Experts Share

Criticism is one thing, but the ability to articulate what could be done better is something else

December 5, 2019

I spoke with a digital marketer yesterday and he had expressed concerns working with designer on websites. He'd seen the results go haywire in the past from an SEO perspective because most designers use tools like Squarespace and Wix without considering how their pretty site will play into the overall digital strategy.

When I pushed for specific problems, the only answer I got was, "you need an SEO partner," which is pretty convenient considering that's what he does.

Here's the thing: if there is truly a better way to do something, it is your job to articulate those details to someone in need of your help, especially if they are willing to learn.

If you're a chiropractor and you don't share your method for making others feel better or coach them, how will they trust you?

What about a SaaS startup that doesn't educate users on how to use their platform?

A designer that doesn't articulate why a design is flawed and coach better design practices?

There is no trust built up keeping your knowledge behind closed doors. If you are an expert, prove it. Better yet, teach it.

More you say?

Who Cares?

An excerpt from Obviously Awesome, part IV.

5.29.2020

This is the fourth article in a small series of punches surrounding April Dunford's Obviously Awesome! and how good positioning relates to good branding. Please read the first article, second article, and third article, before jumping into this one.

Enjoy!

You know what the alternatives are, you know the special things that your startup unique, and you've established what makes that valuable. All of these are great, but fall to pieces if no one buys.

The first approach most startups will take in finding customers is shotgunning any and every kind of market. Decent plan of action if you have time to experiment. Truth is, hardly anyone is capable of making this happen effectively, especially when concerned with time. It makes sense to be hyper-focused and test with less variables that you can either pursue further or pivot away from.

Why?

Because you need to communicate and trigger a response from someone who cares. Someone who feels that the solution you bring to the table is worth more than the dollars they will pay for it.

How do you do that? You think about them and craft messages around them that fit within their lifestyle.

What kind of person are they? Where do they work? What do they do for fun? What about their life sucks that they want to fix? Your goal is to get to know someone and find out if the solution you provide is of use to them. If not, it might be time to switch.

Tactically, you can do this with interviews within a particular segment or you can think of aspirational personas. The point is to have someone to make stuff for and be targeted. You're chances of hitting something become a lot higher if you know what you're aiming for.

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Is the Opposite True?

A litmus test for the selling points and features of your startup.

4.20.2020

What is the opposite of having great customer service?

It's not a trick question, the answer is shitty customer service.

What is the opposite of having the best products and the best prices?

Having the worst products and the worst prices.

You see, the flaw in baseless superlatives like "best products," or "great customer service," is that they don't help a startup sell product because it's expected. Think about it, what company doesn't want to have the best product or the best service? None of them, the same way none of them want to have terrible customer service. If the opposite of the claim is not also a unique selling point, then it's not unique.

For example, tech startups jump to "easy to use" as another feature. Since "hard to use" is not a selling point, neither is "easy to use." It's expected. Now, what makes the product easy to use is a unique selling point. Webflow, the tool I use to build websites, has a drag and drop interface built for designers who usually work in Adobe Creative Suite, that is the feature that makes the product easy to use. They also have a customer support team filled with designers and developers who can answer technical questions, that is the feature that makes their customer service great.

If you are going to rattle off a list of features and selling points to investors or customers, ask yourself if the opposite of this is also true. If it's not, you have a baseless claim.

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