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SaaS Growth Stacking - with Dan Martell

How do you end up in rehab for 11 months, discover computer programming, then build 5 tech startups, selling 3 and raising money for the last 2 in 15 years? Tune in each week and Dan Martell will teach you: How he got invited to spend a week with Richard Branson. How he ended up raising money from Mark Cuban. How to hack your productivity. How to focus your marketing efforts. How to get your big dreams funded. How to build, scale and sell your technology company without giving away the control to investors and financial stakeholders. The 3 disempowering “pick me, pick me” mentality that plagues startup founders.. and what you can do to avoid it and fund your startup. Tune in each week and get Dan’s deep-in-the-trenches experience as a father, serial entrepreneur, and investor. Do you want to fund, start, scale and sell your business? That’s the only question that matters here. If the answer is “yes”, then hit the SUBSCRIBE button and let’s make it happen.
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Dec 25, 2017

Every startup wants to grow fast.

And while there’s value in modelling the tactics and strategies that have fueled the rapid success of companies they look up to…

There’s even MORE value in identifying the core, underlying principles that serve as the backbone for that success.

Over the years, I’ve identified 5 core elements behind the perfect software business.

I learned one of them directly from Jason Fried @ Basecamp.com when I visited Chicago to take his workshop over 10 years ago.

Another from guys like Mike McDerment @ Freshbooks.com, and Ben Chesnut @ MailChimp.com, both early mentors of mine who inspired a lot of the work I create at Flowtown.

In today’s world you see companies like Slack.com, and Intercom.com (disclosure: I’m an investor) shooting for the moon and you wonder:

“How did they do it?”

That’s what I want to break down for you in this week’s video.

Here are the 5 key elements that the world’s best startups all have in common.

What I’ve learned is it really comes down to how the product is used by the companies, how they extract the value (i.e. get paid) and their position in the market…

… now, there are some nuances, and I go over them in the video, but I want to list them out real quick so that you can understand how impressive it is for a company to hit this level of growth:

  1. Product Is Core to the Operation of the Business
  2. Cost/Value Proposition is Straightforward
  3. Finances Its Own Growth
  4. Efficient Sales Model
  5. Market Leadership

If you’ve got tough decisions to make on your product to better address these elements and need my feedback, be sure to leave a comment with your question and some context, I would love to help.

See you next Monday!

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
+ Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell

Dec 18, 2017

When I started my SaaS (that stands for Software-as-a-Service) startup Flowtown my co-founder Ethan and I had a tough decision to make…

How do we fund the company?

Even though I had the capital to self fund the whole thing, as I had just sold my previous company Spheric, he was 23 and didn’t have a penny to his name.

So this is what I did…

It was Friday, and I said, if you can find a way to raise $15K, I would fund the rest.

On Monday he called and said he had the money!???

That’s when I learned how great of a person he was.

You can listen to how he did it in this week’s video, alongside the 8 other strategies you can use to raise money for your startup.

I go deep into all 8 strategies in the video…

But if you’re looking for a quick primer, here are my 2 favorites:

  1. Crowdfunding: I like this one because it also has the side effect to help you validate the idea as well. If no one buys, then it might be an indication that the idea is bad, or that you packaged it wrong.  I’d rather find out quickly before I invest a ton of time and money to fix things.
  2. Venture capital: Even though most people think VC’s are horrible, I’ve learnt that there’s something powerful to having incredible investors. It’s a quick way to establish authority in a space, it provides a sense of confidence (if you get the right investors) that you know they’re in your corner, and you get the positive peer pressure to report your numbers to an external group of people.

You might of expected some kind of secret government program, or easy way to get banks to lend you money, but I’m a big fan of testing and validation…

And nothing works better to prove you have an idea worth pursuing than having others take their hard earned money and invest in your business.

My good friend Clay Hebert, a crowdfunding expert, once said “… the cost of failure will eventually go to $0 because of crowdfunding.” and I’m a big supporter of this.

So if you have big dreams, there’s a good chance you’ll need some money to fund them.

Be sure to study all 8 of these strategies and use them accordingly.

If you have any questions for me on how you should use them, be sure to leave a comment with your questions – that’s best way for me to help!

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
+ Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell

Dec 11, 2017

Have you ever struggled with your marketing website?

Sure, they have templates and super slick WYSIWYG editors.

But that doesn’t deal with the hard part:

The content.

WTF do I put on those pages?

How do I turn lorem ipsum into monthly recurring revenue?

How many pages should I have on my site?

What should those pages be?…

I need a blog, right?… right?…. right?

(read below to find out) :p

If you’ve ever wrestled with these questions… then I want to make things really simple for you.

In this week’s video, I share my Authority Architecture framework that will help you design the ultimate website for your startup.

The first thing you need to understand is your website is a 24/7 salesperson.

They don’t sleep, but they do repeat themselves – the exact same way – to everyone that they talk to.

(Did I lose you in that analogy?)

Here’s a quick rundown of the 5 pages you NEED to have on your website…

… and more importantly, the critical questions they need to be able to answer for your visitor.

  1. Home Page: The information on this page should answer “Do I need this?” for your potential customer. Is it clear? Does it have a product hook, and a clear promise?
  2. Pricing Page: This is typically the second page customers will look at, and they want to know “Is this for me?” So be sure to align your pricing with your ideal customer profile. That means you can’t sell a $30/mth plan if you’re wanting to attract Fortune 2000 clients. It causes a disconnect.
  3. Features Page: The information on this page, the complete list of benefits and features of your product should answer the “Does this solve my problem?” for your customers. If you integrate with specific solutions, list them. If you have key features that overcome specific problems, have those as well.  If they don’t see it listed, they might think your competitor – who does list it – has a better product.
  4. About Page: I can’t tell you how many startups do not have an About page??? It blows my mind. How can anyone trust a company if I don’t know who’s behind it.  The question people need answered here is “Should I trust them?”. So yes, put a picture of you, your team. Be honest. If you’re small, own it.
  5. Blog: Some startups still ask me, should I have a blog? Of course. Here’s why… when a customer invests in your product, they’re also taking a bet on you to continue to innovate and improve. Your blog will answer this question for them: “Are they experts?”. If they don’t see your thinking on the blog, they may be concerned that you won’t keep up with the times and that will hurt you vs. alternatives in the market.

If you tweak those 5 pages, add the missing content or tweak your messaging to be a bit clearer (and answer those questions) your site will rock!

Take a few mins to watch this video so that you can finally drag that pesky “website development” Trello card into the “completed column”…

… and sit back as your 24/7 salesperson brings in the revenue.

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
+ Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell

Dec 4, 2017

How much does it cost you to acquire a customer?

Understanding that will help you understand your model.

Most founders think it’s just the cost of your advertising spend.

Nope.

It’s everything you spend on marketing (people + ad spend + contractors, etc) AND sales (everyone involved in the process + tools, etc)…

And that still doesn’t include anyone you might have to qualify, or the cost of running webinars, etc.

All that to say, knowing your numbers matters because it’ll help you understand where you should be in my Software Sales Matrix™.

Watch this week’s video to learn how to avoid landing in the “Startup Graveyard”… and the 3 strategies to pull you out fast.

When I sit down with a startup to help them scale their business, I always ask questions around 4 key areas.

  • What’s the average size of a deal on an annual basis (called ACV: Annual Contract Value).
  • What do your marketing activities look like and how much do you spend on a monthly basis?
  • What do you offer to support your customers? 1-800 #? Online FAQ? Do you send people on site to train or configure?
  • How does your sales process work? Who’s involved? What’s the time to close a new lead?
  • How do you onboard a new customer? What’s the process for them to get started?

With only the answers to these questions, I can build a complete model of their business in my mind and map it to the matrix to understand where their opportunities lie.

When it comes to scaling a SaaS business, understanding what you can invest in, and what you can’t because your pricing doesn’t allow it, is the ultimate clarity.

It’s this level of clarity that most overenthusiastic startup founders are blind to.

They dig their head in the sand… and in doing so, dig an early grave for their startup.

Watch the video to understand the two axis’s I use to evaluate startups, and place them on the grid.

Do this for your company, then leave a comment and let me know what you learned.

Can’t wait to hear where you’re at!

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
+ Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell

Nov 27, 2017

How do you build a $100M revenue business in 3 years?

That was the question my coaching client Larry asked me with a straight face.

Now, before you dismiss his question, you need to know that he just exited his previous startup a few months earlier.

So I knew he had the chops.

What a great question I thought …

… so I took some time to really reflect on all the things I’ve learned in scaling my own software companies… as well as the common traits and characteristics of other companies that had done it.

Discovered some pretty unexpected things along the way.

If you’ve ever been crazy enough to secretly (or not so secretly) ask how to grow to 9 figures in 3 short years…

You’ll want to take a few short minutes to give this a watch.

It essentially comes down to 5 elements that NEED to be in place for you to achieve rapid growth and scale at breakneck speed.

Now back to Larry.

While his goal was far from delusional…

His path to getting there was a little off.

One of the initial constraints was that he wanted to do it “without raising money”… but I quickly explained that that wouldn’t be possible, or would be nearly impossible.

We also talked about the product, the business model and the way it would need to be sold to ensure it could grow fast enough within its market.

We then talked about certain aspects of the team, and the way he’d need to build it to ensure he could free up his time at each turn to focus on the next level of challenges.

All in all, the major outcome he was trying to achieve was something that eventually could be sold, and even though I don’t subscribe to the build & flip mentality to startups, I did share how to structure the business so that it could work.

Now I know most people don’t have the aspirations, or need to build a big company like this, but I still think it’s worth understanding the mechanics.

So be sure to watch the video, and leave a comment with your biggest takeaway below… which aspect surprised you the most?

Let me know and I’ll see you next Monday!

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
+ Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell

Nov 20, 2017

Facebook looks at daily active users.

Airbnb.com uses bookings.

At Clarity – my previous company – we obsessed over completed calls.

These are called North Star Metrics.

It’s a clear metric that your growth team focuses on to move the needle.

The key is that it captures the value created for your customers, and allows everyone on the team – and really the company – to drive this forward.

But how do you come up with the right ideas to move this number?

How do you prioritize the right metric to get your growth engine revving?

That’s what I teach you in this week’s video.

It comes down to a simple 4 part process that I was taught from one of my mentors Sean Ellis.

Once you’ve defined a solid North Star Metric (NSM), then you need to come up with actionable ideas and strategies that are going to move that number higher.

Here’s how.

  1. Ideation around ideas that are either research, or optimizations
  2. Prioritize using ICE: Impact, Confidence, Easy
  3. Test using Dev Sprints
  4. Report adding to a Knowledge Base

I go much DEEPER into this process in this week’s video

… as well as some common challenges that my SaaS Academy clients constantly run into.

(confusing product with growth is a BIG one that absolutely destroys momentum)

If after watching you have any questions about how to define your North Star Metric or the best way to structure your teams to move them forward, leave a comment below the video and I’ll respond there.

Here’s to your growth!

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
+ Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell

Nov 13, 2017

I can still remember the moment I became a millionaire.

It took 10 years of failing, getting back up, testing, iterating till finally at 27 years old it happened.

I can still remember the specific moment when I found out.

I was cruising in my broke down, decade old Jetta when my accountant Marc called me to break the news.

He was more excited for me than I was only because he knew how hard I had been working.

Also, he knew in the beginning that I almost lost it all after booking a bunch of revenue and sitting on receivables that were delayed in getting paid.

It almost killed the business.

To say it was a tough journey would be an understatement but what I want to share are the 6 skills that my mentors taught me about creating wealth.

Now, if you know me well, you’ll quickly learn that I don’t give a shit about money (hence the secondhand Jetta).

I’m not into fancy watches, cars, etc… but I do have an addiction to the latest Apple gear :).

For me money is really an opportunity to measure the value I’m creating in the world through my business, and gives me a feedback loop as to my growth as a person.

What’s even more important than dollars and cents are the skills and habits I’ve developed to get there.

So I wanted to share them in this video.

Here’s why… no matter what happens to my business, you can never take these skills away from me.

They’re mine and they continue to pay dividends.

If you want to up your entrepreneurial game, then you’ll need to become a master of these 6 skills:

  1. Learn: Autodidacts: Self Educate / Best For Them
  2. People: Know How To Hire & Lead
  3. Communicate: They Communicate Clearly
  4. Big thinking! The key is to see it in your mind and HOLD IT!
  5. Numbers: You can’t grow a business without learning to read a P&L. (or have someone read it to you! :)
  6. Sales. Nothing happens till something is sold. Hiring. Partnerships. Investors. They all require you to sell.  It’s one of the most powerful skills.

Now, if you feel like you’re behind on a few of these, don’t worry about it… it’s a life long journey.

Even though I’ve read over 100 books on selling, you have access to YouTube and incredible mentors who share daily on Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.

That means you can move faster than I did.

So my question to you is this…

What are you going to do to improve your skills?

Leave a comment and let me know which you want to improve with 3 actions you can take today.

If you have any questions, just post below and I’ll help provide some insights.

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
+ Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell

Oct 30, 2017

What if you could get on a stage in front of an audience filled with your perfect customers and tell them about your software?

That’s what webinars are like.

In 2010 my buddy Lewis Howes stopped by our office in San Francisco preaching them as a sales tool, and that’s when I first got introduced to the power of leverage.

You get the opportunity to attract, teach and present an offer for your solution that will solve their problem…

And if you do it right, you can get them to pre-pay for years up-front in advance to help you fund future marketing initiatives to scale your startup.

That’s the promise I’m making in this week’s video.

Now, before you think I’m over hyping it… just think about it.

Have you heard of Salesforce.com? Hubspot.com? Kissmetrics.com?

All have used webinars in a HUGE way to grow sales…

… and now it’s your turn.

Now, when I ran my first webinar it tanked.

Bombed bad.

I taught some stuff, made an offer, then thanked everyone for showing up and that was that.

Zero sales.

Honestly, it turned me off of webinars for a bit.

Until I made a decision to learn from the best.

It wasn’t till a few years later that I gave it another shot, but this time I had done my homework.

I invested in the top programs to learn the format and structure and then I tweaked things to apply it to selling software.

And that’s when I came up with my Winning Webinars™ framework that’s helped hundreds of software entrepreneurs sell 10’s of millions of dollars in product.

So be sure to watch my video to learn the 5 steps + the structure of a great offer so that you can add value to your community and get a bunch of new customers!

Leave a comment with any questions about your specific situation and how I might be able to help you brainstorm your webinar idea.

Keep up the hustle!

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Instagram (behind the scenes): http://instagram.com/danmartell
+ Facebook (live trainings + Q&A): http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Twitter (what I'm reading): http://twitter.com/danmartell

Oct 23, 2017

Have you ever cold emailed the CEO of a public company?

When I was 18 I sent out 20.

I knew I needed advice to build my company, and figured they might have the answer…

… so I found the list of top tech CEO’s at the time, and sent them an email with a simple question:

Everyone argues that it’s who you know (network), what you know (education) and perseverance (not giving up) that are required to be successful.

If you had to pick just one of these three, which would it be?

That was it, very little context, super specific with an ask…

My favourite response was from Mark Cuban (this was 15 years before he ever invested in my company, and to this day I don’t think I’ve told him this :).

Choosing all 3 when everyone else is picking 1.

Pure Cuban.

Sending outbound emails to potential customers that could be facing challenges you can help them with is a POWERFUL strategy.

IF you do it right.

Most mess this up because they don’t personalize it, they send out thousands of broad and non-targeted messages and they don’t come from a place of service.

Now when I was 18, I didn’t know the 4 pieces of a great outbound email, but in this week’s video I’ll share with you how to craft your message that gets a positive response every time.

To generate customers, high responding cold emails need to have these 4 parts to work properly.

If you forget one, they’ll fall flat…

  1. Research: Open with a personalized sentence. Show you’ve done your research.
  2. Reference: To similar customer, situation or experience you have.
  3. Reward: You have to give, to get. Provide value.
  4. Request: Have an ask. Quick call. Meeting in town. Reply with answer.

Also, it’s important to write it like you would to a friend.

Short, simple and not needy.

One of the biggest reasons cold emails don’t perform is because they look like a sales email within the first 2 seconds.

The easiest way to fix this is to reframe things in your mind as “I want to serve this person, but first I need to know if we’re a fit, so it’s not about selling, but instead digging deeper to assess if we’re a fit or not.”

Don’t sell. Serve.

If you reframe all your cold outbound emails using this approach it will come off as natural, helpful and super generous.

Now, before you hit send, check your local email laws as every country has their own restrictions.

But don’t let that stop you.

Anyone can email another person asking to be of service…. The key is to nail the email structure to get a response.

Hope this serves.

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

Oct 16, 2017

Can you build a thriving software business without writing code?

Can you generate real revenues without having anything built?

The answer is yes, and I personally believe that it’s the only way to do it.

A couple weeks ago I was in San Francisco hosting my Sales Pipeline Intensive event for my SaaS Academy clients, and one of the speakers John (founder of five9.com, $1.2B saas company) echoed a similar sentiment…

It was funny because we hadn’t connected prior to his talk.

So I did some research on his latest company JetBridge.com, and it mentioned all the different areas they were innovating sales using AI/Machine Learning, and when he comes up, he just smiled and said “oh, all that’s bullshit” ????

It was all made up. :)

Well, in his defense, at this point they did have a product in the outbound calling space that did have revenues and customers, but the rest was just positioning…

.. to allow them to get customers and learn fast.

And that’s what I want to teach you today as you continue on your journey building a software company (or any business for that matter).

You don’t need to have it built before you sell it.

And even better, if you don’t, I’ll show you a way you can get your future customers to finance its development…

Watch this week’s video to learn the exact same structure that one of my coaching clients Ryan used to generate $200K for his first prototype that he pre-sold.

When you build innovation there’s a few things you need to understand… one of the first is you can’t sell it to big, old, slow moving companies.

You need to find innovative and early adopting companies…

… so I share a framework to make this easy called the Technology Adoption Curve.

Also, once you have the idea, most founders will build it first then show it to customers.

But what I recommend instead is to build a Clickable Prototype, design a Customer Advisory Board and then co-create it with them.

Finally, if you want to ensure you get real commitment from your customers, then you’ll need to get them to throw down with some money.

True “Customer Validation” doesn’t occur until there’s some kind of financial commitment made…

… without it, it’s just a bunch of nice people grin f@ck*ng you.

It’s the kiss of death for a startup founder.

Have you ever tested an idea for your startup?

What creative ways – like my buddy John – did you use to test your idea? 

Leave a comment below and let me know.

I share a few others in my video from my previous startups Flowtown & Clarity as well.

Can’t wait to read yours.

Till next week.

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

Oct 9, 2017

One of my favourite stories of a bootstrapped founder is Clay Collins.

He’s the creator of LeadPages.net, and when I first met him he was doing $100K+ a month in recurring revenue.

As someone who came from the online education space, he knew his customers intimately and was an incredible marketer.

I still remember our first conversation and the questions I was asking.

I couldn’t believe the level of growth he achieved in only a few short months.

What I learned that day was the foundation for what I now call the Scaling Credo.

It’s a simple list of 5 things, that if you agree to, can dramatically impact your business.

They are counterintuitive, that’s why I wanted to cover them in this week’s video.

Now, this approach is particularly valuable for bootstrapping founders without outside investment.

Your resources are limited (time, team, capital), so you need to do less and focus on the right things.

The benefit of this credo is that it keeps you hyper focused on the critical elements of your business model.

Instead of trying to boil the ocean, it creates a focus filter for being hyper targeted in your efforts.

Here’s the list that I go over in detail in my video.

  1. ONE Target Market
  2. ONE Product
  3. ONE Conversion Tool
  4. ONE Channel
  5. ONE Year

Be sure to watch the video for the specific options you have for each item.

Understanding these steps, the power of focus, and putting ALL your resources into one decision will dramatically increase both your probability and speed of scale.

Like all good things in life, they require commitment.

Watch the video then leave a comment with which one resonated most with you.

Which are you committed to?

Can’t wait to read your answers.

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

Oct 2, 2017

It’s 2011 and I’m pacing back and forth in a parking lot in LA.

I’m about to go on This Week in Startups to talk about Flowtown which had just been acquired, but I’m stressing out…

I’m on the phone with Sean Ellis – the creator of the Customer Development survey – walking through the customer feedback I’m getting for a new product I’m starting to work on called Clarity.

I’m having a hard time figuring out my next steps.

People are signing up, but many aren’t making calls or coming back…

… so I’ve sent out a survey to ask them specific questions so I can better understand their needs and expectations.

That’s when Sean shares with me the Rosetta Stone of understanding my customer’s suggestions.

He says “Oh, just lock down all answers for the “How can we improve our product to better meet your needs?” question, with everyone who answered “Somewhat disappointed: to the; How would you feel if you could no longer use our product? question.

He then quickly explains that if I focus on the one or two features that those specific users are suggesting, then I can move them from somewhat disappointed, to VERY disappointed – and that’s how I’ll build a winning product!

Need to read that a second time?

It’s cool.

My head almost exploded too.

Of course this is how you do it, but for the past 3-4 years I had been using this survey and I guess I really didn’t understand how to use it.

That’s what I want to share with you in this week’s video.

The absolute POWER of using the right question, at the right time, and the equivalent Rosetta Stone translator, that will help you NAIL your core problem, marketing positioning & product roadmap to build something extremely valuable.

Over the years I’ve come to realize that questions hold incredible power.

For example, if you’re stuck wondering how to expand your product or services, just ask your customers this question…

“What do you do 3 minutes before, or 3 minutes after you use our product?”

Their answer will give you insights into how you can fully serve their needs around your core solution – and generate more revenue doing so.

It’s magical really.

That’s why I’ve spent a good part of my life studying the best question frameworks that you can use to overcome the biggest obstacles in your business.

I break em’ down into these 3 pain points and frameworks:

  • Pain -> Ask Method
  • Positioning -> Jobs To Be Done
  • Product -> Customer Development

If you learn how to ask the right question, to the right person, it’ll transform your business.

It even works on your own mindset but I’ll save that discussion for another day.

Till then, I would love to hear your experience talking with customers…

… what questions do you ask of them?

Leave your answers below in the comments and I’ll collect the best ones and add them to my Top Customer Questions by Learning Category tip sheet (link in the description under the video).

Can’t wait to read your stories.

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

Sep 25, 2017

Wow, did I ever butcher this joke.

“The CEO, CFO, and Marketing Manager walk into the bar…”

You can watch the video below to see how I killed my stand-up career before it even started…

…but here’s what I was trying to convey.

Depending on WHO you are, you probably have a different need for the same outcome (i.e. a drink).

When I was building my startup Flowtown, we had customers who bought our product at $20/month, some at $200/month and even a few at $2K/month!

Were they the same? Yes and no.

Yes, they all had the same need….

… but no, they all had a different motivation and reality they were coming from.

That’s why I think it’s important to map your marketing strategy to your buyers.

Fail to do this and you’ll only be speaking to one type of customer – or the one stage of the buyer’s journey.

The cool part is there’s a simple framework you can use to clearly identify the type of content that you need to create to help customers move through the funnel quickly to purchase.

Here’s a mental model you can use to think through the process…

… starting with each role and the type of information they need.

The CEO wants to learn about problem space so he can be better informed to evaluate his need against his vision for the company.

The CMO wants to learn more about the specific solutions available and companies using them so he can feel good about his timing decision, and the specific vendor to avoid looking stupid.

The Marketing Manager needs to understand the specific features and benefits of each platform so he can map his strategic goals to the product’s key strengths.

Each one is potentially looking at your solution under a completely different lens, and searching to answer their questions from a different type of position.

Many in the industry call it TOFU (Top of Funnel), MOFU (Middle of Funnel) and BOFU (Bottom of Funnel).

My buddy Sujan likes to call it Kung-Fu! :)

Regardless of where you’re at, you need to address each stage of the journey with the right content.

That’s how you map your marketing strategy to your buyer’s journey.

So what stage of business do you have the hardest time creating content for?

Post your situation in the comments and let’s get some ideas flowing.

Just remember, no more bad jokes – I’ve butchered enough for the day.

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

Sep 18, 2017

Steve Jobs (Apple) had Steve Wozniak.
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) had Dustin Moskovitz.
Bill Gates (Microsoft) had Paul Allen.

Even though they could all code themselves, the greatest business leaders of our generation, all had a technical co-founder by their side.

Why?

They knew they’d need help building the actual product as their focus shifted to growing the business.

I had the same experience in my companies.

How did they find these people?

How did they convince them to join them in their vision?

That’s what I want to teach you.

First off, if you want to connect with someone at the level of having them potentially quit their job and join you, then you’ll need to build a deep relationship.

Can you do this remotely? Yep, it’s possible.

Is it fast? Nope.

Where do you go to find these code-cranking unicorns?

That’s what I share in this week’s video.

Now, even if you find them – and you will – you can’t just show up empty handed.

You need to bring “the goods.”

This typically comes down to 3 things that will help you install the Ikea Effect.

  1. Your Clickable Prototype.
  2. Some pre-sales of your product to customers.
  3. Excitement and passion for what you’re building.

The truth is, these programmers have many of their own projects they could be working on.

For you to convince them to invest their talent in building YOUR vision is going to require some serious ammunition.

Bringing these silver bullets to the party will help ignite the conversation.

Asking them to give you advice on your idea will get the process started.

Have you ever recruited someone brilliant?

What approach did you use?

How did you get them to join your team?

Leave a comment with your story, would love to hear them.

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

Sep 11, 2017

Did you know that age 13, John D Rockefeller – the richest man in the world – built his family a house?!!!

As a teenager I was definitely not a productive member of society.

Quite the opposite actually.

That being said, I continue to believe that we all underestimate what kids can accomplish at every age.

If you have teenagers in your life, this video is for them.

Over the past few months I’ve got dozens of emails and comments on my videos from young entrepreneurs (9-15 year olds) asking for advice.

So after a few emails I decided to create a video sharing the 8 ways I would start making money if I were starting over in my teens.

In many ways this video is for my two boys.

Each idea is simple, focused on a passion they might have, and gets them generating revenue without requiring any money up front.

(aka the money they’d be asking you to lovingly invest) 

Also, I wanted to start off sharing the 3 phases of financial leverage.

1. Time for Money
2. Money for Time
3. Money for Money

Be sure to watch the video to learn how you can apply those lessons to your day AND come up with some practical advice for the teenagers in your life.

One of my passions is working with at-risk youth helping them build their confidence through building businesses.

It’s a magical thing to watch.

To show them how something they love doing, can become extra money on the side or even their primary income.

I’ve listed 8 ways in this week’s video, but there are way more.

What would you add to the list?

Leave a comment below with your ideas, and together I’m sure we’ll inspire a whole new generation of teenagers to get out there and start selling :).

Have an amazing day!

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

Sep 4, 2017

A few months ago I had lunch with a bunch of highschool aged entrepreneurs to give them feedback on their idea.

They were planning on building an energy generating play park for kids.

Now, I don’t mean to come off as a direct poo-pooer of dreams…

… but after 15 minutes of listening to their pitch I decided to ask some questions that I knew were going to shatter their excitement.

  1. Have you figured out the average time a kid plays on a play park?
  2. If they did play with your version of a swing, how much energy would it generate?
  3. Does that amount generate a sizable amount of energy?
  4. What’s the added cost to build a swing your way vs. the existing way?
  5. Does the assumed energy production cover the additional cost?

“But, if this works this could change the way communities power their houses.” one blurts out.

He was clearly high on his own supply.

And look, I don’t mind overly enthusiastic founders building something never before seen.

It’s what the world depends on for progress.

But what bugs me more is waste.

Waste of time, talent and energy focused on solving a problem that they haven’t de-risked.

When I work with founders building high-tech software, I teach them the “Riskiest Assumption” framework.

That’s what I want to teach you in this week’s video.

(Before you hit play, I want to apologize for my hair sticking out like that – it annoyed the crap out of me too. My bad. :).

At a high level, here’s how I work through the steps:

  1. Assume I’m wrong
  2. Make a list of all the assumptions
  3. Break em’ up into categories: Customers (Who), Marketing (Where), Costs (How Much?), Technology (How)
  4. Sort by riskiest assumption (Highs go first)
  5. Use a validation step to get feedback: 1) Expert (fastest), 2) Experiment

Now, the reason most people don’t reach out to experts to validate their ideas is because they’re worried someone will steal it.

Don’t worry about that.

The fastest way to move is to reach out to those who would know the science, the best practices or the model that you need to validate ASAP to move forward.

I’m sure over the years you’ve tested some of your own assumptions…

… got any funny stories?

Be sure to leave a comment with your best ones.

I’ll add a few more of my own as well.

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

Aug 28, 2017

How does Richard Branson manage 400+ companies?

He doesn’t.

Over the years he’s learned how to build teams and split ownership in a way that drives everything forward.

In 2004, after 2 failed companies, I finally learnt this lesson.

When I started my company Spheric Technologies I started it with partners.

Why? I realized if I wanted to go far – and get there faster – I needed other people on the team that had a piece of the business.

One of the strategies I teach my high-end coaching clients ($5M+ / year in revenue) is how to build and structure teams to take on new initiatives outside their businesses.

I’m all about focus, but it doesn’t mean you can’t bring other ideas to life…

… what it does take is the right structure amongst a team to ensure it’s win-win for everyone involved.

It’s what Richard Branson does, and so can you.

In this week’s video I share how to think about ownership splits when building a new company in a way that reduces the downside when things get tough.

When I think about ownership splits, I always break it down into a few key areas:

  1. What’s the current value today? (investor valuation, or market)
  2. What would the caliber of the people be worth in the open market?
  3. Who else would be critical to bring on to make this a huge success?
  4. How much more capital would be required to get to break even?
  5. How do we test the relationships / collaboration of everyone coming together?

One of my favourite quotes by Seth Godin is “I can’t work with you, until I work with you.”

When you bring a bunch of people together that haven’t worked together, you need to quickly test their working relationships.

That’s why I always start there, even before we get into the equity splits.

Over the years I’ve been involved in starting, investing or mentoring hundreds of new businesses, so I’ve seen this play out many times.

What people fail to do is plan for SUCCESS!

When this takes off, how are people going to feel?

Most people never do that and it’s a mistake.

So, what about you? Have you done anything creative when working with partners on a new project, or business idea?

I’d love to hear your ideas below in the comments.

Hope this video finds you well!

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

Aug 21, 2017

In 2001, I got a job I wasn’t qualified for.

I was hired by a big oil company to lead a new project with dozens of developers to build a product that would be used by every employee in the company.

No pressure, right?

On the first day, the hiring manager realized I was in way over my head and pulled me aside to tell me I had 2 weeks to “figure things out”.

Umm… ok?

I had no clue what that meant… but the stakes were clear, and I couldn’t lose this project.

I hadn’t worked in 2 months and if I failed, it meant moving back in with my parents.

In this week’s video I share the journey of how I went from a newbie leader on the verge of being forced onto my mother’s couch…

… to someone who successfully managed a multi-million dollar project for 2 years.

The best way for me to show you the difference is by using a real world example…

… so this week I use our new set design (it’s still not finished – it’s an iteration away but watch the video above to check it out).

I worked with my buddy Tim to build it out and let’s just say there were some hiccups.

So in many ways this video is for him… a primer on how to manage projects with a bend on software (my world)!

I go over:

— How to use time blocking to define constraints & force creativity

— How to write outcome driven user stories to set expectations

— Why you should prototype the unknowns

— The right way to validate interdepencies amongst various departments

I also wrap up with a myth that needs to be squashed around “planning” and why nothing works out the way it should and how to overcome that.

Recently I got a call from a founder who had invested $1.5M into a software project.

It had been 2 years and they still hadn’t launched.

In many ways, this video is for them, too.

Now it’s your turn… what have you learned about managing projects over the years?

What are some tricks for keeping people on scope, on budget and on track?

Leave a comment with your best strategies!

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

Aug 14, 2017

The other day I had an old highschool friend invite me to a private facebook group for their network marketing product.

When I scanned the posts in the group, they were ALL promotional and salesy.

Nothing added value to their customers lives.

It was all about them.

Unfriend.

I have a real problem with any company that doesn’t think of helping their customers BEFORE they ask for a sale.

It just seems backwards.

But how do you do that?

By offering visitors highly valuable content that helps solve a problem in exchange for their email, typically called a Lead Magnet.

Where most people get this wrong is they think they need to give something HUGE… like a 75 page e-book / report, or a free multi-series video training program…

… but the the truth is, the best performing lead magnets follow the 5-10 Principle.

In this week’s video I also share a simple strategy using S.A.G.E, created by my friend Taki Moore.

Over the years I’ve been involved in creating hundreds of pieces of content that we offer in exchange for a customer’s email.

This is especially important if you have a software product, and the only thing on your site is a signup button.

Add some content to capture your potential buyer’s email even if they’re not ready to sign up at that moment.

That way you can keep in contact, add value, and prime them to become buyers in the near future.

Here are the stats: 67% of the people visiting your site won’t buy today but they could in the future.

Create a great Lead Magnet to start the relationship.

So, what are you going to create?

Leave a comment describing the specific piece of content you’re going to create to serve your customer.

Don’t be a full time promoter.

Share the knowledge, build the relationships and continue adding value.

See you in the comments.

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

Aug 7, 2017

What would it feel like hiring 150 sales people for your company in 6 months?

That’s the question I asked Scot, the founder of Classy, a few months ago.

Their story is EPIC!

I’ll fast track his answer… essentially, he started out for many years being the primary salesperson, then hired around him, but remained inseparable from that process.

After years of hustling and grinding he eventually hired his first VP of Sales.

I still remember our first advisory board meeting and how excited I got about their new plans to scale sales.

How did he do it?

That’s what I share in this week’s video inspired through the experience I gained from watching Scot execute…

… and listening to the other pros in the room, like Alex Bard who at the time was the youngest executive vice president at SalesForce, accountable for a BILLION dollar division.

Over the years I’ve coached many of my clients on building & scaling their sales teams.

It really comes down to these core phases:

  • Sourcing
  • Closing
  • Developing

In this week’s video I dive into each phase, and the key areas you should be focused on.

Also, at the end I share a tip for when it’s the right time to hire the next person in the chain.

So…

Do you have a sales team?

If not, what’s holding you back?

Leave a comment below with your answer and I’ll be sure to point you in the right direction.

Keep up the hustle!

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

Jul 31, 2017

If you want a good laugh, watch this week’s video.

There may be some singing / rapping in it (if you want to call it that).

What’s important though, are the lyrics.

“Nurture – nurture – nurture that lead!”

Even more important…

… how many leads are you generating per month?

If that number is 0, or not growing, then the business isn’t growing.

Period.

The best way to capture a visitor who’s on your site is to offer them valuable content…

… many people call these Lead Magnets.

If you’re doing it right, a great lead magnet will attract your best potential customers,  and entice them enough to exchange their email address.

Over the years I’ve created 100’s of lead magnets, but I always use this framework to evaluate my ideas to make sure they work.

When it comes to creating lead magnets that convert, you need to consider the following:

  1. What’s your focus?
  2. Are you helping them overcome a discomfort, or achieve an aspirational result?
  3. Does this solution meet an urgent need? or is it simply interesting?
  4. Are you targeting a general problem? Or making it hyper-specific and targeted to your most qualified customers??

In this video, I dive into all 4 of those questions and provide a simple framework that you can use to evaluate your lead magnet ideas and pick the one most likely to convert your ideal customer.

If you’ve got an idea for one right now, post a comment with your business / industry and the lead magnet idea.

I’ll reply with my thoughts!

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

Jul 24, 2017

“This is totally a company you would create!”

That’s what people would say every time I showed them the prototype for Clarity.

My passion for connecting people to have a conversation was something I had been doing for years…

… first starting with Founder Dinners, and morphing over the years to my entrepreneurial events like Maple Summit, Idea to Exit, etc.

What I quickly realized is that most great companies were started by founders who had a passion for the problem way before they discovered the solution.

For example, some people say that Travis Kalanick (CEO of Uber) was an optimizer his whole life.

For me, it was helping people get unstuck (the original Clarity slogan).

In many ways these videos are a bi-product of that focus.

This week I want to share the 5 keys to startup success – Product/Founder Fit being #1 – to help you understand what makes a great idea.

Now, you don’t need all 5 to be successful, but two or three is a great place to start.

The most challenging is #5 – building a moat (i.e. being hard to copy).

I can’t tell you how many times I got a Google News alert for someone posting a job on UpWork.com for someone to clone Clarity or Flowtown (my previous company).

Not exactly the best feeling in the world.

One of the keys to a great startup idea is defensibility.

So what’s got you excited about what you’re building?

How is it connected to one of the 5 keys to building a successful startup?

Leave a comment with your answer and share your excitement with the community!

This is especially important for you if you’ve never left a comment.

Today is your day … go from being a digital introvert to one who’s publicly proud of what they're building.

See you in the comments.

--

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

Jul 17, 2017

If I grabbed 100 people, and asked them how many needed to buy a pair of jeans – only 3 would raise their hands…

… but 7% would be “In Market” (the 2nd stage of the Audience Triangle) and will be buying soon.

What about the other 90%?

How do you speak to them?

That’s what I cover in this week’s video where I define the 5 stages and the different “buying intents” of each.

If you do this right, you can create marketing content that will take care of the market until they’re ready to buy.

Here’s how it works.

I believe marketing is crafting a message and inserting it into a market that wants to hear from you.

The way you do that AND attract 90% of the potential market is to create content that’s valuable to them.

It plays a double role…

1) It should repel those who aren’t interested in buying EVER (saves you from the tire kickers).

2) It will educate them over time about your business and get them excited to buy from you when the need arises.

Think about it this way… great content marketing focuses on either their aspirations, or desperations.

It either teaches them how to avoid a pain, or achieve a gain.

But for now, let’s focus on a pain they’re having that you can solve – or better yet…

Leave a comment and let me know what are the 5 biggest pains you solve for your customer?

If you’re struggling to list them, drop me a short description of your services, and I’ll help you expand on them.

Can’t wait to read.

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Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

Jul 10, 2017

When I first built Clarity.fm, it wasn’t a marketplace.

It was a call list app.

The concept was that I could add anyone to my list, with phone number and description, then it would robo call each person, reading to me the name of the person and reason for the call.

In short…

I was building a productivity tool, NOT a marketplace.

A strategic “face palm” that would greatly handicap the business’ potential for growth. (#2 on my list of inputs to build great product).

Even after I held a 300 person launch event in my hometown of Moncton, I refused to build search into the product.

What I did instead was build a page that listed all of the experts who were available for a call.

Stupid.

It wasn’t until after months of getting emails to our support team that I realized we needed to add a search feature.

What happened next was the beginning of what made Clarity a huge success.

We launched the feature and it doubled our growth.

What I break down in this week’s video are the 3 inputs (or categories) of feedback you have to leverage to build a great business that doesn’t ignore it’s customers AND builds real revenue.

Over the next two years, we leveraged this framework to help our product roadmap strategy…

… each team member brought ideas and categorized accordingly:

1) Market and Needs: Is this something the customers are asking for in numbers? What are they expecting that we don’t offer?

2) Business Goals: What features do we need to add (like search) to help the business grow and succeed?

3) Key Features/Differentiators: What makes our product different, or offers a product hook that we can lead with to differentiate ourselves from existing solutions?

Understanding each of these buckets allowed us to quickly sort and build a product roadmap that would deliver the traction we needed to grow.

So my question to you is…

Do you have a way to capture & categorize customer feedback?

What about the input from your team?

How is it managed?

If you don’t, create one now…

If you had that in place, how would it change the way you build your product or service today?

Leave a comment below with your answer!

Have an amazing week!

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Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

Jul 3, 2017

Have you ever heard of the Kano Model?

I hadn’t either… until my buddy Merv told me about it.

Here’s a diagram that gives you a visual:

If you think that looks complicated, you’re not alone.

It took a bit of marinating for my brain to fully “get” how much value this model has to offer.

But let me tell you…

It was SO worth it.

What I learned was simple… there are really only three ways to deliver value to your customers based on their needs…

… and from those there are only two ways to improve it.

If you do those right, you get GROWTH!

Simple? It can be.

That’s what I go over in this video to help you build a simple model of how to deliver on what your customers want most.

Here’s my simplified explanation:

  1. You need to focus on your customer’s needs… they come in 3 ways.
  2. They’re either Expected, Expressed or it Excites them.
  3. Those drive you to either a) Improve, or b) Innovate your service.

If you follow that process and categorize your strategies and filter through that model, you’ll experience growth.

Business at its core is stating and delivering on a promise you make to your customers.

Understanding what promise to make is where the Kano Model comes into play.

Leave me a comment on which NEED you think you need to spend more time on.

Can’t wait to read your answers!

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Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and Clarity.fm. You should follow him on twitter@danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Are you an entrepreneur? Get free weekly video training here:
http://www.danmartell.com/newsletter

+ Join me on FB: http://FB.com/DanMartell
+ Connect w/ me live: http://periscope.tv/danmartell
+ Tweet me: http://twitter.com/danmartell
+ Instagram awesomeness: http://instagram.com/danmartell

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