Getting noticed can be a challenge for any startup. Press is one way to help get noticed, but it can be hard to come by if you don’t know where or whom to reach out to. We spoke with Josh Melick, Co-Founder, and CEO of Broadly.com, about how you can position your business for press and start getting the publicity you need to make sure people hear about your new company!
Q: How does a small business go about getting noticed in its local market?
A: The best way to get attention is by solving a problem in your local market. If you can show that you’re solving a pain point in an area where people are spending money every day, the press will come when you can prove that there’s a real business model and revenue stream behind the solution to the problem.
Q: What is the best way to get press?
A: While you can’t control where the media will put their focus, it’s vital that they see your product as something that’s doing something new and different. There are tons of products out there – what makes yours notable and exciting? Find a unique point about your product that will help you stand out.
Q: How can a small business on a budget get press?
A: Work with an agency that can help you build relationships. If you can show that there’s a real person behind the company who cares about their product and has worked hard to get it where it is, they’ll be interested in writing about your story. Engage with people on social media who are influential in your space. You can even do some things yourself! No one has to see your email if you send it to the right person.
Q: What are some examples of startups you’ve seen get press?
A: There’s a company that makes an oven that can cook pizzas in 90 seconds, and another startup that created a platform where you can get a loan in 30 seconds. I’m also seeing a lot of companies in the on-demand space like doorbell and locksmith apps, particularly buildings like apartment complexes.
Q: What is your best advice for any startup CEO?
A: There’s a quote that goes, “if you build it, they will come,” which I think is really garbage. You have to work hard to get your company out there. Every day you need to be working on new ways to reach people, talking about your product, and making sure that your customers are happy.
Q: What are some of the most common mistakes you see startups make?
A: A lot of people will come to me at the beginning and say, “Hey, I’m building this product for real estate agents.” Still, if they haven’t done their research about who’s buying homes at that point, where they’re moving to, what kind of demographics there are, and what they’ll want from a product to help them be successful, I know right away that they’re not going to have a chance of succeeding.
Q: Why do you think so many startups fail?
A: Most often, because the company isn’t solving a real problem – it’s solving a problem that can already be solved with an existing solution. Sometimes, it’s because the company is so fixated on technology that they forget to talk about their product in a way that people can understand why it matters.