When you are a startup entrepreneur, there are always those certain things you tell people when you explain your company to them- your startup is always growing, developments are always really exciting, and you believe your chances of getting funded are pretty high. Whether or not any of that is true is all on you.
In reality, you are really just trying to make your startup look bigger than it really is. No one blames you- modesty doesn’t serve anyone well until they are really legit anyways. But making yourself look more valuable than you actually are takes more than just talk- here are ten ways to make yourself look bigger, the legit way.
1. Invest in good design.
No matter what people say, the fact of the matter is, people will judge a book by its cover. There’s a certain level of “class” that comes with investing in great visuals of a logo, website, app, or just the overall brand in general. Making sure your company looks a million bucks will more likely get people to perceive you as worth a million bucks.
2. Have a legit email signature.
Taking time to put together a quality email signature will make your company look more professional and refined. While most people are simply ending their email with their name, having them see your logo, title, address, and contact info neatly laid out can have some benefits in the way the message recipient perceives you.
3. Update your site/social media consistently.
Having a blog and social networks in which you update regularly will increase your chances of people seeing you in their feeds. The more often you’re appearing in front of their eyes, the more they wonder how you have the capacity to do it. Think of it this way, if you are constantly seeing the same ad on different billboards when you’re driving, wouldn’t you wonder why that company is so “big?”
4. Buy fake followers.
This is probably the saddest way to look big, but I see many companies and wannabe celebrities do this. What’s even sadder is it does indeed work because people do measure things based on numbers. The bigger they see your “following” as, the bigger you just might possibly be.
5. Have a solid business card.
Similar to point one, first impressions can make a huge difference. Investing in a durable and well-designed business card will help people value it more compared to the cheap flimsy ones people typically get.
6. Get a cheap/fake employees.
Everyone knows how much more badass you look when you have an assistant dealing with all the excess work you’re too busy to pay attention to. You can do this cheaply by using outsourcing platforms like ODESK and ELANCE. Have no money? No problem, the same effect can be achieved by simply creating a separate email account where you pose as your own assistant or employee when sending emails. It’s sneaky, but trust me, it works.
8. Do great press.
Getting people to write about you doesn’t always have to entail paying lots of money to useless PR firms or press releases, this notion has been proven by media geniuses like Ryan Holiday. All press outlets are looking for is a great story to tell, if you can do the work for them and show them exactly why you’re worth writing about, you’re golden. Medium has a great post on writing an email that will get press outlets to write about your startup.
9. Claim your business pages.
Taking the time to claim your business page on CrunchBase, AngelList, Wikipedia, Linkedin, Yelp, etc., will yield more professional results when people search for you online. It helps visually that the viewer will see all these legitimized pages with your company name in it.
10. Network like a badass.
Networking is not just about attending every single event you can think of to pitch your startup. You want to make sure you niche target the people you want to meet. This ensures that everyone you meet is either in your industry or interested in your product. If you meet thirty people in the same community and they know about your startup, they’ll be surprised when they meet each other and your company is mentioned. So be strategic when you enter an event and focus on the top five people you want to meet who can provide value for you, then work your way up from there.