6 months ago, April 2018, Feedier was released in beta. It came out of 6 months of work, research and hustle. It was not our first venture at Alkalab SAS, our holding company, we had been selling WordPress themes for a few years before, but it was an utterly new market and sales funnel.
We are a growing remote team lead by 2 co-founders, with a background in tech. We had to split roles up, and get someone to lead the marketing/growth/sales side of things, which I did.
Today, I decided to sit back and write down the things I learned during those first 6 months, particularly on the human level?
Note that the opinions are my own.
Without further ado, let’s kick things in and share some of my takeaways.
The first thing I learned was the importance of giving to the other before asking for anything. To be frank and utterly transparent, prior to starting my business, I was in college, and the priorities were not the same.
Don’t get me wrong, I have always been active on the web and on social networks, but it was not that common for me to participate in, or even hang out on places such as GrowthMentor Community and others like Founder Communities, Marketing Communities, Slack Communities, or even websites such as Indie Hackers.
When I started, I made the mistake of ONLY talking about my product, a bit about the why (which saved me — always tell a story), but most importantly, not engaging on the group prior to that and giving value. People are not likely to try a product from an incognito, even if the value proposition is damn good.
It did not take me long before realizing that it was a bad move. As the saying goes, you “learn from your mistakes” — no doubt, I did.
Lucky me, it’s something I could get back on track. Which is why I started answering, helping people and giving my opinion.
And the results speak for themselves…
I went from talking about my product and not getting many answers, to getting the admin of the Group giving a shout-out, pretty damn cool!
I even got invited on podcasts, which is ultimately very good for brand awareness…
I’m not patting myself on the back, far from that, just saying what’s important if you want to be seen as a thought-knowledgeable person, not a spammy.
As a side note, I even got clients and users from people mentioning my name on feedback or customer-success related questions on LinkedIn or in Facebook Communities.
The second thing is about being transparent. You’re an human, show your face, and behave like a human. Don’t shy away or hide.
There are those who tend to hide their online identity, but there is no point. It will serve you better and who knows, you might as well meet your online friends in real life!
This fact also applies to your cold outreach. At first, I made the mistake of reaching out to potential leads and advisors by putting my product and what I do first. Instead, be a human, be nice, and investigate the person before reaching out, and talk about him or her in your email. Show how you can bring value.
You are not perfect and will never be.
Which is why you have to keep learning, always looking for ways to improve yourself.
If you’re like me, in the B2B Marketing and Sales world, then do read and watch video on this content on places such as GrowthMentor Video Library, Zest.is, GrowthHackers, Youtube, and even LinkedIn if you manage to find thought-leaders that inspire you.
It’s also a great place to publish your articles by the way.
As a business owner and founder, you have plenty of things on your plate, some of which are very low-hanging fruits. And you tend to deal with them first.
One one hand, they are things that must be done as top number one priority, do them, even if they are very cumbersome. Like doing some very manual work for a (potential) client, yes, do it.
But, on the other hand, if there isn’t any priority, outsource as much as you can. Look at places such as Upwork and I’m sure you will get a good bang for your buck.
The point here is to avoid doing any kind of long, boring and not directly related to the product. You want to focus on what will actually serve your business.
Are you the kind of guy with the glass half full or half empty?
My point is fairly simple here. You’re an entrepreneur, everything can be shiny and sparkling all the time.
They are ups-and-down, and you must be fine with that. Try to always be positive, don’t panic or let things down if it doesn’t go as planned.
You are better off sitting down and trying to understand what could have been better.
Voila! That’s it for today.
I strived to focus on the human and operational side of things, leaving out any business point, because they are all very specific and personal. What works for me might not work for you, and vice versa.