Make your life easier, get every post sent to your inbox by clicking here.Last week I had a great conversation with the CEO of a startup company that I believe will help millions of business owners like me. We discussed their service but more than anything we discussed the human dispositions that business owners must understand and leverage in order to have a successful company.
Tell me I belong or I’m gone
If you want someone to join your club, buy your product or subscribe to your content then they have to connect with you on an emotional level. I need to know that I belong. If you are offering a service then tell me who the service is for. If I fall into that group then I’ll sign up, if I don’t fall into that group and don’t sign up that’s a good thing because your service isn’t for everyone. When you give examples of who can be served through your service you help those people say yes to you. Help the right customers join you by telling the story of how your product fits who they already are. I want to belong or I’m gone.
Help people join by telling the story of how your product fits who they already are. Tweet this
Beta is a good thing
If your service or product is in beta then tell the world and tell them often. People on-line are stupidly impatient. They will complain that it takes them four minutes even though the result of that four minutes could save them hundreds of hours of time. We’re a spoiled demographic. We expect stuff to have no cost, work flawlessly and a response within two minutes if I complain about you on Twitter. When you embrace beta you’re saying that you don’t have it all figured out. Beta means incomplete so users should understand that. It’s the provider’s job to communicate the beta expectations. Remind your users that you’re figuring it out and that you need their help. Beta users who feel involved will celebrate finding hiccups in your product. Beta users that expect perfection will bail on you because you didn’t deliver 100% of the time on their unrealistic expectations. Embrace beta and remind your users that they are there to help you get out of beta. Reward them for that help someday too. Beta is a good thing.
When you embrace beta you’re saying that you don’t have it all figured out. Tweet this
Everyone knows a good story
Donald Miller developed a process called Storyline. Through Storyline you begin to understand the power and components of story. Apple started in a garage. Facebook started in a dorm room. Abraham Lincoln started in a log cabin. Jesus started in a stable. Thomas Edison’s lighbulb started with 10,000 failures. Every single story has the same components which includes conflict. There are no great stories that lack conflict. When a company is trying to grow they need to share their story. People (in this case beta users or early adopters) connect with a story that involves conflict. I admire people like Jason Fried of 37 Signals. His team routinely shares the process of refining their products. They show the ugly drafts and failed plans. We get to experience the completed product but it’s endearing to know that they went through so much conflict to create what we could have taken for granted. Now we appreciate the design, the features, the precision, the result of the conflict. Companies are made up of people and I have a personal belief that there was only one truly perfect person. He didn’t start a company so no company is perfect. Embrace your story. Let me connect with it, the good and the bad. Everyone knows a good story.
There are no great stories that lack conflict. Tweet this.
Haters gonna hate
I recently sent out an enewsletter to hundreds of people that voluntarily signed up to receive my updates. It contained five tips that would save you five hours a week on your email. That’s 260 hours a year which is 6 1/2 working weeks at 40 hours a week. If you follow my advice I really believe you could save that much time. Guess what happened? Someone complained. That equates to .00018% of my list. Dozens said thanks but one of 545 complained. They sent me a very detailed email telling me why all my tips were wrong. They even said I was condescending. Guess what. I don’t care. 544 of 545 appreciated it. Safe to say I’m on the right track. Haters gonna hate.
544 of 545 appreciated it. Safe to say I’m on the right track. Haters gonna hate. Tweet this
When you get wacky feedback simply remind them that you appreciate constructive feedback. If they continue to offer destrutive feedback (the kind that destroys your morale) then I think you should politely tell them to hit the road. Something along the lines of, “We strive to offer the best XYZ here at MyCompany.com but it seems that you aren’t getting the value you’d like so we believe it’s best for you to use a different service/company. Here are some you can consider over the next 30 days before your account is closed.” Fire some customers because emotional energy is a precious commodity and haters aren’t going to be converted. Help them move on so you can move on too. Haters gonna hate!