Running a startup is tough. We know this, you know this, they know this… we all know this. And sometimes there are days when we don’t think that we’re going to be able to do it anymore. We just don’t know how to proceed. We’ve hit a roadblock and it just doesn’t seem like there’s any way through it.
But, rest assured, it is possible to succeed. And we know it’s possible, because there are startups out there succeeding every single day.
But – you might be wondering – where are all of these wonderfully successful startups hiding?
Well, they’re not hiding exactly. They’re just busy with startup things. Plus, where would you even start looking for them? There’s not exactly a “startup spotlight” blog series that you can pop over to and have a look at, is there?
That’s us! That’s this! Hurrah!
But in all seriousness, creating something that would be inspiring and motivational for startups and other businesses, was only our first mission with this series. We also wanted to help startups learn and succeed, and what better way to do that but by looking at what’s working for other businesses? Why make the same mistakes that have already been made a thousand times before? Why fail, when someone’s story can help you succeed? Why not get tips on what works, and what doesn’t, from the people who are already in the know?
So, in summary, why are we creating this startup spotlight series?
- To inspire and motivate startups.
- So startups can teach and learn from each other.
Sound good? Good!
First up we have the amazing Vero!
A Little Bit About Vero
Vero is an email marketing startup that enables companies to send event-based emails that allows businesses to increase conversions and improve customer satisfaction. Using Vero, businesses can send more targeted messages to their customers, based on their on-site activity, in order to encourage customers through the customer lifecycle.
Creating Content At Vero
Vero’s content marketing is on point. If you haven’t subscribed to their blog, then I’d suggest doing that now. My first question for Jimmy was a question that I had been burning to ask ever since I fell in love with their content: How do you decide what content to create?
We measure and listen to data but most content ideas come from gut feel. We do, of course, ask ourselves, “Does this content help our existing and future customers?” If it does, we go for it. In general, we use the Rand Fishkin relevancy scale to make sure we’re always spreading ideas that are worth your time to read.
Outreach At Vero
Following their gut instinct is great, but that’s made me wonder, what kind of content best performs for Vero?
In general, our best performing content is backed by well-planned outreach strategies. Occasionally, something will take off on its own but I expect to do quite a bit of promotion on each and every article we write.
So outreach matters, even for big names like Vero!
A lot of startups and marketers are a little hesitant with outreach – they’re often afraid of annoying the recipient, of being too presumptuous or – worse case scenario – out and out being rejected. But not to fear, when asked about what’s something that he’s learnt from his experience at Vero, Jimmy had some advice on that front:
People don’t mind being pitched on your idea or product if it’s actually good. I often find that people are very receptive to learning more about Vero when we are direct with them.
People are always looking for quality, and won’t complain if it lands right in front of them! And interestingly, Jimmy also implies that honesty is always the best policy. By being direct – or transparent – with the people that you interact with, you’re creating good relationships. And, as we all know, good relationships are the foundation of a successful business.
Vero is obviously confident that their product is good, and therefore outreach doesn’t hold the same anxiety for them. The lesson? Be sure that your product can sell itself, and then all you have to do is get it in front of eyeballs!
And even when you do get knocked down, Jimmy has some words of encouragement:
Every mistake is a learning experience. I have invested tons of time in marketing campaigns that flopped and made assumptions about audience that were completely wrong. But if I hadn’t done those things, how would I have improved the next time?
The Best Part of Working At Vero
And finally, as the genius behind Vero’s marketing, I was curious: What part of your job at Vero do you love the most?
I love the moment when I finally find the words to explain what I’m trying to say. I usually just start writing to get all my ideas down on paper. Once it’s all out there, I start organizing, formatting, editing. At some point, it all comes together and the words just make sense. That is my favorite part.
Key Takeaways From Vero:
- Use your gut instinct
- Be relevant
- Outreach is key
- Be transparent
- Make mistakes (and learn from them!)
- Love what you do
If you’d like your business featured in our startup spotlight series, please send me an email at [Sarah at getspokal dot com] with the subject line “Inquiry About Startup Spotlight Series”.