So you’ve survived the wild ride…
You’ve averaged 4 hours of sleep each night and been on a caffeine high for weeks. Most people would have crashed and burned long ago, but you’ve been driven by the pure will to succeed.
Congratulations—it paid off! Now you have your own tech baby and you can’t wait to show it off.
The question is…
Are you *really* ready to launch it?
… Or are there still some things you need to do before jumping into the market headfirst?
Because here’s the thing:
No matter how great your product is, putting it out into the world before it’s market-ready can actually ruin your chances to succeed.
Think about marketing your product like doing a TED talk.
If you want people in the audience to “wow” and “aaahh” at your speech, you need to seriously prep for it. You have to rehearse it dozens of times and yet make it sound spontaneous and natural.
It’s the same with your marketing.
First, you have to make sure you’ve got all the critical elements in place and everything is perfectly lined up. This way, when you start promoting your new product, you’ll avoid a lot of costly mistakes and setbacks that can break your reputation early on.
To help set you on the fast track to success, we’ve compiled a list of 5 major things you need to take into account and nail down before putting your product on the market.
The 5 things you need to nail down before marketing your product
1. Offer exceptional customer service.
Great customer service is not “nice to have”. It’s become an absolute necessity.
Offering exceptional customer service, on the other hand, can make the difference between satisfied users… and loyal fans that will spread the word about your product faster than a wildfire.
And if you want a fast-growing community of loyal users to provide free publicity for you and your product, this is the easiest & most affordable way to get there.
Here’s a good example:
WordPress theme Avada has become the most popular theme on the market for several reasons, but the customer service they provide is a BIG one.
Sure, a top-quality product can generate good ratings on its own, but excellent customer service can boost it to 5-stars.
On the other hand, if the product is good but the customer service is poor…
… you can expect to see a lot of 1- and 2-star ratings that can chase away thousands of potential clients.
Customer Service Hero vs Customers: zero
Your customer service team can literally make the difference between outstanding success and major fail.
That’s why it’s crucial to have friendly, helpful & well-trained people to solve your customers’ problems. They need to understand your product inside and out, and know exactly how to assist users according to their specific needs.
One more thing you need to take into consideration:
When your business takes off, you have to be prepared to scale your customer service team accordingly. That means investing in more people and better training for those already on board.
The #1 Growth Rule that gets ignored way too often
The more your business grows, the better your customer service should be.
→ this is so important for the success of your business that you should print it and put it up on the wall. No kidding.
2. Set aside a budget for sales and marketing.
Let’s get something out of the way: marketing doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg.
Sure, it *could*. But it doesn’t have to. Especially when you’re just dipping your toes into the market, it doesn’t make sense to invest a fortune.
However, you do need to have a budget set aside for your sales & marketing foundation. You’d be surprised how many tech creators start without a clear budget, because “they’re just starting out” or “they’re just testing to see what works”.
You think you can “wing it”?
This is exactly where “winging it” is the worst idea because your marketing foundation can make or break your product’s success before it even sees the light
→ That means it can either fill or drain your bank account. Your choice.
Here’s how it happens:
Without a solid strategy to give you the right direction, your future marketing tactics will be trials & errors at best.
It’s like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle… blindfolded.
You might be able to match a few pieces, but if you can’t see the big picture and complete the frame first… you’re looking at a long, frustrating process littered with errors.
What are you standing to lose?
When it comes to your marketing, the consequences are a lot worse than messing up a jigsaw puzzle.
Without a solid marketing foundation, you’re not only wasting your time (ok, and millions of innocent brain cells). You’re also wasting a pile of money on random “experiments” that lead you nowhere.
So the smartest thing to do before you start promoting your brand new product is to set aside a dedicated budget for marketing basics.
A solid strategy shows you the most profitable directions, so you’ll know exactly what steps to take next and what mistakes to avoid. It’s a small investment that protects you from losing a LOT more money in the future.
3. Rely on experts to build your marketing foundation.
As a tech creator, you know how important it is to carefully plan every step of your product’s development.
You started with a vision or a big idea.
But you didn’t go from “I’m going to build an app” to writing the actual code. You had to plan every step of the way and still leave enough room to adapt to unexpected changes.
And that takes a certain kind of skill and knowledge.
Now it’s time to market your product.
Do you have what it takes?
Do you have the necessary skills and knowledge to do it yourself, like you did when you created your own tech product?
If you’re not a marketing specialist, this is not the time and place for on-the-job learning.
After all, you wouldn’t have let your accountant or your assistant plan the development of your product. So why leave your marketing strategy in the hands of the wrong people?
Now is the right time to shop for a marketing specialist (or a team). The question is, what should you be looking for exactly?
Here are a few guidelines to help you choose the right people for the job:
>> They want to know your product inside and out and in-between
This will help them identify all the major selling points, what makes the product different & what its weaknesses are.
Red Flag: If they don’t ask you all about your product, how are they going to shine a light on its best features and the biggest benefits for your users?
>> They research your ideal user like it’s their sole mission in life
They need to know where to find your ideal users, how to attract their attention, and how to make them want your product more than anything else.
Red Flag: If they don’t know anything about the users you’ve built this product for, how will they attract them and convince them to buy it?
>> They have a tight grasp of what makes a good sales funnel
If you want someone to hand you their money, they need to trust that you can help them solve their specific problem (and fast!). And that’s all in how you plan your sales funnel.
Red Flag: If they don’t know how to build a customized sales funnel, how will they get people to buy a product they’ve barely heard of?
>> They understand the importance of a seamless user journey
People hate being pushed and dragged into buying something. That’s why you need a seamless & entertaining user journey that doesn’t make the user feel manipulated.
Red Flag: If they don’t care about the way your potential customers feel when they interact with your company, how will they make people trust you and your product?
>> They ask about your marketing budget from the very beginning
Planning a marketing strategy without a clear budget is like buying food for a party without knowing how many guests there will be. Splitting a pork chop in 5 is no fun.
Red Flag: If they don’t ask what your budget is, how will they find the most efficient, time-saving and affordable way to attract your perfect leads?
4. Keep your ideal users in mind every step of the way.
Now that you have your team of experts at your side, the first thing you want them to do is to build a sales funnel* customized to your ideal user.
*What on earth is a “sales funnel”?
Great question! A sales funnel is a buying process that you create for your potential customers. It’s meant to put you in control of the sales and guide your potential users from “I’ve never heard about this product” to “This product might solve my problem” and then to “I want to buy this product right now”.
No one-size-fits-all sales funnel
There are some basic things that apply to all sales funnels, but there’s no one-size-fits-all recipe for success. And that’s because there are so many factors that go into building a high-converting sales funnel that you always-always have to customize it.
And the most important factor of all—the core of the funnel—is the user.
The person you’ve built this product for.
The one you’ll need to convince that your product is worth their attention (and, eventually, their money).
The common mistake that slashes your ROI
A lot of tech creators start off on the wrong foot by making their product the core element of the sales funnel.
And that’s perfectly understandable—they’ve built something great that can actually make people’s lives better.
But a sales funnel that brings massive ROI should focus on the people that are most likely to buy your product.
That’s why your funnel needs to satisfy three major goals, in this specific order:
- it has to attract the right people;
- it has to make them want to try your product;
- it has to convert them into paying users.
And to move people from one goal to the next, you need to guide their every step. Like in a video game where they unlock achievements, discover “secret” pathways, go on quests, and earn upgrades & rewards.
You know that frustration you feel when the gameplay sucks?
It’s the same with bad sales funnels. People can sense an unnatural funnel and the feeling of “being sold to” makes them leave faster than it takes them to blink.
That’s why a high-converting funnel needs to have the user in mind at all times. So it feels natural, exciting, and valuable enough to go all the way to the final “level” (aka becoming a paying user).
5. Get a solid content marketing strategy.
When you’ve got a good user-centric sales funnel in place, it’s time to move on to the content marketing strategy.
To make it crystal-clear:
The sales funnel is like the skeleton and the content marketing strategy is the muscle that activates the skeleton and makes it move.
You can have multiple content marketing strategies serving the same sales funnel. In fact, some companies constantly test new types of content and channels to see what attracts more qualified leads or which channel converts users better and faster.
Another round of applause for user-centric marketing
Yes, your content marketing strategy needs to be user-centric, too. But it’s a bit more nuanced.
All your content needs to be targeted at your ideal users, BUT you also need to adapt it to the channels that host it.
For example, the exact same content will have different reactions and a different impact on Facebook compared to LinkedIn or Twitter. Also, what works really well on your company blog won’t work as well on Medium or as a guest post on a major tech publication.
That’s why a solid content marketing strategy is so critical before you put your product out into the world…
It helps you save a lot of time and money by avoiding common mistakes and random “trials & errors” that can drain your budget.
What are your next steps?
Ok, so we’ve covered the 5 things you need to nail down before putting your product out into the world.
If you’ve already started marketing without having all these things in place… it’s not the end of the world. But the sooner you check off these 5 foundational pillars off your list, the better.
It will save you a lot of money in the future by avoiding costly mistakes that can’t be easily fixed. Plus, it will help attract more qualified leads, convert them faster, and keep your users happy & engaged.
And if you need a reliable team to help you with your sales funnel and your content marketing strategy, we can hop on a call and talk about it. We’d be happy to help!