I just learned about a new tool that can really help to promote your book or your business. This is not something you should overlook, especially since a former Microsoft techie Matt Dyor created it. This tool will help you to build an audience and get conversions. Yes, getting people to pay for your product. I asked him to do a guest blog for me and here’s the deal, so check it out and if you like what you see please RT. http://www.payboard.com
Tell us a little about yourself and family.
I moved to the Seattle area a few years ago to take a job with Microsoft. Although I have left Microsoft to start my own business, I still live in Washington with my wife and two young kids.
At what point in your life did you realize you had a desire to go into business?
My dad ran his own business when I was growing up, so I thought that was the norm. I have held jobs as part of big organizations, including Microsoft and the Army, but I have always felt most invigorated as part of a small team taking on big challenges.
What advise would you give people that want to pursue business but are standing on the edge afraid to jump?
This is the advice I wish I had before I started my first company (which failed): first get your house in order, with a focus on time, money, and network.
Time: stop doing anything that you can stop doing without compromising your core values. I love volunteering, but I took a year off from most of my volunteer activities so that I could focus on my business. I even gave away a slightly profitable co-working business to a friend, because I did not want my time or mind locked on anything but my new business. Most businesses fail, and if you do not have 100% of your energy, time, and brainpower to dedicate to your business, you are decreasing your probability of success. That being said, my co-founder and I continue to spend time with our families, because family time is a core value for Payboard.
Money: making money always takes longer than planned. I had hoped to start generating meaningful revenue after 6 months, and we are just now starting to generate revenue after a year. You should have enough money in reserve to survive twice as long as you think you need. Instead of trying to save more money before getting started, figure out how you can stop spending to make your money last as long as possible.
Network: I am not talking about generic networking, but building your network of people who have done something like what you are trying to do. What they say is not necessarily correct, but they can provide perspective that may accelerate your progress. And, if you are getting the same negative feedback from a lot of experienced people, it may be a sign that you are heading down a bad path or not clearly communicating your plan.
What was the “ah hah moment” that birthed the development of Payboard?
I ran the Microsoft Accelerator powered by Techstars, helping 20 different startups launch their businesses. The number one challenge I saw for these companies was getting their new users to purchase. A startup might get 100 website visitors each day, but few signups. Or, they might get 10 signups each day, but no purchases. There was no service that helped these entrepreneurs understand new user behavior and improve their websites to maximize signups and purchases. This seemed like a massive gap in the marketplace. My co-founder (Ken Smith) and I started building Payboard to help businesses drive more signups and sales from their existing traffic.
What type of consumers would be best suited to use Payboard and why?
Payboard is best suited for companies that have some existing web traffic and want to increase the probability of first purchases. Payboard identifies the pages that are most likely to cause a visitor to purchase, and then recommends these pages through on-page widgets and follow up email. Payboard drives more traffic to well-performing pages, which drives more purchases. Payboard works best for companies that invest in content marketing (e.g., blogging, customer testimonials, whitepapers, case studies, etc.).
In 20 words or less how would you describe Payboard?
Payboard uses predictive analytics to identify “next step” recommendations that will increase the probability of a signup and a sale.
Can authors use Payboard to help build a book buying audience?
Yes! Authors generate content, and Payboard can help recommend the best content to each visitor to drive a first purchase.
How does Payboard work?
What is the significance of your recommend next widget?
The recommended next widget is the easiest way to get started. Simply by adding our script and enabling the widget, Payboard can start recommending high performing pages. We then make it easy to track how well this “boosted” traffic is performing compared to your standard traffic, so you can see how well it is working on your site.
How can that out perform a standard capture page?
Payboard does not just request an email signup, like a standard capture page does. Instead, Payboard presents website visitors with recommendations for the pages that make visitors WANT to provide their emails. This might be a review of a product or book, a video interview, or a free excerpt offer that makes people want to share their contact information.
Do you work with the client to set up the right type of widget to gain actual conversions?
We can help people get started, but our goal is to make Payboard simple enough for anybody to set up on their own. We just released a WordPress plugin that takes about 5 minutes to install, and requires no code. We use the behavior of successful users to drive our recommendations, so there is no setup needed. Where we do work with clients is translating new user data into actionable insights, identifying possible changes to a website or even a new business offering that may help increase new user value.
What else would you like the audience to know about Payboard?
Payboard is a good tool today, and is on its way to being a great service. We would love to work with this community to get more signups and sales.
How would you like to be contacted?
People can contact me on Skype matt.dyor, or tweet me @mattdyor (I am a big fan of twitter – that is how I met Linda Leon and how I got connected to this great community).
Co-Founder and CEO at Payboard
I’m CEO at Payboard, where we help SaaS companies convert first time visitors into happy, paying customers. Prior to Payboard, I was the Managing Director at the Microsoft Accelerator powered by Techstars. In that role, I helped 20 startups build and refine their businesses by focusing on their customers, resulting in millions of dollars of value creation. Previously, I served as a patent attorney for Microsoft and as an infantry officer for the US Army.