Living by Doing

I'm a single founder working on improving my business and myself.

24. November 2013 13:14
by Anders Thue Pedersen
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Revenue almost 4x - Documenting my path to 10x (Week 8)

24. November 2013 13:14 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

To document my growth towards 10x I will blog every Monday with my stats for the week gone, what I tested, what did I change and what did/did not work.

I was thinking this Sunday when I woke up (well actually I was woken by my daughter crawling all over me J) why did you post that blog post Saturday. I realized that one reason was for the publicity and validation, but mostly it was because I want this. I want to 10x and I have realized that the best way to get your goals to succeed is to write them down and speak about it. What could then be better than doing both, writing it down and at the same time speaking aloud through this blog?

Another benefit is that my motivation is often erratic and sporadic and I my hope is that by blogging every Monday (or Sunday) will teach me something about keeping a constant push behind the train wagon.

One thing I am currently interested in is motivation. What motivates me and how do I keep motivated. I have a long history of jumping from project to project partly because I did things that was not aligned with the true me, but also because I did not understand “the dip” as Set Godin writes about.

Therefore, this is as much a journey to understand myself, to find out what motivates me, to learn to keep pushing and to get through to the other side, and I hope you will join me and help me if you can!

Before I continue, I will tell you a little about my setup. I am currently CEO of Andromeda IT, a web consultancy company based in Copenhagen Denmark. We are six young people working together trying to create digital web art in our solutions. One of the employee (Philip) are a part time student, and a really clever programmer (he is programming an OS in his spare time :roll: ) and he is primarily working for my “other” business called TSR Software.

TSR Software is the brand that I am using for my time and place independent software and SaaS business that I want to grow to 10x, but from time to time stuff from the consultancy will seep through to the TSR part and the other way.

I have several ideas for getting to 10x, first thing I will do is streamline and improve my watermarking software. The next couple of weeks I am working on the new website and a new GUI for the software, I hope these two items will give me an x more (or twoJ).

On the longer scale I will boost my other TSR products especially our product TSR Photo Manager that I myself love and I believe there is a big potential for it out there (try it out now!)

The last and third leg is that I will create one or more of the SaaS web apps I am dreaming of getting online and flying.

This is as much a journey from doing a hobby “for the clap on the shoulder” piece of software to fully getting value for money as it is a journey about taking control of my life professional and private and getting more out of live by doing the right stuff.

Status

Last week:

I got my Microsoft ISV Competency approved and got listed on Microsoft Pinpoint (PR 7 directory) and I got started on upgrading my software and installer to .NET 4.0

This week:

I will get some Microsoft ISV logo on the website, write about how the software has been approved by Microsoft and work more on the new website and the new GUI. Release a new version that checks/installs .net 4.0

Status

Week

Orders

Revenue

Visits

Conversion

47

300%

395%

106%

283%

 

 

 

 

 

23. November 2013 23:49
by Anders Thue Pedersen
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How i got a 299% increase in revenue in 7 weeks

23. November 2013 23:49 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

This post is what will become a series of posts on how I work towards growing my revenue from my watermarking software 1000% (10x) compared to my pre-MicroConf revenue.

Since the MicroConf, I have been having some unbelievable growth of my revenue. But I believe that I can do even better than what I have achieved until now.

So this week I slowly realized that I actually had an internal and unspoken goal, based on my experience written and/or spoken goals are more likely to get achieved then internal goal. So now, I will blog about what I am doing to get to 10x so others can benefit from what I have learned.

As I wrote in my previous blog post I got MicroConf ROI in 28 days. I did some changes to my website while still at the conference, primarily moving the free version down and highlighting the paid version that ended out upping my revenue by app. 200%. One thing that was mentioned during the conference (when I called out my website for a tear down) was that there was a lot of clutter and needed de-cluttering, mainly less links, less call to action and a more clear what to do next.

Besides that I also got a looong to-do list from the conference, some of the stuff I have done is : At the bottom of pages link to next step (Download/Buy), added a 90 days money back guarantee, improved my buy now call to action, better and more clear headlines, testimonials closer to buy now, enforce the trial mode, remove working trial, change price from 29 to 29.95.

This made my revenue climb to around 250% This got me thinking I had gotten a glimpse of the real possibilities of the website. 

I have secretly believed (as in been thinking but not in daring to speak out loud) for a long time that there were some major changes I could improve my revenue with, I somehow also believed that I  should not do it and that I did not have the abilities to do it. However, being at MicroConf made me realize that I should (as Adii so aptly but it) Just Fucking Do It.

So I have asked the designer I have employed (yeah I know) to create a new website design. We are still working on it but instead of being afraid if it will ruin what I am doing, I am looking forward to see what it can do for me.

One of the reasons for this changed mindset is that I have made some changes in my installer/software that tracks the installs/usage. I figured out that, I have many new installs every day and that many users actually bought the software the same day they installed it.

Then two weeks ago I had a 'tear down' session with Dave Collins from http://www.softwarepromotions.com/ - and during the 2 hours session I got a to do list long enough to last a couple of weeks. Since we had that session, I have made sum minor changes to the website that again has moved my number of orders up.

The first thing I did was removing even more links from the top menu, so now I got four links up there, moved down are “online watermarker” and “contact us”.

The second thing was a headline split test, the previous headline on the frontpage was 'Fast, easy and cheap watermark software' (before that it was the product name, but I started asking my customers why they bought the software and they told me because it was fast, easy and cheap so split tested that and got a nice improvement). Dave suggested that when people hit the website they are not concerned with the price so I split tested the headline against 'Fast & Easy watermarking software' and 'Fast and Easy Watermarking Software'. This small change improved my engagement with 57 %, my downloads with 18 % and my buy now clicks with an astounding 9% !

The last change I have made is one that I at first was very concerned about and it took me some time to get courageous enough to do it. Dave suggested that I in the trial box on the download page should write that the trial version would add a watermark to all images so you cannot use the software but just test it (how it works). I was uncertain and was thinking that people would not download or use it when I wrote that, but the reality is that I have the same downloads as before, the same amount of installs but I have a lot more that buys.

2 weeks rolling average revenue is currently at 299% (3x)

2. November 2013 20:40
by Anders Thue Pedersen
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The long term MicroConf effect

2. November 2013 20:40 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

I am starting to feel and understand the long-term effect of attending a MicroConf conference.

The feeling I get is that there is a completely new world to uncover and understand, a world where I’m not just a parrot saying what I have read in books, but one where I have tested and understand this new way of living and doing.

The hard part about this is that I guess it is like Tao, if I can describe it, it is not Tao – and this new way feels like something I cannot describe but something that I can talk about (around?) and talk with others who have a sense of it, but never fully understand or explain.

But that’s part of it anyway, that it’s ok that I changes that it’s unexplainable and that it is new every day, that’s the interesting part of it, that’s what being an micropreneur is all about, learning new things every day, talking about “Tao” and trying new things out.

This new understanding of (my) life is starting to change how I look at my work, at my future and how I understand people and the way I interact with people.

So before I get to meta, let me describe some of the changes that has happened since the MicroConf conference.

First as described in my last post I have started to separate my ego from my business, this is a big deal for me, but even more important was that the conference made me realize that I’m not alone out there.

For a long time I only had one or two friends who are truly like me, experimenting, curious, filled with creative energy, having a gazillion ideas every day etc. etc.

At the conference I was around 80-100 people JUST LIKE ME – and you have no way of understanding the impact unless you have tried it.

The feeling of being home, of being understood of being able to talk to people without they are shaking their heads and without :roll:

I have NEVER felt so much home, understood and at peace with who I am, and this really deep sense of belonging and understanding made me shed all of my shame about being me, all of my guilt of having too many ideas of wanting to experiment, it made me accept who I am and what I do, to be among so many who was JUST LIKE ME!

This is by far the most important long-term effect I have taken home from the conference, and a big thank you goes out to all participants, speakers and of course, Rob & Mike, I owe you one!

1. November 2013 19:04
by Anders Thue Pedersen
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Microconf ROI in 28 days

1. November 2013 19:04 by Anders Thue Pedersen | 0 Comments

The title only tells half the story, but when it comes to the classic ROI I got mine in 28 days.

How did I do that, well it's a long(ish) story that I'll talk more about in coming posts, but the story goes something like this:

For the first time in my life I attended a conference of likeminded entrepreneurs, it was the Microconf conference in Prague October 5-6 and I really did not know what to expect.

Man was I in for a surprise (a good one) – I learned more about myself and my product in those 4 days than I have in a long time.

The first big realization that hit me was that I needed to remove my ego from my business!

This might need some explaining, what I had to do was to look at my business in a way where I did not create and sell my products for the pad on the shoulder, the praise or someones recognition.

For all the time I have created TSR software (and before that), I have done it (mostly) for the pad on the shoulder, the money and to get people to validate me.

What I had to do instead was to create the products for me and for the users, and if someone think the product suck, well then, that is their opinion and it has nothing to do with who I am and how good I am.

So now I work on TSR products to improve the revenue and to maximize the conversion rate – not because I want to earn a lot of money (even though I like money a lot) but because I’m curious to see how much money I can earn on this, how high conversion rate I can get and what I need to do to get there.

This change in perspective led me to change the main download/purchase page while still at the conference, so Sunday evening after dinner but before the informal gathering, I moved the free download below the fold and added a higher price point bundle to my three-column download, so it went from:

Free  - Trial   -    Buy

To

Trial  - Buy  - Buy bundle

This “immediately” 2x’ed my revenue (Actually it 6x’ed in the first couple of days but now it’s closer to 2x), and it’s this improved revenue that has paid for all the expenses I had in connection with the MicroConf conference in around 28 days.

I have been working at warp speed since the conference and have made so many new discoveries, new tools and mindboggling changes to me and my websites that I’ll probably needs a lot of blog post to describe it all, so look out for more.

If you want, check out TSR Watermark Image and follow the changes on that website the coming weeks