There are more articles on leadership and best practices for running a startup written every second than there are sheep in Ireland stripped of their fleece every month. Just check out the various channels on LinkedIn Pulse and have a look. So you’d imagine, then, that every nuanced tip, trick, and fiendish work of magic to ensuring your startup’s success would be well known and understood by every entrepreneur and business owner in the entire universe.
And you’d be wrong.
Because, you see, while the myriad bits of advice are all well and good, and, to be sure, generally quite spot on, there’s one critically important point that, while touched upon by all who write such things, is catastrophically lacking in detail; the sort of detail without which you might as well not even be told about it in the first place.
Imagine trying to follow a recipe — dice 2 onions, melt 3 tablespoons of butter, sear the steak — and then simply, without any additional information at all, cook the fois gras. Nothing else. Just “cook the fois gras.” This would be the culinary equivalent of explaining to somehow how to build an airplane where the 738th step says simply “build engine.”
And that’s precisely the sort of problem with articles on how best to run your startup: while they go into excruciatingly particular detail on just about every possible tactic, they invariably end up, at some point, at Tip #3: engage your customers, which is usually a paragraph or two simply reiterating that you should, in fact, go out of your way to, well, engage your customers, without actually explaining how to engage them, or offering any practicable, actionable ways to do so.
So then. Let’s fix that. Behold: the five ways to actually engage your startup’s customers. Like really, actually engage them.