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Camilla Dudley

Camilla Dudley

1 year ago

How to gain Twitter followers: A 101 Guide

More on Marketing

Sammy Abdullah

Sammy Abdullah

1 year ago

How to properly price SaaS

Price Intelligently put out amazing content on pricing your SaaS product. This blog's link to the whole report is worth reading. Our key takeaways are below.

Don't base prices on the competition. Competitor-based pricing has clear drawbacks. Their pricing approach is yours. Your company offers customers something unique. Otherwise, you wouldn't create it. This strategy is static, therefore you can't add value by raising prices without outpricing competitors. Look, but don't touch is the competitor-based moral. You want to know your competitors' prices so you're in the same ballpark, but they shouldn't guide your selections. Competitor-based pricing also drives down prices.

Value-based pricing wins. This is customer-based pricing. Value-based pricing looks outward, not inward or laterally at competitors. Your clients are the best source of pricing information. By valuing customer comments, you're focusing on buyers. They'll decide if your pricing and packaging are right. In addition to asking consumers about cost savings or revenue increases, look at data like number of users, usage per user, etc.

Value-based pricing increases prices. As you learn more about the client and your worth, you'll know when and how much to boost rates. Every 6 months, examine pricing.

Cloning top customers. You clone your consumers by learning as much as you can about them and then reaching out to comparable people or organizations. You can't accomplish this without knowing your customers. Segmenting and reproducing them requires as much detail as feasible. Offer pricing plans and feature packages for 4 personas. The top plan should state Contact Us. Your highest-value customers want more advice and support.

Question your 4 personas. What's the one item you can't live without? Which integrations matter most? Do you do analytics? Is support important or does your company self-solve? What's too cheap? What's too expensive?

Not everyone likes per-user pricing. SaaS organizations often default to per-user analytics. About 80% of companies utilizing per-user pricing should use an alternative value metric because their goods don't give more value with more users, so charging for them doesn't make sense.

At least 3:1 LTV/CAC. Break even on the customer within 2 years, and LTV to CAC is greater than 3:1. Because customer acquisition costs are paid upfront but SaaS revenues accrue over time, SaaS companies face an early financial shortfall while paying back the CAC.

ROI should be >20:1. Indeed. Ensure the customer's ROI is 20x the product's cost. Microsoft Office costs $80 a year, but consumers would pay much more to maintain it.

A/B Testing. A/B testing is guessing. When your pricing page varies based on assumptions, you'll upset customers. You don't have enough customers anyway. A/B testing optimizes landing pages, design decisions, and other site features when you know the problem but not pricing.

Don't discount. It cheapens the product, makes it permanent, and increases churn. By discounting, you're ruining your pricing analysis.

Mark Shpuntov

Mark Shpuntov

1 year ago

How to Produce a Month's Worth of Content for Social Media in a Day

New social media producers' biggest error

Photo by Libby Penner on Unsplash

The Treadmill of Social Media Content

New creators focus on the wrong platforms.

They post to Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc.

They create daily material, but it's never enough for social media algorithms.

Creators recognize they're on a content creation treadmill.

They have to keep publishing content daily just to stay on the algorithm’s good side and avoid losing the audience they’ve built on the platform.

This is exhausting and unsustainable, causing creator burnout.

They focus on short-lived platforms, which is an issue.

Comparing low- and high-return social media platforms

Social media networks are great for reaching new audiences.

Their algorithm is meant to viralize material.

Social media can use you for their aims if you're not careful.

To master social media, focus on the right platforms.

To do this, we must differentiate low-ROI and high-ROI platforms:

Low ROI platforms are ones where content has a short lifespan. High ROI platforms are ones where content has a longer lifespan.

A tweet may be shown for 12 days. If you write an article or blog post, it could get visitors for 23 years.

ROI is drastically different.

New creators have limited time and high learning curves.

Nothing is possible.

First create content for high-return platforms.

ROI for social media platforms

Here are high-return platforms:

  1. Your Blog - A single blog article can rank and attract a ton of targeted traffic for a very long time thanks to the power of SEO.

  2. YouTube - YouTube has a reputation for showing search results or sidebar recommendations for videos uploaded 23 years ago. A superb video you make may receive views for a number of years.

  3. Medium - A platform dedicated to excellent writing is called Medium. When you write an article about a subject that never goes out of style, you're building a digital asset that can drive visitors indefinitely.

These high ROI platforms let you generate content once and get visitors for years.

This contrasts with low ROI platforms:

  1. Twitter

  2. Instagram

  3. TikTok

  4. LinkedIn

  5. Facebook

The posts you publish on these networks have a 23-day lifetime. Instagram Reels and TikToks are exceptions since viral content can last months.

If you want to make content creation sustainable and enjoyable, you must focus the majority of your efforts on creating high ROI content first. You can then use the magic of repurposing content to publish content to the lower ROI platforms to increase your reach and exposure.

How To Use Your Content Again

So, you’ve decided to focus on the high ROI platforms.

Great!

You've published an article or a YouTube video.

You worked hard on it.

Now you have fresh stuff.

What now?

If you are not repurposing each piece of content for multiple platforms, you are throwing away your time and efforts.

You've created fantastic material, so why not distribute it across platforms?

Repurposing Content Step-by-Step

For me, it's writing a blog article, but you might start with a video or podcast.

The premise is the same regardless of the medium.

Start by creating content for a high ROI platform (YouTube, Blog Post, Medium). Then, repurpose, edit, and repost it to the lower ROI platforms.

Here's how to repurpose pillar material for other platforms:

  1. Post the article on your blog.

  2. Put your piece on Medium (use the canonical link to point to your blog as the source for SEO)

  3. Create a video and upload it to YouTube using the talking points from the article.

  4. Rewrite the piece a little, then post it to LinkedIn.

  5. Change the article's format to a Thread and share it on Twitter.

  6. Find a few quick quotes throughout the article, then use them in tweets or Instagram quote posts.

  7. Create a carousel for Instagram and LinkedIn using screenshots from the Twitter Thread.

  8. Go through your film and select a few valuable 30-second segments. Share them on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels.

  9. Your video's audio can be taken out and uploaded as a podcast episode.

If you (or your team) achieve all this, you'll have 20-30 pieces of social media content.

If you're just starting, I wouldn't advocate doing all of this at once.

Instead, focus on a few platforms with this method.

You can outsource this as your company expands. (If you'd want to learn more about content repurposing, contact me.)

You may focus on relevant work while someone else grows your social media on autopilot.

You develop high-ROI pillar content, and it's automatically chopped up and posted on social media.

This lets you use social media algorithms without getting sucked in.

Thanks for reading!

Michael Salim

Michael Salim

1 year ago

300 Signups, 1 Landing Page, 0 Products

I placed a link on HackerNews and got 300 signups in a week. This post explains what happened.

Product Concept

The product is DbSchemaLibrary. A library of Database Schema.

I'm not sure where this idea originated from. Very fast. Build fast, fail fast, test many ideas, and one will be a hit. I tried it. Let's try it anyway, even though it'll probably fail. I finished The Lean Startup book and wanted to use it.

Database job bores me. Important! I get drowsy working on it. Someone must do it. I remember this happening once. I needed examples at the time. Something similar to Recall (my other project) that I can copy — or at least use as a reference.

Frequently googled. Many tabs open. The results were useless. I raised my hand and agreed to construct the database myself.

It resurfaced. I decided to do something.

Due Diligence

Lean Startup emphasizes validated learning. Everything the startup does should result in learning. I may build something nobody wants otherwise. That's what happened to Recall.

So, I wrote a business plan document. This happens before I code. What am I solving? What is my proposed solution? What is the leap of faith between the problem and solution? Who would be my target audience?

My note:

Note of the exact problem and solutions I’m trying to solve

In my previous project, I did the opposite!

I wrote my expectations after reading the book's advice.

“Failure is a prerequisite to learning. The problem with the notion of shipping a product and then seeing what happens is that you are guaranteed to succeed — at seeing what happens.” — The Lean Startup book

These are successful metrics. If I don't reach them, I'll drop the idea and try another. I didn't understand numbers then. Below are guesses. But it’s a start!

Metrics I set before starting anything

I then wrote the project's What and Why. I'll use this everywhere. Before, I wrote a different pitch each time. I thought certain words would be better. I felt the audience might want something unusual.

Occasionally, this works. I'm unsure if it's a good idea. No stats, just my writing-time opinion. Writing every time is time-consuming and sometimes hazardous. Having a copy saved me duplication.

I can measure and learn from performance.

Copy of the product’s What and Why’s

Last, I identified communities that might demand the product. This became an exercise in creativity.

List of potential marketing channels

The MVP

So now it’s time to build.

A MVP can test my assumptions. Business may learn from it. Not low-quality. We should learn from the tiniest thing.

I like the example of how Dropbox did theirs. They assumed that if the product works, people will utilize it. How can this be tested without a quality product? They made a movie demonstrating the software's functionality. Who knows how much functionality existed?

So I tested my biggest assumption. Users want schema references. How can I test if users want to reference another schema? I'd love this. Recall taught me that wanting something doesn't mean others do.

I made an email-collection landing page. Describe it briefly. Reference library. Each email sender wants a reference. They're interested in the product. Few other reasons exist.

Header and footer were skipped. No name or logo. DbSchemaLibrary is a name I thought of after the fact. 5-minute logo. I expected a flop. Recall has no users after months of labor. What could happen to a 2-day project?

I didn't compromise learning validation. How many visitors sign up? To draw a conclusion, I must track these results.

Landing page

Posting Time

Now that the job is done, gauge interest. The next morning, I posted on all my channels. I didn't want to be spammy, therefore it required more time.

I made sure each channel had at least one fan of this product. I also answer people's inquiries in the channel.

My list stinks. Several channels wouldn't work. The product's target market isn't there. Posting there would waste our time. This taught me to create marketing channels depending on my persona.

Statistics! What actually happened

My favorite part! 23 channels received the link.

Results across the marketing channels

I stopped posting to Discord despite its high conversion rate. I eliminated some channels because they didn't fit. According to the numbers, some users like it. Most users think it's spam.

I was skeptical. And 12 people viewed it.

I didn't expect much attention on a startup subreddit. I'll likely examine Reddit further in the future. As I have enough info, I didn't post much. Time for the next validated learning

No comment. The post had few views, therefore the numbers are low.

The targeted people come next.

I'm a Toptal freelancer. There's a member-only Slack channel. Most people can't use this marketing channel, but you should! It's not as spectacular as discord's 27% conversion rate. But I think the users here are better.

I don’t really have a following anywhere so this isn’t something I can leverage.

The best yet. 10% is converted. With more data, I expect to attain a 10% conversion rate from other channels. Stable number.

This number required some work. Did you know that people use many different clients to read HN?

Unknowns

Untrackable views and signups abound. 1136 views and 135 signups are untraceable. It's 11%. I bet much of that came from Hackernews.

Overall Statistics

The 7-day signup-to-visit ratio was 17%. (Hourly data points)

Signup to Views percentageSignup to Views count

First-day percentages were lower, which is noteworthy. Initially, it was little above 10%. The HN post started getting views then.

Percentage of signups to views for the first 2 days

When traffic drops, the number reaches just around 20%. More individuals are interested in the connection. hn.algolia.com sent 2 visitors. This means people are searching and finding my post.

Percentage of signups after the initial traffic

Interesting discoveries

1. HN post struggled till the US woke up.

11am UTC. After an hour, it lost popularity. It seemed over. 7 signups converted 13%. Not amazing, but I would've thought ahead.

After 4pm UTC, traffic grew again. 4pm UTC is 9am PDT. US awakened. 10am PDT saw 512 views.

Signup to views count during the first few hours

2. The product was highlighted in a newsletter.

I found Revue references when gathering data. Newsletter platform. Someone posted the newsletter link. 37 views and 3 registrations.

3. HN numbers are extremely reliable

I don't have a time-lapse graph (yet). The statistics were constant all day.

  • 2717 views later 272 new users, or 10.1%

  • With 293 signups at 2856 views, 10.25%

  • At 306 signups at 2965 views, 10.32%

Learnings

1. My initial estimations were wildly inaccurate

I wrote 30% conversion. Reading some articles, looks like 10% is a good number to aim for.

2. Paying attention to what matters rather than vain metrics

The Lean Startup discourages vanity metrics. Feel-good metrics that don't measure growth or traction. Considering the proportion instead of the total visitors made me realize there was something here.

What’s next?

There are lots of work to do. Data aggregation, display, website development, marketing, legal issues. Fun! It's satisfying to solve an issue rather than investigate its cause.

In the meantime, I’ve already written the first project update in another post. Continue reading it if you’d like to know more about the project itself! Shifting from Quantity to Quality — DbSchemaLibrary

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Jano le Roux

Jano le Roux

1 year ago

My Top 11 Tools For Building A Modern Startup, With A Free Plan

The best free tools are probably unknown to you.

Webflow

Modern startups are easy to build.

Start with free tools.

Let’s go.

Web development — Webflow

Code-free HTML, CSS, and JS.

Webflow isn't like Squarespace, Wix, or Shopify.

It's a super-fast no-code tool for professionals to construct complex, highly-responsive websites and landing pages.

Webflow can help you add animations like those on Apple's website to your own site.

I made the jump from WordPress a few years ago and it changed my life.

No damn plugins. No damn errors. No damn updates.

The best, you can get started on Webflow for free.

Data tracking — Airtable

Spreadsheet wings.

Airtable combines spreadsheet flexibility with database power without code.

  • Airtable is modern.

  • Airtable has modularity.

  • Scaling Airtable is simple.

Airtable, one of the most adaptable solutions on this list, is perfect for client data management.

Clients choose customized service packages. Airtable consolidates data so you can automate procedures like invoice management and focus on your strengths.

Airtable connects with so many tools that rarely creates headaches. Airtable scales when you do.

Airtable's flexibility makes it a potential backend database.

Design — Figma

Better, faster, easier user interface design.

Figma rocks!

  • It’s fast.

  • It's free.

  • It's adaptable

First, design in Figma.

Iterate.

Export development assets.

Figma lets you add more team members as your company grows to work on each iteration simultaneously.

Figma is web-based, so you don't need a powerful PC or Mac to start.

Task management — Trello

Unclock jobs.

Tacky and terrifying task management products abound. Trello isn’t.

Those that follow Marie Kondo will appreciate Trello.

  • Everything is clean.

  • Nothing is complicated.

  • Everything has a place.

Compared to other task management solutions, Trello is limited. And that’s good. Too many buttons lead to too many decisions lead to too many hours wasted.

Trello is a must for teamwork.

Domain email — Zoho

Free domain email hosting.

Professional email is essential for startups. People relied on monthly payments for too long. Nope.

Zoho offers 5 free professional emails.

It doesn't have Google's UI, but it works.

VPN — Proton VPN

Fast Swiss VPN protects your data and privacy.

Proton VPN is secure.

  • Proton doesn't record any data.

  • Proton is based in Switzerland.

Swiss privacy regulation is among the most strict in the world, therefore user data are protected. Switzerland isn't a 14 eye country.

Journalists and activists trust Proton to secure their identities while accessing and sharing information authoritarian governments don't want them to access.

Web host — Netlify

Free fast web hosting.

Netlify is a scalable platform that combines your favorite tools and APIs to develop high-performance sites, stores, and apps through GitHub.

Serverless functions and environment variables preserve API keys.

Netlify's free tier is unmissable.

  • 100GB of free monthly bandwidth.

  • Free 125k serverless operations per website each month.

Database — MongoDB

Create a fast, scalable database.

MongoDB is for small and large databases. It's a fast and inexpensive database.

  • Free for the first million reads.

  • Then, for each million reads, you must pay $0.10.

MongoDB's free plan has:

  • Encryption from end to end

  • Continual authentication

  • field-level client-side encryption

If you have a large database, you can easily connect MongoDB to Webflow to bypass CMS limits.

Automation — Zapier

Time-saving tip: automate repetitive chores.

Zapier simplifies life.

Zapier syncs and connects your favorite apps to do impossibly awesome things.

If your online store is connected to Zapier, a customer's purchase can trigger a number of automated actions, such as:

  1. The customer is being added to an email chain.

  2. Put the information in your Airtable.

  3. Send a pre-programmed postcard to the customer.

  4. Alexa, set the color of your smart lights to purple.

Zapier scales when you do.

Email & SMS marketing — Omnisend

Email and SMS marketing campaigns.

Omnisend

This is an excellent Mailchimp option for magical emails. Omnisend's processes simplify email automation.

I love the interface's cleanliness.

Omnisend's free tier includes web push notifications.

Send up to:

  • 500 emails per month

  • 60 maximum SMSs

  • 500 Web Push Maximum

Forms and surveys — Tally

Create flexible forms that people enjoy.

Typeform is clean but restricting. Sometimes you need to add many questions. Tally's needed sometimes.

Tally is flexible and cheaper than Typeform.

99% of Tally's features are free and unrestricted, including:

  • Unlimited forms

  • Countless submissions

  • Collect payments

  • File upload

Tally lets you examine what individuals contributed to forms before submitting them to see where they get stuck.

Airtable and Zapier connectors automate things further. If you pay, you can apply custom CSS to fit your brand.

See.

Free tools are the greatest.

Let's use them to launch a startup.

Sam Hickmann

Sam Hickmann

2 years ago

Donor-Advised Fund Tax Benefits (DAF)

Giving through a donor-advised fund can be tax-efficient. Using a donor-advised fund can reduce your tax liability while increasing your charitable impact.

Grow Your Donations Tax-Free.

Your DAF's charitable dollars can be invested before being distributed. Your DAF balance can grow with the market. This increases grantmaking funds. The assets of the DAF belong to the charitable sponsor, so you will not be taxed on any growth.

Avoid a Windfall Tax Year.

DAFs can help reduce tax burdens after a windfall like an inheritance, business sale, or strong market returns. Contributions to your DAF are immediately tax deductible, lowering your taxable income. With DAFs, you can effectively pre-fund years of giving with assets from a single high-income event.

Make a contribution to reduce or eliminate capital gains.

One of the most common ways to fund a DAF is by gifting publicly traded securities. Securities held for more than a year can be donated at fair market value and are not subject to capital gains tax. If a donor liquidates assets and then donates the proceeds to their DAF, capital gains tax reduces the amount available for philanthropy. Gifts of appreciated securities, mutual funds, real estate, and other assets are immediately tax deductible up to 30% of Adjusted gross income (AGI), with a five-year carry-forward for gifts that exceed AGI limits.

Using Appreciated Stock as a Gift

Donating appreciated stock directly to a DAF rather than liquidating it and donating the proceeds reduces philanthropists' tax liability by eliminating capital gains tax and lowering marginal income tax.

In the example below, a donor has $100,000 in long-term appreciated stock with a cost basis of $10,000:

Using a DAF would allow this donor to give more to charity while paying less taxes. This strategy often allows donors to give more than 20% more to their favorite causes.

For illustration purposes, this hypothetical example assumes a 35% income tax rate. All realized gains are subject to the federal long-term capital gains tax of 20% and the 3.8% Medicare surtax. No other state taxes are considered.

The information provided here is general and educational in nature. It is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as, legal or tax advice. NPT does not provide legal or tax advice. Furthermore, the content provided here is related to taxation at the federal level only. NPT strongly encourages you to consult with your tax advisor or attorney before making charitable contributions.

Jon Brosio

Jon Brosio

1 year ago

Every time I use this 6-part email sequence, I almost always make four figures.

(And you can have it for free)

Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

Master email to sell anything.

Most novice creators don't know how to begin.

Many use online templates. These are usually fluff-filled and niche-specific.

They're robotic and "salesy."

I've attended 3 courses, read 10 books, and sent 600,000 emails in the past five years.

Outcome?

This *proven* email sequence assures me a month's salary every time I send it.

What you will discover in this article is that:

  • A full 6-part email sales cycle

  • The essential elements you must incorporate

  • placeholders and text-filled images

  • (Applies to any niche)

This can be a product introduction, holiday, or welcome sequence. This works for email-saleable products.

Let's start

Email 1: Describe your issue

This email is crucial.

How to? We introduce a subscriber or prospect's problem. Later, we'll frame our offer as the solution.

Label the:

  • Problem

  • Why it still hasn't been fixed

  • Resulting implications for the customer

This puts our new subscriber in solve mode and queues our offer:

Courtesy | author

Email 2: Amplify the consequences

We're still causing problems.

We've created the problem, but now we must employ emotion and storytelling to make it real. We also want to forecast life if nothing changes.

Let's feel:

  • What occurs if it is not resolved?

  • Why is it crucial to fix it immediately?

  • Tell a tale of a person who was in their position. To emphasize the effects, use a true account of another person (or of yourself):

Courtesy | author

Email 3: Share a transformation story

Selling stories.

Whether in an email, landing page, article, or video. Humanize stories. They give information meaning.

This is where "issue" becomes "solution."

Let's reveal:

  • A tale of success

  • A new existence and result

  • tools and tactics employed

Start by transforming yourself.

Courtesy | author

Email 4: Prove with testimonials

No one buys what you say.

Emotionally stirred people buy and act. They believe in the product. They feel that if they buy, it will work.

Social proof shows prospects that your solution will help them.

Add:

  • Earlier and Later

  • Testimonials

  • Reviews

Proof this deal works:

Courtesy | author

Email 5: Reveal your offer

It's showtime.

This is it. Until now, describing the offer and offering links to a landing page have been sparse in the email pictures.

We've been tense. Gaining steam. Building suspense. Email 5 reveals all.

In this email:

  • a description of the deal

  • A word about a promise

  • recapitulation of the transformation

  • and make a reference to the urgency Everything should be spelled out clearly:

Courtesy | author

Email no. 6: Instill urgency

When there are stakes, humans act.

Creating and marketing with haste raises the stakes. Urgency makes a prospect act because they'll miss out or gain immensely.

Urgency converts. Use:

  • short time

  • Screening

  • Scarcity

Urgency and conversions. Limited-time offers are easy.

Courtesy | author

TL;DR

Use this proven 6-part email sequence (that turns subscribers into profit):

  • Introduce a problem

  • Amplify it with emotions

  • Share transformation story

  • Prove it works with testimonials

  • Value-stack and present your offer

  • Drive urgency and entice the purchase