[40] Doing Customer Research

[40] Doing Customer Research

 
 
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In this episode, Jordan and Brian do a deep dive into doing Customer Research.  You know, talking to customers, and putting in the time to truly understand who they are, what they value, and how you can leverage that “intel” to better position your product in the early days and beyond.

Updates

Brian’s update:

  • I’m trying to optimize my work day, putting creative stuff in the morning, and emails, calls and other crap in the afternoons.
  • Early-bird tickets for Big Snow Tiny Conf are now on sale, so if you want to join a small group of founders and hit the slopes at Sugarbush, VT in January, reserve your spot now.

Jordan’s update:

  • My mixergy interview got published which was really exciting on a personal level and also cranked up the business side of things
  • The sales funnel course is all done!

In This Episode…

  • Why doing (or not doing) customer research truly makes or breaks a business.
  • Brian’s 8-step process for doing customer research, which he’s done on 3 out 4 of his businesses (spoiler alert:  The 4th one didn’t turn out so well)
  • Which questions to ask when we do customer interviews
  • Jordan’s “Idea Extraction” process that he learned from Dayne Maxwell’s Foundation training.

Links

[39] Doing Things Manually

[39] Doing Things Manually

 
 
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In this episode, we talk all about the things we do manually, which most might assume we have automated.

Updates

Brian’s update:

  • September is a crazy hectic month…
  • Pushing to launch my course, Productize, in October, so I’m hustling to write and shoot all the lesson videos in September.
  • …And write 3+ guest articles on some pretty big blogs
  • …And my employee is out on maternity leave this month, so I must do 1-2 hours of sales calls every day.
  • …And I still spend half of every week home watching our 6-month old.

Jordan’s update: 

  • As I mentioned previously, August was all about clearing my plate and laying out my strategy through the end of the year
  • Well, my plate isn’t quite 100% clear but I do have my strategy set and starting to build the necessary momentum on it now
  • In short, instead of splitting my time equally on a bunch of different projects, I’ve decided to focus on building a marketing machine for CartHook, and generating additional income with one big consulting client and that’s it.
  • And a bit on the real-life side of thing, man did I go on a freaking entrepreneur rollercoaster this week.  I found myself going from super high to super low over and over again and I really had to step away from

In this episode…

  • The Why behind doing things manually, and how it helps you gain traction in the early days and beyond.
  • Jordan’s manual cold email strategy that gained his first 20 customers for CartHook.
  • Brian’s sales consultation strategy to get (and keep) customers on Restaurant Engine.
  • The guys compare notes on manual onboarding.
  • Manual dunning emails and cancellation process.
  • And more of the nitty-gritty details that run our businesses behind the scenes!

Links…

[38] Building an Audience-Based Business with Justin Jackson

[38] Building an Audience-Based Business with Justin Jackson

 
 
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Justin Jackson not only built a sizable audience built on the highly valuable content he shares on his blog, newsletter, and podcast… He successfully monetizes with premium courses and private community products.  Oh, and he also works a full-time job and has four kids (what?!).  We dig into all of it in this episode.

Updates

Brian’s update:

  • I spent the last 2 months preparing to switch from Mailchimp to Drip.  They’ve been adding automation features, which is what I need most, but I’ve been finding lots of other cool features, like it’s built-in site analytics and conversion reports.
  • Brad Tousnard and I are planning to release early-bird tickets to BigSnowTinyConf.com sometime in September.

Jordan’s update:

  • New CartHook features coming along nicely, ready for release by mid-September
  • Sales funnel course in its last week
  • Client projects wrapping up and the plate is being cleared, I’m like a crossbow with its string drawn back right now, lots of potential energy built up about to turn into kinetic energy in September
  • Another really interesting experience related to our “think big” conversation last week, happened during a pitch/call with a potential client.

In this episode…

  • How does Justin Jackson find the time to do what he does online—AND keep a full-time job and a family of 6?
  • We dig into the WHY of building an audience.  Why does it matter?  How does it help advance a business?
  • Then we get into the HOW.  How exactly does Justin’s produce something that resonates and deliver it every Saturday in his newsletter?
  • We talked a lot about empathy, and what it means to have empathy for your audience, and how this helps produce real results.
  • And we talked all about Justin’s recent course launch, his sequence of events, how it went and where he’s going next.

Links

[37] Thinking BIG

[37] Thinking BIG

 
 
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This episode is all about thinking BIG.  Jordan and Brian cover a lot of ground on this topic.  From high-level life goals, to working smart on the ground-level.

Updates

Jordan’s update:

  • Clearing my plate after weeks of moving across the country so I can start to think strategically.
  • Making big decisions about which area of my business(s) to focus on in the coming months:  My SaaS, Carthook?  My consulting company, BanyanTree?  Or my Sales Funnel info-product?

Brian’s update:

  • Went on vacation with my family… Nothing blew up with the business 🙂
  • Validated that my audience on casjam.com is more interested in Productizing Email Course rather than my Content Marketing stuff.
  • Now plotting my to-do’s to produce my premium course, Productize and launch it within 10 weeks.

The Main Event…

  • How Brian and Jordan each chart out their goals and make decisions about what to work on (two very different approaches)
  • We answer the question, what would you do if you had $1 million dollars in the bank?
  • The 3-step framework for setting (and hitting) big goals

Links

BONUS DOWNLOAD

In this episode we talked about “Running The Numbers” as you think big and plan strategically.  So Jordan, our in-house MS Excel wizard, put together a handy spreadsheet to help you run your sales funnel projections.

Subscribe to the Bootstrapped Web email list, and we’ll send you Jordan’s “Running The Numbers” spreadsheet, and you’ll get the show notes for every new episode moving forward.

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[36] Building a Business From Your Passion w/ Sean McCabe (seanwes)

[36] Building a Business From Your Passion w/ Sean McCabe (seanwes)

 
 
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Sean McCabe joins us today to tell us why, how, and what it means to build a business from your passion.

That’s exactly what Sean has done time and time again, most recently with his explosive success with his course, Learn Lettering, which teaches you how to create (and sell) beautiful hand lettering work, just like Sean has been doing for the past few years.

In this episode

  • How to brand yourself when you do so many different (awesome!) things
  • The details of Sean’s $90k launch day for his course and his lessons learned
  • Battling perfectionism and shipping by adhering to one two-digit “rule”
  • The practical, realistic way to pursue your passion by using Sean’s Overlap Technique.

Links

[35] Why Do an Info Product?

[35] Why Do an Info Product?

 
 
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Info products (or educational products).  Why create them?  Why buy them?  In this episode, we bat around questions like these and much more.

In this episode…

  • What is an Info Product, really?
  • Why create an Info Product?
  • Why do people buy Info Products?
  • The process (and lessons) both Jordan and Brian have learned / are learning as they create Info Products.
  • Can a beginner create an Info Product?
  • And a whole lot more banter…

Mentioned…

[34] Hacking Productivity by Leveraging Pressure

[34] Hacking Productivity by Leveraging Pressure

 
 
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Bootstrapped Web is now a 2-host podcast!  Welcome Jordan Gal, as the new co-host of the show.

Jordan joined me on two previous episodes (31 and 21) and we hit off so well that I thought, hey, why not make it permanent?

A lot will remain the same:  The show will continue to be focused around bootstrapping a business online, learning through case studies and lessons learned by doing.

But we’ll also focus more on the takeaways and stories from what’s going on in our businesses day-to-day, week-to-week, and hopefully extract some actionable lessons you can use in your work.

In this episode:

  • How setting an internal and external “date” to launch, helps you actually get there.
  • How to leverage financial pressure to get to where you need to be (faster)
  • How to use your competitive nature to push yourself further.
  • How to use your creative nature to do great work, while shipping on time.
  • How to be strategic about what to work on and launch in the next 12 to 18 months.
  • And a lot more…

Links

[33] Launch Your Product Business… By Getting a Job?

[33] Launch Your Product Business… By Getting a Job?

 
 
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If you’re making the transition from freelance to launching a product business, it’s a struggle.  That’s a long, and very challenging transition to make.

Take it from me, and also my guest today, Brad Tousnard.  We both made that transition and learned lots of things the hard way.

So we decided to share some of those lessons learned, to hopefully make your transition a bit smoother.  And here’s an idea… Why not get a job to pay the bills while you’re getting your product off the ground?

Not just any job.  What if your boss actually told you that from the day one, the goal is to design the position give you the flexibility to do exactly that.  That’s what Brad is offering in his latest opening at his company, DeliciousBrains.  They make the very popular DB Migrate Pro plugin for WordPress.  He wrote all about this opportunity in his blog post today.

By the way, Brad and I co-run a little conference / ski getaway called Big Snow Tiny Conf.  The next one is happening in late January 2015, so get on the list if you’re interested!

In this episode:

  • The concept behind Brad’s unique developer job opening
  • Why freelancing or working for an agency while you build your product is less than ideal.
  • The story of how Brad made his transition from freelance into products.
  • My story of how I did the same.
  • The huge mistakes we made (and how we still managed to do it in the end)
  • and more…

Mentioned:

[32] From The Verge to Niche Startups: Dann Berg talks Audience Focus

[32] From The Verge to Niche Startups: Dann Berg talks Audience Focus

 
 
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How do you find the right audience for your startup?  How about your niche blog?  Or for a large news organization?

Dann Berg has experience in all of these worlds.  He’s the co-founder of a new startup,  TripExpert, a travel site built around trusted reviews.  He runs NoviceNoLonger.com, where he writes and podcasts about helping you break into tech, specifically iOS development.  Before going on his own, he worked as a product review editor at The Verge, a well known tech news organization.

In all of these arenas, but especially on his site NoviceNoLonger, Dann has done a fantastic job of understanding who is core audience is, what are their needs, and how he can best deliver great content for them.

In this episode

  • How they came to the idea of launching a travel site, in such a crowded space with very large competitors.
  • How Dann found his core audience for NoviceNoLonger.com and why he even changed his domain name.
  • How Dann’s work at The Verge influences how he approaches his work today, like how he goes about pitching press about his newly launched startup.

Show Notes

[31] Mastermind Groups. What, Who, How, and Why?

[31] Mastermind Groups. What, Who, How, and Why?

 
 
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Returning champ, Jordan Gal joins me on the show today.  This is the mastermind episode.  Everything and anything related to masterminds, was talked about in today’s show.

Jordan and I are in a weekly mastermind group, where I’ve had the pleasure of watching him launch and grow his startup, CartHook from the ground up.  By the way, you may remember our previous episode when Jordan and I discussed tips to move your business forward, and get to the next level.

But today, it’s all about masterminds…

In this episode

  • What is a Mastermind Group?  Why must you (fellow business owner) join one?
  • What (exactly) do we get out of our weekly mastermind meetings?
  • How should you start one?  How did ours form?  Tips for finding (the right) people for your mastermind group.
  • Meeting structure, who talks when, and kicking it up a notch with “Gloves Off”.
  • Meeting schedule, frequency, and “rules”.
  • Tools and tech we use to run our Mastermind group.

Show notes