It goes without saying that selling is hard and most of us are terrible at it. What’s worse is a lot of platforms exist to sell us ad premiums that return no value. For example, a few years ago, I was working on an app and I was desperate to get users and to show people what I was working on. I put some ads on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. The ads were cheap, but it was a complete waste of money. No one came to my website.
If you follow Hacker News and Paul Graham, one of the things he mentions is you have to do things that don’t scale at first. For example, the Airbnb founders were on the ground in NYC talking to their users and actually helping them take better pictures in order to make the website more appealing to users. This is also true for Stripe when they started. They processed a lot of things manually until they had a good handle on payment infrastructure.
While working on Oatfin, a cloud infrastructure automation platform, one of the things we’ve been doing is going through job boards and finding companies that are looking for DevOps, DevOps Manager, AWS Architect, etc. This has been a huge help for 2 reasons. One, by reading the job postings, we understand the kind of company we’re targeting, the kind of challenges they are facing, who their customers are, and most importantly how they make money (and how we can help them make even more money.) Second, we can develop a rapport and tailor our message to pitch our product.
This has been pretty helpful at least to us so far. I hope to write some more and share more learning.