7 Tips for Marketing Your Lean Startup

Every now and then I’m asked to give advice and tips about startup marketing.

So I’ve tried to compile the most actionable lessons learned from the past 10 years into 7 key tips.

Whether you are an early stage startup or entering into a growth phase, these are my favorite tips for those that don’t yet have the luxury of massive marketing budgets and appreciate lean startup principles.

Hopefully, some of these tips are useful for you to hit the ground running.


1. Find a talented copywriter

Having a good copywriter on board can have massive impact from day 1 on many areas of marketing (SEO, PR, Social Media, Email/CRM, etc.), not to mention helping with product-driven projects.

Don’t spend time writing yourself, find a professional to help you.

2. Produce high quality, relevant content

Content marketing is a great way to generate brand awareness, help with SEO performance, and drive traffic to your site.

But more importantly, an effective content strategy allows you to quickly position yourself as an authority in your niche.

3. Orchestrate a distribution strategy for your content

Don’t just publish an article (or white paper, or video, or etc.) and think that it will magically drive traffic and eyeballs to your site. If you spend X hours producing the content, you should be spending 2X hours in promoting it.

So don’t just vomit content.

Think about a distribution strategy and how you can capture the attention of influencers, bloggers and build buzz in social media.

4. Network, network, network.

Besides cash, relationships are the most vital currency you can have as a founder.

This is so important that I will repeat: relationships are the most vital currency you can have as a founder.

Here’s the brutal truth:

People will want to do business with you if they like you, simple as that.  That includes potential employees, clients, partners, and investors. So don’t get stuck in your bubble and get out and hustle and build your rolodex.

5. Develop a SEO strategy

From day one, it’s very important to have a mid to long-term game plan for SEO.


SEO is one of the highest-converting “free” sources of traffic you can acquire. However, it’s a long term play so what you do today will not have impact for many months down the road.

Think about keywords you want to target and, specifically, make sure you have a long tail strategy as these typically the top converters.

6. If you can’t measure it… don’t mess with it

One of the biggest #FAILS around startup marketing activities is the lack of reporting an and analysis.

Put into place some a framework to measure the performance of your marketing activity on the channel level so you can quickly assess whether that channel is profitable and if you’re wasting your time.

If you understand the cost per acquisition and net profit for each marketing channel, you’re in very good shape… try to get to that point.

7. Focus on your product or service

The highest converting marketing channel is:

Word of Mouth… and nothing can beat it.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to control and the only way to scale this is by building stuff people actually like to use.


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