This one is all about “Outsourcing.” Tricky word, that. In this episode, we talk about hiring and outsourcing different parts of our businesses and the associated struggles and lessons. You can’t do everything yourself, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to figure out what you should outsource and how.
Intensive writing these days.
Struggling with productivity / scheduling – trying to better optimize my morning routine and nutrition.
Mixergy interview basically blew up my life – bunch of sign ups, lots of emails, requests for new integrations.
Lots of strain on many of the “manual” pieces of the business that we discussed – stressful but also helps guide me in prioritizing.
In This Episode…
How does outsourcing fit into our businesses?
What does outsourcing mean for bootstrappers? Why outsource?
Jordan’s experience with outsourcing:
Odesk is my friend, all the time, they’re always top of mind as I go about running my business life
Hiring an overly-qualified Harvard grad to help with my consulting business
Relying on outsourced developers to build out integrations for CartHook
Outsourcing consulting project work
Hiring part-time and full-time employees for Restaurant Engine
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.
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.
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.
Big Snow Tiny Conf – Join @bradt and @casjam and others at Sugarbush, VT in January 2015. Spots on sale now!
In this episode, we talk all about the things we do manually, which most might assume we have automated.
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.
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!
 Building an Audience-Based Business with Justin Jackson
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.
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.
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.
 Building a Business From Your Passion w/ Sean McCabe (seanwes)
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.
 Launch Your Product Business… By Getting a Job?
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)
 From The Verge to Niche Startups: Dann Berg talks Audience Focus
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.