In part 2 of Vincent Haywood's Startup Diary Vincent talked up Networking and practicing what you preach. This week he returns with his Diary Post "In Between the Delays" and talks about the tough decisions you have to make on how you continue to raise capital for your startup.
"We went live with our blog this week. In short it’s all to do with our SEO strategy. The current site doesn’t allow for indexing past the homepage. So adding a blog, and creating content based on what users are searching for in relation to Braqes will help us with getting discovered and then lead to more conversions
That’s pretty much what we are working on right now, I have a meeting this week with the rest of the team and we are establishing deadlines on this fundraising.
Maybe I’m a little impatient, but I think its time to make a decision – do we go the broker route and give away a percentage of investment, do we push for more investors or do we look into crowd funding. Whatever happens I cannot wait to get version 2 live any longer. As previously mentioned, the fundraising caused me to focus my priorities on meetings and presentations and the site suffered as a result. So in between meetings we are building the blog functionality, building our users lists and decision maker contacts and prepping content plans for our social channels. Plus giving big love to the first paying customers.
The past two weeks my day job has had me involved in pitching and writing strategies for two startups. Its great to do, but on the flipside its making me see the delays in getting Braqes to version two. It’s quite frustrating to know you have this potentially amazing piece of software that according to research and experience is in high demand, yet delayed due to finances. I know I’m not alone here, obviously if this was easy we’d all be launching startups.
The current site is a proof of concept, something I can show potential investors and use to grow traction. If any users are reading this, it’s still fully functional ;-)
Version two is the shit! We ran surveys and had feedback from users that have helped us develop the roadmap for the next version – something I highly recommend- feedback, feedback, and more feedback. I think it was mentioned in the Lean Startup book, just because you think it’s a good idea, others may not. However, when this badboy goes live it will blow people’s minds.
So back to what we are getting up to right now, The SEO efforts are going to help in the discovery and then conversion of potential users, but this takes time. We are also using the blog to attract guest bloggers, influencers in the industry. Guest blogging is a great way to build traffic and build credibility to your site, ask Startacus thanks to blogs like these. On top of that I have finally discovered my real competitors – in this sense it’s the top three guys that keep beating us in Google search rankings. We are coming for you.
Once we have developed a good presence with the blog and added quality content that users will comment or share we will start with our linkbuilding. On that note, we outsourced the content writing to another company. We need a shed load of keyword related content, not just random articles but good quality articles. These are the beginnings of the blog, from here we will start adding Braqes specific posts, more informative posts and simply continue to grow the channel. I think a great example of using a blog to help with SEO is Sprout Social. Already an amazing tool for Social Media, but their blog is really interesting and helpful. At the same time they use banner space and links around the content to drive traffic to their main site.
As you probably gathered, this is a long process, so better to start now then when we get investment. There’s obviously a lot more to SEO then this, but these are just some of the basics we are getting sorted
It’s also a distraction for me in the meantime whilst I quietly freak-out that Version two is sitting in the wings waiting to make its debut but can’t go on stage just yet. I think this post is trying to say take advantage of the downtime, use these moments to start building your presence. Establish your social channels early, build your blog and starting building your pool of target decision makers – When that investment comes in, its all systems go and you probably won’t get time for this. Unless you have budgeted for someone to do it for you of course. Lucky you, and good planning. SEO, and a good quality audience on your social channels are extremely slow burns. The sooner you start the better. I’m not a developer on Braqes, so to save money I do the marketing side of things. In this case it’s the earned media. The media that takes time and earns trust from users. Once version two is live we will start to look at the paid media side of things.
Oh yeah, remember the last post Networking - Getting back out there– my goal of meeting 5 people a week. I managed four, only because on was on holiday. So sticking to my guns. Off the back of that I have two meetings and a presentation at an investor event on the 27th. Another five next week, in a perfect world its five investors ready to sign and all we have to do is choose.
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Mi-IDEA Manchester Networking Event
27th Sep 2016
The teams from CISCO and Manchester Science Partnerships have teamed up to create Mi-IDEA, a post-accelerator designed to foster and nurture digital innovation in the North West of England.