[91] Figuring Out Who Your Target Customer Is (And Why)

Today’s topic is finding your Target Market.

Today’s topic grew from a recent workshop Brian conducted about building up and attracting people to your email list.  A recurring question was, “Who do you want to join your email list?”  It’s a question that also comes up at Audience Ops? Who are you writing for? What is your Target Market?

Identifying your Market

Know who you’re targeting – know the type of business, size of operation and to take it to the next level, identify the mindset of the business. During a trial, you can often look at a customer, learn about them and then contact them to let them know how you can provide value.

Brian feels the first question everyone should be asking themselves when they’re looking to launch a business is “Who do you want to serve?” Figure out what the problem is that you know how to solve, a solution that you believe in that you’ve seen before, then figure out who has the problem – and who thinks it’s an expensive problem that they’re willing to pay to solve.

If you go toward a problem and help people solve it, other opportunities show themselves. You can identify many different opportunities within the same problem space, but then identify what saves people money.

At Carthook, the issue isn’t getting trials – they are trying to get higher quality leads that have more order volume.  Identify which ‘lever’ you should pull first to get those quality leads?

Identify your audience and create an avatar of your ideal customer. Using a targeting message, identify the best channels to reach that customer when its Content marketing, email lists, podcasting, etc. Sending the right message to the right lead is what will lead to higher quality leads that convert to business opportunities.

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.

[75] Pricing Strategy, Marketing Focus, and Launch Updates

Welcome to Bootstrapped Web Episode 75.

First we want to thank David Lizerbran, and J-Fin for their recent reviews. Really appreciate the encouraging words and thanks for leaving us a review.

This week we’re catching up on recent developments in our businesses. Jordan has been in New York working with his co-founder Ben for the last week. This kind of in-person work together with your team is so powerful, and Jordan tries to do it once every few months at least. He also noticed how being in a city like New York brings out networking and connection opportunities even for online based businesses.

Jordan has been deep in the marketing efforts of his business. Instead of straight outbound sales emails he has been doing outbound efforts to get potential customers onto a webinar they’re putting on about abandoned carts and ecommerce. This is adding an extra layer of value instead of just asking for customers to start a trial.

Jordan is also starting a podcast surrounding Carthook which he’s sure will drive new inbound leads, and if he can engineer the launch right it will land in the New and Noteworthy section of iTunes.

The last of Jordan’s updates is a change in pricing. From a variable pricing model based on recovered revenue now each customer is going to be charged a fixed price. This has been a bit of work but with clear expectations set with customers it has been going smoothly.

Brian has been deep into getting Audience Ops off the ground and is about 4 weeks into it’s launch. They have 6 paying customers currently with 2 additional customers waiting to start in the coming weeks. The challenge thus far has not been sales and marketing, but scaling the production of supplying the materials to customers initially. This is quickly becoming standardized and is streamlining well.

Aside from hiring writers to create the content of the articles and social media work Brian is in the process of hiring at least one Virtual Assistant and used Virtual Staff Finder to help select good candidates. These team members will be helping schedule WordPress posts, social media posts, and creating images that accompany those pieces.

As if starting Audience Ops isn’t enough, Brian is also creating a WordPress plugin that will help people with customized content upgrades for posts. This will be available in both free and premium formats soon.

The Productize course is also doing really well. May was the best month ever without a major promotion, likely the result of some marketing automation work Brian implemented a few months ago and are finally paying off.

If you’re enjoying the show, head over to iTunes and leave us a 5-star review.  Thanks!

[74] Effective Positioning with Philip Morgan

Welcome to Episode 74 of Bootstrapped Web.  Jordan is out this week, but I’m excited to welcome my good friend Philip Morgan on to the podcast.

Philip is the founder of My Content Sherpa and Drip Sherpa, both of which are productized services around content marketing and drip email sequences, respectively.

Philip has also just launched a podcast called Consulting Pipeline Podcast, which is focused on how to get consultants a more robust pipeline.

Philip’s own consulting services are now starting to focus directly on working with development shops.  Focusing his positioning statement has helped him say no to more customers, while at the same time charging more and delivering more value to those he does serve.

Niching down and positioning yourself in a very definitive way can seem daunting at first, but Philip has found it liberating and has given him peace with the work he’s doing for customers.

Philip has literally “written the book” on how to position yourself, The Positioning Manual for Technical Firms.

Philip has put together a free 6 part email crash course on how to better position yourself within your niche.  Click here to get access.

You can reach out to Philip directly on Twitter @Philip_Morgan and on his website, PhilipMorganConsulting.com

If you’re enjoying the show, head over to iTunes and leave us a 5-star review.  Thanks!

[73]  Taylor Pearson on The End of Jobs

On this episode Taylor Pearson joins Jordan and Brian to discuss the changing world…from traditional jobs to entrepreneurship.

Taylor began as an interpreter and English teacher and transitioned to an entrepreneur and marketing consultant.  He talks about his upcoming book, The End of Jobs, which he hopes will help people take the steps to become an entrepreneur.

The guys discuss how technology and the internet have changed the traditional safe types of jobs due to companies turning over faster and faster.  Through time what was once considered a safe job is no longer the case.  The changes have enabled entrepreneurs who make smart financial decisions to gain greater control.  Taylor demonstrates how safe jobs are like “the turkey problem” which is a dilemma faced by holiday gobblers each year.

Taylor explains how apprenticeships with entrepreneurs and stair-stepping with low-risk micro businesses can lead to success.

Check out Taylor’s website to learn more about the soon-to-be-released book and stay tuned to his site for some upcoming book giveaways.  If you opt-in on Taylor’s book page you’ll get a free copy when it comes out.  Taylor will be hanging out in the comments below and will let us know when the giveaway for $1310 of books goes live.

Today’s episode was sponsored by PodcastMotor.  The concierge podcast editing service which does does everything from editing your show to publishing it on all major podcast networks. Bootstrapped Web uses PodcastMotor and highly recommends it if you’re serious about your podcast.  Mention Bootstrapped Web when you sign up to get 2 free episodes of the Concierge Service.

If you enjoyed today’s show we’d love it if you could leave us a review in iTunes.

[72] Updates on AudienceOps and Carthook

This week Brian and Jordan catch up on the latest with their businesses.

Brian is gaining momentum with AudienceOps and getting those initial customers with the new business.  Traction is gaining steam and the first handful of customers have signed up for Brian’s new service.

Brian is using Nusii to create proposals and Stripe Checkout Pro plugin on his new site to accept new payments via Stripe.

Jordan is busy with podcasts.  He can be heard on TalkingCode where he offers advice on how to find a technical co-founder and on RougueStartups Jordan talks about the risks and rewards of leaving a high-paying job for the startup world.

Jordan discusses his plans to start an e-commerce podcast for CartHook.  Stay tuned for more on that in coming episodes.

Brian and Jordan also talk about the value of podcasting as another way of adding quality content and building audience trust.  This content medium is gaining momentum quickly and should be considered as a way to reach your target audience.

This episode is brought to you by PodcastMotor.  Stop by PodcastMotor.com to check out their Concierge Service.  We use PodcastMotor here at BootstrappedWeb and it’s been a great way to get shows out on a regular basis.

If you enjoyed today’s show we’d love it if you could leave us a review in iTunes.

[71] The Reveal: Brian’s New Business

Brian and Jordan delve into the details of Brian’s newest startup, audienceops.com, a content marketing operation designed to help businesses grow their audience.

In this episode, Brian describes the process that led him to decide to begin the business to business service and his launch plan for doing so. 

Topics discussed by Brian and Jordan include:

  • The idea behind Audience Ops, which includes using audience research and customer research to build an customer base that involves trust.
  • The importance of out-teaching your competition
  • Developing a model that has recurring revenue.

Brian provides insight on his launch plan, from laying the early groundwork, to presenting his website to those that could give feedback, to developing and receiving leads.  Brian is passionate about teaching and explains how that figures into his plans for AudienceOps.

Also check out Brian’s blog post today, which covers more detail about the mission and launch plan for Audience Ops.

Today’s episode was sponsored by PodcastMotor.  Craig Hewitt’s concierge podcast editing service which does all the heavy lifting from the first step of setting up your show to publishing them on all major podcast networks. Mention Bootstrapped Web when you sign up at podcastmotor.com and receive two fully-edited free episodes of your podcast!

If you enjoyed today’s show we’d love it if you could leave us a review in iTunes.

[70] The MicroConf 2015 Recap Show

This week Brian and Jordan share their take-aways from MicroConf, which was held last week in Las Vegas. Both guys said the conference had magic in the way it sparked ideas and creativity.  Both also did attendee talks themselves, so be on the lookout for the video replays of those in the coming weeks.

In today’s episode they highlight presentations given by the following participants:

  • Patrick McKenzie on exiting a business.
  • Joanna Wiebe on the importance of specific copy for specific jobs.
  • Jason Cohen on how a company impacts and transforms lives.
  • Einar Vollset on choosing a service where leads have a purpose.
  • Rob Walling on market position and lessons learned.
  • Steli Efti on following through with your sales prospects.
  • Hiten Shah on getting the product correct through the use of customer research.

On the next episode Brian will reveal plans on a new business launch. Make plans to tune in and find out what he has up his sleeve!

Today’s episode was sponsored by LessAccounting. Check out their new autopilot service at lessaccounting.com/autopilot and use coupon code BootstrappedWeb to get a free month of bookkeeping service OR 2 free months of the LessAccounting software.

If you enjoyed today’s show we’d love it if you could leave us a review in iTunes.

[69] Liam Martin on Building a Distributed Team and Lessons Learned Scaling

Today we sit down for a fantastic chat with Liam Martin, founder of Time Doctor. Liam shares his story about how he’s built Time Doctor quickly to a large company, and some of the lessons he’s learned in scaling the business.

Since it’s launch in March, 2013 Time Doctor has tracked over one million hours of users time, and has grown their employee base to more than 60 globally distributed team members.  Through this Liam has learned some very valuable lessons about building and managing a distributed team, how to reinvest in the business, and what it takes to gain the initial traction that will make your company successful.

Today’s episode was sponsored by LessAccounting. Check out their new autopilot service at lessaccounting.com/autopilot and use coupon code BootstrappedWeb to get a free month of bookkeeping service OR 2 free months of the LessAccounting software.

If you enjoyed today’s show we’d love it if you could leave us a review in iTunes.

[68] Mike Taber on Life as a Single Founder

This week we sit down with Mike Taber, co-host of the popular bootstrapped startup podcast Startups For the Rest of Us, the upcoming MicroConf startup conference, and AuditShark to talk about life as a founder of a bootstrapped startup. Mike recently transitioned from a mix of consulting and product work to entirely focusing on his startup work. This transition brought about a lot of changes and we dig into many of those with Mike.

We also find out what some of the biggest fears and challenges are in starting a business.

To top it off, Mike has recently written a book all about how to launch a bootstrapped startup, called the Single Founder Handbook. Mike’s book is a compliation of his experiences in successfully launching several boostrapped ventures and is a “guide” instead of an esoteric work.

Lastly, Mike offers his thoughts on being a Solo Founder vs having a Co-founder and the up’s and downs of each.

Today’s episode was sponsored by LessAccounting. Check out their new autopilot service at lessaccounting.com/autopilot and use coupon code BootstrappedWeb to get a free month of bookkeeping service OR 2 free months of the LessAccounting software.

If you enjoyed today’s show we’d love it if you could leave us a review in iTunes.

[67] What Our Past Failures Taught Us

This week Brian and Jordan catch up on their latest updates in Restaurant Engine and CartHook.

Also, Microconf is just a few weeks away and both are getting ready for their attendee talks. Brian will be talking on inbound sales and Jordan will be talking on outbound sales.

We each share 3 of our previous failed entrepreneurial projects. Every time you launch something and put yourself out there you learn a lot about sales, marketing, partnerships, and focus. As long as you keep those lessons with you as you progress as an entrepreneur you’ll keep being more successful each time.

If you enjoyed today’s show we’d love it if you could leave us a review in iTunes.

This show is produced by PodcastMotor.  Check them out for all of your podcast editing and production needs.  Mention BootstrappedWeb and you’ll get 2 free episodes of the Concierge Service for free.