I built it, now how do I get them to come?
Now that I’m done with development I want to start marketing my app.
• Posted some links to Reddit.
• Heading to Product Hunt and Indie Hackers next.
• Planning to get into some Facebook groups too.
Do you have any suggestions on how I can push my product?
I’ve been here 😔
Your product is finally ready and now the horror sets in that this whole “marketing” thing might be a bit more complicated than you’d originally imagined.
My understanding is that there are 3 main ways to promote a product:
• Paid Ads
• Content Marketing
By virality, I mean getting referrals from the people who already use your product.
Virality could mean word-of-mouth referrals or it could be the result of a viral mechanism baked into the product. The principle here is that your product solves the problem it was designed to address well enough that people want to share it.
Then there are ads.
Search, social, or more direct sponsorships. The principle here is that someone else has an audience you need and you pay them for access.
Ads work great when you can afford them.
You really need to be targeting people towards the end of a buying journey. If the people aren’t aware of the problem, or if they’re not looking for a solution, running ads can be an effective way to light a bundle of cash on fire 🔥
That leaves content.
Still figuring this one out.
Two ways to swing this, you either rank on search engines, or you produce content for the express purpose of getting it shared. Content that does both is the holy grail 👼
Search Engine Optimisation
Ranking on search engines means:
1. Understanding what people search for.
2. Finding opportunities where the current results are rubbish.
3. Getting in there and producing the single best resource on the internet around the topic.
4. Building connections with other players in your space and earning backlinks one genuine relationship at a time 🤝
The trade-off here is that is SEO is a competitive space and it’s slow.
Getting people to share stuff
Don’t know much about creating content for the express purpose of getting it shared. I wish someone could just explain the principles and break down how it all works.
Much confuse 🤯
My limited understanding is that if this is the game you want to play then you need the resources to build a content team that pumps out viral content on a regular basis. At scale, this is a numbers game.
Contributing to a scene
Regardless of which approach you take, creating content is predicated on the fact that you focus on an audience that has a problem your product solves (and has the authority and means to spend money on a solution).
Ideas for content, whether they’re to be optimized for search or crafted for virality, come from embedding yourself in communities where your audience interacts. The goal is to pay attention to recurring problems and pain points.
Then you help the shit out of people.
Helping people is the hack.
You commit to providing helpful answers and useful solutions to problems real people express.
This all becomes a lot easier if you belong to the group you have set out to serve.
Provided each piece of content has a way for people to follow you or sign up for more; over time, you slowly move people out of the public space and into a personal space where everyone is interested in what you have to say.
This is conventionally done with an email list 💌 but could just as easily be done with a Twitter account, a YouTube channel, a private Slack community, or all four. Each platform has its own tradeoffs but they should all get the job done.
The job is to gradually transition people into your space, build credibility by being genuinely useful on a regular basis, and then you can sell them a paid solution to a real problem. If your product meets this criterion, you’ve earned their permission and trust.
Starting with an audience
The people who have the most success with this approach start with an audience => unearth problems => then work on creating a solution.
Showing up with a solution and looking for an audience is all back-to-front. Makes the whole game harder.
But if that’s where you are then that’s where you are.
If we’re being honest, most of us have been here at some point.
There is no reason you can’t get to work helping people in your space and building your audience for your product one piece of content at a time.
I’m clearly still figuring all this out for myself.
Some particularly useful resources so far have been:
- Tim Soulo’s free Ahref’s course on blogging for business.
- Arvid Kahl‘s book on embedding yourself into a community: The Embedded Entrepreneur.
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