Recently I listened to a podcast episode of zero to scale where they talked about how they acquired their first customers. They said that they got their first few customers from these places:

  • Facebook groups and entrepreneurial communities
  • Small blog posts around specific topics, questions are content
  • Published blog posts on big blogs, eg next web
  • Referrals
  • Create list of potential customers and do outbound marketing like phone calls to get them onboard

The concept of generating leads and reaching customers is something that I’m learning now but I’m not nearly at their level yet. In fact I’m a little stagnated, I certainly lack experience but I’m also lacking motivation right now. Why? After giving it a bit of thought here are some of the things holding me back:

I’m embarrassed of my products value proposition

Right now my product has a weak value proposition, it automates something that developers don’t see as a problem, in fact developers love to build in house what my product does. This causes me to think that people don’t need my product which handicaps me even before starting because I don’t even want to approach my customers. This creates indecision: should I rethink the value proposition and change the functionality of my product or should I get stuck into trying to find users for it anyway? This indecision is a big motivation killer.

I’m embarrassed by the design of my product

This one is only minor because I’m pretty happy with the design of the landing page, it’s only when you log in and actually start using it when things get ugly, literally and figuratively :D Although I’m afraid of criticism about the design I’m actually looking forward to improving stats like retention and churn by improving the UI but I recognise that this is not the moment to invest time here because I need to focus on getting people in the gate first. Since I’m actually looking forward to tweaking things when I have active users this is not such a big thing holding me back.

Fear of opening up to criticism of others

This one is huge. I find it difficult to get out of the building and expose myself to the criticism of others. This same fear leads me to avoid contact of any kind with other folk :D I’m an introvert but I know that my introversion stems from insecurities, which is reassuring because it’s something I can improve and change.

Sustained writing is daunting

Ok, so this one is just laziness :D They say that writing blog articles for traffic requires lot of time and dedication. They say that for blogging to work it usually needs sustained output of content which turns me off just a little. I find programming easier because I know I’m good at it. I do want to get better at the marketing side of things though because it will stand to me big-time in the future, the fact that it’s such a worthwhile skill and knowing that it’s easy once I know how makes me want to keep going though, so although I’m feeling lazy I’m gonna do it anyway.

Do you go through similar things? What are your top 4 things holding you back?