Entrepreneurship for Developers For Developers

Marketing Isn’t Evil, It’s Your Best Ally

This is a post in my series titled Entrepreneurship for Developers. (Get it delivered via email here).

Too many of you awesome developers think all marketing is evil and all marketers are sleazy. As such, you stay as far away from it as you possibly can.

That’s a huge mistake. And here’s why I believe that:

If truly believe you do great work that can change people’s lives for the better, then you have an obligation to share that with the world in the biggest, broadest way possible that is most authentically you. 

If you believe so strongly in your software that it can help people — even at the basic of levels — then as a human being, I believe you have a responsibility to share your gifts and talents with those who need it most.

Marketing is simply telling others about what your product can do for them that will help make their lives one notch better.

If you can’t get over that, then you might be destined to irrelevancy, being overlooked and being beaten by people who have crappy software but actually tell people about it.

I fully agree that marketing shouldn’t be sleazy, or dishonest or deceptive. All marketing should be honest, straightforward and educational. 

But you have to tell people about your work. You have to communicate how and why it can change people’s lives to enough people who will come see what you have to offer and then some of whom will purchase and support your business so you can keep iterating and making the software that keeps making their lives better and better.

Here are some concepts and thoughts you need to research and learn more about and put into practice in your business (and maybe I’ll dive into those in future blog posts):

  • Unique Value Proposition — narrowing in on who needs your product and why they should buy it. We’re working on this for all of our products right now.
  • Email Marketing — as of this writing, it is still the single biggest thing beyond product development we did to grow our business. Many of my business friends and competition choose not to use this tool because of its attachment to the aforementioned shady marketing but only to their own detriment. (Start learning with The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing: Grow Your List, Break the Rules, and Win by DJ Waldow.)
  • Showing Benefits over Features — instead of writing out your spec sheet of all features (which should maybe go in your codex or history file), focus on the user, the customer and share how your product/service is going to make their life better. Be about them first and foremost, not you. Your product is simply solving a problem or helping them get somewhere they want to go. They care more about themselves than you!
  • Education is the key to good selling —Teach and train your customers and they’ll love you forever.

Here are some marketing books from my Ultimate Reading List to look into:

 But consider rethinking your bias against marketing. If you want to have customers who buy and benefit from your products and services, you’re going to need to identify, reach and tell them about why they should choose you. 

So my challenge is: Use marketing. Use it well. Be an example for others.

If you do, the world — you and your cusotmers — will be an even better place for it.


This is a post in my series titled Entrepreneurship for Developers. (Get it delivered via email here).

One reply on “Marketing Isn’t Evil, It’s Your Best Ally”

Thanks for the info and resources.
I’m trying super hard to keep and open mind because I understand, as you say “If you can’t get over that, then you might be destined to irrelevancy”

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