Does your startup need traction?

Prevalidator is primarily about traction. The aim of Prevalidator is to showcase your new startup, provide traction, and get it moving forward. I won’t detail how that works here. If you are interested go to prevalidator.com and read the Help and About links. Sign Up if you would like updates.

This is the first in a series of posts which I am calling ‘Random Thoughts’. I suppose it is really a Prevalidator blog but I am not going to call it that because these thoughts will be short, fairly concise and I hope, now and again, useful to you. They may not always be advice. Observations, news and other things may be served up to

What is Traction?

“The extent to which an idea or product gains popularity or acceptance” – Oxford Dictionary definition

Traction, in the startup context is primarily about users and growth. Getting engaged users on board is the only thing that gets a startup moving forward into growth once it’s out there. So what does that mean? How do we go about getting users?

Too often new startups equate exposure with user acquisition. There is belief that any way of getting the product in front of potential user eyes will translate into user acquisition. Back in the day there was some truth to this. There were far fewer new startups out there and proportionally, a little more time to have a glance at the newest offerings. Today there are just too many new startups out there clamouring for attention. Getting someone to stop and actually read and comprehend yours is a difficult task and you need to do more than just put it out there. This is where we need to get a little creative.

In all likelihood the internet is where a potential user is going to get to hear about your new startup. So lets ask ourselves why people use the internet. What are they looking for? If we know the answer to that question we can attract their attention by being what they are looking for and then diverting that attention to our product. This 2 stage process will significantly increase the odds of us being found and consumed.

The internet is primarily a tool for mass communication and the majority of people use it to connect and communicate with other users. It’s all about relationships. People value and seek out relationships. They use the internet and social media to form relationships and to talk to and listen to people with whom they have already have relationships. People have far more interest in what someone they “know” is saying or doing, than someone they don’t know.

So, if you want people to be interested in what you are saying (your product), you need to form relationships with them first (assuming you are not already a celebrity or a guru of some kind) and this should primarily be a relationship of trust and respect.

How do we do this?

Firstly, this is not a quick or easy process, but it is a process you can start right now and you will be astonished how quickly you can grow an engaged following once you have a core group of devotees. The multiplier effect will kick in and your growth curve will head north.

You should start this process from the day you decide to go ahead with your startup and run it alongside the product building process. It should also become an integral part of the product building process as you start getting feedback from engaged followers.

If you have already launched your product, it’s not too late. But get on with it now and start chasing down your users.

Your prime focus in this process is to create, foster and cultivate relationships around you and your product so that when you do launch you have a built in and engaged audience ready and waiting for your product. If your product is any any good these people will become your brand ambassadors and bring you new users through their own relationships with other people.

My thoughts on building relationships and an audience will follow in the next few ‘Random Thoughts’ blog posts here.

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