Marketing and Sales for Indies
Let’s talk about marketing for Indie Developers of all stripes. I’m going to tell you a secret a lot of fledgling entrepreneurs don’t think about enough; Everything begins and ends with sales.
This is the same whether you are a coffee shop, Goldman Sachs, Disney, or anyone else. Sales make your business go round and keep you employed, keep your bank account happy and help everything else work to stay open.
I bet when you think about sales, even that word conjures up strange uncomfortable images in your mind and makes your stomach hurt. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. But sales aren’t what you think they are. We all hate sales tactics that involve cold calling from anonymous call centers, spam e-mail marketing and banner ads on websites. And the numbers show that those tactics no longer work as well as they did.
According to Hubspot cold calling can also cost more than %60 then inbound marketing requests from interested customers. It’s a really good way to waste your precious time and money if you don’t have a lot of either to throw around.
(image is copyrighted to Hubspot)
To be frank, sales are entirely different when you approach it the right way. Sales are a result of offering a service to someone. As a developer, artist, or entrepreneur, you may not think that you work in the service industry, but in fact you do. You are offering your skills as a service. And providing good service is paramount to making sales, and developing lasting relationships with whoever buys your products. Whether they be games, films, eLearning content, apps, or whatever else you’re creating.
One of the best sales tactics is to basically create a worthy product, and yes, as an indie that can be incredibly hard since you’re working for yourself and often for no money. The second best is to look at your personal and professional relationships. Referrals and a good network are incredibly critical to creating a viable business.
The two golden rules I has found are essential to sales with anything are, 1) empathy for a clients needs, and 2) thinking of what you do as helpful. This is just basic humanity really, but it’s also the foundation of what successful businesses do in the long run. You must listen to your client or customer, really listen, and offer help in return that will hopefully lead to the exchange of money and you being able to keep your businesses lights on.
So remember, be kind, listen, and serve those around you. Being a good person is paramount to being a good salesperson.