Episode 283 | Stair-Stepping Into a Different Audience

Episode 283 | Stair-Stepping Into a Different Audience

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Show Notes

In this episode of Startups For The Rest Of Us, Rob and Mike talk about how to stair-step into a new audience. They define what the stair step approach is, ways to get into a new market, and how to utilize your existing strengths on your new audience.

Items mentioned in this episode:


Mike [00:01]: In this episode of Start Ups for the Rest of Us, Rob and I are going to be talking about stair stepping into a different audience. This is Start Ups for the Rest of us, Episode 283.

Welcome to Start Ups for the Rest of Us, the podcast that helps designers, developers and entrepreneurs be awesome at launching software products, whether you’ve built your first product or you’re just thinking about it. I’m Mike.

Rob [00:24]: And I’m Rob.

Mike [00:25]: And we’re here to share our experiences to help you avoid the same mistakes we’ve made. How you doing this week, Rob?

Rob [00:28]: I’m doing pretty good. I got an interesting little hack that I heard about on a podcast where if you’re sending your new trial signups into Slack — like we send it into a signups channel so we can see whose signing up. If you’re already doing that, you can wire [Zappier?] up to essentially monitor that channel and pull a domain name, or an email address, out of the Slack chat and then push it into FullContact, and it gets the information so you can actually figure out, ‘Hey, does this person or company have a lot of Twitter followers? Do they have big social media presence? What’s their LinkedIn bio and their Twitter bio?’, just to get more information about them. It was surprisingly difficult to set up. It seems like it should be pretty easy because [Zappier] tends to be pretty easy to use, but there was a bunch of finagling I had to do to get it set up. And then, in the end, it seems to work for less than half the trials that come through and actually retrieve any information from Full Contact. So, it’s an interesting hack if you have an hour to set it up and you’re interested in finding out more about folks who are signing up and can do a lot of follow up. But, to be honestly, in the end, I’m a little disappointed with the amount of effort I had to put into it and the results that I’m getting.

Mike [01:34]: Yes, I’ve looked into those services before and it seems like that, in a way – I’ll draw an analogy with something like ReportOf – where ReportOf seems to gather some of the information from LinkedIn as well, and I don’t know how well FullContact is able to do that? I think there is probably a huge discrepancy between people who are using their work email addresses for their social presence on Twitter or Facebook or wherever, versus people who are using their personal email addresses inside of LinkedIn and you’re able to kind of match that up. A lot of times, people will add in their work email address, for example, into LinkedIn because then it makes it very easy for other people they know, or work with, to find them. I think ReportOf is owned by LinkedIn now, if I’m not mistaken?

Rob [2:19]: I think you’re right. Yup.

Mike [2:21]: Yes, so they probably have all the tools and stuff they need to be able to get that information, versus something like FullContact which is probably a little outside of the box.

Rob [2:30]: Right.

Mike [2:29]: But that’s cool. I think these types services where they’re able to gather additional metidata about people based on their email addresses is nice to have when it works. But obviously, when it falls down it’s a little disappointing.

Rob [02:45]: For sure. What’s going on with you? You have a deadline coming up in the next couple days.

Mike [02:47]: Oh yes, hard at work trying to get all the code out the door. There’s a few–I’ll say minor–sticking points we’re still trying to work around, but I’m pretty sure that we’ll be able to finish this off in the next couple of days and hopefully get it in the hands of our first beta customer that is outside of the four walls of my office, and hopefully see what happens.

Rob [03:05]: There are always a few minor sticking points two days before launch, so no one would be surprised by that.

Mike [03:10]: You mean, getting 90% of the work done so you can work on the other 90 percent?

Rob [03:14]: Exactly. Exactly. Well good for you.

Mike [03:16]: We have an interesting question that actually came in from [ArmonMesic?] and it’s actually a little bit on this topic. He says, ‘ Hi guys, really like your show. You’re providing so much value, and after listening to an episode, my motivation is always going up. I’ve got a question for you. I’m launching my first product, and right now I’m sending cold emails to people. Do you have a suggestion of how I can track open rates on individuals? I didn’t find an easy way to do it. Thanks for any help in advance.’

I’ve done this before; there’s a couple of different tools that you can use. One of the things that I’ve used before is Sidekick–and there’s a Chrome plug in for that, and they, I believe, have a free plan which allows you to just see who is opening emails and who isn’t. But actually, your question actually leads a little bit more towards what I’m actually working on now with BlueTick, which is not only tracking how many people are opening those emails, but whether or not you’re getting replies to them and then managing that follow-up process beyond it. Hopefully that helps to answer your question. I would probably start with Sidekick, see if it does what you want it to do. There’s other options out there that kind of operate in this space though, and there’s probably a dozen of them. But hopefully that at least gets you on the right track.

Rob [04:17]: Yes. The other two that I’ve seen are Tout, which is at toutapp.com, and YesWare. I think Tout is web-based. It’s a full web interface. And then YesWare integrates with your Gmail account. Those are other ways you can trap opens on cold emails. So one other thing I wanted to toss in. Last week I mentioned listening to ‘Masters of Doom’. I found out this week that there’s not a sequel to it, but there is a book called ‘Prepare to Meet Thy Doom’ and it’s basically a collection of magazine articles. Most of them were published in Wired and maybe some gaming magazines. And it’s actually a collection of different stories about gaming. So there’s a 10 or 15 minute version. I’m listening to this. I’m sure you can buy it, and it’s 10 or 15 pages, band the audio version there’s one of Flappy Bird. There’s the story Atari. There’s a really good story of Gary Gygax, the inventor of Dungeons and Dragons. Then there is an update around 2004 – 2005 with the guys from ID Software. I just discovered this. It was published maybe six months ago, so if you have listened to ‘Masters of Doom’, or read it, and you’re interested in more like that, the same author has published a book called ‘Prepare to Meet Thy Doom’.

And then on another front, I’m listening to the Snowball audio book again, and that’s called ‘The Snowball” It’s the story of Warren Buffett, and it’s a very thick book. It’s a biography, but it’s was as-told by Warren Buffett to a writer. He said he’s never going to write his autobiography, so he wanted someone else to do it. I found this book fascinating in terms of someone who had this unique talent, this unique advantage. And he really, really likes financial reports, and he figured out how to read them better than anyone else. And then he figured out his investing philosophy and the dude just showed up every day for like fifty years, and he calls it “the snowball”. He just built the snowball over the course of that time, and started with a tiny little bit of cash and managed — I think it was parents and friends when it started, and he just built it up, built it up; a fascinating story of being in it for the long haul, and then playing long ball and looking out decades in terms of building wealth, instead of being in a big hurry for it.

Mike [06:15]: Yeah, I’ve caught bits and pieces of his story over the years, and it is kind of fascinating the way he started out with virtually nothing and then he decided to move away. I think he moved out to Omaha and then I’m pretty sure he moved from New York, if I remember correctly?

Rob [06:30]: Yeah. I think you’re right.

Mike [06:31]: It was just like people would say, ‘You’re crazy for leaving New York, because this is where everything happens!’ And he was still able to manage the business and do everything from a completely different location. And he hasn’t really changed his habits. He doesn’t live in this extravagant house. He runs business in order to play the game. iIt’s not because he wants money or needs money. It’s just he likes it.

Rob [06:52]: Yes. That’s the cool part. I like when folks who are in it for the long haul, and who have this one outlier trait, just double down on that and stick with it for so long. When that turns out well it’s a cool story to hear. And what I’ve heard is–I haven’t read the physical book – but there is an unabridged and abridged audio version, and I’ve heard that the abridged version is just fine. Because even the abridged version, I think, is like 20-something hours. I think the unabridged version may be like 35 hours. Personally, I’ve listened to the unabridged and I don’t feel like I missed anything. And folks who reviewed both of them said that the abridged was just fine. So what are we talking about today?

Mike [07:30]: Today what we’re going to be talking about is a thread that came up inside of Founder Cafe, which is our private-user community. It was a question about how to stair step into a different audience. So, essentially going from an existing business that you have that serves the particular niche, or a particular audience, and trying to leverage that audience, or the things that you’ve learned, into a completely different audience. And I think that there’s a bunch of different reasons that you might want to do this, but let’s do a recap approach to what the stair step approach looks like.

Rob [08:02]: Sure. So, the stair step approach is something that I developed over the course of several years. Eventually, I published a blog post on it, and did a talk on it. If you go to — we’ll link this up in the show notes – but it’s at softwarebyRob.com, or you can search on my name plus “stair step”. It’s not been mentioned in a couple of books, and people quote it in articles and stuff. The idea is that I’ve laid out these three steps–and you could call them stages or whatever, but it’s steps of your entrepreneurial journey as you’re trying to launch a product. I have a couple different versions of it, but the one I’ll really stick to today is the one about launching software products. Step one is really thinking about launching a software product with a one-time sale and a single sales channel. So, think about a WordPress plug in or maybe a mobile app, a Magento add on, even an E-book–yes, I realize that’s not software, but that kind of stuff. And you have a single sales channel, which is typically going to be like the WordPress.org plug in repository, or it’s maybe SEO, organic traffic, or maybe the Amazon store or the Android app store; YouTube; you really optimize and you learn that single channel, and the idea here is to get experience and to get some money under your belt and really just learn the game. Step two is to just repeat step one. Because the thought here is that you’re doing step one on the side, right, while you have probably a full-time job or you’re doing consulting. Step two is to repeat step one multiple times until you own your time. So you have multiple plugins. That’s an example; you can have multiple plugins, you can have multiple e-books, you can have e-commerce sites, or whatever it is. The reason that you just repeat those is because you’re just trying to get more experience and trying to get better at all aspects of it, like the copy-writing and the marketing, and once you have multiple then you have the diversification that you’re going to feel okay about quitting your job, and you’ll also have a lot of experience. You’ll have experience on multiple fronts. It’s you’re a single channel, it’s building a product, it’s launching a product, it’s copy-writing, all this stuff. Once you get to step two you also have a bit of experience, you have a lot of time, you have a bit of money coming in. So then you begin moving to step three if that is something that is interesting to you, and that is basically a recurring sales; typically, in our space, that would be SAS. And the reason I have these three steps is because you don’t just want to jump into SAS on day one and try to build it, because it’s complicated, it’s very competitive, it’s hard to do on the side; there’s a number of reasons, you don’t have the experience. Since SAS is competitive a lot of people will out-market you and out-build you. So, step three is to launch that SAS app and get the golden ticket, which is recurring sales.

Mike [10:23]: So now that we’ve talked a little bit about the stair step approach itself, let’s talk about why you would want to do this. Why would you want to move into a completely different audience, especially when you’ve already worked so hard to build up one or several small products such that they are making a full-time income for you. I think the first one is boredom. I mean, some people just get bored with working on the same thing and they get to a point where the money is not insignificant, and they don’t want to lose the money, but, at the same time it’s not it’s not necessarily bringing in the level of revenue that they want it to. So they look around and they say, ‘Well, I could probably do something better or bigger and in a different market, but where I am right now is probably not going to get me there.

Rob [11:05]: Yes, and this is really common. Especially if you’re starting with a step one idea, they tend to have a natural plateau once the sales channel is tapped out. Let’s say you’ve built something for pet sitters, or just a small niche–salons or barber shops or something. Obviously. those niches can be large, but the amount that you can reach through online marketing means is fairly small in those instances. That’s at a point where you should probably start thinking, ‘Huh, is there a larger market online that I want to reach online that I want to switch to for my next step.

Mike [11:36]: Another reason that you might want to switch is that higher lifetime values for your customers might not even be possible in a particular niche. That comes around a lot from products where there’s this one time sale or I would also say in the WordPress business as well. There are a lot of plugins where you can get the one-time sale and it’s not a stretch in order to be able to do that, but getting people to pay on a recurring basis for WordPress plugins right now is, I would say, a little bit difficult. It’s really not common for WordPress plugins to have a subscription model of any kind. I have seen them, I have paid for them myself, but it’s not common. And, for certain types of customers, they’re just simply not willing to spend a lot of money. So what happens is your lifetime values for those customers tends to be low, and it’s very difficult to increase it without going down the route of bundling, or providing completely different products that possibly overlap.

Rob [12:32]: Yes, I think there are a lot of reasons why high lifetime values aren’t going to be possible in certain spaces. If you think about lifetime value, if you have a subscription business then the lifetime value gets higher the longer people stick around. And if you have a one-time sale product, then you really need to either increase the up-front price–and there’s always a natural limit to that. Again, coming back to the example of pet sitters, they just aren’t going to be willing to pay $500 up front for a piece of software, It’s very unlikely. Their price point is going to be more like a consumer or prosumer. Photographers, I would say it would depends on if they are truly a professional studio running a studio. or if they’re, kind of, doing it on the side, that’s another niche that a lot of folks go after, and they are pretty price sensitive. So the lifetime value in these niches can have a cap. Now if you have enough volume, and if there are a ‘bazillion’ of them online, then the LTV has less of an impact because you can just get so many folks signing up, but that’s pretty rare. It’s a pretty rare niche that you can come in and find enough people that a low LTV, in essence, will work for you because then you have to go after the organic traffic, and you can’t do much in terms of paid marketing in that instance.

Mike [13:38]: Let’s talk about a couple of the really bad reasons for switching. You and I discussed this offline a little bit. Trying to come up with a absolute ‘This is a bad reason for switching’ was a little bit difficult. I think the best one that we came up with was the idea that the grass is always greener someplace else. So, if you’re looking around, and you’re looking at your product and you say, ‘Well this is difficult, and I think over there if I try and develop a product in this market with these particular types of people it’s going to be easier.’ I think that that may probably be the most, or I’ll say the worst, reason for trying to switch into a different audience. But at the same time, if you double down on the things that you’re doing now, in many ways, that is a competitive advantage, because it’s going to be difficult for other people to get into your market and replicate the things that you’re doing. So it kind of cuts both ways, which makes it difficult to come up with a lot of reasons that are just absolute and say this is a bad reason for switching. But there are a lot of places where there’s multiple caveats. For example, if you think that another company is going to come in and shush you out of a particular market. Let’s say your product is reliant on Twitter APIs, or reliant on data from Google. There’s this idea of a perceived threat from them doing something that is going to shut you out, versus how likely that is to happen. I mean, if all of your revenue is based on that one product, they have the ability to shut you down and it looks like they’re headed in that direction then it could just be out caution that you say, ‘Well, let me go and do something else in a completely different market so that I don’t have to worry about this problem.’ But, at the same time, you have to weigh that. It’s not a ‘this is absolutely going to happen’. You do have to take those into account, and there’s mitigating factors there.

Rob [15:19]: Yes. I think that certain people – and hopefully you know who you are. Certain people have the personality where they like to start a lot of things, and when things get hard they jump to the next thing. And I think that’s, kind of, what you’re kind of saying with ‘the grass is always greener’. Some folks are good finishers, some folks are good starters. But I think if you have the tendency to jump around, that’s probably a bad reason to just bail on something. If you feel like you haven’t stuck around to grow something to fruition, and you keep bouncing either from idea to idea or from market to market, that’s probably a bad reason. With that said, there are a lot of good reasons that we have outlined here with higher LTV’s, not an ability to grow, difficult market to reach. There are some good reasons to be doing that. I think a good example of this is what Brian Castle did. He had RestaurantEngine, he had Hotel Propeller, and he built and grew those things, and he put in the time, and he grew them for years. And he hit a point where he realized, ‘You know, I have a lot of skills. I now have an audience and a new space.’ He had the podcast and the blog and such. And he, in essence, moved on to AudienceOpps, and that has grown way, way faster, and there’s a number of reasons for that. But he wasn’t jumping around. He wasn’t bouncing from one idea to the next. He had put in his time, he had learned a bunch. That was really, kind of, a step one idea for him, and now he’s moved on to where his AudienceOpps is growing a lot faster, and it’s already larger than the other two combined. I think that’s an interesting case study of thinking about stair stepping your way not only up, but kind of a horizontal move into a different audience as well.

Mike [16:51]: So let’s talk about some of the options for moving into a difference audience. I think there’s three basic mechanisms for going into a different audience. The first one is to move an existing product that you have horizontally into a different market vertical. Essentially you are using the same technology but you’re marketing it towards a different user base. So there’s a couple of different places where you might be able to do this. So if you have a CRM package that is for web designers, you might say, ‘Well, let me try and take this and repackage it a little bit and put a spin on the marketing, and I’m going to market it towards software developers or freelancers, or something along those lines. It’s a slightly different market, or maybe even a radically different market, but the majority of the technology base is going to stay the same. Most of what is going to change is your market positioning, how you do your customer development, gathering the language that they’re using, and the new website that you’re probably going to use for selling that product.

Rob [17:48]: There’s obviously advantages to doing this. I mean, there’s less technical heavy lifting you have to do. You don’t need to build something from scratch. Faster time to market, because your software is already built, in essence. You need to make tweeks to it but you have the bulk of it. The negatives to this are it is a completely new market. You’re going to need to start from scratch. You’re going to have to do customer development. You’re going to have to build a support pipeline and the website from scratch. It could also be really confusing for some customers unless you pick a completely new name with new domain, and in that case, you are looking behind your SCO, your organic inbound links and your reputation, your brand. You leave a lot of stuff behind. So it depends on if you take the code base and move it over, or if you actually shift everything. Because if people are reading every article that’s saying, ‘Hey, this is CRM software for XYZ audience’, and they come there and it’s for a difference audience, that could be confusing. But, all in all, there is this old marketing saying that says, ‘Try and avoid selling a new product to a new market.” What you really want to do is you want to sell a new product to an existing audience that you have, or you want to sell an existing product to a new audience. But doing new to new is really bad. So this is a way to counter that; to take this existing product and migrate it into a new audience.

Mike [18:57]: And that leads us directly into the second one, which is to buy an existing product. This cuts down on your time to market, because there’s going to be less inherent risk with a business that already exists and is paying customers. But the downside of something like this is it does tend to be expensive. And the growth of that business can be something of a gamble, because you don’t have a good handle on what those customers want or what they asked for. You didn’t develop the product with them, so you don’t have a history of what those conversations looked like. You were essentially starting a lot of that marketing from scratch. So similar to the previous product where you’re taking the existing one and moving it to a different market, if you’re purchasing an existing product, hopefully it has some level of overlap with the existing customer base that you have, or the existing email marketing list that you have. But that’s not always going to be the case, and sometimes when you’re buying products you have to take what you can get. It’s something of a lottery when you’re trying to identify a product that’s out there, that’s available and on the sales block, or even if you’re making unsolicited offers to the people who have a product out there which seems to be neglected. You can make those offers. They may or may not take them. But obviously it’s something of a lottery when you’re trying to find a product that is going to overlap with your existing audience. Sometimes you don’t have a choice and you end up going into a completely different audience regardless of what it is that you’re actually looking for.

Rob [20:19]: Yes, and this has historically tended to have been my approach. I’ve acquired a lot of products, a lot more than I have built and launched from scratch. I like the model because, as you said, it does cut down that time to market. It reduces risk, assuming that you do have an audience that was already interested in it, and you do have some type of product-market fit. But these days it is getting more competitive the more folks learn about the opportunity to buy. And so I still think it’s a viable option, especially if you’re in the position where you do have a little bit more cash than you have time. A lot of our consulting friends, or folks who are doing well in their careers, are in exactly that position. So if i was where I am today – as someone who is 41 years old – and I was doing a high-end consulting, and I didn’t have time to build a product, I still would buy one. That would still be my approach for upping the stair step given the situation.

Mike [21:11]: And the last option for moving into a different audience is to create a completely new product from scratch. Obviously, the pros of something like this is that you start with a completely clean slate. You don’t have any previous baggage, there’s no previous customer support problems you have to deal with. But obviously, the downside is that because it’s all green field you’re building a new product from scratch and it’s going to take longer than you think it will. You’re not only just building the product itself, but you’re building an entirely new business from scratch. So there’s probably a lot of things that you’re going to have to learn, not just about the customers but about the space itself, the competitors, all the stuff that goes with it. It’s not just the technology stack and all of the code and the product itself. It’s all of the customer development as well. Which you’re going to have to deal with that stuff anyway, regardless of the previous options you chose. But with creating a new product, it’s going to be compounded by all the technical stuff you have to worry about as well.

Rob [22:05]: And this comes back to what I said about how you really don’t want to do this too many times in your career. When you’re first starting out, you tend to have to sell a new product to a new audience, because you don’t have a unique or unfair advantage that you can utilize. But, if you can help it, try not to build a new product in a new niche where you don’t already have some reach into it, because that is when it takes literally years to get that snowball pushing up the hill.

Mike [22:29]: So now that we’ve talked a little bit about some of the different ways to get into a different audience, let’s talk about how to leverage the existing strengths that you have. The first one is that some of your existing business processes that you’re already using for your other products can generally be duplicated. These types of processes include : how you handle your support, and some of the software development mechanisms and processes that you have in place. Many of the marketing processes that you have in place. So if you’re doing something like marketing Monday, and you have a checklist of things that you go through on a weekly basis, a lot of those things can be reused and just copy-pasted and then tweeked. So it really helps you to move things forward much faster than if you were to try and create them from scratch, because creating them from scratch is going to be extremely time consuming and a lot of times you don’t need to. You can already take the things you know and that you’ve used before and tweeked, and I wouldn’t say perfected, but I would spend a lot of time and effort making better for your existing products, and then translate them over onto the new product and the new audience, and just tweek the things that need to be tweeked. You don’t need to start from scratch for a lot of those things.

Rob [23:36]: Another way to leverage your existing strengths – your existing knowledge – is that a lot of tools, especially marketing tools, they tend to overlap from one business to the next. So an example is if you’re using Drip to send an email, and you already know how to use it, then when you move into this new audience, you can use it. If you’re pretty good at running AdWords and making those profitable using Facebook ads, using Twitter ads, that’s something that you can absolutely leverage because those are “can-be” audience agnostic. Now, you’ve got to make sure you have reach into that audience on that platform, but that’s definitely something you can use. And tools–like [Kismetrics] and [MixPanel?] and [Intercom] and all that staff, it’s like, well, why would you reinvent the wheel? You already have knowledge of them, you know how to use them, and you know that those work for you. So, just moving those into that new space would be worthwhile.

Mike [24:18]: The next way to leverage your existing strengths is to remember that your network today is bigger than it has ever been in the past. You know people today that you didn’t know when you started, and you should not hesitate to ask those people for help. Now, whether those people you’re asking for help are people that are colleagues, or existing customers, or prospects that you have on your mailing list, you can ask those people questions. You can use those lists to help generate questions and help identify additional opportunities that may be in either related or unrelated spaces. So if you’re looking to move into a completely different market, that doesn’t mean that the people who are currently on your list don’t have those types of problems. Let’s say that you’re serving web designers, again, as an example. Well, web designers may overlap in some way with software developers; they’re people who have both sets of skills. So if there’s a subset of those existing customers, or people who are on your list who may have a problem that you’re trying to target, definitely go talk to those people and try and engage with them to ask them questions about what it is that they need, and whether or not they’re currently paying for specific services, are they happy with them, what other products they use? Use those as customer development opportunities, because you already have the list. You’ve done the hard part of getting those people on your list. Make sure that you’re leveraging that.

Rob [25:35]: Odds are pretty good as well that you have practice being a manager, and delegating, probably outsourcing. As we know, if you’re going to be leveling up, you need to take on more responsibility, and the ideas are probably going to be larger, perhaps more competitive, perhaps more complex. And the better you’ve gotten at outsourcing, delegating and essentially being good as a manager – like having skills and being productive at that – that’s totally something you’ll carry with you from niche to niche, even if you decide to move.

Mike [26:08]: And that actually lends itself to using your existing base of contract or outside help that you’ve leveraged for assistance on your existing products. If you hired someone as an SCO as a contractor, if they worked out, definitely go back to them and use them for the new products that you’re trying to leverage into the new audience. There’s nothing that says that you can’t use those same resources for a new product that you’ve used, and have worked for you, in the past. That said, if they did not work out, or if things weren’t going well, you could also use this as an opportunity to find somebody else for a completely new market, without necessarily hurting people’s feelings as well, if you have personal relationships that you don’t want to burn.

Rob [26:45]: Another way to leverage existing strengths, I touched on earlier, but it’s essentially your marketing skills. If you’re SEO skills, PPC skills, content marketing, email marketing, if you’re a speaker and know direct sales, etc., They all lend themselves to certain types of businesses, and I think something to keep in mind here is not to pick that next niche or that next business because it’s interesting. Pick it because your existing competence in these marketing spaces gives you an advantage. So you can actually be deliberate about choosing that next idea, or that next market, based on skills that you’ve already developed and whether or not they’re going to work in that new market.

Mike [27:22]: Something else you can do there is to use that experience to actively avoid any businesses, or markets, or audiences, where the learning curve for it seems exceptionally steep. You are already starting over with a new audience. You don’t want to make it harder on yourself solely for the prospect of making it harder on yourself. There’s no good reason to do that if you don’t have to. So if there are places where your experience, or the relationships that you have, are going to give you the ‘ins’ into that particular market or audience. Make sure to use those, and to avoid the places where it’s going to cause problems for you

Rob [27:58]: Another tip to keep in mind is to take a long-term view. This is obviously going to take a long time, and any time you switch – whether you’re launching a new product or whether switching markets – it’s going to take a long time. And if you’re doing both, it’s going to compound and it’s going to be even longer than you want it to be. So take a long-term view and make sure it’s a direction that you’re going to enjoy, and it’s not something you’re trying to do to get out of your current situation, like we talked about earlier. If it’s just a ‘grass is greener’ mentality, then you’re signing yourself up for a lot of work. This is not something you’re going to be able to just pivot into in a month or two. This is months and months, if not multiple years, depending on how complex the idea is and the market you’re trying to penetrate, and how much of an audience you actually do have in that new market. So think about it long term and don’t just, ‘Ah, I can turn this thing around in 90 days and have this new product and it’s all going to be great.’

Mike [28:46]: And I think the last strength that you can leverage when trying to when trying to move into a new audience is to leverage your experience with the existing products and do not forget the basics of what got you where you are today. There’s all these things that when you look in a new market it’s very easy to forget where you came from, or the things that you learned very early on, or just gloss over certain details of how to do the basics of SEO, and how to optimize different parts of the sales funnel, or email marketing funnel, or anything like that. Don’t ever forget that those things are the pieces that got you to where you are today, and those are generally transferable from one product to the next just because the process of developing a product tends to be the same. The markets are different. The actual context of the marketing and the copy writing and all that stuff is different when you get into the details. But generally speaking the process tends to be very, very similar.

Rob [29:39]: Well that wraps us up for today. If you have a question for us call our voicemail number at 888-801-9690, or email us at questions@startupsfortherestofus.com. Our theme music is an excerpt from ‘We’re Out of Control’ by MoOt used under Creative Commons. Subscribe to us on iTunes by searching ‘start ups’ and visit startupfortherestofus.com for a full transcript of each episode. Thanks for listening and we will see you next time.

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One Response to “Episode 283 | Stair-Stepping Into a Different Audience”

  1. Matthew says:

    Recommend Streak for tracking email replies.