By @SimonCocking. This article is written to help startups based upon our experiences with them, and … to celebrate having published my first 1,000 articles for Irish Tech News.

Ireland and even the global startup community is small

=> it’s easy to get know people relatively quickly. Leading lights are approachable, helpful, and willing to offer help, insights and ‘pay it forwards’. With social media you can approach people, LinkedIn and Twitter especially. Research, be creative, and ask without being creepy or stalkerish!

Respect people’s time and don’t be a d#ck!

=>when you ask someone for a favour, do literally that. Ask for one, or two a most things, and ask concisely. Busy people don’t need a long, long email going round the houses. Make it short and direct, they can then make a quick decision and won’t be doubly annoyed with you for taking so much of their time to even ask the question. Play nice on the way up, and then even when you make it, keep working on those social skills. It’s all business, so you don’t need to ever be rude or insulting to people.

Offer value to other people, and use this to build strategic alliances

=> If you’re going to ask favours from other people then make sure that you are doing the same for others when they need your help too. This is especially true if you are looking for people to write about you, and continue to write about you…

Don’t take no personally, nor permanently

=> We now work with lots of great people who said no to early requests that we made to them. No doesn’t mean never, it often means they need to know more about you. Getting your story out there is about relationship building. Think about how long you’d like to be in business, and aim to build relationships to the same time frame.

Be digitally responsive

=> We’re definitely not going to say anyone should be online 24/7, and it’s actually a good thing to not be. However going silent for long periods of time, weeks or more, does give the impression that you might not be in the business anymore. If journalists take the time to send you a follow up question answer it asap, they won’t chase you on it more than once.

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random eye candy

Have good images. It’s not a usable story without them

=> Yes it’s already reached that stage. If you don’t give us some good images then we won’t run the story, sure if you’re really famous and important we might go looking, but why make it hard for us. You have it on official notice now, no images, website, (even twitter handle) and you’re reducing the value of your story to us. So why not preempt all of that by creating some good visuals for us, and anyone else who’d like to feature you.

Email is a nightmare, manage it accordingly

=> Things get buried, many of us get over 100, or much more, emails per day. Prioritise ruthlessly, and respond quickly and efficiently to those that need a quick response. Unsubscribe to any notifications that you now skip each time you see them. You can always rejoin later, you’re not missing much except another mini hit on your concentration levels.

We were all outsiders once

=> There was a time for all of us where our address book was not nearly as full as it is now. Use this thought to ‘pay it forward’ to others when you are in a position to help. When you’re outside looking in swallow any moments of shyness and jump into the pool. Everyone else was like you once, and most of them are happy to share a few insights (as long as you don’t ask for too much too soon).

Growth hacking will not be a substitute for hard work

=> If you want to be a success at what you do, look at what is most important, prioritise and execute accordingly. Successful people are busy people, they just appear gracefully swan like on the surface of the water, while underneath they are paddling furiously.


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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