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EXECUTION Building SaaS with a full time job, finding focus and pacing

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by adiakritos, May 16, 2018.

  1. NMdad
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    NMdad Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Late to the party, but if your "partner" is doing nothing, end it now.

    Outsourcing marketing/sales from the start--before you deeply understand your market & what they want--is often a mistake. End that too. Take ownership of it, so you can establish relationships in your niche & start selling--even if you later decide to outsource/delegate these activities.

    You're 9-5 does limit how much you can do during business hours. But there's still plenty of time to call prospects--especially if they're in different time zones, or during your lunch or breaks during the day. You can fit calls into your day, unless you work at NORAD or on a submarine. :)

    If you fully commit to doing this, you WILL get it done.
     
    Andy Black, Bekit and adiakritos like this.
  2. adiakritos
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    adiakritos Bronze Contributor

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    Your point about the relationships is one I never considered and it makes 100% sense.

    Thank you for that, it really does make the path forward much clearer.
     
  3. NMdad
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    NMdad Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Exactly. Think about how much control you'll have if YOU own the customer relationships & visibility in your niche instead of your "partner".
     
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  4. adiakritos
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    adiakritos Bronze Contributor

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    Honestly I feel tired and defeated right now. Another year of my life invested and now I again feel overwhelmed by the idea that I have to shoulder the entire project and software and do my full time job.

    And I come here looking for something, some kind of salvation or inspiration but I never find it here.

    So I look inside myself again and I dig deeper to ask myself WHY and I doing this? The vision of freedom I have that I want so bad seems perpetually out of reach.

    And I get mad because some people get lucky earlier than others, and I still work extremely hard but I don’t know what I don’t know.

    How do I attract the right partners to help with this? How do I show them my F*cking ruthless grit and skill set? I software takes a lot of time to do right. I want my powers combined with someone equally as passionate and hard working as me who has their super power in marketing. It’s necessary for my niche because the market switches fast just because someone else has some other shiney new feature. So the key is getting to a point where I can drive a small dev team to build and innovate very quickly and my marketing partner will need to have solid creativity.

    I’ve been on this forum since I was about 23 and I’m 28 now. I’ll never stop trying. I will get up again and keep moving forward toward my dreams.

    I have a great asset I’m what I’ve created, all it needs is that push into the market. Do you have any idea how it feels to know that your competitor made a much shittier version of your product and sold it to 600 people within 45 days? And here’s I am with this Bugatti by comparison just parked in a garage?

    It’s like being 5 feet from gold, SEEING AND KNOWING it’s there and then running out of gas on your machinery.

    Arrrrgggggg

    I will F*cking get that gold god damn it!!!!
     
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  5. Bekit
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    Bekit Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hey - really sorry to hear about your experience with the other marketer.

    I'm a professional copywriter, and here are some ideas for you.

    I know how it feels to be busy and not have enough bandwidth to do everything. But my instinct when I read your post was the same as NMDad - dissolve this partnership and build this asset yourself. An email list is an asset. An audience is an asset. YOU should control it.

    Even if you don't do the actual execution of tasks, YOU oversee it.

    So....here goes...
    • Is there search volume for the product itself, the competitor's version, or other tangentially-related versions of the term that indicate buyer intent? If so, run Google ads for those keywords. Maybe hit up @Andy Black about this?
    • Are there facebook groups or LinkedIn groups where people in this niche congregate? Identify the groups (a VA can do this) and then participate in the groups by offering helpful tips and freebies that point people back to your site. Be careful not to spam the groups and to abide by the rules that the mods have established. Still, you can build real relationships by providing value, and then take the conversation outside the group to offer them the thing you have.
    • Create content around the main pain points that your problem solves and post these posts on your site. Maybe you're answering questions - maybe you're "ranting" - maybe you're writing a keyword-optimized post - maybe you're subtly establishing the criteria that people should be using to choose the right SaaS program (which, of course, all the criteria you establish are the ones that your product fulfills).
    • Like you said, be scrappy and efficient, put up a quick landing page, and run Facebook ads to it.
    • Pitch podcast hosts in your niche to try to get hosted on a podcast to talk about the innovation you've developed. (Again, a VA can do this - identify podcast hosts and send them a pitch that you've drafted. A good VA might even be able to research the host and customize the pitch to them.)
    • Go to conferences, meetups, and events in your niche, talk to people, build relationships, and introduce them to your solution.
    • Or, do the online version of this. Get the list of speakers at these conferences. Go like their facebook page. Then take note of all the other people who liked their page, too. Then build a retargeting list from these people that becomes the group you run ads to. (Again, a VA could do this)
    • Answer questions on Quora about your niche to establish yourself as an expert, and where it makes sense, weave in a mention of your product.
    • Ask thought leaders in your niche to offer the product to their list in exchange for a commission on any of the sales you make from that list.
    • Look at the marketing style, techniques, and tactics that this competitor is using and copy what seems to be working for them.
    Hope this triggers some ideas for you! You've got this!
     
  6. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Check out @eliquid ‘s thread. Check out Rob Walling’s stuff. Go through @Bekit ‘s stuff. Happy to have a quick chat sometime if you want.
     
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  7. adiakritos
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    adiakritos Bronze Contributor

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    Hey @Bekit , thanks for the encouragement and your write up, I really appreciate it!

    I'll give this some thought and come up with a plan. There's a few things here that I've thought of, and others I haven't. So I gotta just get it all organized and from there.

    I had told myself I was going to give my biz partner until the 20th to show me he's serious and come up with something, and he did yesterday. Basically, he's pulled up a list of 15k prospects in a few cities, and he says there's at least 100k we can pull but it's taking some time to gather the info. He can only do so many in a day. And with that list of 15k initial prospects he wants to market to them directly via phone and email.

    There are a few upsides to this that I really like:

    - we can talk to real people on the phone
    - we can cold email blast them and get some potential leads that way
    - we can grow at a pace that won't cause huge problems on the software side
    - we can start making money faster without giving affiliate or sales commissions to anyone

    With that money we can turn around invest in ads, publishing content...etc

    If I don't work with him in the end I think I'd do something along the following lines:

    - Work with an influencer to give the software an initial boost even though a big chunk of my margins would go in affiliate commissions. That's ok in the short run. That would be a pretty fast spike in usage and would likely cause some dev turbulance, so I can ask off from work before our promo and be ready to crush any bugs that come up. THEN, I'd offer a referral incentive to the existing customer base, since that would bring in more users with hopefully a decent viral effect which would cost must less than the affiliate commissions. Hopefully at this point, I'd be able to leave my job and work on it full time and create content. From there, I'd focus on building the ad -> lander funnel, and once that is predictable, I can also shift $ to creating the longer term SEO stuff, and if growth is simultaneously high enough I'd also hire a dev to help me build and innovate faster. Something like that. The list I'd have at this point is my customer base, which I own, and they are all paying customers. I paid for them through commissions lol but they're still mine! hehe so from there I can with what I've seen other marketers do like create facebook pages and direct all the users there where I can see them talk among themselves, share ideas, report bugs, generate content I can use for marketing...etc

    As for the competitor, he's got a massive following because he's an authority in the space. So he just ran a promo to them and the rest took care of itself. I know this because I asked him on facebook via private message. It's mind-boggling how crappy his software is. The reality is that he likely will have a lot of churn with that software. And I guess he positioned it in a way to protect his own authority in that's the case.



    @Andy Black thanks! I'll check out Bekit's stuff shortly. I read through a lot of eliquids posts and they're absolute gold. And yes, it would be awesome to chat for a little.
     
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  8. 404profound
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    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Dude I feel that. I'm even earlier in the SaaS process than you. Keep your eyes on the target, and don't take them off. Not many people are willing to endure the sustained hell of business development + full time job, it separates the boys from the men. But it will pay off if you do not quit. Eventually you will learn enough and adjust your strategy enough to find success. It is inevitable, as long as you press forward.
     
    adiakritos likes this.
  9. eliquid
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    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Havent seen it, maybe I missed it
     
  10. adiakritos
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    adiakritos Bronze Contributor

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    Thanks man, I really appreciate the encouragement.
     
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  11. adiakritos
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    adiakritos Bronze Contributor

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    All good. Your write ups on that thread are very very insightful. Really awesome that you took the time to do that. I'm re-reading it now.

    Like yours, our market is sorta stingy in that competitors are very visible and the market jumps ship to new different services very quickly because of whatever shiny new feature. So the core strategy we'd need to follow, unless we pivot to a different harder-to-reach market, would be to focus on a cash-generating MVP with something unique first (or work like a phuckin maniac and leap frog), leverage that as much as possible in the beginning, and reinvest to create a longer-term innovative competitive advantage OR niche down even more. The winning strategy in that game seems to be "stay ahead of the competition always".

    Knowing this, it's easier to see where our weaknesses are and how we can potentially overcome them.

    I'm going to re-read your thread and Bekit's threads and take notes to really get a deeper intuition on what to do about my situation.
     

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