The right questions that help you with marketing
Let’s talk about one of the most important topics when running an online business: distribution channels.
In 2021 I launched my first product ever on Product Hunt, with no distribution channels in place, apart from family and friends (which is not a distribution channel 😅).
The results? 70 upvotes.
Look at the first page of PH to see how many upvotes you need to rank high (spoiler alert: 500+).
That’s exactly when I realized I needed to work on distribution channels💡
But what is a distribution channel?
In a few words, it’s where your potential clients get exposed to your product offering.
For instance: presence on social media, newsletters, content marketing for SEO, viral posts, YouTube videos, advertising, podcasts, and communities.
Not having any of them before launching your product means that almost nobody will see your product. Which also means, no customers, no money, and a cold start for your business.
You can have the best product in the market, but if no one knows about it, well, you know what happens… nothing 😢
How do you choose the right distribution channel?
Ask yourself: who are the potential customers of my product (or future product)? If you cannot reply to this question, I’ll be honest with you, you have a positioning issue, and you’ll have trouble getting customers.
The following questions are: what are their interests? Which jobs do they need to get done? And finally, where are they?
These questions will guide your understanding of the type of content you’ll need to produce, the outcomes you need to communicate, and finally where to show up.
Let me give you a simple example.
In 2021 I decided to start my profile on Twitter (now X). It was a very random choice, as I was at the beginning of my journey and I had to learn a lot of stuff…
I started posting web development content daily. While using Twitter, I noticed some issues with the platform and decided to solve them. I created a product for DM automation, and 6 months later a productivity inbox for Twitter DMs.
By accident (I was lucky) my distribution channel (Twitter) was the exact place where my potential customers were (people trying to leverage Twitter for business purposes).
Through the next year, just posting daily content on the platform (I switched to “build in public” content in the meantime) gave visibility to my products that were just linked in my bio. And the MRR steadily grew without doing much marketing on other channels.
Potential customers: English teachers
Distribution channels: build a reputation in an online community of teachers, start a newsletter about teaching a foreign language
Potential customers: Software engineers
Distribution channels: start a YouTube channel with video tutorials about coding
Potential customers: Startup founders
Distribution channels: start a podcast about launching startups, and interview startup founders.
You’ll obtain several benefits, including:
if you talk to the people that you reach out to via the distribution channel, you can discover their pain points and improve your product by solving them
when you launch your product, you’ll have an audience composed of people interested in your solution — because you solve the problems that they face
What are your distribution channels?
I hope you enjoyed this issue, if you have questions or suggestions, please reach out to me on X (remember to follow me before writing a DM, otherwise X hides your message).
Whenever you are ready, there are a couple of ways I can help you:
You can launch your product in days, rather than weeks, by using Shipped, the Next.js Startup Kit. You’ll get all the pages, and components to launch your product + landing page, waitlist, pre-sales, affiliates, authentication, payments, email flows, SEO, and designs.
Reduce your customer support overload and collect leads on your landing page on auto-pilot using Userdesk — the AI Assistants platform designed for businesses.
See you next week!