Monthly Archives

June 2016

You don’t need an award for doing your job.

award foe doing your job

I heard a gentleman brag yesterday about how shared coupon codes or free gift cards from his startup after an event he attended. He went on to mention how he is not shy and that he believes startups should take every opportunity they get to promote the business.

After finding out that this gentleman is the VP of Marketing I shook my head. Since when does the VP of Marketing deserve praise for doing his job? What’s the point of being head of Marketing if you’re not working to grow the business at every turn?

It’s similar to entrepreneurs who brag about their late nights and how hard they had to work to get to where they are.

I question the motives of such people because I wonder who else they expected to put in the work?

Someone said “Marketing is not a department. It is something every employee does either intentionally or not. Hopefully it should be on purpose. “

Startup founders must make their team understand that everyone’s second job is to push the business forward. Just like a sports team, every member’s goal should be the growth of the business.

P.S You may looking for more ways to improve your marketing in your startup. Here are some more tips on how to get more customers, increase sales or increase your startup’s profits. Start here

Charge by the offering. Not by the time.

chef

If you can help it. Never ever get paid by the hour or by the day as a consultant or freelancer.

Your pricing strategy should be to get paid by the package or the offering.
Would a chef charge $10 an hour just because the oven cooks a meal faster or would she charge $40 per plate?

Be like a chef. Charge per offering not per hour.

Create different tiers of packages if you have to but never ever by the hour.
If I find out that you are charging by the hour, I will find you and maybe pour water on you.

Many times pricing according to time shows a client that you do not understand value creation.

Why you should not price according to time spent

When you price only according to the time spent, your service is devalued.

What about your expertise, research, hidden costs etc that were not factored in?

A great service is a culmination of many tangible and intangible things.

In my experience 9 out of 10 entrepreneurs are charging less than half of what they should charge for the value they create.

One of the best books on value based pricing models for freelancers and how to charge correctly is called Breaking The Time Barrier by Mike Mcderment

Get it here

 

P.S You may looking for more ways to improve your marketing in your startup. Here are some more tips on how to get more customers, increase sales or increase your startup’s profits. Start here

Team Stage:Starting And Growing A Tech Startup

team stage start and grow a tech startup

Last week, I shared the step by step checklist for starting a tech startup. This week, we look at building a team to help you accomplish this vision. Here is the link. 

Note that you may not need a team when starting out since every business is different. This checklist is for those who require someone else to help them at least get enough traction to move forward.

1
Many startup founders attribute having a great team as being one of the reasons for their success.

Pick partners or team members who have the following traits:
Has a deep understanding in a relevant skill, discipline or industry(It is best to work with people whose skills compliment yours)
Courageous and bold
Driven and Implements ideas quickly
Has a useful opinion on what you are building
Communicates well and is reasonable
Is not afraid to speak his or her mind but is not rude or condescending

2
“There are no self-made business successes. It takes a team of people who have the same vision and willingness to achieve a goal that contributes to startup success.
Most startups need someone to build the product and another person to sell it. In rare cases one person can do both but not for long.

It is usually advisable to either get a co-founder who complements your skills or to hire a team that will achieve the same purpose. For example, a purely technical founder can hire a business minded co-founder to help her with user acquisition.

For a tech business I recommend to start with a founding/management team of 4 people:

Christian Reber has this to share about building a tech startup team-

A product person
This person should be obsessed with the product details and strategy. They should be able to hire great designers to help build a better product. They should constantly think about the little yet big details of a product. They also (ideally) should have experience in building different kinds of products and understand not only how it’s designed, but also how it’s made (technically).

An engineer
This person needs to be incredibly skilled in engineering, and should ideally be an experienced CTO. They should know how to hire engineers, how to define a scalable architecture, how to build up a strong engineering culture — and how to build a maintainable product.

A marketing/sales machine
The next person (most companies forget) is an experienced sales/marketing founder. The person in this role should be able to define a world-class brand and develop it globally. They need to build up a strong team that can tell great stories to attract new customers, while keep the existing ones interested.

A business/finance person
Having a financial mastermind is an incredible asset, and reduces the risk of making financial mistakes in the beginning enormously (e.g. agreeing to the wrong investment terms). I would never start a company again without having someone taking over that role.

Also, traditionally 1 of those 4 people should take over the leading role. There are ways to build up a company without a leading role, but I think it’s more than healthy to ultimately give someone the authority to make the final call. It helps you keep up the speed.

When it comes to equity, be fair. Everyone should invest the same energy and the same amount of time. Also think about your first employees, it’s normal to let employees participate in the companies financial success by giving away virtual stock options. Make sure you hire an experienced lawyer for setting up the company.

Alternatively you can take the approach Basecamp(formerly 37 Signals) did and give team members salaries with no equity. Some founders have found success with this model. How you build your business depends on you. Don’t be pressured to choose an approach that you don’t understand or approve of.

Does your team have similar interests ?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not sure (will have to find out)

Member 1 Name
Role
Is this person great at their job?

  • Yes
  • No

Areas they can improve
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Does this person understand the vision of the company?

  • Yes
  • No

Do they have signs of quick execution?

  • Yes
  • No

Equity
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Salary
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Member 2 Name
Role
Is this person great at their job?

  • Yes
  • No

Areas they can improve
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Does this person understand the vision of the company?

  • Yes
  • No

Do they have signs of quick execution?

  • Yes
  • No

Equity
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Salary
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Member 3 Name
Role
Is this person great at their job?

  • Yes
  • No

Areas they can improve
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Does this person understand the vision of the company?

  • Yes
  • No

Do they have signs of quick execution?

  • Yes
  • No

Equity
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Salary
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Member 3 Name
Role
Is this person great at their job?

  • Yes
  • No

Areas they can improve
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Does this person understand the vision of the company?

  • Yes
  • No

Do they have signs of quick execution?

  • Yes
  • No

Equity
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Salary
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Member 4 Name
Role
Is this person great at their job?

  • Yes
  • No

Areas they can improve
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Does this person understand the vision of the company?

  • Yes
  • No

Do they have signs of quick execution?

  • Yes
  • No

Equity
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Salary
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Next:
Define and Identify Paying Customers

P.S One of the greatest reasons for business failure is hiring and partnering with the wrong people. This cannot be stressed enough.

If you missed the Idea Stage roadmap, check it out here

P.S You may looking for more ways to improve your marketing in your startup. Here are some more tips on how to get more customers, increase sales or increase your startup’s profits. Start here

Building a sharper Bevel

bevel tristan walker and company

A few awesome ways to build a brand for people of color.

The purpose of this post is to share my notes on a company that has the potential to become a household name globally. Hopefully this will help other entrepreneurs maximize profits and gain exponential growth.

Im not saying I could do Tristan Walker’s job or that their marketing is not working. That would be unwise. Here is a complementary approach to building a dominating force in the ethnic beauty industry.

Bevel has the opportunity to sell a lifestyle, a dream and a purpose but Bevel is selling a solution to irritation and razor bumps instead. I think that can be fixed.

Bevel says it’s in the shaving system game but it’s really into the image enhancement game.

The history

nas tristan walker bevel investment

tristan walker is right when he says that he believes black culture impacts global culture especially economically.

Anyone who wasn’t born here or has travelled extensively will know this to be true.

Secondly Tristan says part of the reason he started Bevel was to embellish and disrupt the “ ethnic beauty aisle”.

Bevel has done a great job with design, branding and product developmentbut I think there is something lacking in the messaging or at least oneare one key ingredient that I’d like to highlight.

The not-so-perfect message

a better bevel

Please do not build the black version of P&G. Build a Nike or Starbucks instead.

The Dna of Bevel seems to be to help people of color live without irritation and razor bumps but that is at best secondary to our primary desires.

Let me explain:

bevel trimmer shaving

What’s the Biggest Desire of the Ideal Bevel Customer ?

In basic psychological terms, all humans have outer and inner desires. An outer desire is usually something physical(external) and an inner desire is usually the driving force for wanting the outer desire.

For example in my work with men over the age of 35 who are professionals and want to start a business, I found out two things.

First, their outer desire was to have more money.

The second and more important desire is freedom. This is because they are tired of waking up and going to a job that does not fulfill them. They are tired of working on someone’s dream instead of theirs and don’t like feeling less significant than they know they should be. Lastly they want to be able to contribute by building something they are proud of and to have their community recognize this contribution.

They say things like *What I would love to do is make enough money to quit my job. If I could just do that, life would be better.*

Freedom, flexibility and significance are really what they truly want.

Your customer may say they want to be able to pay off their mortgage, buy a new car, pay for private school for their kids or be able to fit into the clothes they bought last Christmas. Ask questions to find out both the outer and inner desire.

Starbucks knows the inner desire of their customers has nothing to do with the kind of coffee beans they use. They know it has to do more with a mental image and a lifestyle choice so Starbucks focuses on those. Is it a surprise their competition is struggling to compete? While others are selling only coffee, Starbucks is selling something else with the coffee.

With Bevel, I’m not convinced that the larger majority of the audience I think they are targeting care more about razor bumps and irritation than looking fresh or being at the top of their game in whichever field they are in.

Maybe the fear of irritation and razor bumps is the outer desire and the inner desire is to look fly. Am I right about this?

Interestingly in a recent interview…

Tristan mentioned that growing up, he wanted to get rich as quickly as possible.

In another interview on Thisis50 interview, the interviewer, a gentleman called Pvnch ended by saying “it feels good to be around success.

Being a black male, I can’t think of a single person of color who is my age who didn’t want to be a rapper or baller. In my consulting experience 9 out of 10 CEO’s of color say they want contribution, fame, flexibility and money.

Think of coffee, cola and Red Bull. They all give a boost of energy but none of them are pitched “primarily” as a solution to drowsiness or lethargy.

I believe the primary messaging of bevel should be inspirational and the secondary messaging should be functional, not the other way around like it is today.

Practical Solutions

  1. Heart before beard. Dream before Utility.

One reason we market products is to spread word of mouth. At a meetup or dinner, let’s arm people with two pieces of content. First, Bevel is the brand for progressive people of color. Secondly, Bevel gives you a fresh cut without irritation or bumps.

Instead of trying to change the shaving game, I believe there is a bigger opportunity for Walker and Company to lead an entire generation of people of color to aim higher and reach for bigger things. better.

The company already did away with earth tones in the design of the product so they are already doing unconventional things. Bob Marley did not invent Rastafarianism, he just decided to lead them.

Buying Bevel can give it’s customer’s a piece of success the same way buying Jays made us think we were vicariously getting some of MJ’s jumps.

2. Focus on the end result

Look at Instagram, Tumblr or Snapchat. I bet less than 1 percent of people get a shave or haircut and say #norazorbumps. It’s most #freshcut #fressshhh #freshtadeath etc etc. See what I mean?

Biggest Desire

In basic psychological terms, all humans have a few outer and inner desires. An outer desire is usually something physical and an inner desire is usually the driving force for wanting the outer desire.

For example in our work with men over the age of 35 who are professionals and want to start a business, we found out two things.

First, their outer desire was to have more money.

The second and more important desire is freedom. This is because they are tired of waking up and going to a job that does not fulfill them. They are tired of working on someone’s dream instead of theirs and don’t like feeling less significant than they know they should be. Lastly they want to be able to contribute by building something they are proud of and to have their community recognize this contribution.

They say things like *What I would love to do is make enough money to quit my job. If I could just do that, life would be better.*

Freedom, flexibility and significance are really what they truly want.

Your customer may say they want to be able to pay off their mortgage, buy a new car, pay for private school for their kids or be able to fit into the clothes they bought last Christmas. Ask questions to find out both the outer and inner desire.

Starbucks knows the inner desire of their customers has nothing to do with the kind of coffee beans they use. They know it has to do more with a mental image and a lifestyle choice so Starbucks focuses on those. Is it a surprise their competition is struggling to compete? While others are selling only coffee, Starbucks is selling something else with the coffee.

We may say in a survey that we care more about razor bumps but in our hearts we want that fresh cut. We want to look fly. We want that extra boost of confidence when our spouse or friends see us after a shave or haircut.

3. Bevel as a gift

Women who date or are married to men of color are always looking for meaningful gifts. The socks, ties and power tools don’t cut it after a while.

If I was running marketing at Bevel, I’d go hard on interracial couples and encourage them to testify online about the perfect gift i.e Bevel.

4. Product placement, endorsements and complementary distribution

Not sure why Bevel did not make an appearance in Barbershop 3(the movie) but no biggie.

Sites like @blavity and other ethnic focused social media accounts could be great partners.

5. Ads and Content

The most important line in the Nas X Bevel commercial was “we believe in shaping a new legacy”. I’m glad he didn’t focus on his half moon trim. This way no one focuses on the price of the trimmer because building a new legacy is priceless (an infinitely more appealing).

I propose. Less of this

More of these in Bevel images

Not necessarily pics of Tristan and Nas but more images of the progressive black, latino and asian culture.

There are a few things I could say about Bevel’s blog but I’ll perhaps save that for another post.

Conclusion

Bevel (and walker and company) can and should be seen as leaders of a progressive generation of black, asian and latino men.

Education, inspiration and motivation would really help to increase word of mouth sales.

Finally…

Walker and Company have the opportunity to give people of color a brand we can love. They can give us something to rally behind. As long as the messaging is deeper than a utility or selling blades, I believe this really could become a one hundred year old company.

P.S

Did you learn anything new about creating your marketing message from this post? Am I wrong in any respect? Please email me at jeff@growingstartup.com.

P.S You may looking for more ways to improve your marketing in your startup. Here are some more tips on how to get more customers, increase sales or increase your startup’s profits. Start here

Winning Even Before You Pitch

art success sales pitch give me a lever long enough

My pitch was good. It wasn’t great as far as sales pitches go but it was good.

I had showed them that we had done everything in the brief and even done extra work to impress them.

The people around the table were obviously impressed but I knew something was wrong by the looks on the faces of the CEO and COO.

The CEO started to tell us how she had 25 years of experience at some Fortune 500 companies and that she did not agree with our approach because even those companies did it differently.

Strike One!!

Her COO also started critiquing our designs and both of them got very condescending.

Strike Two!!

They started talking about technical details and analytical things that their staff may not have understood but I did.

I have a Computer Science degree and I understand the fundamentals of scientific analysis…but they did not know that.

You see, this was a purely creative project. It was a branding and design assignment so as most technical people do when they meet artists, they discount their work as just an embellishment to the real value.

The meeting ended and they were going to pay us about 5,000 less.

It was still good money but I was angry…not at the CEO and COO but at myself. 

For two reasons…

These two things alone can give you immense leverage in every pitch.

1 The Principle Of High Value Leverage

Principal of high leverage

In business, both parties in a negotiation usually see it as a zero sum game….For me to win, the other party has to lose.

That mindset makes pitch meetings a militant affair when it’s supposed to be two parties deciding on what is best.

One way to solve this is to go in with leverage and make the other person see the leverage even before you start.

Jesus said “No prophet is accepted in his hometown.” Luke 4:24

To paraphrase in business terms, no businessperson is respected among his peers.

For example, when I was in high school, we were taught both core and advanced mathematics because I was in the Science track.

The best answers in my classroom were only mildly impressive to my classmates because it was not new to them.

My friends who were in the General Arts classes were only taught core mathematics so whenever I shared stuff with them about advanced math, they were thoroughly impressed.

Coming from the Science track gave me leverage in their eyes.

I could have been the worst advanced math student in my class but among those who only got to study core math, I was accepted.

It’s the same in business.

When a lawyer speaks at legal conferences, she may get a few claps here and there but it’s nothing to write home about.

However, when the same lawyer speaks at medical conferences, the doctors and chiropractors listen attentively and shower praise on her.

It’s kind of like something I read about our legal industry.

Apparently practicing law in New York City is regarded as tough. It’s said that if you excel as a lawyer in New York, you can succeed anywhere.

I read that junior lawyers who left with New York City firms on their resumes usually got huge promotions in other states because those firms gave them leverage in other states.

This may be similar to what gave Marissa Mayer the job at Yahoo. She is known as the youngest Fortune 500 CEO and some say her credibility as a young executive at one of the most successful companies in the world(Google) made it easier.

How does this apply to you, the next time you pitch something?

It’s important to be pitch a business or individual who does not have your value and can see the difference.

In the aforementioned meeting, I had no leverage because CEO’s of energy companies do not generally consider Branding Consultants(that’s what I was at the time) as partners of high value.

What I should have done was–

1 to make them know the caliber of the person pitching them,

2 to show them examples of work we had done for even bigger clients

and

3 analytical proof that we understood their business and could help them.

Remember this and you will accelerate your success even before you start.

 2 Pitch As A Helper, Not A Beggar

marissa mayer leverage smartcuts

Look at your timeline on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. You will notice that most of the businesses and brands are trying to get you to buy something.

It is usually just photos of what their product can do or why you should take advantage of it now or miss out on some time-bound discount.

They are like beggars holding out their signs asking for a handout.

Contrast that with a business that tells you exactly what THEY CAN DO FOR YOU and the myriad of ways YOU CAN BE HELPED if you buy their product.

It’s very difficult to say no when you know what’s in it for you.

This was another mistake I made going into that meeting.

I pitched as a vendor not a value added service.

They saw me as one of those who wanted their business not as someone who was there to help them do better. 

 

Conclusion

Remember to always go into a meeting with leverage and try to communicate it even before the pitch starts.

The best kind of leverage is the kind that the other person views as an asset and not a liability.

Secondly, ALWAYS pitch people you can truly help and let them know what’s in it for them.

P.S

You may have noticed that in each post I share how the psychological fundamentals matter in marketing and sales. I do this on purpose because strategies and tactics come and go but human behavior is very predictable.

 

How To Start And Grow A Tech Startup :Idea Stage

starting and growing a tech startup

The pathway to business success is usually in 6 main stages:
Idea stage- Market stage-Product stage-Website stage- Growth stage-Funding stage

Over the next few days I am going to walk you through each of these stages to move you from the idea to profits in the shortest amount of time.

 

This series is for two kinds of people

1 The Idea Guy

You have a lot of ideas but have been looking for a step by step roadmap or checklist to help you turn those ideas into a highly profitable startup.

2 The Early Stage Tech Founder

You have already started a tech startup with less than 20 employees and less than $100,000 in revenue. You built the product but the users have not come or paid you as much as you would like.

You are also looking for a step by step roadmap to help you grow your startup and maximize your profits.

You would rather know what to do without trial and error.

If any of the above describes you, let’s get started.  You can reach me at jeff@growingstartup.com if you need any further explanations or if you have questions.

 

1 Develop Idea

“Your goal as a startup is to make something users love. If you do that, then you have to figure out how to get a lot more users. But this first part is critical—think about the really successful companies of today. They all started with a product that their early users loved so much they told other people about it. If you fail to do this, you will fail. If you deceive yourself and think your users love your product when they don’t, you will still fail.”-Sam Altman, Ycombinator

*Think like a tree*
Like a tree, your ideas are seeds with the potential to become highly desirable fruits in the form of products, services and other forms of value. For a fruit to gain traction, it has to be appealing and desirable, within reach and fulfilling once it’s eaten.

*In startup terms-*
Appealing and and desirable means your product has to be presented in a form that your ideal customer finds appealing and desirable. For example, a Toyota Corolla and a Toyota Camry are both automobiles and have many of the same parts however they are packaged differently to appeal to people with different tastes.

What about this idea will your ideal user love?
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

What makes it appealing to target?
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

What makes it fulfilling ?

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

2 Before My Startup story :Problem Clever Solution

“Kevin Systrom gave an inspiring talk about Instagram and he explained the reasons why it became such a success. I think you can nail it down to these 3 precise problems Instagram fixed:
Before Instagram, capturing beautiful images was hard. The camera of the iPhone and the invention of photo filters on mobile phones solved this problem.

Before Instagram, uploading photos was hard. Again, the mobile phone and Instagram’s smart uploading process solved this problem.

Before Instagram, sharing images was hard. The integration of Tumblr, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter made sharing photos incredibly easy.”-Christian Reber

Before the Growingstartup.com(and this particular roadmap you have in your hands), getting a step by step checklist on starting and growing a business required attending reading books/blogs, attending Business school, hiring a business coach, watching a lot of Youtube videos, joining an accelerator or by just trying to figure itt out yourself. Growingstartup.com’s interactive checklist solved this problem .

Secondly, before Growingstartup.com, turning your ideas into a startup required writing it down in a journal in an unstructured way—and it wasn’t very easy to share parts of that idea with friends or partners in a collaborative fashion . Growingstartup.com’ structured startup planner solved this problem.

Third, before Growingstartup.com, a lot of entrepreneurs complained of loneliness and not having a network of like minded founders to reach out to for help and advice. We solved this by creating a social network where founders get to share contextually relevant advice. For example, the go-to-market strategy of a founder in the real estate market may not be relevant to another founder who runs an Ecommerce startup.

a
The framework goes like this **Before My Startup=State the problem Clever Solution **:
What is the problem(s)=
What is your clever solution=

Results
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Bonus tip: Do your homework before you start with your idea, understand how big your market is, understand in which countries you can grow the fastest. Build a brand and a product that works globally, not just in your country. The world is your market.

b
Define your own mission.Why do you want to build a business? 
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

c
What’s your main objective as an individual?(what’s your goal in life?)
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

d
What do you want your own career to look like in 30 years?
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Bonus tip: Don’t be small-minded! Widen your horizon and think how you want to influence the people around you, and maybe even change the world. Define the purpose of your business, and you as an individual.

 

3 Founder/Market Fit

Not everyone has the temperament or skills to work in technology. Some people are more analytical over creative and vice versa. In the same vein, a timid individual probably shouldn’t become a salesperson or a football coach.
Some industries require a lot of travel or speaking or writing or deep thinking. Do a mental evaluation to see if you’re ready to make an impact in the industry of your choice.

Most importantly, the founder needs domain expertise or a unique insight in the industry he is in.

A unique insight and domain expertise will help you innovate faster because you will see things that others don’t.
For example it is said that Jeff Bezos reads a lot so it’s no surprise that Amazon is probably the world’s largest bookstore. In contrast, Steve Jobs was a lover of music so perhaps it’s no surprise that Apple was able to innovate in the music industry better than other technology companies did at the time.

Do you have domain expertise in this field?

* Yes
* No

4 What is your unique insight? What solution do you see so clearly that others don’t?

“I’d written a research paper about shoes, and the paper had evolved from a run-of-the-mill assignment to an all-out obsession. Being a runner, I knew something about running shoes. Being a business buff, I knew that Japanese cameras had made deep cuts into the camera market, which had once been dominated by Germans. Thus, I argued in my paper that Japanese running shoes might do the same thing. The idea interested me, then inspired me, then captivated me. It seemed so obvious, so simple, so potentially huge.”-Phil Knight, Nike Founder

Describe your insight 
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

5 What Business Skills Have You Developed?

Knowing the skills you already have will help when hiring or working with others. It will also help you to know which skills you should develop. After all many successful founders were masters of at least one skill.

In our opinion, a basic knowledge of all of these and a mastery of at least one of these skills will help you become a successful entrepreneur: Accounting, Economics, Finance, Sales and Marketing.

Which of these business skills do you already possess?

* Communication(Writing & Speaking)
* Accounting and Finance
* Marketing
* Sales
* Management
* Leadership
* Strategy and Planning
* Design
* Programming/Engineering
* Other ………….

6 Have an opinion/Take sides

The best startup founders are opinionated. They argue for a better way of doing things even when others don’t see their point.
Steve Jobs and Apple were very opinionated about design when other software companies focused on hardware and did not necessarily agree with him. Apple transformed that opinion into reality by creating beautifully designing machines that were intuitive and easy to use. Today, they are one of the most profitable businesses in the world.

What’s your opinionated argument? What do you believe that other people do not see or agree with?
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

8 Feedback and Research

After speaking with 6 to 10 people in your market, write down what you learnt and how you can apply it to your startup

What did you find out about your market?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

What solutions will you provide to solve their problems?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

What can you build in the next 4 weeks to help your market?(If it takes more than 4 weeks to build, it’s not a minimum viable product)

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Conclusion

Remember: Ideas that are not developed and acted on will either die or be executed by someone else. Everyone has ideas but those who develop and execute them end up with the glory.
Next, it’s time to think about your present or future team members.

Using Mental Hacks To Sell Without Trying To Convince Customers

using memory tactics to sell
There are annual competitions that test memory.
One of the former memory champions is an accountant who could look at 52 cards in 24 seconds and tell you exactly what he saw and in the order in which he saw them. He uses a mental hack system. 
One famous memory expert was recorded on television as he was introduced to about 200 people in the audience.
He then went ahead and recited their names verbatim from memory.
Wouldn’t you like to be able to do that?
I’ll show you how.. and then I’ll share how you can use this to sell products…
Chances are you already know this method but have not made a conscious system out of it.
What many memory experts do..
They look at an object or event and then they mentally associate  it with a story, number or image. 
For example, the next time you meet someone called Dannie for the first time, you can associate her name with the word “dancing” or a fruit or a flower that is familiar to you.
Think of your mind as a big room with a lot of mental hooks or coat hangers. You can hang whatever you want for latter recollection.
Now the marketing part….
I heard a successful strategist say “People don’t buy because they understand you. People buy because they feel understood.”
Let’s define that….
The people I speak with most often are those with whom I share similar traits or interests.
I can guess that this is true for you as well.
Whenever we meet a stranger with similar views on important topics or tastes in music, food or tv shows, our minds immediately cast a favorable light on the person.
If this is true then there must be a way to use this human trait to turn your ideas into profits.
Interests are really just mental hooks
If shared interests or a sense of relation can trump years of familiarity, then we can use it to attract people and convert them into buyers.
I learnt this from Jesus Christ and Apostle Paul. 
When they spoke with fishermen, they had what I call Hooks of relation. 
They would say things that their audience could relate with.
When they spoke with fishermen, they would give analogies such as fishes and nets.
When speaking with people who understood agriculture, they would bring up sheep and pasture.
When someone says “I don’t get what you’re saying”, it means they have searched through their mind and didn’t find any image, word or familiar hook to associate your conversation with. 
Politicians are exceptionally good at figuring out what mental hooks register with their audience and then repeating those words in order to get a vote.
For example, when speaking with the middle class, you talk about hope and how their dreams will become reality. They will be able to get better jobs, afford new homes, have more significance and pay less taxes. 
When speaking with people who are already wealthy, you talk about how their wealth will increase… how you will create systems to help them expand their enterprises and how you will do everything to protect them from harm which may be in the form of competition or foreigners trying to encroach on their incumbent status etc.
Now do you see the pattern?
When you want to convert someone into buying from you or sharing your view, the underlying principle is the same.
Always start by finding out what they already believe and what mental hooks or pictures they are seeing in their mind.
Once they feel that you see the same things as they do, it is easier for them to believe and pay you.
Conclusion
If your mind already works a certain way, there is a likelihood that you already have a framework that others use unintentionally.
Make a system out of your mental hacks or heuristics and you will increase your conversions.
Please share any mental hacks that you have used in your marketing.