Best advice any startup founder will ever receive:
Take advantage of the free stuff.
It’s the golden age of bootstrapping right now, as more and more startups are creating free and low-cost tools for their brethren startup founders and wannabe founders. While you’ve got the obvious old standbys – WordPress and Google Analytics spring to mind – any startup that truly wants to be on top of their game needs to be jumping on these new resources as quickly as they’re released into beta.
So here’s a list of just a few of them to guide you from pitch to marketing, all culled from Product Hunt’s excellent roundup of the latest and greatest startups.
1. Pitch it. Pitch it good.
While a truly excellent pitch is a fine piece of art that takes time and dedication to perfect, there’s no harm in getting a little jumpstart with a site like PitchGrub, which guides on along the process of getting down all the information that your pitch needs.
Now, just to clarify – we’re not talking full pitch deck here. That’s not something that can be created in a few seconds with a cute little website. What PitchGrub does provide, however, is a neat little 10 second pitch as well as a 30 second one and a tagline for it. If nothing else, it can help you start organizing your thoughts around your product.
2. Mobile first! Mobile first!
If your startup is hopping on the mobile bandwagon (pro tip: it’s not really optional anymore), DWNLD will help you turn your idea into a mobile reality. While their service isn’t free, they only charge $15 a month and if you can’t afford that, you may want to rethink your life goals.
DWNLD has taken a process that normally takes a lot of time and even more money and simplified it down to a few steps. All you have to do is plug in your web content or use their CMS to create app-exclusive content. Then you choose a theme, do whatever customization you want, and BAM! You’ve got an app.
3. An un-user tested startup is a dead startup.
An app or website that hasn’t been user tested is useless. You have to, have to, have to get each version out in front of your users ASAP if you’re going to build a viable, interesting, successful company. While I personally am all about the in-person user testing, sometimes that’s just not viable and for those times I’d like to suggest SessionCam.
This (not free but still cheap) site not only records your users as they explore your site or mobile app, it also tracks any moves they make, analyzes conversion funnels, creates a heat map for you, and does a whole bunch of other things that you didn’t even know you should be looking for. Basically, it’s a great way to get an idea of where your site is lacking.
4. Social is King.
Your startup journey doesn’t just mean creating a great product that users love – something like 70% of the whole damn process is getting the word out there. While Buffer is great standby for social sharing, there are a couple of startups that I think should be on your radar.
The first is Twibble, which is specifically for Twitter. Twibble lets you add an RSS feed, set a schedule, and then it goes in and does the work for you. Pulling featured images directly from your blog, Twibble creates media-rich tweets that will make your feed look professional with minimal effort.
Those of you who want to blast all your social media platforms at once should check out EveryPost, an app that lets you create one post and then choose which networks you want to share it with. Blast out your latest news right from your phone with this super convenient, super fast app.
So what have we learned?
Take advantage of the free (and cheap) stuff, guys and gals. Your fellow founders are out there trying to make your life easier – it’s time you accepted the help.