Category Archive: Business

Your customer is ruining your brand

customers-runing-your-brand

If there’s one thing I’m sick of it’s flash in the pan web marketers.

Crappy ads and “consultants” that promise WhatsApp money in a weekend’s worth of SEO and retargeting work. “Don’t worry, we’ve been doing this for 6 months and our e-book will make you richer than Mark Zuckerberg after his exit from Facebook.  Just give us your e-mail!” Really? Stop it already.

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WordPress business toolkit part 1

tools of the WordPress trade

Running a WordPress business?

Of course you are! If you’re not, you can use these services for any form of online business.

In part 1, we’ll briefly cover WordPress hosting, a few plugins, and a couple or my choice productivity tools. There’s some cross compatibility from the blogging tips post, but I’ve wrapped some new context around the areas that apply. This post was inspired by Carrie Dils and her review of SaaS software for her own WordPress business.

I hope this helps you make some new decisions and enables you to run a better WordPress business.

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Pricing a WordPress product

Bob Barker Adam Sandler Happy Gilmore

It looks like 2014 WordPress entrepreneurial resolutions include launching new products.

I’m also on that list and because of that I’ve been thinking a lot about pricing.

In fact, my friend Chris recently published a new e-book, The Price is Right An Introduction to Product Pricing that I downloaded for my two-day getaway in Maine. A quick read you can finish in less than an hour that gives you some solid advice for your next product launch.

If you’re a resolutioner looking for some pricing advice you’ve come to the right place!

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Kill your (inner) critic

yahoo logos

We’re jumping into 2014 with a fresh start and dropping all that nasty baggage.

Except for you or them, the critic. You know who she is — she’s the internal voice. The critic that follows us around wherever we go. It doesn’t like the choices we make or the direction we’re heading in. Creeping around the corner at every pivot of our business or design mockup we spend hours putting together.

Soon, the critic starts to convince us they are right. We want to give up — what’s the point right?

  • They’re right, I’ll never make this work.
  • This is too hard, I should just go back to the couch.
  • Ugh, this sucks!

Kill the (inner) critic.

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6 Killer market validation tips

market_validation

Yesterday I posted 4 tips for content marketing and today I want to followup with how you can get instant market validation while that audience grows.

Arguably, the methods I mention in that article will help you validate your idea with the audience on the respective channels — but even that could be a slow train.

Specifically, I want to address a question from Nick Haskins, “How do you validate an idea if you’re not known in the industry?”

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The Impact of Public Relations

public relations

Think about the high performing companies you subscribe to and the image they portray on the web, in social media, and within your inbox.

I’m a raving fan of a company that uses a monkey as part of their brand. Can you guess who that is?

Mailchimp.

Where the name might sound foolish and playful, it’s one of the smartest pieces of software I use on the web. I’m not embarrassed to refer you to their site and I know your entire experience will be a delight — then there’s the product — it just works.

Do the same principles apply to the tight knit WordPress community? Let’s discuss.

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What to do with your business in 2014

what to do with your business

This is a thought about what to do with your business, not what to do in it.

With the new year fast approaching, you might be starting to think about the goals you’d like to achieve. We’re going to look at cutting the fat from the business and why that’s important to your health — for the business and you.

Pareto principle

It’s said that 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes. It’s also said that an entrepreneur can launch a business with a minimal viable product based on that principle.

I agree with this, but there’s an unseen danger that creeps up on us over time.

See, entrepreneurs have this bug that drives us to chase shiny new objects. Before you know it, you’re taking on baggage of launching new ideas under the guise of the 80/20 rule. The connected world makes it so easy for us to research, spin up a prototype and create something new over night.

It’s a valid method, but you’re not being fair.

What to do with your business or businesses 

Sometimes I take a step back and look at all the things I do:

Then I ask myself, what part of this business am I not being fair to? I know how I ended up here, but which of these products am I holding on to that I’m just not loyal to anymore?

I must decide what to do with the business. Here’s a bit of a checklist I’ll use to get a gauge on things:

1. Do people get it?

Friends, family, co-workers, and my community at large. Do they get the product or idea? Are they still struggling to really grasp what it’s all about? You have to ask yourself the same thing. After 6 months of pitching a product, are people still struggling to understand it?

Is it time to pivot? Look at the rest of your business cache and compare notes.

2. Is it turning revenue? 

Rather important, but not the whole deciding factor. Have you started selling your product or service yet? Are you raising prices or making more options available? Are sales going down?

Things get a bit challenging here, because as the founder of a product, you have that innate urge to say it’s going to succeed. This is when it’s crucial to look and see if your other products could be making more if you gave them a chance and stopped splitting your time with this one.

Think about it.

3. Are you still passionate about it? 

Burn out, disinterest, clouded thoughts — the life we live.

You need to be passionate about everything. Every hour really. Let’s look at my (our) day to day — I (we) can easily put in 10 – 12 hours a day of work.

There’s days you can go straight through in a blink of an eye, others your done after 3 hours. I handle that by going for a jog, hitting the gym or taking a mental break. This is harder to do with a business or new revenue stream.

It’s always there, even if it’s paused, taking up mental storage. I say if you’re not passionate about it, pivot or drop it and focus on what is working.

Talk to me!

What are you going to do with your business for 2014? Are you not being fair to yourself or one of your products? Tell us in the comments and let’s see if we can help.

By the way, I wrote about being a mentor and there’s a good turn out going on in the comments. Check it out!

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Invest in your first 100 customers

first100customers

Data — It’s what I love to hate as a web marketer and consultant.

Data tells us who our customers are, where they come from and how long they spend looking at our content. What device they use, what pages they click on and how many videos they watch. There’s the free kind of data and then there’s the data we pay for.

It’s addictive and dare I say it — pornographic.

Charts, goals, heatmaps and social graphs. But guess what you’re forgetting about? Your customer.

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