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The Reality Of Marketing A Startup with Lucy Heskins

The Reality Of Marketing A Startup with Lucy Heskins

Stewart Hillhouse
Stewart Hillhouse

Working at a startup is very different than any other working experience out there. In many cases, you have to market something that isn't necessarily built yet. Lucy Heskins joins Stewart Hillhouse to share her experience of using marketing content as a way to validate product-market fit early on.

Who's The Guest?

👤 Name: Lucy Heskins

💪 What They Do: Lucy is an early-stage startup marketer. She's the Marketing Lead at Career Cake. She also writes on her blog, Oh, Blimey (probably the best blog name).

🌐 Lucy on the web: LinkedIn | Twitter

🧠 Best Advice: Content can actually act as a great way to validate an idea early on. By putting out ideas, you can have one-on-one conversations with your ideal customers and see what it is they need.

Episode Takeaways

A short summary of the most actionable takeaways and best advice of the episode.

Questions Every Marketer Should Ask Before Joining A Startup

  1. What stage is the startup at? Are they validating an idea or product, looking to enter new markets, or scale across multiple lines of business? Knowing this will help you to understand what you'll need to deliver.
  2. What kind of working enviroment am I going into? Working at startups is very different than an established company. Understanding as much about the culture before joining will ensure you feel comfortable and supported in your new role.
  3. Does the founder understand what marketing is and why it's important? It can be hard to work under a technical founder that thinks "If the product is good enough, people will love it". Knowing how your founder perceives marketing will ensure you have a healthy relationship.

Content Can Act As A Great Tool For Early Idea Validation

Through putting out content, you can get in touch with your ideal customers and see their reaction to your ideas. This early feedback also allows you to sneakily interview prospects for ideas, feedback on ideas you have, and to identify channels where your ideal personas are hanging out.

The Difference Between A Painkiller and a Vitamin Product

A painkiller works instantly, but won't solve your problems in the long-run.

A vitamin takes time to work, but it will be a more lasting solution to your bigger problems.

The key in early-stage marketing is to understand what bucket your solution falls into. Customers love painkiller solutions, so if you're a vitamin, find ways to explain hwo you can help in the near term as well as in the long term.

The #1 Marketing Skill Employers Are Looking For

The ability to talk to customers. If you shy away from talking with customers, this is not the profession for you.

Question Lucy Likes To Ask To Get Her Customer Talking About Their Buying Motivations:

"What are your biggest (category) challenges right now?"


Market Smarter (Without Trying)

If you found this useful, consider joining Top Of Mind Weekly – a short email I send on Thursdays where I share ideas that are top of mind where The Attention Economy, Marketing, and Culture overlap.

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