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Dave was the CMO for Drift, where he struggled getting attention. He turned to the founder to break through the noise ...

Founder Brand

Founder Brand

by Dave Gerhardt

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740 reads

Founder Led Marketing

Getting a startup noticed is hard, as Dave Gerhardt, a marketing specialist who worked at various tech companies, noticed. Nobody wants to hear from yet another company, but the founder could act as the spoke-person, bringing:

Trust : People want to buy from people, not faceless companies

DAVE GERHARDT

If you are the founder of a tech startup stop thinking of yourself as the CEO.

Become the CSO, Chief Storytelling Officer

The first step is framing the founder’s story. The founder is the leader of this movement, but the story must tie back to the company. Dave recommends answering these stories: 

  1. What is the founder’s (company's) backstory?
  2. What’s the problem your business exists to solve?
  3. ...

Dave proposes a 3 stop process to market a company through its founder:

  1. Craft a simple authentic & compelling story
  2. Publish consistently using social media & podcasting
  3. Creating a feedback loop with other thought leaders

The founders are usually lacking the ...

A niche is a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service. When you have a niche, it means that you have a clear focus on your intended, targeted customer for today. Not the vision of the product you are selling, the product you are selling right ...

Elevator Pitches are too abstract. Try an explainer instead. The goal of the explainer is to get the attention of your potential audience. 

The format is like this:

  1. You know how __________________ (insert the problem or old way of doing things that you aim to change)?

Become a Publisher

In the early days, nobody will be interested in telling your story for you. You, the founder, have to take the lead. You have to think of your company as a media company and become a publisher:

  1. Engage on Twitter & LinkedIN
  2. Start a podcast.
  3. Be on a constant press tour, b...

  • There are two ways to get followers: education & entertainment. Most will try too hard to be entertaining—not a good fit. Instead, focus on education. Any founder can educate.
  • Show consistent clarity of thought.
  • Compress ideas

The Power of Podcasts

  • Nothing is more authentic than the voice (and face) of a person. 
  • The podcast can be the foundation for short form content. One podcast can generate audio snippets, posts or slideshows.
  • Can help connect with influencers that will amplify your message
  • It can serve as a...

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Understanding branding vs marketing and how they work together is integral in creating connection and trust with your audience.

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