Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Developing Traction: A Twist on a Classic Joke

Note: This joke was beta-tested on Hacker News, didn't do too bad there... but I tried delivering this joke live... turns out, I don't have the necessary comedic timing. Feel free to steal this joke for your next sales pitch... see if you can do any better than I did.

There were two business partners at a small struggling company. One was an engineer, the other was a business guy.

Business was hard to come by and the engineer told the business guy that he should attend an online marketing conference in their city the next week and talk to the presenters about ways to grow their business.

So the business guy agreed and attended the conference. While at the conference, one of the speakers seemed to know a lot about their specific business problems and so the business guy approached this speaker after the event.

The business guy asked the speaker what they could do to get the business going and growing.

To which the speaker replied:

"Well, since your engineer probably needs to spend his time writing code, the responsibility for a marketing campaign will fall to you.

So, if YOU blog about 1000 words a day against highly segmented key terms, A/B test all of your headlines, setup keyword targeted domains in lots of tangential areas that drive traffic to the top of your funnel, build well-designed marketing pages with clear calls to action (which must be A/B tested as well), spend about 3 solid months link-building and creating a personable brand around a specific problem set while recording YouTube videos addressing specific customer desires, and setup a carefully curated email list so you can deliver timely messages about your problem space to your customers, then if you setup a twitter account and interact with about 100 carefully targeted web brands a week against specific search terms, and then if you craft a great first run experience for your users and avoid common pitfalls like mobile-first methodologies, and treat all your customers, free or paid, like kings, and start a PR campaign by cozying-up to a few dozen journalists with good cross-fit audiences, and spend your nights and weekends writing copy and preparing embargoed PR releases, then I'm very positive that you'll probably develop enough traction to become profitable in around 12-18 months."

So, the business guy returned home to meet with his partner. At which point, the engineer asked:

"So what did they tell you at the conference?"

And the business guy gave a sigh, put his hand on his friend's shoulder and with an sympathetic look said "I'm sorry man, they told me we're not going to make it."

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Optimization Robot

A Scrappy Idea

While attending BaconBizConf in Philadelphia I met a cadre of fantastic people. Of the scrappy folks attending, one seemed to standout. I had seen his name surfacing from time to time in various outlets. He was a prolific guy, and I was bemused with his enthusiasm and aggressive tack. He told me his idea, and I nodded in agreement that it was a fine idea, but I didn't know at the time how solid the idea really was.

Fast forward two weeks and I'm in a chat forum, and here is the same prolific person, and for the first time, I clasp eyes on the potential for his product. He showed me some headlines for his website that were performing well (in terms of driving specific actions on his website) and asked me if I could name some headlines that would do better. I said I'd take a crack at it. I started tossing ideas out, started having fun, then it hit me, and I quote:

"Heh, this is kinda fun. Wait a minute... HOLY****, I NEED THIS, I'M BLEEDING MONEY!"

Bleeding Money

Yes, bleeding money. People were coming to my website and bouncing as fast as they came in, literally within seconds. Hundreds of them, daily. Up 'til now, there were so many things that needed addressing: more content, more content, more features, fixing bugs, random new bad ideas. But this solution seemed to have the answer with just one little snippet of Javascript. I'd be a fool to turn down this opportunity.

You Need This, So Badly

Its called Optimization Robot. You need this. Seriously, stop what you're doing right now and go get this if you can (its in limited beta). You need it so bad that you need to literally beg the founder, Michael Buckbee, and throw whatever you can at him to let you in.

You need this because your backlog is huge and you don't have time to screw with optimizing your on-page calls-to-action. You need this because despite your 20 years of experience you don't realize that there are literally headlines that may perform 100% better than what you're trying right now.

If you install this on your website and seed it with some headline ideas, it will tell you what works and what doesn't. It is possible, depending on your business, that it can DOUBLE the amount of revenue that you earn from the web in a year. That seems arbitrary, but I'm completely serious in this assessment.

Optimization Robot is the best way to optimize call-to-action and earn more revenue.

The best way to beg Michael, btw, I have learned, is to pester him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mbuckbee

A Thousand Tiny Steps

One day, for good or ill, you may look up to find yourself in an altogether unexpected place. And in that moment, you might consider how you...