Chances are you’ve already done some work in defining your “customer avatar”. At the very least, I feel good assuming you don’t think I’m talking about a blue space creature ;-) But when it comes to defining and dialing in your B2B SaaS avatar… … the rules are a bit different.
“Why would they ever give me the time of day?” “How could I possibly add value to their life?” “How could I reach out without feeling needy, desperate, or an intrusion on their day?” These are just a few of the excuses founders make for not reaching out to the game-changing mentor or advisor that could dramatically accelerate the growth of their business. Instead of the “who” -- they play it safer by focusing on the “how”.
Did you know that there’s a multibillion dollar industry dedicated to doomsday prepping? Even crazier… Reid Hoffman was quoted in the New Yorker, estimating that about 50% of Silicon Valley billionaires have acquired some level of “apocalypse insurance”. Now whether you buy into that idea or not, there is a type of doomsday in the software world you absolutely NEED to be prepared for. It’s this:
Imagine taking the stage for the opening keynote of your own customer conference. Hundreds (or even thousands) of your users in front of you. Enjoying that super cool inflection point where you can literally see the community you’ve built right in front of your eyes… And at the same time, unlock a hidden series of growth levers that your competitors (who shied away from the whole conference thing) will never have a chance to pull. Pretty cool, right? Here’s a
If you run a small team of just 5 employees/co-founders… Your weekly meetings are likely costing you well north of 50k/year. Simple math… … average hourly rate x number of people x 52. That’s how much you’re spending to run your weekly meeting.
Leadpages used *this* strategy to scale their growth at a ridiculous rate. So did my company Flowtown. As well as a recent SaaS Academy client who hired an army of over two thousand “salesmen” to promote his accounting software… for free. If you haven’t caught on… We’re talking about strategic partnerships. Partnerships are one of the fastest and most efficient ways of scaling your software business. It’s essentially outsourcing your customer acquisition… and only paying a pre-negotiated commission if the
Wow. Every once in a while I re-watch one of my videos and just laugh... This time around, I can’t believe how many times I said “distributed team”??! You could easily play a drinking game on it and end up loaded within 10 minutes. Not recommended btw. For real. Don’t do it. Instead, I wanted to take a few mins to show you how I’ve been able to manage large teams virtually, and the process I use to do this.
Your product or service tells a story. It either tells one that’s clear and coherent, highlighting the challenges you’re most ready to solve for your ideal customer… Or it confuses them. The story you’re telling depends on whether you’re being thoughtful in the process, or building it blindly. And the difference between the two has a massive impact on your prospect’s ability to buy from you.
It’s 2011 and I’m pacing back and forth in a parking lot in LA. I’m about to go on This Week in Startups to talk about Flowtown which had just been acquired, but I’m stressing out... I’m on the phone with Sean Ellis - the creator of the Customer Development survey - walking through the customer feedback I’m getting for a new product I’m starting to work on called Clarity. I’m having a hard time figuring out my next steps.
How does Richard Branson manage 400+ companies? He doesn’t. Over the years he’s learned how to build teams and split ownership in a way that drives everything forward. In 2004, after 2 failed companies, I finally learnt this lesson. When I started my company Spheric Technologies I started it with partners. Why? I realized if I wanted to go far - and get there faster - I needed other people on the team that had a piece of the business.