How do I effectively market my software development company?
I'm a software developer. I'm very good at it and I love doing it. I've work for a lot of large companies over the years and for the last year and a half have been running my own software development company. I can't complain, I've done very well considering all my work has come via word-of-mouth. I'm staying busy, but I'd like to expand further. Unfortunately I don't really like going to meetups or cold-calling companies. I prefer to sit and write good code. I would love to have someone working with me that can help secure new clients, but I have no idea how to find such a person. Where should I look?
Hello sir, There are many options you can use depending upon type of candidate you want. There are many known sites that conduct aptitude test and help companies to find good candidates.
I'm a type of person who prefers sit and do what I love doing (just like you:)). When it came to marketing, I turned to the guys from http://thecmoclub.com/ company for assistance. They managed to prepare a solid marketing plan for me. It helped me land a great number of new customers.
IT provider looking entering the outsourcing market.
Ask for objective analyst opinions. Advice from industry analysts with experience in the outsourcing industry and managed solutions companies are extremely valuable. It is important to try to schedule meetings with them or attend conferences where they speak to benefit from their experience regarding client experience, vision and even marketing strategy.
Attend industry forums. These are a good method to find out the challenges, success stories and achievements other outsourcing companies dealt with in time. The interactive format supports business prospects to find answers to their specific questions and encourages creating new partnerships.
Leverage the media. Media is extremely powerful and influential for educating potential clients about outsourcing trends and solutions. Contributing to publications that feature customer case studies is a good starting point. Also, quoting industry experts, publishing opinion articles authored by outsourcing company experts or guest blogging are some other techniques that might help in this situation.
Evaluate your partnership strategy. Partners are also extremely important for a new outsourcing company. SMBs are usually attracted to the large outsourcing companies’ expertise. Hence, when targeting this category, a partnership strategy helps a lot the business.
Your effective strategy can depend upon several factors, but here are few basics to get you begin:
1. Define your target market - The U.S. isn't single market, but many. The middle East includes multiple, varied markets. Thus define your best client in these locations. Who would want your software and why?
2. Prioritize your markets- Once you've known your target audiences, decide that of them make the most sense to focus on first.
3. Develop a marketing strategy for reaching your audience - Do you need to pursue a primarily outbound strategy, such as PPC or inbound ways like social media and content marketing?
4. Establish a marketing budget- Spending too several can be as harmful as spending too little. the most effective strategy for your company will depend, in part, on your budget.
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Put an ad on Craigslist. I know it sounds crazy but lots of talented people are on it every day looking for just such a job as you are describing.
Keep up with the word of mouth and think about advertising and some trade shows.
So there are a few different ways you could approach a "go to market" strategy depending on the amount of marketing capital you have available.
Top tier sales / business development guys do not work on commission only simply because their time and relationships are more valuable than you or your product. These guys will want a pretty significant monthly retainer to ensure you are serious and not a fly by night operation. The guys willing to work only on commission will never be dedicated enough to selling strictly your product -- they are looking for the quick and easy dollars.
So if capital is available (say $5000 -$7,500) per month then I would retainer a firm like mine to build your business. If capital is an issue I would consider identifying about 10 marketing agencies you'd like to target, contact the owner/president and offer to work with them on development related issues at a reduced rate (maybe 50% off) in exchange for building you a website and providing you a PPC. After about 3-4 months you should be able positive on the money spent.
An excellent, affordable software developer is always in demand and you just have to sell the vision properly. If you're interested in talking or discussing options farther email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of Luck
PS - I am very experienced in developing markets by bootstrapping
Got good answers; yet try the practical way - trying blogging.
How about hiring some of the wonderful sales and marketing personnel that you have met at the already successful businesses you have worked at? perhaps you could start them on a part-time basis, and work from there? This is the path that we followed.
First off , if you are building your business so far just by word of mouth alone, that is a phenomenal compliment to your ability. Now it seems though you need to add some true business development and sales function and there are a few ways you might explore to yield positive results. We too have been fortunate to run our business from referral primarily but I have an aggressive approach to really ramp up our services now as well and put in place a lot of 'practice what we preach' to our high tech clientele. Once you decide where you sit in terms of how you want to invest into your business that may guide you as to how much you could invest into the strategic side of things with a marketing plan, which may involve a mix of inbound and outbound strategies. The other compliment is finding a person able to literally take your story to the street as a business and opportunity creator in hopes to drum you up more business. The skill set of that person will vary depending on your budget and down right luck in finding the right person for the right cost, at the right timing, that fits well with your vision. We recently brought on our first official business developer , a full commission direct drive consultant from the ad agency world who understood our business and the prospective targets we are going after. We actually met at a Trade show we both attended a few months earlier. He has the know how, drive and energy let alone confidence in how he can convey our value. The positives are you aren't paying a person like this a salary, but the commission due if successful would be a higher piece then you would pay an employee for success. There is a trade off. Now at this stage where it's really just you in the business, paying a full time sales person who is capable at software development project sales could crush you in terms of cost for a salary. The tricky part is finding someone of skill willing to work on pure direct drive even temporarily like our guy or some mix of a modest retainer plus success fee. Our guy signed a 6 month term but he has other businesses he consults for and that's fine by us at this stage because as a small firm, we too are trying to measure how much we can take on board at full capacity so you need to gear up slowly and gage things accordingly. The negative with finding a capable direct drive person like my guy , is that they could also almost break your company if they are too successful too quickly. A good problem to have but I think you can understand what I mean as a small business. You should start a few discussions about looking for a key business developer that can share in the business even at the beginning as a trial test or part time. Give the person a piece of equity after a set trial period perhaps, that is fair based on achievements or find someone almost like a sales rainmaker that can work their network periodically for you. I recently met a team of capable ruby rails programmers that are pure code writers and capable, but they pretty much shun public and social avenues. They brought in a lawyer who loves business development, has a network , and is comfortable being the 'face ' of their firm. I believe he gets a share in the overall business with some equity and a deal based on closed business . You would be surprised how strong some entrepreneurs can perform if they know they are in the game with the owners , even a small stake can produce fire walkers. If budget is an issue look to finding a business developer through circles of influence; a small discussion on a linked in group , here in Mosaic, or put a small career ad in LinkedIn. If budget is available , I could gladly outline a number of ways we would recommend in building a software company with proper marketing and Sales strategy. For starters, build or hire someone to build you a website. Then ramp up content marketing to help promote the site, you and your Business as thought leaders , allocate time daily/weekly or hire someone to help you ramp up a social media campaign with decent content across all social media platforms, in particular LinkedIn. You really need to assess how you get your clients and those discussions will greatly help your plan to expand. In the end , if budget is an issue then finding a business development partner or sales partner may be your only option. If you want to chat more privately I can outline a number of points in greater detail in a phone call or I
could even put you in touch with some developers we know in the same boat as you and how they did it. No matter which way to decide this will require some investment of time and possibly require you to be a bit out of your comfort zone, at least in the beginning. Sell your successes man , what did you build and for whom can carry you and your marketing/ sales strategy to new heights. All the best with it, there are a lot of smart people in this forum and I hope my humble two cents here can add to the many great answers you will receive. I wish you all the best of success and congrats on being an entrepreneur.