This is the introduction to a series of posts detailing my favorite start up hacks. As a self-funded commercial real estate technology start up, every dollar is especially precious, because each dollar is my own. Although I have not yet asked for outside money, from my experience in real estate development, I would take the fiduciary responsibility of investors money as seriously as if every dollar of my investors' money were my own. The trick for me is to leverage my limited resources of time and money to the greatest extent possible. Any time I can learn something new or meet someone with more experience than I have, I try to take advantage of it. In the short time I have been at this, I have met so many people that have been generous with their time and advice. I'd like to pay it forward by sharing some of the things I have learned with people who are going through the same process that I am, or are thinking about it.
The first thing that needs to be shared is that coming up with an idea and creating the initial iteration is the easiest part of the process of being a start up, and believe me, that is not easy or cheap, especially if you don't have the technical expertise to implement your concept by yourself. Once your brainchild is born, the real work begins. No matter how great your idea is, you need to find a way to share it and get others to buy into it. People are generally pretty happy with doing things the way they have been doing them. So, getting your prospective users to adopt new ways of doing things and make your solution a habit that is indispensable is a challenge beyond comprehension, unless you've already done it. I've read that there is a biological mechanism that makes women forget about the incredible pain of childbirth, and thanks to that, they are willing to have more than one child. There may be a similar economic mechanism involved with starting a new business.
This series of posts will explore different apps, websites, and especially people, from which I have benefited throughout this process. I hope you'll follow along, and if you've been on a similar journey, hope you will comment or even post a comment or contact me to post your own article.
Social Media is super important to me as it is a very cost-effective and often free, way to market, meet thought leaders and start building relationships with prospective users of QuantumListing. The three social media platforms that I use the most are Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. As a long time member of LinkedIn, I have an established network on that platform. I opened the QuantumListing Twitter account late last summer and currently have about 3400 followers. I have used Facebook personally for several years and started a QuantumListing Facebook page last fall.
Since Jack, the QuantumListing paid intern is only here a couple of days a week, most of the social media management falls on me. I don't remember how I first learned about it, but Buffer has been incredibly helpful in making social media management much easier. Here's a description from the Buffer website of how it works: "you can write a bunch of posts at one time, choose which social profiles to send them to, and then Buffer will spread them out throughout the day or week so that you don't have to be at a computer all the time in order to have a social media presence. You can also attach a photo, video or animated GIF to any of your posts. Second, since we shorten your links for you, we are able to provide more analytics than if you just were to post to Twitter or Facebook directly."
So, Buffer allows me to post to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn from a single platform. There are several different membership levels, including free, but I've opted for one of the less expensive paid plans. With my plan, I can queue up to 100 posts at once, and schedule when I want them to be sent, and you don't need to have the same schedule for each of the platforms. You can also have it scan the RSS feeds that interest you, and you can select posts from these feeds to post in your own social media stream. It has a plug in for Chrome, so you can post things to your Buffer stream directly from websites. Buffer has a lot of other great features, and I highly recommend that you give it a try and see if it is a good fit for you.
Next time, we'll tell you about two more tools that we've found useful for getting the most out of social media.