growth
http://startupmba.foundercentric.com
hello@foundercentric.com
foundercentric.com
@foundercentric
!
Mailing list: http://bit.ly/fc-list
Question
Where do traffic
and leads come
from?
Beware!
There’s more bad
advice about marketing
than any other part of
starting up
Comment on
every blog post in
your industry!
Always be
tweeting! Build
your followers!
Sanity check
“Do more of
everything”
is not a strategy
It is wild flailing from
well-intentioned folks who
don’t know what you
should actually do
Shawn Carolan Menlo Ventures
Startups don’t
starve; they
drown.
What we need
1. Clear goal & targets
!
What we need
1. Clear goal & targets
2. Simple daily process
What we need
1. Clear goal & targets
2. Simple daily process
3. Measurable results
Discussion
What have you seen work
previously?
!
How did it drive the business?
Part I.
Clear goal & targets
3 ways to grow
1.Sticky - users never leave







3 ways to grow
1.Sticky - users never leave
2.Paid - buy users for less
than you earn





3 ways to grow
1.Sticky - users never leave
2.Paid - buy users for less
than you earn
3.Viral - each user
brings at least ...
The right qualities for early stage
1.Sticky - cheap & fast
2.Paid - expensive; requires
mature business model
3.Viral - s...
Sticky
Once a customer shows up,
they never leave
Focus on retaining existing
users rather than finding a
repeatable way to...
Paid
You can buy a user (via ads
or salespeople) for less than
you can earn from them
Rarely works profitably for
young com...
Common paid channels
• Salespeople
• Physical stores
• Search ads
• Display ads
• PR
Rules of thumb
You can scale software with direct sales if
your product sells for more than $10,000
!
Online ads are usual...
Caveat emptor
Premature scale is the #1
killer of startups mainly
because of how much money
you can spend when you try to
...
Viral
Each user you get brings at
least one more along with
them
More of a product strategy
than a marketing one
The rules of viral
1.You must have tech & design on your founding
team















The rules of viral
1.You must have tech & design on your founding
team
2.You will prioritize growth over everything
(inclu...
The rules of viral
1.You must have tech & design on your founding
team
2.You will prioritize growth over everything
(inclu...
The rules of viral
1.You must have tech & design on your founding
team
2.You will prioritize growth over everything
(inclu...
The rules of viral
1.You must have tech & design on your founding
team
2.You will prioritize growth over everything
(inclu...
The rules of viral
1.You must have tech & design on your
founding team
2.You will prioritize growth over everything
(inclu...
The golden rule of viral
Nobody cares about your
product as much as you do.
If they’re going to share it, the
act of shari...
Discussion
Which products caused you to quickly
get other people to use them?
!
Was it voluntary (a recommendation)
or for...
Improving virality
k = #referrals
* clickthrough
* conversion











Improving virality
k = #referrals
* clickthrough
* conversion

1.Improve k







Improving virality
k = #referrals
* clickthrough
* conversion

1.Improve k
2.Reduce time until sharing (it spreads
faster ...
In our humble opinion...
Sticky is the right
option for 90% of
new companies
So let’s get
back to sticky
Jason Cohen
(on starting another company when
he already has an audience of 50,000)
Absolutely true, it’s a completely unf...
The goal
Develop your
sticky community
funnel
The community funnel process
1.Traffic shows up (we’ll learn from where)















The community funnel process
1.Traffic shows up (we’ll learn from where)
2.You give away free gift & create value










...
The community funnel process
1.Traffic shows up (we’ll learn from where)
2.You give away free gift & create value
3.Exchange...
The community funnel process
1.Traffic shows up (we’ll learn from where)
2.You give away free gift & create value
3.Exchange...
The community funnel process
1.Traffic shows up (we’ll learn from where)
2.You give away free gift & create value
3.Exchange...
The community funnel process
1.Traffic shows up (we’ll learn from where)
2.You give away free gift & create value
3.Exchange...
The community funnel process
1.Traffic shows up (we’ll learn from where)
2.You give away free gift & create value
3.Exchange...
Daniel Priestly
If you only have the core
product and not the full
model, you don’t have enough
flow and are tempted to
inc...
We’ll need to design these 5 pieces
1. Free gift
2. Product for prospects
3. Stay-in-touch content
4. Core product (£)
5. ...
Discussion
What are some gifts that
are cheap for us to give
away, and which create
real value for visitors?
Educate
Inform
Amuse
Inspire
Gifts
= Content
Gifts
Educate
Inform
Amuse
Inspire
Rand Fishkin
Content is the keystone of
inbound marketing. Without
content, there’s no SEO, no
social media, no community,...
To create value, the
content needs to be
exceptional
!
(which is different from perfect)
Content is great
1.Fast & cheap to produce
2.Free & instant to distribute
3.Measurable
4.Lets you begin building audience
...
Your startup has a mission
Startups are designed
to either create joy
or remove pain
Your content has a mission too.
What do they get for their time?
This is all about
helping ____________
learn/be/do ______...
Tip
Your content shouldn’t do exactly the
same thing as your product. Rather, it
should be interesting for the sort of per...
120 seconds. Make as many as you can.
This is all about
helping ____________
learn/be/do __________.
That’s the
value proposition
of your gifts
and content marketing
Workshop: design your funnel products
1. Free gift
2. Product for prospects
3. Stay-in-touch content
4. Core product (£)
5...
Part II.
Simple daily
process
The process
1.Make things
The process
1.Make things
2.Tell people
The process
1.Make things
2.Tell people
3.Repeat
Example: tools for writers
This is all about helping new
authors get their first book
finished
!
!
Example: tools for writers
This is all about helping
new authors get their first book
finished
!
1.Daily inspirational mini-...
Example: tools for writers
This is all about helping
new authors get their first
book finished
!
1.Daily inspirational mini-...
Most common content failure
“What should I
say today?”
The content creator’s spiral of death
1.Decide you’ll write every
time you have a “good idea”.
2.Wait months.
3.At last, i...
Marketing is work (not inspiration)
Community growth: 2 years of writing when
inspiration struck vs. 3 months of writing
d...
Best practice
Put your marketing on auto-
pilot by deciding:
!
1. What you’ll create and how often
2. Where you’ll announc...
Example: tools for writers
1.Daily inspirational mini-posts
2.Helpful weekly newsletter







Example: tools for writers
1.Daily inspirational mini-posts on
pinterest
2.Helpful weekly newsletter 







Example: tools for writers
1.Daily inspirational mini-posts
on pinterest
2.Helpful weekly newsletter of
an author intervie...
Remember
Don’t make a decision every day
if you can just make it once!
!
(but of course, be ready to make a
new decision i...
Best practice
Reduce the cost by:
!
1. Front-loading the creative burden
2. Removing friction from creation
through batchi...
Example: tools for writers
1.Spend 2 hours today finding several dozen
quotes, then outsource the design and daily
posting ...
Example: tools for writers
1.Spend 2 hours today finding several
dozen quotes, then outsource the
design and daily posting ...
More examples
• Twitter important to you? Use bufferapp.com and ifttt.com
to automate



















More examples
• Twitter important to you? Use bufferapp.com and
ifttt.com to automate
• Making lots of video content? Set u...
More examples
• Twitter important to you? Use bufferapp.com and
ifttt.com to automate
• Making lots of video content? Set u...
More examples
• Twitter important to you? Use bufferapp.com and
ifttt.com to automate
• Making lots of video content? Set u...
More examples
• Twitter important to you? Use bufferapp.com and
ifttt.com to automate
• Making lots of video content? Set u...
Workshop!
We’re going to front-load the creative
burden of “what to write” by coming
up with your manifesto
!
1. You’ll so...
Rules
90 seconds per trigger question
!
Come up with as many ideas as you can,
one idea per card. Don’t self-censor.
!
Rem...
You
“It is absurd that…”
!
What’s wrong with your industry?
With the world? Pick a fight!
90 seconds
You
“Always/never do X”
!
Nothing like a good ultimatum. Take a
stand. What are the non-negotiables?
90 seconds
You
What are the must-read books
and authors for your visitors?
!
Making recommendations for other good content
is easy an...
You
Mistakes were made!
!
What are the most common blunders people
fall for when trying to accomplish this? Bonus
points i...
You
What’s the most common
bad advice?
!
Who gave that moron a microphone!? What’s the
most popular advice in this area th...
You
What are the recent
questions you’ve been asked?
!
Get into the habit of writing down the questions
customers ask you ...
3 minutes
Working in pairs, help each other turn
as many ideas as possible into strong
titles that make a bold claim.
!
On...
Rob’s process
1.Capture loads of ideas
2.Ideas -> Titles -> Drafts ->
Scheduled backlog
3.Don’t obsess; publish 2nd drafts...
Content marketing is powerful
Two startups with the same product;
one of them used blogging strategically
Part III.
Whence traffic?
Gabe Weinberg’s startup is one
of the dumbest ideas possible
!
He is competing directly
with Google on search
And yet,
he is succeeding
How?
Gabriel Weinberg
Are you...
Building an empire,
lighting a power-keg,
or starting a movement?
Reality check!
Every founder dreams of creating an
empire and prays they’re sitting on a
powder keg.
!
But most of us are ...
These are the top 5
mistakes he’s seen
other founders make
Mistake #1
They don’t pursue
traction in parallel with
product development
Why is it useful to explore early?
1.Initial customer development
informs your product roadmap









Why is it useful to explore early?
1.Initial customer development
informs your product roadmap
2.Launch with a nice base o...
Why is it useful to explore early?
1.Initial customer development
informs your product roadmap
2.Launch with a nice base o...
Mistake #2
They didn’t spend
enough time
pursuing traction
How much time is it really worth?
1.Distribution is equally important
as product









How much time is it really worth?
1.Distribution is equally important
as product
2.You should be spending 50% of
your time...
How much time is it really worth?
1.Distribution is equally
important as product
2.You should be spending 50%
of your time...
Mistake #3
They didn’t take
advantage of micro-
opportunities
Micro-opportunities
Micro-opportunities are little chances to
grow which appear unexpectedly and
temporarily.
!
E.g. respo...
Each of the letters was a successful
micro-opportunity for growth
This week, for example, Instagram is
launching their new ad platform
Gabriel Weinberg
You have to be watching, flexible
and creative.
!
So you need to be spending
enough time on it.
Paul Graham
You reach scale by
doing things that
don’t scale.
Mistake #4
They were biased
toward or away from
certain traction verticals
Traction comfort zones
Every startup relies on blogging, twitter,
and Adwords. They can’t be the
solution for everyone.
Wh...
Mistake #5
They didn’t take a
systematic approach
to getting traction
Gabriel Weinberg
The usual approach is to build
the product, then frantically try
to figure out how to promote
things, then...
Discussion
We talked about product MVPs.
!
What would a traction MVP
look like? What are some
examples?
The traction process
1.Have an educated guess at a few
traction verticals













The traction process
1.Have an educated guess at a few traction
verticals
2.List them all out in order of potential
useful...
The traction process
1.Have an educated guess at a few traction
verticals
2.List them all out in order of potential
useful...
The traction process
1.Have an educated guess at a few
traction verticals
2.List them all out in order of potential
useful...
Workshop
Let’s explore our
options with the
traction cards
Part IV.
Measurable results
!
(the short version)
Key metrics (the short version)
Sticky - community growth rate;
conversion to paid
Paid - lifetime value; cost of
acquisit...
You measure because...
You have better things
to do with your time
and money than
ineffective marketing!
Build the funnel to “catch” traffic
1. Free gift
2. Product for prospects
3. Stay-in-touch content
4. Core product (£)
5. Fo...
Questions
on
growth?
Startup MBA
by Founder Centric & Escape the City
!
http://startupmba.foundercentric.com
Questions? he...
Startup MBA 3.0 - Growth, content marketing
Startup MBA 3.0 - Growth, content marketing
Startup MBA 3.0 - Growth, content marketing
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Startup MBA 3.0 - Growth, content marketing

  1. 1. growth http://startupmba.foundercentric.com
  2. 2. hello@foundercentric.com foundercentric.com @foundercentric ! Mailing list: http://bit.ly/fc-list
  3. 3. Question Where do traffic and leads come from?
  4. 4. Beware! There’s more bad advice about marketing than any other part of starting up
  5. 5. Comment on every blog post in your industry!
  6. 6. Always be tweeting! Build your followers!
  7. 7. Sanity check “Do more of everything” is not a strategy
  8. 8. It is wild flailing from well-intentioned folks who don’t know what you should actually do
  9. 9. Shawn Carolan Menlo Ventures Startups don’t starve; they drown.
  10. 10. What we need 1. Clear goal & targets !
  11. 11. What we need 1. Clear goal & targets 2. Simple daily process
  12. 12. What we need 1. Clear goal & targets 2. Simple daily process 3. Measurable results
  13. 13. Discussion What have you seen work previously? ! How did it drive the business?
  14. 14. Part I. Clear goal & targets
  15. 15. 3 ways to grow 1.Sticky - users never leave
 
 
 

  16. 16. 3 ways to grow 1.Sticky - users never leave 2.Paid - buy users for less than you earn
 
 

  17. 17. 3 ways to grow 1.Sticky - users never leave 2.Paid - buy users for less than you earn 3.Viral - each user brings at least 1 more
  18. 18. The right qualities for early stage 1.Sticky - cheap & fast 2.Paid - expensive; requires mature business model 3.Viral - slow; requires lots of product development

  19. 19. Sticky Once a customer shows up, they never leave Focus on retaining existing users rather than finding a repeatable way to get new ones
  20. 20. Paid You can buy a user (via ads or salespeople) for less than you can earn from them Rarely works profitably for young companies
  21. 21. Common paid channels • Salespeople • Physical stores • Search ads • Display ads • PR
  22. 22. Rules of thumb You can scale software with direct sales if your product sells for more than $10,000 ! Online ads are usually unprofitable for startups, but they’re cheap & easy to test
  23. 23. Caveat emptor Premature scale is the #1 killer of startups mainly because of how much money you can spend when you try to “buy” lots of customers
  24. 24. Viral Each user you get brings at least one more along with them More of a product strategy than a marketing one
  25. 25. The rules of viral 1.You must have tech & design on your founding team
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

  26. 26. The rules of viral 1.You must have tech & design on your founding team 2.You will prioritize growth over everything (including revenue)
 
 
 
 
 

  27. 27. The rules of viral 1.You must have tech & design on your founding team 2.You will prioritize growth over everything (including revenue) 3.Virality must be core to the product, not a marketing add-on
 
 
 

  28. 28. The rules of viral 1.You must have tech & design on your founding team 2.You will prioritize growth over everything (including revenue) 3.Virality must be core to the product, not a marketing add-on 4.You must be relentlessly metrics-driven
 
 

  29. 29. The rules of viral 1.You must have tech & design on your founding team 2.You will prioritize growth over everything (including revenue) 3.Virality must be core to the product, not a marketing add-on 4.You must be relentlessly metrics-driven 5.“Word of mouth” is not a viral strategy
 

  30. 30. The rules of viral 1.You must have tech & design on your founding team 2.You will prioritize growth over everything (including revenue) 3.Virality must be core to the product, not a marketing add-on 4.You must be relentlessly metrics-driven 5.“Word of mouth” is not a viral strategy 6.Neither is twitter
  31. 31. The golden rule of viral Nobody cares about your product as much as you do. If they’re going to share it, the act of sharing must add value.
  32. 32. Discussion Which products caused you to quickly get other people to use them? ! Was it voluntary (a recommendation) or forced (a requirement)?
  33. 33. Improving virality k = #referrals * clickthrough * conversion
 
 
 
 
 

  34. 34. Improving virality k = #referrals * clickthrough * conversion
 1.Improve k
 
 
 

  35. 35. Improving virality k = #referrals * clickthrough * conversion
 1.Improve k 2.Reduce time until sharing (it spreads faster if you share after a minute vs. a month)
  36. 36. In our humble opinion... Sticky is the right option for 90% of new companies
  37. 37. So let’s get back to sticky
  38. 38. Jason Cohen (on starting another company when he already has an audience of 50,000) Absolutely true, it’s a completely unfair advantage, and it’s why so many people harp on folks to start things like blogs and mailing lists. ! When you want to do things like sell a book or a new startup you have a running start!
  39. 39. The goal Develop your sticky community funnel
  40. 40. The community funnel process 1.Traffic shows up (we’ll learn from where)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

  41. 41. The community funnel process 1.Traffic shows up (we’ll learn from where) 2.You give away free gift & create value
 
 
 
 
 
 

  42. 42. The community funnel process 1.Traffic shows up (we’ll learn from where) 2.You give away free gift & create value 3.Exchange larger gift for permission to contact
 
 
 
 

  43. 43. The community funnel process 1.Traffic shows up (we’ll learn from where) 2.You give away free gift & create value 3.Exchange larger gift for permission to contact 4.Stay in touch, over-deliver value
 
 
 

  44. 44. The community funnel process 1.Traffic shows up (we’ll learn from where) 2.You give away free gift & create value 3.Exchange larger gift for permission to contact 4.Stay in touch, over-deliver value 5.Convert subscribers to paid customers of core product
 

  45. 45. The community funnel process 1.Traffic shows up (we’ll learn from where) 2.You give away free gift & create value 3.Exchange larger gift for permission to contact 4.Stay in touch, over-deliver value 5.Convert subscribers to paid customers of core product 6.Retain, up-sell, get referrals
  46. 46. The community funnel process 1.Traffic shows up (we’ll learn from where) 2.You give away free gift & create value 3.Exchange larger gift for permission to contact 4.Stay in touch, over-deliver value 5.Convert subscribers to paid customers of core product 6.Retain, up-sell, get referrals
  47. 47. Daniel Priestly If you only have the core product and not the full model, you don’t have enough flow and are tempted to incorrectly drop the price
  48. 48. We’ll need to design these 5 pieces 1. Free gift 2. Product for prospects 3. Stay-in-touch content 4. Core product (£) 5. Follow-on product (£££)
  49. 49. Discussion What are some gifts that are cheap for us to give away, and which create real value for visitors?
  50. 50. Educate Inform Amuse Inspire Gifts
  51. 51. = Content Gifts Educate Inform Amuse Inspire
  52. 52. Rand Fishkin Content is the keystone of inbound marketing. Without content, there’s no SEO, no social media, no community, and no revenue.
  53. 53. To create value, the content needs to be exceptional ! (which is different from perfect)
  54. 54. Content is great 1.Fast & cheap to produce 2.Free & instant to distribute 3.Measurable 4.Lets you begin building audience before product is finalized 5.Repeatable
  55. 55. Your startup has a mission Startups are designed to either create joy or remove pain
  56. 56. Your content has a mission too. What do they get for their time? This is all about helping ____________ learn/be/do __________.
  57. 57. Tip Your content shouldn’t do exactly the same thing as your product. Rather, it should be interesting for the sort of person who might also want your product. ! For example, if your product is healthy snack food, your content could be about helping busy parents create a healthy home and happy kid.
  58. 58. 120 seconds. Make as many as you can. This is all about helping ____________ learn/be/do __________.
  59. 59. That’s the value proposition of your gifts and content marketing
  60. 60. Workshop: design your funnel products 1. Free gift 2. Product for prospects 3. Stay-in-touch content 4. Core product (£) 5. Follow-on product (£££)
  61. 61. Part II. Simple daily process
  62. 62. The process 1.Make things
  63. 63. The process 1.Make things 2.Tell people
  64. 64. The process 1.Make things 2.Tell people 3.Repeat
  65. 65. Example: tools for writers This is all about helping new authors get their first book finished ! !
  66. 66. Example: tools for writers This is all about helping new authors get their first book finished ! 1.Daily inspirational mini-posts
 

  67. 67. Example: tools for writers This is all about helping new authors get their first book finished ! 1.Daily inspirational mini-posts 2.Helpful weekly newsletter
  68. 68. Most common content failure “What should I say today?”
  69. 69. The content creator’s spiral of death 1.Decide you’ll write every time you have a “good idea”. 2.Wait months. 3.At last, inspiration has struck! 4.Treat it like your baby. Protect & perfect it. 5.Takes time. Finally finish. 6.Traffic doesn’t change 7.Not worth it. Give up.
  70. 70. Marketing is work (not inspiration) Community growth: 2 years of writing when inspiration struck vs. 3 months of writing daily (from roughly 0 to 250,000 monthly visitors)
  71. 71. Best practice Put your marketing on auto- pilot by deciding: ! 1. What you’ll create and how often 2. Where you’ll announce it
  72. 72. Example: tools for writers 1.Daily inspirational mini-posts 2.Helpful weekly newsletter
 
 
 

  73. 73. Example: tools for writers 1.Daily inspirational mini-posts on pinterest 2.Helpful weekly newsletter 
 
 
 

  74. 74. Example: tools for writers 1.Daily inspirational mini-posts on pinterest 2.Helpful weekly newsletter of an author interview talking about writer’s block
  75. 75. Remember Don’t make a decision every day if you can just make it once! ! (but of course, be ready to make a new decision if this one isn’t working)
  76. 76. Best practice Reduce the cost by: ! 1. Front-loading the creative burden 2. Removing friction from creation through batching, outsourcing, and setting up a content creation flow
  77. 77. Example: tools for writers 1.Spend 2 hours today finding several dozen quotes, then outsource the design and daily posting to a student
 
 
 
 
 

  78. 78. Example: tools for writers 1.Spend 2 hours today finding several dozen quotes, then outsource the design and daily posting to a student 2.Email all your favorite writers today to ask for interviews. Record the skype calls as soon as possible and send the audio to your student helper for transcription and editing
  79. 79. More examples • Twitter important to you? Use bufferapp.com and ifttt.com to automate
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

  80. 80. More examples • Twitter important to you? Use bufferapp.com and ifttt.com to automate • Making lots of video content? Set up a permanent studio for lighting & recording in your flat
 
 
 
 
 
 

  81. 81. More examples • Twitter important to you? Use bufferapp.com and ifttt.com to automate • Making lots of video content? Set up a permanent studio for lighting & recording in your flat • Spending forever perfecting your blog posts? Write outlines and then pay a grad student £10 to edit
 
 
 

  82. 82. More examples • Twitter important to you? Use bufferapp.com and ifttt.com to automate • Making lots of video content? Set up a permanent studio for lighting & recording in your flat • Spending forever perfecting your blog posts? Write outlines and then pay a grad student £10 to edit • Wasting time on fancy graphs? Use tools like infogr.am to trivialize the process
 
 

  83. 83. More examples • Twitter important to you? Use bufferapp.com and ifttt.com to automate • Making lots of video content? Set up a permanent studio for lighting & recording in your flat • Spending forever perfecting your blog posts? Write outlines and then pay a grad student £10 to edit • Wasting time on fancy graphs? Use tools like infogr.am to trivialize the process • Video editing taking forever? Adjust your style & content to work with socialcam.com in one take
  84. 84. Workshop! We’re going to front-load the creative burden of “what to write” by coming up with your manifesto ! 1. You’ll soon have a pile of raw ideas 2. Later, turn them into content marketing
  85. 85. Rules 90 seconds per trigger question ! Come up with as many ideas as you can, one idea per card. Don’t self-censor. ! Remember who you are trying to help!
  86. 86. You “It is absurd that…” ! What’s wrong with your industry? With the world? Pick a fight! 90 seconds
  87. 87. You “Always/never do X” ! Nothing like a good ultimatum. Take a stand. What are the non-negotiables? 90 seconds
  88. 88. You What are the must-read books and authors for your visitors? ! Making recommendations for other good content is easy and valuable. Why do you like these sources? 90 seconds
  89. 89. You Mistakes were made! ! What are the most common blunders people fall for when trying to accomplish this? Bonus points if you can share personal failure tales. 90 seconds
  90. 90. You What’s the most common bad advice? ! Who gave that moron a microphone!? What’s the most popular advice in this area that you totally disagree with? 90 seconds
  91. 91. You What are the recent questions you’ve been asked? ! Get into the habit of writing down the questions customers ask you about the industry - every answer is a bit of content marketing in disguise! 90 seconds
  92. 92. 3 minutes Working in pairs, help each other turn as many ideas as possible into strong titles that make a bold claim. ! Once you have the title, creating the rest of the content is easy.
  93. 93. Rob’s process 1.Capture loads of ideas 2.Ideas -> Titles -> Drafts -> Scheduled backlog 3.Don’t obsess; publish 2nd drafts 4.Automate promotion 5.Ignore analytics 6.Write a little every day
  94. 94. Content marketing is powerful Two startups with the same product; one of them used blogging strategically
  95. 95. Part III. Whence traffic?
  96. 96. Gabe Weinberg’s startup is one of the dumbest ideas possible ! He is competing directly with Google on search
  97. 97. And yet, he is succeeding
  98. 98. How?
  99. 99. Gabriel Weinberg Are you... Building an empire, lighting a power-keg, or starting a movement?
  100. 100. Reality check! Every founder dreams of creating an empire and prays they’re sitting on a powder keg. ! But most of us are actually growing movements. We gain customers and fans one step at a time. There’s no magic bullet.
  101. 101. These are the top 5 mistakes he’s seen other founders make
  102. 102. Mistake #1 They don’t pursue traction in parallel with product development
  103. 103. Why is it useful to explore early? 1.Initial customer development informs your product roadmap
 
 
 
 

  104. 104. Why is it useful to explore early? 1.Initial customer development informs your product roadmap 2.Launch with a nice base of initial users
 
 

  105. 105. Why is it useful to explore early? 1.Initial customer development informs your product roadmap 2.Launch with a nice base of initial users 3.Test messaging and distribution channels
  106. 106. Mistake #2 They didn’t spend enough time pursuing traction
  107. 107. How much time is it really worth? 1.Distribution is equally important as product
 
 
 
 

  108. 108. How much time is it really worth? 1.Distribution is equally important as product 2.You should be spending 50% of your time on it
 
 

  109. 109. How much time is it really worth? 1.Distribution is equally important as product 2.You should be spending 50% of your time on it 3.For tech people, you should probably bias it to 75%
  110. 110. Mistake #3 They didn’t take advantage of micro- opportunities
  111. 111. Micro-opportunities Micro-opportunities are little chances to grow which appear unexpectedly and temporarily. ! E.g. responding to a story in the press or trying a newly created advertising platform.
  112. 112. Each of the letters was a successful micro-opportunity for growth
  113. 113. This week, for example, Instagram is launching their new ad platform
  114. 114. Gabriel Weinberg You have to be watching, flexible and creative. ! So you need to be spending enough time on it.
  115. 115. Paul Graham You reach scale by doing things that don’t scale.
  116. 116. Mistake #4 They were biased toward or away from certain traction verticals
  117. 117. Traction comfort zones Every startup relies on blogging, twitter, and Adwords. They can’t be the solution for everyone. What about billboards? PR? Publicity stunts? Direct sales? Lead generation? Snail mail? Sometimes the weird stuff works.
  118. 118. Mistake #5 They didn’t take a systematic approach to getting traction
  119. 119. Gabriel Weinberg The usual approach is to build the product, then frantically try to figure out how to promote things, then haphazardly attempt the obvious stuff
  120. 120. Discussion We talked about product MVPs. ! What would a traction MVP look like? What are some examples?
  121. 121. The traction process 1.Have an educated guess at a few traction verticals
 
 
 
 
 
 

  122. 122. The traction process 1.Have an educated guess at a few traction verticals 2.List them all out in order of potential usefulness
 
 
 
 

  123. 123. The traction process 1.Have an educated guess at a few traction verticals 2.List them all out in order of potential usefulness 3.Approach the most promising verticals (say five) with small but effective tests
 

  124. 124. The traction process 1.Have an educated guess at a few traction verticals 2.List them all out in order of potential usefulness 3.Approach the most promising verticals (say five) with small but effective tests 4.If one or two out of the initial five seem promising, focus hard on them
  125. 125. Workshop Let’s explore our options with the traction cards
  126. 126. Part IV. Measurable results ! (the short version)
  127. 127. Key metrics (the short version) Sticky - community growth rate; conversion to paid Paid - lifetime value; cost of acquisition Viral - # of referrals; clickthrough rate; conversion rate
  128. 128. You measure because... You have better things to do with your time and money than ineffective marketing!
  129. 129. Build the funnel to “catch” traffic 1. Free gift 2. Product for prospects 3. Stay-in-touch content 4. Core product (£) 5. Follow-on product (£££)
  130. 130. Questions on growth? Startup MBA by Founder Centric & Escape the City ! http://startupmba.foundercentric.com Questions? hello@foundercentric.com
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