So we just wrapped up Season 4 a couple of weeks ago and it was my favorite episode for a lot of reasons. I got to talk to great people, the sponsors were fantastic, and we even had a miniseries on starting your own business. Plus, there were a lot of takeaways. I got a lot of immediately actionable advice from my guests. So hopefully you did too. Here’s some my favorites.
Do it for Barbara
The first was from Thomas Umstaddt. He talked about kickstarting plugins and crowdfunding his businesses endeavors. When I asked him about a feature set he talked about a client that he had named Barbara, and that Barbara was an older lady not really familiar with computers. But she does manage her own website.
He said that his team would always try to invoke Barbra’s name when they were talking about UX/UI or a feature: What would Barbara do? How would she react to this? I really like that because it keeps that development team grounded in the thinking This is a plug in that I’m building for other people and I need to consider how other people might use that plug in.
All too often I see people building software that they don’t use that they don’t have any idea about how people use it. It’s very refreshing to see that to see a development team talking about that.
You’ve Got Me Feeling Emotions
Patrick Rauland talked about how to build a new e-commerce store and told us that humans are almost always driven by emotion, whether we realize it or not. The thing that ultimately makes us purchase something is the emotional aspect of it, no matter how we justify it. And that is advice can I started using that immediately. Right after interview, I reworded some copy on my sponsor page and on my online courses site to hopefully dig deep into the emotional aspect and emotionally connect with the folks reading the copy on the page.
Follow Your Passion
On the same token you know several guests talked about following your passion. Peter Hollens, Brad Williams, and Sara Dunn all talked about doing things to follow your passion. Peter talked about it in the in the context of teaching people. He’s he’s very passionate about teaching people their passions. He says that if you’re passionate enough and you’re driven enough you can make money online doing what you love. Brad talks kind of in the same in the same vein right about about following your passion and doing what you’re passionate about.
Sarah Dunn was looking to niche down her business. She was having a lot of trouble finding something that she felt fit. She finally found it when she was helping somebody with their wedding Web site and their SEO for their wedding service. Not only was able to help the person but loved helping the person so you know she found that passion for her niche.
I really liked is because yeah I love talking to people who are very passionate about the things they do. I’m very passionate about the things that I do. I think that it’s really important it needs to be an important driver.
Solve Peoples’ Problems
I’m good at writing but marketing copy is a whole other animal that I have a hard time wrapping my head around. Nicole Kohler and Jen Roventine helped us with this. Nicole talked about the necessity to communicate clearly with your copyright. People are most likely going to read some headlines and try to get a good idea of exactly what your product does, so it’s important to use that copy to communicate clearly. Beka Rice talks about the same thing.
Jen’s advice is to know your users’ problems or know your target audience’s problems. So Jen and Nicole and Beka talked about actually talking to your users or potential users see what problems they’re trying to solve and write your copy that way.
Decide your features the way Thomas said…by understanding your customers. This allows you to write clearer copy about solving your audience’s problems and helping them. And that goes back to helping with the emotional aspect of your copy. Once you have them hooked, and they buy your product, the last piece of advice comes from Nancy Hildebrandt. Have task-based documentation.
If you understand end users’ problems, then you should be able to write good enough documentation to walk them step by step through how your product solves that problem.
Season 5 is Coming
I have a lot of really great guests lined up for season 5 including developers outside the WordPress space. I experimented a bit in Season 4 when I talked to Brad Dowdy about making physical products and I wanted to do it a little bit more. In Season 5 I get to talk to people like Seth Scott who developed a game for the Nintendo Switch. I talked to the folks over at Ulysses, which is my favorite writing app for the Apple ecosystem and I talked to a bunch of folks that are talking about Saas.
We’re going to be kicking off this season with Rachel Cherry who is organizing WP Campus. We talk about some of things to think about when organizing an annual conference!
I also want to thank the guests, the listeners, and the sponsors. The show grew from about 17,000 monthly downloads at the beginning of the season to almost 28,000 monthly downloads last month.
That growth and the financial support as allowed me to add transcripts (which are now searchable) and do a few more nice things. I plan to add more in Season 5.
I want to grow the community. Because of that, I’m doubling down on our Facebook Group. Join to get news, updates, weekly discussions, and deals.
I also started an Instagram Profile for the podcast, where I’ll do live stories of recordings and offer behind-the-scenes content.
Thanks so much for listening – until next season, get out there and build something!