What was the biggest problem for you when starting a business?

Hello everyone :slight_smile:

I’ve been trying to figure it out for a long time.

What was the biggest problem connected to online marketing [mean online presence as a whole ] for you when starting a business ?

How do you establish your website ? Do you think that it was easy process ? Do you use Wordpress, wix or some other tools ?

For me the easiest part ends when my website was been alive.

But I was totally lost where to start and what to do to drive traffic and attention to my product. I have started learning a lot about startup traction and marketing. For this I need to mention this: http://tractionbook.com/

Do you know about other good book about startup growth ? Please share with us :slight_smile:

And I think I’m wasn’t alone in this situation. What about you ?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

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Ditto. Not totally lost, but rather lacking a framework - which channel to give a priority to.


Thank you very much for sharing your experience :slight_smile: How did you measure the success of your channels ? what was your priority ?

I am on the same situation. The technical part was easy. The marketing part is hard.

And I totally agree with you: the Traction book is a very good framework, it did help me develop an overall understanding of what to do.

The book strongly emphasizes measuring the results. This part is not difficult: I use Google Analytics and customized URLs to measure this. If an action, initiative on a channel results on visits and downloads I know it was successful.

Thank you very much for sharing. How do you compare each traction channel to each other ? How many channels do you compare at once ? max. 3 ?

Hi, I agree with you about the Traction book. The only problem I see with it is it doesn’t take into account the fact that startups usually don’t have any budget (or it’s very restricted) so many, many examples and suggestions from this book just can’t be applied at all.

I was so frustrated to read the example when the founder of Mint company “just offered some bloggers $500 in exchange for article or blog post”. Who in the world without any investments could do that??

Yeah, you are right about the budget. But you know, maybe this could force people think about other non saturated channels. Traction could be only a guide how to think about that. And maybe this book is not related for bootstrapped companies or companies without a penny. Cause many channels like facebook, linkedin, pinterest, local news etc could work very well with very little amount of money. :slight_smile:

Just 2. I am alone and don’t have a big budget.

If were to do more than that and also do development I wouldn’t be able to have any work done.

I have strong doubts about “cheap” social channel like a facebook. How would you use for low budget or without one?
Please give us a real example from your experience.

Ahh ok I got it. We were in same situation but, the general rule of thumb from traction is rule of 50:50. You need to divide 50% of your time to development a and another 50% to marketing. This works for us very well.

Facebook ads is still pretty cheap. If you will make a good quality content with very high value to your targets it’s possible to marketing this content to very targeted people on Facebook. It doesnt work if you market your product like cold sale. But building lead magnets and promoting them on facebook works pretty good for us.

But if you are a developer and you have a time, you dont need to have a big budget to increase your brand awareness and get a tons of targeted traffic. Make a free simple tool which will be addition to your product or that you think that this tools would be beneficial for your target user.

I declared my 2018 a year of marketing. I sweared on the life of my cat that I’m not going to do any code changes, no matter how “oh, shiny!” they are - except for critical bugfixing if found.

18 days and I’m still true to my oath!

Developers always think that the coding is more important. In truth, coding doesn’t worth a crap. A monkey can code.

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Now tell us what you are actually doing. What is your marketing strategy? Channels? How do they work for you?
It would be very interesting and valuable for all of us.

Intersting - maybe. Valuable? Not sure. I’m just a beginner like most in that thread.

Anyway, at my current stage I need to fill my app blog with content. Content that is useful and educational to my potential users. I collected a number of real-life problems and their solutions during the beta-testing, and now I have to describe them in “How-To” form. I want to have at least 20 large posts. After that I’m planning to add new posts as new general enough problems pop up.

My next stage is planned to be either LinkedIn or specialized forums. I need to find my specific kind of QA (PTE, LT testing) and their PMs (who are my target audience) and start carving a message for them. I read a couple of LinkedIn 101 guides, and understood that for maximum effectivity I need to join a targeted group on LinkedIn. Ads are hard to master there and they are expensive.

It might be tho that I focus on specialized forums instead - I just need to figure out where my people are first. It also occurs to me that my PMs could be better found on LinkedIn, and my QAs - on specialized forums.

I will not have time for any other channel in the near time, so I do not plan anything else yet.

My product is not visual, and is B2B, so Instgram and Facebook are on the bottom of my list.

Twitter I cannot figure out yet. I do understand I can setup an automated posting of links to say my HowTos, but who the heck is going to read them? If someone subscribes to my twitter account, they already know what I’m doing, so what’s the point to bombard them with rotating messages? So maybe new releases notices, but even that is for later.


Yeah, you are right. Many developers try to code the “perfect” product but it doesn’t exist at all :slight_smile: I like how you think about that. Good Luck !! And yes, linkedin is number one for many many startups this year.

Thanks for sharing your plans and thoughts. It’s really interesting, and to be honest, valuable. Especially if you’ll keep telling us about your results.
Good luck!

Market + idea and then finding that whole founder fit thing. Also… I spent most of 2017 learning all kinds of new and shiny tech :slight_smile:

My biggest problem is always the same: analysis paralysis. I’m always doubting between web applications and desktop applications. It seems an easy decision, but each one has its pros and cons.

The code is what is being sold in the result. If you don’t have a product to sell, there’s nothing to market.

I don’t spent a lot of time for marketing, but I spend a significant amount of money into it :slight_smile: The most time consuming task is still developing, and it’s like this for the past 15 years. Making the product better is utterly important. This is what the users are paying for. Note that when product updates are paid for, and user base is big enough, developing new features more than worth it. And vice versa, if i decided to go with “year without software updates” there’s a good chance to lose customer loyalty.

I believe it was clear from the context that we talk about the initial phase products, when the authors tend to return to something they know well and enjoy (coding) vs. something that can bring dough but is unfamiliar and painful (marketing).

There are enough examples of people who had no single line of code, but were selling their products.

There are enough examples of people who had a good code, but sold nothing.

That should be enough to establish the importance of coding vs. marketing.