velocityfeatureYou’re the founder of a new startup. You’ve poured your heart and soul into it. You’ve emptied your bank account and an unimaginable number of coffee cups working on it.

But it’s worth it. Because it’s The Best Idea Ever. And everyone is going to fall all over themselves once you release it.

It’ll practically sell itself.

Blackstone Media’s Erik Snyder calls this “founders’ disease.”

Snyder’s official title on the Blackstone Media website is “profitability cartographer.” That means he helps brands map their way to greater financial success.

On Jan. 16, he’s bringing his “Growth Hacking” expertise to Velocity for a half-day workshop.

“I worked with the last round of Velocity to help with each team’s branding and marketing,” says Snyder.

Snyder worked most closely with Steel Fashions, a men’s fashion site, and Collabra Music, a music collaboration site, both of whom he says saw a lot of success in growth without investing a lot of money in advertising budgets.

Tony Schy, managing director of Velocity, invited Snyder to create a workshop to teach other founders to grow their businesses on a limited budget.

Snyder says, “The idea is this: Most founders have some kind of technical expertise, be it in engineering or programming or perhaps simply knowing the user’s need better than anyone else. The No. 1 problem I see with founders, though, is that they are so enamored with their product that they think it will sell itself.”

According to the workshop’s Eventbrite page, you’ll learn the following:

  • What a brand is and how to use a proven system to build your own
  • Why user personas beat vague demographics and what yours should look like
  • How to beat the competition by discovering their strategy then flanking them
  • What types of messages you’ll need to win hearts and minds
  • Which marketing channels to use and how to get the most out of your limited budget
  • Why reviews are the key ingredient to viral growth and how to ensure yours are stellar

Snyder says, “Growth hacking is really just new-age marketing that de-emphasizes big ad budgets and replaces them with relationships… it’s a way of gaining customers that largely circumvents the need for expensive agencies to do the work for you.”

Of course, Snyder agrees that there’s a place for big agencies, like Blackstone Media. “But they aren’t for the unfunded founder with a small team just trying to get their idea off the ground. Those people need tools to bootstrap their user adoption, and that is what the workshop aims to provide.”

The workshop is from 8 a.m. until noon on Jan. 16, 2014, at Velocity, 400 Missouri Ave., Jeffersonville, Ind. The price is $25 and includes a catered breakfast. You can sign up for the workshop on the Eventbrite page.