[90] Staying Accountable With Teammates and Launching a Plugin Product

[90] Staying Accountable With Teammates and Launching a Plugin Product

 
 
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Welcome to Bootstrapped Web, Episode 90. Today’s episode is our weekly update.

Brian’s Update:

Brian is still in North Carolina and has just launched the Content Upgrades Plugin.  It’s officially out the door and as of this podcast’s publication it will be available to the public. He’s still working on the domain for the plugin. Right now, contentupgrades.io is working but they just set up shop.audienceops.com where it will eventually be sold from.  It’s the first in a long list of plugins to come.

In the last couple of weeks he had to set up the shop, promote, hold a webinar, and finally launch. About 350 people registered for the webinar and about 80 attended live which was a pretty good turnout. There’s so much that goes into a webinar, but overall it went well.  The next step is to set up a more automated funnel. He’ll be using blog posts, a pdf download, a recorded version of the workshop all put together into an automated drip to drive sales.

Before he leaves NC, he wants to put together the primary lead magnet on Audience Ops which will be an email course. First we’ll use it internally, then launch it as a plug in.

He’s also working on a landing page plug in. If you already have a website and you’re already set up on wordpress, it’s not so easy to just whip up a landing page. Brian wanted a plug in that made it easy to set up a landing page that looked like the rest of the site – sort of an opt in page – a totally stripped down page that has your logo, your theme and some opt in information, rather than the just another page on the site.

Brian will be travelling throughout the majority of December. The team is gelling and working well together and he no longer needs to be involved in every step of the process. He can focus on building out new parts of the product, sales calls and growing the business.

Jordan’s Update:

Jordan is still entrenched in the day to day of Carthook, preventing him from the work he feels he should be doing. He’s got a lot of trials going on, he’s averaging more than one launch per day which is great, and everything’s heading in the right direction, but he has been buried.

At the end of the day when he takes stock of his day there was a lot of activity but he didn’t spend time on the strategic work that needs to be done. It’s ‘death by a thousand cuts”. Brian’s suggestion is to add a tier 1 admin to help with these types of tasks. If you can train a support person, it might even give your new customers peace of mind.

He’s using accountability – blocking off time to do strategic work, getting the work done and sharing status updates so that he’s accountable. It’s important for everyone to know what’s getting done to not overwhelm and to ensure that everyone knows everyone is working. It’s also important that he satisfies those who need his input but at the end of the day also satisfies his own objectives and goals.

He had to create the space he needed, put aside some of the daily details, and focus on strategic planning. Responding to someone five days later is unreasonable, but so is expecting someone to respond in a hour.

In the next episode Brian and Jordan will be talking about the ‘Target Market”.

If you enjoyed today’s show, please give us a five-star review and we’ll mention your handle on a future episode of the Bootstrapped Web Podcast. Head here to leave a review in iTunes.

[88] Staying Focused and Getting Things Prioritized

[88] Staying Focused and Getting Things Prioritized

 
 
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Welcome to Bootstrapped Web, Episode 88. We’ve been talking and decided that we are going to tweak the episode format, just a little, making them shorter and tighter.  We’ll still do our personal updates, alternating every other week, with a topic or topics that you’d like to hear about. Today’s episode is our weekly update.

Jordan has a two part update.

The first part is a “mini-rant” about the rollercoaster he’s been on.

Jordan’s been selling on CartHook’s features, but one of his marketing gurus is telling him he needs to zero in on the emotion and the story. But he’s so busy, it’s almost impossible to zero in on any one thing.  He talks about how it’s all exhausting and exciting at the same time. And how that creates pressure and stress – but that pressure creates magic – Jordan feels he’s had some of the best ideas working under those conditions – he’s working on giving the ideas a little bit of life instead of shoving them away for the to-do list.

Beyond the emotions, it’s been a busy week. He just migrated over to a new infrastructure for the whole app, basically rewrote the whole thing for a more modern framework. It’s been two hectic weeks of work that customers don’t really see but was totally necessary. They took on a few big clients over the summer and it totally strained the system. They needed to put preparations in place to scale the business.

Brian is halfway through his stay in Asheville, NC and is hiking and eating his way through the trip. He’s trying to coincide his travel and business schedule, and his goal is to get the sales and marketing systems up and running for Audience Ops before he leaves. In the last few weeks he’s launched the Audience Ops blog, he working on an inbound sales system and he’s been busy writing an email course which is due to launch in the next few weeks. That’ll be one of those long term inbound assets. He needed a short-term strategy though, to get business in now.  He had started some cold emailing, met with some success, and then went into system mode to see how he could scale it without himself. It’s since been put into play.

He also invited a handful of people to use the beta and the plug in is just about ready to launch. He still needs to put a few pieces in place before launch but is anticipating a full launch in the next few weeks.

He also recently reached out and asked for testimonials and feedback for Audience Ops. It was a bit daunting but after a review of the Google Analytics and some good reporting, it was easier to ask and now has some great quotes on his homepage.

Brian and Jordan discuss prioritization and getting the work done.

Everyone’s afraid of the shiny object, but there is a difference between the shiny object and pushing the vision of the company that you’re working on right now. The shiny object is something that pulls you away from your top priority, or pulls you out of and away from your company.  What isn’t the shiny object, but what is the bigger picture? It’s not just the done-for-you service, it’s so much more. There are some things that need to be shelved for now, while you focus on the now picture, but shouldn’t necessarily be dismissed as a shiny object.

Jordan feels most limited by resources.  It’s important to stay focused and not distracted.

Next week we’ll talk about outbound sales and some affiliate stuff. Looking forward to it.

If you enjoyed today’s show, please give us a five-star review and we’ll mention your handle on a future episode of the Bootstrapped Web Podcast. Head here to leave a review in iTunes.

[86] Masterminds, Content Production, and Getting Things Done

[86] Masterminds, Content Production, and Getting Things Done

 
 
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After a big business update last week Brian and Jordan are digging into a handful of things that are going on in their businesses.  Putting the typical logistical pains of running a business aside, it’s been a very productive week, and the guys are running on all cylinders.

Today they cover 4 topics:  Masterminds, Content Production, Getting Things Done, and Work/Life Balance.  Let’s dig into each of them.

Masterminds

The importance of masterminds cannot be underscored enough.  Both Jordan and Brian have been in several before, and currently are both involved in at least one group.  

Aside from the regular hotseat format that is fairly common, both Brian and Jordan’s masterminds have Slack groups that allow the conversation to continue throughout the week.  This includes a Goals channel within Slack that helps keep them accountable in between meetings.

Your mastermind should be with people that are in similar businesses, stage of your business, and areas of expertise.  Some variety is important to get different perspectives, but too much draws away from the ability to contribute in each meeting.

If you’re looking to join a mastermind group there are a few ways to approach it:

  • MastermindJam.com – Ken Wallace, co-host of the Nights and Weekends podcast has created a matchmaking service to help entrepreneurs find mastermind groups.
  • Joining forums and Slack groups focused on your niche and network with other founders in your niche.
  • Do some manual outreach to people you know and may be a good fit.  Take the time to make sure everyone is in the same place in their business.

Content Production

When it comes to content production you have to keep in mind that the sum total of the content you produce is a really important factor in your overall content imprint.  Specifically, The Startup Chat podcast had an episode on finding the content medium that allows you to easily create content, and spin it into different avenues for your audience.  Is it video, audio, written, or podcasting?  Choose the one that allows you to create content easily, authentically, and in a way that can get spun into different mediums.

Brian is considering putting this into action within Audience Ops, in a behind-the-scenes way.  Their internal planning meetings could be recorded, turned into a podcast, written up into a blog post, and laid over slides into a video.

Getting Things Done

Being organized and productive is always a challenge for entrepreneurs.  The list of things to do is endless, but Brian is finding ToDoist as a good tool to help keep the distractions out and staying focused on what really matters.  

Jordan favors Trello as his way of keeping tasks organized and prioritizing them.  Tags and categories keep things straight and help stay focused on what’s really important for his business.

Emails are the bane of anyone’s organizational existence.  Keeping organization via email to a minimum is really important to maintaining your mental health.  Those unread emails just nag at your mental energy, and minimizing those will help free your brain up to focus on what really matters.

Work/Life Balance

Keeping that balance, both physically and mentally between work and the rest of your life is something to really keep in mind.  The tradeoff between success within your family and success for your business is a zero sum game.  Improvements in one side of the business will result in a sacrifice of sorts in the other.

To keep this in perspective, just remember that “These Are The Good Ole Days”.  Reward yourself for the decisions you’re making, the opportunity you’re creating, and the journey you’re going on.  This is the conscious choice you’ve made and try to embrace it.  Don’t wait to arrive, because you may never actually be “done”.  The journey is the destination.

If you liked today’s episode, please give us a five-star review and we’ll mention your handle on a future episode of the Bootstrapped Web Podcast.  Head here to leave a  review in iTunes.