I have a product, I build as a side project. Now I need to find someone who would use it, best if it is a paying user.
What do I do next to find these people? I have no sales or marketing experience. Just an engineer who likes to build things.
Is it hardware or software? Is it B2C or C2C? I am an engineer too, but you have got to do some marketing and sales and it is not extremely difficult. Lean Startups may not be a bad book to read.
There are a few different strategies you can try to find paying users for your product:
Networking: Reach out to people in your personal and professional networks and ask if they or anyone they know would be interested in using your product.
Online communities: Join online communities related to your product's industry or niche and share information about your product with the members.
Content marketing: Create valuable and informative content (such as blog posts, videos, or infographics) about your product and the problems it solves, and share it on social media and other platforms to attract potential customers.
Paid advertising: Consider using paid advertising to promote your product on platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or Twitter Ads.
Consider reaching out to investors or startup incubator or accelerator programs that could help you with your marketing and sales strategy.
It's important to remember that finding paying customers will likely be a process that takes time and effort, so don't get discouraged if you don't see results right away.
What does your ideal customer look like? Draft a persona and ask yourself, if I were that person, where would I be and how would I like to be approached?
Happy to help more if you need it!
It's not a foolproof strategy, because commission deals aren't favoured by any reputable business sector, but I have seen some entrepreneurs find success by hiring commission sales agents via Discord or LinkedIn to push a product. This should also work with an MVP - you just need to be aware that it could take several reposts on a job to find anybody genuine who'll be able to source clients for you, and even then you'll probably have to lose at least 15% of the sale price, and sometimes as much as 30% or more.
Hey, a couple of paths that have worked for me.
- Invite your friends to try it out. Check in with them weekly. Ask questions like "what would be needed for you to pay for it?" Emphasize that you are not trying to charge them.
- Hire a marketing specialist from upwork to get ~20 beta users. Could cost as low as $200.