Heyo! You found the “now” part of my seldom updated website. This will change because I have committed to writing something new and valuable every week.
/Now is the idea I’ve found on Derek Sivers webpage. It should tell your readers what you are doing right now.
Here’s where I am now
I’m in New Orleans. I’m here to attend Collision conference about tech and startups.Maybe I’m going to be lucky and meet Jessica Alba. I was always curious what would be like to meet and chat with top recognized actors.
It’s raging thunder outside and I’m tucked in a Revelator Coffee Shop sipping lukewarm coffee and listening to Sun Kil Moon (how convenient).
For the last couple of years, I have been a one-man growth and marketing team for VIAR. Being in a startup is tough! But you do learn a lot in a short amount of time. I do content writing, website optimization, run growth experiments, answer support, show off demos, email marketing and I like to jump on sales calls as well. Talking with strangers is something I love to do.
Marketing this days is all about providing value. People are not stupid and no-one is going to give you a time of day if you don’t bring it.
Remember the first rule of marketing?
- Nobody cares about you. They only care about themselves. — Noah Kagan
Anyhoo, VIAR is in Virtual Reality space and has two products.
ViarBox is pretty straightforward. We sell branded Virtual Reality cardboard viewers to marketing agencies and other businesses. What are those? I’d say to just google “Google Cardboard” and you’ll have a good idea. Coming from a small country and being able to deliver awesome service to brands like Disney and Critical Mass makes this side project super fun.
The main big idea is Viar360 – a VR publishing platform that creates Virtual Reality training environments, VR education and immersive journalism storytelling stories for enterprises or schools. Quite a lot of VR producers are using it for Real Estate tours as well.
Work has taken away most of my hobbies (except Crossfit and weightlifting) and I’m fine with that. My plan is to get even deeper into Growth Hacking and upgrade my skills.
My one thing that I miss is having a mentor or a team that I can work with and learn from them. I believe that personal and career growth happens on a much more rapid level if you learn from the best and just hang around them.
For now, books and videos will do. If you’re looking for resources, here are my top 3:
There are a couple of annoyances I want to banish from my work.
- Impostor Syndrome – I’ve heard that from Ramit Sethi’s first. It means that even though you have a track of results you still feel like you’re just a charlatan. Through my work, I’m getting a lot of invitations and job offers which should be a good indication that I’m doing something right. Sometimes that’s crippling in areas where you should just go for it. I’ve been using the “f@ck it” approach and it’s been working. Whether you feel it or not – just go for it. When I use this powerful technique I either fail and learn or just something amazing happens. I suggest you implement it.
- Develop a morning routine – I like having a routine and morning meditation has been working great to center myself. I love waking up before the dawn and get my body either moving or “brush my mind” with 20 min of stillness. The problem is that having a daily morning meeting early in the morning and very late at night leaves me with 5 – 6 hours of sleep which is not enough. I’m not canceling my Crossfit workouts or Olympic weightlifting classes. They are my non-negotiables.
- Be more active with this Website – Startup takes most of my time and after a heavy workout I’m not feeling on writing more stuff. Usually, I just go back to learning more skills about growth and marketing.
What are you doing these days?
Email me or post down in the comments.
Have a good one!
How does a 70% open rate sound like? Pretty sexy right?
Would you like to achieve the same kind of result?
It’s pretty simple, you just send it through your personal email to hundreds of people.
Wait, dude, you’re not telling me to send it one by one, right?
You don’t have to.
I have been using this neat little Gmail tool called GMass. GMass is a brainchild by Ajay Goel, the man behind Wordzen – a neat email editing service for Gmail.
Tell me straight – you usually open emails from gmail.com domains right? Why?
I open them because I believe the email has been sent from a personal email address. In a way, I feel special. I wasn’t just one name of the hundreds of contacts on the email list. Someone took the time to craft the wording especially for me. I feel compelled to at least open that email.
If you’re an early stage startup this is a perfect tool to reach a lot of important contacts. On one way, you don’t have a budget to use expensive email marketing services. I like Mailchimp but I hate their design templates. No matter how I try to make them plain and default-looking, like they are coming from a gmail account, I’m never satisfied with the end design.
And that’s exactly why I chose to send massive emails to potential partners on behalf of my growing startup – Viar360. And I urge you to try it yourself. If you’re a startup in early stage you need to hustle.
Noah Kagan, a growth superstar has said that first 1000 users are acquired manually. One after another. Instead of writing 1000 emails, you can use GMass and break it up.
What can you do with GMass?
GMass sends mass email from your Gmail account. How appropriately named app right?
I love this tool for a number of reasons.
Integration with Google Spreadsheets
If you’re guarding your emails subscribers or cold lists like me, you might have it on a number of locations, but for sure you’re having it on a spreadsheet in your google drive. What GMass can do is to connect with your google sheet and take First Name and email directly from that database. Voila, you have a way to personalize your email already and you have the entire list at your disposal for mass emailing.
2. Batch email sending
Google engineers are smart people. If they will see unusual activity from your gmail account – like emailing hundreds of people at once, they will think you’re a spammer. This is unlikely to happen but they do control how many emails you send per day. But they will shut you down if people will start complaining.
However, with GMass you can break emailing to small batches and send them periodically. I usually send emails with batches of 20. Schedule it.
3. Auto Follow-up
This is my favorite feature of all. If your recipient didn’t open your email message, GMass can send a follow-up email. Simply, write another copy and schedule it to send after two days if you don’t get a reply. And another email if you don’t get a new reply.
4. Track Open Emails
Every campaign you sent will be tracked inside your Gmail account under GMass Reports. You can brag to your marketing manager or pat yourself on the back for all those high open rates you are getting.
5. Have emails sent as replies
This is another sweet feature I haven’t been using it, but the theory is absolutely coconuts. When your recipient answers your email, he or she can get a pre-composed reply back.
I’ve come together with a list of potential leads.
Each one of them has been addressed from a personal Gmail account with call-to-action to reply if he or she is interested.
As a reply, I encouraged them to send me an idea on how we can be a good fit with a time interval I’ll be making the decision within next 48 hours.
This helped me in two ways. First I got new ideas from potential partners and secondly, my email recipient has become more engaged and involved in my business. Viarbox is now having 80% of the profits from these partners. (By the way, let me know if you’re interested in becoming one.)
GMass has become my primal tool for outreach and if you also believe that personal emails are the way to go, go try it too.
I’m addicted listening to podcasts. Among many that I follow there are two that came to mind which has something relevant to the headline up top.
Both of them are from Tim Ferriss show and I’m pretty sure most of you are well acquainted with his podcast. He studies the world’s best actors, performers, writers and entrepreneurs to discover what makes them so successful.
BJ majored in English literature on Harvard University. He knew how to write clever jokes. But after writing it, he started thinking he could just say them too. He decided to put himself out there. He booked a week of stand-up shows in advance. He did this to force himself to go through with them. Once something is set up-front it’s less likely to bail out.
His first shows weren’t that good. Actually he was pretty terrible at it. But after forcing himself to do those shows and working on the jokes, he managed to get 2 or 3 pity laughs out of 20 jokes from the crowd. Now he knew what was working. After a while, he got one that worked really well. That became his opener. Next good one became the closing joke.
When Jaime was starting his stand-up career, he already had a great personality. He looked good, dressed well and knew how to talked with people. But on two occasions he bombed BAD.
The first time, at the age of 21, he performed before an older crowd. But, his material wasn’t resonating with them. After 15 painful minutes on stage, he had to take a break. As if he wasn’t ashamed enough, the dishwasher who was working at the bar, took his apron off and replaced him on stage. He killed it. He used old-style jokes and audience loved it.
This was a huge revelation. Jaime started working on the jokes even harder. He came up with 40 minutes of material that supposed to target black audience. But he used it on the shows where most of the crowd were white people. He logged in the jokes that got laughs. Those were the winners.
Other times, when there were mostly black crowd, he used more high-brow, political jokes and checked which ones got laughs. Now he had a repertoire, he can use on every situation. Because it’s been tested on the field and on different audiences.
The second time he didn’t perform well, was because he got lazy. He had recognition from before and started paying more attention to his looks, then his material. He opened the show, but couldn’t get it warm. The next one up stage was a thin boy with a tank top and baggy jeans. He smashed it. People were peeing in their pants. That guy was Chris Tucker.
Now, what does that has to do with Start-ups? A lot, when you think about it.
1. First of all, you have to have the guts to go on stage. Show the people out there what you have. It will probably suck first time. It might be terrible, even. But maybe it was the presentation that sucked, not your service or product.
2. Have something good to offer. Work on your product. Keep making it better and better. Change something when it doesn’t work and try it again. Remove features to get to the core. Tell only the jokes that are working perfectly – remove the ones that are not.
3. Test the shit out of everything. Growth Hacking is speedy, scrappy and smart. There’s no time to be afraid and be self-conscious about it. Try SEO, Reddit, bugging reporters or hacking Craigslist. Something will work. You will prove it with those sexy spikes in your analytics data. Those are your winning jokes. Openers and closers, son!
And lastly, BJ said about Hollywood: “Everybody who gets a job in showbusiness, they have a story that’s not replicable”. What’s the story of your start-up. What makes you unique?
The Second A in AARRR
So you have been able to attract people to your website? Awesome! How did you do it? Tell me all your secrets.
But now, we have to activate them. How do we do that? By giving them value, of course.
You’re selling swimming pools. Give them some sort of content, that will be super useful to them. Could it be “10min Swimming Pool maintenance” ebook? How about 1-day family try-out in one of your swimming pools? Give them as much value as you can. Serving your customers is always and forever a good choice.
Here is the place where you can use a bunch of A/B tests. Take leverage on them. Build landing pages and keep changing copy, imaging, headlines and see what works. Once you see what captures your clients, that’s what you can use.