How to GTM And Build Credibility FAST as a New B2B Founder:

Saturday, December 09, 2023

A lot of new founders come up with great ideas for startups but then oftentimes they run into a wall. They’ve got a great idea, they’ve build the MVP, they’ve got the cool website, but they don’t know how to go to market and have enough credibility to be taken seriously from the enterprises. I get it. I’ve been there. It’ can feel frustrating, irritating, and annoying.

I wish it could be that whoever comes out with the best product or service wins. But that’s not the world we live in. Coca Cola isn’t the best soda in the world. McDonalds isn’t the best hamburger. Salesforce might not be the best CRM. But all of these companies know how to go to market and knew how to build credibility quickly.

As a 2 time founder I started Order Solutions and LiveVoice and did it without raising capital. So what does that mean? That means no VC warm intros to customers. No paying insane 6 figure salaries to sales leaders on day 1. That means getting creative and trying to build something out of nothing. With Order Solutions my last startup we bootstrapped and scaled from $0 to processing over $200M in off premise revenue in 24 months and going from 0 to 250 employes.

This all came down to getting creative, figuring out how to build credibility and knowing how to go to market.

In this video I’m going to show you how you can come up with creative ideas that will help you be taken seriously, stand out in the market, and help you generate clients quickly.

Let’s start off with what go to market is. It’s a hot word in tech but it can applied to any business. It’s how you approach brining your product or services to market. And it goes deeper than a marketing plan, you can think about it as your revenue plan.

It’s how are you going attract a customer, who is your ideal customer profile. What’s the message that resonates with that market.

Who’s the buyer in that market. What are their pain points that your product or service can solve. What’s the best way to price your product or service. How can we position the pricing as an investment instead of a cost. How can reach our dream clients. What channels are they on? Is it LinkedIn, certain industry conferences, is it through cold calling, cold email, is it through a partnership strategy. Once we get a customer what’s their onboarding process look like and how do we we up-sell other products and services that will add value. What’s the timeline on when we will introduce our up-sells. You see going to market is really about your product, marketing, sales, and customer success coming together to figure out how to offer the best customer experience and generate the most amount of revenue possible.

But before we can do that we need to figure out how to build credibility.

Here are some strategies that I used that you can use right now.

Strategy 1: Picking The Right Name

For example in both my companies Order Solutions and LiveVoice. The names were strategically picked so that customers would understand what we did right away. Easy to remember. Related to what we were selling. Plus sounded credible and like they’d been around a long time.

Strategy 2: Educational Content

We created educational content that explained the problems we solved and educated our target market on why they needed to solve their problems now and make it a priority. We created blog posts, white papers, business cases, and decks that were professional and educational.

We also created simple explainer videos and visuals and graphs where people could watch a 2 minute video or look at one pager and be like wow I totally get it. Simplicity sells. Don’t use technobabble in your marketing material and make it so anyone can understand it.

If you’re in a business and it's innovative this is so important because your target market probably isn’t aware of solutions in the market or fully aware of the problem and what it’s costing them.

Strategy 3: Omni-Presence

Take all of that content and post it on every possible channels where your dream customers hangout. So this includes your personal LinkedIn page, your business LinkedIn page, substack, medium, twitter, facebook. And the secret behind this is that every like you get on any of these channels will create a backlink and help you rank higher in the search engine so that you can generate organic leads over time. So you’re not just building credibility by educating your market but you’re also using it to generate leads.

Strategy 4: Vertical Positioning

If you’re in the business services or enterprise software space both of those markets are going to have big players. Think the Accentures, Bain’s, Cognizants of the world or the SAP’s, Salesforces. They have a ton of resources.

When I started my businesses I felt intimidated and uncertain on how I could compete with them. But then I realized that these companies were generalists and didn’t go deep into a vertical or a use case. And that’s where I could position myself as a specialist. So this was how we could differentiate and build credibility even though we were smaller and less experienced. Because we understood our vertical more than the bigger generalist companies.

Strategy 5: Vertical Pricing

Now this is another way to stand out beyond bigger companies. The way I learned this was when I started Order Solutions was I took the same generic pricing model that most BPO’s or call center companies were offering which was hourly. They would charge around $13 per hour in the philippines. That's what I was doing as well in the beginning but none of the restaurants wanted it. That pricing model didn’t resonate because they were used to paying per order or a percentage of sales like they did with DoorDash and UberEasts. So then we repackaged our pricing model to a per transaction model and they then perceived it as an ROI and started buying.

So think about your market. What’s that vertical used to paying. This depends on the business but I’m very bullish on the per transaction model because as AI and automation starts to develop it can not only save money for our clients and scale but we can increase our margins as well.

Strategy 6: Boards of Advisors

Now another strategy you can use to basically borrow credibility at low to no cost is by forming a board of advisors. So think about your target vertical and who the most influential executives are and reach out to them over LinkedIn and see if they’d be interested in being an advisor. That way you can name drop them to build credibility and have them open doors to potential clients. You can work out a rev share agreement so it’s a win/win. Kind of like how consumer companies use influencers to promote their products or services you can use influential executives to do the same.

Strategy 7: Growth Hacking PR:

What’s the first thing when they hear about your company? They google you right. And another strategy that we used that you can use is PR. PR is classic but we did it for almost no cost.

You can use a platform like PR Newswire to get featured in outlets such as Yahoo Finance and the Wall Street Journal.

But then you can take this a step further and reach out to journalists or writers of trade publications in your space and send them that press-release which builds credibility with them and ask them if they’d like to write an article as well.

This worked great for me because it’s making their job easier and can actually compound pickups meaning you will get featured in more and more publications. And what does that do for you? Build credibility.

Strategy 8: Vertical Messaging Combined With Top-Down Approach

What’s better than getting a warm intro to a potential client? Nothing right. That’s the strategy we took on all of our outbound prospecting campaigns. I learned this from Aaron Ross who wrote the book Predictable Revenue. This works great for getting in the door and scheduling meetings with large companies.

So what we did is we learned how to craft a message that spoke the language of our target market and go the attention of each executive. So for example we’d have a message for the CEO of a large restaurant chain. Maybe it talked about increasing revenue and improving the guest experience. And then we’d have a slightly different message for the CFO. It would talk about how we could save them money on labor costs. For the COO we’d have a message that talks about how we’d increase their operational efficiency and increase their throughout. Then we’d drop these messages into an automated software like or Dux Soup so we could send a high volume of these messages without needing a ton of sales people and here is the key part. Most people would ask for a meeting in these cold messages. We didn’t. We would say who would be the best person to speak with at company name. And because the message was speaking their language and it looked like we truly understood their business and it was relevant they’d copy and intro us to the real decision maker who was a level lower like a VP of Operations or a VP of Customer experience. And guess what? Because their boss introduced us they already liked us and thought it was a good idea.

Strategy 9: Interviewing Industry Experts

You can set up your own podcast or youtube channels and reach out to the influential executives in your niche and ask to interview them. So what does this do? Not only does it help you build a relationship with them, it helps you better understand your dream clients what their priorities, pain points, and goals are. The interviews can be amazing content to help build your credibility because now you’re being associated with the top executives in your space and can even help you win them as clients.

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