Monthly Archives: February 2016

10 Ways to Use Engineering as Marketing

Episode 250 | 10 Ways to Use Engineering as Marketing
Date: 2015-08-18
Link: Startups for the Rest of Us
 
Startups for the Rest of UsBook: 80/20 Manager
Find your unique selling proposition.
Think if there is a free version of your product you can offer.
See if you can show a demo of your product’s abilities.
Show the benefits without forcing the commitment.
Show–not tell.
Advertise your product through your own customers.
Use a microsite to tell a story.
Use a public demo.
Implement a referral program of some kind.
Anything you do like a Powered By logo is very powerful.

“Though We’ve Hit Over 100k MRR in Less Than a Year, I Still Feel Like an Outsider”

TMBA309: “Though We’ve Hit Over 100k MRR in Less Than a Year, I Still Feel Like an Outsider”
Date: 2015-11-05
Link: Tropical MBA
 
Tropical MBAAlways find ways to make the business more interesting to you.
Make work that you really love and is really interesting.
The strength of the founder ends up being the weakness of the company. The founder doesn’t make it a priority to externalize that skillset.
Face to face meetings (Google Hangouts) are really important when you are working remotely.
Goals (for a company) create a lot of anxiety in people.
Do things in your industry that other people aren’t doing.

Finding Your Competitors’ Customers, Pre-validating a WordPress Plugin, How to Hire a CTO, and More Listener Questions

Episode 249 | Finding Your Competitors’ Customers, Pre-validating a WordPress Plugin, How to Hire a CTO, and More Listener Questions
Date: 2015-08-11
Link: Startups for the Rest of Us
 
Startups for the Rest of UsGo after businesses because they are going to be more likely to pay you than other group.
Having broad appeal is bad early on. You really want a narrow, narrow focus so you can get a small group of people in there that love, love the product. From there you can branch out and go broadly later.
Freemium off the bat upfront is going to hurt more than it will help.
Do not build your own storefront.
Validation is about gathering information.
With a WordPress plugin you cannot validate it until you build a free version.
Ship small, ship often, and ship all the way to production.
If you don’t have product market fit then your trial sign up to paid subscription pipeline is going to be approximately zero.
Once you find a scalable business model you need to execute.

So You’ve Been Asked to Speak at a Conference

TMBA308: So You’ve Been Asked to Speak at a Conference
Date: 2015-10-29
Link: Tropical Talk Radio
 
Tropical MBAWhen thinking of a topic for a talk think about what these people (the conference audience) would benefit from that we would have to offer.
To write a good talk takes at least forty hours.
Write paragraphs and try to figure out good stories.
Find a combination of actionable advice and good stories.
Good stories are what makes a great talk.
Nobody like bullet points.
Lead with a punch line and then tell the story.
Most successful talks have a high level concept that is then illustrated by a case study or an anecdote.
Pulling off a performance is a lot different than pulling off a talk.
In a 200 person audience the energy is only pressure (on you).
You can download free slide libraries.

MicroConf 2015: How to build a solo SaaS sales machine

MicroConf 2015: How to build a solo SaaS sales machine

Steli Efti (Close.io)
The person with the highest level of clarity always wins.
Sale based on value.
Don’t fizzle around based on features, pricing, and costs. Refocus the conversation on the values you can provide.
Truly qualify people.
Ask questions until you reach an understanding that needs the minimal amount of interpretation as possible.
You can be an amazing salesperson if you ask a lot of questions and qualify people correctly.
Content is not just for marketing. Content is also for sales. If you do content right it can be your invisible salesperson in the cloud.
You can do a lot of hacks to make a person open your email but then you need to deliver on it. Start off on the right foot.
If a certain amount of people do not think you are spamming them then you are not sending enough emails.
Send more email.
Book: Predictable Revenue
Go two levels above the buyer in the organization and ask for referrals down (to the buyer). (“Hey CEO of the business, I’m doing this in one sentence thing that is really valuable. Can you point me to the right person in your organization to chat with about this.”)
Much better process is top down than bottom up if you are doing enterprise sales and cold emails.
Never, ever, ever stop following up until you get a response.
Magic happens when you follow up.
Demos need to be 7-9 minutes and then you leave some time for questions. People will not remember anything more than ten minutes.
Everybody and anyone you know is part of your sales team.
Every person that buys from you can be part of your sales family. Ask for referrals.
Sales at the end of the day is you being the most decisive person in the room.
Once you are really truly convinced you can help them it is your responsibility, your duty, your religion to sell them.
Sales is a performance art.
It takes three months to know if somebody is going to be really good at sales.
The difference between somebody being good and truly great at sales is consistency.
(Download my notes from another great talk on sales Steli did at Y Combinator’s Summer Sales School.)