“Ten Rules for Maker Businesses” by Wired’s Chris Anderson — Rule #9

Marketing is your job.

As the inventor of your product, you’re the best marketer for it, too. That doesn’t mean that you have to start doing infomercials or even taking out ads. Because you’re a Maker, you’re part of the larger community of Makers, and people want to hear about you and your product.

You should be blogging about your progress, and tweeting, too. Take pictures and videos of every milestone, and post those. Use every opportunity to talk about your work in progress and get people excited about it, which will not only start to form a community around it but will also build demand for it.

That’s all marketing. Community management is marketing. Tutorial posts are marketing. Facebook updates are marketing. Emailing other Makers in related fields is marketing. I suppose what I’m doing right now, writing this list, is marketing.

Of course it’s not just marketing: the reason why it’s so effective is that it’s also providing something of value that people appreciate and pay attention to. But at the end of the day, everything you do, from the naming of your product to whose coattail you decide to ride (we chose Arduino) is at least partly a marketing decision.

Above all, your community is your best marketing channel. Not only is that the source for the word-of-mouth and viral marketing that you’ll need, but it’s also a safe place to talk about your own products as enthusiastically as you want.

If you’ve given people a reason to gather that serves their needs and interests, crowing about your cool new gizmo isn’t advertising, it’s content!

#1 Make a profit.
#2 It takes lots of cash to stay in stock.
#3 Buy smart.
#4 Basic business rules still apply.
#5 You get no leeway for being a maker.
#6 Be as open as you can.
#7 Create a community to support and enhance your products.
#8 Design for manufacturability.
#9 Marketing is your job.
#10 Your second most important relationship is with your package carrier.

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