Step by step: How to Market a Product when Bootstrapping


The steps to market your brand new product without breaking the bank

Of course, you could always hire a sales team and pay an advertising agency. But wait, didn’t I say “when bootstrapping”? Ok, scratch that.

Bootstrappers: put some effort into it! And here is how to market a product:

Step 1: Write great stuff!

Great content is the basis for a conversation around your product – so no, it’s not about writing advertising copy. Rather, educating and entertaining people. And, while you are doing that, learn from your market: listen to them, use social media, use the phone, use your website to collect input from your potential buyers, and then write stuff they want to know.

Or, hire someone who can write really well about your product, or better: someone who can write really well about issues that your potential buyers care about.
You want to become a trusted advisor, a sort of Wikipedia, a website people trust on your specialty. And you want to have a conversation with a large number of people, not just with qualified leads, forget about budget-authority-need-time when writing. Remember that word-of-mouth is an enormous factor in marketing.
Great writing can be written first in one format, and the same idea can then be re-used for other formats: blogs, guest posting, press releases, white papers and e-books, webinars, infographics, email series, podcasts, videos, audio recordings.

Step 2: Send people emails

To who? Oh yes, that’s the first step of step two: you want to get email addresses of people interested in what you do.

You might have heard: the money is in the list. And while you can go ahead and buy lists, nothing is going to beat your own list of people who are genuinely interested in your great content and sign up for more.

When emailing your list, you are so much closer to making that sale than say by broadcasting on any type of social media.
To build your list, you need a subscribe option on your website. Be sure your website is responsive – fancy word for displaying well on phones and tables, and the subscription option works on these smaller screens. You can get fancy, and include A/B testing here, have pre-filled forms, pop-ups of your form just before somebody leaves your website. But really? Start small, have a sign-up form on your website.

Step 3: Make Intelligent Use of Social Media

You’ve got your great content, you’ve got an ever-growing list – go ahead and use social media. And use it to build a relationship with a community of people interested in the problems your product solves.
Use social media intelligently: use a tool like Hootsuite to listen, and to schedule your posts on the different media relevant to your audience.

The second part to intelligent use of social media: as long as you are not a mega-influencer with a huge twitter following and a giant email list, go ahead and try to get actual influencers to promote your content. Check out what tips by three experts on Influencer Marketing.

Off you go — still have questions?

Would love to hear what your biggest questions are when marketing on a tight or non-existent budget!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *