The millennial generation is uniquely qualified for entrepreneurship, perhaps more than any other generation before. As millennials, a group defined by birth between 1982 and 2004, approach their late 30s, they have been in the workforce long enough now for the rest of us to see how they work and what works for them in entrepreneurial situations. This is a generation born into technology; their familiarity is second nature, such that automation and efficiency is always a guiding principle. So is being purpose-driven, active and insistent on a better answer, now. What was once “There’s an app for that” is now “What else can it do so that we accomplish more with less?” It is an exciting time to be in business, where landscape shifts seismically, globally and quickly. Communication is instant. Success feels overnight and effortless. It is not.
To distill my observations into usable recommendations, here are five tips for millennial entrepreneurs.
Be clear, be bold and declare your purpose.
It is no secret the marketplace is noisy. Launching a new product is daunting; how can one stand out and be heard? Most young entrepreneurs struggle to be noticed.
The key is to be bold in declaring who you are, what your product is and how your product solves a problem in a fresh, dynamic way. Sometimes an entrepreneur is too close to see themselves. You must step back and know who you are and what you are offering, even if what you are offering is a gentle, kind, calm option. You will still want to have great, captivating imagery that declares your product’s intent immediately. Why are the images so important? On Facebook, the world’s most extensive social media network, 85% of all videos are watched now with the sound off. The story has to come through with just images and subtitles.
Be visible: Get seen everywhere.
Here is where millennials have the ultimate advantage. Being seen everywhere now is less about being seen in person than being found online in as many modalities as possible. The more extensive your digital footprint, the higher the chances of you being discovered. Naturally, your home base is your website, but then you want to use social networks to intersect your different buyer segments at multiple decision points in their buyers’ journeys. Educational videos, in both short and long form, are the new product demo, which no longer needs to be live and in person at a stand-up booth in the mall. Google says that almost 50% of internet users will look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store.
In addition to videos, blog posts and articles that offer helpful tips work well, as does your backstory. Marketing experts will refer to it as your “why.”