It all started with the urge to my mama’s business grow. I reached to a mentor to update him about my next plan and it went something like this…
Me: I am looking to increase the sales of this product loved by everyone who has come across it and my strategy is to use Facebook ads and YouTube ads.
Reply: don’t be fixated on channels, fixation won’t help you. You might think one channel is best, but another might give you what you require. Get the book “Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth”.
And my friend that reply changed everything about my approach to business growth and generating traction for business.
In this article, I bring to you the first set of a lesson I learned from reading the book. And that is the 19 traction channels available to you. Yes, a whopping 19. My advice to you as well as that don’t be fixated, experimenting doesn’t hurt, and it doesn’t have to cost much. Try out all you consider worthy for your product and within the threshold of acceptable lose.
My focus will be on 3 of those channels that are low cost
Unbounce a startup in the business building landing pages was used an as an example here and founder has this to say:
“We had not started blogging at the beginning the way we did, Unbounce would not be here today. … Our content still drives customers. Something we wrote in January 2010 still drives customers today.
Have you heard the saying “the internet never forgets”? That is true in all ramifications, it never forgets. That is why the content of 2010 can still be alive to generate new customers about 6 years later.
Content marketing is about creating blog posts that give your business a hedge, a hedge that aims to convert the reader of such content to a new customer. Its advantage over the use of ads, for example, is that ads can only work for as long as you keep paying for it to run. Content lives forever wherever you posted it. Contents, intentionally written can be a catalyst for business growth through customer acquisition.
This while it may have always existed, the internet democratizes access to it removes geographical and cost barrier that may have rendered it unviable. Stack Exchange is a potent example of reference here. Stack Exchange is an online community where people share their technical challenges and other people offers a solution to the said challenges.
People want to feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. You need to have a mission if you want to build an awesome community. A powerful mission gives your community a shared sense of purpose and motivates them to contribute.”
This was how the team at Stack Exchange built the awesome community that a lot of techies rely on now.
But you need to ask yourself first if your business requires a community to thrive, and how best you can state your mission to be to attract motivated individuals who will be part of your mission.
“speaking is funny. You know to me, it’s the old-school concept that teaching sells. . . . Teaching is what content marketing is all about: webinars, blog posts, and the like. I look at [these] things as the future of good marketing. The opportunity to teach and be in front of a room for forty-five minutes introducing your company and your story to potential customers is time well spent.” – Dan Martell, Founder of Clarity
I share his sentiment, think about Apple launch events, the representatives of the company tell a story of the new product that is about to be released and the whole room is expected to buy into it. The way that story is told always matters.
Now, you may not that kind of Apple opportunity but if your product is great that you exist in the limelight, chances are you will be invited to give talks at someplace sometime. Take it up and use it as an opportunity to sell your story to your audience and those that will hear it later.
Do not waist any growth opportunity that presents itself to you.
All who start-up business do so with the expectation that they will reach profitability and grow their product or service acceptance among customers. The “how” is what is usually not clear. It is in search of the “how” that also led me to the book Traction. Above I highlighted 3 channels that almost anyone can afford but which only requires work. I hope you find them instructive and get to work just as much as I am going to my drawing board now.
Below is the list of the 19 channels
- Targeting blogs.
- Public Relations (PR)
- Unconventional PR.
- Social and display ads.
- Offline ads.
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Content marketing
- Viral Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Engineering as Marketing
- Business Development
- Affiliate Programs
- Existing Platforms
- Trade Shows
- Offline Events
- Speaking Engagements
- Community Building
And here is the link that gives you more insight into each of the channels