What is Traction?
Gabriel Weinberg describes traction as a quantitative evidence of customer demand. Traction is a sign that your company is growing and getting customer growth. The pursuit of traction is what defines a startup.
Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares speak from their own experiences, on failures and challenges that a startups can face and how best they can avoid and gain traction. Like many entrepreneurs they are motivated by being on the cusp of something big. That bring us to traction.
How then can a startup achieve traction?
The 50-50 Rule
Traction and product development are of equal importance and should each get about half of your attention. This is referred to the 50 percent rule: spend 50 percent of your time on product and 50 percent on traction.
Pursue traction and product development in parallel, and spend equal time on both. With this you get knowledge from traction efforts, so you’ll build the right product for your customers. You get to experiment and test different traction channels before you launch anything. This means when your product is ready, you can grow rapidly.
The Bullseye Framework
Gabriel introduces the Bullseye frame work .The three steps frame work that will help you identify the channel that will get you traction;
The Outer Ring: What’s possible – the first step in Bullseye is brainstorming every single traction channel. This is meant to help you systematically counteract your traction channel biases.
The Middle Ring: What’s probable – this involves running cheap traction tests in the channels that seem most promising.
The Inner Ring: What’s working – the third and final step is to focus solely on the channel that will move the needle for your startup: the core channel.
Bullseye is meant to help you zoom in on the best ideas as quickly and cheaply as possible, while still casting a wide net. The traction channel that will ultimately succeed is unpredictable, and time is of the essence.
Startups get traction through nineteen different channels. Many successful startups experimented with multiple channels until they found one that worked. These are marketing and distribution channels through which your startup can get traction: real customer growth.
Targeting Blogs – This is the most effective way to get your first wave of customers. It can be difficult to uncover smaller blocks that cover your niche, but some of the tools you can use are the search engines. When running blog see what type of audience resonates best with your product and messaging.
Publicity – is the art of getting your name out there via traditional media outlets like newspapers, magazines, and TV. As a startup focus on the right smaller sites, if you can generate buzz on those sites, you increase your chances of being picked up by bigger publications
Unconventional PR – this involves doing something exceptional like publicity stunts to draw media attention. This channel can also work by repeatedly going above and beyond for your customers.
Customer appreciation is a simple way of saying ‘be awesome to your customers.’ The goal is still generating publicity. However, if you fail to get press coverage, you still have happy customers and a stronger, more relatable brand, which significantly increases word-of-mouth effects.
Social and Display Ads – Ads on popular sites like reddit, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and hundreds of other niche sites can be a powerful and scalable way to reach new customers.
Search Engine Marketing – placing advertisements on search engines like google. Long tail key words are often less competitive because they have lower search volume making it cheaper and so can be more profitable.
Offline Ads – This include TV spots, radio commercials, billboards, infomercials, newspaper and magazine ads, as well as flyers and other local advertisements. These ads reach demographics that are harder to target online, like seniors, less tech-savvy consumers, and commuters. Few startups use this channel, which means there’s less competition for many of these audiences.
Search Engine Optimization – This is the process of making sure your Web site shows up for key search results. Companies use SEO to cheaply acquire lots of highly targeted traffic.
Content Marketing – Many startups have blogs. However, most don’t use their blogs to get traction. Creating unique and informative content for your blogs will help create interest and traffic on your website.
Content only goes anywhere if people care about it.
Email Marketing – sending email to new prospects and customers to market your product. Email marketing is one of the best ways to convert prospects while retaining and monetizing existing customers.
Engineering as Marketing – Using engineering resources to acquire customers is a significantly underutilized way to get traction. Successful companies have built microsites, developed widgets, and created free tools that drive thousands of leads each month. Engineering as a marketing creates lasting assets that serves as engine for your growth.
Viral Marketing – Viral marketing is the act of growing your customer base by encouraging your customers to refer other customers. successful viral strategy involves constant testing and trying new things.
Business Development – Business development (BD) is the process of creating strategic relationships that benefit both your startup and your partner. find strategic partners, build a business development pipeline, and approach potential partners.
Sales – Sales is focused primarily on creating processes to directly exchange product for money. An effective sales funnel has prospects enter the top, qualifies these leads and closes them effectively.
Affiliate Programs – providing incentives to people that promote your business. This helps create awareness of your product.
Existing Platforms – Focusing on existing platforms means focusing your growth efforts on a mega platform like Facebook, Twitter, or the App Store, and getting some of their hundreds of millions of users to use your product.
Trade Shows – Trade shows are a chance for companies in specific industries to show off their latest products. One is able to create strategic partnership by identifying top targets and engaging them at the show.
Offline Events – Sponsoring or running offline events—from small meetups to large industry conferences.
Speaking Engagements– give an awesome talk, and grow your startup’s profile at events .
Community Building- Creating passionate communities around your products. Jeff Atwood of Stack Exchange, built the Stack Overflow community, which has created the largest repository of useful programming questions and answers in history.
We hope this article will help you achieve your traction goal. Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead. Product placement, advertising, content marketing starts with great photos and videos, and that’s what Picha Images does, See our services here