“I started a design business, not a marketing business!”
“If you have your own business, you are in the business of marketing.”
Neil Patel (Quicksprout) tells the sad story of Roger. Roger had great aspirations for his design career straight out of college, but failed when he started his own business because he forgot about the whole marketing thing.
I don’t think a lot of people realize how time consuming marketing is when they decide to go it alone. You think to yourself- hey, I can handle this. After all, it’s my skills that are going to make me money. And that might be true… eventually. But your audience has to know you exist, and what’s more- they have to like you.
That’s why I think marketing works best on a personal level. Don’t have a lot of money to spend on print ads, web ads and other promotions? There’s an easier way. Start conversations with people. Networking is the best thing you can do that doesn’t cost any money- and I think it’s the most profitable over time. You never know who can point you in the right direction. We do it ourselves- when we come across a project that isn’t a good fit for us, we’ll recommend someone we think is. Those kinds of personal relationships have, in turn, brought us some really cool projects- and recurring business.
We’re not experts on social networking, but in the age of Twitter, you have no excuse not to reach out. Start talking. Even if your forte is programming or design (read: not marketing!), you can still let your voice be heard. What’s even better is that people will see you for who you are. Personal touches don’t get more genuine than that.
“One problem with approaching your work purely in terms of “getting more clients,” is that it means you will always have to get more clients. If you don’t work, you don’t have billable hours, so you don’t get paid. Time off will always feel like money down the drain. If you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself on a treadmill, unable to get off. Spend too long on the treadmill and you’ll risk burning yourself out. Keep Reading
How to grow while maintaining your size
Internally, we’ve been talking a lot about managing growth and getting more organized. We’re a small company, super small in the grand scheme. So the fact that both Jumpchart and Staction each grow a little every single day creates a new job description for each of us daily. When we started building web apps, we thought these things would be our job: Keep Reading
Genuine Marketing for Web Apps
So you’ve finished it. Your web app is finally ready to send out into the world – your UI is beautiful and simple, your platform is powerful and flexible and you’ve already nailed down how you’re going to scale the thing when the users begin to overrun your current server setup. You throw the switch, the site is live and … no one is paying attention. So you post links on your Facebook page, your mySpace page and on your blog, you tweet about it repeatedly; and over the first month or so a few people sign up, but not that many, certainly not the server crushing tsunami you had envisioned. You’re faced with a tough question, How do you grow your customer base? How are you, the single developer or small company, with very limited marketing dollars going to raise awareness and build a following? Turns out, the answer to that question is a little more old fashioned than you might think, and it doesn’t cost a dime.