Real quick before we get started. I want to tell you about a free resource I have called Creator Toolkits. Anyone can create content anytime, anywhere. But finding the right set of tools that add more value to your content creation process is hard. From figuring out the best membership plugin to choosing an LMS, the process can become overwhelming. And what’s the guarantee you’ll make the right choice? That’s why I built the Creator Toolkit.
I’ve been around this space long enough to know the projects and tools that work. And you can find all of my recommendations over at [creatorcourses.com/toolkits]. But that’s not all. If you sign up for the mailing list, you’ll get a free private podcast where I talk about these toolkits for mailing list subscribers only. You can also join the Creator Crew by becoming a member. You get exclusive access to updates and detailed video tutorials.
So to sum up, head over to [creatorcourses.com/toolkits]. Get the “What” for free. Get the “Why” by joining the mailing list. And get the “How” by joining Creator Crew Pro. Again, that’s over at [creator courses.com/toolkits].
Welcome to “Building a Better Business Part 1”. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since I changed the direction of WP Review to focus less on WordPress news, and more on building a better business in the WordPress space. And there are three aspects of it that I think could use a little bit of perspective. These are my own musings of course things that I’ve gleaned from other people.
But part one is going to be based on an article I wrote a little over a year ago about understanding your customers.
Part 2 is gonna be about “How you can prepare your business?”
And then Part 3, which I think is going to be probably the best one of the series, save the best for last, is going to be how much proof of concept we should do? So I’m excited to share this whole series with you in three parts. And this is the first part: Building a Better Business by Understanding your Customers.
Hey, everybody. And welcome to WP Review, a podcast that is focused on providing analysis on what’s happening in WordPress and what it means for users and business owners in the ecosystem. This podcast is brought to you by GoDaddy Pro. My name is Joe Casabona. And today, we are going to learn what baby clothes can teach you about understanding your customers?
Now, if you’re a parent, you’re probably familiar or something that has been recently reintroduced into my life over the past year or so. It’s 2:00 AM and my son or daughter wakes up and is in need of a new diaper and a bottle. So I get up, I head to their room (I’m half asleep). I need to undo their PJ’s, change their diaper, and then redo their PJ’s.
And there is one type of PJ’s that are head and shoulders above the rest. The reverse zipper pajamas. So good. In fact that I’m certain they were designed by parents that had the same exact experience that I shared. And for those of you who are unfamiliar, who have never experienced the situation that I described above or maybe it’s been a while, I want to tell you that there are several types of baby pajamas. This is not a comprehensive list but it is the one I’m familiar with.
First is the looped button. These are similar to dress shirts where you need to button the whole thing from collar to feet. And you need to loop the buttons. There’s a special level of hell for people who design baby pajamas like that.
There’s the Snap button similar to loop buttons but there’s no loop. You just snap the buttons together.
There are Over-the-head PJs usually with snaps at the bottom. These don’t cover up the legs so you’ll need pants too.
There are the Zip-up pajamas. Zippers that start at the feet, and then you zip up to the collar.
And then there’s the Reverse zip. The zipper starts at the collar and you skip down to the feet.
So why does this matter, and why do Reverse zip PJs the best?
Well, here’s the problem with baby pajamas only a sleep-deprived parent dealing with a hungry crying baby in the middle of the night could understand the frustration of other types of pajamas. First of all, only a sociopath as I said earlier would have designed looped button baby pajamas to try fiddling them in the dark with a squirming. Maybe because you are not fully awake and you’re having a lot of trouble there. Try doing that.
And going from top to bottom is basically impossible.
Snap buttons are slightly better but they don’t always snap reliably. And when you get to the diaper area, there is a high probability that you will miss a button and have to redo your work.
Zip along with button-up requires you to take your baby legs out of the PJs to change the diaper. Now, this might seem trivial but again you’re tired and maybe cranky your baby is tired and cranky and squirming. And mine tend to twist and turn my children. Tend to twist and turn as I’m trying to change them. Trying to manage all of that should be an Olympic sport.
But Reverse zip, yes the legs still have to come out. But the baby is only half out of their pajamas at this point. And zipping down allows you to corral the legs a little bit and get them mostly dressed before having to get the legs back in. Much easier to manage than any of the pajamas I mentioned earlier. And if you’re thinking, (Joe has spent way too much time on this podcast talking about baby pajamas), you’re probably not changing a baby 5 to 10 times a day. But whoever invented Reverse zip pajamas is, because they understand the problem. And when you offer a solution to a client or a potential customer, you must understand the problem.
Now, we’ll get to that after a word from our sponsor who by the way understands the problem we’re trying to solve.
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Now, as I was saying, you must understand the problem. See, when you offer a product or service, you need to understand the problem you’re solving. If you don’t, you end up with a lackluster or straight-up frustrating product like looped button baby pajamas. Seriously, function over form when it comes to what babies sleep in. I can’t stress that enough. But if you do understand the problem and you communicate it well, potential customers will know, like, and trust you faster. And that means they’ll become customers faster and they’ll be loyal because they feel like you know them. Guess the only type of baby pajamas my wife and I buy now. You can understand your customers by talking to potential customers, having the same problem, and solving it for yourself definitely helps you understand, and you can communicate that understanding.
One of the reasons I’m an effective podcast educator and coach is because I’ve been through it all. I’ve been podcasting for almost 10 years now. I’ve made the mistakes, I know the problems, and I can speak the same language as my potential clients.
But understanding the problem doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have that same problem. If you’re not going through it, but you think you can offer a good solution, talk to potential customers. This is advice I’ve gotten time and time again on my main podcast “How I Built It”. You can’t speak their language there being potential customers. If you don’t know what they’re saying, if you don’t know how they are describing their problems, then you can’t solve for it, and you can’t communicate that you know how to solve for it. So create an MVP and let people use it. Conduct user interviews, listen to the words they use, and then use the same language on your sales page and in your talks.
When people are giving you money, they want to know you have the solution they need. If you want to make baby clothes, make sure you know everything about the people who have to put on those clothes for their babies.
and I’m talking this is my opening salvo for building a Better Business. Because as we’ll see throughout this series, it’s really easy to just build a solution and hope people come. But that’s a strategy that time and time again doesn’t work. We no longer are in the Field of Dreams days of the Internet. We’re not in the Field of Dreams phase of the WordPress ecosystem either. Maybe back in 2007, you could have built a theme and people would have just found it. Or you could have built a plugin and people would have just found it.
But you can’t do that anymore. Everything is saturated. There’s a lot of competition and you need to understand the precise problems you’re solving. So before you spend a weekend coding a solution, you should really understand the solution that you’re creating. That you’re the problem that you are trying to solve.
One good way to do this is by blogging or podcasting about it. Put out some vibes on Twitter, get people to join your mailing list, and talk about it. Ask them for feedback. This is what the founder of Learndash, Justin Freeman did. In fact, he gathered data for quite a while before he initially launched Learndash. And less than a year ago as I record this, he made a successful exit selling Learndash to Liquid Web.
And full disclosure, Liquid Web and their family product sponsor my other properties. But I have been using Learndash for a long before that. See, Justin understood the problem he was trying to solve not only because he was in the space, but because he took the time to gather feedback and talked to potential customers.
So that is what I’m encouraging you to do. That is what I’m encouraging you to look for out in the world. You probably know of some really well-designed products, and you know of some poorly designed products. And the ones that you think are really well designed probably feels like the creator reached into your brain and pulled the solution out.
I’ll end with what I think is a really good example is Apple’s AirPods Max. They are $550 noise-canceling headphones. And most people (myself included) at first scoffed at the idea of a set of headphones that cost anywhere from 150 to $250 more than the competition. But for the people who bought the AirPods Max like me about eight months later, we understand the solution that the AirPods Max solved. That they connect seamlessly to your devices better than any other headphones noise-canceling headphones I’ve tried. That the sound quality you get from them at least to me seems a lot better. And their support for things within the Apple ecosystem is also a lot better. And I’m very happy to have paid that price because I’m no longer fighting with my previous noise-canceling headphones. That’s the feeling that you want your potential customers to have because that’s how you create fans and that’s how you grow your business.
But that’s it for this episode of the WP Review. You can find a written to be read article of this episode and all of the show notes over at [wpreview.io/040]. This is episode 40.
If you like this episode, share it with a friend.
I also want to thank GoDaddy Pro for sponsoring this, and every episode of WP Review.
Until next time. I’m Joe Casabona, and I’ll see you out there.