Why blog? Startups benefit from branding, sales leads

What good is a startup blog? We asked Per Fragemann, CEO of Small Improvements Software, why his company has not one, but three separate blogs.

Whether the post is on Medium or integrated into the website, blogs thrive in startup communities. But why all the love for startup blogs?

It's because they are an effective, low-cost branding tool for a fledgling company, explained Per Fragemann, CEO of Small Improvements Software.

Fragemann's company manages three different blogs: a tech blog, a startup blog and a product blog. The main reason? Employer branding, Fragemann says. And he is not the only one posting, so are his employees.

"It gives employees a way to stand out and shine; build their own personal brand," he says.

Per Fragemann of Small Improvements Software

What are the benefits of blogging?

Blogging increases a startup's visibility and helps develop the brand. It also promotes a startup's products, while establishing the young company as an expert among key stakeholders and customers. Plus, a blog's casual, informal tone offers a personal, non-threatening way to interact with a large audience in an efficient, low-cost manner. These interactions help humanise the company, while building trust and credibility.

How often should you post?

For a tech blog it can never be too much, says Fragemann. But if it starts consuming so much time that people inside the company aren't getting things done, you should cut back. Fragemann advises posting at least every two months. Consistency is key: You don't want customers or applicants looking at a deserted blog. "You just have to get started and see what you feel comfortable with," he says.

What information should you share?

According to Fragemann, blogs need to be relevant, personal and useful. Write about your business, lessons learned and if you truly want to be open, like Fragemann, write about customer growth and revenue.

"There is always some limit, but we've been pushing the envelope and publishing our financial numbers publicly," he says.

In one of Fragemann's more recent blog posts, where he included a bar chart showing lower revenue in Q4, he writes: "But yes, our growth could definitely be better. We’re currently looking at a 20 per cent annual growth for 2016, and that number is too low."

"I want people to know what they are signing up for," Fragemann says. "We don't have to pretend we are a gigantic company. Otherwise people will be disappointed."

Transparency for transparency's sake

Posting a blog does not immediately mean a startup is transparent. You still control what information is being posted and true transparency means being held accountable for what is presented. In Fragemann's opinion, "transparency in itself is not a goal. You are being a transparent for a reason."

It could be encouraging candidates to apply to the company, letting customers know who they are signing up with, or to convince other CEOs to set up similar donation programmes. "It is a great thing, but transparency does not stand for itself," Fragemann says.

Photos via Small Improvements Software

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