Remember the “dot com bust?”   There are some rather obvious things you can do to reduce your odds of becoming another one of the failure statistics.  Solving these items is more a matter of creative horsepower than things that require serious amounts of funding.  In fact loads of startup funding really just obscures the real weaknesses that compromise some otherwise very good ideas.

Not Building Up a Receptive Audience Before Going Full Bore.

Using Social Media it is possible to get your message in front of the right audience and familiarize them with your brand identity before you even roll out your first product.

Those who invest in risky app development or inventory without a ready and enthusiastic audience are taking a needless gamble.

How do you build up a following?  By putting out content your ideal tribe will value on your website, Facebook, Pinterest and Youtube.

Not Starting with a Bankable Brand Identity

Do you have a brand concept that could become a household word among your key constituency?  Is your name eligible for trademark protection?  If you don’t have a strong name to collect meaning, your early marketing efforts may be partly wasted.

Not Creating a Customer Avatar

Customer Avatars are a virtual caricature that represents your typical client personality.  For example: Our ideal customer is female between the ages for 32 and 38.  She has on average 2 years of higher education and earns $42,000 per year.  She rents and has 1.4 children in the 4-12 year old range.  She works 46 hours per week and spends 7.5 hours per week on social media.  60% of her food purchases are organic and she spends much of her free time outdoors.

You can dial it in further and further.  For example: is she married or unmarried?  What TV shows is she likely to watch?  What magazines does she read.  Which popular websites does she visit often?  Does she have family nearby?  What are her unique problems and challenges?   How do they pertain to the solutions your brand might be able to provide?

These definitions help you create targeted audiences in your social media marketing.  They also help shape the kind of content creation you will do in order to draw in this audience.

Not Understanding How Your Value fit’s Into Customer’s Life-Flow

In order to gain a customer: they must be able to visualize and feel your solution fitting into their existing life-flow.  If they can’t wrap their heads around that it probably won’t convert.  Ideally they must be able to see other’s like themselves using your solution.

By getting clear on this precise fit you will get an idea if your answer to their needs is attainable in terms of time and expense.  This also goes to determining precisely how your product or service will be habit forming.  Propositions that don’t organically fit into the existing flow of their lives and form a dependency will not likely push out the existing solutions in the marketplace.

Not Successfully Conveying Your Value Proposition in Under 9 Seconds

This goes to your website design and realizing that you really only get 8 seconds to get your core value across before your visitors will hit the back button.  It’s important to get the precise messages they need to read and place them in the locations on the page where eyes tend to float first.

Almost nobody even scrolls down the page unless you have captivated them within that brief first glance.

This is crucial especially when you get into Pay-Per-Click advertising such as Google Adwords.

Not Defining The MVP

Once you have created an audience with a steady stream of content on your website, Youtube, Facebook etc.  You need to sell them something.  Whether your Minimum Viable Product is simply an ebook, a paid webinar, imported item or barebones freemium app this gives your audience the opportunity to begin embracing your value in a tangible way and constitutes an excellent form of crowdfunding to take your venture to the next level.