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Finding customers

There is a lot of content on Don't Do An MBA, so to get you started we've picked the most important points from each of the 3 stages and highlighted some articles that will help you get going

Before you try to go through the whole site, finding bits that you think might be of interest, I strongly advise you read through these 3 stage overview pages, starting with this one on building an audience.

The most important part of a business is your customer list. Long before you think about launching, you need a huge number of customers that are interested in buying whatever you're selling. Start today, then longer you spend on this the better. It doesn't matter if you don't even know what you'll be making!

Ross Davis

CEO, Hamtun Watches

Blogging for business

Using a blog to find customers should be your first job

Today is the day to start finding your future customers. As long as you know the industry you're going to be launching in, you can get going. Don't wait until the product is designed and ready to go, it's already too late at that point!

Building a blog and then writing about your industry is almost free and allows you to start building a reputation as someone to listen to. 18 months before I launched Hamtun Watches I was blogging about watches in general. When it came time to start my own brand, that audience converted in to customers.

Here are some articles that cover the advantages of blogging, the tools and techniques, and the methods I used to build a list of thousands of potential customers before I announced a product at all.

Finding customers on social media

Establish yourself on social media, but don't expect miricles

Compared to a decent email list, social media is nowhere near as valuable. The assumption is that as Twitter and Facebook are newer, they are somehow better for marketing. In fact the opposite is true - a good email list of 500 people will result in far more sales than 5000 followers on Twitter.

That doesn't mean you should ignore social completely, and these articles will help you get the best return on your time investment.

Working with influencers

Start finding people that may be able to help you now, before you need it

On social media, and especially Instagram, you'll find thousands of people that declare themselves to be "influencers" and so demand free stuff in return for posting about you. 99% of it is crap, and you should avoid them. They are accounts with thousands of fake followers and are of no value.

But there are people that can help you, they just aren't the more obvious ones. Check out these articles on making the right relationships, then start finding your people.

That's the essentials of stage 1. To summarise: blog lots, convert the readers to email subscribers, don't waste too much time on social media, and start making contacts. If you're happy you're getting this right, move on to stage 2 and start converting your followers in to fans.