Unless you are a celebrity founder or have raised a bunch of capital, it can be difficult to build awareness before your product launches. With so many start-ups trying to be the next big thing, it’s hard to be heard over the noise. That said, there certainly are some tactics you can employ.
First, tease interest by sharing at least the target market and strategic approach of your product. It’s hard to get excited for the launch of something when all people see is a logo. Don’t let paranoia about copy-cat products prevent you from sharing why what you’re doing is fantastic.
Second, customer validation is, by far, the most important proof point that shows you deserve attention. So do everything you can to get those early beta customers happy and referenceable. If possible, use quotes from them on your site to build anticipation.
Third, it’s imperative that you build an audience that you can deploy. Provide a sign-up on your site, begin blogging on your market area, build out your social media presence, connect with thought leaders in your space. In other words, do the ground work to get as many friends, family, colleagues, investors, pundits, analysts, reporters, competitors, etc. interested in what you’re doing, and leverage that audience to drive a groundswell when you launch.
Finally, the key question for anyone trying to raise awareness, is “awareness from whom?” Are you trying to get investors? Customers? Employees? Each of these audiences are different and can be reached via different channels. So be thoughtful about your specific goals, and concentrate your awareness-building efforts accordingly.