4 most common mistakes of impact-driven entrepreneurs
find out which mistakes most entrepreneurs make when starting to tell the world about their company – and how you can avoid them.
You have created an innovative solution, a ground-breaking product, a cutting-edge technology or life-changing service – and then nobody comes in and buys. Or maybe sales are going well but you are struggling with finding more funders, a bigger clientele or steady sales.
This is where communications come in. With a solid strategy and consistent efforts, impact communication helps you spread the word about your innovation, gain credibility, and at 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 now – I hear you saying to yourself “Yeah, I know all that, but I can’t afford a comms team.” Or maybe “I’ll do this later, once I have more clients / steady income / more time / I’ve established that Santa Claus really is a physical, existing creature / fill in the blank.”
So before we go down that road, let me tell you one thing: all my strategies are tailor-made for entrepreneurs and business owners like yourself, who are not necessarily communications professional and definitely don’t have a huge budget or a big team. All this can be done with little resources, while you’re putting the remainder of your energy to the actual business.
Mistake No 1: Opening an account on ALL the social media platforms!
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 urgencies and let the accounts face a slow death.
Or maybe the other extreme is true: 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.
Want to know how to choose your channels? We’ll tackle the question more in detail in the next part of this series.
Mistake No 2: Not gathering data – or gathering it and forgetting about it right away
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 at your company at the same time is to share 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.
There’s one important thing to keep in mind when choosing the figures you share. 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.
How to choose the right numbers? We’ll dive into this on part 3.
Mistake No 3: Talking only in numbers
I guess I made my point earlier: numbers are important. But the figures get you only 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.
In part 4 of Easy Impact Communication, I’ll show you how to gather the stories and tell them to your audience.
Mistake No 4: Not publishing an impact report
Now, all the stuff 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 and that you live up to your word. That you really make things happen and accomplish the goals you’ve set for your company.
In the last part, we’ll be tackling this problem: how to put together an impact report with little resources.