You, like me, develop software. And you’re good at it. You may have a degree in computer science or software engineering, you may have been doing this since you were a kid, or you may taught yourself all you needed to know just by browsing the internet (that’s pretty impressive). Either way, you know how to develop software and websites, and that’s pretty cool.
But you know what you don’t know how to do? Market. Neither do I. In fact, I didn’t even know what ‘marketing’ meant up until a couple years ago. And I bet I still don’t know what it really means, but I’m going to attempt to define it right here with my limited knowledge: Marketing is the act of convincing people to buy your product. It could be exposing that your product exists by advertising on the internet, radio, or TV. It could be carefully selecting the words on your website so that people feel the need that they have to have your product (through a psychological emotional response, known as ‘copywriting’). It could be urging your current customers to talk about your product to their friends via word of mouth. There are a million ways to market, and it’s a huge subject.
As developers we fail to realize that product success does not happen just by creating a great product.
You also have to market it. We cannot expect that if we build something great that it will automatically succeed. Let me repeat that because it’s important:
Just because you build something great does not mean it will succeed!
I agree that you need to have a good product, but that’s only half the battle. The other part of the formula is marketing. If there’s one thing you learn from this blog, it’s that marketing is often overlooked, and it’s pretty important. In fact, marketing can be so powerful that even crappy products can be successful with the right marketing.
I’ve failed many times
I’ve failed many times because I create a new website, and it’s great. But after I launch it, traffic trickles in, and it never really takes off. That’s because I stopped working on the project after I launched it. You can’t do that. You must plan to launch, and then do a shit-ton of marketing to get the ball rolling.
There are degrees in marketing, firms that specialize in it, and consultants that will be happy to do your marketing for you. I’m not here to tell you exactly what to do. But I do want you to realize that this is something you’ll have to do. Experiment with different avenues of marketing and see what works. I’m going to be doing the same, and I’ll documenting my successes and failures for all of us to learn from.
If you think you’re going to learn marketing yourself, try this first
Next time you want to create a new product, don’t. Instead, try marketing products that already exist. Don’t worry, you can still profit from your efforts through affiliate programs that will give you a share of the revenue you helped someone else get. But the goal here is to get yourself onto the other side of the arena and learn how to write compelling copy, how to get traffic, and how to advertise.
By doing this you’ll not only learn how to market your products, but you may get a few bucks of commission too 🙂
Are you a developer, or a marketer? Can we be both??