What a great way to transition from being a developer to marketing?

Ikenna Paschal
19 replies
My 7 years in the workforce has been as a developer, I recently started my startup journey by building out ditData.com As a developer this isn't too hard, but selling the product is - I don't enjoy it. I am lost on how to get my brain to accept the change. I want to be involved in the sales and talking to users, not just writing codes, but the biggest barrier is psychological - I can't concentrate on anything other than coding. Any tip on how to make this transition?

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Work with a marketing partner? There are tons of people who are experienced marketers who don't trust their programming skills for creating full products. The biggest issue might be that you have built a product which might be exceptional but was it built based on asking potential users questions. Is your service something that people are looking for or solves a problem they have experienced? But those are product management tasks normally when you have a larger team. Product management dovetails with marketing and engineering. Once you know exactly what problems your product solves you can then document them. That is then the start of your marketing.
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i build things
@andybeard Oh yes, I already have a list of the potential marketing partners to bring in as a co-founder. The question is how to break into the the business of talking to users, even after getting a co-founder onboard. The advice I have gotten (from watching YC's videos) is that even if you do the programming, it is always best to actively participate in the problem discovering and user feedback cycle. Not just sit and be told what works best.
Product, ConnectPlus
May be start with small goals here. Block a specific time of day for every day, and start talking to one user every day. Once you become comfortable with that, slowly increase the targets. Also get an accountability partner to whom you email these updates on a daily basis. Will this help?
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i build things
@dhanyalgopi I am sure it will, I think I can manage one talking to just one for the time being. Thanks
20 yrs experience helping startups grow.
Is your goal to talk face-to-face over video and/or get user feedback? You mentioned your "biggest barrier is psychological." Does it have more to do with your focus on building or a bit shy talking with customers? @dhanyalgopi is right. Set goals. Schedule it in your calendar. Set time aside to just do it. Talking with customers is just as important as good code. The only way you are going to get good at it is by doing it. Set the accuses aside and execute! -Bill @ https://Fixmygrowth.com
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i build things
@dhanyalgopi @billflitter I don't really know which to start with, face-to-face or video, though I want to entice a few with discount if they can get on a call with me.
i build things
@dhanyalgopi @billflitter I subed to fixmygrowth.com. Looks like I will need it. Looking forward to your launch.
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20 yrs experience helping startups grow.
@ikennaobieze do a video call with the early adopters of the product. Watch them use the product if applicable. Don't just do a demo. Learn from them. You know the product and being helpful is marketing! Surprise your first 25 loyal users with a discount after the fact.
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20 yrs experience helping startups grow.
Product, ConnectPlus
@ikennaobieze If the product actually helps them in solving some of their problems, and if you communicate it to them well, they may not want discount or other incentives to get on a call with you. It's better if people are willing to get on a call with you because they're are actually intrigued by your product, than the discount. This also helps in getting the feedback from right set of users. Again start small here, start with a text chat or email exchange, and then after couple of interactions, ask for a call or video call. You can also record a 1-2 minute video demo-ing your product or talking about the problems it solves, or a crisp document or a deck or a blog post, send it to them, in the initial 1-2 interactions, seeking feedback on it. And after couple of such engagements ask them for a call. If with your cold email or message, they agree to get on a call with you the first time, it also means that you've communicated your value proposition in a great way, that they can't wait, but jump on a call with you to understand more about how your product can solve their problem. :) Good luck!
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Building Clapup.me
Try to get a co founder who is into marketing.
At best when creating something!
Sorry, got no answers for you. But Great work on the frontend! All the best.
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i build things
@ayush_ Thank you. Were you able to understand what the product was about from the page? My fear is that I got carried away in the design. :)
At best when creating something!
@ikennaobieze I figured that the product was a bit technical in nature, so could not understand what it was about.
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Engineer and Architect
Actually you as a developer made something with a purpose. You do your apps to make someone's (for example yours) life easier. When you move to marketing you become just a step closer to the root - you need to find answers to questions - who are your customers? How your product change they life to the best? How to prove them that your product really solves they problem? Any experienced marketing guy will not answer for these questions instead of you, so this is quite natural transformation from work force into creator. Just look on things this way and marketing appears to be even more interesting than development! Many lack to you on your way!
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i build things
@egoroshko Interesting, thanks you.
Visual Designer / GiphCards founder
I'm a creative and work in branding, it's really tough no matter who you are if you haven't done it before. The hardest part is just doing it. Coding wasn't easy from day one, you took baby steps to get good at it. The huge difference is that if you write code it either works or doesn't, so the rejection you receive is pure and simple science, nothing feels personal. The opposite is true for marketing your product. When people reject what you are presenting it feels personal to you. Most of the time it isn't personal though, it's just your perception. It's the same as code, it either works for someone or it doesn't. Like coding, you simply make some adjustments to get the outcome you are looking for. Eventually, you will get there, it's a matter of doing it over and over and over until you figure it out. Get excited about failing because then you know what isn't working. Cheers
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i build things
@barrysmith Thanks. That makes sense - just do it!
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