Monthly Archives: December 2015

14 Ideas for High Impact Lead Magnets

Episode 248 | 14 Ideas for High Impact Lead Magnets
Date: 2015-08-04
Link: Startups for the Rest of Us
Startups for the Rest of UsDo not take business advice from somebody who does not have good work/life balance.
Five to seven day email courses work really well. It gets a subscriber used to hearing from you on a regular basis.
Some markets might be oversaturated with email courses and they might be valued less than an ebook.
An email course helps to promote trust and establishes you as an expert in the industry you are promoting the email course on.
A top ten tools list are easy to put together.
Give away a free training video or walk-through of something.
A single video is becoming less valuable.
Keep your video pacing as fast as you can.
An ebook should be 40 to 200 pages.
A swipe file is a collection of ideas.
Do a case study which is a deep dive into a particular problem with a before and after.
When deciding what lead magnet to create ask what the goal of that lead magnet is.

The One Where a Business Starts on the Show

TMBA307: The One Where a Business Starts on the Show
Date: 2015-09-24
Link: Tropical MBA
Tropical MBAThere are some pretty clear upsides and some pretty clear downsides to starting a productized service business.
You’re almost a consultant in the beginning.
SWAS: Software With a Service (where you use a product to deliver a productized service)
Fives steps are:

  • Identifying a market problem.
  • Identifying your business goals.
  • Crafting your offer.
  • Developing your logo and branding.
  • Delivering your service.

After you’ve spent a certain number of years in an industry and honing your skills you start to realize there are best practices.
Freelancing and consulting can both become kind of a trap.
To get a business started you really need a couple of anchor clients to see what they need.
Every business starts with a sales letter.
It is important to work directly with the anchor clients and to document that process.

Valuing People vs. Valuing Process

Episode 247 | Valuing People vs. Valuing Process
Date: 2015-07-28
Link: Startups for the Rest of Us
Startups for the Rest of UsTrust people not process.
Have really good people and let them run it.
Know your goals up front.
Hire as good as you can.
Any tasks that involves a high amount of creativity or is extremely complex is hard to turn into a process.
Error on the side of valuing people.

Listener Mailbag: The Aftermath

TMBA306: Listener Mailbag: The Aftermath
Date: 2015-09-10
Link: Tropical MBA
Tropical MBAIt is just as easy to make a million bucks as it is to make ten.
The whole point of a lifestyle business is that it doesn’t need to change.
You need to be an A-player in order to attract A talent.
You find your people in a lot of non-obvious places because if it is too obvious a bunch of posers are going to be there.
Part of preparing for (shit hitting the fan) is preparing for success.
Money and power can cloud your vision.
People can have different trajectories.
A lot of times partnerships get created are that people are short on cash.

9 Reasons Why People Won’t Buy Your Product (And How to Fix Them)

Episode 246 | 9 Reasons Why People Won’t Buy Your Product (And How to Fix Them)
Date: 2015-07-21
Link: Startups for the Rest of Us
Startups for the Rest of UsDon’t go too much into the features too quickly or else people won’t understand the value they will get out of it. You can’t just go after benefits either.
The headline should be a promise rather than a description.
Start with a benefit (promise). Then text that digs down into how it does that (but not features yet). Then some testimonials or press links. Then dig into a couple of features in bullet points or short snippets. Three to six features on home page.
Use “you” language on home page.
Also have a full features page.
Targeting traffic is hard. The less traffic you send to your homepage the better. Send more traffic to individual landing pages that look like your home page but with the headline changed to something that hits with the traffic source.
You can morph your pages to talk directly to an audience.
People might not trust that you can deliver on the promises that you are making on your homepage or landing page. To get around that you lead nurturing. Offer something very small in exchange for an email address.
It is hard to tell how long lead nurturing is going to take.
There is going to be an incumbent in whatever market you enter into.
The biggest competitor to most bug tracking software is spreadsheets. If it works well enough then why would somebody change?
You have to show not just incremental value but a dramatic savings in time, a dramatic savings of money, or how you can make someone a lot more money, or how you can remove a pain from their life. You have to figure out what that pain is and really go after that.
Remove the pain of switching from whatever they were using to using your software (even if you have to manually enter data for them).
Asking someone to sign up for your service is asking them to do work.
Send emails to new users with their onboarding tasks. Have a walk-through or guided setup.
Use something like retargeting to bring people back.
Collecting email addresses and then not emailing them for three months is the worst thing you can possibly do.
You can ask on your sales page, “Have you tried a bunch of other products and they haven’t worked for you?”
It is hard to not overprice something if you are not also delivering the value.
Don’t drop price. Add value to it.

Building Teams of A Players

TMBA305: Building Teams of A Players
Date: 2015-08-28
Link: Tropical MBA
Tropical MBAWhen you’re 0-15 employees every one of your employees has to be an A player.
When you get up in the morning you’ve got to be motivated to work on your stuff.
As an entrepreneur your goal is to capture your best creative energy.
If you find yourself not insulated from the day-to-day business you are probably working with a lot of B players.
A players loved to be challenged and criticized. They are problem solvers. They demand to work with other A players.
A players are competitive by nature. They want to win. They want to see results.
Just as important as hiring A players is getting rid of B and C players.
When you are hiring people it is a two-way street.
A players don’t just want a job–they want the right job.
It takes between six and twelve months of somebody working in your business to find out if they are an A player. You need to have systems and processes in place to determine if they are not an A player and to kick them out as fast as possible.

Tips for Fighting Stress and Anxiety as a Founder

Episode 245 | Tips for Fighting Stress and Anxiety as a Founder
Date: 2015-07-14
Link: Startups for the Rest of Us
Startups for the Rest of UsSave up money and pay for the vacation up front.
Think about the big picture of what is going on. Identify the things that are stressing you out and understand and recognize the different signs of that stress.
Stress leads to procrastination and is a vicious cycle.
Identify what the stressors are. Write down all of the things that might be stressing you out and what about that particular thing is stressful.
There are certain type of stress you can just ignore them. An example is negative blog comments.
Avoid some things entirely. Don’t overcommit.
Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can early and as you go along you have to start switching that up to yeses and nos. At a certain point no becomes your default answer.
Outsource things.
See if you can eliminate the source of what the stress is.
You’re not tied to your current product if you are an entrepreneur.
Focus on the positive elements of what you are doing. Make sure they are realistic.
Don’t hang on to everything.
Book: A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
Not knowing what is next freaks a lot of people out.

Competition, Transparency and Funding with Baremetrics Founder Josh Pigford

Episode 244 | Competition, Transparency and Funding with Baremetrics Founder Josh Pigford
Date: 2015-07-07
Link: Startups for the Rest of Us
Startups for the Rest of
Transparency for transparency’s sake is kind of gimmicky at this point.
Use (transparency) to tell a story.
When you are growing it is easy to get ahead of yourself.
Ignore the hype and start poking around AngelList to find angels who want to help out.
Profitability is the goal.
Build a business rather than slide decks.
Copycats motivation is just to make a quick buck. They won’t be around in a year.

7 Things To Consider When Selling Your Business

TMBA303: 7 Things To Consider When Selling Your Business
Date: 2015-08-13
Link: Tropical MBA
Tropical MBAMost small businesses you never exit from. They either wind down or you go out of business.
You should know who you’re going to meet in the process (of selling your business).
Be 100% honest and transparent with your staff.
Until you have money in your bank account there is no deal.
Get as much experience from your peers as you can.
All buyers want to feel like they are getting a great deal.
It is really important to get your financials in order from day one.
It is hard to get a good valuation number (when your business is growing).
(Buyers) are not comfortable with staff turnover.