Trust me, you’ve met sales monsters. I’ll refresh your memory: they start to chat with you, and then they try their hardest to find a way to pitch their product/service to you. You start to feel the conversation is steering into a sales pitch, and then boom! The pitch starts, and the conversation dies. Thanks, jerk. Now it’s awkward. You struggle to ask questions, but all you’re thinking is, “Dear God, please let my wife call me right now. I need a way to get the hell out of here.”
Steve and I have done a lousy job selling our apps. We’ve successfully under-promoted our apps into being profitable. You’ll find nothing at LessConf that talks about our small business accounting app, or our time tracking app for freelancers. You won’t find us talking about our products very often unless someone asks. It’s not because we don’t love them, and it’s not because we don’t want to grow the products. Read on.
Marketing is about spreading a message; a story. It’s about people telling their friends about something so amazing that the movement builds and builds and becomes bigger and bigger all on its own. The ripple eventually becomes more powerful than the person who started it. This ripple starts with first followers. (Check out what Derek Sivers says about this idea: http://sivers.org/ff.)
Our message is one of passion. It’s being free to be ourselves, being accepting of people, being inclusive and doing whatever we can to help others. It’s not about a bookkeeping app or time tracking. We don’t want to be seen as anything but genuine, but being your genuine self is hard. Showing your flaws and exposing your imperfections is even harder. We’re two chubby guys who work with amazing people. We curse too much, we love our families, we throw fun events, and we try to do good for others every day. Oh, and we have a few products that make running a company easier. That’s it.
Throw some more amazing events, work less than forty hours per week, spend more time with my kids, bring joy to our user base and help others around me become more successful. The byproducts of these things will grow our products. Giving to others, connecting friends to friends, and doing good for our customers are the essential elements of our marketing.
If you wanted it to build a product you’d find a way to get time to work on it. If you really wanted to start that new hobby you’d sacrifice something to find the time and money to do it.
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