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How do you as a developer deal with sales & marketing?

I'm a developer myself, currently working on a project. Realized that people who can build and sell are amazing!

Being a developer requires high focus & tenacity in order to build a great product while sales & marketing require creativity.

So how do you handle sales & marketing along with building your product? And how did your building skills help with marketing, Indie Hackers?

We'd love to learn from you!

  1. 8

    As a Solo Founder, while I was building I did customer meetings all on one day of the week. So 80% product dev, 20% customer dev / validation.

    After launch, it flips. 80% customer dev, 20% product dev.

    As far as skills and becoming good at sales and marketing, read the blog posts, listen to the podcasts, and practice on real people. You'll be bad at it until you're not.

    The best metaphor I've heard: Sales is like golf. Just step up to the ball and take a swing. The more you do, the better you get.

    1. 1

      Great perspective @agarithm !

      Are there any blogs, you could share which were helpful to you on that context?

        1. 1

          Wow, thanks for the links @agarithm :)

  2. 5

    Marketing Tip 1: Hang out where your audience / potential customers are and talk about your product. And be helpful even if they don't buy from you.

    Marketing Tip 2: Content marketing. Write helpful content that is relevant to your product.

    I wrote about my process of creating a digital product from start to finish here which included how I went about marketing: https://entrepreneurshandbook.co/how-to-create-a-digital-product-from-start-to-finish-1d81a9e86078

    1. 1

      Thanks for sharing the blog, @eisabai

  3. 3

    I actually enjoy doing both development and sales/marketing. You can find a ton of content online (free and paid) that teaches techfounders/developers how to deal with sales/marketing with different approaches, techniques and tools.

    What has turned out to be most important for me is the strict separation of the two activities. As you mentioned, you need completely different mindsets or whatever you want to call it. That's why you shouldn't mix the two and rather try to focus on one of them for as long as possible at a time. What works well for me, for example, is to use the whole morning for development and to concentrate on sales in the afternoon. That way I can remain in the same mental state or mindset without the need to switch, which would cause me to be less productive.

    1. 2

      It's really interesting how you split time between sales & development in a single day. So for the marketing part for what you're building, you have to switch between different platforms in the afternoon slot as well?

      1. 2

        Yes, but I try not to jump back and forth all the time, but to concentrate on one platform as long as possible, as far as that is possible.

        1. 2

          Thanks for sharing :)

    2. 1

      Ha, @nklsw, I wrote pretty much the same thing - context switching is hard, but there's also a real difference between alertness in the morning vs later!

  4. 2

    Completely understand your pain. I am in the same boat but I have figure out why as the developer we are not good in sales, is just because we have not learned it or practice it enough same as a new programming language/framework.

    When we need to sell that product at that time we start learning the sales and marketing technique and find it too hard to crack it. It's the same as you are building the web app and you learning the HTML/CSS side by side, you also know you can't do both the work i.e Building a great app and learn HTML/CSS.

    So I feel building a personal brand is the way to go. We don't need to start from scratch each time and we know our audience the same as we know our friends. So it's easy to sell.

    1. 1

      Right, so how did you build your personal brand?

      1. 1

        By sharing knowledge and interaction with prospective audience.

  5. 2

    I divide my weeks into sales weeks and development weeks. When I work on certain weeks, I try my best not to think about that other part. This way, I tend to more focus and deliver better results.

    1. 1

      That's interesting but wouldn't the marketing part require you to frequently get in touch with the community?

  6. 2

    Some video I saw a couple of days ago that might help:

    https://youtu.be/xZi4kTJG-LE

    1. 2

      This one by Tyler Bosmeny is pretty good!

  7. 2

    There's nothing worse than being sucked out of flow state for a 20 minute zoom call.

    I set aside 3-4 hours every day to code Growform, then deal with marketing or sales in the afternoon.

    In practice, I've found literally blocking out the mornings on Calendly to be useful!

    1. 1

      Right, and you find yourself fully focused in those hours coding Growform? So how much time does sales & marketing consume?

      Btw just checked out Growform. Pretty cool how the forms blend in with the website.

      1. 2

        Yes, probably 80-90% focused. I use pomofocus and make sure to code only when I'm wide awake. Btw, that 3-4 hours a day is much more in practice - those are just the hours that are 100% interruption free.

        Right now, sales and marketing is only a couple of hours a day - got too much stuff to build (conditional logic is HARD).

        And, thank you!

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