Written by toomaime
Last Updated 🗓 2 months ago
How to grow a marketing platform
Interview with the founder of Marketing Examples
Hey Harry, first of all, can you tell us a little bit about you and what are you working on?
Hello. I’m Harry Dry. 23 years young. Live in London. Remember the name.
I’m currently working on Marketing Examples. A website which showcases real world marketing examples. Anything from How Nike sold their first shoes to How Jason Cohen does direct sales.
Growth has been great. I started it about 3 months ago and just last week I hit 5,000 people on the email list.
You are the maker of Marketing Examples - how did you get your first users?
I quietly launched the website with about ten case studies. Each day I’d share one on them on Slack groups, Facebook groups, Twitter, Indie Hackers, Reddit etc ...
Slowly but slowly but surely people started signing up to the email list. After about a week or so I’d made it to 100 subscribers.
What I also noticed is that companies who I’d write about would often share the case studies themselves. This was a good way to grow because they had considerably bigger followings than mine.
For example, one of my first articles was about How Nomad List dominates longer tail keywords and Pieter Levels (the founder of Nomad List) shared it on Twitter. So that definitely gave me some very early momentum.
How do you promote your project - any tips for other makers?
Firstly, I'd say you should probably be spending more time promoting your product and less time building it. I personally think the split should be about 50:50. But for most people it’s probably about 90:10 in favour of building.
For me specifically, every time I write an article I spend four or five hours sharing it on all corners of the internet. And I won’t just copy and paste the same url across all platforms. The way I share is specific to the platform itself.
For example on Twitter I’ll rewrite the article in thread format. On Indie Hackers I’ll write a shortened summary of the article and then link the whole thing. On Reddit they are really tight on self promotion so you really have to write out the whole article and then link back to yourself at the end.
To quote Adam Wathan, “The key is to offer value on the platform you’re on”. You’re not growing to get anywhere just linking off straight to your blog.
I’ve also just recently started running Twitter Ads. I’ve spent a few hours producing some really high quality quick tips on Twitter and I’ve got the spend down to 0.18p a follower! So I’m currently spending £14 / day on that which gets me about 78 new followers every day.
Let’s talk about SEO - what is a must to do for every website?
Well the very first thing you should do is to run a site audit. You can do this directly from Google.
- 1. Open up dev tools
- 2. Go to the audits tab.
- 3. Click "Run site audit".
This will tell you anything obvious that’s wrong with your site. There might be some really easy wins there. For example, you might not be using any h1 or OG tags. Or you might be loading some really heavy image killing load time. So start there.
If you’re looking for a bit of a deeper dive I’d highly recommend Glen Alsopp and Tim from Ahrefs episodes on the Smart Passive Income podcast. Both taught me a tonne!
You recently had a really successful launch on ProductHunt - what do you think is the key for your great results?
Firstly, I’d say don’t launch straight away. Product Hunt multiplies current momentum.
So I made sure to build up a small following of “fans” before posting. Having some people ready to shout about my product on launch day certainly made a big difference.
Another thing would be to define the specific goal.
In the past, I’ve fallen into the trap of using upvotes as my barometer of success. But when you think about it, upvotes are really just a means to an end. They are coupons you exchange for traffic. It’s what you do with that traffic which matters.
So, what is my goal? Well, I wanted to maximise email subscribers. So I spent the day before my launch making sure my site was in the best possible shape to collect emails. After all, 100 upvotes and 100 email sign-ups is more valuable than 1000 upvotes and a site which can’t convert anyone.
There’s also some more quite boring but equally important tips such as:
- 1. Launch at 12am PST,
- 2. Write a good first comment,
- 3. Avoid launching on the weekend,
- 4. Make a nice GIF
Funnily enough I actually wrote a really detailed case study called, “How I got 2,000 new subscribers from Product Hunt” so if you’d like to see more tips perhaps give that a look.
After the PH launch the hard work begins - what plans do you have for Marketing Examples?
Haha! Kind of a meta question. How to market Marketing Examples!?
I think double down on what works. The case studies are certainly working so I’ve got to keep producing them.
The Marketing Examples Twitter is also growing at an awesome rate. And I think the “quick tips” I’m doing have certainly helped. So I’d like to publish more of those.
Aside from that I want to start producing handbooks on each topic. For instance, cold emails, SEO, etc … and then launch these handbooks as stand online things.
Essentially repackaging existing content in a way that could pull in a new audience. For example a “cold email handbook” would be a cool thing to launch on Product Hunt and also would be good to try and run some Facebook ads against.
I also like to allocate 5% of time to experimentation. I’m planning one pretty big viral esque stunt later this year involving Donald Trump. Hopefully it makes the news.
What advice would you give someone to get his first 100 customers?
Well there’s no blueprint. It’s completely contextual on the product you’re selling. But a good rule of thumb is to do things that don’t scale.
- Text your best friends,
- Text your family,
- Text your startup friends,
- Send some cold emails,
- Leverage your Twitter audience,
- Share on “watering holes” online
- Write a blog,
- Post some answers on Quora,
- Go out into the real world and sell face to face ...
And don’t post on Product Hunt. Wait till you hit 100 customers before first and then Product Hunt can be your reward.