December 23rd, 2019
(this is a note I wrote today as part of my plan in 2020 to focus on marketing for Pigeon)

While I was traveling for a couple months, I didn't have much time to spend on development. I think that gave me a glimpse into all of the shortcomings of Pigeon, especially with onboarding, design, and features.

So when I got back, I decided it would be a good idea to focus solely on product. It's been about two months, and we have come very far. Added some massive features, way better documentation, etc.

It was great timing because of the security audit, but now that is finally about to be over.

Product is important, but I think marketing and customer support is more important right now. We came a long way in the last few months with product, I feel so much better about the product right now.

Product is also relatively easy to improve. We can always improve product. But getting the foundations for the marketing is more key right now.

But I remember what it was like when we were posting on Quora every day. That was a bit of a "validation" phase, but it also was great marketing. A lot of experimenting, but now I see the benefits of that relatively small marketing push.

In other words, it's time to focus on marketing. It's time to change my mindset about how to grow this thing.

I know I have some of the skills to have a marketing success, and I think those skills are:

  1. Automation and outsourcing - use those skills to build a marketing machine
  2. I know how to pump out content (from my experience at Starter Story)

How much time should I be spending on marketing? I need to keep myself accountable.

I should be spending 75% of my time on marketing and customer support. 25% of my time on product development.

I need to keep myself accountable for this.

TODO: add a weekly reminder to roughly track activities

How much budget can I be spending?

Put all Pigeon revenue into marketing. Which should mostly be for paying for writers (for content). will address that in a bit.

What are the ways we can "kill it" in marketing in marketing?

It's important to stay focused on a few different ways, but still keep it diverse and try new things, and of course keep it fun!

Here are the things we should focus on:

1. Quora post & blog strategy (25%)

Just like we did before, post on Quora 5 times per day. Find the blog posts that perform the best in google search, where Quora performs the best and build blog posts around those. really easy to automate this one. Outsource/automate as fast as possible. Just need to be careful about spamming and that kind of thing.

2. Blog posts and tutorials (how to X) (specific to use cases) (25%)

These are blog posts that show off the power of pigeon or show users how to do something that would be beneficial, like how to get on podcasts or something similar. These will also be specific to use cases that I pick and deem worth going after (which will be determined soon). Do this myself until I find systems to automate/outsource.

3. Case studies with customers (10%)

This is an easy one. Offer users a free month of Pigeon if they can answer a small questionnaire. This gives them a nice backlink, and I also get to learn more about what they do and how Pigeon helps them. It's a win-win. Easy to automate/outsource.

4. YouTube videos (tutorials) (25%)

These will be mostly recycled from the blog posts and tutorials (always do both). YouTube is a massive channel. let's plan for some fun stuff here too, like emailing all congresspeople or something like that. Take advantage of memes!!!

5. Alternatives page (one-off project)

Super easy to do and it's mostly a one-off. - do this myself and get it done.

6. Side project marketing (chrome extensions) / publicity (10%) - weekend projects

This is a huge one but should only be done as weekend projects because I don't want to get carried away. First example will be "Block Sender". Launch on Product Hunt, Hacker News, etc. Do it all on my own site, and with Pigeon branding, like "Block Sender by Pigeon"

7. Email marketing / build an email list (5%)

Send update email every week, no matter what. Stay humble, be funny, keep it interesting.

Find use cases and get specific

One huge problem with Pigeon is we don't have a specific market, my plan for that is to find some. So, the goal is to go after 3 different markets with the Quora, blog posts, and YouTube videos, and many more.

I will test these for 3 months. If one doesn't pan out, will pick a new one - if one is working out - then just keep going with it. Always have 3 different running at a time.

(those use cases / segments will be determined by the end of the year)

Set a plan

At the beginning of the month, create and set a plan for how much content we will do. A plan could be like this:

I put about 60 hours / week into Pigeon or 240 hours per month. 75% of that 180. Meaning I should be spending 180 hours on marketing things.

In the first month it might look something like this:

  1. Fully automate and outsource quora strategy
  2. 10 blog posts (that are Quora copycats)
  3. 4 case studies with customers
  4. 4 pillar blog posts / tutorials
  5. 4 YouTube videos
  6. Release a chrome extension
  7. Deploy alternatives pages

What should I be doing (every day)?

My focus should be to automate and outsource as much as possible. I should be trying things, seeing if they work, and then building process and outsourcing them. As always, learn myself and start small with a limited budget, having people work on the smallest things first.