Traction Case Study: How I Reached 100k Potential Customers Last Month (Without Spending a Dime)

A few weeks ago I published Traction List, which began as an internal spreadsheet used to grow various startups I’ve been involved with over the years.

So far the guide has been shared hundreds of times and has driven thousands of new visitors to Startup Workout.

I felt compelled to write a follow up post after reading yet another post on a popular marketing blog claiming that the secret to building a successful site is to “create valuable content”. Ugh….

Many people will tell you that all you need to do is write engaging content, or “build an awesome product”.

In theory this sounds great… and it’s also easy to write.

In reality, it simply isn’t true because of the fact that you are competing against an insane amount of other engaging “stuff” produced every day.

It’s actually not that hard to create something that’s engaging. It’s much more difficult to build something awesome while also building a successful marketing campaign and not screwing up in the process.

Continue reading Traction Case Study: How I Reached 100k Potential Customers Last Month (Without Spending a Dime)

Traction List: 50+ Places to Promote, Validate and Grow Your Product or Startup

Note: I will be continuously updating this guide with new sites and recommendations. This is a collaborative effort so if you know of a resource that should be added be sure to mention it in the comments or send me an email

The Startup Workout Traction List began as a little internal spreadsheet used for various startups I’ve been involved with. As it has continued to grow, I realized that making it public and adding some context could be a major time savor for other entrepreneurs and innovators who are looking to find traction, validate ideas and grow a product’s user base.

I know that it’s tempting to run down this list systematically and promote your startup everywhere, but I *highly recommend* using this to identify one or two key platforms for validation / traction and focusing most of your effort on identifying what works, creating value, and scaling on those platforms.
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Inbox Hero: How I Write Hypnotizing Emails That Convert into Sales

If someone was able to travel back in time and tell me 10 years ago that email would still be fundamental to how we communicate today, I probably would have dropped everything I was doing and started working on inventing a holographic communicator HoloLens.

Lame jokes aside.. email has helped me close more deals and has generated more revenue for my businesses than any other source (by a long shot) and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Many of us send dozens of emails a day without giving much thought to the overall effectiveness or how we can optimize what we send to achieve even better results.

When something works, we quickly move on without thinking about how to take that small win and use it to create much more consistent wins.

The marketer in me is never satisfied when something just works.  I need to understand exactly why it’s working – because you can optimize and improve almost anything.

Continue reading Inbox Hero: How I Write Hypnotizing Emails That Convert into Sales

Success: Transforming a Boring Job into a Billion Dollar Business

Well, it’s happened.  Startups have gone mainstream.

Ali G may have pioneered the startup pitch on TV with the Ice Cream Glove a decade ago but these days TV shows that glorify building your own product or starting a company are now dominating the ratings and seem to be just about everywhere.

What most people don’t realize though is that the barrier to entry for creating a successful product is deceptively low.

What I mean by this is that it’s extremely easy to start something but not so easy to build something that’s successful.

Continue reading Success: Transforming a Boring Job into a Billion Dollar Business

How To Build a Minimal Viable Product That Actually Works

The majority of startups don’t fail because of bad ideas.

They fail because of unnecessary assumptions, poor execution, and the failure to validate a hypothesis early.

Many people have written about the art of developing Minimal Viable Product. Does it really warrant ANOTHER blog post from another guy that wants to pretend he actually knows something about startups?

YES.

This is one of the rare topics that can never have enough written about it. It’s a mentality that I believe every entrepreneur should focus on mastering – and inherently it’s extremely difficult to master simply because it’s human nature to complicate things.

Continue reading How To Build a Minimal Viable Product That Actually Works

Bending Reality: The Strange Connection Between Breakthroughs and Belief

Belief is a powerful biological weapon of disruption.

It has initiated the rise of religions, contributed to the fall of empires, taken humanity to the moon and back, and can completely change how we perceive the world around us.

The enormous role that this somewhat mystical force plays in the success of a new product or business cannot be overstated.

One of the biggest misconceptions about entrepreneurship is that you need to have a crazy high risk tolerance or be oblivious to the almost impossible odds of success.

Most successful entrepreneurs are aware that the deck is almost always stacked in the house’s favor. However, by using belief as a catalyst, they are able to produce the cards needed to win (breakthrough ideas, talent, money) – seemingly at random.

Except the results are not random – and the powerful effect that belief has on those involved with the project essentially allows you to count cards by altering your perception of reality. Continue reading Bending Reality: The Strange Connection Between Breakthroughs and Belief

Confirmed: How One Crazy Image Increased My Newsletter Sign Up Rate By Almost 20%

Did you know that 80% of new email subscribers who confirm their subscription do so in the first five minutes?

If you have a newsletter or mailing list and are not working to improve the confirmation rate you may be missing out on hundreds or even thousands of potential subscribers each year.

Today I want to show you a simple trick I used to dramatically increase my confirmation rate, which effectively increased the overall sign up rate of my mailing list by almost 20%.

At the current rate my list is growing, this could amount to an additional 7,200 subscribers over the next six months!

Continue reading Confirmed: How One Crazy Image Increased My Newsletter Sign Up Rate By Almost 20%

Motivation: 121 Epic Business Quotes To Inspire Your Success

Starting a business is like attempting to climb up a mountain during a hurricane. It’s not a question of if you will feel frustrated, tired, and burnt out, but when.

Your only option is to keep climbing – because if you stop there is zero chance you’ll make it to the top.

To keep you motivated during your ascent, I’ve assembled a massive list of epic and inspiring quotes about business and entrepreneurship.

If you want to stay motivated, you can follow me on Twitter where I post many of these great quotes throughout the week.
Continue reading Motivation: 121 Epic Business Quotes To Inspire Your Success

Zero To Hero: How I Got 50+ Powerful Bloggers To Share My Content

Quick Note: It’s hard to believe it has only been three weeks since I launched Startup Workout. Being featured on Lifehacker, Reddit and a dozen or so other places is amazing and completely inspiring. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has supported the site and made the launch so successful – you rock! 

It’s easy to think of the internet as a mystical place completely detached from reality. Abstract concepts like links, search rankings, and social media profiles would be hard to explain to someone who traveled in time from the 1800s to 2013.

I’ve found that sometimes by letting these abstract elements go, and focusing on the most basic of interactions, it is possible to build a much better foundation for your business online.
Continue reading Zero To Hero: How I Got 50+ Powerful Bloggers To Share My Content

Time is Money: A Cheat Sheet To Help Boost Your Productivity and Get Sh*t Done

When I started my first business in college I was working crazy long hours, without much concern for my overall productivity. This wasn’t a sustainable way to live and after feeling burnt I realized a serious change was necessary.

Embracing productivity was that change.

Increasing my productivity has improved my overall pace as an entrepreneur. This allows me to accomplish the same amount of work in less time, giving me more time to dedicate to my number one priority, family.

Pacing yourself is essential because it prevents you from using all of your energy during the first few miles of the race (in this case the start up phase of a new project or business), allowing you to run further while improving your overall time.

Today I want to show you how I dramatically boosted my productivity and reclaimed my life from the time devouring monster of running a business.
Continue reading Time is Money: A Cheat Sheet To Help Boost Your Productivity and Get Sh*t Done