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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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Now displaying: January, 2018
Jan 29, 2018

Wow.

Every once in a while I re-watch one of my videos and just laugh…

This time around, I can’t believe how many times I said “distributed team”??!

You could easily play a drinking game on it and end up loaded within 10 minutes.

Not recommended btw.

For real. Don’t do it.

Instead, I wanted to take a few mins to show you how I’ve been able to manage large teams virtually, and the process I use to do this.

Many entrepreneurs struggle with the concept or the structure of having people work outside an office, but for me – it’s only ever been that way.

So over the years, I’ve built systems that have allowed me to scale up my teams quickly, take advantage of reduced salary costs, day parting (which you definitely want to be taking advantage of), and sourcing talent from a large pool (i.e. the world).

If you’re struggling to get the right people behind your mission… or are about to hire your first remote team member, then watch this training.

If you do nothing else, be sure to implement step 3 – holding daily & weekly meetings.

I use the Scrum process for project management, but the big win is in the daily stand-up that can also be delivered digitally via chat or video conference.

The key is to have everyone answer 3 questions…

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What will you do today?
  3. Are there any impediments in your way?

Your job as a leader is to help everyone get unstuck (#3) and ensure their priorities (#1 & #2) match up with your expectations.

That alone is a game changer.

So be sure to watch this week’s video and leave a comment with some of your best strategies for collaborating with remote team members.

Don’t let where you live stop you from hiring incredible talent.

--

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

Jan 22, 2018

Do you remember the first time you had someone buy something from you?

For me it was when I convinced a bunch of bed & breakfast owners in Atlantic Canada to send me cash in the mail to have their property published online.

Still not sure if that was legal.

Suspect cash collection methods aside…

What they didn’t know is that I was a 17 year old kid with no formal “business.”

Just a laptop and a dream.

That moment triggered something inside of me… and really kicked off the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey.

It also got me thinking, what are the other aspects of business that I need to learn so that I can be “successful.”

What I teach in this week’s video are the 5 areas of business that every entrepreneur needs to master to be able to stay alive and thrive.

When you look at any business, software or other, they all work exactly the same way.

Sure, you can go crazy filling up your Amazon cart with books about the best way to do X, or Y, but if you spend the time to actually understand how the engine that is business works, you’ll be able to race around the track at top speeds.

One of the five areas I share is Product: what does it take to turn a sale into a raving fan?

Not a customer, client, or transaction – but a RAVING FAN.

Someone who will sing your praises with Adele-like passion.

Someone who will pick up the phone and tell someone in their close circle about your service.

Someone who will send you stacks of cash in the mail in the rare event that your shopify checkout breaks down. (kidding… sort of)

How do you measure that? As you dig in, you’ll learn about things like NPS scores.

Also known as The One Number You Need To Grow.

If you’re still looking to master the game of business, be sure to watch this week’s video to build the foundation…

… then leave a comment with the best resource that you’ve found to teach you one of the 5 key areas I mention.

Remember, mastery is the goal. Not just good enough. World class.


--

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

Jan 15, 2018

Your product or service tells a story.

It either tells one that’s clear and coherent, highlighting the challenges you’re most ready to solve for your ideal customer…

Or it confuses them.

The story you’re telling depends on whether you’re being thoughtful in the process, or building it blindly.  

And the difference between the two has a massive impact on your prospect’s ability to buy from you.

Years ago I was visiting some friends at Twitter and I had the privilege of learning this lesson first hand from one of the best growth guys out there: Josh Ellman (LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter).

His process was clear… ask yourself:

“What does this communicate to our customer about the problem it solves, the value they’ll get, and is it for them?”

At the time he was revamping Twitter’s sign-up process to help activate more customers after their first time using it.

That conversation sent me down a path of studying the best onboarding experience for SaaS products and creating the Product Story framework.

This is how you build powerful products.

In this week’s video I deconstruct each path.

You’ll learn the key elements that drive results, and how to line them up so you can connect with your customers quicker.

After reading a ton of books, speaking with some of the best product minds out there, and testing the strategies on my own companies, I now break it down into 3 core areas of the product:

  1. The Homepage: This page requires a strong “Hook”… it’s the statement that answers the “What is this?” question, followed by the “Promise”, it answers the “How do you do that?” question.
  2. Onboarding: These pages really act as the setup… they are the minimum required steps that you ask of your customer to ensure you have what it’ll take to WOW them. It also matters the order you put them in, and the information you ask for to help reinforce your product’s positioning (i.e. The Story) that they’re building in their mind.
  3. Core Value: This is the specific result a customer will get that makes them think “crap, that’s awesome”. Every great product has it. You might have it, but it’s buried, and only a small % of your users have seen it. The key is to front-load this in the experience for all new users. Some call it the “Must Have” experience.

Watch the video to get a deeper sense of how the complete story is told, and how each piece plays a critical part.

After working with thousands of startups over the years, I’ve come to believe that some of the biggest growth comes from refining their product story.

The fun part is, it doesn’t take much work.

It could be as simple as changing the language on your homepage, or re-ordering your onboarding experience…

… but once it clicks, growth occurs.

Got specific questions about your product? 

Post them below in the comments and I’ll answer them soon… I’d love to help you create a story that reinforces the innovation you’re building.

Remember, it’s an iterative process…

… so keep testing till you get there.

--

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

Jan 8, 2018

One of my favourite questions to ask someone is “Who’s the best [CMO/CTO/VP of Sales] you know?”

I don’t care if they already have a job… I just want their name.

Actually, I prefer if they’re already working because it allows me to build a relationship with them without the pressure.

My approach once I have a name is to reach out with a big, real-world challenge that I can get their advice on…

… usually the first contact lasts 15 minutes.

I’m just looking to establish a connection.

From there, I follow up and keep the conversation going and work them through my process for hiring.

But what if you don’t know anyone to ask?

That’s why I share the concept of “deputizing” in this week’s video.

It’s a core part of my C-level hiring strategy, guaranteed to help you hire great talent.

The overall framework falls into 3 phases, but they’re built on the foundation called the Ikea Effect.

The concept is simple…

Someone who’s involved in building something, sees that creation as having more value than if they had just bought or been given that thing.

That’s why, I use the “Ask for advice” angle for reaching out and connecting with all my potential hires as a first step.

The reason that works best is I get to “test drive” the person before I ever invest a significant amount of time and money bringing them on.

What I’ve learned over the years is someone can seem like a perfect candidate, but a simple project can surface some glaring issues that would make it almost impossible to work with (ex: lacks creative problem solving, isn’t clear in their communications, doesn’t know how to lead a team, etc).

When it comes to hiring C-level talent, you need to find a way to simulate the work before you ever hire them so you get A-players only!

Using this process will help you build an incredible leadership team that will allow you to free up your time and scale your company more easily.

If you have questions about the test project, leave a comment with your specific hiring scenario and I’ll offer up some examples.

Now go out there and deputize some people to identify killer talent for your company!

--

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

Jan 1, 2018

The first thing I ever built that I charged for was an MP3 burning app.

I had just learned Visual Basic in one of my elective programming classes in highschool, and I wanted to see what I could create.

The problem I wanted to solve was simple…

As one of the few people at the time with a CD burner, I would always have my friends come over to my house and spend hours going through all of the MP3’s I had downloaded from Napster to create the ultimate playlist for themselves or their girlfriend…

(K-Ci and JoJo was always a crowd pleaser)

So after a few weeks of this, I built a simple app that anyone could install at their house.

It would connect to my computer using FTP, download a file of all the MP3’s I had on my computer, let them create the playlist at their house, and when they were ready, they could “order” the CD (pay me $20 bucks) and I would burn it overnight while I slept.

So technically, that’s the first time coding made me money, even before MaritimeVacation.ca (a vacation rental site I started in 1999).

I share that story because learning to code is not hard.  

It just requires a strong enough motivation and some resources.

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

The crazy part is learning to code literally saved my life.

As the world evolves, I believe learning to code is going to be a powerful skill to have…

It’s why I’ve been teaching my two little boys to code ever since they were 2 years old.

But how do you learn while sidestepping overwhelm?

Here are 5 tips to get you (or your kid) started:

  1. Use your weekends: block out some time, schedule it, and commit to start when the clock hits that time!
  2. Wireframe a simple app: keep it simple. Blank printer paper and a marker works to outlining the apps interface.
  3. Front-end, backend, database: understanding these 3 specific pieces will make the whole process way easier!
  4. Pick a language: Ruby, Python, Php, Javascript… now this one can be debated and I’d love to have that below in the comments.
  5. Consume tutorials: there are sooooo many free online training videos to help you get going, but there’s also next level training by folks likes www.teamtreehouse.com.

If you want some feedback on your app idea, just leave a comment and I’ll provide some thoughts on the best way to build it.

Excited to hear how your first app comes along… something simple can take less than a couple hours!

Do it. Get coding :)

--

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

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