I understand that this post has been written about 50 thousand times by other people, but I felt the need to put this out there and share my advice on the subject.
Developers have a problem
I’ve said this in a previous post, but I felt it needed to be restated here. The biggest problem we have as developers is the fact that we are developers.
We are the internet equivalent of someone who “works with their hands.” We find problems and come up with solutions everyday, whether in new business ideas or just in writing code. This leads us to a strange place where we have all of the capabilities of taking an idea and turning it into its “physical,” but often after that we’re left clueless.
One of my previous bosses always used to tell me:
Matt, what set’s you guys apart is that you had an idea, but then you took it to the next level, you actually built it. That’s what sets you apart.
And while getting it done is definitely the first step, it has almost nothing to do with the success of your business. I have a feeling that a majority of you have been told some form of the quote above before.
You’re a builder. Of course you actually built it, of course that’s what sets you apart, it’s what you do!
Building is ONLY 80% of the job
Whoa, 80% seems like a lot, right? Wrong. 80% is nothing. I’m sure that you have all heard of the 80/20 rule. It states the following:
80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve begun working on a piece of code, got 80% of it done in an hour, and then spent the next 2 weeks of time on the last 20%. We’ve all been there.
The same rule can be applied to product development. Building your product is only 80% of the job, the last 20% however (the marketing) is what is going to drive 80% of your adoption.
Marketing IS Math
You’re already good at developing, which means you’re probably good at Math, or at least logic. And I have good news for you, marketing is just math. In fact, people are just math.
Psychology is the study of the human mind, the ability to turn everything we don’t know about it into things that are concrete. Math.
You don’t have to be afraid of marketing, just go out there and get it done!
I always tell people, I’m not a programmer, I’m an entrepreneur who happens to use programming to get me where I need to go. Most likely, the same can be said for you. You’re building products, you’re an entrepreneur not a programmer.
And Entrepreneurs need to know a little bit about marketing and how to get their products out there. Just building it isn’t going to cut it.
So how do you get good at Marketing? Study psychology, watch the people around you and how they act. Dissect the success of others.
Why did X company get Y users? It isn’t magic, Y people didn’t just stumble upon it by randomly typing in letters into their URL bar. How does their landing page look? What is their product? How are they connecting the product to their users emotionally?
Study, study, study. Just like you had to learn all the ins and outs of whatever programming language you use by studying and putting it into action, the same goes for marketing.
Here’s some articles I’ve written that can help you get started on your marketing journey:
- 3 Launch Strategies to Double Your Pre-Signups
- How to Get to the Top of Hacker News
- The 3-Step Process to Developing so you Don’t Waste Time (Not necessarily marketing, but very useful time management tip so you have more time to spend on marketing)
- How I Got 2200 Pre-Signups for my SaaS in 2 Weeks, then Failed Hard
I”ll be writing a lot more Marketing for Developers posts in the future, so if you have questions, feel free to email me and I’ll be sure to help you out!