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Announcing: early access

Today I’m giving you a chance to get the new Marketing for Developers course early.

I’m still in the process of uploading additional videos and adding worksheets but…

I don’t want you to wait any longer. ☺️

Get early access ?

If you order now, you get $50 off!*

Here’s what Vadim Demedes said about Marketing for Devs:

★★★★★ What can I say – amazing! A specific checklist on how to market & launch your product.

The goal of the course is to help folks like you go through these stages:

Stages of a bootstrapping business - how solopreneurs earn income and go independent

Over 2,500 people started their product journey when they read the Marketing for Devs book (it’s included in the course btw!).

My goal, however, wasn’t just to get people to engage with it, I want it to change their lives. I want to see you choose an audience, build a product, get traction and get your first 100 customers.

Get a sneak peek inside the course ?

When I evaluated v1 of Marketing for Devs, the folks who bought the video tutorials made the most progress. So in this new course, I’m doubling down on screencasts, video, interviews, and interactive worksheets.

Here’s what you can expect:

  1. All my recent learning. This past year I’ve been doing more marketing experiments, seen more results, and learned new frameworks (like Jobs to be Done). For example, in the initial book I just talked about FB retargeting ads. In this course, I’m doing a deep dive on FB ads in general.
  2. “Show don’t tell.” In the book, I could display screenshots, but with a video, I can explain each tactic step by step.
  3. It’s interactive. The new course has the workbooks that get you engaging with the material. You can save your answers, export them as PDF, and even share them with me.
  4. More updates. It’s way easier to add new material to an online course. Instead of having to re-distribute each new update, you get the new stuff automatically. The course is evergreen, and you get lifetime access.

I’m excited to share all of this with you. *This $50 discount is only good until Tuesday (10/18/2016) so don’t wait too long!

Have questions? You can email me at words@nerdnorth.com

Cheers,
Justin Jackson
@mijustin

PS – I made a little preview video for the course here:

Marketing for programmers

Juan is a C# programmer living in Seattle. He recently sent me this message:

Programmers who learn marketing skills have the ultimate combination:

  • They can code an app (without having to hire someone else).
  • They can find customers for their app (without having to hire a marketer).

A lot of software developers are looking for co-founders that can handle marketing and sales. Likewise, a lot of these “business people” are looking for a “technical co-founder.”

You don’t need a co-founder.

There’s no reason you can’t build and launch a product and get hundreds of paying customers by yourself.

You just need to learn marketing skills.

The good news? It’s way easier for you to learn marketing than it is for a non-technical founder to learn to program.

How to get started

Step 1: Define your audience

Who do you want to build products for?

Unless you’re Coca-Cola, your answer shouldn’t be “everybody.” There are three basic criteria you should be looking for in a target market:

  1. A group you like and understand
  2. A group that pays for things
  3. A group that congregates online

A lot of people get stuck on this step. Here’s an easy way to choose. Just ask yourself:

What group is already paying me for my time and expertise?

If you’re a consultant, whose primary customers are Shopify store owners, you could focus on:

  • Shopify store owners
  • Other consultants who focus on Shopify stores
  • Programmers who want to start building on the Shopify platform

Step 2: take someone for coffee

Your next goal is to find someone who matches your audience description and talk to them. So if you defined your audience this way:

Consultants who serve Shopify stores

Then you’ll find someone who matches that profile. It could be a current customer, a competitor, someone on your launch list, or a cold call. You’re going to ask them one crucial question:

“What’s something you’re struggling with at work?”

Meet them for coffee, and introduce yourself by saying:

“I’m someone who’s trying to make the lives of people in [your niche] better.”

Next, ask the question:

“Can we talk about your work as a [your niche]? What’s your biggest struggle right now?”

Sit back, and listen. I guarantee you, if you do this you’ll get valuable insights you can use in future marketing efforts. You’ll know which pain-points to focus on, and what language to use. Best of all: you’ll have the assurance of knowing you’re targeting something people care about.

In-person is best. The next best option is the phone.

What are the next steps?

I’ve just taught you two things, but I have so much more to teach you.

I can’t do it all in one blog post, so I’ve made a short course that takes you through the next five lessons.

You can get it here:

Startup marketing checklist

In the beginning, the hardest part about building a product is…

Nobody knows you exist.

A typical marketing funnel looks like this:

A marketing funnel for startups and developers

The problem is…

With low traffic, you might be getting zero leads.

Capterra says the average SaaS business converts 7% of website traffic to a lead (usually an email address). But if you only have 10 visitors each month the chances of getting qualified leads is low.

Your struggle is getting enough traffic

You don’t just want traffic, you want qualified traffic. There’s no use in getting referrals from tomstrucking.net if your product has nothing to do with trucking.

So you need more than just tips on getting more visitors (I’ll get to that in a second).

First, you need to know who you’re serving, what they’re struggling with, and how you help them make progress.

The startup marketing checklist

There’s no use in driving traffic to your website unless you’ve completed the following checklist:

  • Do you have a well-defined target market?
 Who are they?
  • Is your target market reachable online? 
Where do they congregate?
  • Do you know their primary struggle? 
What is it?
  • Do you know how your product helps them make progress? 
How does it help?
  • Do you have product/market fit?
 What proofs do you have? Examples: high NPS score, large number of pre-orders)

You should only invest in marketing if you have solid answers to those questions. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time getting a bunch of traffic that’s never going to convert into sales.

But having those answers will translate into:

  • Blog posts, ads, and other content that empathizes with the customer’s struggle.
  • Landing page copy that perfectly pinpoints the customer’s pain.
  • A call-to-action that pulls the customer towards your solution.
  • A solution that actually satisfies the customer’s desire.

That’s the magic of understanding: who you’re serving, what they’re struggling with, and how you help them make progress.

Alright, I’m ready to get more traffic!

Before you continue, make sure your fundamentals (described above) are solid.

My friend Lars Lofgren, former Head of Growth at Kissmetrics, says:

“Most marketing problems are a product problem.”

Don’t try to use acquisition to outrun a bad product. Fix your product first.

If you’re really ready, get the PDF below. It includes the checklist and a list of great sources of traffic for tech products.

Marketing 101 for Developers

As a developer, you have the most sought-after skill in the world. You can actually build things! Being able to take something from idea to product is magical. You have that ability.

Your struggle? Finding paying customers.

How can a software developer make money?

Maybe, at the height of the App Store gold rush, you launched an iOS app. You were hoping for big sales numbers, but you only made $12.87.

Or…

Maybe you’ve built a web app. Your dream is to have recurring revenue. But when you launched it all you got was a handful of free users.

Or…

You might have tried selling your expertise. You saw your peers publishing books on Amazon, or creating online courses. You did OK, but nowhere near those big launch numbers you’ve seen other people get.

Your dream is to earn a real income from the products you create

You learned to code. Now you need to learn marketing.

The good news?

It’s waaaaay easier for a programmer to learn marketing than it is for a marketer to learn programming. You already have an advantage.

The challenge?

Programming is black and white; but marketing can feel like a world of gray.

Luckily; there are some parallels between the two worlds.

In programming, sometimes the best way to understand a framework is to learn the system that undergirds it. For example, if you’re learning Ruby on Rails, it helps if you know Ruby first.

The same is true for marketing.

How do you find and validate good product ideas?

You have to start with the right assumptions about why people buy!

Steps for finding a customer’s pain

Download the slides here.

1. Start with people

Choose an audience that…

  1. You know, understand, and like
  2. That buys things
  3. That congregates online

What group is already paying you for your time and expertise?

2. Research + listen

Places to do research online:

  1. Google (look at related keywords)
  2. Twitter
  3. Reddit
  4. Facebook Groups
  5. Facebook search

3. Create a hypothesis

As a math grad student I want an online course so that I can make it through my first year of grad school.

4. Test your hypothesis

What’s the smallest “product” you could create that could disprove your hypothesis?

What you learn when you launch a tiny version:

  1. How hard is it to find customers?
  2. Did I hit a nerve? Did I identify the #1 pain?
  3. How hard is it to get people to pay?
  4. How satisfied were people with the solution?
  5. Do I like the customers?

 

Justin Jackson’s talk at MicroConf Europe 2015

I was a keynote speaker at MicroConf Europe, in Barcelona. The talk was entitled:

“How to acquire your first 100 customers: 10 tactics to use after your launch”

Download my slides (PDF)

Download PDF

View on Slideshare

Highlights and quotes

Our culture is always looking for the formula to success. We say: “just give me the steps, and I’ll follow them!” But following the steps aren’t enough.

Marketing is dependent on you having:

  1. A product that people want
  2. An audience that’s reachable
  3. Effective channels for reaching that audience

Uniqueness is your product’s gateway drug. Humans gravitate towards things that are unique, surprising, or unexpected.