As a bootstrapping entrepreneur, staying on top of the latest advertising trends is a must. It’s a must because in today’s society, people see over 5,000 ads per day. There is just no way the average person can pay attention to more than 1 or 2 of them. As a result, big corporations spend big dollars researching how to get consumers to pay attention. There is no reason why entrepreneurs can’t take advantage of this research.
This past weekend I celebrated the birthday of one of my little ones. The party was held at an indoor children’s play center named KangaZoom. The facility had your typical inflatable jumpers, bouncers, and slides. From the outside looking in, there was nothing exceptional about KangaZoom. However, once the party was over I knew the owners of KangaZoom had the one thing it needed to grow its business virally with word-of-mouth advertising.
Over the years, I have found that the difference between a day of progress and a day of stagnation is separated by whether or not there was a written to-do checklist to follow. So now that I have declared that the only goal that matters for a bootstrapping entrepreneur is to create a viral referral loop, there must be a daily checklist with the things to do that will incrementally progress you to this goal. Both you and I know that without this checklist, the dream of going viral is nothing but a pipe dream.
One of our main goals at Nichevertising is to educate bootstrapping entrepreneurs on the critical importance of achieving a viral referral loop in their customer acquisition process. We define the viral referral loop as the ability to get your best customers to provide at least 3 referrals every month / quarter/ year (whatever fits your business), and then get at least 50% of those referrals to do the same.
The reason why we feel so strongly about the importance of educating entrepreneurs on achieving this goal is for three reasons:
Word-of-mouth advertising is by far the most relied upon form of advertising by bootstrapping entrepreneurs. The idea of having existing customers, friends, and family tell others about your business and you just sitting back and letting the dollars roll-in is how just about every entrepreneur imagines their new venture will take-off. This is a smart way to think. As a matter of fact, this is how the most brilliant engineers in Silicon Valley think.
The main thing we believe at Nichevertising is that the #1 goal for a bootstrapping entrepreneur must be to create a viral referral loop. We define a viral referral loop as the ability to get your best customers to provide at least 3 referrals every month/quarter/year (whatever fits your business), and then get at least 50% of those referrals to do the same. I blogged about it not long ago in a post titled Why creating a viral loop is the only goal that matters.
I come from the school of thought that deeply believes storytelling is the only way for people to connect with a brand. As a matter of fact, when an advertisement is put in the form of a interesting or surprising story it becomes less of an ad and more like an experience. In one of my past post I gave you a few quick suggestions to make your emails more viral with storytelling. This time I have a suggestion that may not be as quick and easy for you to implement, but has the potential to pay off big when done right.
Alert: This is a post from my Daddy blog series
When you are bootstrapping your business, it’s almost a must that you wear multiple hats. It’s likely that you do marketing and customer service or product development and product testing, or all of the above. As you push yourself to the limit to get your business off the ground, it’s inevitable that you will make one or two customer facing mistakes along the way. The key is that you don’t beat yourself up when this happens and turn this negative into a positive.
With social media becoming the trendy way for entrepreneurs to communicate with prospective and existing customers, email has become somewhat of the stepchild of business communication. Simply stated, email has lost its sexiness with the rise of social media. As a matter of fact, reports show as much as a 60% decline in email usage among teens. However, I would argue that this is a good thing.
When I used to work in corporate America, there is one memory I will never forget. It was this project that ate up managers like they were a dozen lemon pepper wings on Super Bowl Sunday. One of the managers I had along the way, joined the project mid-stream and ended up lasting only a few months before he was let go. I believe one of the reasons he didn’t last long was embodied by a quote that he would repeat to the team every time something wasn’t going his way. He would say “you don’t know what you don’t know,” and he said it so often that you would think he didn’t know anything.