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For startups to grow and succeed, they should focus on Mindshare, rather than . Mindshare aims for long-term ROI by developing a  small group of key influencers. The author shares 5 ways on how to focus on Mindshare.


by John Ruhlin

While growing your startup, metrics serve as your markers for success. When you can command a sizable share, you know you’ve made it. Right?

Not exactly. Many entrepreneurs fall for this flawed thinking and get distracted from the metrics that really matter.

Prioritizing mindshare over market share doesn’t mean you have to ditch your metrics mentality. Mindshare focuses on long-term ROI grown organically from a small group of key influencers. When you build an army of brand advocates, sales will naturally follow.

Here’s how to shift your focus from market share to mindshare:

1. Transform influencers into brand advocates.

Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to attract clients. Even the biggest brands in the world, including Apple and Starbucks, deliberately focus on wowing clients and inspiring referrals rather than mass advertising.

2. Remember that less is more.

Dominating mindshare among thousands as a small company is next to impossible. Instead, pare back the numbers, and allocate 80 percent of your toward your core clients.

3. Become your audience’s new normal.

Pick your places to stand out in consumers’ minds, then go 5 percent further. Seth Godin talks about this in his book “Purple Cow.” You’re either remarkable or invisible. Your brand has to truly be different if you want to attract raving fans, so don’t hold back.

4. Embrace the artifact.

Many people consider gifts to be a piece of swag. But swag is simply a tangible reminder of your brand, often in the form of cheap pens or USB drives that go untouched. Artifacts, on the other hand, are meaningful reminders of the relationships you’ve established.

5. Show that you’re human.

People buy from people, not companies. Connecting with clients outside the office is imperative. The deeper the , the more ingrained you’ll be in their daily thoughts. Ideally, you want to invite clients and their significant others to your home, perhaps for dinner.

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