• Cat Graham

Why Your Startup Needs an Agency Now

You found a problem and identified the solution. You did your market research and assembled the plan. You created the solution. You are tirelessly passionate about your business and cannot wait for it to be the next big thing. You make your first few hires and your first few sales. Then you panic, how will your brand reach your customers? How will you grow? What if no one knows you have the exact solution they are looking for? Startup founder, sound familiar?

There are thousands of startups that get launched and shut every day. How do you make sure your startup has reached your audience, and does not add to the list of the ones that got shut? Like this list here from Tech Crunch about the startups we’ve lost in 2020. And there are many more lesser-known startups that are on this list too.

There are several critical factors it takes for startups to succeed. Vision, discipline, determination, ability to adapt and flawless execution for starters. But one of the missed and most important factors is the ability to tell your story.

How do I know? Because I am a startup founder too.

Startups are very good at explaining the problem they solve, but not as good at telling the “why” and giving the reason to believe. It’s like knowing you have built a time machine (wouldn’t we all want one?) and keeping it in your garage. I work with a lot of amazing startups, and they are all passionate believers, but how do you convert your key audiences into believers too?

You start with your story, and it takes an outside lens to help you craft a story that is unique and relatable, or as I call it, a narrative that is repeatable to anyone who sees it. The narrative is the basis for how you message your investors, your customers, the industry, your partners, your community, your employees and your prospects (both employee and customer).

That brings me to the next point, identifying your stakeholders. These are all the audiences that impact the success of your business. By having an experienced agency, you will not only identify your key stakeholders but also develop messages for each of them. These message tracks tell the “What’s In It For Me” (WIIFM) and get their attention. But how do you use them?

This is where an agency can help you develop your presence. This includes speaking opportunities, featured stories, thought leadership, channel presence and award recognition in places and spaces where your customers live. An agency gets your startup the kind of exposure it needs to accelerate and amplify your success. An agency like mine can also help you identify your purpose, hone your vision and values, help you attract top talent with a powerful employee experience and create a culture that drives everything you stand for.

So, start meeting with agencies, particularly independent ones, who can align with the business of your business and help amplify your success.