Book Review: “Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers”
Yuli Azarch | October 13, 2016 | No Comments on Book Review: “Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers”
The book is about how to get traction and basically how to get more customers in your business. It’s about marketing, and the book lays out a total of 19 different marketing channels in which you can get customers.
I’ve been studying marketing for a few years, and I think this book is great because even though I know I know there are different channels, this book really systemizes and shows you the 19 different channels as well discuss in a systematic and scientific way how you can approach it and do it.
Sometimes all you need is one channel to catapult your business into a new level, and there are a lot of ideas you can use from the different channels. The book also recommends you focus usually on one channel. Get this channel working and focus on one thing because even one of those channels can be a million-dollar business. If you combine a few, it could be more, but focus on one. And when you have one under control and when one is working, go to the second one.
Let’s get into the 19 different marketing channels:
1. Targeting Blogs
Today, the Internet is so big you have so many blogs, and many blogs have millions of visitors. That’s why blogs have really great power, because if a blogger is an influencer, he can send traffic to a new product. From one blog post, he can send hundreds or sometimes thousands of new customers to a new company or a startup.
You do something public. It can be in TV or in other places. You get publicity, and when something is really public, people will go to your website or to your company and maybe purchase your product.
3. Unconventional PR
What does that mean? I’ll give an example of Richard Branson when he launched a product related to Virgin. He actually drove a tank, I believe, in New York City, and he took so much attention because nobody drives a tank in New York City. This was really unconventional. It’s not conventional that every time you market a startup, you take a tank and you go across New York City. So that’s considered unconventional PR (public relations).
4. Search Engine Marketing
Basically, it’s PPC, or pay per click, a term used more. You can basically market on AdWords for Google, and you can market on Bing on their system. You can really get lots of pay-per-clicks. These are clicks you’re paying for.
5. Social Ads
You can place specific ads on social platforms, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram. You have millions of people there, and you can easily target the people you want. So social ads is a big channel.
6. Offline Ads
Offline ads are a big one as well. Obviously, they’re not for every business, but still, if you’re targeting a specific niche or country, think of a place where you can put offline ads. You can put your website on some ads, and people still see it. It still works. Even in 2016 when you have the Internet, people still do offline ads because it still works. And there are ways to measure it even though it’s not exactly as measurable as it is online where you see every click and how it’s done.
7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization means getting your website, for example, number one on Google on your main keyword. It’s also a huge thing. Let’s say your keyword is very competitive. If your website is going to be number one on a certain keyword, this alone could drive you sometimes millions of visitors to your company startup. You have lots of strategies regarding SEO. I know I’m doing SEO with my businesses, and it’s a great traction channel. Some people are SEO experts. That’s what they do, and that’s their business. So it’s a great marketing channel.
8. Content Marketing
Content marketing means creating a very highly valuable content that will serve others and marketing for it. Let’s say you have a blog, and you really write fucking amazing blog posts. Those blog posts create value for visitors, bring traffic, and once it sticks, will also add SEO value. Sometimes you can actually get millions of visitors to your blog, and this can convert, for example, to your services and your products. That’s definitely a marketing channel, and some companies use this as a main marketing channel.
9. E-mail Marketing
I’m actually an e-mail marketer. I had an e-mail marketing business, and I’m pretty good at e-mail marketing. Some companies I know generate 90% of their revenue from e-mails. So whoever doesn’t do e-mail doesn’t know the power of e-mail. I personally just have much more experience with it, so I know its power. E-mail marketing is about having your own e-mail list, sending e-mails to them, and marketing to them. It’s really having a one-on-one relationship, because they open their e-mail and usually they’re alone on their computer. So it’s a great way to market as well and a whole different traction and marketing channel.
10. Viral Marketing
It’s how to get your product, service, or message viral so people will actually share it with their friends. Some things, even some YouTube videos and maybe some products, are viral. Let’s say Facebook, for example. Facebook was very viral in the beginning, because you want so see your friends while using it. So if you started using Facebook on the first day, you would start referring it and telling everybody about it. If you love a certain book or movie, you would start telling everybody about it. So things can be very viral. Some things are more viral, while some are not. And you can think about how to make your product or service more viral. It’s definitely one traction channel that’s great.
11. Engineering as Marketing
It means that basically you create a product or service for free, and this is service marketing. Some companies actually create a service that’s very available and bring people to it because it’s free. Then they get millions of people who are using their free service, and then some people from this free service convert to the paid one. It’s a kind of marketing. You get traffic, and you get people to use it. People start loving you and trusting you, and then they buy your other products. So it’s one traction marketing channel to use.
12. Business to Business Development
You can actually develop your business with some big deals with other companies or businesses. Here, you don’t necessarily deal with the consumer, so it’s not business to client. And some big business deals can take you to the next level, and if that’s your focus, that can be, again, a whole new traction marketing channel.
Do you have a sales person or sales team selling for you? I know in my businesses I don’t have sales people, so it’s something I’ve started looking into. I’m looking to hire a sales person so I’ll actively start selling more of my products and services. It’s definitely a huge traction channel. Some companies rely only on sales.
14. Affiliate Programs
You actually earn money by referring your products to others, and different affiliate products have different payouts, some with 20%, 50%, or 90%. Let’s say a product is worth $100, and you give your affiliate 80%. They get $80, but you get to keep $20. But what if this affiliate would bring you $1 million? There are lots of multimillion affiliates, so affiliate programs are a very strong marketing channel and sometimes are a focus in themselves.
15. Exiting Platforms
Sometimes you already have existing platforms where your customers are located. For example, you may have some Reddit forums or maybe some specific sub-niche forums or other platforms that are existing, and the customers are already there. All you need to do is to go over, join the platform, and start talking and marketing to your customers from there.
16. Trade Shows
You can actually go to different tradeshows, physical ones, and for some businesses, they’re very relevant. I know I wasn’t looking for them myself, because everything is online, but trade shows are great. They’re a marketing show.
17. Offline Events
You can create an event. You can even do a free event, organize people, and maybe bring in sponsors. Or you can bring in some speakers to your event, and this will advertise your blog and your name. It’s a really, really strong marketing channel.
18. Speaking Engagements
In speaking engagements, you can actually offer yourself for free to speak at an event, or you can speak for a paid fee. People will actually know you as a leader and trust you because you’re on the stage and you’re speaking, and then they’ll go to your company.
19. Community Building
Some companies are really good at building communities. A community is where conversations are going on, where you interact with the costumer, and where the customers can interact with one another. Some companies have really strong communities, and that’s rapport. You have millions of people, sometimes less, communicating, and it builds up a really strong brand.
Those are the 19 different marketing channels, and as I said, usually you only need one. If it’s available, I really recommend getting into the book. It will give you much better insight and understanding of what is going on.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the book and whether you like it as well. See you on the next one!