Recently, I’ve had the same conversation with different early-stage founders. They’re all asking, “is there anything I can do marketing-wise even when I’m 6 or even 12 months away from launch?”
The answer is a resounding YES. At Blue Seedling, we’ve even rolled out a new service called “Founder Platform Launchpad” designed to help founders, particularly those pre-launch, position themselves and their startups as category leaders. Think of it as the Barr Moses, Monte Carlo CEO, playbook for CEO evangelism.
📈 Why now? Three trends to consider:
1) Hyper-competition: An influx of funding has led to crowded markets – cybersecurity and GenAI immediately come to mind, but practically every niche in B2B tech is now inundated with competitors. A great product is just the entry ticket; what sets you apart is your marketing.
2) LinkedIn & creator mode: Original content on LinkedIn is more valuable than ever. We’re seeing time and again with enterprise clients that LinkedIn directly drives valuable connections and conversations, and, in later stages, enterprise leads and demo requests.
3) Niche media & communities: Traditional channels are losing steam. Decision-makers are now relying on specialized communities and Dark Social (e.g. LinkedIn) for product recommendations. You want to be there and build your audience as early as possible.
🛠️ So, what should you do as an early-stage founder?
1) Share your POV: Use platforms like LinkedIn to share your contrarian, unique point of view about your problem space and why existing solutions don’t cut it.
2) PR: Press coverage is always valuable, and more so the earlier you are. It can also be cost-effective if you choose the right provider. You can pursue these relationships yourself, or get help from PR agencies / freelancers who specialize in working with early-stage startups.
3) Speaking opportunities: Surprisingly, landing speaking gigs pre-launch can be easier than post-launch. You’re seen less as a vendor and more as an industry visionary – so make sure you capitalize on the timing.
The bottom line
Pre-launch marketing and building your own platform as a founder is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. It’s your chance to position yourself as a leader and set your startup up for success.
Try it out yourself (links below to some of the many resources you can use from our blog), or drop us a line to learn more about our Founder Platform Launchpad. 👋
- Crash Course: DIY Marketing for early-stage B2B startups
- What’s working in Enterprise B2B marketing right now: Updates to our marketing myths
- Why I don’t believe in outsourcing content creation (and what to do instead)
- Generative AI startup? Your product won’t win the battle for you. Your marketing will.