Based on more than a dozen years’ experience working with early-stage companies here’s the five bits of advice I give any would-be client:

Be Consistent

It takes longer than you can possibly imagine for your message to “seed” with your targets. In no time at all your message will seem stale to you, but good brands use the same messaging for years and even decades. 

Set Yourself up to Pivot

On a related note, leave a bit of wiggle room in your brand messaging. It’s likely in the early years that your organization will pivot, either a little or a lot, based on market conditions, the progress of your technology or emerging competitors. You don’t want to be positioned as a one-trick-pony in the eyes of potential stakeholders when it’s time to adapt.

Logotype is Fine

Developing logos is fun, but it’s something you can live without in the short-term. You can create simple type-centric logos with tools like Canva, or a designer can help you pull something together for a modest cost. And the same rules that apply to your messaging apply to logos as well: Resist the urge to update your logo frequently.

The Social Media Beast Needs Regular Feeding

A social media presence is a great way to build your brand and tell your story. But you’ve got to keep it up, week after week and month after month. If you start and stop, you’re just wasting your efforts. Hold off until you have the resources to maintain a consistent cadence.

A Full-service Agency Needs a Dedicated Manager

Working with a full-service marketing/advertising agency is tempting because it’s a one-stop shop. But don’t go there until you have someone on staff with the right experience to manage the relationship and the costs – which can run up quickly. A bevy of freelancers is often a better bet.