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Lessons from HustleCon 2013

Hustle Con

A new blog post has been way overdue, but I’ve been out of town for family reunions and weddings galore!  Despite my crazy travel plans, last week I was lucky enough to attend Hustlecon ’13, a conference aimed at entrepreneurs who have little access to technical skills or resources and are looking for tactical competence for acquiring customers and penetrating the market – aka me! There were many impressive speakers from StichFix, Udemy, Badgeville, Intuit & more.

Today I’m going to give my top lessons from Hustlecon 2013: problem-based marketing, and the importance of brand.

Problem-Based Marketing

Although they didn’t have a product, no team, no team and no developers, Ilya Lichtenstein from MixRank gave his insight on how he started to acquire new customers. Ilya knew what the problem was, so he decided to take a different approach: problem-based marketing.  The benefit of using problem-based marketing rather than product-based is that there is a greater focus on the problems and the benefits, rather than the specific features of a product.

How did he do it? He started blogging, guest blogging on his competitors sites (content is key!), creating co-marketing partnerships, hosting webinars, developing microsites, and offering free consulting sessions. By the time they were ready to develop and release a product, they were already well known in the market. Understanding your clients pain points and having the ability to effectively communicate the value is extremely important.

Importance of Brand

Gagan Biyani, an advisor to Lyft, spoke about the significance of maintaining brand identity in the market, and I really appreciated it because powerful branding gets lost so many times in Silicon Valley. In May Lyft raised $60 million in Series C, and Gagan told us that in order to protect the brand identity, Lyft didn’t seek media coverage for this funding. Rather, Lyft’s priority was to maintain and promote their brand as a fun rideshare where drivers always greet you with a fist bump – like you’re riding around with a good friend.

Can you imagine what humility, yet confidence, you must have to not boast about raising $60m? I’ve got massive respect for a start-up that understands and keeps their brand values at such a level to approach their communication strategy as such.

Next Up

There’s plenty of content coming soon; I’ve just been a bit behind! Stay tuned.


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