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I Built It, but They Didn’t Come: Why Field of Dreams Marketing Doesn’t Work

I Built It, but They Didn’t Come: Why Field of Dreams Marketing Doesn’t Work

Over the last couple of years, it has become harder in the WordPress space to just build something and expect it to sell. In this talk, I will review my own experience with creating courses and expecting people to just buy them. We’ll go over what I did right, what I did wrong, and what I’m working on to make my marketing plan better.


Joe Casabona

March 03, 2018


  1. I Built It, but They Didn’t Come Why Field of

    Dreams Marketing Doesn’t Work casabona.org/wclanc @jcasabona
  2. None
  3. @jcasabona -???? If you build it, they will come.

  4. @jcasabona What is Field of Dreams Marketing? • Creating a

    product or service and assuming people will just buy it • “I think people need this, so they will buy it from me.” • “They will just show up.”
  5. @jcasabona Why Did I think this would work?

  6. @jcasabona My Freelance Career ➡2002: First website, paying, falls into

    lap ➡Jun. 2003: 10 Clients. No Marketing ➡May 2007: Charing $75/hr. Go to grad school to grow biz ➡2010: I’ve partnered with 3-4 designers that send me code work. I do no marketing, I have regular work.
  7. @jcasabona My Freelance Career ➡2011 - 2017: Work a 9-5.

    Still do freelance work on the side. ➡2016: Get married. 1st Baby on the way. Decided to cut back on freelance projects in favor of products. ➡2016: Start podcast that also grew organically ➡June 2017: Leave Day Job to make online courses full time. My daughter is 3 months old.
  8. @jcasabona Word of Mouth was basically my only method of

  9. @jcasabona In this talk… • My Original Process for Making

    Courses • What Launch Day Looked Like • What I Though I Needed to do • What I Learned I Actually Needed to do • My New Process for Making Courses
  10. @jcasabona Decision Making • “I know how to use this.

    I will make an online course.” • I never blogged about the topic • I did very little research. • My first course: Create a Blog from Scratch
  11. @jcasabona Problem 1: I was not am authority on blogging.

    People know me best as a developer.
  12. @jcasabona Problem 2: I didn’t know the audience. At all.

  13. @jcasabona Launch Day • Complete Course & load it into

    LMS • Tweet out that it’s launched • Blog Post • Newsletter • ... • Profit?!
  14. None
  15. @jcasabona This was also problematic.

  16. @jcasabona What I Thought • Regularly tweeting and asking people

    to promote it was key • People would implicitly see the value in what I was doing
  17. @jcasabona I knew how to sell 1 $5,000 website better

    than 100 $50 courses
  18. @jcasabona What I Learned • People need to trust you

    before they buy from you • You need to understand the problem your customers are trying to solve • It’s much easier to sell to current customers than new customers
  19. @jcasabona What I’m Doing Now • Carving out my niches

    by blogging and going on podcasts • Collecting email addresses in a meaningful way • Offering free advice • Offering deeper learning in a smaller number of areas
  20. @jcasabona I launched a new Course yesterday.

  21. None
  22. @jcasabona Joe Casabona casabona.org/wclanc Educator, Developer, Podcaster