While running a startup can be exciting (not to mention stressful), it’s important to make sure that excitement is not relegated to just inside your team. You need to make sure that others are aware of it and in anticipation of it, even before it launches. So, when do you need to start building excitement for your startup?

The answer is right now, ASAP, as soon as you know you’re planning a launch. Here are some of the reasons why and what you should start by doing.

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Test and tease

Start by offering glimpses into what you’re planning to offer while you also test your product. You should already have your unique value proposition at the ready, so you know what you can entice the audience with. Just make sure that you’re testing thoroughly to ensure that you’re able to live up to it. If you have any business mentor or other influencer, they can start to spread the word right from the get-go, too, to lend the project some credibility (if they are willing, of course.)

Building hype matters during funding, too

You need to build excitement beyond your consumers. If you’re looking to get funding from a wider range of investors, then you might look at crowdfunding options. To that end, working with an equity crowdfunding agency, especially one that helps with marketing to investors, can help you build excitement about the project for those who will be directly responsible for getting it off the ground. Your target market is different, so your marketing strategy has to be different, too.

Create exclusivity around it

Once you’re funded and ready to talk about it a little more openly, you can leave your website open for people to find out more. Have them sign up for news, creating a sense of mystery and tapping into the ground level. Of course, sharing early access or beta products with influencers can also be a great way to build a sense of exclusivity and excitement.

Take your product out to events

Start by taking the time to identify any press events, conferences, or trade shows that are relevant to your industry. When you’re able to see the launch and have the product ready to show off, or a service that you can thoroughly demonstrate, then you should start appearing at these events. They’re still a little more exclusive than wide public release, but they’re also in an arena that is ripe for building anticipation.

Start taking pre-orders when you have a demo ready

When you do have the product in its final or near-final form, and you’re able to effectively demonstrate it, you should make sure that people are able to put their pre-order down. Hopefully, you’ve already built hype by this point and the detailed closer look at the product or service is going to be the point of conversion that you should be ready to capitalize on.

If you’re already planning a launch, then you should already be working at building anticipation for it.