Notes on 'Marketing for Developers' -

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Purchased a convenient bundle of “Marketing for Developers” a few years ago. Time passes, and nearly forgot about the book and course.
Priorities. Life. You know, first world problems.

Resumed the course, this time for real, and I’m trying to motivate myself by taking notes about my learnings.

Buy it here Marketing for Developers – advice for programmers, software, and SaaS

1. How to succeed

“Build the right product”, sounds cliché, but that’s the hard truth.

“Build something people want” is another often used quote.

If your product gets recommended by other people, by word of mouth, it’s even better. That’s when you know you hit the nail on the head.

Don’t fall in love with your ideas. Validate them first, ASK the right people if they would be interested and if they are solving a problem they are having in a different way.

“Inspiration doesn’t always lead to great products”.

Don’t focus on the idea, or on yourself. Focus on the customer and if your idea could solve a problem they are actually struggling with.

Talk to people. Talk. to. people.

If you want to do good marketing, find an actual problem people have, and that they will pay you to solve it.

2. Choose the right market

Not all markets or niches are the same, in terms of customers willing to pay for your product.

Evaluate if a specific customer base are motived to spend money, acquisition of potential customers is feasible, and that the niche is big enough to bring home some $$$.

Find customer for whom you want to work.

Get started by determining topics you’re passionate about, evaluate a good market (are they willing to pay).
Do your research, don’t necessarily look at competitors, look at the issues your potential customers face, and if you can solve their problem(s).
Now you can decide wether it could be worth to build a product for them or not.

Remember: you build a product for THE CUSTOMER. Not for yourself. Not to try a fancy new framework/library/technology.


Try to answer these questions:

  • is the market quite easy to reach (socials, cold calling, email, others)
  • does the market have buying power?
  • are your potential customers willing to improve the way they work?
  • is the market too small and profits could be difficult to achieve?
  • do you like working and solving the problems your customers are having? are you passionate about the niche?

don’t start a recipe book if you hate cooking.

3. Understanding Jobs to be done

JTBD (acronym for “Jobs to be done”)

Theory for getting a grasp what brings customer to buy your product.

It tries to focus on THE CUSTOMER’s needs, pain-points in their process and daily activities.

To be able to understand your customer’s needs, you need to understand their daily routine, repetetive and time-consuming tasks, and if they’re motivated to change their process.

Do customer interviews. Ask people what issues they’re facing on a dayly basis.

Additionally, look how the potential customer’s are behaving (e.g. social media, blogs) and what bring users to a certain purchase.

4. Research

What do your potential customers really want?

Only if you bring them valuable and actual problem-solving solutions, you could have a chance of getting a new potential customer on board.

Find pain-points, patterns, common problems faced by potential customers.

Hang out on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook with people from a certain niche. Use #hashtags, /r/subreditts and join a few interesting groups to discuss and observe patterns and problems users are facing.

Write down a hypthesis of the patterns you recognized and a theory about what the customer wants. One sentence.

Look at it. Does it make sense? Is it actually the biggest hurdle users are facing?

Now create a landing page, with focus on the pain-point. Do people sign up and click on the call-to-action button?

If you can provide a free guide to something. If people sign up for a free resource, maybe they’re interested at your solution ot their problem after all.

Now. Ask people if they would buy (the product you’re advertising on a landing page, a working prototype, etc).

Would you pay for this if it existed?

Now build. Notice that until now you barely touched code?

5. Target the struggle. Paint the dream

If you find something people don’t like and want it to be easier, you’ve found a struggle people have. That could be a good start.

Additionally, choose a market in which you something about. If you’re a complete noob in that field, you are going to have a hard time

To be a product person, you need to humble and follow the servant’s mindset.

“What do customers need? How can I help them?”

Ask yourself: how painful is this struggle a user is facing?

You can categorize it with:

  • extreme pain
  • moderate pain
  • low pain

Based on the answer, you’ll understand how likely a user is willing to pay, and how much.

For extreme pain, pull marketing should be alright (SEO + SEM)

Moderate pain: Push & pull marketing

Low pain: lots of pull marketing

Inverse relation between intensity of pain and number of exposures to a user!

Extreme pain, low exposures. Low pain, high exposures.

The Lean marketing stack

Get data, don’t miss out on opportunities to get people signup to a mailing list.

Create a simple landing page, helps to concentrate of what your users want.

Marketing is about testing, analyzing the data and then iterate

Start with

  • Google Webmaster tools
  • Any analytics service (Segment, Google Analytics, Plausible Analytics)
  • Optionally set up an A/B testing tool
  • Set up a mailing list

My email list is my most important asset - Nathan Barry

Before you launch

Many types of marketing channels:

  • word of mouth
  • ads
  • partnerships
  • events
  • sales
  • seo
  • content marketing
  • email marketing

What seems to work really well are content and email marketing:

  • blogging, videos, landing page
  • interest-based mailing-list, weekly newsletters

Across all markets, email consistently outperforms other channels

Landing page

  • primary goal: mailing list
  • then, get people to buy

Effective landing page

  • headline, what advantages does this product bring to the customer
    • what is their main struggle, how do we solve it
    • focus on the customer struggle, using “you”
    • use verbs
  • body
    • visuals near top, engagement with nice image
    • what are the benefits?
    • social proof
    • describe your features
    • call to action
  • footer
    • Who made this site
    • contact

focus on the words.

How to write blog posts that get noticed

Similarly to launching a product, you need to do research, find pain points your audience has and wants to know more about. Then make the content reach people through marketing.


  • one pain point per blog post
  • follow trends?
  • make people feel comfortable, make it relatable, make them laugh
  • teach something new
  • unique content, shows trust
  • engage with people

Here, have a slice of pizza 🍕