Do you Feel Nervous when you Announce your New Product or service?

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Every week, I write an article to share my learning or discovery during my startup journey. Here is the link to my reasons for penning these articles for myself and for many others like me.

As an entrepreneur, you must either build on a product or sell your services.

Does this situation happen to you too?

You feel nervous when you need to publicly share information about your new product/service for feedback or selling.

This was how I felt the past week.

In the last couple of months, I created a Udemy course for Project Managers, and simultaneously, I also worked on a product idea.

I had been connecting with my close friends for both of these products. I have been incorporating their feedback and following their guidance in my product development journey.

Besides this, I was also reaching out to strangers through different channels like Medium, LinkedIn, and Reddit.

But all these interactions were one-on-one.

Last week I had to broadcast information about my product to the public.

This is not natural for an introvert like me, and I felt stressed and got goosebumps while sharing my product information in public.

One little voice inside me tried to delay this public announcement and sabotage it by telling me all the negative things or mocking that others would say about my product.

I listened to my little voice and delayed the public announcement on the pretext of some more polishing and fixing some cosmetic bugs.

Then, I remembered Scroll VIII from Og Mandino’s book “The Greatest Salesman in the World.

“Today, I will multiply my value a hundredfold. And just as the warm wind guides the wheat to maturity, the same winds will carry my voice to those who will listen, and my words will announce my goals. Once spoken, I dare not recall them lest I lose face. I will be as my own prophet, and though all may laugh at my utterances, they will hear my plans, they will know my dreams, and thus there will be no escape for me until my words become accomplished deeds. “

These lines gave me the strength to go ahead and share my dream (product) with the outside world.

Being an entrepreneur, especially as a solo founder, it is impossible to sit in a corner, speak to 2–3 people weekly and still expect good leads to convert into sales.

Every day I need to step out of my small and cozy world of known connections and reach out to strangers for my product marketing.

This was an arduous task, but with motivational tips from Og Mandino and a self-retrospective download from myself, I worked on this task last week.

The result is not very encouraging; in one case, it backfired nastily.

But being an entrepreneur also makes you more resilient to handle setbacks gracefully. So here I am sharing my story of misfires and the learnings after that.

Attempt #1

I wrote a cold email to a group of Project Managers. We connected on a forum to exchange PM-related articles and webinars.

This forum uses an inbuilt platform to exchange messages with each other. On this forum, I sent a cold email about my Udemy course to random Project Managers in my network. I wrote a short message:

In case you are starting your Project Manager journey, or if you want to check the essential areas in your project for successful completion, please check this course: Jumpstart your Project Management career

The next day I received this email from a lady:

This is actually insulting.
Don’t just send your adverts to anyone. Look at profiles first.
Kindly don’t contact me again, otherwise I’ll report you.

My first reaction to this response was confusion. How could one promotional email insult anyone. The second reaction was a feeling of distress from her outburst. This person’s response was also copied to all the other 20 recipients in the cc’ list.

After a few minutes of this unhappy feeling, I talked to myself, “Whatever done is done. I cannot change it now.”

Maybe I used the wrong forum, and it was not the right approach to send a promotional email here. My earlier thoughts were that everybody was in the same professional space, and they would be able to comprehend this message.

But there might be some people like this lady who would want to drive this world according to her beliefs. By the way, I was also among the likes of such people. So when someone behaved against my standard of perfectionism or views, I would also have felt bad (but not insulted).

Retrospection: What would be the best way to handle such angry downpours?

Simply ignore them and be more cautious in handling such forums. Check the rules for posting in the forums as well.

Attempt #2

I took help from the free B2B databases to find the email ids of people that looked like my target customer personas. Then, I intended to send a cold email to them about my product.

I spent about 2–3 hours finding the verified email ids from this database. I got sixteen leads.

The next day, I sent them personalized emails by writing 1–2 sentences specific to their profile.

Here are the statistics.
Total Leads : 16
Bounced : 5
Unqualified Leads : 5
Emails sent : 6

Just 6 Qualified leads from 2+ hours of effort. Not very encouraging

Retrospection: Is it worth the time to find the target leads?

Yes, adjust your target persona, so you get Qualified leads. Also, find a better lead database to minimize the bounced email rates.

Attempt #3

I shared the message on the Reddit channels, those subreddits allowing such promotional messages. I shared my landing page Speakho and asked for feedback, queries, or collaboration.

I got two queries in response to my Reddit messages. This seems to be the most positive result among my three attempts at different marketing channels.

Retrospection: I got a better hit rate on Reddit. Should I always prioritize it above other marketing channels?

Yes, the data shows that the response rate is better than targeting specific groups or personas.

After these three attempts of finding leads through three different channels, here are my key learnings or takeaways that I would keep reminding myself of every time.

1. Being ok after the sudden outpours

One of the critical entrepreneur traits is to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. So, all the angry outbursts that would have disturbed you earlier but now should never be taken personally.

Instead, treat them as a part of your entrepreneurship journey. Take the learnings from these incidents and quickly move on.

2. Silence your little voices

You will always hear inner voices to delay the tasks you feel most uncomfortable completing. You need to silence these little voices quickly by finishing the task as early as possible.

It is much easier to handle the unfriendly outer voices from people around you than to crush the little voice of doubt inside you.

3. Get ready for the surprises

Good and bad surprises are in store for you. In attempt #1, I got a nasty surprise by an angry message, whereas in attempt #3, I got a pleasant surprise by positive responses.

Quickly forget the bad ones. Do not let any of these bad or good responses control your day. Instead, look at them as an opportunity for learning and to strategize your next moves in your business.

Keep your goals in front of you, and your fears behind you — Tony Robbins

Wishing you a great week and hope you get more good surprises this week.

The next article will be published at weekly intervals. If you like my article please give me a follow 😇 or simply send me some claps and feedback.

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Anju Aggarwal

Anju Aggarwal

191 Followers

A budding entrepreneur journalling her in-progress startup journey. Expertise in Products, projects & Process management in the IT domain.