Recently, I’ve been working hard in collaboration with The New Agency, managing the launch of an exciting new web start-up for a Sydney based company.
Thanks for the mention guys!
Here is a great definition of what it means to be an entrepreneur from Chris McCann, Co-founder of StartupDigest. Let me know your thoughts.
Originally posted on Chris McCann's Personal Blog:
Even though I’ve always felt this is true I’ve never quite known how to express this in words. But after spending a weekend reviewing extraordinary applications for the Peter Thiel 20 under 20 fellowship program and then directly after spending time with “normal” people, I think I can now express it.
Being “entrepreneurial” is taking control of your own future outcomes vs. taking what is given to you.
The incredible entrepreneurs (not just founders of companies) I know and who I am friends with have interesting hobbies, are excited by the future, learn about completely random topics, and have exciting things going on all the time in their lives.
The normal people I know who I am friends with are doing the same thing they were a year ago, complain…
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Posted by Adam Trouncer on February 20, 2012
Advertising and copywriting was once seen as a gamble.
These days however, it is more of a science. Everything can be measured and tested.
Claude C. Hopkins wrote a fantastic book about it called Scientific Advertising.
Although we have moved from physical sales letters to emails and online media, all of his principles are still valid today.
The only difference is that we have sharper tools to better optimise our on-line stores. Pageviews, CTRs, sales funnels, user-engagement and video views can all be measured in real time.
There are no excuses to having poor conversions.
Copywriting is an integral part of this. Just by changing a word, you can boost sales by 20%.
Here are a few tips I have picked up over the last few years.
The splash page or letter should have the following in this order….
1. INSTANT CLEAR HEADLINE
How to : End Customer Wants + Specific Time Period + Address the customer objections.
Example: Domino’s pizza. ” Hot fresh pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or its free.”
Tips: Clarity is everything. Don’t be tricky, just stop them and get their attention. It’s not about your product, it is all about your customer.
2. STATE THE PROBLEM
How To: In your customers words, explain their problem.
Example: 37signals ” Still managing projects with email? Are you still using excel for your to-do lists?
Tips: The aim of this is to get the customer nodding their head. You want to make them feel that you know more about them than they do. Get them to realise you understand their problem. If you are struggling with this, your product may not be solving a real problem.
3. PRESENT YOUR SOLUTION
How To: Product name helps you do (TASK). Say goodbye to (PROBLEM) and hello to (BENEFIT). From this you get (3 TOP FEATURES + BENEFITS)
Example: “PaperlessPipeline helps take your real estate transactions and related documents online. Say goodbye to filing cabinets and hello to happy mobile agents.
- Email, scan, fax or directly upload contracts and view them from any computer.
- Get an items needed checklist per transaction to stay organised
- Securely send contracts via Email to clients, the lender or the title company when the ask for it.
Tips: It forces you to do a quick elevator pitch for your product. Use the language of your customers. Pick the top three features only.
4. CREDIBILITY AND SOCIAL PROOF
How: Tie your company to trusted and famous brands. Put the biggest brands over your page. They may not use your product but they do use similar things. Alternatively use quotes by famous people. Be sure to also state the number of users like 37signals.com does.
Tips: Never stop using social proof. Have the number of likes on your facebook page or the number of tweets. Also include any verified payment services and badges to the site, these always help to instil trust.
How To: Specific end result customer got + Time period + accompanied feeling + Persons name and position
Example: ” I lost 45 kilos in 3 months and I feel great.” Jon Smith, Ex-olympian.
Tips: You can rephrase what people say to you and shorten it, no problem. The more distinguished the person, or people with more social proof have more credibility. Never stop selling testimonials. Also use testimonials in email marketing.
6. CALL TO ACTION
How to: Tell the customers to do something without gilt.
Tips: Use big either orange or green buttons, with an add to cart or a try it free on them. A/B test everything and determine what works best. Pictures of a smiling women also seem to work well in some instances. Just make sure it is very CLEAR.
7. FAQ’s and REVERSE RISK
Tips: Have all the frequently asked questions, clearly shown, with simple and easy to understand answers. The key is to make sure all the questions or concerns the customer has is already answered before they can think of it. FAQ’s can increase conversions by up to 85%.
Reverse Risk: This is huge. All you are doing is reducing the fear that they are being a made a fool of. No-one likes to be a sucker. Either have a money back gaurantee or a double money back guarantee, no questions asked. The more outrageous the better.
How To: If you don’t love (PRODUCT), call or email and we will refund every penny IMMEDIATELY.
And that’s about it for the moment. While all of these are good guidelines to follow, don’t take my word for it. TEST EVERYTHING!
I’d love to hear if these pointers have helped others, so shoot me an email.
Posted by Adam Trouncer on February 20, 2012
Over the last few months, I have read some GREAT books.
How do I define a great book?
A good book is one that is insightful, interesting and worth reading. A GREAT book, is one that changes the way you operate in some way. It is so persuasive and elegant, it makes you rethink what you believe and forces you to do something about it.
Here are my favourites:
1. ‘The Thank You Economy’, Gary Vaynerchuk
I love Gary’s energy, he is a legend. This is book has changed the way I view social media and customer interaction. The whole book is simple and easy to read. In my opinion this is a must read of anyone who wants to create a business which provides real value. It is also a wake up call to companies that don’t understand why social media is so powerful.
2. ‘Linchpin: Are you indispensable?’, Seth Godin
There is no doubt that Seth Godin is a marketing genius and great thinker. This one is gold and really flushes out the future of work/business. While at times it may seem a bit repetitive, there is a lot of value in this book. Personally, I love the chapter on Resistance (which also let me to reading the next book).
3. ‘The War of Art’, Steven Pressfield
This book reminds me of reading great copywriting. As you read it, you nod your head and realise that he knows more about you than you do. This book has helped me get on with it and work through the creative battles. The book is all about getting over your ‘resistance’ and learning how to force yourself to do the things that you know you should, but typically would rationalise away. This isn’t just a business book, it’s a must read for all.
4. ‘ The Lean Startup’, Eric Ries
I can’t count the number of people I have recommended this book to. Eric Ries has distilled down ideas from a number of different schools of thought to provide a very succinct how-to guide to operating a start-up and testing your core-assumptions. However, its not only for entrepreneurs, his principles can be applied to anyone who operates in an uncertain environment (researchers, intrapreneurs, military etc). A VITAL read for anyone who wants to start their own business or go into entrepreneurship.
5. ‘The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development’, Briant Cooper
This is essentially a ‘cheat sheet’ or mini-version of Steve Blank’s famous ‘The four steps to the Epiphany’. While it doesn’t have everything, it is a really good summary and provides great templates which can be used in developing your product. I would suggest reading it twice and then starting to apply your own circumstances and business case to it. This has changed the way I have approached customer development.
On top of these top 5 ones, here are some more you can dig into:
- Disciplined Dreaming, Josh Linkner
- The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, Mike Michalowiez
- The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen
- Rework, Jason Fried and David Hansson (37 Signals)
- Founders at Work, Jessica Livingston
What are your favourites?
Posted by Adam Trouncer on February 13, 2012
Welcome to my blog! I plan to keep a diary of my adventures , successes, failures and everything I learn on this blog as I test and trial different business ideas. I’m planning on posting once or twice a week.
I’m writing this blog while keeping these types of people in mind.
I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with everyone and learning a heap as we go.
Please feel free to subscribe or check back regularly.
Stay tuned, big things to follow!
Quote of the day: ” You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water” Rabindranath Tagore
Posted by Adam Trouncer on April 13, 2011