What should our priorities be, taking into consideration that we are bootstrapping? Should we figure out our conversions and have our analytics set up ourselves or should we hire a dedicated marketing person? If we do hire, should we look at freelancers or a established agency?
If you need instant revenue, a PPC campaign might be the best approach. I would always suggest hiring a person or agency to manage that unless you have someone on staff that focuses on that alone. Doing PPC yourself is easy, but it's rarely the most profitable way to go due to the nuances that are required to really squeeze out the ROI from a PPC campaign.
Marketing person can help, but if you're bootstrapping will it cause to much financial strain or pressure on the business, as marketing results don't always happen overnight.
I like to focus first on the customer experience. Is signing up for the app as easy as possible, are users actively using it and what it the feedback on that. If there are holes in that and you're spending money on a marketing person to bring on new users, that might not be the best. Likewise can you do anything with your existing users to increase WOM from them to help you grow vs. a marketing person.
Lastly can you partner possibly with someone who has already spent gobs of money on advertising and can you get in front of their audience with some type of collaboration or integration with your app.
Few things to think about. Wishing you great success ~ Mike
At the risk of sounding biased, you need a consultant first to help you organize your next steps.
Based on your description and question, it is hard to tell exactly where you are, what your in-house capabilities are, or what your next steps should be.
You could spend a lot of money on an established agency, but it be entirely the wrong fit for where you are as an organization. Likewise, you could hire a freelancer for much less money and quickly realize you under-hired or hired the for the wrong skill set.
I'm happy to talk more and help you navigate this. Book a call and we can talk specifics.
These are really good questions. I am currently knee deep in the "On-Demand Economy" so I know the in's and out's as well as being the ex-director of operations and sales for YourMechanic.com (on-demand mechanics). I think someone answered your question here on Clarity and they said, you really need a consultant. That is what I do, so ping me if you have an interest in an engagement.
I have 2 bootstrapped companies, both living online.
I suggest you do not externalize your marketing efforts but rather test and learn with the budget you would have given to an agency.
Like most of business topics, it all starts with your target group, what they need and then how your product solve their problem. Once you are clear on that, you can test Ads to improve your click rate. For example, for my Shapewear Lingerie business, we knew Bridals were looking for a high quality product, making them look smooth and toned for the big day. Our Bridal related Ads have a click rate of 15% vs. our average 1-2%.
I'm happy to have a call to work together the entire path (from target group to click rate).
I have bootstrapped over 25 business, most which have been sold to larger companies. Your best marketer is yourself. You have lived with the product and know the products in their entirety. Essentially, you are a product of the product and need to market yourself as such.
With regard to freelancing, you get what you pay for and there is no real results in marketing other than the revenue created which can not be traced back unless you have a way to do so. On the flip side, an established agency will have an upfront cost and could take a percentage of sales based on the company size.
To finalize this thought, invest in yourself to become the business and find your own niche market.