Not many of you may know this, but I used to have a startup and worked in other startups. I was heavily involved in the startup ecosystem for some time.
I was talking to the founder of an early SEO tool yesterday about the state of his startup, because he also offered a lifetime deal on his software. The deal has been over for 9-10 months now and the platform is getting a lot of use from its current user base (including me). But they've been having trouble getting MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) subscribers, even though they get a lot of trial users.
I asked him why they aren't converting, and he said the feedback they've received is it's too confusing for people. There are too many tools and people don't know how to use the tools for their needs.
Many months ago, I suggested making videos, documentation, and case studies of how to use the tools on their platform, so people know how to use their tools. Did they ever create them? Not really. He said they made them, but I didn't see anything helpful. For example, there are livestreams, but no bite-size, easily digestible how-to videos.
One of the biggest problems that startup founders have is explaining to people the Why and How of their product or service.
- Why do you need this software?
- How does the software fulfill those needs?
That gets lost so often when startups are marketing. You need to understand your target audience, their needs, and how you're filling those needs. Many founders can't do that objectively. They think that they have this amazing product (and they could have it), but if no one understands it, they're not going to use it.
As niche site builders, we need to think about similar things. Every single website you build, treat it as a startup. Sites are made because you want people to use your site. You want them to click an affiliate link. You want them to stay on the page and read. But do you know your audience and are you fulfilling their needs?
You need to ask and answer some questions as objectively as you can. Many of us have blinders on when it comes to something we've made ourselves, so feel free to ask others to help with assessing your site:
- Who is my audience?
- What do they need?
- Is the site or page providing them with the information they need?
There are many more questions, but these are the key ones. If you can answer those questions objectively, you're well on your way to success.