When I was a young fellow at secondary school we had to jump hurdles in the physical education class. I have to tell you I was petrified every time we had to do this. I wasÂ short and the hurdles were these obstacles I had realÂ difficulty getting over. Most of the time we both ended up horizontal on the ground.
These days there are still plenty of hurdles around. Sometimes programming seems to be all about getting over one hurdle only to reach the next one all too quickly. And sometimes the hurdles seem to be more like brick walls! In the end though we always get to where we want to go, even if by a circuitousÂ route.
A far bigger hurdle for meÂ these daysÂ is getting more people to know about Surfulater and to understand and appreciate how useful a tool it can be for them. You have no idea how frustrating this is. If Surfulater was just another pieceÂ of poorly designed, poorly implemented software that didn’t meet any reel need, then there would be good reasons why folks weren’t interested in it. But that isn’t the case at all. Our users think Surfulater is a truly wonderful product, and of course they are right. Now this is great news and, as I wrote to a new user Sidney Whitehead yesterday, it is a great motivator which helps keep Surfulater on a steady growth path.
This is an excerpt from yesterday’sÂ e-mail from Sidney:
Congratulations on creating such a well thought out and useful product.Â I was so thrilled to find precisely what I needed in Surfulater that three days was enough to convince me to purchase the product.Â Anyone accustomed to filing clippings from magazines and newspapers should now be relieved that they can do the same thing with added functionality in an electronic format.Â I just happened to stumble across your product after doing a Google search on â€œsaving web pagesâ€, in which Surfulater appeared as the tenth entry at the bottom of the page.Â Iâ€™m convinced that if more people were aware that such a fantastic piece of software existed, they would convert immediately.
I’m convinced that Sydney is absolutely correct in his assessment. And therein lies the problem – getting more people to be Surfulater aware.
In my mission for Surfulater success I’ve been trying to find solutions to my marketing problems. I’ve talked to and communicated with various marketing people and companies, but so far haven’t found anyone that could make a real difference, well at least not in a cost effective way. One person that has been helpful is John Seiffer who is a small business coach. Our discussions inspiredÂ John to write Marketing, Sales & Dating on his blog. I’ve replied withÂ a comment which elaborates on the issues I’m facing. I was going to re-post that here but decided it would be best read in context with John’s article.
Marketing is hard, no doubt about it. It is something you need toÂ devote a lot of time and energy to, toÂ get anywhere. Occasionally luck is on your side, or you happen to know someone that knows someone that …, well you get the idea. And things get in your way, like the need to continually improve the product, fix problems, provide support, talk to your spouse, eat and sleep.Â And if you think marketing is hard then try programming.
Ok, let me wrap this up. Go and read John’s blog post and my reply. If you know someone that knows someone, please put me in touch. If you have any ideas that can help with spreading the word about Surfulater, please do let me know. And finally if you know someone who isÂ good at marketing or at least is up to a challenge let’s talk.