What I learned from going through the Y Combinator: sales & marketing
biggest takeaway from completing Y Combinator was learning that while there is tons and tons of differing advice on the internet, there sees to be a definite right approach/canonical pathway for startup success. here‘s a few takeaways about marketing specifically:
- don’t underestimate your go-to-market. avoid “if we build it, they will come mindset”. this is not because great product don’t matter. this is because you simply cannot know whether you’re solving a real problem without paying customer and the consistent growth in their numbers. CEO’s job is not to build, neither it is to manage or organize. it is to sell.
- pull all of the favors we could possibly pull to get as many warm introductions as possible. this is the time to pull as many favors as possible. linkedin helps a lot, if you’re targeting within certain professions.
- launch multiple times. Don’t wait to go a big launch till you have a perfect process and a perfect product. instead, launch when you are too early, get feedback and learning, then launch again in a few months.
- be VERY clear about your value proposition. in all of your marketing materials, avoid vague sentences like “we are the best solution for doing X”. Instead, try to convey in one sentence, why they should use your product. In our case, we went from claiming to be the “best” referral program solution to simply saying “launch 100% fully customizable referral programs without coding with a visual UI builder”. They call this the ‘AHA’ moment