Burn the ships, pivot and move on!

Burn the ships, pivot and move on!

A creed many entrepreneurs inside the @Atlanta Tech Village follow while grinding out the startup founder’s life. 

My latest guest would know. 

Jacey Cadet is Atlanta Ventures‘ VP of Marketing & Community and host of Pitch Practice, a meetup for entrepreneurs to practice their investor pitches before entering the shark tank. 

An extreme extrovert with a background in design and a passion for growing authentic communities, Jacey solves tough problems and uses her positive energy to build up those around her. 

When I asked her if being an extrovert was a prerequisite for becoming a great marketer, she smiled and said, “no, being an extrovert isn’t required, but it doesn’t hurt.”

“Marketing is 20% content creation and 80% distribution,” recalling a quote she once heard. 

“As a marketer, you’re often ‘out there’ promoting your product, and it certainly doesn’t hurt being extroverted when you’re in front of your clients,” she says.

What’s the best way to market a startup product?  

“Tell your story,” she says. 

Most startups have limited budgets. Use free marketing channels to share your story through the following options: 

●     Guerilla marketing (leave brochures in public places)

●     Build a free website (WordPress)

●     Write blog content (thought-leadership)

●     Share it on social media (repurpose)

The list goes on. 

When it comes to telling your story, “out is better than perfect,” she says. 

Don’t let perfection be the enemy of progress. Get your message out fast! 

“Until you tell your story and share your message, you don’t know if it even resonates with your audience,” she urges.

Put it out there and see what sticks.

“As long as you have a place to send people, even if it’s only a landing page that explains who you’re here to serve and what you’re doing, you’re on the right track.”

Everyone’s talking about “community,” especially in tech, but “how does one build a community?” you might ask. 

If you’re an entrepreneur, hopefully you created your start-up to solve a tough problem for someone in need of your services. 

You’ll have to use that services-mindset approach to support your target audience, provide value, and then through the trust you build with solving your audience’s problem, you’ll build a community. 

You can’t just say, “I want a community,” and it magically appears. You have to provide value day in and day out and then, as the mysterious voice in Field of Dreams once said: 

“If you build it, [they] will come.” 

Some of the ways you can provide valuable content such as, case studies, helpful tips or frequently asked questions content (FAQs). 

As a lean team, utilize the power of OpenAI’s ChatGPT to leverage your content creation. 

For example, ask ChatGPT to give you 10 blog post ideas for the product or service you provide, written in the tone of voice your customer can relate to. 

Then, curate the results, optimize them for SEO by adding relevant keywords, and match the content to your brand, product, and audience. 

One of the most important lessons she learned as a marketer in the startup space is that if something doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to “burn the ships, pivot and move on.”

But know that none of your efforts are ever in vain and that with each experience, regardless of the outcome, you’ve learned something and added to your skillset as a marketer. 

I sure learned something from Jacey during our chat at Kula Coffee Co. inside the nation’s fourth-largest tech hub, and I hope you did too. 

Until next time ✌️



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