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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: Page 6
Jul 16, 2018

Exclusive Download: Revenue Expansion Maximizer™

Watch:
How To Evaluate The Right Pricing Model For Your Software Startup 
Value Based Pricing: How To Use a Pricing Axis To Grow Your SaaS Company's Revenue 

--

When I was 25 and building my first company, Spheric, I closed an enterprise level deal with Procter & Gamble.

Not only was it an “arrival point” for my company…

But in the negotiations, I actually got P&G to fund an entire slate of new integrations and features, while we retained the IP.

Pretty cool, right?

Thing is, none of that would’ve been possible had I made the mistake that most founders make…

Sharing pricing on their website.

In this week’s video, I dive into the 5 reasons why you’ll want to consider hiding your pricing … and how you can leverage that position to close bigger deals while having the flexibility to serve your customers in a more impactful way.

At a high level, here are the 5 reasons you’ll want to hide your pricing:

  1. Complex Deals
  2. Discounting Difficulties
  3. Big Different Than Small
  4. Enterprises Just Want to Buy
  5. Could Make You Look Cheap

At the end of the day, If it’s your goal to serve Fortune 500 companies and high-level enterprises, you NEED to retain the ability to structure deals appropriately.

Showing your pricing not only destroys all leverage right off the bat…

… but it can actually kill your credibility by making you look like a cheap, consumer-level solution.

Even worse… a potential game-changing client may sign up for a free trial (or lower tier) without you even having a chance to craft a better package and close a bigger deal.

Give this episode a quick watch, and then let me in the comments if you’re coming up against resistance to hiding your pricing.

I’ll reply back 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

+ 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

Jul 9, 2018

Watch: 
ADHD as a Superpower
How To Get To Sleep When Your Mind Is Racing

Resources:
Miracle Mornings: https://www.miraclemorning.com
Concentration Music App: www.focusatwill.com
Be Focused Timer: https://xwavesoft.com/be-focused-pro-for-iphone-ipad-mac-os-x.html

--

At 8 years old, I got diagnosed with ADHD.

I felt broken.

Burdened by a “brain’ that would surely screw me out of any type of meaningful contribution in the world.

Every day was a crapshoot.

Without knowing how I’d “show up” on any given day, setting goals (and pursuing them) felt like a fool’s game — and when I’d inevitably fail, it only supported my belief that I was messed up beyond repair.

Over the next decade, I spiraled into a deep depression…

… culminating in a tipping point where if I didn’t learn how to turn my “curse” into a superpower, it would literally kill me.

This week’s video is all about my “homemade” prescription for how I naturally turned ADHD into my superpower… and ultimately a catalyst for my legacy as an investor and entrepreneur.

While I don’t endorse a medication-free approach to ADHD, I encourage you to test any combination of these “ingredients” to see what moves the needle for you.

And of course… make sure to consult with your physician ;)

At a high-level, the 9 ingredients of my “natural” ADHD meds are:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Sweat Every Day
  3. 8 Hours of Sleep
  4. Morning Routines
  5. 30 Minute Pomodoro Window
  6. Energy Management
  7. Music
  8. Block Time
  9. Build a Team

The first 8 can literally be implemented this week — and stack upon each other to exponentially increase your ability to focus, be productive, and move your mission forward with confidence.

Number 9 will take a bit more time, but I believe is where ADHD truly becomes a superpower.

When you literally can’t will yourself to focus on certain tasks, it works as a forcing function to get support and leverage other people’s skills faster than you otherwise would’ve.

Whether you’re looking to get off ADHD meds… or simply have a mission that your brain feels incapable of keeping up with, it’s my hope that these 9 steps help serve you in an incredible, life-changing way.

Give it a watch here.

--

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

Jul 2, 2018

Exclusive Download: Weekly Sync™

Did you know that there’s a multibillion dollar industry dedicated to doomsday prepping?

Even crazier…

Reid Hoffman was quoted in the New Yorker, estimating that about 50% of Silicon Valley billionaires have acquired some level of “apocalypse insurance”.

Now whether you buy into that idea or not, there is a type of doomsday in the software world you absolutely NEED to be prepared for.

It’s this:

What would happen to your product (and company) if your developer disappeared overnight?

Or put more bleakly, would your company pass the “bus” test?

Meaning… if your entire dev team got hit by a bus tomorrow, would you have the systems, processes, documentation, and contingency plans to keep on ticking?

Or would the doomsday clock hit midnight on your entire SaaS company?

Putting too much power into the hands of a single developer (or even an entire dev team) is a dangerous place to be.

Especially for a non-technical founder.

And unless you’ve taken clear steps to “prep” for that possibility, you’re essentially letting a small handful of people hold your entire company hostage.

… if they jump ship to another company

… if they run into an illness or life crisis of any kind

… if they win the lotto max

You’re done.

This is me going on record to say that 100% of SaaS companies need some form of development apocalypse insurance.

And I recorded this week’s video to show you the 6 steps I take to safeguard the companies I advise.

At a high level, the 6 step “prepper’s guide” comes down to:

  1. Cloudbase Repository
  2. Centralized Access Control
  3. Documentation Reviews
  4. Pay for Code Reviews
  5. Succession Planning
  6. Continuous Integration

It’s not sexy — and will take some upfront time and cash investment…

But won’t you feel SO much more confident building your product knowing that nothing short of an actual apocalypse can shut you down?

I think so. I bet your team and investors will as well ;)

Give the video a watch, and then let me know in the comments what you plan on implementing to safeguard one of your company’s most important assets.

Here’s that episode link one more time.

--

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

Jun 18, 2018

Exclusive Download: Revenue Expansion Maximizer™

Nightmare scenario:

You just spent 30 mins delivering an amazing product demo.

The guy on the other end of the Zoom call is all hot and bothered.

Loves your solution. Sees the value. Wants it yesterday.

So you go in for the close…

Only to find out that the person you just cancelled lunch plans for doesn’t have the budget or the authority to make the decision… and will have to “get back to you.”

Shoot me now.

Reality is, that scenario plays out all the time, and highlights the single most important criteria you need to look for when evaluating an enterprise SaaS sales person.

In a complex web of end users and decision makers… can your salesperson pull a Liam Neeson and hunt down the actual buyer?

Sure, it sucks if that opening scenario happens to you every now and then…

But when it happens to that enterprise sales person you just hired on a six figure base salary…

Well, that’s just downright crippling.

In this week’s video I breakdown the 6 key steps for evaluating one of your company’s most important early hires.

At a high level, here’s what you’re looking for to make sure you get a massive ROI on your enterprise SaaS sales person:

  1. Navigating decision hierarchies in large organizations
  2. Finding the buyer ASAP
  3. Articulating your value prop
  4. Handling objections
  5. Can they position you?
  6. Knowing how to deal with IT

I also share a really cool technique inspired by Chet Holmes (Ultimate Sales Machine) for testing whether or not your potential new hire will crack under objections.

It’s a super effective filtering mechanism for weeding out potential hires before they bloat your overhead and blow the sale.

Give it a watch now and let me know in the comments if you a) currently have a sales person on payroll and b) what criteria/evaluation process has worked well for you.

--

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

Jun 11, 2018

Exclusive Download: Rocket Demo Builder™

If nobody’s pushing back on your pricing…

That’s a problem.

You might be thinking:

“But Dan.. isn’t it a good thing that everyone’s saying YES to my price without resistance? Why would I want to rock that boat?”

Simply put:  

Without pushback, you’re leaving profits on the table and making your team complacent.

Two things that you literally can’t afford to be doing in the early days of growing your SaaS company.

If hearing this adds even more anxiety to your pricing decisions, let’s take a deep breath.

I’ve got you covered.

In this week’s video, I break down the 3-Step formula for nailing down the PERFECT pricing level that maximizes your profits, keeps customers happy, and creates a forcing function for you and your team to focus on creating massive value.

At a high level, here are the 3 steps:
  1. 10x value
  2. 5% more
  3. 20% pushback

The 3 steps all build on top of each other to produce the coveted 10-5-20 rule.

But if there’s ONE thing you pull from this week’s video to start adding immediate profits, it’s this:

For the next 10 customers you talk to, raise the price of your software by 5%.

And then please… whatever you do… play it cool when they say “yes”.

Don’t kill the vibe by acting surprised ;)

The key here is to test the upper limit that your market’s willing to pay for your solution. And then keep testing until you find that line of resistance.

Might make you sweaty palmed at first. But do what you can to stick it out.

You owe it to your team, your product, and your bottom line.

Give the full video a watch and then let me know how your next prospect responds to that 5% increase.

--

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

Jun 4, 2018

Exclusive Download: Customer Experience Planner™

Imagine taking the stage for the opening keynote of your own customer conference.

Hundreds (or even thousands) of your users in front of you.

Enjoying that super cool inflection point where you can literally see the community you’ve built right in front of your eyes…

And at the same time, unlock a hidden series of growth levers that your competitors (who shied away from the whole conference thing) will never have a chance to pull.

Pretty cool, right?

Here’s a short list of what a successful conference can do for your growth:  

— Higher engagement, deeper commitments, and raving fandom.

— Build and solidify community amongst your users (driving retention/slashing churn)

— Bump up your trial-to-paid conversions (through amazing case studies that close the deal)

Despite the crazy upside, most founders will never pull the trigger.

The time… the cost… the energy… all seem way too much.

But did you know that it’s possible for your event to actually turn a profit?

In this week’s video, I draw from conversations I’ve had with companies like Leadpages and Bucket.io to give you the 5 steps for running an amazing (and profitable) customer conference.

At a high level, here are the steps:

  1. Upsell Tickets (Leadpages nailed this)
  2. Customers Present (and you get the case studies)
  3. Record all videos (and add’em to your nurture sequence — or sell them)
  4. Present Awards (and show your users what’s possible)
  5. Sell Sponsorships (so you can turn a profit and create future partners)

Pay special attention to that fourth step.

It’s one of those things that may seem a bit frivolous on the surface…

… but it’s actually a super ninja and highly sophisticated marketing strategy when you dig a little deeper.

If you’ve seen things like Clickfunnels’ “2 Comma Club”… that’s step #4 in action.

Running a customer conference may not currently be at the top of your 2018 goals list (or it might)…

… but I’d love it if you could give this video a quick watch and then drop me a comment letting me know a) if you can see yourself planning a conference and b) if not, what’s still stopping you?

--

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

May 28, 2018

Exclusive Download: The Weekly Sync™

If you run a small team of just 5 employees/co-founders…

Your weekly meetings are likely costing you well north of 50k/year.

Simple math…

… average hourly rate x number of people x 52

That’s how much you’re spending to run your weekly meeting.

If the most productive thing that comes out of it is a self-portrait of your front-end designer sketched in an intense bout of boredom…

… then these meetings are crushing your company.

And it’s not that hypothetical front-end designer’s fault.

It’s on you as the leader to design your meetings so that they’re highly focused and optimized for growth.

In this week’s video, I show you the 5 steps for maximizing the ROI on the 50k/year investment you didn’t even know you were making.

At a high level, here’s what a highly productive meeting comes down to:

  1. Time to celebrate
  2. Measure to manage
  3. Focus on the few
  4. The obstacle is the way  
  5. Give it a score

While all of them are critical to maximizing your ROI… number 4  is the hallmark of every successful B2B SaaS company I know.

(shoutout to Ryan Holliday)

Essentially, if you use your meetings to address and pre-empt the biggest and scariest obstacles in your path to growth, you set the stage to come together and blast through them as a team.

Nothing unites a team faster while building a winning culture than overcoming challenges that your competitors would likely back down from.

Do that 52x/year and you have a recipe for some serious, compounded growth.

Give this episode a quick watch and then drop me a comment letting me know 1) how many team members you manage and 2) what you do to keep everyone dialed in and excited to grow.

--

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

May 14, 2018

Exclusive Download: Trial Conversion Campaign

25%.

That’s the magic number you gotta obsess over.

At least when it comes to your trial to paid conversions.

If you’ve yet to have a virtual drink clink with your team for hitting that benchmark…

Then it’s hands down your biggest (and most urgent) opportunity for growth.

In this week’s video I break down the 5 steps needed to achieve that *magic number* by this time next quarter.

At a high level, here’s how to achieve trial-to-conversion nirvana:

  1. Get them situated
  2. Highlight the money moves
  3. Show them what’s possible
  4. Teach and support them
  5. Create a trial feedback loop

Most B2B SaaS companies do a pretty good job at nailing number 1.

Number 2 is where people get stuck.

Number 3 is where people get lazy.

And number 5 is where people put on the blinders and get scared.

The biggest mistake you can make is to put too big a focus on traffic (via partners, ads, content, etc.) before you have your trial-to-conversions dialed in.

If you do, it’s like trying to fill a leaky bucket.

Great way to burn cash and piss off your strategic partners in the process.

Instead, focus on these 5 key steps to soar past the 25% benchmark, and then enjoy the freedom of pouring more leads into a system proven to convert.

--

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

May 7, 2018

Exclusive Download: Customer Creation Model

Watch: New Sales Models - David Sacks

Ever hear of a guy named David Sacks?

He has a crazy gift.

Essentially, he doesn’t know how to get involved in a startup and NOT have it turn into a billion dollar success story.

We’re talking about…

… Paypal (sold to ebay for 1.5B)

… Yammer (sold to Microsoft for 1.2B)

… dozens of companies he was an angel investor in (Airbnb, Facebook, Uber)

He’s as close to a “tech oracle” as there is…

And if you have billion dollar aspirations for your startup… you better be taking his advice as gospel.

I was lucky enough to attend a private keynote that David gave a few years back where he singled out the 5 things that MUST be true to hit the 10 figure mark.

This week’s video is the detailed breakdown extracted from my personal notebook.

At a high level, here are the 4 things that must be true:
  1. Market need
  2. Product hook
  3. Scalable distribution model
  4. A non-copyable moat

Even if you’re not crazy enough to have billion dollar aspirations, building your company as if you do will set you up for massive scale.

If there’s one element that has to be true for ANY company (not just billion dollar startups)… it’s the market need.

I  know… obvious on the surface…

… but still a mistake that way too many founders make.

Falling in love with our technology will do that ;-)  

Give this episode a watch, and then reply to this email letting me know the ultimate aspirations for your startup.

--

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

Apr 30, 2018

Exclusive Download: Top 5 Productivity Hacks

Today I’m gonna talk about this super advanced technology that any founder can use to boost their energy, be more productive, and crush their workday.

It’s not a state of the art nootropic.

It’s not bulletproof coffee with heaping scoops of grass fed ghee.

It’s your sleep.

I see you eye rolling through that sleep mask ;-)

But here’s why we’re gonna upgrade your sleep quality in this week’s video.

If it’s taking you until 2am to fall asleep, chances are…

… you’re sleeping through your morning routine  

… you’re cancelling plans with your team, your friends, and potential clients or partners

… you’re operating at a fraction of your fullest potential as a leader and creator.

Not exactly the hallmarks of a high-performing SaaS founder.

And definitely not a fast track to scaling your company.

That’s why I created this special episode to help you dial in your sleep quality so you can wake up refreshed, focused, and ready to crush your daily goals.

At a high level, these are the 5 steps I use  to go from a midnight bout with an ADHD mind… to a deep state of rest and recovery that sets me up for an action packed day of growth and impact:

  1. Prep it
  2. Dump it
  3. Breathe
  4. No phones or TV
  5. Read

Some of these may seem obvious… but pay special attention to how I re-contextualize them for SaaS founders (we’re a special breed) ;-)

If you want the “quick  fix”, check out the special breathing technique that “Guru Dan” prescribes in Step #3.

It knocks me out in 60 seconds flat… and is the sole reason those “sheep” I used to count are currently out of work.

Learn it and try it tonight and then let me know the results 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

+ 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

Apr 23, 2018

Exclusive Download: Partner Pipeline Framework

Leadpages used *this* strategy to scale their growth at a ridiculous rate.

So did my company Flowtown.

As well as a recent SaaS Academy client who hired an army of over two thousand “salesmen” to promote his accounting software… for free.

If you haven’t caught on…

We’re talking about strategic partnerships.

Partnerships are one of the fastest and most efficient ways of scaling your software business.

It’s essentially outsourcing your customer acquisition… and only paying a pre-negotiated  commission if the user converts.

Predictable acquisition costs?

You’re not gonna get that from google or Zucks ;-)

Thing is… there is a darkside.

The wrong partner can flood your company with thousands of unqualified leads, inundating your entire team and straight jacketing your ability to grow.

Worse… if you’re not hedging your bets, you’re pretty much putting a silver bullet in the barrel of another company that can take your SaaS biz to the back of the barn at a moment’s notice.

In this week’s video I break down the 5 steps for recruiting an army of “salesman” to promote your product… without letting your company fall victim to “silver bullet syndrome”.

At a high level, here’s what it takes to create profitable strategic partnership that fuel your growth without burning out your customer success team with thousands of sh*tty customers:
  1. Find shared customers
  2. Profile partners for growth
  3. Create a hit list
  4. Connect to fit
  5. Invest in the channel

If you like the idea of ethically hitching a ride on someone else’s growth curve… the deep dive on step #2 will blow your mind.

But like any strategy, if you’re gonna commit to building partnerships… you gotta REALLY commit.

It takes a level of detail and foresight that most founders avoid.

Watch this video to implement this strategy like a pro.

--

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

Apr 16, 2018

Exclusive Download: Revenue Retention Cheatsheet™ - Stop The Bleeding & Scale Your Marketing With Confidence - http://bit.ly/2sbvqLU

--

I was recently working with a SaaS Academy client who had a serious churn problem.

So serious that he was letting 18% of his accounts disappear without a fight.

Couple that with skyhigh acquisition costs and flatlining expansion revenue… and let’s just say that this company was playing with some serious fire.

“Scale” wasn’t a word you could use with a straight face.

Make no mistake…

This was a survival game.

In this week’s video I breakdown the 5 key initiatives we took to get this company off of life support, shrink churn down to 4%, and achieve net negative churn – aka the holy grail of any SaaS company with serious plans to scale.

At a high level, here’s what it takes to activate your customers and keep’em around for the long haul:

  1. Build an onramp
  2. Create a support network
  3. Project a future
  4. Monitor for lows
  5. Flip the cancellation

That last step tends to get a lot of pushback from my coaching clients… until they implement it and see how powerful it is for keeping customers in the fold and turning potential ship jumpers into raving flag bearers.

Short story:

It involves NOT letting a customer cancel through a single click on your website…

But bringing the cancellation to a call where you can dive deeper into the reasons, see where your product failed to deliver, and in more cases than not, win back the account by vowing to fix things fast.

At the very least, you’ll get the rich feedback that in the long term is worth 100x more than the account you lost.

Watch the full episode to get the complete list of “activators”, and then drop a comment letting us know what you’ve implemented in your own biz to activate users and keep them around for the long haul.

--

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.

+ 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

Exclusive Download: Revenue Retention Cheatsheet™ - Stop The Bleeding & Scale Your Marketing With Confidence - http://bit.ly/2sbvqLU

Apr 9, 2018

Download: Customer Case Study Creator Worksheet - https://bit.ly/2uXXpPR

Have you ever tried to collect a case study only to find yourself stumbling over the “ask” before mercifully aborting mission?

Yep.

Happens to just about every SaaS founder.

Even when we get epic results for our customers…

… asking for a case study turns otherwise confident SaaS founders into the chess club captain trying to ask the head cheerleader out to prom.

*awkwaaard*

But it doesn’t have to be.

In fact, it can’t be.

If you want to scale up and have case studies that attract and convert new users…

… then collecting case studies is something you NEED to master.

More specifically, it’s something you need to have a repeatable system for.

Not just to do when you’re feeling extra bold after downing an IPA during your lunch meeting.

In this week’s video I cover the 5 steps to capturing impactful case studies that inspire and convert new users.

If you nail down the perfect timing… and go in with a solid plan… the “ask” becomes easy, and you quickly build up a bank of case studies that you can draw on to close more sales.

Here are the 5 steps:

  1. The Moment
  2. The Problem
  3. The Search
  4. The Solution
  5. The Result

It’s important to remember that a compelling case study includes the ENTIRE customer journey… not just the end result.

A “result” without the full context does nothing to move your prospective customers into taking action.

But follow the entire 5 steps, and you’ll have a smooth process for gradually building up one of your business’ most important marketing assets.

--

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

Apr 2, 2018

DOWNLOAD: Revenue Expansion Maximizer -http://bit.ly/2qjJfTM

A SaaS Academy client recently asked me what SINGLE metric I would look at if I had to bet on the future success of a software company.

It all comes down to this…

Net negative churn.

Simply put, if your expansion revenue is growing faster than your contraction revenue (from downgrades and cancellations)…

… your momentum pretty much becomes unstoppable.

This week’s video goes deep into the 5 key areas that put you on a collision course with this “holy grail” of SaaS growth.

(Hint: having a $7 unlimited pricing level isn’t how to get there.)

As you may have guessed… it all starts with reducing churn.

Can’t expand your relationship with customers who jump ship ;-)

But once you get your churn fixed… there’s a sweet science to increasing LTV’s while bringing MORE value to your customers.

Here’s a high level rundown:

  1. Fix your churn
  2. Redesign your price plans
  3. Price on value
  4. Create add-ons
  5. Offer partner solutions

Watch this video and then leave us a comment sharing any strategies and tactics you’ve personally used to expand LTV.

--

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

Mar 26, 2018

WATCH: $100M+ ARR in 7 Years With Jason Cohen (Founder of WPEngine.com) - https://www.danmartell.com/jasoncohenvideo

Few things can shatter a founder’s confidence quicker than a poorly managed board meeting.

At best…

… you’ll get glossed over stares and “checked out” investors who secretly hate you for wasting their time.

At worst…

… you’ll accidentally knock over the first domino in getting kicked out of your own company.

Pay special attention to Step #4 in this week’s video to make sure that never happens.

After dozens of successful board meetings for my own software companies, as well as helping hundreds of SaaS Academy clients run their own…

... I’ve distilled it down to 5 key steps that impress even the most impatient and demanding board members, while getting you the support and buy-in you need to continue growing your company.

I break down the 5 steps in this week’s video.

At a high level, here’s the flow you should be using to run effective and highly productive board meetings:

  1. Big Picture
  2. Calibrate
  3. Company Building
  4. Working Sessions
  5. Close the Session

If you implement this flow while asserting yourself as a LEADER, I can guarantee you that you’ll never have another sweaty palmed or unproductive board meeting again.

Better yet, you’ll be able to put your investors to work instead of feeling like you’re constantly trying to impress them.

At the end of the day, your investors will thank you for it — and be excited to help you keep growing.

Give it a watch here and then drop a comment letting the community know what tips or tricks have proven successful in your own board meetings.

--

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

Mar 19, 2018

DOWNLOAD: Referral System Page Worksheet - https://www.danmartell.com/referralworksheet

“Help me. Help you.”

Nope…

Not talking about that epic one liner from Jerry Maguire.

I’m talking about the inner dialogue your customers experience whenever they try to refer your product to their tribe.

One of the EASIEST ways to acquire a new B2B Saas customer is to have your current users refer you at scale.

Just ask Dropbox ;-)

Only problem is… most companies make that process painfully hard and complicated.

And since not having a simple and effective referral strategy is such a crazy missed opportunity to grow your user base while creating an army of evangelists…

I shot a new video showing you the 4 steps to creating a referral system that acts as a win-win-win…

…  for your current customers… your new customers… and your company.

On a high level, here’s what it takes to implement an effective B2B SaaS referral system:

  1. Choose a win
  2. Give to both
  3. Make it easy
  4. Seed it

Of the four, the first one is where most SaaS companies mess up.

Put it this way… if you were a restaurant owner, would people be more likely to refer you:

a) After they’ve booked a reservation
b) While waiting in line
c) When the waiter brings out the food
d) After they’ve eaten… and are waiting for the check.

Same goes for your SaaS.

Make the ask after a nice juicy win… and you’ll be well on your way to implementing a winning referral strategy that exponentially grows your user base without sucking air out of your acquisition margins.

Watch the full video to go deeper into the other steps.

--

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

Mar 12, 2018

DOWNLOAD: Idea to Exit Mini-Course - http://www.ideatoexitonline.com/prototyping

“You’re not suppose to succeed!”

“The numbers are against you from day one.”

Those were the words hurled at me across the board room from one of my mentors.

Encouraging, right?

Up until that point I had so much confidence that failure wasn’t an option.

But the truth is – and you hear it all the time – most startups fail.

His words set me down a path of learning and implementing strategies to help protect me, my stakeholders, and my coaching clients  from the 5 highest leading causes of startup death.

Over the years, I’ve had the chance to see the inner workings of 1000+ companies.

I’ve listened to the intimate, behind-the-scenes details and decisions from the founders behind them.  

After seeing what works, what doesn’t, and what gives you a one-way ticket to the SaaS graveyard…

I’ve distilled those lessons into the big five for this week’s video.

When I sit back and look at my failures and those of my friends, I believe they can be traced back to one or more of these.

  1. Market Problems
  2. Business Model Failure
  3. Poor Management Team
  4. Running out of Cash
  5. Product Problems

What’s hilarious, and part of #3, is the amount of companies that fail due to co-founder in-fighting…

… meaning they couldn’t see eye to eye on a critical part of the business (funding, product roadmap, market strategy, etc).

The one I see the most often when it comes to technology and innovation is #1…

… founders running around with some cool tech, with no clear customer problem to solve.

It’s a solution in search of a problem.

Always a scary proposition and the opposite of the way I encourage first time founders to start off (find customers before you develop your tech).

If you’ve got questions about either one of these five, be sure to leave a comment with the specifics and I’ll help you turn things around.

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

Mar 5, 2018

DOWNLOAD: Rocket Demo Builder - https://www.danmartell.com/rocketdemo

Are you acting like a 5 year old when demoing your product?

Last week my son Max (5) asked me to help him with his show & tell presentation.

So I taught him a simple 3 step process.

  1. Start with the problem. (Story)
  2. Pick 3 benefits & features to highlight (Demo)
  3. Ask if they want to play afterwards (CTA)

These 3 steps are just a compressed version of what I teach my SaaS coaching clients… focus on the pain, peg it to benefits delivered via features and go for the close.

What do you think the other kids did?

They just went up and showed their toy, awkwardly rambled on about the things it could do, then sat down.

Almost makes you wanna cringe, right? Thing is…

Most SaaS Founders act like 5 year olds doing show & tell when they demo.

It’s not a product tour you’re doing… it’s a sales demo. You need to connect the dots for your customers in less than 30 minutes.

If you’re frustrated with low sales conversion numbers from your demos, or the amount of time it takes to close deals, then you’ll want to watch this week’s video where I share my 5 step process for crushing your sales quotas by demoing like a boss.

No mindless rambling about all the “cool” things your product does.

No tumbleweed silences that you awkwardly break up with a classic “oh, did I show you it can also do X?

Just a clear, efficient, value-driven exchange that sets up the sale without eating into anyone’s lunch plans.

Maybe you already have your demo setup so that it’s short & concise, but are you following these other 5 steps?

  1. Demo not tour
  2. Connect to pain
  3. Lead by question
  4. Peg the money shot
  5. Virtual close

The last one is the key to ensuring you reduce your sales cycles by future pacing the process with your prospect so they can get in the mindset of having bought.

Also, small tip – use BAMFAM in your demos.

Book a meeting from a meeting.

Never hang up the phone from a sales demo without agreeing upon a specific next step, ideally a call to review any questions that might come up, or to loop in other people on their team to define a proof of concept.

To help you crush your demo script, I’ve outlined a 9 box model called the Rocket Demo Builder that you can use to design your specific demo and get started closing more deals faster.

So what’s your favourite closing question? Post it as a comment and I’ll be sure to add a few others that I love using to get customers to say yes on the spot!

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

+ 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

Feb 26, 2018

Exclusive Resource: Revenue Retention Cheatsheet™ - Stop The Bleeding & Scale Your Marketing With Confidence - http://bit.ly/36LMR4H

--

Has a customer ever punched you in the face?

No?

Has it ever felt like that?

Every time I’ve had a customer sign-up, stick around for a few months, and cancel (aka churn) it sure feels that way.

It doesn’t matter how long I’ve been building businesses, nothing frustrates me more than having a customer that I spent a ton of time, energy and money attracting, leave because we missed the mark.

What’s different about my approach is that I take 110% accountability for customers churning.

Meaning, I want to know EXACTLY why it happened… and see how I can fix it. Or at the very least, make sure it’s the first and only time someone ever leaves for that reason.

Too many founders just chalk it up as a numbers thing… pegging it as normal.

I don’t agree, and I’ve outlined the 5 steps I take to ensure I reduce my churn as fast as possible while scaling up my revenue.

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

When it comes to reducing churn in your business, I’ve outlined a comprehensive 9 step checklist that my coaching clients use to get results fast, called the Churn Buster Checklist…

You can download it here.

… however, what I want to share with you in this video are the 5 areas that I think most founders completely ignore:

  1. They don’t measure their metrics
  2. They don’t learn from their cancellation process
  3. The product is too easy to switch off of
  4. They don’t automate dunning management
  5. No one is paying attention to customers who show signs of cancelling

At the end of the day, the holy grail for any SaaS startup is net negative churn… a point where your expansion revenue grows faster than your churned MRR.

The fastest way to get there is to bust the churn you have, and grow your existing accounts by 20-30% per year.

Once you’ve hit this nirvana, the sky’s the limit.

Keep up the good fight!

--

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.

+ 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

Exclusive Resource: Revenue Retention Cheatsheet™ - Stop The Bleeding & Scale Your Marketing With Confidence - http://bit.ly/36LMR4H

Feb 19, 2018

WATCH: Follow Up Formula Training - http://bit.ly/2suTQiK
DOWNLOAD: Worksheet - http://bit.ly/2BWqoGt

All SaaS companies need sales people.

Even products like Dropbox & Slack have sales teams.

If you look at the Montclare SaaS 250 list, they all have sales teams.

So why do startups push off making this hire for so long?

It’s usually because they don’t know what to look for and are scared that a new fancy pants sales person wouldn’t close enough deals to cover their cost.

A totally legit concern.

But one you need to quickly blast through if you have any serious hopes of scaling.

I hired my first sales person in 2006 and it changed my business.

It unlocked a huge roadblock that I had in my ability to follow up, sell and keep revenues flowing as I was flooded with other tasks required to continue scaling my company.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all rev-gen rainbows and scaled up sunshine.

What I missed in that hire were these 6 characteristics that forced me to replace him 2 months later.

If you’re about to make your first hire, or want to improve your sales team, then be sure to look for these characteristics:

  1. Dedicated to Prospecting
  2. Follows Sales Process
  3. Social Researcher
  4. Curious About Customer’s Needs
  5. Add Value to Every Interaction
  6. Leverages Micro-Moments

During the video I go deeper into what these mean and specifically how to test for them.

But the main thing to get right is to have a hiring, training and onboarding process for your salespeople to get them productive as fast as possible.

While getting an “out of the box” ROI may be a bit ambitious…

My rule is that every salesperson should be hitting 80% of quota within 6 months of hiring, if not, replace them.

If you have questions about compensation, be sure to leave a comment and I’ll give you my simple formula for making this brain dead simple.

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

+ 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

Feb 12, 2018

DOWNLOAD: 5 Productivity Hacks - http://bit.ly/2E14QKl

Want to know one habit ultra-successful people have in common?

They read.

A lot.

In fact, when Warren Buffett was asked about the key to his success, he pointed to a stack of books and said:

“Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”

It’s why you’ll find a bookshelf or library in most wealthy people’s homes… reading is a leading indicator of success.

Now, it doesn’t guarantee it, but it is one huge part of it.

The truth is, success leaves clues and over the years I’ve discovered that some of the simplest strategies to getting the most out of life, like reading, can be boiled down to these 8 steps.

If you know my story, you know I spend a lot of time working with at-risk teenagers helping them build their confidence by building a business.

By doing that work I’ve had to distill a few habits that are easily understood and simple to take action on…

For me, they come down to these:

  1. Read every day, at least 10 pages of non-fiction.
  2. Focus on high-level tasks, things that move the needle.
  3. Make your health a priority and treat it like a high performing race horse.
  4. Learn from people you admire and model their actions.
  5. Plan your day the night before so you can crush the following day!
  6. Keep your goals in front of you so you can remind yourself of the outcome.
  7. Take action on the scary stuff… that’s the true definition of hustle imho.
  8. Have a powerful inspiring “why” that pulls you forward like a magnet.

If you want to squeeze every minute out of every day, then follow these strategies and it will generate a huge level of ROI.

I’m sure there’s dozens of other things you could be doing to succeed more in life and your business, so please leave a comment and let me know your favourite strategy.

Can’t wait to read them all!

--

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

Feb 5, 2018

Have you ever been talked into do something you knew was dumb?

*raises hand*

Back when I was scaling my company Spheric Technologies, a friend introduced me to his buddy who did outsourced sales.

Essentially, a quick fix “easy button” for business owners who can’t be bothered to take full control of the lifeblood of their business. Smart right? 

His big promise was that he could get me scheduled meetings with qualified buyers for our services…

… so I gave him a try.

The cost was about $5K/month + a $5K setup, so I gave it a try to see if it would move the needle.

My average deal size was $60K, so I figured just one new customer every month would be a huge win. No brainer, right?

But it all fell apart. Fast.

The meetings were horrible.

The prospects unqualified.

And the whole thing turned out to be a huge waste of time, energy, and money.

That’s when I decided to smarten up, take full control of the selling process, and build my own sales team in house.

I went “all in” and immersed myself in everything I could about building and scaling a sales team.

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

If you want the bulleted list of activities that’s required for scaling a software sales team, here’s my prescription…

  1. Pay a base salary
  2. Set a quota
  3. Provide a commission
  4. Use accelerators
  5. Hire a sales manager

Now, the truth is, in the early days you’ll likely be doing all the selling, but the best way to backfill this work is to document everything you do to achieve results.

This includes creating a demo script using my Rocket Demo Builder framework, your system for qualifying, and the follow up process.

It’s how my coaching clients and the founders I advise have scaled their sales teams to over 150+ sales people.

If you have any questions about scaling your sales team, leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to reply.

--

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

3 Forces of a Sales Pipeline: https://vimeo.com/237859087/fbbb78d3b5

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
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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.

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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.

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