Getting heard, as in making your “news” interesting to others that your cofounders and your mum is a super important skill for any entrepreneur or leader
Whether your story is about you, your product or your startup it’s imperative that you can tell a story that others are interested in hearing. That’s what will make the product spread.
About a year ago I decided to learn the craft of writing press releases and stories. It’s a long on-going process in which I’ve found the hardest part to be the headline. Thus I was stoked when I found this blog post with detailed tips on how to create winning headlines. I wanted to share the best bits.
You can read the whole detailed post by Scott Martin, a direct marketing copy writer here
Types of headlines
• How to
It’s great if they are:
• Drawing a picture.
• Stating a fact.
• Asking a question.
Classic template formulas you can use
Are you ____________ ?
“Are You Ready for the Most Beautiful Lawn in Your Neighborhood?”
A word of warning about question headlines: I only use them when the answer is obvious to the reader. I never use open-ended question headlines.
“How I _______________”
“How I Overcame Joint Pain, Got Off the Sidelines, and Back in the Game.”
“How to ______________”
“How to Add at Least 20 Yards to Your Drives and Hit the Ball in the Fairway More Often than a PGA Tour Pro.”
“Secrets of ____________”
“Secrets of Wall Street’s Elite Investors Revealed…”
“Thousands (hundreds, millions, etc.) now ______________, even though they ________________.”
“Millions of ambitious investors are beating the ‘down market blues’ by listening to this woman’s advice…even though they know little or nothing about stocks and bonds.”
Perhaps my favorite headline but difficult to use well.
“Warning: a little-known change in the law will make it harder to manufacture chocolate. Here’s what you can do right now to keep making chocolate…”
“Give me _____________ and I’ll _________________.”
“Give me 10 minutes right now and I’ll show you how to sell your home for full value in any market.”
“__________ Ways to ______________”
“50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”
With apologies to Paul Simon.
Newsletters: Religion works the best, deals the worst. See what response percentage is a good result
Ever wondered if your newsletter is working?
Well, here’s some help for marketeers to judge themselves by from the nice guys at MailChimp. They have shared the average response rate. Very useful indeed!
We use MailChimp in Everplaces. It’s very good but also very expensive. But these nice stats are for free!
Cutting through the hype, smoke and mirrors these numbers of revenue show what’s really happening at Twitter, Groupon and their big cousins.
2012 Revenue Per Employee
Here’s a data table comparing the 2012 reported revenue over employee headcount, found from online public data.
Comment: Foursquare is officially “not to be focussing on revenue, but on growth”, in contrast to the others, so enjoys a little unfair comparison here.
Facebook shows highest revenue per employee
As reported by public available data, Automattic, Zynga, Twitter, and Facebook are all making over $300k per employee despite tech salaries often ranging in 100k range, with additional costs.
300k is benchmark
300k per employee can therefore be used as a benchmark for good revenue per employee. For comparison, Facebook is pushing over $1m per employee, and Google (50b revenue for 53k reported employees) is about the same, at $946k per employee. And while WordPress team has a modest $45m their revenue per employee stands toe to toe with the big dogs.
True success is in the ratios
People have a tendencies to compare apples with pears, such as Groupon’s revenues with Yelp’s, despite the massive difference in size and expenses occurred making same revenue. Unless you’re looking at the opportunity costs of one sector vs another, a much more nuanced picture is from ratios. It gives you a much better understanding of how you’re company is really performing.
Example, the startup scene is famously hyped, and early stage success tends to be measured in headcount. This is not a great measure since headcount is an expense and therefore hardly a great measure of success in itself (any idiot can hire lots of people). The best measure of success (or productivity) early stage is employees per user.
Best pre revenue performance
Among the most famous ratios, Instagram comes out on top, with one employee for every 2.07 million users.
The second highest user-to-employee ratio is OMGPOP (Draw Something) with only one employee for every 875,000 users (fastest growing mobile product in history, scaled to 50 million users within 50 days so probably never even got the change to hire).
On the other end of the scale are Aardvark, with one employee for every 1,800 users, and Zappos with one employee for every 3,400 users.
This came from two super informative blogs:
Normally it’s hard to get anyone from the big three in tech travel to reveal anything about priorities or strategy. But having three of the head honchos on stage together at IBT, made them reveal a bit more.
Here’s key priorities of
- Bernd Fauser, Global Accounts Director, Travel. Google
- Lee McCabe. Head of Travel. Facebook
- Jan Frederik Valentin Vicepresident Package Travel. Kayak
Facebook revealed they are working on becoming really good at sorting friends recommendations based on shared interest and level of trust, a mix between the social graph and interest graph.
“People are looking for filters, there is simply too much choice” . Facebook
Facebook expanded that their early venturing into graph search supports this observation, as the 2nd most frequent type of graph search is for places. So hotels, bars, and places you’re friends have visited and liked.
Google revealed the are working on making the whole process from discovery to booking more streamlined. Right now people check 12 sites before they book, therefore the overall process (the five steps of travel) is the big ambitious goal for Google.
On a question on on site operators such as tour operators Google was positive because these expend a service that can’t be done online.
“If you’re a tour operator that owns the whole value chain, and then extends that to include mobile, then you’re in a winning position”. Google
On whether search remains a key factor Google replied that “Our core business is answering questions. It’s not about links”. Which i why we should expect a lot more than traditional search results, depending if you’re looking for a recommendation, wants to know the weather or find a flight to book. Another example why owning the whole process becomes increasingly important to them.
Kayak said, their key focus remains price comparison. The are looking into discovery social recommendations, but consider it less important. However they did reveal to be working on an algorithmic that predicts what will be relevant to you based on your past behavior (by the sounds of it similar to a cookie with semantic analytic capabilities)
All agreed mobile is the future
“Going forward the land grab is getting your app on someone’s mobile phone. Then to get it onto the first two pages.” Facebook
The other key topic was meta data. Facebook went as far as to say that meta apps are one of the key opportunities. “Meta is a smart play”
This is all good news for Everplaces. I better get back to work;-)
— Winston Churchill may have been talking about politics, but hits it spot on for entrepreneurship too
I wanted to share an excellent ressource. This article is a great explanation of how a VC fund work:
In any negotiation and sales understanding that the person opposite you wants and needs to get out of the situation is important. I’d almost say its paramount to success. Despite this, many entrepreneurs don’t understand the maths and rationale that rules a VC fund. If you learn you’ll have a much better chance of picking the right fund based on the size of investment you require, and return you expect to be able to deliver.
Two key things a lot of people forget:
- Big funds require a potential for truly massive returns, so they wont invest in anything that doesn’t offer a chance of that.
- If you need too little money, you might not be worth their time. A investment manager normally manages around 8 investments, and it takes the same time to manage a tiny seed investment as a big one.
Enjoy the article
Business development is a long and arduous process with a million little details you need to remember, and at the right time. So you need a system.
If your team has several people working on outside relations you definitely need a CRM system to keep track of what’s been said to whom. And we’re not just talking sales here, but also partnerships and key contacts.
This is not just to make you and your sales people’s job easier. It’s also because those relations are of critical value to the company and need to be sustained even if a key person leaves (the “if someone gets hit by a bus” rule).
I’ve tried so many of these systems that just didn’t cut it. Like SalesForce and Highrise that are both too inflexible and old fashioned. But now I’ve just started using a new CRM system called Pipeline, and it’s amazing!
Over all theme is a cool visual overview. Where you can see how far each “lead” has come in the process.
You just drag and drop them as the move on. And of course you can click further into each deal/ organisation/ person to record full history.
- Customize to suit your needs
- Good modern software thats intuitive and simple to use
- Import data
It can be both stressful and a headache keeping track of these million little things, all happening at once. I hope this can make your life easier.
Harvard Business Review just released this study of mobile usage. It provides interesting insights to mobile companies and marketeers.
SOURCES ”Seven Shades of Mobile” study, conducted by InsightsNow for AOL and BBDO, 2012. In the first phase, 24 users completed a seven-day diary and in-depth interviews. In the second, 1,051 U.S. users ages 13 to 54 were surveyed, data on 3,010 mobile interactions were collected, and the mobile activities of two-thirds of those users were tracked for 30 days.
TheNextWeb’s Startup Awards come to Denmark!
The company behind one of the world’s most famous tech blogs are now turning their eyes to Denmark. In the next weeks they want to find the best startup people and companies, and are running a competition to do so.
The awards are awarded to several roles in the startup ecosystem:
- Startup of the year
- Best Co-founder
- Best web app
- Best mobile app
- Best design
- Best e-commerce
- Best investor
While startup awards seems to be a dime a dozen these days TNW have a refreshingly relaxed approach. There is no award ceremony, just a meetup on February the 28th which is organized in collaboration with Founders House and Connect Denmark.
“The Danish Startup Awards are a public choice award, where the people decide on who will win the awards. It starts with nominating your favorite startups through our platform. Later, the TNW jury select max. 5 companies or people per category who will be going to the voting round. During the voting round anybody can vote for their favorites via the social voting platform or e-mail.The companies who get the most votes in their category will receive a ticket to TNW Conference Europe and of course, eternal fame”
You can nominate people and companies here
”My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people:
Those who do the work and those who take the credit.
He told me to try to be in the first group. There is much less competition”
New analysis from Surikate shows some scary facts.
In my daily life as the CEO of a mobile company (that produce apps) the stats seem bleaker that what I hear, see and experience. We often hear of apps not getting a lot of downloads, but I’ve never heard of any getting zero. Scary, and it probably says something about that its harder to produce good apps than most people immidiately think. There’s both art and science to it. But there numbers are interesting so I wanted to share
There are 775,000 apps in the App Store but many are never used:
- Various studiessuggest more than 60%, have never been downloaded
- and about a quarter of those that make it past download are never used.
Most visitors never look past top 50 apps:
- 81% of visitors to the UK App Store don’t find their way past the top 50 apps.
- It also shows that 82% find new apps by browsing the app store, predominantly the top 25.
- Two-thirds of users say they also find apps through friends and family.
Willingness to download unknown apps
- 75% of iPhone users will download an app from the charts without having any prior awareness of it
- 85% say they need to see strong reviews, screenshots or price to be convinced.
- there are more than 52m visitors to the UK App Store every week
- Fridays from 6-8pm is one of the best times to be visible in the App Store with access to 2.61m users
- average user accesses the App Store six times a week
- 11.5 minutes is the average length of visit
- the average number of apps on a phone is 30 or less
- 86% browse the store from home, 23% on the go