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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
on marketing some thoughts

If you hadn’t noticed already, we’re not just a Nashville digital agency. We’re a marketing agency with a passion for technology and startups.

As we’re now just nine days away from closing entries for our "Leg Up" initiative and getting to business selecting our five finalists, we’re extremely excited about working with another fabulous startup.

But, we get it, there’s only one winner.

So, for those looking for some free startup advice, here are some tips from our stellar Ten Fast Feet team on everything from product and website development to business planning to that ever-crucial term – pivot. And maybe some design and video production tidbits as well.

PS - If you’re on the fence about applying for "Leg Up" ... what do you have to lose? Go for it and maybe your dream will become a reality.

Think of your startup video as a movie trailer.
Matt Knutson, motion designer and videographer

Get a startup video made by people who know how to do it well. If your startup was a major motion picture, your startup video is like a movie trailer. It should reveal your product in an enticing way to get people to want to see more. Just like movie trailers, startup videos can be easily (perhaps virally) shared across the Internet. You can't be everywhere to give your elevator pitch to everyone, so let a killer video do it for you.

Find the right partner for your business.
Dylan Mullins, accounts director

I've worked with a lot of entrepreneurs and startups who try to be the creative expert, the development expert, the tech industry expert, and the client, all at the same time. They want to read every startup book, digest every tech industry blog post, and follow every "important" person on Twitter.

My advice would be to research and secure the right partner that not only has a record of success with beating up complex business problems, but that also facilitates your education of their process and the industry at-large along the way. Too often do I see business owners drive their progress into the ground in this way. That's where we come in. Our team works collaboratively with clients at every step of the process to ensure their ideas don't flop, their product enhancements are couched in actual user demands, and their product has long-term viability.

Keep it simple.
Chris Maloney, webmaster

Keep your initial product smart, simple, and effective. Getting bogged down with too many features and offerings can turn a good idea into a bloated piece of garbage. Yesterday's simple product can become more costly to produce, confusing, and you risk missing the mark entirely.

No, really. Keep it simple.
Brianna Reed, designer

When starting a new project, don't overwhelm yourself with too many features at once. Keep it simple in the beginning, and then build from there. There will always be time for "Phase 2" later.

 

Don't fluctuate for a hero client.
Nathan Maggard, founder and CEO

Fluctuating is not equal to pivoting. At the early stages of a new business, each customer is weighted with great importance. Many times, we take a minor signal and amplify it due to the dollars associated with it.

Let’s say your startup has its first three clients. The first two pay $1,000 a month. The third – your 'hero client' – pays $1,900. Client Three says in passing something like this: "You know, you guys should really add on 'insert-service-idea-here.' We’d LOVE that!"

But, that service is a huge undertaking and will take nearly six weeks to have something to show the client. So you work your team extra hard and get it done. But what happens at the reveal? Client Three is underwhelmed. He didn’t give you full insight as to what he really wanted (and didn’t want) or any specific details.

This isn’t a thought-through pivot. It’s a fluctuation, and it flopped. And to fully develop this product, you now need another 10 weeks. Client Three’s needs may change by then. Your development team is exhausted. Was that worth lost sales? Most of the time, the answer is no.

Don’t fluctuate for a hero client, and certainly don’t call it a "pivot" to make your team feel better about it. Be realistic about client requests, even if that means telling that special someone no.

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