Marketing Strategies for Bootstrapping Entrepreneurs

Authenticity is key!”…and other marketing pro-tips. 

This week I had the pleasure of sitting down (virtually) with marketing industry experts Emma Schram, Communications and Marketing Strategist at the BCIT Student Association, and Richard Bergen, Senior Marketing Manager with Destination British Columbia. I chatted with the two pros to learn more about marketing strategies for bootstrapping entrepreneurs.

When designing marketing material, one of the most common questions that founders ask is about messaging. How do you know what type of message to share? Out of all your photos, how do you decide which ones to post, and what to say about them? According to our experts, it all comes down to one thing: authenticity. As Emma explains, you want to “connect your message to your purpose—your overall mission and your values.” Share something that makes you excited! If you aren’t excited about the content, your audience won’t be either.

Richard agrees, urging founders to allow their personalities to shine through in their communications. “If you’re not being authentic, people are eventually going to see through that.”

Still not sure what type of marketing content to put out there? The experts encourage you to make sure that everything you share is part of a story. “Focus on what’s unique and different about you, and it will translate to good, authentic messaging,” says Emma.

Another key takeaway from the discussion was on the topic of marketing channels and how to evaluate the abundance of options that businesses have. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, newsletters—which channels are best? Well, unfortunately there is no simple answer. It depends! “Knowing who your customers are is so key,” says Richard. To figure out what platforms you should be using, understand who your customers are and where you they hang out. Also, keep it simple, especially when you’re first starting out. This might mean finding a single channel that works and focusing only on that one (at least to begin with). It’s better to have a highly effective presence on one platform than it is to have a diluted presence across several platforms.

What did the experts have to say about how COVID-19 has changed things? “Empathy is the most important thing in marketing right now,” says Emma. Authenticity is, once again, a critical piece. “Don’t ‘covid-wash’ your brand,” cautions Richard (alluding to the practice of greenwashing, where businesses attempt to come across as environmentally sound when in practice they are not). Interaction with your audience should be meaningful.

To see the whole conversation for yourself and learn what the pros had to say about more marketing topics, click here. Do you have any startup questions you’d like to discuss? Book a 1-on-1 appointment with us. Your BCITSA Entrepreneurship team members (Laura and Tania) are here to support you!