Niching Down to Find Product-Market Fit with Ryan Born of Cloud Campaign

Episode #132

When Ryan Born (@_RyanBorn) first emailed me about becoming one of Cloud Campaign's early customers, I replied with a long list of reasons why I wasn't going to use it. Two years later, he's generating over $25,000/month in revenue and growing at 32% month-over-month! In this episode, Ryan shares he got out of his product-market fit rut by interviewing hundreds of people and learning more who is and who isn't his ideal customer. He also discusses the advantages of picking a niche, the ins and outs of running Facebook ads profitably, and how dipping his toe in the water of numerous marketing channels helped him discover which one was worth diving into more deeply.

Show Notes

  1. 4

    Thanks so much for having me on the show, @csallen! It was a lot of fun!

    If anyone wants to dive deeper into any of the topics in the episode or has any questions, I'm happy to provide color :)

    1. 1

      Really smooth episode, thank you 👏

      Do you think you could share some more advice on talking to potential and early customers?

      1. 2

        Thanks Neil!

        And yes of course - here are some pointers for talking to early customers:

        • Ask for advice
          ("Given your deep knowledge in X, I was hoping you could provide some feedback on this problem I'm solving.")

        • Be sincere
          Have a real conversation and actually try to understand their problem. Don't try to force the sale.

        • Build a partnership
          Your early customers are partners. It's not a transaction. Ideally, you'll be working with them for years to come and they will be your biggest champions of the product. Depending on your price point, I'd consider setting up a few pilots with early customers. Give them a sizeable discount (that expires) in exchange for bi-weekly meetings where you can gather feedback.

        • Make them feel like part of the team
          Be transparent and keep them updated on your progress if you build a feature that they request. Even if it has been on your roadmap for months, that is their feature and it was their idea. This is super powerful and it will make them a champion of your product touting your name around town.
          One of our early customers described themselves as a co-founder because they were so involved in finding bugs and helping design features in the early days. You even see this with larger businesses -- companies will often bring key, early customers with them to ring the bell when they IPO.

        I hope that helps!

        1. 2

          Ryan, this is such a great advice.
          Will save it for reference. Thank you!

          1. 1

            Glad I could be helpful! :)

  2. 2

    Thanks Ryan.. awesome inputs for us

  3. 1

    hey @RyanB, can you please link the Patrick McKenzie blog post you mentioned where he talks about "selling to users who are used to paying for products like yours"? I tried searching for it but I couldn't find it!

    1. 1

      Ah, man this was a while ago. I unfortunately can't remember if it was a blog post published to the Stripe Atlas docs or to Patrick's personal blog (if he has one). In all honesty, it may have even just been a Twitter storm by @patio11.

      He's on here. He might be able to chime in to point you in the right direction.

      1. 2

        haha no worries, I appreciate the support! I found this related article which was super valuable as well: https://stripe.com/atlas/guides/starting-sales

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