I help people move from 1:1 to 1:many offerings @ https://t.co/H5oPxaKXfl Saas co-founder, online courses + programs: https://t.co/q0mb9i35wM
Here's Marie's master class of what not to do. It's a very honest behind the scenes of what's happened since Oki Doki launched, and their journey to sustainability.
What would our SaaS look like if we had designed it on purpose? Marie and Ben stumbled into it.
Ben and Marie didn't start with any customer research or audience building, but they did get $10k for their first Digital Strategy School. The beta later made $50k.
Pay attention to the patterns.
Marie and Ben could've learned a lot from 10 or 20 customer interviews before touching a line of code.
Oki Doki made several mistakes:
They should have started small:
They did our first demo once the product was already built to scale - don't do this!!! Bring in someone at the rough and ready state to play with it. Observe them to see how they're using it. Product demos - just watching someone using their tool - are very humbling. Things you think are intuitive aren't. You are not your audience.
They built it in secret - don't do this either!!!
We were letting our competitors lead our innovation (instead of our customers). Your customers have the most to teach you.
What should you do? Tell people what you're working on and be in conversation constantly:
Even with these mistakes, they managed to get to $1k MRR.
Don't focus on the details:
Focus on the patterns:
We were so focused on the details of execution that we were missing out on the larger patterns of behaviour.
Our ideal customers were entrepreneurs who had high-touch coaching programs.
Our customers kept extending their trial because their courses were taking them way longer to build than they expected.
To zoom out and make sure you're not getting caught up in the details, ask "how might we".
Design generally before specifically; Understand the underlying patterns
Integration What do we each want to get out of the business? How can we collaborate and make better make use of our existing resources, skills, strengths? How we make things easier?
Reality check: It was easier to sell $2k/mo consulting retainers than a $49/mo SaaS subscription
Reality check: It was easier to sell a $1k coaching program than a $49/mo SaaS subscription
twitter brennan dunn as somebody with a business that can do nearly in a weekend with a super targeted promo
They went back to what we knew how to do best: working with clients 1:1. That meant noticing:
We finally had an integrated product / service / SaaS ecosystem.
What now? On-demand demos have become a lead generation tool for our services.
Elements should work collectively toward a stronger whole:
We had to adapt in a way that made sense for the way we work with people.
We knew we didn’t want to be the “build your 6-figure passive income course” people.
2 years of working with course creators and coaches finally gave us the insights we were looking for.
We stopped worrying about what our competitors were doing, and focused on what our customers needed.
What happened? Everything became easier. Better copy creates resonance, which helps you stay competitive.
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”; Turn change into opportunity
It took OKI DOKI 3 years to find our groove + become sustainable. Is your SaaS part of your business, or is it your business?
Why would we hustle so damn hard... for a life we already have? Once we let go of the “shoulds” and the FOMO, we realized that we could make a great living as a small company, and love our life.
What do you want to get out of your SaaS, and how hard are you willing to work for it?
We’ve made a conscious choice to grow slowly, with less stress and less FOMO.
Check out Gaia's Garden for more on permaculture.
Being married to your business partner, have you set up "just in case" scenarios?
We treat eachother like equals and give eachother a ton of autonomy. We found out we have to have a meeting every week to get on the same page. Weekly meetings and checkins, being honest about strengths and limitations, and getting an outside perspective.
What other ways can you know if you're creating resonance?
Get your friends to describe what you do to someone else. How do outside people perceive you? What words do they use?
I'm sending out a beautiful PDF eBook of notes from every MicroConf 2018 Starter and Growth talk – both Speaker and Attendee. Want a copy?