We get asked many great questions in our ongoing discussions with startup founders and visionary entrepreneurs. We've done our best to collect the most helpful questions and answers below for your enrichment and education.
Remember: the path to building a successful startup business is never straight (but we do our best to light the way).
Q: I know we need to invest in advertising to grow our business. What kind of advertising budgets do you guys work with?
You're right, first of all! We manage annual advertising & media budgets ranging from early-stage startups with $60k to $120k annually, up to accounts investing $3M+ in advertising + paid media spend annually.
Q: I've already invested almost six figures in building my idea. Is that ok/normal?
Yes, it is quite normal, but be careful just the same if you're investing all of that in one basket (like building your product or MVP, especially an online platform or app of any kind, without having a very clearly defined strategy or idea of who you're building it for). If you continue down this path, you may end up with a semi-functioning product that is completely not tuned for the consumers you want to reach, doesn't meet their expectations, and doesn't speak their language, visually or otherwise.
Most of our startup clients (founders who are heading in the right direction) within the first one to two years have well over six figures invested into developing everything that goes into building, launching, and growing a strong, consumer-market-focused venture.
Q: Can I get funding for my idea, though I haven't created anything or invested my own money into it? (I have the most amazing idea and this really long pitch deck)
There is a 99.9% chance the answer here is "absolutely not."
Everyone has ideas, but very, very few actually execute.
Of the few that execute, even fewer can create a fundable, ROI-ready startup without a massive waste of their own small amount of capital, especially those who take the idea of "the lean startup" and "bootstrapping" to the extreme. (Yes, those are both good concepts to employ, but there can be severe limitations to growing your startup if taken to the extreme).
And if you are one of the lucky few who actually make it to the point where you're talking to a potential investor, and yet you have no "skin in the game" (you've not invested in your idea), then why would they invest in the idea, if you haven't invested in the idea?
Q: Can you do my fundraising for me?
No, fundraising absolutely cannot be delegated outside of the founder(s).
We know, it's freaking hard...yes, a ton of work, and there's no silver bullet, but YOU the Founder, have to be the one to sell the idea and what you've accomplished. If you can't, then no one else can either (assuming outside funding is necessary and makes sense for your startup or new venture...it doesn't always need to be the end-game).
What we can do though is help prepare you for this when the time is right, including pitch deck creation, forecast creation, and go-to-market plan development, as well as be your support team as each and every curveball comes your way during this type of process, regardless of whether you're right and ready for venture capital, or need to find more of an "angel" style of investor.
For a deeper look at the "360 degrees of brand + marketing" terrain that we can cover for our startup clients from the earliest stages, take a look at the Our Services section of our website.
Q: I'm still doing the startup "bootstrapping" thing. Are there any affordable (or free) resources you guys use or recommend for startups?
For sure! For startup founders and entrepreneurs just like you who might not yet be ready to engage a startup marketing company or agency like ours, we've compiled a handy list that you can find here: Marketing Resources for Startups.
This list of startup resources will save you hours, maybe days, hunting for valuable resources and tools you can utilize for your startup, including marketing resources, startup business insurance, startup telecom needs, affordable stock photography resources for startups, and more!
These are tools we literally use daily for our clients, and you can definitely find value here -- as well as a few promotions -- that will help you get on your way toward building your startup's marketing machine.
Q: What type of startup or brand really is the best fit to work with your agency?￼
We’re glad you asked! To paraphrase the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of culture mag Highsnobiety's preface ￼(penned by their ever-poetic Editor-in-Chief, Pete Williams)￼, HypeLife Brands is for anyone who challenges the old ways and seeks to build anew.
HypeLife is for those startup founders and visionaries looking to redefine how we express ourselves as we learn how to do better and be better in the future, not just for the Millennial generation but, ultimately, for all.
Questions from the Field
Q: Could you tell me how branding could help a startup grow with metrics and what services you provide for branding?
First, here’s our full services suite.
Secondly, it is very important to note that our services go far beyond just “branding,” which is the creation of your startup or company’s visual identity (how the brand’s WHY and messaging will visually manifest in the world).
Marketing is where we get into the metrics and measurement of all marketing & paid media/advertising efforts toward growing new users, customers, etc.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, the best next step would be to schedule a time for us to begin a conversation together here: https://calendly.com/hypelifebrands
HUDL Music is a great example of one of our startup clients, whom we've worked with as Agency of Record for 3+ years (from day one). We helped them build a powerful, compelling brand strategy, messaging, creative/branding, handled all technology building (including an app), and have grown the brand from ground zero to now thousands of users worldwide (with a social media following of over 60,000 people). You can find some more of the results highlights here: https://www.hypelifebrands.com/clients-we-have-served
Our team of senior developers built the custom technology infrastructure there and have maintained, improved, and added new features for the community there for the past 2+ years following the startup's launch, along with ongoing 360-degree marketing management for the Founder/CEO.
Q: Do you offer TikTok ads too? Or just Facebook/Meta Ads and Google Ads?
Yes, to all of the above! We offer TikTok ads (paid ads/media) through an agency partnership with TikTok, which provides us with far more advanced tools than you'll get buying TikTok coins and simply "boosting" posts on your own.
In addition, we also create and manage paid advertising campaigns via Google Ads, Twitter, programmatic options, YouTube, and Meta (which includes Facebook and Instagram).