T: @DuaneBrown

On Boarding A New Employee

When you’re a company of one, it’s easy to have a process in place and know where everything is. when you’re two people in a company, it becomes harder but maybe not twice as hard. When you hit three people it almost become four times as hard to keep everything together because you have two other people to keep in the loop on everything.

When I think about all the things you need to keep on top of with new employees, it made me realize all the other work I had not always taken into account. Just some of the items include…

  • Contract – how will this get signed and where will it be stored?
  • HR & Benefits – How will you track everyone’s progress in the company
  • Payroll – How and when will everyone get paid
  • Password – What will you use to manage this…. that doesn’t mess up your IT needs
  • Folder Sharing – Is Dropbox good enough and what about sharing that work with clients. You don’t want to end up with multiple systems because that’s when things turn into a mess
  • Meeting Management – Big fans of Calendly but even then, making you sure you don’t double book yourself or have to many meetings in one day is important. This happened to me one day and made me rethink how I book meetings even more then usually
  • Communication – email, IMs, phone calls, Slack….what you do and don’t use matters and like passwords and folder sharing, you want something that works across clients and limits your downtime
  • Culture – how to share this and encourage the behaviors that you want each employee to take

All of the above is even before your new employee has written a piece of ad copy or launched a campaign. The back office and administrative work needed to bring on a new employee isn’t easy. Nor something to underestimate because you still have all the government paperwork to take care of too.

What Are The Two Best Research Sources For SaaS Pricing?

A few months ago I wrote about pricing your agency services. A follow up piece to this and one that on the surface looks like something for startups and SaaS businesses. Actually applies to anyone starting their agency. You just have to dig below the surface to see it.

Since March I have been spending a lot of time looking at, thinking about and analyzing pricing pages of B2B and SaaS brands as I buy tools and technology for my agency; Take Some Risk. As I pitch and work with startups and established brands on both sides of the pond. Pricing and how they talk about their brands becomes a part of our servicing offering because no matter how well designed a product or service is, if it’s priced wrong we are not going to be able to sell it to our potential customers.

Beyond looking at direct competitors in your space and running polls against visitors of your website. It’s important to research what other B2B and SaaS businesses are doing in regard to their pricing

Questions To Ask Yourself

  • How they design the landing page
  • How they pricing their product
  • What yard stick they use to measure an upgrade
  • Do they offer a free plan
  • Do their offer a trial period before you pay
  • Do you need a credit card to sign up

The Two Best Research Sources For SaaS Pricing
Beyond doing a Google search or sending out a tweet to your network. I think you should use the following resources that have been my go to: Dribbble and Pinterest

Dribbble
While doing some other research I came across the pricing tag on Dribble that has heaps of beautifully designed landing pages and pricing pages for SaaS businesses. This came at a perfect moment as I just finished talking about a/b testing the pricing page with a client. I wanted to send their paid media traffic to a landing page that has a modified pricing page compared to the main pricing page that everyone else would see. Other awesome tags I looked at are: Purchase, Pricing Tables, Cost, Plans and Price to name a few. To a lesser extent you can also look at Subscription and Subscribe. Seems that 3 tier pricing is still the name of the game when you look at all those tags.

Pinterest
Beyond the Top SaaS Pricing Pages, there are other boards across Pinterest that can help you understand what others are doing in the space. It’s important to get out of our point of view and field of vision to truly see what is going on. Otherwise we risk getting into a rut and complacent in our jobs.

Designing That Pricing Page For SaaS
The team over at ChartMogul designs this cool pricing page diagram that gets at the heart of what a high converting pricing page could include. I say could and not should because there are always exceptions to every rule in business.

Combining the above graph with my post on how to build a high converting landing page, means you’re in the right place to build a pricing page that can help you startup grow faster and be profitable as you grow.

Conclusion
Designing any page on your site is going to be a mix of art and science. It’s important to mix tried and tested ideas with new inspiration as you search around on the Internet to see what others in the space are doing.

The Future Of Search Is Voice. Are You Ready For The Change?

Social Networks in 2016: What’s Winning and Losing?

Pew Research launched their state of social media 2016 report.

Facebook holds steady for usage but of course we see Snap, Instagram (owned by Facebook) and Pinterest are rising faster as they haven’t matured in North America. Facebook matured in North American many years ago and knows its growth lying global in the BRIC markets, EMEA and APAC.pi_2016-11-11_social-media-update_0-09

However, the future of marketing is heading towards voice and image searches. Plus we are seeing a faster rise in mobile messaging or messaging app take a stronger hold across the Americas. What was once a fad in different APAC countries is now mainstream over here. I’d read Pew Researches social media 2016 report and understand where we are headed.

 

A Defining Moment For Google: Expanded Text Ads and UI Change

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Over the next 12 months Google will finish a product roll out that will define the company for the next decade. With advertising being a $60 billion dollar business in the USA alone and Google making up 50% of that revenue. Any change Google makes to their AdWords has a profound effect on their future growth.

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The two products rollouts are Expanded Text Ads and a major overhaul of their AdWords platform interface. I won’t go into detail on each change as you can follow the links above. Over ten years I’ve seen many changes with AdWords (and even Google Analytics). However, these two changes are a dramatic shift in how Google does business and a North star for the company to be more mobile focused.

If Google makes even a small misstep then that has an impact on their revenue and the moonshot projects they invest in. We are already starting to see early results roll in that Expanded Text Ads are underperforming compared to old AdWords ads. If Google can’t get this under control in the next 3 months then I don’t know if 2017 will be a brighter year for AdWords.

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