Viral marketing is the holy grail for most entrepreneurs and marketers. Most people think of a meme or a video that gets millions of views, but that’s not the right way to think about viral marketing. The hidden truth about viral marketing is it has to deliver core value in order to spread amongst the masses. According to Travis Steffen, viral marketing is the act of leveraging your own audience to pass your message on to others.
Travis is a serial entrepreneur, growth lead, and author of the book Viral Hero. He has helped create hundreds of millions of dollars in value for various Silicon Valley startups.
The reason most messages do not achieve this viral success is that most entrepreneurs and marketers start with an idea without verifying the details and purpose with intended users. When strategic flaws emerge, entrepreneurs are forced to pivot their business. A better approach is to engineer products in a way that turns customers into enthusiastic hosts that spread your message to anyone they come in touch with – just like a virus. And this virality can’t be circumvented with handwashing, masks, bleach, or experimental drugs.
In this episode, Travis shared key insights on building a business from ideation to launch and beyond, the right way to conduct market research with customers, lessons learned from a failed business venture, and the right way to build viral products and messages.
Key Insights on Business Building and Viral Marketing
Transitioning from professional online poker player and MMA fighter to building businesses
Launching a business using his current skill set and no business education
The process of building a business from ideation to launching to thriving
Having a structured conversation with potential customers with money to understand their challenges and enable the creation of solutions and sales copy
Most pivots happen because business owners are not listening [to customers] early enough
Targeting potential customers with money
How to develop a business and bring it to market it in a way that hits and sticks
Those who help create the plan, don’t fight the plan
Lessons learned from a failed business venture (very powerful story!)
How Travis grew his business, GrowFlow
Building a product or business that grow themselves
You want to make virality feel like you’re adding core product value to the user’s life by exposing others to it.
How to market your core value to potential customers
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Travis Steffen’s Book
Viral Hero: How To Build Viral Products, Turn Customers Into Marketers, And Achieve Superhuman Growth
Most Recommended Book:
The 48 Laws of Power (Robert Greene)
Lean Customer Development (Cindy Alvarez)
Getting up at 5 am and starting his daily routine of 20 things.
Wish I Knew When I Was Starting Out:
It doesn’t matter if I think I’m smart or important, what matters is how the customer feels about what I built.
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