company at the same time is sharing your key success figures with your audience.
Start gathering numeric data as soon as you start selling your product or service, and communicating your success through numbers regularly.
One important thing to keep in mind when choosing the figures you share is to pick numbers that are directly related to your mission. If your goal is to save water through a specific technology, it’s barely relevant how many people you’ve reached through social media. However, your follower count is relevant, if your mission is to raise awareness on water saving.
Question NO3: Which stories can I tell?
I guess I made my point earlier: numbers are important. But the figures can only get you so far.
In addition to showing your success in numbers you need to show what they really mean. This can be done through stories. Tell stories about your customers, about how they use your product and most importantly, how it’s changed their lives.
This, too, can be done with little effort from day one. Just set up a system to gather your clients’ stories and use them, one at a time, in your communications and marketing.
Question NO4: Do I need an impact report?
Now, everything mentioned earlier is something you can do little by little, every week and every month.
But there is one thing you should do once a year: an impact report. It’s either a printed or digital report that shows exactly how you’ve made a difference. This can be done at the end of your first year already, and again with little effort.
The impact report creates credibility among customers and investors. It shows you’re a relevant actor in the field,make things happen and accomplish the goals you’ve set for your company.
Question NO5: How to do all that?
So now you know what to do and where to focus your efforts. If you feel you still need more support on how to do all that, sign up for my free content series Easy Impact Communication. You will receive each week a new piece of content which helps you make your choices, niche down and most importantly – save you time and a lot of headache.
Pauliina Rasi is a member of Impact Hub Geneva and a communications specialist. Her mission is to empower start-up entrepreneurs take their company’s communication to the next level, without stress and strain. More info: www.pauliinarasi.com