In the movie Field of Dreams, Ray (Kevin Costner) walks through his cornfields and hears a whisper, telling him “If you build it, he will come.” This one, memorable line sums up the attitude of many developers (that I’ve encountered). If they build something, people will come and use it. But was know that’s not the case. People have to hear about your product somehow. Marketing your startup is a tricky thing. You almost always have little to no money, but you need to build interest and momentum in order to increase user acquisition. It’s a baffling conundrum for many startups, but there is hope. There are marketing techniques that are free (aside from your time) that can help you get the users you need to be successful. These are the first steps I would take to start marketing my startup.
Startup Marketing Begins With the Product
This is the MOST important part of startup marketing! You need to make a PHENOMENAL product. So focus on design, UX, and finding your product/market fit. Slight variations of existing products aren’t easy to market even if you have solid design. What’s the value proposition for a user to stop using Foursquare and checkin with your app? Groupon clones?