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How do you advertise your indie product without being an "Influencer"?

I kind of feel out of options on ways to advertise my product. I have seen many indie makers, who are in some way influencers, and they use their popularity to advertise their products. Some people "make in public" to gain that popularity. But what if I don't want to do that. How do I acquire new customers? (other than paid advertising).
Do I mail random people? Do I dm them? Tweet day and night? Start blogging? Start writing popular posts on Indiehacker?

Do I post it on producthunt, and hope it hits. What if it doesn't? What if it does but only lasts for a couple of days?

Is there no other way?

  1. 2

    Why do you need to be an influencer to advertise your product!?

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      Fallen in the hype of indie influencers. I saw many guys telling and tweeting this in twitter.

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      I mean, even if not a proper influencer, I have seen people with lots of Twitter (or any social media in general) followers do great when it comes to advertising their product. They spend the whole year trying to gain that popularity, and when they get it, it's easy for them to advertise or at least spread the word around.

      I know a person who is going to launch a product later this year but has spent all this year writing tweets and commenting on product hunt. Now he has a sizeable following and more than 1k points on ph.

      So is this the only way to go around trying to sell your product (especially if it's b2c)

      1. 1

        So does it means you want to grow # of customers but refuse to build your audience elsewhere?

        e.g. you’re expecting 10 followers on your social media, 1000 customers on your product?

        Not saying it’s impossible and it’s definitely not a must to grow your online presence.

        If you’re not writing content, not contributing in a community. What are some examples of marketing effort that you’d do?

        How to get people know your product and what makes people should trust you?

        1. 0

          Yes, you get it,
          That's exactly my question. Am I required to create a "community" of people?
          Am I required to post "motivational" tweets on Twitter? Am I required to talk about my failures on indie hacker? Am I required to ask random questions to makers on product hunt to improve my points?

          Is that the only way to do it?

          1. 1

            You definitely don’t need permission and any pre-requisition to deliver these ^.

            If your prospecting customers are not replying your message or your content isn’t getting any attention from the community. The problem might not be on your customers or the community.

            1. 0

              That's not the case, my question is about the method. Not necessarily about how I do it. (I rely mostly on ads which gives me 6 figures leads).

              All I wanted to ask is -
              Is creating a community and dming prospects the only way to advertise your product?

  2. 1

    What you need is not an influencer, just talk to prospects. I had just less than 300 followers. We are building a reputation management platform and already got 5 customers for our beta.

    1. 1

      DMing and Emailing prospects, just annoy them.

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        I mean not to spam, If you prospects are hanging in digital and social channels, be part of communities and actively participate in discussions. You can find lot of prospects there. Now If you want some money to raise without VC, launch a Life time deal in app sumo. Get in touch with Admins of secret LTD group to promote. You will get some users to give feedback for your product. Then you can create a affiliate program or referral program for them to scale your sales.
        As our product has two main sales channels (One is local hyper stores, and Digital channel) We got our customers from local business.

  3. 1

    There are marketplaces, and search engines that people use to find products.

    • AppSumo Marketplace
    • Gumroad Discover
    • Google
    • Google Workplace Add-ons
    • Google Sheet Add-ons
    • Shopify App Store
    • Mac App Store
    • Chrome Web Store
  4. 1

    In this situation, I'd recommend finding the social network where your key audience hangs out, and become a helpful presence (no sales allowed).

    Also, if you have direct contact with anyone in your target audience, send them a free version to use so they can give you feedback and potentially become part of your "street team."

    1. 1

      I have tried finding a social network where my audience hangs out, but the problem is that most of them are there to hang out not to be sold products.
      DMing them a (free) product feels almost like "door to door marketing" And most people are annoyed.

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    1. 1

      Thanks for the book recommendations.
      In my experience, DMing or Mailing people had just annoyed them, even though they would have definitely liked it (yes the product was free).

      "I also had a Facebook group where I posted useful products and information. It worked really well for me and over time the content on my website started to do well in organic search"

      But this is what I am referring to as being an influencer (at least a mini influencer).
      Is there no other way to gain traction organically without doing this?

      1. 3

        I think a lot of indie hackers rely on the influencer strategy because it's "cheap". Once you have revenue you can consider hiring a professional marketer, doing ads, etc. But before then you basically only have stuff you can do yourself. In my case, that was being an "influencer" in that I was active and engaged in communities where my users were. And light SEO on all my content so I built up organic search, but that takes time.

        I think my fav resource for DIYing is @stephsmith 's Doing Content Right. Great stuff about building an audience and SEO.

        1. 2

          Thanks, thats was the answer I was looking for.

        2. 2

          Thank you, Melissa! 🙌

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