I want to build a two sided marketplace for creative industries.

Which side do I work on first- do I concentrate on getting buyers signed up and then sellers or vice versa? How do you do it


Hello - this is a classic Chicken-Egg question.

First, you need to identify the specific need that the buyers and sellers are facing. Are there already marketplaces that do what you're suggesting? Do those marketplaces have weaknesses? Do they have massive brand awareness that would make it difficult to overthrow?

If you have solutions to these questions or challenges, I suggest first targeting the creatives. Make it dead simple for them to create a profile and explain that you're building your marketplace. Perhaps you can incentivize them with waived fees, exclusive options, or "Founding Member" benefits.

Once you have the community of creatives, start matching the specific needs of the client with the creative, perhaps running Facebook ads to new founders advertising branding services (which in turn takes them to the "Branding" category of your marketplace).

Then, start building your content library to attract organic traffic. Focus solely on the specific needs of the client in one blog and the specific needs of the creative on another. Position yourself as a partner, not a vendor. You are there to support their success.

Good luck,

Answered 3 years ago

You'll want to target the side that has bigger pain as your entry point.

In addition, it's also worth considering a narrower subset in the "pain" category. One where you can imagine the onramp process.

An example would be airline reservation system (API). There are ticket buyers and customer service representatives. If you imagine the customer service representatives to have more pain (i.e. a poor experience and lack of features), then you would want to start with that side. A subset of the industry may be smaller regional or budget airlines. They may be incentivized to try something new based on cost concerns and a smaller overall footprint for their products.

You want to build a pain killer, not a vitamin:

Answered 3 years ago

Hello. I help increase sales through customer success.

I quote below my answer to a similar 'business strategy' question. This outlines an approach. We can talk about your specific need and solution. Let me know. All the best - Somesh

"Business Strategy: In a two sided service marketplace for freelancers what should be the Go-to strategy or the best way to reach the target audience ?

Somesh Bhagat, Increasing sales through customer success answered:


My expertise is in helping expedite business outcomes.

The best advise is to tell your prospects of the unique value of your service or its unique positioning in terms of how it will help your customers. You need to articulate compelling propositions that are irresistible and sustainable. It should be better than your competition and communicated strongly.

A two sided service market place it a tough spot. You have to address two big audiences, who may have totally different characteristics, messaging need, and business development strategies.

Before your Go-to strategy you need a compelling story, a mission, and a vision. You also need to articulate a business strategy encompassing both ends of your business model.

The go-to strategy will evolve from your business propositions, market, business model, and audiences. What kind of freelancers you are taking about - professionals, technicians, labor et al. Who is on the other side of the market place - individuals, households, businesses-small/medium/large/government et al. What is your revenue model and business plan. How strong is your competition? How strong are you versus competition? Do you want to go for the whole market or a niche depending upon your SWOT? How are you different from Fiverr, Upwork, Clarity, and the like or unlike? Your go-to strategy should answer all these questions at the very least.

You may find better and sustainable success going this route.

Hope this helps and let me know if I can be of further assistance for the above. Best wishes."

Answered 3 years ago

I'd say work on the supply side. Only when you have a good quality supply side can you start to work on creating the demand. That's how Uber started too. But you must work on the 2 simultaneously, with a focus on the supply side, initially.

Answered 3 years ago

Some good answers here.

I would add that network effects can be a curse if you aren't careful:

E.g. say you can’t get sellers to pay for permanent placement on a listing app like yours, if they leave the app is less valuable to buyers, so then buyers stop coming. Less buyers means the app is less valuable to the sellers. It's a vicious cycle.

People using something lots doesn’t mean they’ll pay for it - whichever route you go, do as much research as possible so that when you open up the revenue taps, people will pay to use your service. People need to feel they can't live without it after using your service. Sell painkillers, not candy.

Answered 3 years ago

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