Early-Stage B2B Growth: 4 Keys to Nail the Launch

I’m a performance marketer with over a decade of experience in paid search and social, and now I own an agency that works with high-growth clients (several of whom have gone from bootstrapped startup to unicorn status working with us).

If you come to me asking how to grow your startup into a company worth of seed-stage funding, I’m going to tell you to invest in performance marketing, right?

Nope. And here’s why.

At this point, you need to pursue growth while keeping operating and marketing costs as low as possible. You need to be resourceful and scrappy, and you need to get everyone on your team to buy into that strategy.

Rather than invest in performance marketing, here’s how I recommend you approach the goal of growing revenue:

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Hit Up Your Networks

This means everyone at the company, but your execs need to lead the charge here. Be visible. Join dinner events, meetups, roundtables, happy hours, etc. that give you a platform to meet potential customers and engage in discussions about how you might be able to help them solve their own challenges (whether those are B2C or B2B). Build a referral program. Ask your friends and friends of friends for connections that make sense for both parties.


Define Your ICP

Speaking of potential customers, work to align your team on what the very most valuable customer looks like, acts like, needs, and desires – and how exactly your product or service can help them. This is your ICP (ideal customer profile), and it should focus more on the value they can get from you than what you can get out of them.


Make a Plan for Your Leads

Bringing leads in the door is a great step – but then what? How will you engage them afterward? Who owns that relationship? What content or offers can you provide to them? How will you prove your value and encourage leads to become not just customers but long-term partners? If you’re not sure of those answers, it’s not the time to spend money or time on lead generation.


Invest in Content

Without spending a nickel on marketing, there are dozens of ways to use content: blogs, organic social, emails, landing page and website copy, earned placements, etc. Make sure you’re leveraging low-cost or free tools like sales call records, market research, and customer interviews to understand the themes and topics that resonate with your ICP, and incorporate those into your owned properties. 

That content will provide a foundation for engagement and for nurturing leads that make it into your system – and, if produced strategically and used in tandem with SEO fundamentals, will serve as the base for organic traffic and awareness.



The last piece of insight I’ll share here is to put a generalist in charge of your marketing efforts. This person must understand the full scope of marketing possibilities in order to strategically prioritize efforts and recommend where further resources might be needed. Hire a specialist now, and you’ll be guaranteed to focus on that specialty – whether or not it’s the most important one for your business.

I expand on all of these strategies in our Complete Guide to Growth-Stage B2B Marketing, which tackles the Launch, Bridge, and Traction stages to help companies go from great idea to unicorn status. Download today and chart your course to long-term growth.

The Ultimate Growth-Stage Marketing Guide - Download Now

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