Many entrepreneurs think the show really gets started when their product or service officially launches. But the really smart ones know that the show starts way before that. Creating a little pre-launch buzz is a great way to get the world primed for your launch. VentureBeat offers five steps to creating pre-launch buzz, here’s one:
Launch a free side-product
If you want to reach a large enough seed audience to make a dent in your industry, you’re going to need press coverage. If your product is innovative enough, there’s a chance you’ll be able accomplish this with little more than a well-placed press release, but it’s best not to leave that up to chance. You want to be able to make the rounds and show up in sites like Mashable, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, LifeHacker, and so on.
One of the best ways to pull this off is with a free side-product. Remove the obstacle of payment, and tools have a way of going viral with minimal effort on your end.
Consider what Freckle did when they launched EveryTimeZone.com.
Freckle is a simple, paid time tracking tool. To promote it, they launched a free side-product. EveryTimeZone is a simple tool that tells you at a glance what time it is in every time zone across the globe. And to find out how that changes, you just move a slider back and forth.
The tool is anything but rocket science, but it got them press coverage in LifeHacker, CNN, The Next Web, Gigaom, and even Basecamp’s blog.
A free side-product doesn’t have to be a big, extravagant project. It just has to solve a basic problem related to your core product in a way that’s worth talking about.
The key is to put something together that’s worthy of press coverage. Audiences love free tools, and publishers love making audiences happy.
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