How to Attract the Right Audience and Subvert the Funnel

We were lucky enough to have Chris Savage, co-founder and CEO of Wistia, deliver a great talk to the Vegas tech community on why video is so powerful when building audiences and how to make video production easier.

The good folks at Wistia often recommend to video newbies that they work with whatever camera they have handy — so we MacGyver’d something with Walter’s iPhone, some tape, a picture frame, and a bar stool to capture Chris’s words of wisdom.

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2013 iDoneThis List of Awesome

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At iDoneThis, we aim to help people get more of the stuff that’s important to them done.  In 2013, individuals and teams who use iDoneThis accomplished some amazing things, so we thought we’d ask some of them to tell us about what they accomplished in 2013 that they’re proud of.

Their inspiring answers:

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7 Essential Online Business Tools that Power You Forward

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As a distributed team, we find tools indispensable because we rely on them so heavily to collaborate and create our collective office space in the cloud. We know the beating heart of running a successful business is successful communication internally as a team and externally with our customers — and without helpful tools, we can’t connect.

We’ve rounded up our seven favorite tools that keep us moving forward. What these seven tools have in common is that they’re easy to use and responsive to our needs. And when tools can evolve as we evolve while retaining their simplicity and effectiveness, they have great staying power.

Here’s the quick list:

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How ShopLocket Maximizes its Progress By Celebrating Wins

When ShopLocket cofounder and CEO Katherine Hague once wanted to sell some ninja T-shirts, she found herself stuck, feeling that the cost and process of building a whole storefront to do so didn’t make any sense. Seeing a gap in e-commerce options between all the bells and whistles of building a virtual store and throwing a posting up on Craigslist, Katherine and cofounder Andrew Louis started ShopLocket to provide a microshop tool to embed products into whatever platform you’re already using, from Facebook pages, blogging sites, and beyond.

Creating A Happy Workplace

Having gone through a Toronto accelerator, raised a seed round of $1 million in funding, and expanded to a team of seven since 2011, ShopLocket is now focused on understanding their sales funnel and growing their product team. Throughout this progression, Katherine’s been careful to ensure that ShopLocket’s culture remains strong and employees happy by cultivating a workplace where people actually like to be.

In starting ShopLocket, Katherine explains, “We wanted to create a place where we wanted to work. A lot of that creating a happy place comes from the Zappos mentality but we’d heard a lot of stories of people who woke up one day to realize that they’ve created a company where they don’t even want to go.”

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How we got to $1,000 in recurring revenue

When we launched a paid version of iDoneThis, we held our breath — we didn’t know if a single person would sign up.

The waiting, the sweat, the nerves.

Finally, the whoosh of a collective sigh of relief. One trailblazer of a person signed up for iDoneThis and put their credit card down.

Amidst all that “will they pay?” jitters though, we figured that if just one person signed up, there had to be at least 1,000 more people out there who hadn’t yet heard of us that would be willing to do the same. And that first month, we got $1,000 recurring revenue signups for our service.

How We Did It

1.   A simple product with a straightforward value proposition.

From the beginning, iDoneThis has been simple to explain and understand:

We send your team a daily email asking, “What’d you get done today?” You reply. The next morning, your team gets an email digest with what your team got done yesterday — to kickstart another productive day.

It’s an incredibly simple way to sync up at work.

For almost every team, syncing up is a pain point, and we provide a simple solution: instead of having meetings or interrupting people who are trying to get things done, sync up asynchronously over email.

The reason that it can be harder to build a simple product is that you will always have people laughing at you, asking incredulously, “People pay for that?” This happened non-stop in the early days of iDoneThis and continues to happen today.

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GitHub + iDoneThis: Bring Your Commits Into iDoneThis

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Hellooo Octocat! We’re so excited to announce our new integration with GitHub that makes it a cinch to gain motivation and momentum from seeing your progress and sharing those steps forward with your whole team.

(Ready to go? Start by setting up the integration.)

Why GitHub?

When you’re coding all day, it’s easy to forget to take stock of the great work you and your team are getting done. We use GitHub here at iDonethis and realized that our commits are a rich exhibit of our work that often goes unrecognized. So even if you get a ton of stuff done every day, you can’t fully appreciate all your progress and accomplishments.

The content of commit messages provide pretty accurate reflections of what you get done during the workday — and it’s annoying to have to re-enter that information into iDoneThis. What happens when you don’t record those dones, though, is that you miss out on acknowledging and getting that higher level view of all your awesome work. When you fail to celebrate your amazing coding progress, you’re not fully using your potential motivation and planning power.

Plus, developer communication with other team members is a perpetual challenge and always seems to require a disruptive step out of your existing workflow. This integration streamlines that process. Now your coworkers not only get a better idea of what you’re up to, they’ll stop interrupting you with the inevitable “What are you working on?” and you can work in peace. Everyone wins!

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Draft + iDoneThis: Celebrate your writing progress

We’ve joined forces with Draft to make it incredibly easy to track your writing progress and share it with your team. When you’ve written up an awesome piece in Draft, record your accomplishment as a done in iDoneThis with a single click inside of Draft.

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Why?

We do a lot of writing here at iDoneThis for our content marketing efforts, so we’re always in search of better writing tools.

We used to use Google Docs for collaborating on writing pieces, but it’s not great at dealing with versions and merging individual edits. I used to use WriteRoom for distraction-free writing, but it’s designed for single-player writing, not for collaboration.

We found the solution in Draft, distraction-free version control for writing.

We use it every day at iDoneThis, and we found that we were always sharing our drafts in our company iDoneThis. We found that it was an awesome way to keep the whole team in the loop on the marketing and messaging efforts that were happening, especially for team members not part of the direct draft-edit workflow.  Also, it was a great way for the content marketing folks to show, not just tell, what they were getting done.

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Connect Your Services to iDoneThis Effortlessly with Zapier

One of the biggest pain points we’ve heard from our customers is that the vital information on what’s getting done in the company is fragmented across different systems.  Changes to the code happen in Github, meetings happen in Google Calendar, and tasks are marked as done in Trello.  There’s no one place to see, talk about, and get excited about everything that’s happening in the company.

iDoneThis is meant to be that place, but we’ve heard that one of the biggest pain points is that you have to enter dones again into iDoneThis, what you might’ve already entered into another system.  And that means that iDoneThis is just more work to do.

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That’s why we teamed up with Zapier, an awesome tool that automates tasks between two apps with “zaps”, to make it even easier to record and share what you’re getting done in all the tools you use — without any change to your current behavior, to empower you to use the tools you love. We’re excited to share some of the most popular app integrations with iDoneThis using Zapier.

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Practice for Productivity! The Best of the Internet

Happy Friday! Catch up with the best of what we’ve shared on the interwebs this week! 

When you’re building a company, what’s the only thing that matters?

The most productive thing you’ll do today is PRACTICE.

The greatest startup hack: math & humble pie.

Make remote work less lonely.

Disconnect from the tubes.

8 ridiculously easy things that make you happier.

Don’t undermine company culture.

Dundee’s Tip of the Week:  Want to add to your list of dones as you finish it rather than waiting for your reminder email? You can always add dones whenever you want via web or email.

The most productive thing you’ll do today is practice

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I wasn’t originally sold on the idea of blogging.

Even when I tried to get in the habit of posting, I found it hard to stick with. Blogging took time — time to write essays daily, put in links, clean up spam, and respond to the comments that trickled in, time that was uncompensated. Why, I wondered, would I take time away from paying assignments to put my work out there for free?

Even after my book, 168 Hours, came out in 2010, and I realized I needed to interact with readers, I still thought blogging was a side venture to my real writing. More days than not, I’d take 30-60 minutes to write a post and publish it, but I still viewed it more as a labor of love (or at least PR) than anything else.

Then something funny happened. About a year into daily blogging, I’d carve out time to write a draft of an essay for a newspaper or magazine. I’d give myself until lunch, but by 10:00, I’d be done.

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