Category Archives: conference

Promoting your software

This is a video of a “Promoting your software” talk I did at ESWC 2011. In it I discuss my experiences attempting to try every form of promotion known to man including: SEO, Google Adwords, magazine ads, affiliates, Facebook ads and hanging out in wedding forums using a female pseudonym. With real data! You can’t read the slide text in the video, but I have included the slides below.

A couple of people asked me afterwards whether anything I tried had worked. Yes! I wouldn’t have survived long as a microISV otherwise. But I didn’t really want to dwell on what had worked for me because it might not be relevant for different products with different price points in different markets. Also that isn’t the sort of information I want to give to my competitors.

Things were running a bit late due to problems with the projector, so I didn’t have time for the audience participation at the end. Projector problems are really not what you need when you are just about to do a talk to a room full of people! Many thanks to Alwin and Sytske of Collectorz for doing the video and to Dave and Aaron of Software Promotions for helping to sort out the unruly projector.

ESWC 2011

No proper post this week. I’m too busy finishing off my talk ‘Promoting your software’ for ESWC 2011 in London next weekend (19-20 Nov). I am going to talk about my experiences attempting to try every form of promotion known to man including: SEO, Google Adwords, magazine ads, affiliates, Facebook ads and hanging out in wedding forums using a female pseudonym. With audience participation! Plus real data!

There are also some other interesting looking talks. Chatting to other people in the business over coffee or beer is also invaluable. If you haven’t booked a ticket, it isn’t too late. Don’t worry if it is your first time – people are very friendly. Do come and say hello.

On the subject of conferences, the ASP is putting on ISVCon in Reno, Nevada, USA in July 2012. Being UK based it is probably further than I am prepared to fly for a conference. But I hope it is a huge success.

ESWC 2011 registration is now open

Registration is now open for the European Software Conference 2011. It is on 19th-20th November in London, with informal drinks the evening before. This is the top European event for microISVs and other small software businesses. It is always good to meet up with other microISVs and London is a great city to visit, even if only to remind yourself how glad you are you don’t live in a big city. The early bird rates are just 55 Euros (with no meals) and 155 Euros (including 2 networking dinners). The schedule is still being fleshed out. I will be doing a talk, provisionally titled “Promoting your software”. Watch this space for more details. There are still some spare speaking slots. It would be nice to see some new faces doing talks, so why not volunteer?

Sadly there might not be a Software Industry Conference this year. But if you are based in the USA you might want to consider MicroConf 2011 in Vegas 6th-7th June. There is also Business of Software 2011 in Boston 24th-26th October, but I think this is aimed more at larger software companies (or those that want to be larger software companies).

Marketing for microISVS

Below are the video and slides of the “Marketing for microISVS – embracing the ‘dark side’?” talk I gave at ESWC 2009 in Berlin. This is a high-speed ramble through a vast subject. In the 45 minutes available I do my best to dispel some of the myths software developers have about marketing and discuss some marketing concepts, including: branding; positioning; pricing; and segmentation. Taking in Harley Davidsons, tinned tomatoes, Coca Cola and food blenders on the way. The first couple of minutes, where I dispel the myth that good software sells itself without marketing, are missing from the video due to a dead camera battery. But you knew that anyway, so I don’t think this detracts much overall.


Slides (which might not make much sense without the video):

NB/ When I said 47Signals, I meant 37Signals (brand inflation?). Thanks to Tarek for the correction.

Links to some of the things mentioned in the talk:

A big thank you to Alwin and Sytske of for hot-footing it from Alwin’s talk to do the video (you can see Alwin’s excellent talk on web app pros and cons here). And also to David and Panagiota for all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes organizing ESWC.

If you found this talk useful you might also like 10 mistakes microISVS make.

Off to ESWC 2009

marketing for microisvsI will be off to ESWC 2009 in Berlin in a few days. I am doing a talk “Marketing for microISVs – embracing the dark side?” on the Saturday morning. It is going to be tough to tackle as huge a subject as marketing in 45 minutes including questions, but I like a challenge!

I am also looking forwarding to touching base with old acquaintances and meeting some new people. If you are going to there, do come and say hello.

Ten mistakes microISVs make

Here is a video of the “Ten mistakes microISVs make” talk I gave at the Software Industry Conference 2009 in Boston. Total duration: 27 minutes.

The slides aren’t terribly easy to read, due to the resizing and compression of the video. But you can also download the paper and slides:

A big thank you to Alwin and Sytske of for doing the video. You can read Alwin’s excellent software marketing blog at

Feel free to embed this video, as long as you include a credit and a link back to this blog.

How many of these mistakes have you made? How many are you still making?

Heading off to the Software Industry Conference

I am flying off to SIC in Boston tomorrow (Wednesday). I hope to put faces to email addresses and talk to as many people as possible. Please come and say hello if you spot me (mugshot here).

I am going to try to meet up with a couple of the Business of Software regulars on Thursday lunchtime (11:30am – 12:45) in the Adam’s lounge bar/restaurant in the conference hotel. If you are at SIC and aren’t otherwise engaged on the Thursday lunchtime, please come along. I will be wearing a lurid orange variant of this T-shirt, so I should be easy enough to spot.