Startups

The 5 Pages You Need (And The Questions They Answer) For Your Software Website

By | Growth Engine, Marketing, Startups | 2 Comments

Have you ever struggled with your marketing website?

Sure, they have templates and super slick WYSIWYG editors.

But that doesn’t deal with the hard part:

The content.

WTF do I put on those pages?

How do I turn lorem ipsum into monthly recurring revenue?

How many pages should I have on my site?

What should those pages be?…

I need a blog, right?… right?…. right?

(read below to find out) :p Read More

How To Avoid The Startup Graveyard Using The Software Sales Matrix

By | Financial, Sales, Startups | 4 Comments

How much does it cost you to acquire a customer?

Understanding that will help you understand your model.

Most founders think it’s just the cost of your advertising spend.

Nope.

It’s everything you spend on marketing (people + ad spend + contractors, etc) AND sales (everyone involved in the process + tools, etc)…

And that still doesn’t include anyone you might have to qualify, or the cost of running webinars, etc. Read More

4 Characteristics of Building A 100M Dollar Startup In 3 Years

By | Fundraising, Growth Engine, Startups | 3 Comments

How do you build a $100M revenue business in 3 years?

That was the question my coaching client Larry asked me with a straight face.

Now, before you dismiss his question, you need to know that he just exited his previous startup a few months earlier.

So I knew he had the chops.

What a great question I thought …

… so I took some time to really reflect on all the things I’ve learned in scaling my own software companies… as well as the common traits and characteristics of other companies that had done it.

Discovered some pretty unexpected things along the way.

If you’ve ever been crazy enough to secretly (or not so secretly) ask how to grow to 9 figures in 3 short years… Read More

High Tempo Testing: How To Manage Your Startup’s Growth Team

By | Growth Engine, Productivity, Startups | No Comments

Facebook looks at daily active users.

Airbnb.com uses bookings.

At Clarity – my previous company – we obsessed over completed calls.

These are called North Star Metrics.

It’s a clear metric that your growth team focuses on to move the needle.

The key is that it captures the value created for your customers, and allows everyone on the team – and really the company – to drive this forward.

But how do you come up with the right ideas to move this number?

How do you prioritize the right metric to get your growth engine revving? Read More

The Step-By-Step Guide To Creating A Webinar That Sells Software

By | Marketing, Sales, Startups | 3 Comments

What if you could get on a stage in front of an audience filled with your perfect customers and tell them about your software?

That’s what webinars are like.

In 2010 my buddy Lewis Howes stopped by our office in San Francisco preaching them as a sales tool, and that’s when I first got introduced to the power of leverage.

You get the opportunity to attract, teach and present an offer for your solution that will solve their problem…

And if you do it right, you can get them to pre-pay for years up-front in advance to help you fund future marketing initiatives to scale your startup.

That’s the promise I’m making in this week’s video.

Now, before you think I’m over hyping it… just think about it. Read More

Use This 4 Part Framework To Write Cold Emails That Actually Get a Response

By | Marketing, Sales, Startups | 7 Comments

Have you ever cold emailed the CEO of a public company?

When I was 18 I sent out 20.

I knew I needed advice to build my company, and figured they might have the answer…

… so I found the list of top tech CEO’s at the time, and sent them an email with a simple question:

Everyone argues that it’s who you know (network), what you know (education) and perseverance (not giving up) that are required to be successful.

If you had to pick just one of these three, which would it be?

That was it, very little context, super specific with an ask…

My favourite response was from Mark Cuban (this was 15 years before he ever invested in my company, and to this day I don’t think I’ve told him this :). Read More

3 Key Principles To Building a Software Company With No Money

By | Sales, Startups, Strategy | No Comments

Can you build a thriving software business without writing code?

Can you generate real revenues without having anything built?

The answer is yes, and I personally believe that it’s the only way to do it.

A couple weeks ago I was in San Francisco hosting my Sales Pipeline Intensive event for my SaaS Academy clients, and one of the speakers John (founder of five9.com, $1.2B saas company) echoed a similar sentiment…

It was funny because we hadn’t connected prior to his talk.

So I did some research on his latest company JetBridge.com, and it mentioned all the different areas they were innovating sales using AI/Machine Learning, and when he comes up, he just smiled and said “oh, all that’s bullshit” ???? Read More

Why Bootstrapped Founders Should Use These 5 Agreements To Scale Their Startup

By | Growth Engine, Marketing, Startups | 9 Comments

One of my favourite stories of a bootstrapped founder is Clay Collins.

He’s the creator of LeadPages.net, and when I first met him he was doing $100K+ a month in recurring revenue.

As someone who came from the online education space, he knew his customers intimately and was an incredible marketer.

I still remember our first conversation and the questions I was asking.

I couldn’t believe the level of growth he achieved in only a few short months.

What I learned that day was the foundation for what I now call the Scaling Credo.

It’s a simple list of 5 things, that if you agree to, can dramatically impact your business. Read More

3 Question Frameworks You NEED To Use For Product Development

By | Community, Marketing, Startups | 4 Comments

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.

People are signing up, but many aren’t making calls or coming back…

… so I’ve sent out a survey to ask them specific questions so I can better understand their needs and expectations.

That’s when Sean shares with me the Rosetta Stone of understanding my customer’s suggestions. Read More

How Startups Should Map Their Content Marketing Strategy To The Buyer’s Journey

By | Marketing, Startups, Strategy | 2 Comments

Wow, did I ever butcher this joke.

“The CEO, CFO, and Marketing Manager walk into the bar…”

You can watch the video below to see how I killed my stand-up career before it even started…

…but here’s what I was trying to convey.

Depending on WHO you are, you probably have a different need for the same outcome (i.e. a drink).

When I was building my startup Flowtown, we had customers who bought our product at $20/month, some at $200/month and even a few at $2K/month!

Were they the same? Yes and no. Read More

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