Half the battle of a start-up is simply getting started, but once you have an idea and a team, there comes another hurdle: finding the right product-market fit.
The quest to product-market fit or ‘PMF’ is often filled with false positives, failed features, and trying to figure out the fastest possible way to generate revenue.
But what does that look like in real life? How do you measure your path to PMF? How do you validate along the way? These are questions that I hear time and time again from entrepreneurs, so I thought it was high time to share the lessons that we learned (the hands-on way) at ConsumerBell on our journey to PMF.
If you had 18 months to make a million dollars, what would you do?
One entrepreneur, Justin Winter, is deciding to sell candles with a twist. And he’s projected to hit that milestone of making those millions.
Justin Winter is one of our hottest experts in e-commerce marketing on Clarity. Why?
- Winter built a $12M run rate in 18 months for his startup
- He is the co-founder and CEO of Diamond Candles, a bootstrapped, vertically integrated online home fragrance brand
- Diamond Candles has been recognized as an Internet E-Retailers 2013 “Hot 100” e-commerce sites alongside Warby Parker, Bonobos and Sneakpeeq
This isn’t any of that wishy-washy BS. Winter shows you 7 crucial shortcuts for building an e-commerce site that made $1M in revenue in a cool 12 months. Without further ado, let’s look at Justin’s secrets for building a million dollar e-commerce startup.
After 16 months of steady growth, we’re proving that the future of consulting looks a lot like Clarity.
For those who don’t know us, Clarity is a micro-consulting platform that enables the exchange of high-impact business advice, on demand, over the phone. There are currently over 20,000 experts on Clarity and over 30,000 calls have been completed to date.
Today we’re announcing one of the biggest releases we’ve made to Clarity since launching in May of 2012 and it starts with a new feature called Answers.
I don’t know if you noticed, but marketers are in a tizzy: GMail’s new tabbed inbox has thrown everybody who does email marketing for a loop. GMail now automatically sorts incoming email into four categories (primary, social, updates, promotions), which makes everything that’s not marked primary a lot harder to find and less likely to be read — by about 25%, according to Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint. And Tunguz points out that the GMail change is just one of two big changes underway. Look at how much of the action in web apps happens on mobile now: Read More…
For nearly two years now, I have been studying growth hacking. Not because I fancy myself one, in fact, on the contrary I know that I am not.
That’s what keeps me up at night. I made it to my own little top of the traditional marketing mountain (director of marketing for American Apparel, a controversial but publicly traded fashion retailer in 20 countries) only to find that a lot of my skills were on the very of being made obsolete.
So in the course of frantically trying to update my understand and prepare for the future of marketing, I undertook a crash course in growth hacking. I also wrote a book about this awakening called Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising.
I thought I’d give three quick quotes which I think exude the essence of this new science of marketing. Hopefully after reading them, you’ll be prepped for your own deep dive. Read More…
Whether you’re running a startup or leading an established company, getting your brand noticed in today’s increasingly “noisy” digital environment can be a challenge. Old marketing paradigms – which focus on traditional media buys and banner ads – simply don’t get the traction they used to, emphasizing the need for new promotional strategies.
Growth hacking is what happens when street smarts join forces with technology, operations, creativity, and revenue. The goal is to create a customer acquisition engine that essentially runs on autopilot.
That’s what you do. Here’s what you get:
If you move forward with a clear strategic vision:
A steady, sustainable, and robust user acquisition stream.
If you’re not smart about what you’re doing:
What’s amazing about growth hacking is that the concept is timeless. It’s a marketing practice with roots back to the earliest days of entrepreneurship.
That’s good news. In building your growth engine, you have hundreds of years of experience to draw from. Here are some of my favorite lessons that dating back as far as 300 years ago: Read More…
Most of your A/B tests are a complete waste of time.
That’s right, they don’t do you any good.
Why? Well, picking random tests seldom leads to fantastic results.
And this comes from what KINDs of tests you’re doing.
With A/B testing and optimization, most people think of headlines, button colors, and layouts. And in the process, we completely miss a much more important kind of testing. Read More…
Dennis Crowley (the day he and Alex quit Google). Image courtesy of Flickr.
Unfortunately, I’ve met too many managers who agree they should hire people smarter than themselves, only to not give them the freedom to act. In this way, they act more like people with collectibles – willing to pay a premium price just to put nice things on a shelf.
As managers of high performers the work doesn’t end at finding and hiring them. It’s our job to create the right culture to keep them, to encourage them, and to create the opportunities for them to do the things they do best. Read More…
Your brand and professional reputation is the single one thing that will set you apart from your competition. Branding is the only tactic you can employ that is truly unique and that your competitors simply can’t replicate completely.
In branding, you’re dealing with the perception of your audience. To be regarded as an expert is what really matters. This isn’t a form of trickery or positioning yourself as a ‘marketing guru’. It just requires a change in the way you communicate.
Instead of communicating like a beginner with no proven track record, you should be communicating like an expert with lots of knowledge and experience under your belt.
It’s about being yourself, being passionate about what you’re doing and really believing that you are worthy to communicate these things.