Your startup's WHY & SaaS marketing booster shots

You have worked hard for the last 3–4 months perfecting your product and are now ready to launch your app. The first thing we do is email our friends and business contacts to get initial signups. But, the next challenge is getting the app in the hands of the early adopters. These are the people who will give you meaningful feedback and drive initial sales.

These are the important little things I would do if I had to relaunch DeskAway (hint, hint):

Before you even get started with any of these, you really need to know why your app is different from the competition. Today, every app has competition, and it is even more important to nail the “Why are we in business” (commonly called your purpose) than what you do. Remember: the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe. Take a look at Simon Sinek’s “Starts With Why” and his Ted video on How great leaders inspire action - these are more important than anything else you will learn about your business.

I worked on our Why, How, What last week and here is what our golden circle looks like:

Why are we in business? We believe that business software should be simple, easy and fun to use.

How do we do this? By designing software that is clutter-free, intuitive, attractive & with a personality.

What do we do? We happen to make a project collaboration app for digital agencies and marketing teams. If you are a person who wants to have control over your work, then we have the right product for you. Our software will help you focus on what matters.

So now you know why you are in business. The next step is to unleash your story to the world through various means.

  1. Blogger Rapport: Getting reviewed is one of the best ways to get traffic to your site. Don’t just email bloggers about your product but tell them why they should write about you.

  2. Quora & LinkedIn: I am seeing a lot of founders blatantly marketing their businesses on Quora and LinkedIn. This is not the way to go. You need to answer questions that pertain to your business - this should not be too hard if you eat, sleep, breathe your startup. I am always thinking and reading about collaboration, productivity, virtual working etc. so answering questions related to these topics is a matter of sitting down and letting it flow from my mind. If people like your answer they will wonder who you are, and lookup your profile.

  3. Competitor Find & Fire: Goto and search for your competitor. Take only the first 5 pages and make a list of all the sites they have been reviewed/ listed on. This includes directories also. Contact the site/blog and and repeat this for all your competitors. The goal is to get your site reviewed and linked to as many sites as possible.

  4. Writing: I can’t stress how writing can help you position yourself as an expert in your field. Either start your own blog or guest post for someone else. Look how Dharmesh (Hubspot), Rand (SEOMoz) and Jason (37Signals) have built their reputation and businesses. Good, clear writing is your best weapon. You could have the best product, but you also need people to believe what you believe in. In India, entrepreneurs are focused on the “development” aspect of the software. I think it comes from being largely a software services economy. For various reasons, not many people write here.

  5. Testimonials: As and when you get praise from users/customers/bloggers/media put them up on your site for others to see. This is social validation and an extremely powerful tool in the buying process. I am more likely to sign up if I know that 15 of my friends have liked your app.

I would love to hear about the purpose of your business in the comments and if you have used any other ideas (besides SEO, banners, PPC etc.) to drive people to your site. Thanks for reading and have a great Sunday.