Entries from December 2009 ↓

The Two iPhone App Stores, Lessons from a “Pay What You Want” Sale, Lessons of Failure, and more…

The Two iPhone App Stores – An insightful post about the two app stores – the “simple shallow” store and the “deeper, more expensive” store. The press loves to cover the “simple, shallow” store but the “deeper” store encompasses most of the apps.

Lessons from a “Pay What You Want” Software Sale – A key takeaway: “Few people chose their price based on the perceived value of the game.  How much the person feels they can afford seems to play a much larger role in the decision than how much the game is worth.”

Lessons of Failure Blog -A well-written blog about software development and project management. Relatively new but insightful and fun to read.

Finding Great Ideas for Your Startup – Good comic series.

Download the Audiobook of Chris Anderson’s Free – For…um…free.

Free Online Audio Editor – Myna allows you to edit audio in your browser for free. We are indeed moving to the cloud. I’m amazed at the power of this tool.

Startup Marketing Part 1: Losing People Through the Bottom of Your Funnel

I had a realization recently while talking with a Micropreneur Academy member: focusing on increasing traffic and improving conversion rates is a fantastic game plan for a startup. But if you offer a recurring service a third step is required: retaining your existing customers.

If you’re focusing hard on optimizing your website sales funnel it’s easy to ignore what existing customers are saying. It’s also hard to prioritize what to work on next: traffic, conversions or new product features. And traffic and conversion rates are the forces that grow your business.

But adding new features is at times more important than focusing on sales. I talk a lot about marketing/sales on this blog because it’s crucial to your success, but in this case there’s a real trade off between growing revenue and keeping your current customers happy.

So to put this idea into perspective I’ve started referring to a customer cancellation as losing someone through the bottom of your sales funnel.

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Startup Marketing Part 2: Why Focusing on Traffic Can Kill Your Startup

Here’s an interesting exercise: find a startup or microISV founder and ask the following:

What are the top 3 approaches you use to find customers?

The most common responses will involve search engine optimization, AdWords, blogging, podcasting, and perhaps social media. And this is good – these methods can drive substantial traffic to your website.

Then ask about the next step in the process:

Once you have traffic coming to your site, how will you turn prospects into customers?

This is where you’ll be greeted by open-eyed stares, head tilts and puzzled smiles. Most startup founders think about driving traffic to their website. Almost no one thinks about improving conversion rates. Why is this?

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Micropreneur Spotlight Episode 2: Design Proposal Software Bidsketch

The Micropreneur Spotlight is a look at a Micropreneur Academy member who has launched their product.

This episode’s Micropreneur is Ruben Gamez who recently launched online design proposal software Bidsketch.

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Rob: Thanks for your time today, Ruben. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Ruben: First off, thanks for inviting me to be part of the Micropreneur Spotlight.

My name is Ruben Gamez and I’m a 32 year old web development manager living in south FL.

In my day job I manage a web development department; nights and weekends are spent working on my own product called Bidsketch.

Rob: Tell us about your product, including when it launched and some info the size of your user base.

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Darth Vader is My Father…and I’m on Twitter

The phrase “joining the dark side” perfectly summarizes my feelings about the fact that I joined Twitter a few weeks ago.

It was the Business of Software 2009 conference that did it. They announced that you would miss out on certain parts of the conference if you weren’t on Twitter so I broke down and joined.

Like everyone else whom I’ve talked to, I think the verdict is still out about the real value of Twitter, but I’m in and I’m tweeting like crazy about Micropreneurship, microISVs, launching and marketing software, and making it work as a single founder.

You can find me at http://twitter.com/RobWalling

Look me up. We’ll tweet lunch.

Book Recommendations: The Best Marketing Books of All Time

I’m really into saving time, and one way I’ve found to do that is to skim books, or listen to them as abridged audiobooks when I’m on the road.

In line with this, about a year ago I found an awesome collection of summaries of the best marketing books ever (in the opinion of the book’s editor).

These are books I would never take the time to read, but I have gleaned wisdom and entertainment from the summaries. While there is no substitute for the real thing, digesting 5-10 pages is much more palatable for me than thinking of 50 or 100 books at 200+ pages each.

I’ve since had two similar books recommended to me bringing my time saving to a grand total of…a lot of time: