I’m a entrepreneur at heart and have been doing marketing and product marketing for tech companies for a while, with a focus on music creation tools. I’m also a musician, songwriter and music producer, and have worked for companies that make tools for musicians. My personal and professional experience in the space enabled me to recognize a problem that SoundBetter aims to address.
The music industry went through a huge shift in recent years, whereby all musicians (millions of them) have become recording musicians, due to the accessibility of recording equipment. That’s a big change, and more music is being recorded than ever before. But this change also brought about new needs that weren’t being properly addressed. We have a fragmented industry of millions of indie musicians and thousands of freelance production pros who want to connect with each other but didn’t have a central place to do so elegantly.
I’ve been a musician looking for an engineer myself, and years later I was also an engineer hustling for work. Being on both sides of the problem helped me create a solution
Having some YouTube exposure in the music production world, I would also get dozens of emails a month from musicians asking for recommendations for production pros. I saw that, and saw how marketplaces were solving similar needs in other industries and decided to go for it. That’s how SoundBetter was born.
My Top 5 Tips for a Startup to Get Traction
I think it really depends on the stage of the startup. Getting early stage traction is very different than scale-stage traction as those are different problems you’re trying to solve. Having said that, consider:
1) Creating a product that solves a real pain.
2) Solve that pain 10x better than the existing alternative. The alternative isn’t necessarily another app or website, it’s how people get to a similar result otherwise.
3) Get your messaging right. What problem are you really solving for the user? The psychological end-goal that they want.
4) Think creatively about distribution. There are dozens of ways you can reach many users without a big budget. It could be leveraging existing large networks, partnerships, creative marketing campaigns, SEO or more. Figure out a go-to-market strategy that isn’t paid marketing.
5) Make gross motor movements. The best way to get traction is to do big moves, both in terms of product market fit, and in terms of distribution. Small tweaks won’t usually lead to big results when you’re an early stage startup.
The Most Common Startup Marketing Mistakes I see:
1) Building instead of marketing. I think many entrepreneurs are more comfortable building, but their success is in large part dependent on their ability to crack marketing and distribution. So entrepreneurs should do that sooner and spend more time on it than most do. Even from a product management standpoint they will benefit from what they learn while marketing. So stop building and start marketing.
2) Another mistake we all make is in prioritization. What should I spend my time and energies on now? What will take me to the next milestone, determine whether this thing succeeds or not? Often entrepreneurs focus on optimizing things that don’t matter yet, on building instead of marketing, on secondary features instead of the core value, on going to conferences or fundraising instead of on getting more users.
Tools I Use Religiously for my Marketing Work
1) Google Analytics - SoundBetter is very data-driven and having analytics in place is crucial for every startup.
2) Unbounce - For conversion optimization and creating landing pages
3) Optimizely - For conversion optimization and a/b testing
4) Intercom - Customer messaging platform. Super important to talk to your customers and understand what they need, what prevents them from completing a purchase etc.
5) SEMRush - Competitor research, for SEO and PPC
6) MOZ - SEO software
Best Blogs You as an Entrepreneur Should Read
1) Neil Patel
3) Paul Graham Essays
5) Justin Mares
Have any questions for Shachar? You can connect with him through his Twitter account.