Things are really weird for me at the moment because I’m at one of those transitional phases in life. Lots of opportunity, lots of new things to learn, and way too many decisions to make in too little time.
There is a curse and a blessing that goes something like “may you live in interesting times”. Yeah, well…..
Anyway, I’m a total geek. I program, I work on cars, and general build stuff. It’s a lot of fun. But with my recent decision to fully embrace entrepreneurship I have to learn new stuff. The cool thing is that I’m just building something and I know how to do that. The trick is that some of the content isn’t native to me. Marketing for instance.
Spend some time in the land of IT cubicles and ask people about marketing and you’ll get a sense that it is a mystery to most technical people. Same with sales. It’s mushy stuff that you can’t attach a debugger to. I can’t look at a marketing plan and know for absolute certain that it is going to work. Somewhere I read that after reading a business plan or a marketing plan I should be able to walk out of my office and point at the customers for that business or marketing plan. Seems like magic to me.
Luckily it is not magic, or at least that is what I’m being told, it is just a set of processes that you have to execute.
My goal here is to provide a bunch of links to resources I’m using to educate myself. Maybe it’ll help you find your way through this stuff too.
by Jay Levinson
Naturally this book belongs on the list. Where would a GuerillaProgrammer be without Guerilla Marketing? Based on the author’s comments this book was controversial when it came out because it turned a lot of old marketing concepts on their head. At times it is a little rah-rah, but I suppose you should be enthusiastic about your marketing. Easy read and I think well worth the time.
By Seth Godin
Free e-book from Seth. It’s a quick read and makes several really good points about how to get traffic to your site/blog/squidoo lense/or whatever. I recommend reading anything by Seth. He tends to be very practical about marketing.
Yup – it’s bad hair cut time. You might not be wild about Mr. Trump’s persona but you gotta admit he gets attention. Turns out this web-site has a lot of great information about how to get your own business going. Right now I’m finish up a course on how to write a business plan. It’s actually pretty good (the course).
I’ve emailed back and forth with these guys a bit and read most of their posts. They’ve been running their own business for a bit and have experienced the heart burn and are sharing the experience. Spend some time in their archives. Some specific posts:
5 Steps for Simple and Effective Marketing
Freelancer’s Guide to Sales: You’ve Got the Cookie
10 Steps to Generating New Business
Brian has a nice little ebook he sells. It’s worth reading. Again, it’s a pretty quick read and I think it’s worth the small amount he charges. He also provides a video presentation that is worth watching where he demonstrates how quickly you can setup a business online.
Julie is a friend of mine and just happens to be a marketing guru. Take some of her classes. Again, well worth the time. My only wish is that she would turn her recording in to podcasts so they can be downloaded.
There are a lot more resources on the net for marketing. This little list barely scratches the surface. The message from all of them though is that you need to get out and market. Market your product or service early and often. Keep doing it and after a while it will start to make returns for you. Luckily most of the stuff you can do is free or very cheap so you are mostly going to invest time.