Tag Archives: rob walling

How NOT to Market Your Startup

Money down the drainSo you’ve got a product that’s getting ready for prime time and now you need to drum up some buzz and get things ready to generate some sales? Great, so now what?

The Marketing Side of Things

A recent blog post titled “Why I Fired My Marketing Agency” by Brian Signorelli highlights some of the things I’ve seen happen with startups that don’t give marketing enough importance. People who fall in this trap are usually tech founders with no business or marketing experience and that bend to pressures coming from VC’s, the board, or they simply try to imitate their previous company or a competitor. Their plan typically goes something like this:

  • First, build prototype
  • Second, get beta users, feedback
  • Third, iterate and get product ready
  • Fourth, launch
  • Fifth, start marketing and generating sales

The problem with this thought process is that it won’t work. Or at least it won’t be as easy as you think it will. Rob Walling has written about why you should start marketing the day you start coding and Jason Cohen has done many great posts about startup marketing, including what not to do as you market your product. If there is ONE thing you must remember is that you should start marketing your startup way before you have the product ready to launch. 

Marketing Agencies and Your Startup

But I digress. Let’s go back to the problem Brian had with a marketing agency. It’s not that marketing agencies or consultants are bad, is that you have to understand how they work and, more importantly, what do you want to get out of the relationship. If more twitter followers are part of your marketing strategy, then go for it. If, on the other hand you need a demand generation plan, then make it clear from the get-go.

A common mistake startups and small businesses make when hiring outsiders (agencies, contractors, etc.) to help or run their marketing programs is thinking that you can outsource it just as you did with your payroll, HR, or tax preparation. Not having someone at your company that owns (i.e. is responsible and accountable) for marketing will cost you dearly. You need someone that clearly understands your product, history, value proposition, target audience, and that can tell your story. Yes, having a marketing agency, or marketing consultants can help get things done but don’t think you can just hire them and forget about it. You’ll just be throwing money away.

 

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Bootstrapped Startups Now Have MicroConf 2011

With so much talk about Angel and VC funding and a new startup bubble forming, is refreshing to see that self-funded startups still have a place to go to share ideas and best practices. That’s why MicroConf 2011 is worth checking out.

Put together by veterans of the startup world, Rob Walling and Mike Taber, MicroConf is a conference that was born out of the passion that the founders and their followers have for the bootstrapped and micro-ISV startups. Rob and Mike run the highly successful Micropreneur Academy, a site that teaches you how to get your startup off the ground and has a very active community. Is exactly this community that has been clamoring for some time now for a place where they can physically meet and exchange ideas.

If you are thinking about starting your own business, if you are a bootstrapped startup, or if you are a one-man show (micro-ISV or single founder startup) then this is a conference worth checking out.

To register, go to the MicroConf 2011 website (or click image below).

Conference Details

  • June 6 & 7 in Las Vegas, NV
  • Hosted by Rob Walling and Mike Taber

Speakers Include

Who Should Attend?
Anyone launching a startup with no outside funding who wants to hang out with and learn from 225 of today’s leading founders and entrepreneurs.