Everyone always says that you should look to friends and family for your first customers, and that you can spread your company message via word of mouth, but it feels to me like I would end up alienating a lot of friends and family members if I'm constantly plugging my business trying to get people to help me with it.
I've been trying to think up ways I can get people I know to be excited about what I am doing, and so I thought about giving out the product for free...
well that's great and all, but I sell physical goods, so I would then be taking a loss, every month, on each friend or family member who I'm giving away goods to.
I've also sent cold emails in the past, but it seems like this rarely resolves into anything interesting happening because the relationship is, well, cold.
I've thought about printing flyers with free trial offers, but I don't feel comfortable using the services of other businesses (such as bulletin boards) without providing value in return.
I've been working with AdWords to promote, but that is also expensive, complicated, and time consuming. I spend enough time coding and developing the project. There has to be a more human way to spread the word.
SEO is something I work on, but it takes months to establish good SEO, so I just try and work on it a little bit each day.
I've been trying to brainstorm creative ways to promote myself that provide value for value, as opposed to just spamming or plugging.
Any suggestions as to how I can find the target market to offer value to? I guess another way to put this is:
How do I find the people who consider what I'm doing valuable?