First customer for software house

Przemyslaw Michalak Software Developer, Co-founder of GlueCodes

February 6th, 2020

Hi everyone. I'm new here and English is not my first language so i'll start with apologies for any mistakes.

Question is simple. How to reach first customers. First we thought we going to use linkedIn, totalJobs etc. Day after release of our website and preparation of profiles on all known by us portals, we quickly found out that's probably not gonna work.

We know for a fact that market is in huge need of developers and solution offer by us are very competitive, but we have no knowledge or experience in reaching people on the other side.

We are currently preparing blog as part of promotion and looking for websites linkedIn alike for B2B but it's really hard to verify what websites can actually help us and what are just simple scam.

We just don't know what is the next step to get to companies who need project to be done. We aim for customers wanting brand new website/web-app or we can help them to upgrade or move from old technologies or frameworks to new one. But how to get in touch with them?

Hellen Oti No-Fluff Technology Marketing Strategist, CEO at Brisque

March 7th, 2020

Hi Przemyslaw,

From reading your about section on Linkedin it looks like you might have a unique solution. The idea of delivering new features separately without affecting existing users is something that software businesses may see as a viable solution. As someone who works in marketing in the software industry, I'll also say that selling to B2B clients even for established businesses is not an easy initiative. It involves clearly established steps that help with trust-building and often has too many players involved. It's tough but it's a goal that's attainable so don't lose hope.

You have a nice professional looking website so I feel like you are ahead of the game compared to some other startup businesses. However, I noticed a few possible challenges with your current marketing strategy:

  • Market Message: Your current marketing message is somewhat confusing. As I mentioned previously, I liked the fact about deploying new features or applications separately from existing environments. On the other hand, at times I wasn't sure if the company was just a front-end web development company. What the company does, the problem that you are solving and how you do this uniquely, why your team is the one for the job should be very clear.
  • Target market: it also appears that you may have an issue with targetting the right audience for your product. I would suggest that you take a deep dive to figure out who your target audience for your product is. If your targeting other developers, you may need to also think about who the decision-makers are for developers. As you know, in most organizations, these decisions would have to be made by an IT Manager or a higher up management personnel in the development team. Questions to answer through this process:
    • What are the job titles that I am targetting?
    • What's the age range for your audience?
    • What kind of media do they use?
    • What does the person struggle with today?
    • How does your solution solve those issues?
    • What are the objections that people are likely to have that will stop them from buying your solution?
    • How do you tackle objections or remove barriers of entry?
  • Marketing Strategy: your marketing strategy will utilize the information that you've gathered. For instance, if you've identified all the problems that IT managers currently have with managing their existing software that your solution solves, you can take each problem, expand upon it and start creating content resources around this. I wouldn't advise blogging without clearly identifying what you hope to achieve with your blogs. While I am highly specialized in digital marketing and I enjoy it as a marketing form, sometimes you need to go out there and market traditionally. It's probably a good idea to start attending some local events that that house your target audience to start meeting people.

Feel free to reach out. I'd be happy to talk in more detail to help you refine your strategy.

Good Luck!



Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

February 8th, 2020

Unfortunately there is no simple answer. You and a few THOUSAND other small companies are trying to offer exactly the same thing to the same people, and you're not being heard at all.

Before launching a business you need to understand your market. Having a skill doesn't mean anyone wants to rent that skill.

What persuades a customer to choose a service is a collection of three things:

1) personal benefit

2) dramatic difference

3) reason to believe

Number 3 is usually pretty easy, you can either prove you can deliver on your promises or you can't. Number 1 is harder because if you can't communicate benefits instead of features, you won't persuade. And if your benefits are broad benefits, not personal benefits to the decision-maker, then you're too far removed. Why should the prospective customer care? Number 2 is the most difficult, because 20% different than your competitors isn't enough. People don't change their service providers for small differences like 20%. They change for 50%+ differences. What makes you truly unique? What can you do no one else can? What are you first, best, or most?

Lastly, your language barrier is going to reduce the number of people willing to work with you. Although your question came across clearly, there are some people who will ignore you because they refuse to do business offshore. The next group will ignore you because you make mistakes in communication and it's implied you may also make mistakes in programming as a result of imprecise communication. Lastly, many people don't believe that outsourcing is the right way to do development on principle.

It's a steep hill for you to climb. It's not simple supply and demand. Generally people who need developers would rather have no new developers than to have the wrong developers. Do your research, you'll find out a lot more opinions.

Marketing strategy MUST come before your service offering. It will inform what is included in your service, to whom you will be able to sell, the channel where you will reach them, and what their trigger is to choose you.