This is one in a series of (at least) 30 posts I’m going to write this month as part of what Wesley Zhao and I have dubbed No-Blog-Sloth November Challenge. One post will appear here a day until the end of November.
October was a pretty interesting month. I decided to stop releasing projects at such a hectic pace, and instead started working on a project that I think has a lot of potential. That meant that I was spending a lot less time on DomainPolish but I think it’s worth it. So because it’s a new month I went to set some targets for myself, and start to think about the things that I’m going to have to do each do to hit those targets.
1. Write one blog post every day in November.
2. Sign up 20 paying customers for my new project. This means I would be generating about $200 a month in revenue.
3. Bring one new team member aboard to work with me – preferably one that has a lot of coding experience.
In terms of accomplishing these goals, I’m not particularly worried about 1 and 3. I think those are things that if I continually remind myself that they are my goals, they’ll just sort of come.
Number 2 is something that I have to specifically concentrate on. That’s because my tendency is to want to build more features before signing up new customers. But that’s flawed thinking, this product is ready to go for most companies right now. So what do I have to do every day to get 20 paying customers?
Let’s be conservative and say that 20% of the people I approach with my idea will like it, 10% will agree to use it and 5% will pay for it. Those seem like relatively realistic numbers, although I suspect that the actual percentages will be at least slightly higher. Given that my goal is 20 customers, that means that I have to approach 400 companies/people with the idea to get 20 of them to sign up. I have 30 days to do this – so that’s 13 cold pitches a day.
Luckily I can do at least some this through my network, or through forums like my blog (if you have a startup, or small business or are trying to build a startup I have an awesome product for you and you should email me at dshipper [at] gmail.com) – but I really want to get better at pitching customers and the sales side of this so I’m going to try to pitch at least 13 people every day. Thank god for Tout.
The other really great part about doing these pitches is that I’m expecting to get great feedback from the people I talk to about the idea. Hopefully I’ll be able to learn more about the problem I’m trying to solve, and be able to add features that really matter instead of just features I think will matter.
I’m curious to see how this goes. See you tomorrow. And feel free to find me on Twitter at @danshipper if you want to know what I’m working on.