• Karl Schmieder

You Have THIS BRILLIANT BIOTECH IDEA, But You Don't Know How to Start Telling Your Story. Here's How

“We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.” - Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal


When you're launching a new company, you want to keep your marketing simple.


The current universe of marketing tactics is overwhelming, so you need to prioritize them. The linked list might serve as inspiration. It might frustrate the hell out of you because it's overwhelming.


Before I get into the tactics, here are three fundamental points:

  • Sales are made by talking to people. Again and again and again. The more complex, expensive and disruptive your service or product, the more you’ll need to tell your story. Conversations, email, presentations, phone calls, videos, etc. 

  • Marketing and sales work hand-in-hand. Marketing lays the groundwork for sales. It informs, reminds, gets people familiar with your company, impresses them with your expertise and the quality of what you do. Marketing tells your story and why it’s important.

  • Marketing takes time. It takes time to tell your story, build brand awareness and reputation. Especially if your product is complex and disruptive. You don’t leap from unknown to industry leader in a couple of months.

We’ve seen founders building innovative new businesses get so caught up in living their story that they don’t realize the people who would benefit most from their product or service DON’T UNDERSTAND IT.


So, how do you get that great story of yours out there?


Do a Google search for marketing tactics and take a deep breath. 


Prepare to be overwhelmed.


To make it easy, here’s our evolving list of marketing tactics


The list starts with advertising and ends with video. It includes experiences, pay-per-click, and the tactic du jour social media advertising.


Overwhelming, isn’t it?


But don’t despair. Your friend Karl said he would help you keep it simple. 

So for startups, we recommend:


  • A blog with foundational content - That is, content that is awesome, tells your company, service, or product story. Foundational content is informative in a way that anyone reading it will want to learn more - and read more - from you. (I consider our FAQs to be one of our foundational content pieces.)

  • A website - It doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy but it should tell your story clearly enough, offer enough room to grow, and include a way for you to capture email addresses. If you haven't seen it in a while, here's ours.

  • One social account - The channel where your target audience hangs out and where you feel comfortable posting regularly.

In other words, create content (and optimize it for search engines), then use social media to drive traffic, share your content, and gather email addresses for future marketing. Rinse and repeat.


How would I personally approach this? I know you’re dying to know. (Because why wouldn’t you be?) So, if I were marketing a startup, I'd:

  • Define goals

  • Define and refine messaging via face-to-face out-of-the-building interviews

  • Write a series of blog posts to educate the market, starting with ONE foundational piece of content

  • Promote your brilliant story via social media

  • Create sales materials for follow up

All the other stuff on that long list above would follow later. But I would prioritize based on who you’re connecting with, the media they prefer, and the metrics you get back when you create and distribute content.

If you’re an established company, the list would look different because you should know your audience. But we are almost always going suggest starting with some market research.


Let me know what you think.

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