Tips, Tricks, and Secrets to Create Great Landing Pages

You don’t see great landing pages often. That’s not because they can’t be made, but because it’s extremely difficult to create them well. There are design rules to follow that keep people from leaving. There are tricks to use to get your button noticed. There are words that have a way of persuasively whispering in your prospects’ ears: push the button, claim the offer.

Most people don’t know what any of these things are, though. The average landing page converts somewhere between 2 and 5 out of every 100 visitors. That means there’s a lot of not-so-great landing pages out there.

Before you set out to create a great landing page it’s important to know what your prospects want. Specifically, it changes from business to business—some want a solution for their bad back, while others want an easier accounting software—but at the core, it’s this one thing:

They want to evaluate your offer as quickly as possible.

They’re not on your page to browse or pleasure read. They want to find out if what you’ve got is what they need. Do you have what they need?

In this blog, I’ll cover how to create the best landing pages for your business, from top to bottom. 

Non-Existent Navigation

One of the reasons landing pages are highly persuasive is because of their ability to keep visitors focused. If they cannot focus on your message, prospects will not be able to determine whether your offer can meet their needs. Focus starts with no navigation, like this page from Neat:

On your website, a navigation menu can be helpful for browsing visitors who want to find out more about your business. But on your landing page, where visitors are trying to learn more about a singular offer, they shouldn’t need to browse. You should have all the information they need to make a decision right there on your landing page.

Attention Grabbing Headlines

You have to earn attention from your prospect with a headline that grabs them, quickly conveys your offer’s unique value proposition, and guides them toward the rest of your content. Here are a few tips to help you win:

  • Use the word “you” to speak directly to the reader.
  • Clarify your unique selling proposition with a benefit. What is the biggest thing your prospect will gain by converting? “How to” can be a great way to start a headline.
  • Make sure there’s message match between your headline and source. If your source is a Google AdWords ad with the headline “Make email marketing easier,” then the headline of your landing page should read “Make email marketing easier.” It boosts trust by letting your visitor know they’re in the right place.

Here’s a great example from ConversionXL:

Skimmable Copy

Remember—nobody is here to browse or pleasure read. That means your argument for why a visitor should claim your offer needs to be conveyed as quickly and as persuasively as possible.

The way to do that is:

  • Focus on benefits, not features. Your super-powerful processor means nothing to your visitor until you tell them that it transfers data faster than anything on the market.
  • Use colors and typeface that people can read. That means a dark color (go for black) on a light background (white is safest). When picking a typeface, stick to no more than two different types. Serifs and sans serif typefaces are usable for headlines, but for body copy, stick to just sans serif. It’s easier to read at a smaller size.
  • Break up chunks of text. The scariest thing to a busy prospect is a giant block of text. If you have any, they won’t get read. To ensure your copy gets read, use bullets and subheads to break up those blocks.

Here’s a great example of skimmable, benefit-oriented copy from Bolste:

Useful Media

Great landing pages don’t feature pointless stock photos. Some may include stock photos, but those photos are never pointless. Any photo or video you put on your landing page should help the visitor evaluate your offer, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t belong there. Here are a few examples of media you might want to use to help your visitor evaluate an offer:

  • An edited stock photo showing your user interface
  • An introductory video that proves you are a credible source of information
  • An explainer video that shows how your product or service solves a problem
  • Images that show the different angles and features of your product
  • A hero image that helps visitors imagine what their lives could be like after claiming your offer

Here’s a great example of a stock photo that has been edited to fit the company’s needs. It shows visitors how the user interface looks, from the Bolste page above:

Bolste Example

Frictionless Form

The form is where conversion happens. It’s the make-or-break element that can either get your visitor’s name in your CRM or scare them into fleeing your page.

Here’s how to get more prospects into your CRM:

  • Make sure your form only asks for the bare minimum that you need to qualify a prospect. You might like to know how many people work at their company, but if you don’t need to know, then you shouldn’t ask. To your prospect, every additional form field is another reason to leave your page.
  • Differentiate required fields from optional ones. On an ideal form, you’d have only required fields, but if you really want to A/B test to see if you can get a little extra information from a generous prospect, make sure they at least know they don’t have to give it to you if they don’t want to.
  • Put labels close to the fields they correspond to. If the “name” label is placed in between the “email” and “name” field, then your visitor might mistake one field for the other.
  • Do not use placeholder text. If your form has any directions (like “your password must be 5+ characters in length and contain one special character) then they should be written above the field, next to the label. Disappearing labels in form fields can confuse your prospects when they start writing and those labels vanish.
  • Ensure that error messages are highly visible and clear. If your prospect forgets a special character in that password, your error message should outline the field they made a mistake on, and tell them how they made a mistake (for example: “must contain one special character”).

Here’s an example from a short, friction-free form from eSpatial:

eSpatial Example

Compelling Call-To-Action Button

You won’t see the word “Submit” or “Download” on any great landing page. That’s because those words do not get the prospect excited to claim the offer. “Submit” sounds like work and so does “Download.” So, how do you write better ones?

  • Make your call-to-action benefit-oriented. Everything else on your page focuses on the benefit of claiming the offer, so it makes sense that yours should too.
  • Make your button stand out. If it doesn’t contrast the rest of your page, it won’t be seen. Pick colors that are complementary on the color wheel to create the most attention-grabbing effect, like a yellow button on a blue background.
  • Make your button look like a button. People are used to seeing buttons all over the internet. They don’t look like stars or circles or octagons — they are mostly rectangular. That means, to be recognizable, yours should be too.

Here’s a great example of a button change that yielded big results: When IMPACT Branding & Design changed their button copy from “Download”:

Impact Example 1


to “Show me how to attract more customers,” and conversions skyrocketed by nearly 80%!

Impact Example 2


Social Proof

A great landing page isn’t filled with braggadocious copy that says things like, “we’re the best solution on the market!” It uses a technique to convey that message with more subtlety because nobody believes the business that says “We’re the best!” Of course, you think you’re the best! You work for the company and you want your prospects’ business. Who they will believe is someone who has nothing to gain from saying, “This product or service can’t be beaten.”

That’s why the subtle technique that great landing pages employ is social proof. Social proof is the reason you think a Twitter account is worth following because it has a lot of followers already. It’s the reason you think a product is better because a stranger said so.

Here’s how to use it to create a great landing page:

  • Display counters of people who have claimed your offer.
  • Showcase high-profile places your brand has been featured.
  • Include badges of trusted clients or customers you’ve serviced.
  • Feature detailed testimonials from happy customers with their headshot.

Here’s a great example of social proof from Qlik:

Qlik Example

Making a great landing page doesn’t have to be hard! It just takes a little extra reading and some creativity. Check out these 100 landing page examples, then start converting prospects with less work.

I’d love to hear about how you’ve incorporated these tips into creating great landing pages for your business. Tell me about your experiences in the comments.

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The post Tips, Tricks, and Secrets to Create Great Landing Pages appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Marketo Marketing Blog

Infographic: Seven Salient (and Strange) Email Marketing Insights

ecommerce stats

When it comes to ecommerce, email marketing is one of the most powerful tools to increase conversions, meaning more sales and more subscriptions. Today we’ll go over an insightful infographic found here that has a few important points which may be hard to understand at first glance, and a couple of points I find contention with. Be sure to read the breakdown below the infographic! The infographic was originally posted on Let’s break it down Insight #1: Bigger businesses generate more orders (but have lower open rates?) Smaller businesses (5,000 member lists) enjoy an average open rate of 21.38%…

The post Infographic: Seven Salient (and Strange) Email Marketing Insights appeared first on The Daily Egg.

The Daily Egg

Spotify and Hulu to offer U.S. students $5 bundled monthly subscription

(Reuters) — U.S. college students can buy Spotify Premium music streaming and Hulu TV streaming for a combined, deeply discounted $ 4.99 per month, in a new student subscription bundle the companies announced on Thursday to lure younger consumers.

The entertainment bundle, $ 13 cheaper than the regular combined price, is the latest effort in the industry to gain young millennial customers, who favor inexpensive online streaming and listening.

The package is Spotify’s first TV and movie partnership, and combines with Hulu’s limited commercials plan. Hulu’s shows include original content like the hit drama “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and exclusives such as “Seinfeld” and “Fear the Walking Dead.”

Mark Mulligan, managing director of MIDiA Research, a media and technology research company, said in a blog post Thursday the partnership gives Spotify “a smart way to get into the video market without getting in over its head.”

Spotify had more than 60 million paid subscribers as of July, but can use the video subscribers as it fends off competition from Apple Music, which had 27 million subscribers, according to Apple Inc in June.

The partnership with Spotify may also help Hulu to compete with rival streaming service Netflix Inc. T-Mobile US Inc said Wednesday it will offer a free Netflix subscription with its unlimited data family plans.

Spotify plans to go public with a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange later this year or early next year.

(Reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by Anna Driver and Steve Orlofsky)

Social – VentureBeat

Social Media Marketing News

Data-Backed Advice for High-Converting Real Estate Landing Page Design [+ FREE TEMPLATE]

You’re designing a landing page for your Real Estate client, and you turn to “best practice” advice articles to help guide the way.

But there’s a nagging voice at the back of your mind:

Does this “best practice” advice apply indiscriminately to my industry? Does this author really know anything about my audience at all?

“Best practices” become “better practices” when they are industry-specific.

When our design team was recently wireframing new landing page templates for the Unbounce builder, they set out to create industry-specific templates that addressed this truth: different audiences belonging to different industries behave differently. They have different pains, different motivators and different disincentives.

Firm believers that data needs to inform design, our design team sourced their research in two key areas:

  1. Data from the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report: The report includes average conversion rates for 10 popular industries, as well as Machine Learning-powered recommendations around reading ease, page length, emotion and sentiment.
  2. High-converting customer landing pages: Our designers looked at the top 10 highest-converting Unbounce landing pages in those industries, and analyzed common design and copy elements across the pages.

Our design team then combined insight from these two key areas of research to build out content and design requirements for the best possible landing page template for each of the 10 industries.

One of these industries was Real Estate, and now we want to share their findings with you.

See a breakdown of their process for designing the Real Estate page template at the bottom of this post, or read on for their key findings about what converts in the Real Estate industry.

Which copy elements convert best in the Real Estate industry?

Word count

The data scientists and conversion rate optimizers who put together the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report found that for Real Estate lead capture landing pages, short n’ sweet is better: overall, they saw 33% lower conversion rates for longer landing pages.

This chart shows how the word count relates to conversion rates for the Real Estate vertical. On the x-axis we have word count — on the y-axis, conversion rate.

This was consistent with what the design team saw across high-converting Unbounce customer landing pages in Real Estate: pages were relatively short with concise, to-the-point copy.

Reading ease

The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report also revealed that in the Real Estate vertical, prospects want simple and accessible language. The predicted conversion rate for a landing page written with 6th grade level language was nearly double that of a page written at the university level.

This chart shows how conversion rates trend with changes to reading ease for the Real Estate Industry. On the x-axis we have the Flesch Reading Ease score — on the y-axis, conversion rate.
According to the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report, 41.6% of marketers in the Real Estate industry have at least one page that converts at less than 1.3% (in the 25th percentile for this industry). Download the report here to see the full data story on Real Estate and get recommendations for copy, sentiment, page length and more for nine additional industries.

Fear-inducing language

The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report used an Emotion Lexicon and Machine Learning to determine whether words associated with eight basic emotions (anger, anticipation, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise and trust) affected overall conversion rates.

While these emotions did not seem to dramatically correlate with conversion rate in the Real Estate vertical, fear-based language was the exception. We saw a slight negative trend for pages using more fear-inducing terms:

This chart shows how the percentage of copy that evokes fear is related to conversion rates for the Real Estate vertical. On the x-axis we have the percentage of copy that uses words related to fear — on the y-axis, conversion rate.

If more than half a percent of your copy evokes feelings of fear, you could be hurting your conversion rates.

Here are some words commonly associated with fear on Real Estate lead capture landing pages: highest, fire, problem, watch, change, confidence, mortgage, eviction, cash, risk…

See the full list in the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report.

Calls to action

When our designers looked at the top 10 highest-converting Unbounce customer landing pages in the Real Estate vertical, they took a close look at the calls to action and found that:

  • Every page provided a detailed description of the offer
  • Almost all had a “request a call back” or “call us” option (other CTAs included “get more info,” “apply now” and “get the pricelist”)
  • Most did an excellent job of including button copy that reinforces what prospects get by submitting the form
If you use a “call us” CTA on your landing pages, make sure you try out our CallRail integration. This will help you track which calls are a result of your paid spend and landing pages!

Here are some examples of the forms and calls to action on some of our highest-converting Real Estate lead capture landing pages:

The usual suspects (benefits, social proof, UVP…)

Without much exception, the pages featured a lot of the copywriting elements that one would expect to see on any high-converting landing page (regardless of vertical):

  • Detailed benefits listed as bullet points
  • A tagline that reinforces the unique value proposition or speaks to a pain point:
  • And not surprisingly, testimonials. One page went above and beyond with a video testimonial:

Which design elements convert best in the Real Estate industry?

The highest-converting Real Estate landing pages included lots of imagery:

  • Beautiful hero shots of the interior and exterior of properties
  • Maps
  • Full-width photography backgrounds
  • Floor plans

Some examples:

Our designers also studied other design features as basic guidelines for the template they were then going to create.

While these specifics are meant to be taken with a grain of salt (you may already have brand colors and fonts!) they could serve as a good starting point if you’re starting completely from scratch and want to know what others are up to.

Many of the high-converting pages had:

  • San-serif fonts
  • Palettes of deep navy and forest green
  • Orange (contrasting) call to action buttons
The highest-converting landing pages in the Real Estate industry sit at 11.2%. If your Real Estate page converts at over 8.7%, you’re beating 90% of your competitors’ pages. See the breakdown of median and top conversion rates (and where you stand!) via the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report.

Behold, the template our designers created

After synthesizing all that research, our Senior Art Director Cesar Martínez took to his studio (okay, his desk), and drafted up this beautiful Real Estate landing page template:

Check out Unbounce’s Real Estate templates here. Already a customer? Log in and get started with the ALLHËR template right now.

Not only is the template beautiful, it was created by analyzing actual data: what makes for a high-performing landing page in the Real Estate industry via the Unbounce Benchmark Report and high-converting customer pages.

Footnote: The design process

Curious about the process our designers used to develop this data-backed Real Estate landing page template? Here are the steps they followed:

  1. For the 10 highest-converting customer landing pages, they analyzed all common elements (such as form, what type of information is collected, what type of offer, if there are any testimonials, etc). This allowed them to build their content requirements.
  2. They referred to the word count recommendations in the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report and designed for that word count limit.
  3. They referred to reading ease level recommendations for that specific industry from the Benchmark Report and shared the information with their copywriter.
  4. They sketched out a rough idea of their potential landing page template.
  5. They selected typography and colors relevant to the industry based on what was popular in the 10 examples.
  6. They named their imaginary company in the industry and sketched out some potential logos. They picked photography built out a moodboard.
  7. That helped them gather all the information they needed to build out their template!


Hurricane Irma seen from the International Space Station in new video


A monster storm brewing in the Atlantic Ocean looks even more fearsome from space. 

Cameras on the International Space Station caught sight of Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 beast of a storm, from about 240 miles up on Tuesday.

SEE ALSO: Hurricane Irma: This monster storm is perfect in the most alarming ways

A new video shows the storm swirling beneath the station from a few different angles during one of the space laboratory’s recent orbits. 

Irma is now one of the strongest hurricanes on record in the Atlantic Ocean, with maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center. Read more…

More about Space, Science, International Space Station, Extreme Weather, and Space Station

Twitch’s new Extensions add customization options for streamers, like games and music

Social video platform Twitch announced that it will enable its broadcasters to customize their channel pages with interactive experiences. That means broadcasters will be able to add things like polls, music, games, and Streamlabs’ loyalty and tipping platform to their livestreams.

The Extensions, which are coming soon (Twitch didn’t say when), can plug into a live video feed on Twitch. The new customization options could enhance growing the relationship between creators of livestreams and their communities. This could lead to better engagement, more dedicated fans, and new ways to monetize them.

Twitch’s partner, Streamlabs, has launched a new Loyalty Points app on the Extensions platform, which rewards fans for coming back to a page. It has over 20 extensions that will be available soon, including Streamlabs’ loyalty, music, polls, and games (See the video below). Muxy (an analytics company that provides information about your stream’s popularity) is providing overlays and leaderboards, and Amazon is providing its Gear on Amazon app.

In the video, Streamlabs showed that it is pretty easy for broadcasters to add extensions to a page. You can set a poll simply through a drag-and-drop menu, and set parameters such as when it will end. You can also take requests to play music. You can give away prizes to your audience, and the Streamlabs app will randomly pick a winner. All of these things could keep people watching your stream longer, and that translates to more advertising money or, if you use the Streamlabs app, gift money in the form of tips from your audience.

“Twitch is a platform where communities create, share, and interact with the content they love,” said Ryan Lubinski, product manager for extensions at Twitch, in a statement. “With Twitch Extensions, we’re taking interactivity to the next level by empowering our developer community to create customized interactive content, directly integrated with the Twitch platform, opening up a whole new world of creator-viewer interaction.”

Third-party developers can begin building extensions for creators today, starting from Twitch’s updated Developer Portal at Developers will have access to free asset hosting and fanout messaging on the Extensions platform, making getting started easy. Extensions will be showcased in a lightweight Extension Manager accessible to all creators.

“As thousands of developers already know, the opportunity to build a business helping creators earn a living on Twitch is expanding rapidly,” said Kathy Astromoff, vice president of developer success at Twitch, in a statement. “Today, we’re inviting developers to help us innovate on one of the most-watched interfaces on the internet: the Twitch channel page.”

Twitch says it will share more at TwitchCon in October, and it did not say exactly when the extensions are going live.

Examples of extensions that are ready include the Destiny Armory Overlay by Grab Games, where fans can dive into Destiny gear, view details on perks, get class info, and more information incorporated into the stream. The Gear on Amazon app is an Affiliates program that lets fans support their favorite creators. The Amazon support isn’t surprising, as Amazon acquired Twitch for $ 970 million in 2014.

The PC Gaming channel is presented by Intel®‘s Game Dev program.

Social – VentureBeat

Social Media Marketing News

Could 1 Small Tweak Change Everything in Your Business?

Business ideas almost never work right out of the gate. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs put a ton of pressure on themselves to make their idea work.

The truth is, every business goes through natural shifts over time.

It’s true. If you’re building a business, expect to make shifts and tweaks over time… because from our experience it seems that’s just what entrepreneurs do.

We’ve seen this hundreds of times with Fizzle members.

Entrepreneurs come up with an idea, and then they tweak, twist, pivot and adjust over time to see what will work.

We all want a business that’s growing. And we all — every one of us who’s doing the work — knows what it’s like to feel stagnant, motionless for too long.

If you want a growing business, you’re going to need to know how to make little tweaks over time.

“If you want a growing business, you need to learn how to make little tweaks over time.”
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Not necessarily a pivot

In startup talk it’s common to use the term “pivot” to describe when a business changes directions.

For example, Slack, which is a huge success story. Before they built Slack, they were a game company. Just a few years ago they were building games when they came up with the idea for a team communication tool. Now Slack is a poster child for startup success.

When you look at that story today, a few years in to Slack being a massive success, it seems like a massive “pivot.” But I wonder how it felt inside the company at the time. Was it just a small project a few of the team members were working on? Was it a “I guess we can allocate some resources that direction and see if anything comes of it” kind of thing?

I want us to think more like that; less like a “pivot” and more like a “tweak” or “adjustment.”

With that in mind, answer this question:

What tweak or adjustment could you make to your current business given recent feedback?

What kind of feedback are you looking for here? There’s a ton of places you could look.

  • You could look through emails your customers/audience have sent you recently. What questions are they asking?
  • You could look at results of the last several projects/posts/episodes/emails you’ve delivered. Which were the post popular?
  • You could utilize the most powerful tool for insight any of us has.

Let’s listen to some real stories

These aren’t gurus or pundits, these are real indie business folks, and each one of them has had to use tweaks and adjustments to make their own success.

I want you to do something. It might not be something you were thinking about doing when you started reading this.

So what? You’re here because you want a growing business; you want results, success and a sense of personal satisfaction.


So, I want you to listen to something… all the way through.

It’s not hard. Just go on a walk or something while you listen. (Besides, walking is a good way to stimulate creativity.)

I want you to listen to this episode because:

  1. You will hear 3 stories of indie entrepreneurs using tweaks and adjustments to find what works.
  2. You’ll get a more in-depth understanding of this process than any article on the subject.
  3. It’s entertaining, honest and enjoyable.

OK, I’ll share more on the other side of this podcast, but first you should listen to this episode.

Subscribe (how to)   iTunes   Overcast   Pocket Casts   Stitcher   Google Play   RSS  

An in-depth look

Below I share an email recounting all the tweaks and adjustments one entrepreneur couple made to get to where they are now… a thriving business.

In the episode above we tell the stories of John & Dana of Minimalist Baker and Corbett Barr of ThinkTraffic and Fizzle.

Listen to the episode for those stories (because they’re real good!).

I want to focus us here on the third story we told: Chris and Julia of A Bar Above. Here’s the original question I asked Julia:

“We're sharing our stories of how we pivoted or changed biz ideas early on or throughout our businesses. You guys came to mind. A blog promoting a course… later on a tweak towards making, marketing and selling your own bar tools. In your own words, what led to even TRYING to make that shift? And why did you stick with it?

And here’s what she wrote:

Great question. Our answer isn't very fancy really… we just kept trying stuff that didn't work until we tried something that worked. Chris and I have been using the word "hypothesis" instead of "idea". "Hey, I have a hypothesis: what if we made X for Y person in Z way." Of course that sounds wonderful and great, but it's a whole lot harder when your bank balance is dwindling.

Here's a high level timeline:

  • 2005: Chris is a struggling bartender who can't find good info online. He registers (good move honey!)
  • 2011: We're married (also a good move! lol.)
  • 2012: It's time to really dig in to this business. The plan is to create a DVD set teaching advanced cocktail techniques to bartenders. We would sell it on a landing style webpage. Meanwhile I start listening to online business podcasts.
  • Early 2013: We pivot to a content / blog strategy. (Took a lot of persuading… finally got Chris on board to "give info away for free" after he started listening to the same podcasts.) We still wanted to create our course, we would just sell it on a blog.
  • Mid 2013: First post is live! Oye this is hard. But rewarding. (Except the YouTube comments, people are mean!)
  • Late 2013: We go to a meetup in SF and meet you and Corbett. We feel like we're the only ones there without a product. We decide to pre-launch the course and make it happen.
  • 12-31-2013: Course is pre-launched, at 9pm for our list and midnight publicly. We make our first sale at 10pm. I'm crying from happiness at our NYE party. (Awkward, lol.)
  • Early 2014: We get the course launched and nearly kill ourselves in the process. It was way too big for the time allotted but we got it done. Sales are OK but not great
  • July 2014: We both quit our jobs. Lots of reasons here, but we want to dig in and go full time. We have a year of savings and lots of ideas
  • Fall 2014: We launch a "Cocktail Menu Service" to provide seasonal menu updates to subscribed bars / restaurants. Lots of effort… Zero sales 🙁
  • Jan 2015: Chris gets a job as a bar consultant. Phew. Money is no longer an issue.
  • 2015: Julia figures out how to run A Bar Above while Chris works full time. Julia tries to sell advertising on the blog, but it's slow going. We eventually find a media agent to sell advertising for us (for a commission.) That works better, but it's still not a ton of money.
  • Early 2016: I launched the Craft Bartender Summit, looking for sponsors for each of 6 seminars that will be free for bartenders to watch. We sold 2 at full price, 2 at a reduced price and didn't sell 2. Profit ~$ 6k after FB ads. But we added 8k people to our list. The summit itself was good but people couldn't sit still for 8 hours (esp bartenders, lol.) The effort was unsustainable for how much money we made. ($ 6k isnt enough for 3 months of work!)
  • Mid 2016: Tired of linking to sub par bar products on our website because that's all there is on Amazon. Work with fellow fizzler Rich Kibble to start selling our ideal cocktail shaker on Amazon. We order 1,000.
  • Mid/Late 2016: I'm 36 weeks pregnant and Chris' job ends. This Amazon thing better work or we're both getting jobs…
  • Shakers come in and they sell out in 6 weeks. FINALLY we have a win. MY GOD FINALLY.
  • Mid 2016-2017: We also work with a few brands to do one-off sponsored seminars for our audience. Brands love it but the process is a struggle and I feel like it's too hard to keep them educational (more than promotional.) Not sure we're going to continue these.
  • Late 2017: Mini management course will be launched. (Hypothesis: bar management / owners will buy mini courses with a very specific "win" at the end.)
  • 2018 + Still not sure what our sponsorship offerings are going to look like, but we will definitely keep promoting our own bar products on the blog. Hypothesis is to use ABA to build Chris' reputation as an influencer and see what opportunities arise.

So much for a brief timeline… but I hope the above illustrates the point. We tried a lot of stuff and failed before we found something that worked. I don't think you can really call it a "pivot" because that makes it sound like it was well thought out, strategic, etc. I'd really just say we kept trying stuff until we found something that worked well. I know it's not as glamorous but that's the truth… for us at least!

As far as advice goes… obviously I'd love to go back and tell myself not to do all of the things that didn't work… but on the other hand I think they were important experiences that taught us about our audience. I guess I would tell our past selves to just stick with it. We have always cared deeply about our audience and tried to find ways to serve them. Eventually we found something that serves them and supports us.

It totally sucks in the middle part, when money is dwindling and you feel like a huge failure. It's easy to wonder if your idea is just different from all those gurus. But we knew we were doing something important because we got emails all the time from people who said we helped them. I think maybe it was a matter of just trying lots of stuff until we found something that would support us AND serve them. (But again…SO easy to say in retrospect…)

Hot damn. I don’t know if you guys know but that is a KILLER look into how REAL entrepreneurs troubleshoot and tweak over time… even when — especially when — the bank account is dwindling.

Here’s a list of all those tweaks/attempts they made:

  1. Planning on a DVD training course
  2. Switched to a blog/content route
  3. Added an online course to the mix
  4. Cocktail menu service… doesn’t fly.
  5. Chris gets a job
  6. Try to sell advertising on the blog
  7. Launch an online summit
  8. Work with Fizzler to create ideal cocktail shaker… holy crap we sold out!
  9. One-off sponsored seminars… not sure if these are worth it.
  10. Mini management course being created

“Holy crap: here’s how real entrepreneurs troubleshoot their business.”
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So, what’s the takeaway here?

We all want a growing business, but almost none of us get that result right out of the gate. So, we identify and execute tweaks to our business; small, measurable changes to find what works.

The key here is that you are trying stuff. Sure, we all want clarity and certainty before we get started, but that’s not often how it works. You have to TRY things, commit to projects, execute and measure results of things.

So, what are you going to do?

  • Can you identify a tweak you can make to your business right now?
  • Can you look at the feedback channels I listed for you earlier on in this article for some insight?
  • Can you commit to a deadline on when you’ll implement this tweak?

If you want to talk it over, you should know about the community of entrepreneurs that won’t let you quit, because we’re having real conversations like these inside Fizzle all the time.

Break a leg, out there, you guys. Nobody can build your business for you, and no entrepreneur hits a home run on their first attempt.


Why You Should Have A Local Content Marketing Strategy

You’ve probably heard time and time again that content marketing is important in growing your business’s online presence. When done correctly, it can increase brand awareness, advocacy, and lead to more sales. The problem is many businesses are doing it wrong. Many business owners think they need to be creating X new pieces of content per week, which simply isn’t true. Producing content for the sake of producing content is not a productive use of time and will not rank you higher in Google or drive more sales. Sure the more quality content you can create, the more traffic you…

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