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#16 Weekly Dan — Five lessons learned
I wish someone had shown me this issue 3 years ago
This is the #16 Issue of Weekly Dan.
Ready to become a better Maker?
Every Tuesday, I deconstruct one framework for Indie Entrepreneurs.
But this time, let’s do something different.
I want to share my reflections from the Indie Entrepreneurship journey.
Here are 5 pieces of advice I wished to hear 3 years ago.
Marketing is part of the product
There are tons of memes about “doing marketing vs. building features”. I love them, but they accidentally create a false narrative.
Founders view marketing and product as separate areas. One week I build features, and the other week I promote them. I can be an average marketer and succeed if I am great at product development.
I thought so too. My first startup failed because of this dualism.
But now I’ve realized that marketing is part of product development.
You can’t build a successful product with poor marketing.
Only with excellent marketing can you:
Validate the idea on the statistically significant target audience. If five people love your product, it’s not a Product-Market Fit. You need marketing to prove the value of the product.
Create a consistent cash flow for your product. If your product requires you 24/7, it’s not successful. Finding the right acquisition channels and optimizing your marketing funnel is the only way to make your product better at generating money.
Doing marketing means working on the product. You can’t delegate or postpone it.
The less you chase, the more you get
Cheesy quotes are my guilty pleasure.
Easy now = hard later.
Hard now = easy later.
First-time founders are obsessed with growth hacking and marketing shortcuts. Watch me hit $10K MRR in 3 weeks.
But marketing doesn’t work this way.
The audience building is freaking hard. But the ROI is outstanding.
Spamming people with your Product Hunt link is easy. But nobody cares about you the next day.
Inbound marketing means losing short-term opportunities. For example, I could send you a discount for MakerBox products instead of writing this essay.
I would get cash but lose your interest.
The less I chase money and audience, the more I focus on creating long-term value and building lasting relationships. The more I do it, the more money I will earn.
Great planning can save you months
Indie Entrepreneurship has a unique weakness.
If you don’t have a team, you don’t need to present your plans to colleagues. Therefore, you don’t get honest feedback on your ideas and are free to do whatever you want. #RatRaceEscaped
But here is the deal.
You should be your biggest challenger.
Every marketing idea, product feature, and pivot hypothesis should be examined before implementing it. Otherwise, you will just waste time and money without moving the needle.
Answer these 4 questions when you have a new idea:
What are you trying to achieve?
How is it different from current solutions?
How will you distribute it?
What can go wrong?
Planning changed the way I work.
I overcame shiny-object syndrome, stopped worrying about failure, and became more tolerant of changing environments.
And it only cost me 30 minutes per idea.
Failure is part of the journey
I can’t count how many times I thought everything would go “easy peasy lemon squeezy”, but it was “difficult difficult lemon difficult”.
At first, I was frustrated a lot: “I don’t want to have a revenue decline this month, don’t do this to me, Universe”.
But after hundreds of failures, I understood that you only need to be right once.
And all mistakes lead to this.
But only if you make the right conclusions.
Every idea you have can either lead to success or a valuable lesson. Either way, it’s a win for you. Staying in the game > chasing wins.
95% of Entrepreneurship is about making the right mistakes. So you need to find a way to enjoy it.
There are no rules
I never liked science because there are too many rules here. You can’t do this; we have a theory about it. You can’t do that because it’s not a standard practice in our organization.
The best part of Entrepreneurship? There are no rules.
You can literally ignore everything I said in this issue and succeed. And everyone (including me) will congratulate you.
Your marketing can be anything that you like.
If you hate cold outreach, don’t do it
If you enjoy creating content, go for it
If you hate pop-ups (as a smart person), don’t add it
Create your game with your rules. This way, you will have an unfair advantage.
What do you think about this format? Should I stick to it or come back to marketing frameworks?
I would love to hear your thoughts. Hit me with a reply.
And see you on Friday with the usual 5 golden nuggets for Indie Makers.
Absolutely not a CTA 🙃
1) Learn more marketing frameworks with MakerBox Framework.
Only for Founders who care about marketing.
2) Let me roast your landing page.
It will be painful. You will get more paying customers from it.