Setup your Startup
In this guide, you will learn how to use Bill Aulet's Disciplined Entrepreneurship and modern software tools to build your
- Landing page
- Product video
- Marketing plan
- Pitch deck
- Buy the book. It is available from various booksellers and has been translated to multiple languages, including Korean.
- Register an account with a website builder (we recommend Squarespace) and a video hosting service (we recommend Wistia).
- A laptop with a webcam, smartphone with a decent camera, and/or dedicated camera to take pictures and video.
- Make sure you have spreadsheet and presentation software installed (Microsoft Office, Apple iWork, Google Docs/Sheets/Slides).
A landing page is a marketing tool that you can use to gauge interest in your product and generate leads (potential customers) for your company. Even if you are not yet ready to sell your product, your landing page can help you capture the email address of your customers or other contact information so that you can start building relationships with them.
To build your first landing page, first take a look at Steps 5, 7, and 8 in Disciplined Entrepreneurship. What you want to do here is to showcase your "customer persona" (from Step 5) in three situations:
- the "as-is" state, which is the problem they are currently facing that your product or service will solve.
- the "possible" state, which is what would happen if they buy and use your product.
- the "high-level product specification", which is a visual representation of the product and the benefits that your customers will get.
To create this landing page in Squarespace, you can start with a blank page or with the "Details 2" starter page layout in any theme, and simply create three sections in the same page for each of these three bullet points above. The starter layout only includes two images, so you will need to insert an image block to add a third image. If you need to find high-quality images to use, you can try using Unsplash.
Finally, insert a form into the page where you can ask customers to enter their email address for more information and updates on your product.
An introductory video can be inserted into your landing page to improve "conversion", which in this case means that the visitor is more likely to enter their email address into the form field you have created. You should avoid free, ad-supported video hosting services because those services will insert advertisements for your competitors products on your landing page, and that is not a good thing for your company.
Your introductory video should be less than one minute long, and you can divide it into three sections:
- the "as-is" state, where you want to show your customer persona facing the problem, similar to the first image of your landing page, but in video form. (10 seconds)
- product introduction, including how to set up the product (10 seconds), how to use the product (10 seconds), and how to put away the product to be ready to re-use or discard (10 seconds)
- logo sting, which is an animation of your logo at the end of the video to build your brand recognition (10 seconds).
For your video, the most effective way to deliver your message is through role playing. You probably don't have the budget to hire professional actors and a camera crew, but you can use your own cellphone camera and your teammates can assume the role of one of your customers producing the scene where you are facing the problem. Then you can showcase how the product is being setup, used, and put away by the customer, with your teammates role playing all of these situations.
A full marketing plan takes time, resources, and experience to develop and execute. However, we can get started by focusing on the three main components of your marketing plan:
- Delivery Channels
For your goals, you can use the Marketing Plan Template Generator. This template would normally take about ten minutes to complete, but there might be some terms that you are unfamiliar with. You want to think about Step 23 in Disciplined Entrepreneurship. What are the goals and corresponding metrics that will most likely show people are willing to buy your product? If you need further help understanding marketing terms, please refer to the The Ultimate Dictionary of Marketing Terms You Should Know or The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Glossary.
For your content, you can use Hubspot's Blog Idea Generator to produce topics you can write for your blog. Try different combinations of keywords until you find topics you think will be useful to your target customers. One way to determine whether or not the topics are good for your customer is to compare them against the customer touch points in Step 6 of Disciplined Entrepreneurship.
The delivery channels are important because you cannot just assume that people will come to your blog once you have posted it on the internet. Can you identify potential channels such as forums, online communities, or groups on social media through which you can start interacting with your potential customers?
Finally, you can compile the goals, content, and delivery channels for your marketing plan into a document or slideshow.
Disciplined Entrepreneurship is a great tool to make pitch decks. You can either make a 10-slide pitch deck by selecting some of the Steps in the book, or you can use all 24 Steps for a longer presentation. Your pitch deck should essentially follow the Six Themes of Entrepreneurship from the book, with additional slides introducing your team, status, and your "ask", which is business jargon for the request you want to make from your audience.
To make a 10-slide deck, use the following:
Slide 1: Title Page. Make user you include your company name and logo.
Slide 2: Who is your customer? Steps 3 and 4
Slide 3: What can you do for your customer? Steps 7, 8, 16.
Slide 4: How does your customer acquire your product? Steps 6 and 18
Slide 5: How do you make money off your product? Step 15. You can use the business model canvas for this slide.
Slide 6: How do you design and build your product? Steps 20 and 21
Slide 7: How do you scale your company? Steps 14 and 24
Slide 8: Who is in your team and what does each person contribute?
Slide 9: What is the current status. Do you have a mockup? A prototype? Are you ready for sales? Include data from Step 23 if you have it.
Slide 10: Ask! What do you currently need help with? What are your next steps?