Startup 1: Week 4–30 Day Startup Learnings
Note: 4 Weeks to Launch is an ongoing series about building passive income across multiple startups — a new startup every 4 weeks. Read the first post on 4 Weeks to Launch to get started, or subscribe for weekly updates.
This is the 4th week of my 4-week-old startup, JFDI.Ninja. I’ve faced a lot of bumps with getting up and running, both with JFDI.Ninja and 4 Weeks to Launch. I’ve learned a lot, both in what to do next time and also what not to do. Thanks for all the support in keeping me going with 4 Weeks to Launch!
JFDI.Ninja lives on!
JFDI.Ninja is up and running smoothly and with little maintenance. I estimate to get about 1000 unique visitors a month, though it may be lower depending on backlinks and SEO.
Last week I hired a virtual assistant. All new tasks will be forwarded to him, with me doing review. We’ll see how it goes, but ultimately I built the business that solved the problem for me. If JFDI.Ninja gets more traffic I will set up the Google Form to go directly to Slack. By having multiple virtual assistants working on the tasks in Slack I can scale quickly.
Review of last week: scrappy marketing
Do what you like to do. I’ve been trying to beat myself into doing marketing and having little effectiveness. DON’T DO THIS! Figure out any way to not do what you don’t want to do. Hire someone, delegate, automate or work around it. I knew this in my head but sometimes you have to go through something painful to internalize it.
I don’t like scrappy marketing. So what do I do next time? Find something that is easier and more my pace. This means focusing on referability, or low paid acquisition cost. Referability relates to the product (I like) and paid acquisition relates to funnel optimization (something I also like). Commenting, cold messaging, and reddit-ing are all things I don’t like so I just won’t do them. Delegation at it’s finest is just effective laziness.
I had a friend email me with suggestions for marketing and thought I’d share since I found it useful:
- [don’t] do adwords/fb ads at least until your know the LTV of the customer since your price is so low.
- …advertise on entrepreneur fb groups. message the moderator to let them know the service and sometimes they will send out a message to the group about it.
- reddit ads may be a good option since impression are so incredibly cheap.
T-Dog McAwesome ← that’s a real last name
What is a postmortem? Postmortem is a term popularized by startups. After completing a project the team discusses what went wrong (hopefully it’s not over a dead body).
- Business was solving a “generic problem”.
- A business should solve a specific problem for people
- Isolate a specific pain (save money on cellphone overages), and target that with branding/ads
- No “launch strategy”
- Make plan on where to “launch” product for initial users. Be specific with links, audience sizes. Can delegate
- No shareability
- Add “share” buttons everywhere
- Add testimonials from day 1
- Testimonials give immediate credibility to a product
- Get friends to give you testimonials so you have them on Day 1 or fake them until you have real ones
- 24 hours is exhausting; moving to 48 hours
- Don’t make a product that is stressful to produce. If it is, hire someone to be stressed for you.
- Use google forms from day 1
- Spreadsheets > Email.
- Establish how to invoice from day 1
- Billing through paypal ended up being another chore. Make sure you know how you will invoice/collect and make it painless
Metrics & goals
4 Weeks to Launch vs JFDI.Ninja
If I’m honest with myself JFDI.Ninja wasn’t the focus of month 1–it was 4 Weeks to Launch. I’m working to build a sustainable system for launching businesses. Businesses are my goal and my product, and JFDI.Ninja was just that. I’m proud of what I’ve done in 1 month but also know that there’s a ton of more work to do. I’m excited to build off of what I’ve learned in the first month and push startup #2 further. I have big plans for it, and will teaming up with 2 people (one of whom does marketing!) for it.
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