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A Hackers Guide to Marketing

It all starts with an idea. You always hear the rags to riches stories of entrepreneurs who awake from their slumber one day with an idea, put together an MVP, suddenly get millions of users, and become millionaires in what feels like an "overnight" success. Yet a story lies untold. Entrepreneurs spend long nights getting their name out, making people care about their products, creating a movement for their nascent company, and attracting the customers who will drive their company to success. Buzz words like inbound marketing and growth hacking fill reams of books today, yet for the bootstrapped startup with limited resources, what customer data should they analyze when they start with no customers? How can they get customers with few if any marketing dollars? How can an entrepreneur create the image of a cool company or reach customers when all they have is a few dollars in their pocket? We believe we've found a way, and we want to share it with all bootstrapped startups out there.

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  1. How to get "out of the building"? So you have no customers and don't know who to contact to validate your idea. 1. Warm up: Talk to your friends and try to get insights. 2. Get a bit more comfortable: Talk to people you don't talk to all the time such as acquaintances, professors, mentors or "Facebook friends". 3. Go out there: Talk to complete strangers about your idea. Go to a networking event and push yourself to talk about your idea.
  2. How to get involved in the Community? 1. Warm Up: Ask everyone you talked to before who would be interested in your idea and investigate your target market hangouts in your community. 2. Get a bit more comfortable: Look for a free event you can attend where your target market is going to be. 3. Go out there: Go to the organizers of the event and/or to organizations and offer to help them. Be a star helper.
  3. What happens if there are no events that I can contribute to? Create your own event. First, assess interest: 1. Warm up: Ask people in the events that you are going to, about the event you want to create. "Pivot" based on their reactions. 2. Get a bit more comfortable: Identify influencers that can make the event happen and talk to them about making the event a reality. 3. Go out there: Talk to possible sponsors and get enough money to throw your event.
  4. How do I create an event? 1. Warm up: Create a Facebook event and an Eventbrite and start inviting people. 2. Get a bit more comfortable: Go to meetings where possible attendees hangout and promote your event. 3. Go out there: Ask your sponsors to invite more people, get volunteers to help you out, organize logistics and make sure to schedule everything right. Don't forget to invite the press.
  5. What do I win with all this work? First, you get to develop a network in your business community. Second, you get to appear as a real company and not as a crazy person with a wacky idea. Third, you interact with your target market, get to know them and they get to know you. Fourth, you help your community have fun events. Fifth, you will attract the right type of talent to your business. Sixth, you will become a community leader and create a following around you.



David Flores, CMO, Eatable

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