Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Zack Shapiro, college entrepreneur from Boulder Colorado, author of The Startup Student
Relevant to: Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, Facebook Marketing Hopefuls, Digital Product Creators
Read Time: 3 minutes.
Last week, I listened to an interview with Andrew Hyde about how he got the community around him to support the early meetings of Ignite Boulder (now the largest set of Ignite presentations in the world) and Startup Weekend (now worldwide).
Hyde’s advice was simple: tell your friends that you’re trying something new and ask if they’d help you out. People generally will.
So you’ve got this new product. You’ve got no users and the uphill traction grab is about to begin. It’s a big world out there. Traction is a scary thing. Where do you even begin to find users?
All of those friends that Hyde was talking about can be reached through one message on one website. Asking people to help you out and give your new product a try is just one short message away.
Why does this work? Because those people on Facebook already trust you. There’s no target audience to build. No reaching out to other people in your niche, trying to gain recognition. Your friends will support you. They’re your friends, after all.
There’s nothing wrong with a message that says “Hey guys, I’ve got a new ebook out and I’d love for you to give it a read. I’m posting it to Facebook first because I want the opinions of those who I know and respect first and foremost.” Tell people what you’re doing. They’ll respond.
You don’t want to come off as spammy and that can be hard to do. Run your message by a few smart people. See if they’re receptive or see if they’d disregard it. Don’t be ashamed to copy edit a Facebook status message.
Have a friend tell a friend
I’m a big believer in personal networks. I love the idea that if you get one person to talk about your product, suddenly that message has broken out of your bubble and invaded theirs.
Say Robert goes on Twitter and tweets to his followers about this blog post. That tweet goes out to his (as of this writing) 426 followers. I see the tweet in my feed and I’m going to link to it. I retweet Robert’s message to my 880 followers. We just went from 426 pairs of eyes to 1306. Don’t tell me that’s not powerful.
Get on Facebook. Tell your friends, old and new, that you’ve got a new website, a new app, a new project, a new interest and you’d love for them to give it their attention. Tell them that if they like it, they should tell their friends. Because there’s nothing more powerful than a trusted recommendation.
Before long you’ll have taken a few steps towards traction. In the beginning, any user is progress.
Zack Shapiro is an entrepreneur in Boulder, Colorado and a student at the University of Colorado. He blogs about his entrepreneurial adventures and learning experiences on his website, The Startup Student.