Weekly Snip Update, August 22nd, 2014

I feel like I’m at a point of unusual clarity with Snip. I’ve spent a lot of time feeling clueless, confused, conflicted, hopeless, hopeful, excited, depressed, sure, unsure, and many other things, usually all within a 24-hour period. It’s been a total roller coaster.

At this point in time I feel like I know exactly a) what I need to do and b) in what order. The “in what order” part is the most significant thing. I’ve been wrestling in my head forever between whether I should work on conversion first, then traffic, or traffic first, then conversion. I don’t think the right answer is 100% one or the other but I think I know how I want to handle that problem, and I stumbled upon the answer in kind of a surprising way.

I had the idea a while ago to build a certain lead magnet for my consulting work. The lead magnet is AngularOnRails.com, and it’s gotten a surprisingly good amount of traction so far. It’s been featured on Ruby Weekly, ng-newsletter and the first page of Hacker News. Given that I’m also working 40 billable hours a week for a client through the end of October, I had the idea that maybe it would be best to just focus on Angular On Rails until the end of October and put Snip on hold. (This is not a light decision since it would be the first time consciously putting Snip on hold since I started it three and a half years ago.)

But then I thought, if I’m going to put Snip on hold and let it run in the background for a few months, there are a few loose ends it would be worth tying up first. For example, the Snip marketing site is basically totally broken on mobile right now. I don’t want to have Snip sitting there and just not collecting leads when for a few hours of work I could be passively collecting leads.

And I seem to be getting more and more prospects chatting with me on my Olark chat. It’s irritating when this happens because I don’t have anything great to do for them when they want to take the next step toward me. What I’ve been doing is I’ve been spinning them up demo accounts (for the two people so far who have made it to that point), but then once they have that, it’s not clear to them what they’re supposed to do. I also had someone sign up for a trial last night, but since I don’t have any kind of automated onboarding process (not even an automated welcome email!), these trial sign-up notifications just cause me pain and irritation, since my past experience with these people has been that they don’t respond to any of my communication, phone or email. I think at least some of the onboarding process needs to be in-product hand-holding in order for it to be effective.

There are also a couple bugs I’d need to fix before I’d feel comfortable consciously putting Snip on hold. Like right now, when someone signs up for a trial, they start getting their schedule sent to them daily via email, and the unsubscribe part of that is currently broken. That bug weighs heavy on my mind, and I can’t just let that sit and have Snip consciously on hold.

So basically I want to get to the point where seeing a lead come into my funnel isn’t a source of pain/guilt/irritation, and that there aren’t any bugs in Snip that are so bad that I feel guilty about them constantly.

I think the first thing I’ll do is fix the in-app bugs, then improve the trial onboarding experience, then see where I’m at.

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