“Should I even bother writing blog posts?” is one of the most common questions founders ask me. It’s a good question – some successful founders claim content marketing is essential for initial traction. Others think it’s a big waste of time. In this post I’ll clear up some confusion and give you a practical content strategy for startups. You’re not […]
Do you run a SAAS subscription app (a website that charges a recurring fee, e.g. MailChimp )? You already know a good onboarding process is critical for getting customers to use (and pay for) your product. Many successful SAAS companies are now using “concierge” onboarding. At SoHelpful we’ve been doing concierge onboarding for the last two […]
Much of my time is consumed by writing my next book, Get Your First 100 Customers by Being Helpful (Download a free sample). In one chapter I talk about the importance of the first 100 customers – for validation, keeping our momentum and teaching us what we really need to do. I want to talk a […]
Can’t get your first customers? You’re not alone Whether you’re starting a product company, freelancing business, or writing a book the challenge is the same: getting initial customers. It’s easier than ever to start a business but harder than ever to get noticed. So frustrating! Most entrepreneurs try to break through the noise with better […]
Update: I received a number of appreciative, heartfelt emails from entrepreneurs thanking me for sharing my experiences. And a few friends also sent me messages like, “Hey Kevin, I know you mean well but …” In retrospect, I should have exercised better judgement in how I wrote about depression because this is a complex issue. Sorry. […]
tl dr; Traction belongs on every startup founder’s bookshelf. I’m buying copies for the CEOs of my current Angel Investments. Get it here. Traction Summarized Traction is one of those books that makes you wonder, “Why didn’t anyone write this before?” Gabriel and Justin have done a marvelous job outlining a strategy for solving the […]
Are you reading this hoping I have a magic, quick secret for getting your first customers? If so, stop. This isn’t for you because… It’s different and requires you to THINK. It is hard work. It takes 3 months to start getting results. Possibly 6–12 months. But it works. I’m writing for the 10% who (1) realize […]
[7/31/2014 Update] – We built a free product called the Helpful Canvas. You can use it to create and share your personas. Screenshot of “Founder Fran”: The real work for Lean Startups begins when we have a few customers. After working so hard to win their trust and $ we try to please all […]
Yep. For the second time this year I just got fired from my job. My job – up until 2 hours ago – was to be the head writer/marketer for SoHelpful, my startup. I got the job 15 months ago when I started working on SoHelpful – Chiara Cokieng joined SoHelpful a few weeks ago […]
Are you thinking about applying to an accelerator and wondering if it is your best option? I recently had the honor of mentoring at Toronto NEXT organized by Nathan Monk, Chris Eben and Holly Knowlman (check out Holly’s post How to run a startup pre-accelerator). They did an amazing job and gave Toronto’s startups a […]
Updated 3/14/2014 – The post was an email I sent to my newsletter subscribers before speaking at the 2013 Lean Startup Conference (I actually wrote this on the flight from Beijing to San Francisco). After thousands of people saw my presentation I started getting inquiries to do Workshops worldwide. These tips will change your startup […]
Can I get your advice on how to grow our customers? This is most frequent question entrepreneurs ask me. Whether it is day #1 of your startup or the night before your IPO, the challenge never ends: how can I find more customers? Most of what is written about Customer Development concerns the very beginning […]
Customer Development on innovative products is hard because customers haven’t made the behavior changes necessary to get value from the solution. This dilemma is actually your opportunity: by teaching customers you can change their behavior and create new customer problems – problems you are uniquely positioned to solve.
Before building that network/platform/marketplace MVP solution, consider starting by building a tool for your customers. Your execution will be easier, chance of failure will be lower, and you can build your $B network later.
The best entrepreneurs I know (1) know their top 2-3 challenges and (2) constantly ask for advice. Want to build your relationships & get instantly credibility? Ask for lots of advice.