Startup Pitch Deck Special – Podcast Episode #10

In this episode, I discuss pitch decks for startups looking to raise funds.

A few quotes from this episode:

  • Everyone is a pitch deck expert, some of the advice will even be good
  • You can get some real confidence when you see how basic YouTube pitch deck was
  • Pitch decks are designed to be “pitched” not emailed
  • A great pitch deck has very few words on it
  • A pitch deck is not a business plan
  • If you don’t win an investor’s heart you’ll probably never convince their head
  • You want to start your pitch deck with a story
  • When you pitch you need to create both ‘fear’ & ‘greed’ within your potential investors
  • Create a vision for the future with your pitch deck
  • Make sure you add the ‘secret sauce’ to your pitch deck
  • Please don’t ask investors to sign an NDA before you present your pitch deck

pitching your startup

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Here are the pitch decks I talk about during this episode.

Ep9: SEO for Startups Part 2

Choosing the correct SEO keywords, asking for those links and the importance of deep links with a focus on accounting sites. Plus I discuss dogfooding.

 

 

  • As an SEO you can tell when a page is built for SEO gain – 3:05
  • It’s Google’s job to work out if your page is offering value or is just there to collect traffic  – 4:50
  • If you’re ranking #1 but not seeing any traffic, it is possible that people are not searching for your target keywords – 4:55
  • Use Adwords to make sure the keywords you’re targeting for SEO actually have demand – 6:40
  • Creating lots of keywords targeted pages without much SEO authority will not win you much traffic – 8:00
  • Hotlinked images can be an easy way to pick-up some easy links – 8:20
  • Embedded videos will increase your visitor dwell time and therefore give an SEO boost – 10:00
  • Make sure you optimise your images to reduce your homepage loading speed for an SEO boost – 11:25
  • SEO is like an F1 car, onsite SEO is like your aerodynamics and your links are your engine – 12:50
  • Once an article on a 3rd party website has had it’s ‘day in the sun’ the long-term value to your business is the link – 14:45
  • To me, it is counter-intuitive for journalists to reference a website without providing a link – 16:10
  • You don’t lose SEO power by linking out, if you don’t link then it is like not voting – 16:49
  • To not add a link to an externally referenced website is just bad internet Etiquette – 18:15
  • Getting social signals to your website pages send Google good ranking vibes – 19:30
  • The title of your page is more often than not what appears in Google results in blue – 22:20
  • Matching your page title to a user search not only increases your ranking but also the click-through rate – 24:20
  • Dogfooding is using your product just like your customers would  – 27:12

QUT bluebox podcast – featuring Gerard Doyle

A real honor to be invited on to Episode 2 of the QUT podcast Podcast.

At the start of the episode, Tim and Yotam talk about the QUT Bluebox Robotics Accelerator for 2018 Applications are open now and you can find out more and apply at www.qutbluebox.com.au/robotics

Tim and I discuss ‘growth hacking’,

You can listen to the episode here

A few quotes:

  • ‘Growth Hacking’ is often a buzzword that annoys marketers
  • Growth Hacking is really about making short sharp measurable marketing tests for your business
  • For startup marketing: Tie your product in closely with your marketing
  • I like to think that a degree still counts these days
  • Growth hack teams often resemble a hackathon team with a Hacker, Hustler and Hippie.
  • People try to re-invent the wheel, without knowing what a wheel is first
  • Growth hacking sits well with startups because a startup does not sit in a room writing a business plan, they get out and test
  • A founder actually wants to know if they are spending money and not getting a return
  • You can’t run an experiment if you don’t measure anything
  • A startup a temporary organisation looking for a repeatable business model

 

 

Ep7: Should you outsource your social media?

In this episode, I look how, and if you should outsource your social media. I discuss how to think about your social channels and recommend a great new tool I’ve found to extract the value from your quality content.
For the second question, I look at how to win over a target market that is expensive to engage and also look at how to use content to drive the more protracted sale.
In my end of episode rant, I talk about how the competition can’t just copy your brand authenticity, and how you generally don’t need to be afraid of the copycats out there.

 

In this episode, I discuss missinglettr.com as a SAAS tool I ‘m testing for re-publish my content, you can grab a free trial here.

Key Quotes:

  • You really can’t have your brand authenticity stolen by a competitor, so don’t sweat it
  • I’m not a fan of outsourcing social media – this is your digital voice
  • Are you really important enough to ask somebody to speak on your behalf
  • Always try to insource your social media before you try to outsource
  • pitching for a search account is about the most boring thing a brand marketer can do
  • have a vision, mission and desired outcome for your social channels
  • Too many companies are just on social media because they feel they have to be there
  • Social Media Idea: Post less, comment more
  • ebooks are great, but if you’re hiding too much content, bring it forward and drip feed it into a campaign

Ep6: Can you do too much split testing?

In this episode, I look at split testing and consider if it is possible to do too much. I also look into the boom that was location-based shopping apps that have since seemingly disappeared.
At the end of the episode, I pay homage to the íce breaking’ founders.

Thanks so much stopping by, your subscription to my podcast really helps me to reach a new and bigger audience.

If you’re an Apple user then you can subscribe to the podcast here Apple iTunes Podcasts

If you’re on Android then you can find us on Stitcher here

If neither of these work then you can just use Sticher through your browser

and remember, if you do have any questions you’d like me to answer on the show please just leave them in the comments here http://fractal.com.au/questions

cheers,

Gerard

Do you sell out of sizes too quickly?

In this blog, I am going to talk about how you can learn the tricks of savvy eCommerce stores, and get some tricks for size analysis and how to determine the life of a product.

I love to shop. It’s in my DNA, I like the frill of the chase. The feeling of getting a bargain, the feeling of winning, of saving money, or of getting something unique. I like to abandon my cart with new eCommerce websites that I find, to see if they retarget me & offer me a discount to make my purchase. Another thing I enjoy is predicting when something will go on sale. My strategy for this is to review the availability of sizes, then to check if there is an abundance of the same thing in the rest of the market. I’m usually pretty good at determining if it’s going to go on sale or not, I am also freakishly patient at shopping, so will happily wait. I have been known to wait for 12 months for a product to drop to my price range. My favourite stores are the ones that can beat me on my strategy. The ones that have managed to balance their risky fashion purchases vs. their core everyday purchases. The ones that I know I will have to buy at full price because I can tell that the products they have brought will sell out in 1 day, 1 week, 1 month; whatever the life of product they have decided. That smart buying makes it tough for me. But it also drives demand, and for me, respect. In order to keep these savvy shoppers, you need to understand the life of products that you stock. Is a product going to last the test of a trend? Is a trend going to be done in a month, or is it more sustainable? You need to know how to pick it. Sites like WGSN, Refinery29, High Snobiety are great for inspiration & details on trend.

As a professional working in inventory management the number one complaints that I hear, is that my clients are selling out of certain sizes too quickly, and they are left with broken inventory or random sizes. As a former Merchandise Planner, Buyer and Merchandiser, key to my success were optimizing the size curve for the buyer. You’ll never get this 100% accurate, as you don’t have a crystal ball. But you can get this to around 90 – 95% accuracy by using historical data & learning when and why to look at the data at these points.

My first tip is to look at the history of a product at around 60 – 70% sell through. Look for the balance by size in the sell-through; i.e. are they all at a similar sell-through rate? If the answer is no – read on. If you have an average rate of 70% sell through, but you have some sizes at 40% i.e. too low, or some sizes at 90%+ i.e. too high.

Look at the below example of the buy:

All sizes were bought quite flat; assuming that they would sell at the same rate.

But as you can see; in this case, Large was the key size, but was only the second highest buy-in units.

So the sales rate of sale differed to the buy curve, you can also see that the liquidation or sell through varied by size:

The large size picked up sales of nearly 10% more than the buy, therefore this will sell out much faster than the other sizes & eventually lead to broken inventory and disappointed customers.

I would, therefore, review these factors – Liquidation and the actual sales curve to get the below buy curve for future buys:

I calculated this =((Ordered Stock * % Sales)*Liq %), I would then look at this and decide if I was happy with such a heavy weighting in favour of the size large, and what this would mean for units ordered. I would also review other factors historically, such as colour. Darker base colours might be preferable in larger sizes, whereas lighter colour bases could be preferable in smaller sizes. Data is your friend when making these choices or decisions. Also reviewing promotions that you had during any of the sales periods, that could have falsified data, or if you sell via multiple channels such as Amazon, Shopify and a Bricks & Mortar store, were any of them over or understocked. Factors to the sales are your friend when making decisions.

You need to have a good look at multiple SKUs or styles to make the call. Eventually, you’ll be able to rely more on gut feel, combined with sales history to make an informed decision. It’s also not a bad thing to seek outside help in making decisions on inventory. Remember that people make complete careers out of inventory management.  Speaking of which; I now run a Retail Consulting business, I specialize in Inventory Management and OTB – or Open to Buy maximization. Helping businesses to get the most out of their stock to maximize sales.

This Post was written buy Zoey Hopkins, you can find Zoey’s site and contact details here

Zoey Help!

Ep4: How do you decide what to charge clients for a services-based company ?

In this episode, I look at the BANT framework by IBM as a way to think about pricing your service, we discuss focusing on value and not falling into the trap of cost-plus pricing. I run through an adapted version of Peter Laurie’s pricing model strategy, and finally, I talk up the benefits of project-based pricing.
In the second half of the episode I cover the classic ‘adoption of innovation’ curve, Simon Sinek’s ‘why’ and a little time is spent on creating great copy.
I finish the episode talking about the false economy of not accepting Amex cards.

If you’re an Apple user then you can subscribe to the podcast here Apple iTunes Podcasts

If you’re on Android then you can find us on Stitcher here

If neither of these work then you can just use Sticher through your browser

and remember, if you do have any questions you’d like me to answer on the show please just leave them in the comments here http://fractal.com.au/questions

Lessons from a Coworking Space

A workplace is a delicate ecosystem where success and culture ebbs and flows with the provision of home-made cake and water cooler chat; even more so in a co-working space.

In a co-working space, you have the same shared bathroom experience, but with the added dynamic of varied companies, agendas and business cultures – all under one roof.

Today marks my final day in such a workspace- a final day, I hasten to add, that has only come about, because of my own logistical challenges (school drop-offs, family time etc) and not at all a result of the experience!

Reflecting on the past few months, here are some lessons learned that I thought I’d share with you*:

1) Headphones are the co-working space equivalent to an office door. If the headphones are on, the door is shut. You can still knock, but the barrier is up. Noteif your co-worker is wearing “cans” consider the door opaque.

2) Ask for help. Seriously, I have been amazed by how ready, willing, and able my co-working space “colleagues” offer up help, advice and support. If you have held back from such an environment because you thought different ventures under one roof would create competitive or guarded space, think again.

3) Introduce yourself. That dreaded moment where the teacher makes you stand up to ‘share a little bit about yourself’ is a recurring nightmare for many, but in a co-working space there’s no dedicated HR rep to walk you around on your first day for a meet and greet; so don’t expect the world to come to you. Say hello. Introduce yourself and enjoy the friendships that you make in an environment where like-minded people have gathered for their own adventure.

4) Introduce others. So while I agree introducing yourself can be a little hard; take a load off your co-working space buddy and make sure you introduce them to the other people you know. Double points if you can give a quick CV; and straight to top of the class if you can find a common area of discussion. This is grassroots networking.

5) Find the quiet achievers. They’re the ones who are head down, working away without anyone ever realising they invested in X, founded company Y or once worked on Z. While the squeaky wheel often gets the attention, not everyone is a natural self-promoter. You never know who is sitting next to you and what invaluable business acumen they actually possess.

6) Garner advice from the non-experts. This one sounds a little odd; but everyone has a story to tell and experience you can learn from. I’ve found that the collective experience of the co-working community is usually a good gauge of a general direction. Thinking about a double sided business model? By the time the seventh person winces, you start to get the idea it might be hard. Live and learn.

7) Pay it forward. Don’t ask what your co-working space can do for you, ask what you can do for your co-working space. But seriously, give first, it might not come back directly, it might not come back at all. But all the old adages come into play here; be nice to the people on your way up, cos you might meet them on your way down; be the co-worker you’d like to have at the desk beside you; and as I find- doing good feels good. A shared experience goes both ways.

8) You are the culture. From friendly colleagues to bounce ideas off; to the celebration of a professional milestone, the people around you make the culture of the place; and you are part of that. Don’t wait for someone to make it happen for you, you get out what you put in – even if you’re a total introvert. Join the morning teas; go for a coffee; chat on slack or leave notes for people. Or if you’re like me, join the Easter egg eating competition and go so hard you feel sick for the rest of the day – that’s just part of being a team player, right?

9) Make up the numbers. If someone is going to host an event, talk, lunch, anything. Don’t leave them talking to a room of three; If you can, go along and show your support. You’ll be helping out a colleague, sharing an experience and who knows you might just learn something! As with the note above, if someone is helping build the community, help them out.

10) Be respectful. You will make your mark, in one way or another, so make it in a positive way. As with roommates; group holidays and traditional office setting s- do your dishes and don’t stink up the office with tuna; keep the music in your headphones and your phone calls to a dull roar. Say good morning; and thank people when they help out. You might not be working for the same company, but you have the same goal= success and productivity in whatever form that happens to work for you. So do unto others and good luck to all.

* The lessons below depict the experiences of the author and may not reflect yours. The author’s personal attributes, both physical and personnel have probably impacted the experience and the results of the egg eating contest.

If your vision is authentic, it resonates

In this Guest Post, Emily Haydon founder of The Talent Connective shares some honest insights gained since launching her recruitment business.

I never believed I had an entrepreneurial gene. But life can change a person’s drivers. And at some point, my desire to create something outweighed my fear 1000 to 1.

I now believe, if your vision comes from a place of authenticity & you’re truly adding value, it resonates.  You seem to find yourself in alignment with your ideal customer, and people will rise to support you.

Starting a business has been the most humbling experience of my career.

It’s meant stripping away some of the facades we can often tell ourselves are important, like portfolio size, title, company perks, and really stripping back to what’s important at the core.  For me this is:

 

Creation and an unyielding need to build something from a place of authenticity

Contribution, legacy, meaning. It took me years to work out how to combine my career with social contribution. Now that I’ve done it I genuinely believe any product or service model could be structured as social enterprise.

Time – only through this exercise have I truly learned the meaning of work life integration.  Mumpreneuring through school holidays just turned all of my corporate conditioning on time management on it’s head. But I wouldn’t change it.

Challenge. Big goals move mountains. And the road ahead is very, very exciting.

 

Brisbane is undoubtedly a city with a big heart for supporting start-ups.  I also think this overwhelmingly positive response so early on comes from there being a driver within us all to contribute to something bigger than ourselves. Social entrepreneurialism gives people an option to do that through their business purchasing decisions and change the lives of communities everywhere.

 

Emily Haydon is the Founder of The Talent Connective, Digital Talent Acquisition in Brisbane that supports micro-finance loans and financial literacy courses in India, Africa and Bangladesh.

 

What question would you ask Richard Branson?

What would you do if Richard Branson was willing to help your business, and you had one hour with him?
I’d argue that you’d struggle the get the value that you assume would come.

There’s no doubt Mr Branson is a marketing/brand/business legend with a track record, knowledge base and life experience that’d be hard to beat. But how could you benefit from that?
The chances are that Branson has minimal domain experience that is relevant to your business.

I’m guessing your most pressing needs are quite specific; you have server load issue, you can’t get facebook engagement or your failing to find a product price point.

The reason I use this example is that as a founder you will do better to create an army of specific mentors to help you, rather than seeking out the one almighty mentor who you might think has all the answers you need – or a silver bullet solution.

In reality, every person in the world is more experienced at something than you, and as such could help you out in some way. Why would you seek one mentor when you already have hundreds ready to help you?

Try it now, take a look around where you’re sitting. The first person you see, what are they better than you at?
Maybe they have a long-term loving marriage, maybe they used to work triage in a hospital emergency ward, or maybe they race motorbikes on the weekends.

The point is that each and every person in your life is a potential mentor with experiences that you could adapt to help your business. Sure, they might not think of themselves as a business mentor, but most people like talking about themselves. I know I’ve personally been too quick to dismiss people.

As a digital marketer my ability to get attention quickly and then convert that attention into a mental/emotional response is critical.
Yet, the people who could teach me so much might be the very people I walk past each day …

So start asking more questions of those around you. See everyone as your mentor and harvest up all that advice.

A word of caution. Make sure you keep your army of mentors focused. People will quickly take a soapbox and start to bestow advice on you in areas that they have no experience.

Anyway, back to Richy B, if I had an hour, I’d focus on the founder/entrepreneurial mental stuff. I’d make sure he did most of the talking, and I’d ask him to share this post 🙂

For everything else, I’ll go back to my army of relatively unknown mentors and ask for help.