My guest on this insightful Q&A session was Dan Norris. Dan heads up WPCurve, Inform.ly and several other product focused businesses following on from his time as a freelance web designer. He has some great things to say about the journey to that growth.
Break away from “a job” and into the uncertain
When you find yourself in freelance “maintenance mode” sometimes its better to take a leap into the uncertain. Dan found himself earning enough to make “a wage” but never found the momentum to break through that.
This is something I talk about a lot, you’re capped by an earnings ceiling if you are working to an hourly rate and Dan made the call to break away from that and looking to create something that can grow and thrive without being tied to you.
Leverage content to turn followers into customers (even if it that’s in the future)
If you build a reputation and put yourself out there as a trusted voice you’ll be able to pull back customers to your product, even if its not immediately. In Dan’s instance the users that had engaged with content prior to WP Curve later down the line. Dan advocates this long-term content-first approach but agrees that speaking and putting yourself in the firing line at events is probably more immediate.
Dan advocates looking objectively at results, removing emotion, covering that one previous mistake was not figuring out quickly enough that the product he was pushing was not getting the traction expected.
Know precisely who your audience is and find their influencers
Once you understand precisely who your audience is, you can peer inside their circles to find the voices that influence them and build partnerships with them in order that you can leverage their profile to build interest back to your message.
This helps you build the perfect traffic channels (along with the cost reductions brought about by that specificity), visitors who are most likely to turn into customers in the long term.
Get your own house in order before approaching potential post partners
You need to give potential partners answers to questions such as “why should I have this person on my site”. You should look to build great posts with social proof and leverage great design. Once you’re able to build relationships with one reputable site you can utilize that for proof when approaching another.
This “sense-check” also applies to new visitors hitting your site, so invest your time in promoting posts to build social proof and give an instant value factor for new visits.
Learn anything? Please share