Trevor LonginoMarketer, Leader, Banjo Player

CMO of Unito, a work-integration service that connects productivity tools together. Formerly Head of Product & Head of Marketing & PR for, a leading BLE beacon hardware company; formerly Head of Marketing & PR at, an online video game distributor.

Recent Answers

If you don't have a license, you can't legally offer the file to download, unless it is shared with one of a select number of free licenses that don't require attribution. A "thanks" is no legal protection against DCMA takedown notices and RIAA or MPAA lawsuits.

So in short: you need licenses.

Hey, Aayush;

I launched a marketing consulting business in 2008 and ended up teaching marketing strategy to companies like Disney, Cox Communications, and more before the recession hit in 2010 and forced a change in career. Let me share what I learned then with you.

The easiest way to do this is to find a niche that you may feel is poorly represented and start buying clicks. Maybe you want to pr motor yourself on Facebook to game developers or target a list of 5,000 self-published authors on Twitter. Find the market you wish to enter and figure out how to reach them. Build content that's laser targeted to that market.

Optimize your landing pages, do all the smart marketing tactics that you should have learned by now and you should be able to gain some traction. That will take a decent amount of money, but you're generally better off burning money instead of time if you have a successful business. The exchange rate between USD and rupee may hurt too much to do that, though.

The alternative is to take time instead of money. Find those same audience members who you want to do marketing for online. They have hangouts somewhere: Google Plus or LinkedIn Groups or even dusty old phpbb forums. Spend a few weeks just listening. See what they need. Start offering some free advice and see how they react. Once you understand what they need and how you can economically provide it, build your landing pages and then go back to your new friends and start asking them to spread the word. Treat those first few clients like kings, because their recommendations can make all the difference between winning over your new market or struggling futilely.

For as long as you can afford to, plow all of the profits from your new market into growing that market. Eventually, after a year or three, you'll look around and realize that all the hard work has paid off in success. And then it's time to add another new market and start again. šŸ˜Š

First of all, the power of a marketplace is only unlocked when you have network effects among buyers to retain sellers and when you also have some daunting barriers to competition. I'll assume you know this and you've got a plan to help lock in your network once you gather it.

Even you have tremendous scope of reach like Google did when they launched their Play store, they start by lining up some sellers. An empty storefront will make a buyer bounce and never come back, but if you're persuasive and patient, you can get some sellers to work on something for your store before there is actually a marketplace.

Line up enough different sellers that you figure that at least 66% of those who come to your marketplace will stick around long enough to read about one or more of the products that your marketplace sells. Don't launch until you have them all ready and placed in your store.

Then go out, buy traffic from some PPC or display as networks, and start to sell in your new marketplace!

Good luck, and let me know if you have any further questions.

Content. Content, content, content. Work like hell making good content for at least 60 and perhaps 90 days.

No, you won't earn a cent yet. But what you will have is an incredible tool to you win over influencers when you start to promote.

Early promotion is easy. Find other people in your space who already have an audience for doing similar stuff (but not quite the same) and guest post / write for their site. If you're doing financial writing, look to write about a timely topic in Forbes or somewhere big as a stringer. Cross post your content to places like LinkedIn Pulse or Medium. Find people whose writing you admire and ask them for feedback on what they would change.

Once you've written the content, the job's just started, as you can see. Promotion will take up a lot of time, and you want to make sure that you are in a groove and can easily keep producing new content while sinking 2x - 3x the time it took to write an article going around the Net and promoting it or promoting you.

What's the way to Carnegie Hall? "Practice, practice, practice." šŸ˜‰

That varies wildly based on sales cycle and product complexity. An easy rule: sales staff should be as much as you can hire and keep costs under revenue. Support should be enough that customer response times are never over 24 hours. If it's taking longer, hire more support if you can afford to.

If you can't afford to, you probably need to simplify your product or else improve your sales processes. šŸ˜Š

My company just went through this. There are several ways you can approach the problem:

1. Find a mentor. Who's the biggest kahuna in your space? Reach out to him or to her. Don't ask for money or intros to VCs. Just pose a good question and start a conversation. Experts love to be heard (how else does Clarity work? :). Use that. If you're interesting and you have a great product, they'll approach you about finding.

2. Attend (and win) some pitch competitions like TC Disrupt. This is a toughie, but if you can cut it there, you can cut it anywhere. Note that good pitches do not necessarily convert to good product (hello, "Yo."). Even if you don't win, some VCs will see you and may approach.

3. Get into an incubator. Y combinator, hub:raum, Wearable World, and do on are all designed to teach you what you need to know to make your next round a success. Find one in the US and get going. Yes, it will cost you a little equity, but it may be worth it in networking and preparation for pitching the US VC market.

3. Pitch somewhere else. Why focus on the US? The VC market there is going to be bone dry in 2016. If you can secure money from anywhere (and you need it) I'd suggest you go and take it now. If you need to raise a round in Q2 2016, good luck to you, because you have a tough row to hoe.

4. PR. If you do an excellent job with PR--especially PR aimed at securing a new investor--you can make good headway in the US. But that will run you ~50k USD to raise 3+ MM USD if you're lucky. Performance can vary wildly.

5. Networking. Hit up the speaking and trade show circuit for your industry and shake enough hands, you'll eventually find a VC. But it's hard going and also super expensive if you're not a US company to travel that much to the US.

Hope one or more of these helped. Let me know if you have any follow up questions about, for example, pitching. Which is a whole 'nother ball game. šŸ˜Š

Well, an obvious way to do this, if you haven't already, is to create foreign language versions of your website. Depending on what countries you want to target, making localised language versions of it will boost your traffic 200% from those areas or even more.

Here's a quick guide to how you can get started with that on your own (

Beyond that, I'd buy click traffic from countries that are not the US and see where they leave. Then solve for that and, as you get stickier in those countries, you'll also do better on SEO.

Finally, I'd look for some social media / web influencers in the market sector that you are in as well as the countries that you're interested in and see if you can get them to guest post / cross post any content to drive content from their users to you to help increase visibility and earn a little precious SEO benefit as well.

Any further questions, let me know. :)

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