Solve Part of their Problem

November 10, 2019

I don’t remember where I first heard this principle, but it’s proven to be super useful and consistently effective for me over the years.

The idea is simple: your core product solves a big important problem. But if you help solve the other, tangential or prerequisite problems for free, you’ll do three things.

1) Proof
It proves to your market that you can solve problems. If you could solve that small one well, they’re more likely to believe your claim that you’ve solved the big one.

2) Reciprocity
By doing something nice for someone they’re more likely to return the favor. You do enough nice things for someone and, given the choice between two options, they may lean toward you.

3) Content
But it’s also great content. By cutting through the noise of self-centered content. Things that genuinely solve a problem for folks is a great approach to marketing and content.

esp (1)

It’s the concept behind ESP Finder. Marketers need insights into their competitors’ emails. This solves one piece (which ESP they use) but not everything.

But by doing so, we’ve found a bunch of paying users and potential partners.

Simple, Effective
It’s a dead simple concept, but it’s so effective. If someone is using you to solve part of the problem, they’re already customers.

And like the adage goes, it’s easier to sell to them again than it is to find someone new.

More updates from my solve-part-of-their-problem journal:

Hi, I'm Gregg.

I'm a marketer, maker, and long walk taker.


By day I run marketing for resort CRM / ecommerce provider, Inntopia. After the kids go to bed my laptop is my workshop where I'm building an email marketing tracking platform called SendView.