Marketing Strategies For Bootstrappers

8 low cost marketing strategies that your start-up can use to land your first customers

3 min read

The single question that I get asked most often by Outseta customers is “How should I go about finding my first customers?” Your first 10 customers are undoubtedly the most difficult to land, and it’s even more challenging if you’re bootstrapping your business.

Here’s my answer to that question!

In the 8 videos below I’ll walk you step-by-step through the marketing strategies that I used to land our early customers at Outseta. All of these are completely replicable strategies and very low cost—the only one that we spent more than $100 on was sponsoring local meetups.

Dig in! If you find this content useful, I’d love it if you shared this post on Twitter.

Email Prospecting Using Gmail & Zapier

In this video I break down my email prospecting strategy. I’ve managed to automate a process that’s getting a 40% response rate when emailing start-up founders and CEOs. One quick (but important) note that I forgot to mention in the video—don’t do this with a hundreds or thousands of leads in a single day. It’s best to keep it to less than 30 or so leads per day, or you run the risk of Google flagging your Gmail account.

Build Brand Affinity By Sponsoring Meetups

This is the one marketing tactic we spent some money on in the first three years of building Outseta—we spent $1500 to sponsor 15 meetups. I’d spend the money again. You can checkout the landing page that I built to support this program here.

Community & Comment Marketing

This is one of the easiest and most effective no-cost marketing strategies that you can employ. Almost no one spends enough time here!

How To Create Content Influencers Share

The important point here is never write content only for the sake of getting an influencer to share it—it needs to be highly relevant to your audience and a topic that strikes a chord with someone that has an audience far larger than your own. Done well, you can borrow that person’s audience while you build your own.

A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words—Using Illustrations For Positioning

Chances are you’ve seen this illustration before if you’ve been on our website. It cost us only $90 to create, we’ve repurposed it many times, and nothing has helped our customers “get it” more effectively when it comes to understanding our product.

Integration Partners As A Customer Acquisition Channel

This video will show you how we’ve turned partnerships with Stripe and Webflow into two of our top three performing customer acquisition channels.

Getting Your Content On The Front Page of Hacker News

There are few strategies that I know of that can result in a bigger influx of traffic and sign-ups than getting your content on the front page of Hacker News. Here’s what’s worked for me.

How To Use Storytelling & Your Origin Story To Drive Demand

Your origin story is one of the only marketing tactics that’s truly unique to you and can’t be replicated by your competitors. If you tell it well, it should drive sign-ups.

I hope that the material found in these videos is helpful to you and there’s at least a tactic or two in here that you can borrow as you plan our your start-up’s initial customer acquisition strategies.

Want more content like this? I launched a video course detailing exactly how we landed our first 500 customers. Each of these strategies and more are covered in greater depth including over 2 hours of video tutorials.

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