Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Developing Traction: A Twist on a Classic Joke

Note: This joke was beta-tested on Hacker News, didn't do too bad there... but I tried delivering this joke live... turns out, I don't have the necessary comedic timing. Feel free to steal this joke for your next sales pitch... see if you can do any better than I did.

There were two business partners at a small struggling company. One was an engineer, the other was a business guy.

Business was hard to come by and the engineer told the business guy that he should attend an online marketing conference in their city the next week and talk to the presenters about ways to grow their business.

So the business guy agreed and attended the conference. While at the conference, one of the speakers seemed to know a lot about their specific business problems and so the business guy approached this speaker after the event.

The business guy asked the speaker what they could do to get the business going and growing.

To which the speaker replied:

"Well, since your engineer probably needs to spend his time writing code, the responsibility for a marketing campaign will fall to you.

So, if YOU blog about 1000 words a day against highly segmented key terms, A/B test all of your headlines, setup keyword targeted domains in lots of tangential areas that drive traffic to the top of your funnel, build well-designed marketing pages with clear calls to action (which must be A/B tested as well), spend about 3 solid months link-building and creating a personable brand around a specific problem set while recording YouTube videos addressing specific customer desires, and setup a carefully curated email list so you can deliver timely messages about your problem space to your customers, then if you setup a twitter account and interact with about 100 carefully targeted web brands a week against specific search terms, and then if you craft a great first run experience for your users and avoid common pitfalls like mobile-first methodologies, and treat all your customers, free or paid, like kings, and start a PR campaign by cozying-up to a few dozen journalists with good cross-fit audiences, and spend your nights and weekends writing copy and preparing embargoed PR releases, then I'm very positive that you'll probably develop enough traction to become profitable in around 12-18 months."

So, the business guy returned home to meet with his partner. At which point, the engineer asked:

"So what did they tell you at the conference?"

And the business guy gave a sigh, put his hand on his friend's shoulder and with an sympathetic look said "I'm sorry man, they told me we're not going to make it."

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