Content Snare: End The Content Gathering Nightmare with James Rose WPCP: 156
Content Snare is the product every web dev person has been waiting for.
I know, I know, that’s a big claim.
But ask anyone who has ever done a website for a client… I don’t care if it’s an individual or an agency, getting content from clients is a pain in the arse! Projects can go on way longer than necessary and before you know it, you’ve got yourself into work debt (basically you start feeling like you’re working for free because the project just keeps going on and on and on…).
With Content Snare it doesn’t have to.
I had the good fortune of connecting with James Rose, one of the founders of Content Snare a while back for the podcast and am SO glad I did! Not just because they’re solving a huge problem in this space but because he’s a great guy. There are some amazing things happening in the WordPress space that makes it so much easier for freelancers or agencies to work more efficiently (and be more profitable). I’m really excited to share Content Snare with you guys.[clickToTweet tweet=”If they paid for it then they’re probably going to be more active. @contentsnare” quote=”If they paid for it then they’re probably going to be more active. @contentsnare” theme=”style6″]
Questions I Asked James
- Before we get into Content Snare, can you share a little bit about your business and what you’ve been doing before launching Content Snare?
- I’m a huge fan of content and the power of good content marketing. Why do you think clients struggle so much with content?
- I’m sure there are a ton of reasons you guys created Content Snare but was there a moment or something that happened that made you guys say “we need to create a solution to this problem?”
- Tell us about the journey to Content Snare.
- How did you decide which features to include?
- Have there been any requests that you guys hadn’t thought of?
- What are the plans for Content Snare this year?
- Your company overall?
What You’re Going to Learn
- How they came up with the idea for Content Snare
- How having conversations with designers gave them the validation they needed to start
- What they did to double their email list in only 3 days when promoting Content Snare
- What features will be included in the MVP (version 0)
- Who Content Snare was built for (but I see so many possibilities with it)
- What future features they’d like to include
Where to Connect with James & Content Snare
Kim: [00:00:22] Hey what's up everybody. Welcome to another episode of Wordpress podcast. I'm your host. Kim Doyal the Wordpress chick and oh my god we are talking about something that I'm pretty sure that every single person is going to have some connection to this.
Kim: [00:00:41] My guest today is James Rose. James thanks so much for being here. Not a problem at all. Thanks for having me.
James: [00:00:48] I'm really excited and I know that was kind of an ambiguous intro but I'm going to let you share a little bit more. And just as a tease for the audience we're talking about content and getting content from your you know insert hammer banging the head here. So but you know before we talk about Content Snare you know I've looked up your you know your company. Aktur Tech. Did I say that correctly. Yeah.
James: [00:01:15] Well done, no one does that.
Kim: [00:01:19] Phonetics Kim. Actor OK. So you know Aktura Tech. So let's talk a little bit about your story before you launched Content Snare.
James: [00:01:27] Yeah right. Well I mean if you want to go back I mean I was born.
Kim: [00:01:33] Everybody does it like in kindergarden I'm like it. I don't know how to phrase that question but it's all yours.
James: [00:01:40] Yeah. Well we saw that a long time ago in the software. Like I was an engineer before that. But over lunch one day me and my night were busy back in the SEO days. I don't know if you remember article spinning.
Kim: [00:01:54] Oh yeah yeah yeah.
[00:01:58] Yeah. So we built a product in that space because we were using an article spinner. We were like, this sucks we can do it better. So we built one and that sort of got us start and we built software we built that for like three years and then at some point were like let's do something different and find like a real problem to solve. I started networking with local businesses and as soon as you mentioned software people for some reason lump like I.T. and software and web altogether and they just can you help me with my email. Can you help me yeah. I can do like place the harddrive on my computer I was like Dude no I can't I choose not to. Yes. But they all started complaining about their Web developers. So as I'm sure you've seen like this a lot of shonky web devs.
James: [00:02:48] So everyone's got a story.
Kim: [00:02:51] Because it's never the clients fault.
James: [00:02:55] But there are still a lot out there.
James: [00:02:58] And so that's where you sort of went. Let's have a crack at this. And that's how we going into Web sites and wordpress because we've been building our own sites for years so we thought you know what we can do this for people and just not screw it up.
James: [00:03:11] And then the plan was always keep our ear to the ground and hopefully come up with another software idea at some point.
James: [00:03:19] And that happened basically last year. Late last year I was talking to some designers and way even just analyzing online processes and being like content sucks,like I was sick of chasing clients up for content and because it's easily one of the worst parts. So I interviewed a bunch of local designers and they all sort of confirmed that you know like I got some of my best copy from those those interviews like this stuff. Yes. That's kind of how it started.
James: [00:03:53] And yeah look was as of right now we were not even in beta yet. But that's only about not even a week away.
Kim: [00:04:00] Oh very exciting. So. So you guys still have web site development going on. You've got client services on that end. And do you guys do other software development also.
James: [00:04:12] Well with the Web site stuff we're not really publicizing that because I mean it's not a it's not our core business anymore because you know I don't want to be competitor at all to the people using our software. The I mean the reason we're still doing that is so I can stay in the loop about you know new tools and project management processes so I can pass that on in our blog. Now if you've seen a blog but can I just give away all IP they.
Kim: [00:04:42] On the Content Snare side or the other technology.
James: [00:04:46] But the strategy here is to just give away everything that we learned building web sites and so do build web sites but we're not really publicizing that as a service that we do. But yeah the main the main other services our software development capabilities so we do work with a few designers to handle the work that they sort of beyond their capability like beyond WordPress.
James: [00:05:10] For example we build ground up custom software.
Kim: [00:05:14] Nice. I am asking just why I'm partnering on a web app. Clearly I'm not developing it. I get to do content marketing. I just I love the space. I think it's fascinating. I think that you know being able to solve a problem through a piece of software you know is like one little piece of the puzzle. So let's jump in the Content Snare and and I've got a lot of questions for you there. OK. Before we do that though I do want to ask you clearly I am a huge fan of content. I love content marketing. I think it is just it's gold right to connect with your audience. Why do you think clients struggle so much with content.
James: [00:05:52] I've had a couple of theories about this I think.
James: [00:05:56] One I think is that they've put so much effort into deciding who to use for a Web site because I because I've kind of done this sort of thing before where as soon as I make a purchase I feel like the work's done. You know like I've go on and on someone and of like decided looked at a couple of options and then go on. All right cool. I'm going to I'm going to buy this thing. Then it's all right now we're going to set up the software, I'm like crap.
James: [00:06:20] I didn't consider the extra work I had to do.
Kim: [00:06:24] Wai I bought this automation tool that I have to actually put stuff into.
James: [00:06:27] You know like part of me thinks it's similar with Web sites where they make the decision they pay 50 percent oppose it and then have to do this stuff. And I like everyone's so, so bloody busy especially web designs.
James: [00:06:46] But like everyone I've talked to in the local business space which is I guess what most people operate in with web development everyone's just so bloody busy that I think having that extra time to write their content and what they don't have really much an idea what they like how to write.
James: [00:07:05] You know they're not copywriters. So I think that's the those are the biggest problems.
Kim: [00:07:10] Yeah I just had this little epiphany I was like you know I think there is there's this fear too for clients of they know they have to give you content and they probably haven't written anything since you know like a college paper and so it's like oh oh you know.
Kim: [00:07:27] So I think there's a little bit of a psychological block that gets in the way of when when you don't create content consistently you're not writing and you know there's this whole. I just had a call earlier today we were talking about branding and stuff and it's like you know it goes so much deeper than you know the logos and stuff and the work that really creates the brand is when you start you know what is the voice the brand what is the message. All those things that you feel like these peripheral like oh I'll get to that later. But it's like all that needs to be done really before you even come up with a logo or a website. Right so I think a lot of people just don't get into it and what happens probably with clients. I'm totally going sideways here. But is you know I think they also are like they want to run their business but in no other industry I've seen other than like webdav words like I've got a business around them and I hire you to do this. But let me make sure I can tell you how to do it because I know nothing about it. And so I think there's such a lack of knowledge usually on you know. So it's sort of like this fear and this defensiveness. I don't know. I pulled out the armchair psychologist.
James: [00:08:34] No I think so too. And you touched on one thing that you said you know the last thing they write is probably in college. And like I think if you're not writing regularly then you...
James: [00:08:47] Well you know we regularly forget how hot it can be to first jump in.
Kim: [00:08:52] Oh yeah yeah.
James: [00:08:53] You know like it is a huge hurdle. And like you know you can sit there with a blank blank bit of paper or whatever for a long time. So that's why like I've been thinking a little bit about Content Snare and how we can help overcome that as well because I mean in the beginning it's going to be sort of like a form builder on steroids I call it with follow ups. But what I want to do is is sort of provide prompts in ways for you know to prompt clients to actually start writing. And that's the most excited about is how we can sort of you know test some different things and so make that experience a bit better for them.
Kim: [00:09:31] I've just said they are like you're totally So I was just sitting home like oh like content prompts right. It's something we have to talk about off line which is so random right now for me to announce on the podcast. But I think there's a fun collaboration with the Content Snare piece. I think it is I know a lot of people get in in their own way but in terms of content do you see it. I see sort of a shift happening right like I was writing this post earlier and I think there's a maturity happening in the online space where I was referring specifically to hype and Internet marketing right. And I think gone are the days it's like nobody cares that you're posing in front of a Lamborghini anymore that just doesn't work.
Kim: [00:10:10] You know so all of this hype that people are looking for this relatable connectable piece and I think small businesses you know have this disconnect between storytelling and really connecting with their audience through content and then being this professional business piece.
Kim: [00:10:27] But I think some of that's changing.
James: [00:10:30] I hope so I really like because I still see you know enough people getting involved in the hype. Know I've seen a lot of launches recently where you know with buncha hype always affiliates getting on board and suddenly my inbox is full of like all this crap.
Kim: [00:10:48] The ClickFunnels book.
James: [00:10:50] Yeah yeah you know that's one to ask formula was one.
James: [00:10:54] Crazy. And you know I still see people getting involved in the hype a little bit. But I definitely see more people you know.
James: [00:11:05] Like seeing through it is probably the word.
Kim: [00:11:09] Yeah I think there's always going to be that market right for the people that are like it's new to them but I think if you if you've been on you know I mean I think there is some maturity happening. I'm hoping.
James: [00:11:20] Oh definitely. And yet like you said with the you know most of the personal rather than professional content I think you know there's sort of a breakdown I think like on your show. It depends what your your brand is right like sometimes and who your clients are like if your target market or big corporates in your home page copy is like carrying on about having beers or something probably not going to do so well. But you know like it just depends because with Content Snare I just be me right? like I talk a lot of crap in the blog posts but that's because I know most of my clients are just small web development. You know I'm one to sort of 10 people and it's not that formal and I like that.
Kim: [00:12:12] Well and they're a much more educated crowd.
Kim: [00:12:14] Right. So they get sort of this they get the whole space of online marketing and content and how that plays into it. So let's talk Content Snare there because when I saw this it's like this is brilliant of course I'm essentially done with service work but, a lot of my audience isn't. And so obviously there's a ton of reasons right that you guys created this but was there a moment or something that happened that made you guys say "all right we've got a we've got a creative solution to this problem."
James: [00:12:44] Yeah I guess it was just when we saw the feedback so at first I had an idea for a slightly different app like one of the first bits of the prize I wanted to fix was the briefing process.
James: [00:12:56] And anyway I just got like I was and before I got a few people about 15 local designers on his on interviews on Skype and ask them just a bunch of questions you know about they process and which bits are the worst. But it all seemed to focus on this and I was like yeah you're all like that. I kind of wanted to solve that as well but this is obviously much bigger pain point given that you know 15 out of 15 people focused on it. So that that was the big, I guess the main moment and then when we started actually promoting it and seeing the amount of sign ups we were getting just so easily and the feedback to build a few software products over time and I've never seen such a crazy sort of outpouring of "Holy crap I need this."
Kim: [00:13:49] Yeah. You know the word that comes to mind mean if you've heard the term but it's work debt.
James: [00:13:55] No.
Kim: [00:13:55] I think this has Ben Settle, he's like my email guru but I also love him. So he talks about work debt and the problem you like of the Web site project. You know there are times that I would even price it like 50 percent down and 50 percent do in 30 days because you know what. We'll have our stuff done. If you're not done I'm not stringing this out. But then you know what happens. Great example somebody contacted me who's a friend. But it was like we did the site we were done a year and a half ago. James I'm like oh we gave you the wrong videos for the membership stuff and it was like I don't know... what it's like but what happens is it's like when it gets strung out or even if you're waiting on a balance or whatever and you that that waiting period you start feeling like you're working for free.
Kim: [00:14:40] Right. Because it's like you know and unless you're super diligent about tracking and billing and all of that but it becomes this work debt that you're like "this is not worth it anymore and content is like the biggest roadblock."
James: [00:14:52] Yeah yeah, I totally know what you mean now. Yeah. Because like every time you're writing an e-mail to say hey Mr. client you said you'd had this to three weeks ago we still don't have it.
James: [00:15:02] That's all just like wasted time. Right. Because everyone generally fixed fixes that project price. So it's not like you charging for this time that you know you're wasting doing all this follow up.
Kim: [00:15:14] We're not attorneys here.
James: [00:15:16] Yeah, don't start me.
Kim: [00:15:20] But it is it is and they don't take it that people it is just that you know that's not taken into consideration and so. So. OK. So how did you guys decide where to start with Content Snare. And if if you want to give more then please give more than you know form builder on steroids. Explain exactly.
James: [00:15:38] Yeah well like I said we just found out that was the biggest problem with the actual content collection.
James: [00:15:46] And you know we could obviously verify that in our business because we had the exact same problems.
James: [00:15:53] So what we've been doing software for a while so I was kind of just a matter of sitting down and thinking it out with my business partner and coming out with a solution when I think the biggest the best off we've done is when you when you send a client and all the people that I interviewed had a similar system the ones that we sort of had it, were doing this the best and it was the least problem for them if that makes sense. They they had like a system like this and it was basically a Google document or something that they would like a Word document that they'd send them that broke down the pieces of content that they might send to every client the same document.
James: [00:16:34] But you know it's still my say like on the Contact page.
James: [00:16:38] We need this information fill it out below on the home page we need you know a blurb or whatever. But a lot of the time it's still open for the clients to just give all sorts of rubbish information back you know and you know like you can sort of force them into giving you the right pieces of information in a document.
Kim: [00:17:01] Yeah.
James: [00:17:02] Yes. And the biggest thing. I mean we've seen and other people have verified is right in line instructions you know like in the middle of the in the document they'll be like bracket's "link this word to this page please."
James: [00:17:21] Or you know I'd highlight something in red and I tell you like trying to piece together really these documents that they've sent you over like four different e-mails to go. Oh OK.
James: [00:17:32] This is all the content that we need in the format that we can actually use it you know it takes like a couple hours like minimum off.
Kim: [00:17:39] Or do you know 12 deep 20 deep thread e-mails and it's like I actually read this I had content sent to me via Facebook messenger once. I was like wow if you don't put this in a word doc we're done. It's like she got fired anyway. But yeah it was. So I totally get it. You know and you're like I can't do any more screencast or screen shots or screencasts to make this simpler.
James: [00:18:01] Yeah. And so that was basically it is getting the problems together. You know in at list in saying look this is all this stuff is broken. What can we do to fix all of this. And that's kind of how we sketched out what the Content Snare will be. And so you know getting rid of that in line formatting and instructions buy like I said it'll be a form builder on steroids with that in the very beginning. Right. So what I mean by that is let's say you're building a home page you'll say I need a headline, I need a tag line, I need a hero image, I need a little about me blurb or something, I need a image of you for example and you can just lay that out like a standard form build you know like if you're building a gravity form or something. But the difference will be in line instructions so that you give them so you can say you know in this piece I need you to write blah blah blah blah blah and you might have an image you know like a lot of people work with templates. So you might have a standard template that you can embed in say like circle it on there and say "oh this bit is where this content is going to go in your web site" just to sort of help them understand a bit better. And then the main part I guess is the follow up. So once you've put all this together into the structure of the Web site the next stage will be to just like let it do all the chasing.
James: [00:19:32] I kind of liken it to like sticking a dog on them.
James: [00:19:35] So go on go get them. I mean all of this following up on a set schedule to get the content until it's done and hopefully are really pester you when it's all done. That's the plan anyway.
Kim: [00:19:48] Well so will it work in a way that I'm so fascinated by this sort of "if this then that" yeah you know abilities of certain tools and stuff. So if they filled out some will then and only remind them to fill out what they haven't done.
James: [00:20:04] Yes that's the plan. In the beginning it's basically only two states because obviously beta you're familiar with like MVP and trying to strip out all the things that are necessary to version one.
James: [00:20:17] But yes in the beginning it's basically going to be not started or some filled out.
James: [00:20:24] And then you can send out different emails based on that.
Kim: [00:20:27] Yeah. And the app I'm doing with somebody who is all "this is not a version zero Kim, you need to dial it back a little bit." So and I'm sure like you do you buys have beta users and yet not yet.
James: [00:20:38] So that will happen next week on Tuesday I believe. So we did like a little pre pre-launch discount thing. That was another sort of idea of validation just to make sure people wanted it and we had 25 people signed up so they're going to be alpha. So I guess test guinea pigs will make sure everything is running OK and then we'll bring in the rest of the beta.
Kim: [00:21:02] I love that. You know it's funny. And I'd be curious since you guys have you know you've built other software products on this. You know I see a lot of people that do this beta stuff for free forever and I'm thinking while you can still I don't know you can do it you know. Prelaunch you can pre-sell things. I've seen it on both sides of it. Is there a reason so you guys did like a discounted offer for people who were interested. Right. OK. So what was your thought process between doing that versus like a free beta launch and for what it's worth. I'm super pro like, charging.
James: [00:21:36] Yeah, yeah, for sure. A big part of it is a confirmation for us because I've been sort of following I don't know if you've seen what's his name.
James: [00:21:48] The foundation Yeah.
Kim: [00:21:50] Dane Cook thank you. Dane Maxwell...Yeah yeah. He's a comedian.
[00:21:59] You're all I'm going to stop you right there. I knew it was a Dane.
James: [00:22:08] Yes.
James: [00:22:09] All of this stuff a while back and I really got that idea of validation in my head and I guess I felt a bit nervous. You know I was like all these people say they want it but are they willing to pay for it.
[00:22:21] Because no one has signed up for the like a paid thing you kind of going to go whoa well maybe we shouldn't go down this road.
James: [00:22:28] So that's why we did it.
James: [00:22:31] In hindsight I think there's a lot more benefits like these people who are very very keen to use it and they're going to be I guess champions of feedback in the beginning. Right. If they're willing to fork out money then they're probably going to be pretty active when we first came in because that's what you need in the beta stage is feedback. People testing it. If they paid for it then they're probably gonna be a lot more active.
Kim: [00:22:55] And I've had beta access to stuff and it's like if it's something that I'm kind of interested in versus something I really really need. You know there are times like oh gosh like I haven't even logged into that yet and it's you know there's a lot of stuff out there so I think it's a I think it's great. So you guys obviously had immediate validation.
James: [00:23:14] Yeah. And I mean that's pretty much what it came down to is if no one bought it. It's just product validation if no one if no one had a solid offer that we would have had to question whether we should even go down this path anymore.
Kim: [00:23:27] And I then people need to stop complaining about not getting caught.
James: [00:23:31] Yeah that's right.
James: [00:23:32] And I know one thing we did too with that it was a like a give away kind of thing like if you shared it in one you know you shared it to Facebook and Twitter and stuff you could get into it beta or and get like one two or three months free depending on how many referrals you created. That was kind of just like an experiment I had no idea how that would go. And it blew up really.
Kim: [00:23:56] What tool did you guys use.
James: [00:24:01] Upviral.
Kim: [00:24:01] Yeah. I have that. there's gleem as well.
James: [00:24:03] I was looking at but I don't I just went with that on the recommendation and I mean there were a few issues like it spammed a few people like it with confirmation emails I get the same email like 10 times.
James: [00:24:15] I think they're working on fixing it but yeah like it was just so I wasn't sure how it would guide but it literally doubled our email list in three days.
Kim: [00:24:27] That is fantastic. You know it's for the app I'm doing we had run contest. We've got a mascot and stuff and I wanted to do I think of any use Vyper. They've got a viral contest up so we're going to try that and test that because I won the contest for the most entries because I wanted their software suite for free. So I watched the whole process right. And so but yeah I want to test that that's awesome that it worked that well for you. I think a lot of people are hesitant. It's interesting I think the sort of referral piece the viral piece of that as opposed to giveaways like I don't know what your experience is, you know but I've seen people where they've done massive giveaways and it's like people are like you know like I don't know I think there's a shift there too.
James: [00:25:13] I think I think the give away too. Like if you do a contest or give away has got to be related to the product you know like you see people doing like oh referrers some friends and win an iPad. It's like what the hell's that got to do.
Kim: [00:25:26] You're selling soil.
James: [00:25:30] So. So people are just going to do it to win the thing. Right. Whereas like with ours they're basically just getting more access or cheaper access to the content. And so you know they still in it for the till. So it's you know I guess another level of validation.
Kim: [00:25:49] No I think is great.
Kim: [00:25:51] So when you guys how long have you been building Content Snare.
James: [00:25:55] I feel like it was December or November.
James: [00:25:59] There was a UX stage in there so we had a UX guy come through and completely design everything before we started development.
James: [00:26:08] But yeah I have a role that's changed and I believe that's nearly six months isn't it.
James: [00:26:12] No five?
Kim: [00:26:13] In that funny November doesn't feel that far ago.
James: [00:26:14] But yeah I'm done months ago. Crazy. That's not good.
James: [00:26:20] It's been a constant battle for you know what's in no way out of the envelope like I'm sure you've gone through so well.
Kim: [00:26:27] Oh yeah. Well and I think I do at certain point I mean you just got to pull the trigger. Right.
James: [00:26:32] And that's what I've been I've been talking to a business and just got a man I got it. We're going to remove everything possible at this stage because everyone's on my back about getting beta out like are we getting constant emails and Facebook messages and stuff saying like when's it really is it really about let's get something out please.
Kim: [00:26:50] Well yeah and I think it's that you know we were talking about you know knowing your customers and how you communicate and create content stuff it's it's there if people now it's the initial stage. I honestly found when you just tell people you know I did a test of like a content strategy workshop like teaching people about creating content strategies and I'm like it's beta you know you're going to get a one on one with me but we're going to build it together and people are I think it's just communicating. Look this is version zero You guys are in. So let's let's pull the trigger and tell us what's going on.
James: [00:27:23] Yeah there are issues with software too that I like if you get if you've got the underlying data structure wrong for example and you had to change some some big things in that back end you'd be out for a lot of work or losing everybody's data. Yeah it's just like that's one of the problems with software. There's some things you do want to just get right from the beginning to save a huge problem down the line.
Kim: [00:27:48] Well I this whole space is really new to me and my partner is very familiar with it all. And so there are certain things that even you know because I'm assuming this will be like a recurring revenue model for you guys. Pricing? OK. but even doing that it was like where which server you have to configure it. You have to configure to go big from day one. Ideally right. Not that you know we're going make a million dollars next month but you need, You need your servers to be able to handle load you need to make sure the payment gateway everything is set up. It's just it was mind boggling. It's not just like oh yeah let's just do a recurring payment. It's just not that simple.
James: [00:28:26] Yes there are there are simpler ways to do that like using an external payment system like ChargeBee all like another card system. And what I find for scale is her Heroku like Heroku is really expensive.
James: [00:28:39] But it's so good for scaling like we've had a previous software product where we put it on Heroku from day one, is still there but it's just been so easy to scale up.
Kim: [00:28:50] Yeah that's right. We looked at some of those other tools too and there was always like one thing or another and so on. Six of one. So with the features like did you guys how did you decide which features to include. I mean you guys are pulling the trigger here pretty quick. By the time this goes live your beta people will be using it.
James: [00:29:08] Yeah. Yeah that was I probably could have done something a bit better there and got some people to come in and sort of vote on features but we didn't really have a system set up. We kind of just worked that out ourselves and what would fit our process and what I understood from the interviews what other people needed. So while it's a pretty extensive notes from the interviews and we've basically just created a spreadsheet like these are all the things we wanted to do. And this is the importance of it and then break those down into Version numbers so this is you know this month's beta all this one's like you know a couple of versions down the line. This one is way down the line.
Kim: [00:29:47] So you know I totally get it and obviously it depends on if there's just a lot of factors that I'm totally learning about all this. And you know is is one ease of use to implement and then even for some of those features you still have to when you are developing like take those future features into consideration with the initial development.
James: [00:30:09] Oh yeah. There is a lot to think about.
[00:30:12] And that's I guess what's dragged on in the end. Like every software project ever.
Kim: [00:30:17] Yeah. So if I don't like I sign up I am the total product beta list girl right. Like I look at all that stuff and the things I'm like What is this? Because I signed up like six months ago but I get it. So I totally get it. So let me ask you. So for the content that you're creating on Content Snare like have you had a strategy in doing that to build brand awareness for the product.
James: [00:30:41] Not necessarily like at this stage.
James: [00:30:43] So to just write like anything that I think that I'm like this is going to be super helpful for web design it is write. I've got like a huge list of stuff I want to write in the future but so I have like a riding day which is Monday and I'll just go in and pick out what I think's the best and I'm just wrong. So that's pretty much it there's no like...
James: [00:31:04] I know everyone says you've got to have a content strategy and stuff but you had a pretty nice message today with some someone signed up and said I'm just starting a business and your blogs being a gold mine.
James: [00:31:12] I was like, nice! I'm on track.
Kim: [00:31:15] That is awesome. And I just mean you know like same thing like I don't know what the key word research I do enough of that I get. I look at my analytics and stuff but at the end of the day I just mean more of the goal with the content on Content Snare there would be obviously to provide value but it's to gain customers right. I mean the end goal is. Right. So you know we're a lot of people I used to just I go back I don't know if I ever done this and you look at stuff you wrote initially when you were getting started and it's like oh my oh my god, a robot wrote this. It was just like "oh I'm just going to talk about this plugin today" or "here's a little opinion on it" there wasn't "is there a customer path" like how can I start building this relationship with my audience? is kind of you know what I mean.
Kim: [00:31:59] So when you guys were talking to people about you know solving this dilemma for them. Were there any requests or features that you guys hadn't thought of that people brought to your attention.
James: [00:32:12] You know what I'm not going to lie, I can't remember or I have to dig through my old interview that like I just use one note and stick it all in there and you know I'm sure there are some things I think actually one was would mess which is not going to be an MVP but one girl does a lot of stuff and getting product data, I don't even think of it.
James: [00:32:37] But we've had the same problem like getting them to answer all all their products. You know you know we have to send them a spreadsheet or something and then it doesn't work with images. So that is one feature that we like to build and eventually that came up through an interview.
James: [00:32:53] A way for them to add all their WooCommerce products in would be amazing. I've been actually somehow export that into WooCommerce directly. That would be amazing.
Kim: [00:33:02] That would be pretty fantastic. You know the other thing I was thinking of earlier and I was like I would see that this would be a great tool for even social media managers to a certain extent.
James: [00:33:14] Yeah.
James: [00:33:15] Well that's actually what a long time ago I had a book keeper friend of mine using a tool that was made for bookkeeper's but it got shut down and we tried to use it sort of for a web project a long time ago and it just it was rubbish it didn't work and now it's pretty much gone.
James: [00:33:40] He said there's another industry you know like I've had bookkeeper's I've had social people I've had marketing people that are all interested in this I guess. And the reason we focus on web design is because we know that space and we can provide value through the blog and it's just you know I don't want to go and learn a new industry and how to market to them.
Kim: [00:33:58] Oh no but I just I think you know it's funny. I was even thinking of a friend who has a couple of Realtors that are clients and he manages newsletters and Web sites. So will they be it so like this would be an ideal tool for him and you know so is this something that like are you guys going to have templates in there or you can build a sort of create what you need based on your specific client. How is that going to work.
James: [00:34:21] Oh yeah I meant to mention that before.
James: [00:34:23] So when you're building outside your home page like I was talking about with the headline and you tag on in hero image that will be able to be saved as a template.
James: [00:34:33] Same as like a contact page you know you might say we need a office phone number a mobile a map address whatever. All this stuff for the contact page.
James: [00:34:43] Save that as a template and then just reuse it on every on every client but you just give me an idea with like social media management stuff they might want recurring templates to automatically create a new request, you know, if it's like something that they need to put out every month. You know you might create a recurring recurring template so I'm going to have to write that then.
Kim: [00:35:06] Well, there will be recording of this.
Kim: [00:35:10] So yeah I just think like this piece it's kind of like nothing else up and nothing else can happen. But you know we were talking earlier it's like well you know doesn't matter how great the site is if there's no, you know the new content piece. I mean you know even even for people that maybe you know manage content for clients having like you were talking about like a content prompt or whatever and let's say you know they're people they're content writers. I've got to gal that I had a strategy session with and she, very targeted niche. This would be gold. She's going to love this tool a very targeted niche of builders and contractors and in that space. And so she creates content for their newsletters and then she does these, she called them customer success stories... but it's basically like case studies essentially. And if she had I bet she this would streamline things for her immensely. And these are recurring like she does a couple of template you know newsletters a month or whatever and but these That's a whole separate thing during these case studies, it's involved.
Kim: [00:36:15] So this it's like I see all these verticals.
James: [00:36:19] Yeah.
Kim: [00:36:21] Sorry.
James: [00:36:21] I'm definitely.
James: [00:36:22] No no no I'm definitely I'm just laughing thinking I've had the exact same thoughts you know like so many uses for this.
[00:36:31] The only reason we focus, we just chose to focus webdesign because it's what we know right like and it's it's much easier to market something when you have a niche down like I talk about that a lot in the blog post. Like the biggest, one of the biggest keys to web development is like specialization into like an industrial area. And so for me not to do that would be a little bit contradictory.
Kim: [00:36:54] Well yeah, but I'm just like I totally agree. Trust like I'm like I want to offerings. That's it. I'm only going to sell to you like I'm all about simplicity. But but for this for web developers though in finding ways you know I mean obviously, I mean I'm going to refer everybody to this site for it you know if they've got yeah, different, different markets that they focus on even. There's a way they'll be able to use Content Snare right to to customize what they need to extract from the clients.
James: [00:37:23] Oh definitely.
Kim: [00:37:25] That's fantastic. So was there anything that you knew you guys were like "this has to go into the first version."
James: [00:37:33] Well obviously the the biggest thing was the follow ups right? Because it just that's I think that's because it's not only a time saw it gets stressful as well. Well I've been so cranky at clients just just writing emails to them like, "come on give me this is bloody content." So and I just and I'm cranky enough as it is.
Kim: [00:37:58] You don't seem cranky.
James: [00:38:02] Say that that was the absolute number one thing is to automate the follow ups so that my original idea was to only let web design out like the person using the software and know when everything's ready that's obvious in an ideal world.
James: [00:38:21] But that you know take away that time and stress from the always following up is the absolute sort of number one thing to go in.
Kim: [00:38:31] Yeah. And I think too I mean it it helps the you know keeping those, what's the word I'm looking for, that channel clean almost right like please don't use messenger I don't. Don't text me, like you know and it's like if you open doors this way it's sort of like here's a part that complements the communication process I would think with the client that it's automated, this is how this goes so. And then everything. So like you have an account I guess and then everything is stored. You guys are storing everything and everything is. I mean I can't wait to see the inside of this. Like when you have some screenshots. So everything all the data and stuff is just stored in Content Snare.
James: [00:39:11] Yeah that's right. A lot of ways to get it out in MVP it's pretty much going to be like a copy and paste job to get it out into into WordPress editors and stuff but whatever system you are using, but eventually you know I want to do like see a CSV or Excel or WordPress directs exports and all that sort of stuff. It's just those are things that are I'd too hard to put in MVP.
[00:39:35] Yeah. And the other thing is I think there's so many when you started thinking about integrations and API and all these other things, it just it's kind of crazy. So are there any other integrations with this. I can't think off the top of my head what there would be a need for it like Google Docs maybe or?
James: [00:39:51] Yeah well funnily enough I actually had some requests for CRM integration with this kind of thing.
James: [00:39:58] Like to be out of far off automations say an Active Campaign when when something happens you know like I think the easiest way to handle that would be Zappier, I don't know how to pronounce that.
James: [00:40:12] But so you say you know when a request is complete we might fire off a web hook that you can catch in another tool. So that's been really random stuff like my bookkeeper friend is the one that requested that because he wants to be out to update something in the customer profile when they fill out something in Content Snare.
James: [00:40:35] Yeah.
Kim: [00:40:36] Yeah. You know I was thinking about that earlier with sort of the CRM of the you know e-mail stuff and again, I'm not I don't have clients in mine it's all subscribers but it's because for the most part I was assuming then if the automation sequence to trigger you know this isn't complete. Or we need this from you tell that that's going to take place from Content Snare, correct?
James: [00:40:57] Yeah that's right. So all the follow ups.
James: [00:41:00] I mean unless someone wants some really complex rules because in the beginning it's only going to be you know like follow up on a like six days after the start date or a week before the due date stuff like that you know pretty simple.
Kim: [00:41:15] Yeah, I don't know that I'd want to set up another automation is what I'm saying. Having it all in one place. Right. No I mean like everything in Contents Snare there's a huge selling point to that to me like it could. That's all I was thinking. Like I don't necessarily want to have to go do another one an Active Campaign myself you know. So you know I'm not sure how are you guys doing the pricing is it going to be tiered or are you starting off with one package. Because I'll tell you that was also just eye opening to me when you realize you think it's pennies right calls to the servers. It's like you have it everywhere you've got this it's a call, because that was so eye opening to me. So how did you guys go about coming up with the pricing structure.
James: [00:42:02] Yes or I probably won't say the actual price here because of that debate.
Kim: [00:42:06] I was talking about your process you know.
[00:42:11] We're going to do per project pricing at least that's what we're thinking for now. So teamwork project management which is what we use do something someone all I really like that model where it that's a good way to sort of measure the size of the business that that's coming through. Well like if someone's only got two or three projects on the guy that probably a freelancer. If someone's got you know 50 and probably a big Web company. So that's how we're going to yeah just be sort of monthly tiers based on how many how many projects are open.
Kim: [00:42:41] Yeah. The pricing model is tricky too and you've got other software. How did you guys go about. I mean since this is kind of all still coming together is there a rule of thumb for pricing that I am asking because I think it's helpful for listeners, because I think a lot of people start thinking oh another recurring Oh and it's like well this stuff costs money to run.
James: [00:43:02] Yeah that's right and you know I've actually changed my head most of my thought process around this kind of stuff and that's where I'm actually wary of. One time price stuff because when we did that for a while we recently removed the lifetime subscription from an old software of ours because it's you know if you're trying to support something for age forever you know someone could pay wants and request support in five years time and you just can't account for that.
Kim: [00:43:28] That's serious work debt.
James: [00:43:31] Yeah that's right and that's why I think that changed. You know like I actually kind of you know I don't like paying more subscriptions but I know that like I'd prefer to pay subscription than lifetime now.
Kim: [00:43:45] I think that ecosystem with it. I think the WordPress space is shifting a little bit. I don't know that the the customers in that space have gotten onboard but I do see that you know developers and whatnot. They're also getting to this place where it's like this is and it blows my mind where people get frustrated with a $79 annual renewal or something.
James: [00:44:09] Oh yeah.
James: [00:44:10] Plugins are crazy. Like I understand like in that space you end up you're not buying a lot of different plug ins so it can add up. But yeah it is funny like I think I've got a good little middle ground there where they say you know it's you don't have to renew but you just don't get updates anymore and support which is which is what the problem is right.
James: [00:44:33] Like that's where you lose effectiveness. Like that's where you completely lose your business as if you're trying to support and update something forever for a one time fee.
Kim: [00:44:43] Yeah I just find it funny when you think about the fact that like the fundamentals in our lives like cell phones TV electricity all of that subscription it's actually pretty interesting.
James: [00:44:56] Yeah I know what the rule of thumb for software is generally what I hear a lot of as the 10x rule. So if you can like if you're going to say something saves 10 hours work a month and let's say that person values that time at fifty dollars an hour or something you know we're at five hundred bucks. So divide that by 10 and 50 is is what you probably charge so they're getting 10x the value of what they paying.
James: [00:45:30] If that makes sense?
Kim: [00:45:31] Yeah it totally makes sense. I was funny I was texting with a friend today and we were talking about, um, cause the other thing I had tried it out another tool and I won't give a name but it was I went to cancel it I'm like this is kind of making me crazy now I can't play it. And it was like jumping through hoops and like this is a complete cluster.
Kim: [00:45:48] This is not helpful.
Kim: [00:45:51] Makes me happy about canceling.
Kim: [00:45:53] Pardon me?
James: [00:45:54] If I jump through hoops to cancel it makes me happy that I'm canceling that tool.
Kim: [00:45:59] That's exactly that's exactly you know. But I mean I was what I was saying to her was I said look you know I because I do hear that people saying another monthly. And again we're going to be on a recurring revenue model. But I shouldn't say revenue model it's recurring subscription. But really the point of it though was I said look if something can make me money or save me time I have no problem paying for it. I'm like those are the two factors that come into play. Trust me there's plenty of things. I mean AppSumo like my my playground right. I'm like like I'm all get it all.
James: [00:46:32] Yeah hell yeah. But yeah it's I always wonder with that apps and stuff like that you're gonna be doing. They must ride that wave of momentum to get more clients later on because when you you're thirty nine bucks for a lifetime subscription like man.
Kim: [00:46:48] You know it's funny I totally agree.
Kim: [00:46:49] And my partner and I talked about that and it's like we couldn't put the pieces together. And then there was this tool that I tried that I got and not to give them a shout out here it's not a competitor but it's missing letter. And there's no e l e TTR but it pulls feeds from your site and then it will create social campaigns for you for a year. You can change the image it pulls and text but it pulls. It goes through your content right and I'll pull the stuff and I was like what? And the interesting thing so and I got a little trigger from app sumos saying hey will you review you know your latest whatever. And I got all these AppSumo credits now because I share all this stuff. But anyway the point is so I left a comment because I was super geeky about it. I was like This is great. You know I use enough tools for automation but I thought one I love it. Creating a social campaign with my own quotes that I necessarily wouldn't have come up with. So it helps me come up with Tweetables for my own content. So I'm seeing all these multiple multiuse you know purposes for it. But in the comments I left the comment that I'm like I'd love to have you on the podcast so it depends on how long I guess you do have to ride that way. I still agree with you. Like I can't see how that's a profit center at all.
Kim: [00:48:05] You know especially because AppSumo most got to take a cut so it's hard to see how that fits in and last but at the same time you know I guess you could look at it that you know I don't know you could pay for ads and you know but the thing is paying for ads you're not getting free users essentially.
James: [00:48:21] That's right.
James: [00:48:23] Yeah it's very yeah I think it just must be it like a way or a way to sort of generate that wave of momentum and then get people talking about it and then ride it for a while.
Kim: [00:48:31] Yeah it's tricky with software though because there's support involved so fix it when you're not doing it. We're not like other people. So like is there anything you know the specific you want to share about what's coming for Content Snare. I mean we've talked quite a bit about it. I think is there at the top. Is there a public release kind of do you guys have a ballpark for that now or is really going to be as fast as possible after the beta.
James: [00:49:00] So it'll be you know, he'll come in and I'll say look all this stuff is screwed.
James: [00:49:04] You need to fix it when that stuff is fixed that's when we'll go live. So it's just going to be a matter of of fixing all the major problems and then releasing.
Kim: [00:49:17] Nice and you know it's funny.
Kim: [00:49:18] I don't know what it is James this has been a totally fun call. Not that they all aren't but this has been really fun and there was a question I used to ask and for some reason I feel compelled to ask you totally off the cuff but is there anything fun about you that you'd like to share that people wouldn't know about you.
James: [00:49:36] Aw man, I talk to dogs in a stupid voice I sound like an idiot.
James: [00:49:40] That is friggin awesome. I do the exact same things to my dogs I actually think I'm their voices. OK this is hysterical.
Kim: [00:49:50] Anyways James thank you so much for being here. This has been a ton of fun.
James: [00:49:54] Thank you. It has been good.
Kim: [00:49:56] All right guys you know the drill. Hang on a sec. I will have links and obviously you can go to content's dot com. Everything will be in the show notes. Definitely sign up to get notification of when they do open the doors because you know you've got clients you're going to want this tool. As always guys thanks so much for listening.
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