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🧠 Finding your home run marketing channel

How literally anyone can find their first 100 customers 100% free

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The Breakdown

Finding your home run marketing channel

What does every unicorn, startup and indie project have in common?

Once upon a time, they all had zero customers.

They all had an idea and immediately thought “ok where do I find people to buy this thing…”.

Often founders find that one channel will drive 90%+ of growth in the early stages.

This week’s breakdown is about how to identify that channel for yourself.

Let’s get into it…

Step 1: Try everything…

In the early days, you have to get crazy about marketing…

Im Crazy The Goldbergs GIF by ABC Network

Gif by abcnetwork on Giphy

You have to be prepared for some hand-to-hand combat and open to finding traction literally anywhere you can.

It’s pretty much “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks”.

But with one key difference…

Optimise your time on strategies that deliver instant results (if done right).

What I mean is focusing on strategies that don’t rely on brand recognition, hundreds of backlinks or a huge social following.

Those things have their place, but they take time…

It’s much easier to start with strategies that can deliver instant traffic, no matter who you are or what you're selling.

This means:

  • Posting & commenting on Reddit (like this)

  • Blogging on IndieHackers & HackerNews (and hitting the front page)

  • Answering questions on Quora

  • Engaging in relevant Facebook groups

  • Finding niche Discord communities

  • etc…

Every day people are going viral on these platforms 100% free and finding their first customers.

Like Jason. He’s now grown his niche writing startup to over 100k users.

But when I sat down with him I heard how his first 6 customers actually came from a niche Facebook group.

He found his first customers (and his co-founder!) through a niche online trading community.

The internet really is teeming with opportunities for founders these days, and I’m sure there’s room for you too.

Step 2: Double down on what works

As I said in the intro, it’s common that one or two of these channels will drive 90%+ of new customer growth in the early stages.

The rest will bring you absolutely nothing.

There are a lot of reasons a marketing channel might not work for you/your product.

For one, if you have a niche product, sometimes it’s just difficult to find your audience organically.

Or maybe you’ve not spent much time on platforms like Reddit and others and so aren’t aware of the culture and what works/doesn’t work.

Just because one channel works for one founder/product, doesn’t mean it will work for everyone.

And that’s totally fine.

So adopt a mindset of failing fast and doubling down on those that do bring meaningful results.

Step 3: It’s ok to exit this phase

What works in the early days might dry up, in fact, it almost always does.

And that’s ok.

This guerilla marketing approach works really well for a short period, but it’s the least scalable thing you will ever do.

You’ll know when it’s time to move on.

You’ll be making enough money to start automating some of your marketing with paid ads or promotions.

Or you’ll be burnt out and can’t face another day scrolling the internet looking for ways to sell…

Either way, you’ll know it’s time to try something else.

Reply to this email, tell me a bit about your startup, and I can help you figure out what channels might work for you!

- Charlie

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