Lots of people in marketing today are looking for the quick solution to growth. They want viral content or a hack that gets them business fast. These exist, but they are unpredictable and rare, and businesses cannot depend on them. A viral video might get 1 million views, but that doesn’t mean the next six videos will repeat the performance.

“There are no silver bullets for this, only lead bullets.”
-Ben Horowitz

If you ask a successful startup founder how they got their first 10-100 sales, the most likely answer is they ground it out. They called people, emailed people, talked to people on the street – anything they could to get the word out and get people paying for their product. In essence, marketing stems from this: use whatever means you have at your disposal to get leads and convert them into customers.

That simplifies the goal: find a predictable way to get sales where the cost is less than 30% of the lifetime value of a customer. It doesn’t matter how much or how little effort goes into getting the sale, as long as it’s predictable, you can plan how many leads you need to get the sale and make sure it’s profitable. From there, you just increase lead generation and you know your sales will ramp up. It doesn’t depend on making the next viral thing, all it requires is executing on the predictable methods you’ve figured out.

Once you know you’ve got this down, it’s also easier to get investment, if you need it – you can tell a prospective investor exactly how much money you could make from their investment, because you know exactly what it costs to get a lead and then a sale.


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