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How Do You Drive Attention and Traffic?

kaelscion profile image kaelscion ・1 min read

I was looking back through my comments on several threads and found that, above all else, I complain about exposure. Like a lot. Seeing as I find this annoying about me, I have decided simply to come out and ask the community so that I can stop vaguely dancing around it in comments to other people's stuff.

So, how is it that you more experienced folks get attention to your products/services? I will admit 100% that I am not business savvy in any way, shape, or form. But I would like to be. Being an entrepreneur has always interested me but I find I am much better and making things that selling them. I think most developers have this problem. So how do you guys either get traffic to or generate hype about, your software projects or businesses? Whether you build websites, apps, management software, dev tools, whatever. What is it that has worked for you in the past to generate traffic and hype, and what hasn't worked?

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kaelscion profile

kaelscion

@kaelscion

I'm Jake Cahill. Lifetime Pythonista, web scraping and automation expert. Enjoy books. Love my wife, dog, and cat, and think AI and Julia are pretty nifty

Discussion

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It’s often better early on to have 25 super fans vs 250 sort of fans.

It’s hard to get 25 super fans. It’s hard enough to get your friends and family to check out what you’ve built.

IMO recognizing this difficulty is the biggest part. Have humility and don’t take early results too badly. If you keep at it and observe folks’ reactions you’ll notice opportunities and capitalize on them.

Give more than you take. Generous people tend to get rewarded in this arena.

 

What helps me is to flip the traditional script. The question isn't: "How do I get more attention?" The question is:

"How can I help more people?"

Think about who you aim to serve, where they are, what problems they have, and how you can solve them.

You ask how can you drive attention to a web scraping service. My question would be, how does that web scraping service help them?

And if what you build doesn't provide value to others, all the growth hacks in the world aren't going to help you.

 

Getting attention for your products, services, content, etc is a tricky one, but I think the main thing is make sure people know what you're selling. You'd be SHOCKED to find out how many customers are lost simply because they don't know what they'll gain by buying your product.

I am reading the book Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller, and it's been fascinating to me. He compares your marketing copy to telling a story where your customer is the hero and you're the guide. I won't give too much away, but I really think if a customer goes to your website and is confused about what you do, that's something that can be cleared up right away to improve sales.

 

My friend Kelly Miller (haha I didn't even realize they had the same last name) just launched her ebook about this too on product hunt if you want to check it out :).

producthunt.com/posts/get-attentio...

 

Thats quite clever. Pretty much make your customer feel they are righting a wrong in the world by purchasing what you're selling? I never thought of it that way. Certainly enlightening though!

 

So I wanna rephrase that. My target audience isn't one I want to convince that they need my product. I want them to be already interested but they need to know why it will help them be the hero. :)

So wait, what I am hearing is, that in order to write good advertising copy, I must channel my inner Gandalf? 😱 WHY HAS NOBODY EXPLAINED THIS TO ME BEFORE?!?

 

So the first question that I had reading your query was "What is his product?". Considering that there are no universal solutions. It would be good to give a description of your product. Maybe someone will give you a concrete advice.

 

Well, at this point, I build websites and apps. My real strength was building web scrapers and web automation tools for awhile. But with GDPR in Europe and the Facebook scandals about collecting people's data without them knowing, I have really shied away from that. Even then, I didn't get much interest in those. The few people that reached out to me seemed to think they were a great idea, but ultimately didn't really care to implement them. I should also say that I used to build scrapers primarily for lead gen purposes for marketing folks. I would love to build data aggregation tools and web scrapers, but if I cannot even drive people to want me to build a simple website for them, how could I possibly get folks interesting in more specialized things?

So, I guess the general purpose of driving traffic to a website or social media pages would be huge. Then, more specifically, how would you get people to take an interest in a web automation/data aggregation/data manipulation service? Imposter syndrome is HUGE with me so I've never really built an actual PRODUCT I can sell. Although I am currently building an open source web filter countermeasure framework to help your bots not get blocked, its nowhere near finished yet, but thats the closest I've come.

 

You have data skills. I'm blind as a bat here. So I don't know where to look or point in that area.

But there maybe a different approach...

The most treasured thing lies in a cave that we are afraid to go into.

Tell me, do you have an ambitious project in your head that you are afraid to tackle?

By the way, programming for me was in general very intimidating.

yes, I do. Very ambitious but very afraid to tackle at this point. Programming isn't intimidating at all to me really. I'm not really questioning my ability to learn. I've always been pretty confident in that area.

I think where this comes from for me is two things. The first thing is that I've been in business for myself for about three years now. At first, I did break/fix work on computers, leveraging a background in IT Support. That led to Network Administration, which I also had a background in. But I've always been a code monkey and have been writing software of one kind or another since I was a kid. I've taught people to program, and have done a lot of back-end work in my career doing other things, as well as building bots on sites like Freelancer etc.

Herein lies my problem though: Throughout my self-employed career, I've always struggled to find people who give a crap. I find that whether its been building gaming PCs, complex networks, or bots and complex data analysis software for folks, any website I've built for my personal business gets between 5-12 visits/month with very few leads. The leads I do get wonder how they ever lived without me and come back to me exclusively for years. I have the knowledge and skillset of a mid-level developer at the very least and have proven experience performing those kinds of tasks. But, I can't really prove any of it except by the tutorials and such I post here.

So, in my brain, I start to think "Your self-taught with no portfolio and all you have is your word to back you up. Are you really even as good as you think you are? Nobody else seems to think anything you create is all that impressive. So why are you so sure it is?" As you can imagine, that takes the wind out of my sails big time and prevents me from having the confidence to really push something I've made or a skillset I can provide. So, I suppose it comes down to confidence and thinking that I've tried things from SEO Courses to Google Ads and Facebook Ads, even hiring Google Partnered Adwords folks and spent ridiculous amounts of money to get not much return. At this point, it's just tough to come to any other conclusion other than that I just don't really build anything people care about.

But then I see people making money on a color theme for VSCode or browser extension that doesn't even work correctly and it just ticks me off. At least the things I build work as intended, but still, nobody seems to notice or care. Which prompted this post. I am really just curious about what the heck it is that makes people pay money for something either A) Useless or B) Totally does not work at all, but I cannot seem to give my stuff away.

So far though, I've really enjoyed the diverse responses as it gives me a lot to think about. Plus, I am positive I'm not the only developer that faces serious imposter syndrome and has a hard time being a salesman when they are an introverted engineer both by trade and at heart!

 

Just found this:

join.megamaker.co/

Could help I don't know. But I think it's worth looking into.

 

Minute 6-8 Some interesting conversation about marketing.

 

Maybe a book like this tractionbook.com/ would help.