Austin SchmidtMarketing Technology + Digital Marketing Nerd
Bio

I'm obsessed with digital customer acquisition and marketing technology, and love working with small businesses and startups. That's why I do what I do: Help SMBs and startups find their dream prospects and turn them into lifetime customers. The era of small business is back, but this time, it's happening online. Are you ready to seize it? If so, let's chat. Struggling to pick the right marketing or sales technology? I've used dozens, and can help you ask the right questions and find the perfect fit for your unique business. LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/austin-schmidt-33201645/



Recent Answers


It depends on the business, but generally, it should be both, not a choice.

People get all giddy about "inbound marketing" and think SEO is the holy grail. The problem is, that in competitive markets, everyone has that same brilliant idea. SEO agencies tend to promise more than they can deliver. The reality is it's impossible to guarantee a top ranking for a non-branded query. It also tends to take longer than people think to achieve the top spot.

And PPC, well, it can be expensive. Without free cash to invest, scaling PPC is tough, especially in a business with a mid-long sales cycle.

Now that I've shredded both, here's my view:

You need a strategy for both. When you build a SEO strategy, you should be thinking about NEXT year's sales and the long-term growth of your business. PPC and targeted social ads are the more effective way to scale near-term sales. In the ideal world, you can slowly move away from large paid investments as organic scales.


CRM is the ultimate "it depends" question. There are hundreds of solutions out there, and many of them are pretty good. With that said, many fill different niches and have varying strengths and weaknesses.

For basic CRM needs, here's an underrated one: ActiveCampaign. Very inexpensive, easy-to-use, and fully built in with their marketing automation, email, and SMS solution.


I'd use social media for the purpose of building an audience who loves you. Your promotion should never reference Patreon IMO. Focus on getting your content to the people who will love it, and the rest will work itself out.

Assuming the Patreon button and a subtle callout is visible on your site/YouTube videos, that is. :)


Not sure about VC, but I know for a fact the private equity firms do this.

It's usually in the context of a "standard operating procedure."

I worked in two companies owned by a leading tech PE firm, and they had a standardized tech stack (with specific vendors) that we were expected to use. Using anything else needed to be approved. This was actually a good thing, because..

It came with enormous discounts. Be prepared to have an incredible value proposition AND discount like crazy.

If you can pull it off, it's a consistent flow of clients without sales acquisition costs.


My advice is to start publishing. It won't be easy, and it's quite possible some people will continue to brush you off, but if you keep putting valuable content out there you'll find your audience (that will LOVE you).

Try Medium and LinkedIn for blogging, and YouTube for any video content.

Stick with it and good things will eventually happen. As Steve Martin would say, "be so good they can't ignore you." Best of luck to you!


I'd start with #1 & #3 and ignore #2 for the moment.

Teaching people to program is a brutally competitive space with some pretty sizable funding behind it.

But teaching current programmers to make more money and win more clients? Much lower barrier to entry IMO.

The reality is, there's no magic formula in launching something like this (although, many will attempt to sell it to you :)).

My Advice:

1) Build a useful course.
2) Create a presentation touting the benefits of your course.
3) Setup reoccurring webinars (read: record once, have daily 'airings')
4) Buy a niche set of Facebook ads to your dream buyer.

Test from there... Happy to discuss further if you're interested.


Try very targeted Facebook and LinkedIn ads. Go with aggressive pricing on the first one if needed, then use it as a case study.

Facebook acquisition costs can be shockingly low if you know what you're doing.

Free hours for referrals can be a huge one as well. Current customers are always the best marketing channel IMO.


If you're not 100% sold on the idea, figure out what the ideal marketing offer would look like to promote this service. Then, launch a niche Facebook ad campaign at your ideal buyer and see what kind of traction you get.

This will help you determine if the interest is there before you go all in. It'll also give you a small list to sell to once the service is real.


Hey there,

A big one is location = Paris but language = English, among others. I get it's not B2B, but LinkedIn has some really good targeting for this context IMO (i.e. went to a British, Australian, US universities living in France)

Best of luck!
Austin Schmidt


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