Pre-selling and Planning to Build ‘Audience Ops Calendar’

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Today on Bootstrapped Web we talk about a new product from Audience Ops. Brian has developed a software product called Audience Ops Calendar. He has offered it to 12 clients and based his approach on a pre-sale model.

During today’s episode Brian tell us how he has developed the product. He answers why he chose  to develop a calendar, how to use his software, and how he plans to market it.

If you’ve ever been curious about a SAAS development this episode will tell you the right way to go about it.

Here are today’s conversation points:

  • Why Brian decided to launch this idea.
  • The problems the project has had.
  • The 3 ideal customers for Brian’s product.
  • The features of the product.
  • Brian’s process to develop the product.
  • Why having a beta group is a good idea.
  • Brian’s team building process.

Resources Mentioned Today:

Audience Ops

Carthook

Audience Ops Calendar

WP Simple Pay Pro

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.

Cofounders – w/ Rob Walling and Ben Fisher

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We welcome Rob Walling and Ben Fisher to the podcast today. We are going to discuss the topic of co-founders. Rob is the original founder of Drip, but has found a co-founder named Derek. Ben is Jordan’s co-founder in Carthook. Brian however is the solo founder prospective in today’s conversation.

Brian has had co-founders, but Audience Ops is all him. On today’s episode Jordan and Ben talk about how they began their partnership and Rob discusses his partnership with Derek.

In recent news Rob’s company Drip has been acquired by Leadpages. He tells us about that change and how it has affected his partnership.

The topics we covered are:

  • How Leadpages’ acquisition has changed Drip.
  • Why you are always reinvesting into your business.
  • Jordan’s original intentions for Carthook.
  • Why Jordan needed to work with Ben.
  • The issues for a solo founder.
  • How Ben found Jordan.
  • How Rob found his business partner.
  • The 2 factors of finding the right business partner.
  • How to divide up decision making.
  • The pros and cons of partnerships.
  • How to respect your partner.
  • Agreeing to a shared goal with your business partner.

Resources Mentioned Today:

Audience Ops

Carthook

Drip

Leadpages

Lean Startup Machine

ZenFounder

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.

New Products First Steps & Next Steps

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Well the launch for our new products are getting nearer. Today we give a general update on things and we talk about where we are on the new products. Brian is in the beginning of this process and Jordan is coming to the end of the process.

Planning a new product is stressful. We discuss that stress and how we have personally dealt with it. There are tons of decisions that have to be made and there is the danger of getting caught up in the “what-ifs.”

During today’s episode we talk about these roadblocks and how we plan to get pass them.

The points we covered today:

  • Jordan’s upcoming vacation plans.
  • Brian’s mini- vacation.
  • When it is time to let go of the service side of your business to a team.
  • How a mind shift can help a project’s issues.
  • How an outsider’s perspective can help project disputes.
  • The importance of getting feedback from potential customers.
  • Brian’s new product process.
  • The benefits of having an “inner circle” of customers.
  • The stress of project decision making.
  • When to ask for a credit card.
  • How to on-board new customers the right way.
  • Why you should “launch ugly” instead of “ready.”

Resources Mentioned Today:

Audience Ops

Carthook

Productize

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.

 

Pricing

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We welcome Ian Landsman back to the show to discuss the topic of deciding pricing. Pricing is an important tool for any founder. It can make or break your success. During today’s episode we talk about our pricing strategies and Ian tells us how he reached his price point.

Jordan has also just returned from MicroConf Europe. He shares how the conference was and we discuss the value of conferences in general.

The topics we covered today:

  • Jordan’s MicroConf experience
  • The value of conferences
  • How to decide a pricing strategy
  • Why so much of pricing is based in market reaction
  • Brian’s 3 factors of pricing
  • Why lower isn’t always better
  • The role trust plays in pricing
  • Ian’s successes and missteps in pricing
  • How to decide if to price per user or not
  • Yearly pricing vs. Monthly pricing
  • The benefits of quarterly pricing
  • How to use pricing to your advantage

Resources Mentioned Today:

Audience Ops

Carthook

Helpspot

MicroConf Europe

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.

Planning vs. Execution

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On today’s episode we give an update on our businesses and how we move forward in our businesses. MicroConf. Is coming up over in Europe. Jordan will be leaving for the event soon and will be the first to speak. Today we talk about looking back on the year and measuring how far we got in our goals.This episode is all about planning for the future and executing those plans.

The topics we covered today:

  • Jordan’s talk at MicroConf
  • Learning from the past.
  • Having realistic goals based on those past lessons.
  • Audience Ops Update
  • Carthook Update
  • Why on-boarding should affect app design.
  • When to hire contractors.
  • Are you fighting the right battle?
  • A new sales approach online

Resources Mentioned Today:

Audience Ops

Carthook

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.

Tools

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Today’s episode is about the various tools we use in our business and everyday lives. We will cover 9 areas of tools.

  • Personal Tools
  • Communication/Productivity
  • Payments/Accounting/HR
  • Customer Support
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Production
  • Design
  • Podcasting

Some of these tools we have used and switched. Some of these tools were love at first sight. 

Resources Mentioned Today:

Appear

Appointlet

Audience Ops

Balsamiq

Bellum

Bench

Blubrry

Calendly

Carthook

Colorsnapper

Color Picker

Day 1

DigitalOcean

Drip

Dropbox

Droplr

Every Time Zone

Flow

Freshbooks

F.lux

Github

Gmail

Gumroad

Gusto

Harvest

Help Scout

Intercom

Leadpages

Panic Coda

PayPal

Photoshop

Podcast Motor

Sketch

Skype

Slack

Snagit

Spotify

Sprintly

Stripe

Trello

UberConference

Upwork

Wappalyzer

WP Engine

Xero

Yesware

ZenHub

Zoom

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.

 

The Bootstrapper’s Search For Meaning

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Today’s episode we give an update on our businesses and the on-going projects we have coming up. There is some travel on the horizon for Jordan and Brian both. Jordan is going for business and Brian for personal.

Audience Ops has really honed in on sales and improving the sales process. The training product is on hold and Brian is focusing on using webinars to bring in sales. The webinars are basically live demos of the service. He has one under his belt and has one planned for July 26th.

Carthook is also using webinars to sell their product. Jordan has hired some top notch team members to make the best quality webinars they can. Jordan also has an invitation to speak at conference in Barcelona. The conference is for people working with affiliates and are part of the emerging ecommerce wave.

On today’s episode we share our webinar experiences and what is going on in our businesses. We also talk about how an entrepreneur/founder can find passion in his business and not be a slave to the bottom line.

The points we covered today are:

  • Brian’s summer and future travel plans
  • Jordan’s trip to Berlin
  • Jordan’s invite to Barcelona and the conference where he will be speaking
  • Audience Ops changing sales approach
  • Winning the Long Game webinar
  • Carthook’s first webinar
  • Where is the “passion” in ecommerce?

Resources Mentioned Today:

Audience Ops

Carthook

LeadFuze

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.

Playing the Long Game

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We kick off our new format with Ian Landsman. Ian is the founder of Userscape and Helpspot. He has been working in the bootstrapped world since 2004. On today’s episode we discuss what it means to “play the long game.”

We share our plans for Carthook and Audience Ops. Ian offers his personal view on the long game and what it means to him. We discuss all the aspects of making decisions for the long term in business.

The topics we covered today are below:

  • How to find “long game” ideas
  • How money can force a commitment
  • How to hire the right people
  • Brian’s long term plan for Audience Ops
  • Brian on Zero to Scale
  • What the term “scaling” means
  • Selling a one time product vs. selling a recurring service
  • Jordan’s long term plan for Carthook
  • Venture capital vs. bootstrapping
  • JD Graffam’s business approach
  • The “long game” from an investment perspective

Resources Mentioned Today:

Ian’s Twitter

Userscape

Bootstrapped FM

Carthook

Audience Ops

JD Graffam

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.

Growing The Product Line & Shifting Priorities

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Our episode today is just a basic update episode. A lot is going on in Audience Ops and Carthook and we are both just trying to keep up. We talk about the challenges we’re facing and how we plan to deal with them.

Jordan is focusing more on the checkout product on Carthook. The market just seems to be pushing towards that.

Brian is learning how to cope with his new role in Audience Ops. After growing the team he is now more of a coach and has to deal with letting go of some aspects of the business.

We talk about these things and other things that are just on our minds.

The points we discussed today are below:

  • Introducing guests to the show. “Bootstrapped Parties”
  • Creating processes for the PPC add on service for Audience Ops
  • The future of Carthook’s checkout service
  • The pros and cons of shifting product focus
  • The delay of Audience Ops’ training product
  • Hiring writers vs. hiring managers
  • Brian’s change to coach
  • Retooling Audience Ops’ processes
  • The reality of running a SaaS business

Resources Mentioned Today:

Carthook

Audience Ops

As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.

Questions on Pricing, Charging a Percentage, and Why Podcast?

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On today’s Bootstrapped Web we answer some listeners/readers questions. We also give you some updates on what’s going on in Carthook and AudienceOps.

We discussed these topics today and answer these questions below:

  • Updates on the personal front
  • AudienceOps’ 12 month road map
  • Carthooks’ webinar prep
  • Jordan’s influences this week: Lazy Leadership, by: Andrew Wilkinson
  • Is anybody still using Twitter?
  • The shift in Facebook and the rise of Snapchat
  • Listener question: Should I show pricing on my marketing site?
  • Listener question: How to handle customer requests.
  • Listener question: Should you charge a percentage?
  • Listener question: Why do we still do a podcast?

Resources Mentioned Today:

Lazy Leadership, by: Andrew Wilkinson

AudienceOps

Carthook

Ray Dalio — Principles

MetaLab

We share a lot of good stuff today so keep sending in the questions and we’ll be here to answer them. As always, thanks for tuning in. Head here to leave a review in iTunes