Founders guide to developers

Tessa Kriesel
Tessa Kriesel
Founders guide to developers

Guide to successfully launch your developer audience focused SaaS product.

Jump to the Table of Contents

This guide is not consumable in a single session, or even something you can read start to finish and then step away from. This guide will follow along with you as you launch your developer audience focused SaaS product. It's more of a workbook than a book.

It's our goal for this guide to take you from zero customers to hundreds, and teach you how to scale that to thousands.

One week you will be focused on a marketing campaign to attract new developer users by leveraging Twitter, while the next you might be focused on setting up your MVP community. Each with step-by-step instructions to do things our way, as well as detailed insights to allow you to make the right choice and do it your way. We don't care what tools you use, as long as you learn the why behind each project and find what works for you.

Key takeaways

  • Valuable insights into developers
  • Key templates and canned messages for engaging with developers
  • Personas driven by motivation that help you incentivize & reward developers
  • Guidance on building a trust-based culture across your org
  • Two detailed maturity models for your business
    • Audience growth plan that outlines the phases of your product (development to post-launch) providing areas of focus & executable step-by-step campaigns to accomplish your company goals
    • Product adoption maturity model that outlines the phases your users go through from unaware to advocacy, providing step-by-step executable campaigns to serve users best & showcasing opportunities to leverage customer advocacy
  • To do list (and instructions) for setting up your marketing & brand presence, tracking & reporting, and tips on how to save time and automate key tasks. Walking you through what platforms are important to developer audiences.
  • Eight key focus areas for your business, each including step-by-step executable campaigns that help you accomplish a number of common goals among early-stage startups (or those just beginning to focus on their developer audience).
  • Insights and resources for setting goals that will make an impact on your business. Use our pre-defined impact statements for your presentations with stakeholders and investors.

Who can benefit from this guide?

This guide is intended for technical founders, early stage CEO's, scrappy startups, or organizations that are new to targeting developers. This content will walk you through building a developer audience (around your product) and accomplishing your company goals along the way. Our tactics help you build a dedicated user base early, which will help you scale your efforts later.

We're still working on it

This guide is full of rich content already, but please keep in mind, this guide is just beginning. Bookmark it, and keep coming back—there's bound to be more content when you return. This piece will always be evergreen, but if you become a subscriber, we will notify you when the piece is complete (for now).

Table of Contents


How developers think

Understanding how developers think is key to the success of your product. I realize you may be a developer yourself, but until you dive into marketing to your own kind, you don't really understand the true differences between developers and the rest of the world.

They don't trust anyone, except their own kind, but not right off the bat—you have to earn it.

Personas based on motivation

This blog post is a great place to get started.

Building trust with developers

Read about our Building Trust Model here.

Building a trust-based culture across your org

This blog piece is coming on April 27th, 2021


Developer audience maturity models

Developer audience growth plan

Audience phase Focus Areas Details
None Preparing workflows & tooling You're preparing to launch your product
Friends & family Listen to your users to improve your product You've invited your close friends and family to try it
Invited Listen to your users to improve your product
Engage to better understand your audience
You've invited professional colleagues and other professionals you trust to try it.
Lurkers Listen to your users to improve your product
Engage to better understand your audience
Educate to drive product adoption
You begin to see new customers that you do not recognize—lurkers from your invites thus far.
Close-circle advocacy Elevate to scale your efforts
Engage to better understand your audience
Leverage your current network beyond those you've individually invited to build your customer base.
Early customers Attract new users
Inspire to drive revenue & paid usage
You start diving into the focus areas and begin bringing in new early users.
Early customer advocacy Elevate to scale your efforts
Inspire to drive revenue & paid usage
Leverage your early customers to help you bring in new customers.

Developer product adoption

Your users will go through these phases as they become aware of your product and start using it. Your focus areas are ever-changing as your users evolve through your customer flow. It's important to always be thinking about the developer audience focus areas, no matter what stage your business is in. Your first customer may reach the advocacy stage in a matter of days if you're doing a great job supporting early signups and your product has a demanding market fit.

Developer phase Description Focus areas
Unaware User before they know your product exists Attract new users
Awareness User is aware of product, not sure on need Inspire to drive revenue & paid usage
Interest New user signs up Educate to drive product adoption
Onboarding The process developers take from sign-up to leveraging your product Educate to drive product adoption
Engage to better understand your audience
Evaluation The time between sign-up and upgrade or paying subscriber Inspire to drive revenue & paid usage
Listen to your users to improve your product
Early Adoption This is the time after they first integrate your product into their development workflows. Support your developer users
Inspire to drive revenue & paid usage
Engage to better understand your audience
Adoption This is when they have started deciding if they use other products based on if it supports your product. You're in. Listen to your users to improve your product
Engage to better understand your audience
Advocacy When a developer advocates for your product and brings in new users. Listen to your users to improve your product
Elevate to scale your efforts
Team members When a developer likes your product so much they want to help build it. Recruit the right talent

Developer audience focus areas

Devocate focus areas
Whatever stage your product or business might be in, you are going to experience problems and establish goals to improve the key areas. We believe these areas matter the most when working with developers.

Developer advocacy & audience deliverables

Devocate's methodology leverages these eight focus areas you just read about. We will be sorting deliverables by these areas below in our Airtable. Understanding these focus areas will make this content easier to consume and practice.

Developer advocacy comes in all shapes & sizes. DevRel teams are creative and smart—they need to understand and support the best problem solvers on the internet. You may not be ready to hire & leverage a developer relations team just yet, so we've captured a list of deliverables that are commonly seen in developer advocacy and grouped them by our eight focus areas. As you dive into our guides and campaigns, you will begin to see how these deliverables and corresponding focus areas are key to understanding our methodologies. We believe that every project or campaign you accomplish should contribute to multiple goals and needs across your organization, not just the immediate need you are trying to solve.

Access this Airtable directly


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