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traction Gabriel Weinberg Justin Mares

 
Traction is a term that on the one hand looks very technical. It shows that a vehicle, a machine with grip moves in the right direction.
On the other hand, and that is the name in the entrepreneurial sense, it is also about movement. It means that a company manages to get its marketing and sales energy onto the ground with limited resources.

Do you want to achieve explosive customer growth on a clear set of channels? This short summary of the book Traction by Justin Mares and Gabriel Weinberg can be your starting point!
 

The Authors of Traction

Gabriel Weinberg started his project DuckDuckGo in 2008, which is a search engine that offered less advertisement and more relevance than any other search engine available at that moment. In the year 2014, in collaboration with Justin Mares he launched the first version of Traction.

Justin Mares already had an extensive experience in the startup arena being a founder of RoommateFit at that time, which is an Art Dating-Service roommates. While on the positions of a director of Revenue and Growth in Exceptional Cloud Services he built an ambitious sales team providing marketing services. The lucrative company was soon acquired by Rackspace.
 
 

Traction - My personal key takeaways

Thinking in line with Traction

Invest a half of your available time in your brainchild and the other half invested in traction. If you want to gain impetus a bit faster, you can go with that in three stages.
  1. Create something that people really want
  2. Sell something that people really want
  3. Scale your business
 

The Bullseye Framework for getting traction

Okay, imagine yourself a dartboard. The outer ring represents all possible channels that you can research for your business. The main point here is that you do not eliminate any channels completely driven by subjective preferences. Moving from the outer ring — it requires teamwork, towards the medium range. In order to understand what works and what doesn’t really show the result you should test all the channels at hand to figure out which channel would work for your business. You can use brainstorm, a poll among market participants and any other similar actions. You keep testing down to the center of the bulls-eye, whereby the bullseye is your traction goal, — and you set a clear focus on the channel that is going to truly work well for you.
 

Traction Testing

A/B-tests allow weighing different options against one another. Working with specific indicators will also mean your goal becomes more quantifiable.
 

Critical Path

Set for yourself and your team clear milestones. Specify your traction and define your critical path to your goal.
 

The 19 Traction Channels

1. Targeting Bloggers and Influencers
Make your very special offer for the sake of your goal and add a guest contribution project with which you can actually start. Concentrate on smaller blogs, because blog stories are filtered from the top.
2. Publicity
Work on building proper relationships with the reporters specifically in your area, and always read what they write. AS long as you can lace your project milestones into a story, you can pitch this story to the professional journalists who can make it sound even better.
3. Unconventional PR
Execute a massive, attractive, advantageous, amusing and really original action. When you create something amazing for your customers, when they see your effort and feel like a part of your story then the amazing will follow for you and your business.
4. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Here you can test keywords, banner ads, demographic target group, landing pages and Cost per Click offers. Longer keywords offer an advantage since they compete less than shorter words; they are targeting more specific and often less competitive than generic keyword terms.
5. Social and Display Advertisement
First of all, you are supposed to have some rousing and captivating content. It’s better to have smaller content but easily divisible. When the content is divided the time comes for promotion boost.
6. Offline Ads
Search for Rest post offers in order to test this channel time and cost-effective.
7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Concentrate on the process of building links and quality content. It will help to produce really unique and engaging content which will also simplify the link building process.
8. Content Marketing
As long as you start blogging stay focused, and give it a minimum of 6 months of your dedicated attention. The simplest and most unobtrusive way is to completely engage yourself into needs and problems of your target group and just write about it.
9. Email Marketing
Wonder what the key to success can be here? It’s personalization. It’s all about the person you are trying to reach out. There are lots of tools for you to test and enjoy, as well as various options to build and balance.
10. Viral Marketing
Find your viral pocket. You might already be going viral, just in a smaller subgroup of your target audience. Exactly in your endeavor to boost the scale you should “test, test, test”.
11. Engineering as Marketing
Look around your tools and pages. Maybe there is already something valuable among things you have that can start generating a positive result in customer growth? May it be something that your customers can already use and potential customers may be attracted by?
12. Business Developmentt
Always pursue mutually beneficial relationships and partnerships. To make it the best way you can, you should, first of all, establish for yourself why a potential partner would be interested in collaboration with you.
13. Sales
In the beginning, do not cancel out the cold calls, because your first clients are first of all those who have some burning problems or needs and you are the one who can address these issues personally and lay a foundation for a future trustworthy relationship between your company name and your clients.
14. Affiliate programs
Here is a simple and cost-effective way to test your potential vendors, your ambassadors, and later, you will be able to search new affiliates through your customers' subscription base, for example, establishing new interesting and potentially beneficial contacts.
15. Existing Platforms
Only after you figure out where your potential clients hang out online — big popular platforms, niche platforms, or maybe a few at once — you can approach with greater precision.
16. Trade Shows
Plan appointments and dinners with potential partners beforehand. When you get to know your chosen interlocutor closer you can find out how you can approach them on site.
17. Offline Events
Ist all about testing on a small scale. Take your initiative to organize little meetups or go out and attend various events as a participant and learn from every your experience.
18. Speaking Engagements
Send your proposals well in advance, since the host will have to find a slot for you among other speakers. You are going to position yourself as a true expert there so that you can maximize your chances of a really powerful engagement.
19. Community Building
Cultivate and engage the preachers and advocates of your project. Encourage and actively participate in establishing and nurturing really fulfilling relationships between all the members of your community.

You would like to learn more about the channels? Read our articles with valuable hints. Here's the link to the channel overview.
 

My Conclusion of Traction

The authors deserve appreciation for choosing a simple and illustrative way complemented by the deep-reaching practical insight to lead the reader through the playfield of traction channels. You can set up your own startup experience but you are welcome to use the examples of some business founders’ experience. Believe me, it is a sort of compulsory but absolutely delightful reading for anyone who has the aim to become a successful entrepreneur.
 

Relevant Link recommendations to traction

If you guys have become aware of your playing field in terms of possible traction channels and want to get more ideas of how the whole process works as well as to get some nice application examples, go on order this book. For instance here, on Amazon . The authors have various Media channels where they share their experiences giving some really valuable tips. Here, at Zapier , you can find the applied research materials which will surely help you to start with traction right away and gain momentum.

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André Wehr
André Wehr
As a founder and entrepreneur, I experience every day how important Traction and Customer Centricity is. It makes the difference between a nice idea and a viable business.

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