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Indie Founders: Strategies for Branding and Marketing Success

Empowering Indie Founders: Effective Strategies and Insights

Hey there,

Before I start today's issue, I'd like to personally thank the 30 new founders who recently joined us to be part of this journey!
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In this week’s issue:

  • 💡 Craft purposeful brand story and effective content.

  • 🤿 Indie project marketing: 10 essential rules explained.

Reading time: 6 minutes

A Fresh Point of View

Sharpen your mindset

Why? How? What?

Simon Sinek

For indie founders like you, the Golden Circle model, created by Simon Sinek, holds three vital elements:

  1. Why: Begin with "Why" your business exists. Let's say you're a marketing agency. Your "Why" could be helping businesses tell their stories effectively.

  2. How: Next, explain "How" you do things differently. If you're a SaaS startup, maybe you simplify complex processes, making work easier for your users.

  3. What: Lastly, outline "What" products or services you provide. If you're a guide creator, you offer step-by-step solutions for common challenges.

This model's significance for indie founders cannot be overstated. You're not just offering things; you're creating a strong brand name with storytelling. Starting with the "Why" helps you connect emotionally with your audience and sets you apart as a leader.

As you create online content as an indie founder, remember the power of the Golden Circle. Begin with the "Why" to genuinely share your mission. Imagine you run a newsletter about personal development. If your "Why" is to inspire growth, you can delve into "How" with practical tips and finish with "What" by offering access to exclusive workshops.

A full video from Simon is available on TED YouTube channel to learn more about it: video.

The Dive Deep

Learn practical methods

Every marketing situation is different. But I believe these rules apply to most of Indie projects. Here are 10 important marketing rules:

1. The higher price, the better customers

Being cheap is the worst differentiator from your competitors. Cheap products attract customers who only care about the price. They will leave you as soon they see a cheaper alternative or as soon another product provide more value for money.

Instead, provide a unique value with above average price. You will get customers who appreciate your product and understand its value.

2. Empower users, not market them

Nobody likes to be marketed. Do you enjoy seeing a fake discount countdown or getting bombarded with emails?

You don't. Your users don't like it either.

But users like to get free educational resources and feel empowered. Simply explain how users can use your tool to achieve their goal. Hypefury does that very well by sending a mix of emails sharing tips on how to growth Twitter associated with explanation on how to achieve it using their tool.

3. Talking to customers is a shortcut to success

You have brilliant marketing ideas but do you know who has better ones? Your customers.

Run interviews with your customers and get inspiration from them. Learn why they bought your product, what is important for them, and what they enjoy the most. Set a clear goal of 5 per month.

Also try to get honest feedback (even harsh ones) and understand what you can improve to help them better. It can be a new feature, a simplified Interface, or something else…

4. There is no such thing as “too much social proof”

People trust people. The reasoning is simple: “If someone like me benefited from this product, I should check it out.”

You already have testimonials? Great! Now add case studies, user statistics, press mentions, product awards, reviews from opinion leaders, and interviews other founder from your field.

You can always add some social proof to build trust with your audience.

5. Sell positive future, not product features

Nobody cares about your features and integrations. Sorry to say it.

People only care about the results they can achieve with your product. You are selling their positive future, not 10 brilliant features.

But don't forget to mention features to clarify how you will provide promised value. Checkout my tweet on simple copywriting tips.

6. Showing the product > Describing the product

Some Founders are obsessed with their products. So they write 5 paragraphs about features and lose customers because of it.

Showing a stunning product picture, gif or video is way more convincing than describing it, even if you are a world-class copywriter.

People love visuals. You know it: “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

7. Nail one acquisition channel before adding the second

Don't try to be everywhere from the first months. High chances you will fail everywhere.

Instead, pick one acquisition channel and master it. Learn what's working and what's not. Optimize your marketing campaign and then move to the next channel.

All great founders that you know went through this process, so just go one step at a time.

8. Your customers are the best promoters

Again: people trust people. If your friend recommends a product, you will check it out. Because you trust their judgment.

Nudge your customers to recommend you on social media. Sometimes it only takes one email to skyrocket your referral traffic.

Your customers would love to help you but only if you encourage them to do it. Checkout the previous email on growth loops to learn more about it.

9. Paying customers is the true validation

No matter how many said they like your product or how large your waitlist is. You should only care about paying customers.

This is the ultimate validation for marketing campaigns, product ideas, and offer experiments.

Focus on getting paid, not upvoted. You can quickly setup a early member lifetime deal to really see if people is interested and refunds them if you don’t see enough traction.

10. Having an email list is a superpower

Algorithms change all the time. If you enjoy getting 1000 followers from a Twitter thread, you should be ready to get banned too.

But having an acquisition channel that you actually control is a superpower. You can market it whenever you want and predict how much revenue you will generate.

If you are not building an email list, you are in danger.

That’s it for today! 🙌

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Thanks for reading and see you next week,