NOTE: These recaps are a bit more for me than you. I’ll skip over stuff, include asides that are more personal notes to me, etc. Your mileage may vary. More detailed/sanctioned recaps will be available at at some point.

UX Basics that Convert Users into Customers

Presenter: Samuel Hulick

  • Focus on the funnel itself.
  • A lot jargon in UX
  • Invest in your users’ success
  • How do you turn Mario into fireball Mario?
  • The lifestyle difference is pretty profound there
  • You’re rewarded by turning people into awesomer people.
  • Conversions are a byproduct of the value of the change you enable in customers and visitors
  • Slight uptick in UX can have profound effect on entire funnel.
  • Make money by making better people

Building an Automated Content Marketing Machine

Presenter: Brian Casel

  • Case study of what’s been happening with
  • First year goals: Establish trust in an unknown industry; keep costs down; avoid becoming dependent on paid channels; establish a steady source of traffic/customers from organic/content channels; and systemize, automate, and outsource
  • Last field on signup form, “How did you find out about us?” Vast majority is “Google”
  • New blog post every Monday. Written by writing team. Some formatting guidelines. Sometimes review posts prior to publishing.
  • Editorial calendar: Spreadsheet with topics sourced from industry forum “hot topics,” popular posts on other industry blogs, look at data to see which topics resonate the most.
  • Email list. Email opt-in on blog. Includes a free checklist on sign up (immediate value). Six-lesson email course autoresponder (value over time).
  • Autoresponder increases email engagement, sets precedent that every email we send is worth reading.
  • Newsletter goes out every Tuesday. Just announces the blog post.
  • Guest blogging: target relevant industry blogs; build relationships with blog editors; writers produce the articles, he edits; CTA in author byline (CTA for newsletter); repeating monthly to-do.
  • Improvements: targeted landing pages, multiple email courses on more focused topics, webinars, podcasts/re-purposing content.

How to Buy Your Way to Fame and Fortune as a Bootstrapper

Presenter: Dave Rodenbaugh

  • Started as freelancer. Tired of trading hours for dollars.
  • Build vs. Buy divide.
  • Build you need to do everything from scratch. Buy, you can focus more on the promotion since you’re buying a market and a product.
  • Criteria for purchase price. Mostly looking for room to grow.
  • Flippa, eBay for websites.
  • It’s a large pile or garbage that requires diligence to actually find something
  • Bought a few, turned out to be lousy business.
  • Gave experience improving a website from scratch.
  • AWPCP: had some revenue, was ugly, too. On Flippa for 3.5k. Didn’t sell. Contacted afterward, bought for 1k.
  • The began the revamp
  • Revenue increased, but discovered he added customer support to the workload.
  • Had to outsource a developer
  • Had a nonresponsive developer, hurt sales. Finally fired him.
  • Another plugin (Business Directory) from the same creator came across. Same problems he had to fix in AWPCP. Bought for 1.5k
  • Revenue increased much more dramatically the second time.
  • WP Plugins: Support is everything, raise your prices, customers love bundles, is the Google equivalent, and follow the rules.
  • About 65% of total revenue is in bundles.
  • Can you do it? Yup. Find something that interests you on Flippa, buy something in your budget, improve the experience, get feedback
  • There’s inherent risk involved in this, hence the budget

From Idea to $5000 a Month in 5 months

Presenter: Josh Pigford

  • SaaS metrics from Stripe
  • Felt like he was duct-taping stuff together
  • Idea on October 14, 2013. “Honey, I’m building a business tonight.”
  • Launched on November 14, 2013.
  • Five takeways:
    • Build what you need, not what you think others need. You have a problem. Chances are you’re not a unicorn. May not be a viable business, but it’s a start. Worst case, you’ve solved your own problem.
    • Charge from day one. Only one type of validation that matters: Money.
    • Stop trying to attain the perfect product. Buys time to learn the intricacies of the problem you’re solving
    • Ship fast and ship frequently.
    • Price for the customer you want. $9 customer is an entirely different customer than $99.