Who Are Your Best Brand Evangelists?

When marketing a startup, you have to focus a lot of energy trying to cultivate a strong word-of-mouth buzz. While courting customers to serve as brand evangelists, don’t overlook the most passionate supporters of your company: your happy employees.

It takes a special kind of person to work in a startup. Faced with long hours, uncertain pay and all the roadblocks in getting a company off the group, only the truly dedicated stick around. People usually join a startup because they believe in the company’s mission and product. If you reward them for this dedication and look for ways to make them feel rewarded and appreciated, they’ll have more job satisfaction and even more enthusiasm for the startup.

Happy, motivated, excited employees want to tell everyone about the cool new startup they’re working for. Harness their enthusiasm! Don’t just count on the fact that they’ll tell their family and friends and random people in line at the coffee shop about their project – which is great! – but look for ways to allow them to advocate on a larger scale.

-Have team members take turns running the company’s Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn accounts. Let them tell all of your followers what they love about working for the startup, what product features they’re most excited about, what they’re working on, etc.

-Interview employees. Post video clips on YouTube, put text interviews on the blog or in the mailing list.

-Send your team to conferences and other industry events. Let them network and share their enthusiasm with others in the trade. They may find new customers, new investors, even new talent to bring in to the fold.

-Invite your employees to submit articles to blogs and trade publications. Obviously there should be complete transparency about their involvement with the company! Your employees can offer a different perspective than the president or marketing team, and when you show that you value that perspective, you make them feel appreciated and show the world that your startup is a team effort.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: enthusiasm is contagious! Don’t let your motivated workforce go to waste. Send them out into the world as your best brand evangelists.

-AJ

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