So, how do you sell it?
You think of a new product, and after writing its specification, designing the framework, identifying all elements, coding the online APIs, the Apps, PC software, MAC software, dedicated Server, with months of exhaustive testing, … while being a sole developer you have isolated yourself from normal social contact for what seems an eternity, and now you ask “how do you sell it?”
Hey, maybe businesses will just rush in and want to buy it. Yeah, right!
I have browsed the internet looking for the answer to this great question and found many suggestions.
Create a really impressive web site. But how will people find it? Why would they even know where to look for it? You can optimize the content for SEO (search engine optimization). Improve the user experience. Make it load faster. Get more backlinks from other web sites.
Yeah, but how to get them to the web site in the first place?
Maybe, get an independent software review done. But I don’t want to spend any more money until I make some sales. Now it gets hard. You can do the “free listing” offered by many review sites. This puts you in the same category as another 100000 products, only related to you by the category selections available. Now you get that free listing, but you are buried near the bottom of any list or page that you are privileged enough to appear on.
How do you feel about doing a little email Spamming? First, you have to harvest the email addresses by browsing the internet visiting numerous web sites of businesses that you think may need or want to buy your product. Not easy these days as most business web sites no longer openly display their contact email addresses. I wonder why? You could also buy email addresses from various services, but wait, that will cost you money again and half of them aren’t even relevant.
There is always Door to Door. Get out and walk around visiting the business premises of potential clients. It’s harder than it sounds. If you walk down a street of an industrial area you feel has good prospects, every second door is either locked (out of business), not interested, or they already have a similar product working for them. Not a total loss then. At least you can ask them where they got their current product from, how they heard about it, and what motivated them to buy.
After a little sun stroke you could choose to go back to your office and make some phone lists of appropriate businesses, call them to try to get a meeting to show/demonstrate and install the product so they can try it for themselves. Good if the product has a several thousand dollar price tag. When the product is low cost specifically for small business, this in itself is a time costly activity.
You could participate in online technical forums and various social platforms offering yourself as a source of both general and specific information relating to the industries and applications of your product, without looking like you are trying to sell something.
You could offer you product as a limited trial, demonstration or even “FREE outright” to early adopters who want to help soak test the new product and have input to its early evolution.
Oh yeah, don’t forget this one. If you’re audacious enough, start your own Blog. Maybe you will get people interested to come and read it, again and again. Hopefully they will want to share it with their friends, work colleagues and business associates.
Anyway, I will let you all know how it goes.