We’re back! Working Vacation, Too Much Transparency, & Product Updates

Hello there! We are back at Bootstrapped Web after a month long hiatus. Brian spent some time overseas with his family. Jordan did the same state side. On today’s episode we talk about what is going on with our respective companies and how those developments are going to change the podcast.

We also discuss the status of the Audience Op’s calendar and other projects in the pipeline.

Here are today’s conversation points:

  • Brian’s family visit.
  • The challenges of working abroad.
  • What Jordan was up to during the hiatus.
  • Working to improve Carthook’s Shopify checkout.
  • The problem with transparency.
  • How Bootstrapped Web is going to move away from transparency.
  • Josh Pigford’s recent blog post.
  • Getting ready for Big Snow Tiny Conf.
  • An update about Audience Op’s Calendar.
  • Brian’s plans for webinars.
  • The problem with webinars.
  • How video can help a demo.
  • How webinars and demos have changed.
  • Jordan’s Starve Ups experience.

Resources Mentioned Today:

Carthook

Getting out of the Startup Rat Race, by: Josh Pigford

Big Snow Tiny Conf.

Audience Ops Calendar

Starve Ups


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iTunes.

2016 Recap & 2017 Goals

Well, 2016 is coming to an end. Today we’ll compare our goal lists from last year and reflect back on what went wrong  and what went right.   Carthook and Audience Ops have both grown and changed so let’s sit down and take a look at our 2016 results. We will also discuss our goals for 2017 and how we plan to make them happen.

This will be our last episode for 2016, and we’ll pick up next year.

Here’s today’s conversation points:

  • Why Jordan wasn’t able to bring Carthook into profitability.
  • Brian’s goal for Audience Ops and finding organic leads.
  • How to think bigger.
  • The problems Jordan had pivoting away from cart abandonment.
  • Audience Ops is diversifying its product line.
  • Beta users will be getting the Audience Ops Calendar.
  • Wanting 2017 to be a breakout year.
  • Why Brian went back to sales.
  • When to raise prices?
  • Working with kids in the house.
  • Working with teams during the holidays.
  • Jordan’s 2017 goals.
  • Brian’s 2017 goals.
  • When to give yourself a raise.

Have a Happy Holidays everybody and we’ll see you next year!

Resources Mentioned Today:

Carthook

Audience Ops

Audience Ops Calendar

ProfitWell


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Updates: Redesign, Marketing Multiple Products, & Selling Services

Today’s Bootstrapped Web is going  to be an up-date episode. We both have a lot to talk  about with what we’re working at the moment. Audience Ops and Carthook have new products and we discuss what is working for our sales respectively.

We talk about transparency and some resources that will help you improve your sales game.  So tune in for the latest developments in Carthook and Audience Ops and what you can expect in the coming months.

Here are today’s conversation points:

  • Why we don’t see the point to total transparency.
  • When to ask for the credit card during a sign-up.
  • Brian’s plans to redesign the Audience Ops website.
  • Getting ideas from Ruben Gamez from Bidsketch.
  • Jordan’s lessons from demos.
  • Tweaking Audience Ops for a Resource Hub pivot.
  • Brian’s plan for launching Calendar for beta testers.

Resources Mentioned Today:

Audience Ops

Carthook

Securing the Five Figure Sale, by: Ian Landsman

Product Demos that Sell: How to Deliver Winning SAAS Demos, by: Steli Efti

Audience Ops Calendar


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Family & Entrepreneurship

Hey we’ve got a party episode with Rob and Sherry Walling from the podcast ZenFounder. We are going to discuss how to balance life with kids and entrepreneurship. We explore the common problems with living  with kids and keeping a business going. We also discuss how entrepreneurship affects marriage.

Rob and Sherry share how they are able to keep their communication open. We also discuss how we ourselves cope with the struggles of keeping family and entrepreneurship in a fair balance.

Here are today’s conversation points:

  • The issues we have the public school systems.
  • How to encourage entrepreneurship with your kids.
  • How entrepreneurship affects marriage.  
  • How to leave work behind at the end of the day.
  • Why spouses aren’t necessarily the best person to vent to or use as a soundboard.
  • How kids change your goals and motivations.
  • How to deal with burnout.
  • How to make the shift from work time to family time.
  • How to plan your week beforehand.
  • The importance of giving your spouse non-kid time.

Resources Mentioned Today:

Rob Walling on Twitter

Sherry Walling on Twitter

ZenFounder

MicroConf Vegas

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

Launching 2nd Products w/ Ruben Gamez

Welcome back to Bootstrapped Web. Our guest today is Ruben Gamez, the founder of Bidsketch.com. We are talking to Ruben today because Bidsketch is getting ready to launch a new product. Since we both are launching new products we thought it would be good to compare notes.

Bidsketch’s main product has been a proposal tool. Now they want to add a signature app to their brand. Today we discuss how to research for a new product and how to handle expanding when there are competitors.

We compare notes about our own product lines and how to get the customers to notice.

Here are today’s topics:

  • How to find positioning and distribution for a new product.
  • Why begin a separate product line.
  • Finding the “why” when people don’t use your product.
  • How to focus on two product lines.
  • Creating a good elevator pitch.
  • Finding your hook.
  • Asking the right questions of new customers.
  • How to reach people outside of your network.
  • Ruben’s timeline.
  • How to find the gaps in your competitor’s products.
  • Why you shouldn’t copy just to copy a competitor.

If you are interested in Bidsketch and their new product, you can go to bidsketch.com or find Ruben on Twitter.

Resources Mentioned Today:

Audience Ops Calendar

Bidsketch

Carthook

Ruben Gamez’s Twitter

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

Updates: Validating a Consulting Offer / Self-Funding a New SaaS

Today’s episode is an update episode. Jordan tells us about finding his customer base for the funnel tool. Brian discusses how he is working with his developers on a new training product he is planning.

We discuss when to allow custom jobs and when to say no. We also discuss what challenges a young bootstrapped company needs to expect. Building your company is so much harder, than it sounds. If you are just starting out as a bootstrapped business, then maybe this episode will help you get an idea of what you’re getting into and the other challenges.

Here are today’s conversation points:

  • Our reactions to the Presidential election.
  • Jordan’s new custom job, and how he’s preparing for it.
  • How to fill gaps in your business.
  • Brian’s new training program.
  • Building a good foundation ladder.
  • The challenges of bootstrapping.
  • Jordan’s time at Tanner Larson’s Mastermind.
  • Brian’s planning discussions with his developers.
  • Advice about pricing and how to decide it.

Resources Mentioned Today:

Audience Ops

Carthook’s Ecommerce Checkout Funnel

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

Taking a Big Shot vs. Lots of Little Shots

On today’s episode, we welcome Craig Hewitt and Justin Jackson to the podcast. Jordan is having some time away. On today’s episode Craig, Justin, and Brian all discuss how to build and keep a company on track. We discuss what drives us and what we’re working on at the moment. If you want to know how to plan a product or just try to set a trajectory for your business, this is the episode for you!

Craig is the CEO of Podcast Motor, a podcast editing and production service. Justin is the host of his own podcast Mega Maker 3000 and a teacher of marketing for developers. We all have great insights to growing a company and how we’ve been able to stay on track.

Here are today’s conversation points:

  • Justin relaunch of Marketing for Developers.
  • Brian’s update on Audience Ops.
  • Craig’s update on Podcast Motor.
  • The lessons we’ve learned from starting and maintaining our businesses.
  • Our long term goals.
  • The disadvantages of working solo.
  • Why businesses choose to keep their companies small.
  • Justin belief in doing something uncomfortable for growth.
  • How you can over-plan.
  • Why you need to look at the bigger picture.
  • The importance of visibility and building relationships.
  • How to use evergreen content.
  • How we use automation in our businesses.
  • What keeps our ambition going?

Resources Mentioned Today:

Market for Developers

Podcast Motor

Audience Ops

Carthook

Rogue Startups Podcast

Justin’s website

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

Managing a Development Process w Rob Walling

We welcome Rob Walling from Drip to the podcast today. Today we discuss how to navigate and manage the development process of a SaaS product. We all share our experiences with the excitement and frustrations of working with developers.

Launching a new product is hard enough, but when you factor in the time, energy, and troubleshooting that goes into a project, then the level of stress can be crushing. We discuss these stresses and how we dealt with them. Or in some cases how we’re currently dealing with them.

Today’s conversation points:

  • Audience Ops Calendar update.
  • Jordan’s update on Carthook.
  • How to manage expectations and deadlines with a SaaS project.
  • How to build a solid foundation for a product.
  • The importance of communication in a development team.
  • Having a back-up plan for features.
  • The process of from concept to developer.
  • Why you need a good user experience.
  • Why you need a good user interface.
  • How to cope with time constraints and milestones.
  • How to resolve disagreements.
  • When to pull the CEO card.
  • How to change developers or on-board new developers.

Resources Mentioned Today:

Audience Ops Calendar

Carthook

Drip

GitHub

ZenHub

Trello List

37 Signals

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

Pricing Questions / SaaS vs. Service

We’ve got a party episode today. We welcome Rob Williams of Workshop and Folyo. Allan Branch joins us later on in the episode when we discuss his time with Less Accounting.

Today’s topic was primarily pricing. How to price effectively, why to price at a certain level, and what pricing can do for your business. This episode was a great discussion on how value to the customer is reflected in the pricing of a service or product. We had some great insights today and maybe we’ll help you decide how to price your own service or product.

Here are today’s topics:

  • Rob’s service Workshop. What is it?
  • Why Rob has recently changed the pricing of the service.
  • The art of pricing.
  • How pricing attracts the “right” clientele.
  • What is Folyo?
  • To do or not to do a Free Trial.
  • What is Audience Ops Calendar?
  • How to offer value to a customer.
  • Catching up with Allan Branch.
  • Why you are always beholden to somebody.
  • Why Allan and his team sold Less Accounting.

Resources Mentioned Today:

Foylo

Workshop

Less Everything

Carthook

Audience Ops Calendar


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iTunes.

 

To Copy or Compete (or Both?)

We find ourselves discussing competition and when you should copy a competitor’s model and when you should innovate a model. Many people get excited about a category, but are soon discouraged when they see the competition.  On today’s episode we discuss why competition can be a good thing.

We also discuss Big Snow Tiny Conf coming up on February 6-9 in both Vermont and Colorado. There are 2 slots left in those events so check out the link below for more information. The rest of this episode is just stream of consciousness, so hang with us for this conversation.

Today’s points:

  • Big Snow Tiny Conf.
  • Facebook culture vs. Twitter culture
  • Jordan’s Twitter conversation with Justin Jackson.
  • Who is true competition?
  • Why competition is good.
  • How competition pushes your business.
  • How to deal with competition.
  • Innovation vs. Copying
  • Brian’s observations of Basecamp.
  • Joe Rogan’s podcast with Dan Bilzerian.

Resources Mentioned Today:

Justin Jackson’s Tweet

Big Snow Tiny Conf.

Joe Rogan Podcast #857

Borrowing Brilliance

Basecamp

Sponsor

Indeed Prime – Get a $5,000 bonus when you get hired through Indeed Prime using Bootstrapped Web’s link.

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