In accordance with my recent understanding that it is more efficient to seek help from external sources than to pedantically rely on yourself, I’ve gotten some operations & marketing advice from an operations & marketing savvy person. He immediately opened my eyes to all the wonderful things I'd been doing wrong. Politely of course. But he was right. He saw holes in my strategies in minutes, while I have grown too numbingly close to the problem to have any sort of clear sight.
I thought I’d do a quick brain dump of what I learned, and hopefully elaborate on them in some future posts:
- It’s easier to keep a customer than find a new one.
- Churn is a leaky bucket. You can fill and fill the bucket with water and substance, but if the leak is not contained, you’ll wither out.
- Features != growth.
- Advertise features to people who are interested in those features. An analogy is, Tesla may be a very kid-friendly vehicle that works great with baby seats, but that’s not what's called out on their homepage. They selectively choose the message based on the audience they’re interested in and what their audience is interested in.
- Record keeping is essential. I feared this was the case, as I'm not a great record keeper. But I'm increasingly seeing how important this can be. It’s so important to have a chain of events that can be studied in the future. So, so important.
- A gap in the market doesn't mean there's a market in the gap.
- Find your best customers. Ask them to describe the product, then use that description.
- Use-cases over features. Don’t just list out what the product does. Talk about specific problems it solves and ways it can be used.
- Develop and understand user personas. Essentially, break down your audience into three or so different groups of people that would use your product. For Standard Notes, the three personas that I see most often are: The Privacist, The Writer, and The Hacker. Visualizing that has sparked many new lights in my head.
- It’s better to convert users when they are ready for it, rather than as soon as possible. It makes for a healthier business.
He recommended studying the field of behavioral economics in general, and suggested two books:
P.S. I did the whole “sit in a room for 15 minutes and not do anything” thing. It was fine. I’m going to do it again tomorrow.