IMHO this is probably the first! thing you should do. To my own surprise people will give you money for your service even if you don't have a websites (and name, logo, slogan or anything else), and you send your 'product' via email.
And 3 out of 4 ideas don't survive these 20 calls - so you'll save a lot of time if you sell first and build later.
Emotionally that's not easy - of course - but it's what you will be doing all day anyway if it goes well, so why not start early?
Here (in Germany) it's legal to call businesses.
And also: It doesn't have to be calls - it could also be email or linkedin - and yes! also here it works if genuine.
And here are the actual rules:
I'd be interested to know whether any of the respondents in this thread hold, or have held, genuine management responsibility in a reasonably sized company.
Sales tactics like cold calling work because in business, companies look for advantage or efficiency, and it's entirely reasonable that another company might sell you something that helps; many people are willing to listen to the occasional pitch if it has a chance of making their job easier.
-build your own lists, don't buy them, and
-get to "no" as quickly as you can -- it will save you time in the long run.
Now imagine that group of students opened the conversation with: "I saw you raise your hand in C101 this morning, and thought your question was very interesting. What made you think of that?"
As someone who is responsible for bringing products to market on a daily basis, there is a considerable amount of strat being omitted which will better prepare you.
Pricing. Determine where you want to position your product in the market. Identify the competitors that compete on price vs the one's that compete on quality. Determine where you want to position your products and which competitors to go after. This should help you determine which customers you want to market towards as well. It also helps you determine the effort you can apply to each channel. [Spend more time on the difficult customer to obtain]. Michael Jordan didn't become Michael Jordan by practicing his dunk. He purposely worked on the weakest part of his game to make him the greatest.
Justin Jackson as mentioned there is about to release an update to his "Marketing for Developers", so he's pitching a 24hr "deal" (meaning make sure the bundle is worth $100 to you; I don't necessarily recommend it) right now: https://justinjackson.withcoach.com/marketing-for-developers...
You can see the stuff he gives away for free on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/justinjackson
Just be careful not to deprioritize items because they're outside your comfort zone.
In my opinion, a tool providing insights (e.g. basic data science) besides tracking can provide at least a better value than a pure tracking tool. (Disclaimer: I'm working on one myself :])
Interesting enough, there's a similar checklist/dashboard idea for funding round in the UK (https://seedlegals.com), handling all the legal hiccups in a much cleaner and organised way. But their market is quite different and there's much higher incentive for customers to pay for it.
It would be easy to test that idea manually until you had some traction too. Feel free to use the list if it helps and if you build it I'll definitely add it to the checklist!
That said, direct contact with your customers/users is extremely helpful. It might not have to be cold calls if you happen to have a good network already. I've never been good at cold outreach either, but I have no problem talking to people I know might be interested.
Right now I'm looking at Hugo + Kube but there are so many not-normal things to use (Hugo + Github Pages all in source control but publishing different branches / folders, Kube using not-normal-Hugo stuff since it's got non-blog stuff, etc.) Is there a one-stop zero-to-hero guide anywhere for this kind of thing?
Initially this project is just a checklist and some supporting pages, but as I learn more, make updates, and use the checklist for my own side projects I'd like to write blog posts there as well. Having a blog in the same domain as your main project is also good for SEO from what I hear.
I don't have a good tutorial handy for the setup, but maybe that's something I could write about? It probably took two hours to customize the theme and get the landing page up, so pretty quick, but there were a couple gotchas the first time through.
I wish the pandoc conversion worked better because it would be nice not to have to update changes by hand.
It's all little things like making sure that there is only one space in every "- [ ]" between the dash and open bracket.
The original placed the entire document under a level 2 header, so I placed all top headings under their own level one header. I also changed the bottom level of headings into boldface link items so that org could see all of the checklist items. If you open both versions side by side you'll see how I did it.
Again, thank you for the list, it really is fantastic. I'm considering creating a different version for NGOs and Non-Profits here in Cambodia. Marketing is a large part of what NGOs do to raise funds and there is a lot of overlap between commerical websites and non-profits. But there are a lot of resourses available for non-profits which could be added as well.
Another one to add would be a LinkedIn bot for auto profile viewing. It's a pretty efficient way for people to see you viewed their profile, they view yours back, and check out your site/project.
Seriously though, it's open source and free, so while I know I'm tooting my own horn I hope it helps people anyway.
For smaller projects this does not work at all. All it does is it attracts spam from various Indian "wire services" and that's it.
> Paid Promotional Channels / StumbleUpon
Only if you want to see how a 100% bounce rate with sub-second page stays looks like. Absolutely useless otherwise, although it is very attractively priced.
If you havent licensed it, one from creative commons might fit.
I'll put a link to that in the site when I get a chance.
I understand I'm swinging through late but do you have time to expand on any affiliation you have with the company, but more helpfully share any details on why this particular $21/month tool helps you better than say, Skype?