These are all of the podcasts - and research interviews - we did with successful entrepreneurs to compile the book. Listen & learn.

August 2, 2014

Concentric Circle Marketing

Concentric circles are layered circles where you have one smaller circle in the middle, and then more circles layered on top of the first circle where each circle is a little bit bigger than the previous circle.

Rob Walling has an effective and efficient marketing strategy to find your first customers. It’s called concentric circle marketing.

Rob’s strategy rests on the basis that there are four different concentric circles you can market to:

The first circle is your personal network. Sell your product and determine its value by talking with people who you personally know. Do this before you talk with anyone else. In here, you can always contact them and they’ll easily acknowledge who you are.

They’ll also respond to you and reasonably help you, as long as you have a great relationship with them.

The second circle is your personal audience/following. These are the people who form a part of your audience and who follow you on social media. Your second circle is full of people whose ears you have - through your personal blog, your business’s blog, your podcast, or any medium where people follow you and your work.These people value what you have to say and listen to what you have to offer since you’ve consistently provided value to them in the past. You may not personally know a lot of these people (though it’s good to try to!), but they know you.

The third circle is your personal network’s audience. Ask your friends and colleagues if they can promote your product to the people who follow them.

Note: Only ask your friends to promote your product to their audiences if their audience will get value from your product. For example, if you have a friend whose audience is made up of mostly freelancers, and your product is built specifically for SaaS businesses, then don’t ask that friend to promote your product!

Your friends can promote your product to their audiences if they:

  • Tweet about your product and post about it on Facebook or other social media sites.
  • Include a link to your product with a brief description of it in their email newsletter that goes out to their email lists.
  • Give your product a shout-out on their podcast or video show.
  • Invite you to their podcast or interview show as a guest to talk about topics that you’re knowledgeable about. You should talk about something that’ll help their audiences. While you’re on the show, you’ll have an opportunity to mention your product and describe how it can help them as well.
  • Have you write a guest post for their blog.

If your friends have big audiences, it will never hurt to ask them for a bit of help promoting your product. Just don’t pressure them too much. Also, tell them it’s no problem if they prefer not to promote your product to their audiences.

The fourth circle is cold traffic. Cold traffic is in no way connected to you. It does not come from someone you necessarily know or follow. People who come to your site as cold traffic likely will have little idea of who you are and why they should buy something from you. Cold traffic may come from advertising, random reviews, or social media. Make sure that there’s a way for cold traffic to easily sign up for free educational content that you can give out to them over time. Examples for these are signing up for your list or your free email course.

Some cold traffic will buy your product right away, but most cold traffic won’t buy your product immediately. Give them a way to get to know you and learn from you for a bit of time so you can build up trust with the people who came to your site. Eventually, the people who came to you as cold traffic will warm up. Then, you’ll be able to get a much higher conversion rate.

Always have an email opt-in form on your product’s sales page that people can use to sign up for free content. If you give away free content to cold traffic over time, you’ll get way more customers in the short-term and especially the long run.

Case study:

When Rob Walling was getting the first leads and customers for Drip, he used this strategy. At first, Rob spoke with people from his network about Drip and asked them to be the first customers.

Next, Rob sent an email blast to his personal audience and asked them to sign up to receive news about Drip on its landing page, if they were interested.

Then, Rob asked friends and other people in his network to share Drip’s landing page with other people so he could get as many leads for Drip as possible.

Afterwards, Rob had a segmented launch* for Drip. Finally, after this, he started letting cold traffic come to the site and sign up for it when he had the public launch already.

* Segmented launch is a topic that we’ll talk about in a future chapter.

Chapter summary:

  • Concentric circle marketing is a blueprint for marketing to different groups.
  • Start selling to your network and friends.
  • Secondly, sell to your audience.
  • Thirdly, sell to your friend’s audiences by asking them to promote your product to their audiences.
  • Finally, sell to cold traffic. Encourage people who visit your product’s sales page as cold traffic to sign up for free content from you so you can gain their trust over time.

Learn how to find your first customers