Startups are hubs of innovation, incubators of creativity; home to dedicated souls with spunk, commitment, and initiative. Though your startup may one day be the next Facebook or Dell, for now, you need to get the word out in a cost-effective (or, better yet: free!) way that gets your company noticed by early adopters and investors alike.
There are many sites that offer to promote your startup, we recommend these:
Killerstartups.com is truly killer because they share the stories of the people behind the startups. If your people have a human interest edge, submit it for coverage on this site.
They offer 3 options: free submission, which by their own admission, may take at least 3-6 months to be considered; and, even then, only 5% of submissions get featured as articles. Speedy Submission for $167 skips the 3-6 month wait. Premium consultancy for $499 gets you their expert feedback, as well as an in-depth article published to their 250,000 monthly visitors, social followers, etc.
Need investors and/or employees? This site couples startups with investors and employees looking to work at startups. Adding a site is free and easy. For startups looking for investors and eager employees, this is a great opportunity.
Early adopters are vital for every startup. Betalist.com promotes your startup to 15,000 early adopters. Submit your startup to this site before it is live. All you need is a Coming Soon page that enables visitors to sign up for a mailing list.
Startups that were featured on betalist before they were launched include Pinterest and about.me.
Submission is free, or may be expedited for a $69 fee.
Much like Betalist, StartupLi.st helps businesses cultivate early adopters. The site will sign up early adopters and enable them to easily promote your new business.
This site reviews Web 2.0 websites, Web Applications, Web Services, Web APIs, E-Commerce Sites, Social Networks and community web projects. They publish only 3 reviews per day, so getting featured gets you good attention. Submission is free, but can be rushed and guaranteed for $59.
Early stage startups can be featured on startupbeat.com through company pitches, interviews and guest columns by experts. The submission is by direct email to the editor and is absolutely free.
If your product needs beta testers, Earlibird.com will connect you with a community of 45,000 early adopter beta testers of Android, iOS apps, websites, and tech gadgets. It is free to be listed and has various pricing plans (depending on platform and B2C or B2B targets) for sending invitations to beta testers. For example, you can invite 750 B2C beta testers of iOS apps for $77.
Early-stage startups can get showcased to early adopters and investors on Stompstart.com. Submission is free. They system gives you points for sharing some of their other startups on your social media profiles. The more points you get, the more “karma” your startup has. And your startup’s karma determines where it is placed on their list.
New product launches can use this site to write about the product and release it to social networks and communities. Though a bit complex, it is free and has nice traction.
By answering a few simple questions (What does it do? Who is it for?) in this site’s interface, you can easily pitch your startup online for free.
Valuable web 2.0 and internet technology startups can fill in an extensive questionnaire and be listed with 2-3 months for free. Or, for a $100 “donation,” yours can be listed in 24 hours.
The ultimate professional social network is a great place to network with others in your industry. By connecting with colleagues, posting to relevant groups, and publishing posts and status updates, you can get the word out about your new endeavor. You never know the kinds of investors, employees, early adopters, or others you may connect with.
Quora and other Q&A sites
Like LinkedIn, Quora and other Q&A sites (for example, stackoverflow.com for programmers) takes some legwork, but answering questions relevant to your expertise (with a shameless plug for your business) has worked great for getting prospects to your site and increasing awareness about startup companies.
Though your startup likely targets users (and investors) globally, do not overlook the local community. Geo-specific sites like mappedinisrael.com and nycstartuplist.com are great resources.
How Successful Startups Promote Successfully
Startup entrepreneurs are busy: you have a product to develop, financing to secure, and employees to hire and train. But you cannot neglect your marketing. Marketing your startup is an important aspect of any go to market plan. You must stand out from the pack: you need to be noticed by investors and early adopters and attract potential employees with the level of dedication your vision deserves.
Please submit your startups to as many sites as possible, pitch it whenever you can. If you don’t have a lot of time to spend and need a marketing plan that simply works, the KeyScouts team of professionals can help!