Most startup founders who are looking to launch their product or are figuring out ways to grow their usage / customer traction come with a plan that includes “a little bit of everything”. The assumption is that since they dont know which technique works best, (or in other words – gets the most customers with the least amount of effort or money) so, they tend to spread their bets among many techniques.
Typically this means, do some SEO, some Google ads, some blogging, and some outreach to the press.
I used to tell folks to make a list and focus on the top 3 techniques to market their product.
I was wrong.
You need to be awesome at one, rather than good at three.
Here’s the simple math (the irony that the math is easier than reality is not lost on me) to get to 10,000+ B2B users (not all paying) in < 12 months (which is a great metric to focus on) for a SaaS company.
You try to double your users each month. So if you start with 5 users at the end of the first month, you will get to 10,000+ at the end of the 12th month.
If I were marketing a SaaS product and I need to get users there are multiple mechanisms I can use to generate awareness for my company / product without any out-of-pocket costs for advertising.
1. Guest blogging
2. Content marketing with blog posts / infographics
3. Engaging potential users on twitter
4. Search engine optimization
5. PR outreach with bloggers and key websites
6. You tube videos
7. Presentations on Slideshare
Now, my recommendation is to NOT do the top 3, but pick just one and be the best at it.
For most entrepreneurial teams that are comprised more of engineers, than marketing professionals, this is a very liberating process.
They no longer need to track multiple techniques and try to optimize them all. Their focus should be on experimenting within the one technique and be the best at it alone.
While focusing on the one technique you will discover more things you need to do better and be great at.
Lets take an example of guest blogging.
To the outsider, guest blogging might just be make a list of 10-20 top blogs, then write posts that are relevant about your company and that blog, find the blog writer’s email address and submit your post.
There is a more nuanced process than that.
Coming up with unique and interesting posts is hard. Very hard. Especially hard if you are trying to learn SEO at the same time, or experimenting on Google adwords at the same time.
So, free your mind.
Focus on the one thing that you believe will add value to your potential customers.
I know its hard to know which is the “one thing”.
Truth is being awesome at any one of these things is very hard and I have seen enough examples of companies meeting their customer acquisition goals picking ANY ONE of these techniques, without trying to experiment on several.
So go ahead and focus on the ONE thing.