How To Get Clients For Startup Software Companies
If you’re looking to generate clients for your start up software company and you’re trying to bootstrap it...Here’s the 10 Step process that works every time...
- Identify a specific niche to target
- Have a content strategy
- Answer Questions On Quora
- Create newsletter / mailing list
- Use Retargeting
- Identify the biggest problem you solve
- Email Marketing
- Build segmented lists of target prospects
- Create an outreach message
- Post In Forum
1. Identify A Specific Niche To Target
The most important thing that you can do when advertising a software company is picking a very specific niche to go after.
It's very true that your product may serve many markets, but the fact is, specificity sells, generality doesn't.
The biggest mistake most startups make is that they target too broadly, and as a result appeal to nobody.
For example, if you offer HR software, you’re far better to specifically target the IT industry and offer HR software for IT Companies rather than simply marketing yourself as HR software.
By choosing a very specific niche to target, this allows you to create content specific and relevant to that Industry, rather than creating more general content that appeals to nobody.
It’s far easier for a bootstrapped startup to dominate a smaller market than it is to go into a larger market and compete with well-funded competitors.
2. Have A Content Strategy
Produce as much content as you possibly can that solves problems that your target market is facing.
By producing regular content, this gives you an evergreen strategy to drive traffic to your website without the continual need of paid advertising.
Every blog post you produce gives you the possibility of SEO rankings within Google which again is an evergreen strategy to drive traffic to your site.
You also need great content to encourage prospects that are not yet ready to buy to return to your site to consume more content in the future.
The reality is most prospects will not buy the first time they come into contact with your product or service, they need repeated exposure to your brand.
If you are continually producing great quality content, this keeps giving those prospects reasons to continually return to your website until they are ready to purchase.
3. Answer Questions On Quora
One of the best ways to drive traffic to your SAAS startup is by answering questions on Quora.
By answering 5 to 10 questions per day, it’s possible to easily drive hundreds of visits per week to your website which may cost thousands of dollars if you were using a paid traffic strategy.
Quora is also a great way to find topics to create content around.
Simply go to Quora and type in questions that would be relevant to a user of your software and see which questions come up.
Then create a blog post that answers that question and respond to the question on Quora with a link to the blog post just created.
This means that the blogpost you just created is 100% relevant to a real-world prospect who is looking for a solution.
There's no question that this strategy involves a lot of effort but it's well worth it seeing as it will drive targeted traffic for years to come.
4. Create Newsletter / Mailing list
As we mentioned before, a prospect may need many exposures to your brand before being comfortable to buy.
A mailing list or newsletter is a great way to catch your prospects' contact details and repeatedly encourage them to return to your website.
This works well in conjunction with the great content strategy, every time you create a blog post you can also repurpose it as newsletter content.
A great way to do this is to commit to creating a weekly blog post and then simply emailing your newsletter subscribers with a link to the new blog post.
Just make sure you're creating a great content that solves problems and not creating blog posts simply for the sake of creating blog posts.
5. Use Retargeting
A newsletter or mailing list in some ways can be considered retargeting as the goal is to encourage the prospect back to the website.
Another great strategy that is a more conventional form of retargeting is where a prospect is cookied when they first visit the website which then allows you to show them banner advertising as they browse around the web.
This is generally very inexpensive and can be highly effective.
All the major platforms such as Facebook and Google offer retargeting specifically within their platform but an easy way to get started is with a third-party aggregator service such as perfect audience.
Simply add the Perfect Audience pixel to your website and then you are able to easily target all major platforms directly through the Perfect Audience interface.
A good retargeting strategy can literally 10x the conversions of people signing up to your SAAS.
6. Identify The Biggest Problem You Solve
The next strategy is to make sure that you’re speaking about problems that your software solves and not the features that your software offers.
One of the biggest mistakes startups make is that they speak about how the problem is solved and not the problem that is actually being solved.
For example an inexperienced startup may make a statement such as “we have advanced email gathering capabilities” which speaks exclusively to how a problem is solved.
A better statement would be “never wonder where your next prospect is coming from ever again”. This speaks more to the problem that the prospect is facing and indicates that you have a solution to that problem.
Speak directly about the problems that you solve and not about how you solve those problems.
Once you’ve identified a niche market to target and you’ve identified the biggest problems that you solve, then it's time for some direct outreach.
The most effective and cost-effective way to do this for a software startup is through cold email.
7. Email Marketing
Email marketing is great because it's effective and is one of the lowest cost routes to market available to a software startup.
Once you’ve identified the niche market that you wish to go after it becomes extremely easy to build a list of highly qualified prospects which you can market to through software such Lead Lantern.
Simply use the search features within the software to create a list of your ideal decision makers and then reach out to them directly within the software.
To maximise the effectiveness of this there are a couple of next steps to be taken which are as follows...
8. Build Segmented Lists Of Target Prospects
What works best with email is very personalised outreach, so creating specific, segmented lists is a great thing to do.
An example of this might be location.
For example, we could create a list for each city and then have the email mention that specific city.
An email might read “we are looking for clients to work with specifically in San Diego” for example.
By creating a list of prospects in each individual city, this will then dramatically increase the response rates over just a generic message that does not include any personalisation.
A great email strategy also allows you to reach 100+ new prospects every single day.
The next thing we are going to need to make email marketing effective is a great outreach message.
9. Create An Outreach Message
10. Post In Forums
The last tip on how to advertise a software company is to post in forums.
This strategy is very similar to the Quora strategy, simply find forums that are relevant to your software and start answering questions that people have.
If you have relevant content on your blog or website then link back to it.
This not only creates value for the forum, it creates value for you and creates a backlink for your website.
When used in conjunction with the other strategies this helps add to the ongoing evergreen traffic generation that will help you get customers into your software business.