Even with a great product there is risk that you’ll never find the people you made it for. Every entrepreneur struggles when attempting to connect a good idea to the public, but there are a few tricks that can help fix this problem. We sat down with a group of successful startup founders and asked them “How do you reach your target market?” Here’s what they had to say.
- Connect with businesses in your market: After failing to reach customers directly, Judge.me pivoted to partner with other institutions in the same niche.“I target marketplaces and try to partner with them for their dispute resolution. I only just started selling this way, but the results so far are encouraging.”
By going to markets rather than attempting to attract one customer at a time, this startup was able to grow their user base much faster and see better traction. – Peter-Jan Celis (Judge.me)
- User Test, then user test again: It’s true, your marketing woes will be greatly diminished if you do a huge amount of user testing before launching. This is one of the easiest but most overlooked aspects of building a product. Let real people tell you how to build it and other real people will like the result.“It’s all about products. Our users love us. We give them tools to share the app and they do the rest. We are constantly in tune with our customers to make sure we are giving them what they want and the rest takes care of itself.” – Brett Martin (Sonar)
- Sponsor Events in your Field: Be active amongst the people who might use your product. A great way to do this is to be a supporter of big meetings; it’s simple enough to set up and doesn’t take a lot of work. A word of caution though, it’s not enough to simply write a check and hope for the best, you’ve got to be present at the events you’re sponsoring and show that your business really wants to connect.“Any time we can be at or sponsor an event, it’s a big win for us, because that’s when people need cards – when they are at there meeting.” – Ketan Anjara (CardFlick)
- Use Crowdfunding: Platforms like Kickstarter and Indie go-go are great ways to not only test the market, but also bring in some positive cash flow. It’s a simple process to list your idea, and if it resonates with customers you’ll get the “kickstart” you need.“Kicksarter is a way to get pre-orders for your game and find out how many people will like it. It’s also a great way to get traction and for people to hear about your business. – Richard James (Evertide Games)
There’s an unspoken rule that many entrepreneurs buy into called the 80/20 rule – 80% marketing for every 20% time spent building product. Even if you make something awesome it will still need customers to become profitable. Have you had success using strategies to reach your target market? Please add to this list in the comments below!