LC019: Marketing and Sales for Technical Founders

launchpeer - June 21, 2018

Today’s question:

Today’s question comes from Ken. As a technical founder, where do you start with marketing and sales? Should you go out and find a marketing focused co-founder?

Jake’s answer:

As a technical founder it can be frustrating having a product that’s fully built yet still sitting idle because you don’t know where to begin with marketing. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to bring on a non-technical co-founder to do marketing. Whether you are ready to bring on a co-founder or not, here are some tactics to get you started:

1) Use your preliminary product research as as starting point

Validating the market for your product is a type of marketing and is essential before you set out to build a product. Use the information you gathered before making your product to help you get started with your post-product marketing efforts.

If you do need a non-technical co-founder, you won’t have trouble finding one. It’s usually the opposite way, when non-technical founders need a technical co-founder who can execute their vision.

2) Evaluate your potential co-founders

You need to have enough self-awareness to know what you are good at and what you aren’t good at. Your co-founder should have a complementary skill set that fills in the gaps for your weaknesses. One of the clear gaps you are trying to fill is in sales and marketing, but you also have to think about the other gaps you are filling. Just because you get along well with someone doesn’t mean they’ll make a good co-founder – it’s actually the opposite in most cases. If you get along really well, chances are you are good at the same things, which won’t help move your business forward. Write down a list of all of the things you are really good at and those you aren’t good at and then look specifically to fill those gaps with your co-founder.

3) Search your Network

Comb through all of your existing networks to find someone who might make a good co-founder. You can start on LinkedIn and work through your other social networks, email lists, friends and family, etc, to see who might be a good match. Don’t rule people out because they have a job or are working on their own thing. You don’t know what they may be open to until you ask.

Remember, the relationship with your co-founder will be for the next 7-10 years (if you intend to be around for a while) so choose wisely. Don’t move too quickly to bring on a co-founder, do your research and focus on filling your skills gaps rather than bringing on a friend or someone you get along with well.

Remember, the relationship with your co-founder will be for the next 7-10 years, so choose wisely. Click To Tweet

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