If you're a startup odds are you don't know who is your audience. Where do you start? If your product has alternatives people can choose from, look at competitors and keyword research. But if you're creating something people don't need yet, you don't know what your keywords are yet. Start with the fundamentals. Figure out what you stand for: your values. Can you find products and organisations with shared values? How does your product fit in this ecosystem? Start a conversation with them.
If you're thinking about how to spend your time well, explore the principles that can guide your decisions. Business and life have similar principles: value, audience and process. In business, ask yourself: How do we provide value? Who is our audience? How can we get better at what we do? In life, ask: How can I help people? Who do I want to learn from? How can I get better at what I do?
The more people we meet on the web, the more information overload we experience. We can find clarity by going back to the basics. Values serve as a good filter. When you know who you are, you're more open to listening to someone who is different to you. You gradually open up for a meaningful connection. In 2012, I took a sheet of paper and divided it into eight parts. I wrote down what's important to me in life on each piece. Then, I chose four pieces that looked less important or talked about the same things. What's left was balance, connection, growth and meaning. When time went by, my list settled as integrity, collaboration, improvement and impact. Today when I dive on the web, I look for people with shared values because like-minded people create great things together.
When building a new business, you're quick to think you need a brand. Are you ready? You have a brand when you have a product valued by someone. A brand is a conversation people are having about you. Not the other way around. No talks about you yet? Perhaps you don't produce any value. Yet. Show up. Show your product, no matter how raw it is, and let people decide, whether it's good or not.