Building high ROI marketing campaigns – one hour at a time

One of the questions I hear most from (especially new) startup founders is along the lines of ‘how can I increase my marketing ROI if I only have a few extra hours a week?’ My answer often seems to catch people out of left field because it has nothing to do with new customers. In fact, it has to do with old customers.

Still, if I only had a few hours a week and I wanted to do something with a high return on investment, I would talk to my existing customers. They don’t have to be long conversations. Ultimately, I’m interested in what they like/dislike about working with my company, what they would improve if they were in my shoes, and what made them decide to do business with me.

Continue reading “Building high ROI marketing campaigns – one hour at a time”

A reasonably complete guide to cold calling

Cold calling.

Few phrases strike as much terror into the hearts of entrepreneurs as that one. Inherently, we all know that it’s a great way to move the needle, but holy shit, cold calling is scary.

I’m here to tell you that you can do it. And I’ll show you exactly how I have built successful cold calling campaigns that have moved the needle on my own businesses.

Continue reading “A reasonably complete guide to cold calling”

Public Relations For Startups

Years ago, my friend Stacey and I published a magazine. It never got huge, but it got big enough that we started attracting inbound interest and press releases. Through learning how to handle those and talking with real journalists to learn how they handled those, I developed a sense of how to work with the media when you’re new and don’t have a track record.

For me, it always comes down to story. Journalists do not exist to be your personal marketing force – they exist to find truth in compelling stories. This implies a couple of things. The first is that they likely won’t print any finely crafted marketing speak or sales pitches. The second is that they will seek balance – they will interview your competitors or print quotes that are critical of you and your business. They will also comb through your social media accounts and read what other people say about you. Just because you don’t give them a quote or access to a source, it doesn’t mean that they won’t seek out other quotes or sources. The entire finished piece may be extremely critical of you and your business and if so, it is the mark of an incredibly good journalist, not an asshole. Got it?

Continue reading “Public Relations For Startups”

Towards happier developers

(Subtitled – This is not another mental health/diversity post)

While I acknowledge how important mental health and diversity are, I am not going to talk about either. Instead, I’m going to talk about ways that we can make all developers on our teams feel more comfortable and productive. While developer happiness and mental health/diversity are directly related, this post will be about the business case behind truly happy developers.

Continue reading “Towards happier developers”