Mojca Mars: “Strategic Growth – How to strategically grow your business with Facebook Ads” – FemtoConf 2017

The FemtoConf 2017 Notes and recaps can be found on the central hub page.

Twitter: @mojcamars

  • I don’t want to work with companies that just want to spend money on Facebook
    • I want to work with companies that want to see results from Facebook

Why Facebook Ads? 

  • Level playing field
  • Bigger budgets != better results
  • Effective
  • Profitable
  • Unlimited opportunity for scaling
  • Some results: 
    • Campaign 1:
      • LTV: $500
      • CPA: $26
    • Lead Generation: $0.4 per lead
    • Campaign 2:
      • Ad spend: $1,000 (1 month)
      • Revenue: $5,000 (first month!)
      • Total Revenue: $80,000

But how?

  • #1 Mistake…
    • Just starting to sell to people
    • You’re selling to a cold audience that doesn’t even know what your product does
  • Build trust
    • Trust is a highway towards increased sales
  • How to build trust with ads? 
    • Funnel
      • Share Value
      • Lead Magnet
      • Promotion
    • Goal of the funnel: Qualifying your audience
  • 3 Steps: 
    • Facebook Ads account
    • Facebook Pixel on your webpage
    • Facebook Page
  • Facebook Audiences
    • Existing Audience: Custom Audiences
      • people who visited your website (tagged by Facebook Pixel)
      • OR created from an email list
    • New Audience
      • Lookalike Audiences
        • based on an existing audience generated from email list
        • but different people!
      • Interest/behavioral targeting

Share Value

  • Target Audience: New Audience
  • how to share value: Valuable content (blog posts, videos)
  • Goal: build trust
  • Video content is incredibly cheap right now to promote

Lead Magnet

  • Target Audience: new audience & existing audience
  • What Lead Magnets: 
    • Checklist
    • Cheat Sheet
    • PDF collection of your best blog posts
    • eBook
    • Free chapter of an ebook
  • Goal: Collect emails
  • Use retargeting


Things to do later today

  • Implement Facebook Pixel
  • Create a lead magnet
  • Develop and implement ads for lead magnet
  • Invest $50 – $200
  • Run ads for 2-5 days


  • “Are you scared of losing work if you’d charge more? Learn how to avoid being seen as a cheap commodity and let’s double your rates together!”
    • Everyone wants to make more money
    • “scared” is a great emotional word
  • “Let’s say it as it is: Using paper time cards is incredibly inefficient. So why not eliminate them completely with ClockShark?”
    • background picture of a construction worker – target audience relates to that
    • Powerful slogan in the foreground
  • “Time tracking shouldn’t be rocket science. With ClockShark, it’s far from that. You can now track using GPS software. Easy”
    • again same approach for the visuals
  • “Have you hit a plateau in your service business? Learn about 5 key strategies that will give you a competitive edge in your market and leave your business thriving”
    • CEO Warrior
    • CTA: [FREE] 5 Secret Game Changing Strategies
    • Social proof in picture: “As seen on…”
  • “We’re uncovering our secrets! Find out about ONE tactic that can get you 1,000 email subscribers in 30 days! We tested the technique and it works!”
    • ConvertKit
    • CTA: “Get 1,000 email subscribers in the next 30 days (or less)!”
    • communicating the dream
  • “Are you tired of headaches that come with email marketing? There’s an easier and more enjoyable way to grow your business. Try ConvertKit!”
    • CTA: “ConvertKit: Email marketing, made easy!”

Need Help? 

Social Share Toolbar

Thomas Smale: “A Winning Exit – Your 4-step strategy for building a sellable SaaS business” – FemtoConf 2017

The FemtoConf 2017 Notes and recaps can be found on the central hub page.

Twitter: @ThomasSmale

  • Started of with writing a book on selling websites
    • People started asking whether we offer a service for that
  • We’ve continued to buy & sell businesses for ourselves
  • 95% success rate on selling businesses
  • Now offices in Boston, London and Saigon
  • Did 100 deals in 2016

What Buyers Want

  • Important to understand from the beginning – need to position yourself correctly
  • What buyers look for
    • Low churn (sign that product & customer service is good)
    • Growing MRR 
    • MRR > ARR
    • Documented Code
    • Evergreen
    • Growth Opportunities


  • Establish clear protocols
  • Document everything
  • Create a model that can operate in your absence
  • Make the business sustainable
    • Will the business still thriving in 10 years? 
    • Remove single points of failure
      • important employees
      • co-founder
      • yourself? 
    • consistency vs. one-time
      • Hacker News is not a great marketing channel (no predictability, no control)
      • do the boring stuff often if it works
  • Monthly beats annual
  • Consistent cash flow
  • Focus less on new customers
    • instead focus on retention

Step 4 – Sell at the right time

  • Sell while you are growing
  • Exit before you become stagnant
    • No new clients
    • Maxed out what you can sell to existing customer
  • Take emotions out
  • “If you wait it could be too late”

How we did it

  • Building a great team
  • Existing customers
  • Consistency
    • Employees are way better at being consistent than entrepreneurs!
    • When you find things that work, continue on doing them
  • Removed owner
    • Whether you’re buying or building – remove the owner!
    • Make sure you’re in a position where a buyer can take over from you
  • Systems
  • Platform agnostic

What is it worth? 

  • FEInternational Valuation Model
    • Proprietary data
    • Data from 400 deals, over 20,000 data points
    • Multiple of seller discretionary earnings (SDE)
      • SDE takes differences in owner pay into account
    • SaaS: 3-6x annual SDE
    • Content: 2-4 annual SDE
    • E-Commerce: 2-4x annual SDE

Key Takeaways

  • Your mileage may vary… 
  • Make yourself dispensable
  • Document your processes
  • Outsource as much as you can
  • Create recurring income & repeat business
  • Sell while you’re still growing
  • Know what it is worth
  • Complimentary e-course:


Social Share Toolbar

Jane Portman: “Product Strategy for Founders – How to Build Focused & Profitable Software Products” – FemtoConf 2017

The FemtoConf 2017 Notes and recaps can be found on the central hub page.

Twitter: @uibreakfast

  • Created “Mastering App Presentation” with no product strategy in place
  • Poor strategy is a recipe for disaster

Why your product should exist

  • Research your audience
  • find what pains they are experiencing
  • Do a “sales safari”
    • scour forums, etc. where people are not actively talking about products
  • Define your strategy
    • write down the strategy
  • Apply your strategy
  • Deal with new features
  • Think large scale

Define your strategy

  • four pillars of product strategy
    • Audience
    • Goals
    • Tasks
    • Objects
  • Audience
    • Who is your ideal user (paying customer)?
    • Do you know them? 
    • Do you like them? 
      • You’ll have to interact with them until the end of time
    • Can they pay you? 
      • School systems have tons of problems, but very little money to go around
    • Do you know how to reach them? 
      • Brick & Mortar businesses are notoriously hard to reach as a bootstrapper
      • Do they have online forums? 
  • Goals
    • What goals is the user trying to achieve with your product? 
      • Make more money? 
      • Look good in front of their customers? 
      • Example: I want to write a book because then I can…
        • build authority
  • Tasks
    • What primary tasks does the suer perform daily with the help of your product?
    • Where does the main value come from? 
      • e.g. TinyReminder sends reminders to clients and urges them to fill in an online form
      • online form building is an essential feature, but NOT the main benefit
    • Classify tasks by type
      • Analytical
      • Proactive
      • Reactive
  • Objects
    • What objects (entities, items) do users create and manage while performing their tasks? 
      • Gives you a good idea of how to structure your product
  • Use the real language of your customers to describe product strategy

Apply your strategy

  • In your sales copy
    • Address the audience
    • Appeal to their big goals
    • Describe their tasks
  • In your product design
    • Facilitate the important tasks
    • Focus on one task at a time
    • Carefully manage the important objects
  • What did I do wrong with my first book? 
    • Very vague name, audience, goals & tasks
  • What we did right this time with Tiny Reminder
    • Precise audience (consultants)
    • Precise Goals
    • Precise Tasks

Deal with new Features

  • Her mom gifted two fish to her kids
    • Implications: 20 gallons of water for the first fish, 10 gallons for each additional fish
    • Like to dig out plants
    • Bully other kinds of fish
    • Need daily maintenance
    • ==> Get rid of the fish
  • New feature implications
    • Strategy becomes more vague
    • Marketing & sales become vague (which feature is important?)
    • Support & documentation
    • Usability
  • Classic qualifying questions
    • Does this feature solve a real pain? 
    • What are the development and support costs? 
    • Can we build an integration instead? 
    • What part of the existing user base will benefit from this immediately? 
      • e.g. only free users? 
  • Product strategy questions
    • Does it serve your ideal audience – or does it exapnd it? 
    • Does it serve the big goal – or does it add more goals? 
    • Does it facilitate the important tasks?
  • More goals and tasks don’t make a happy user

Think large scale

  • Nothing exists in isolation
    • Product is attached to you, your personality and your existing audience
  • Simple product lineup
    • Free lead magnet (free course)
    • Entry-point purchase (book)
    • Main product (SaaS, consulting)
  • Advanced product lineup
    • Free lead magnet (free course)
    • Entry-point purchase (book)
    • Medium-touch product (course, workshop, or consulting package)
    • Main product (SaaS, consulting)
    • super-expensive “dream” product (no one buys it, but anchors the price of other products)
      • e.g. a $8,000/mo design consulting offering for developer teams
  • Think of your personal strengths
    • Marie Poulin
      • Digital Streatgy School (expensive course)
      • Doki (courseware)
      • Consulting business (helping clients build courses)
  • Content strategy
    • Mailing list setup
    • Free course
    • Blog & newsletter
    • Book 
    • Podcast
    • Videos
  • Only count on your own audience!
    • No magic from Product Hunt or Hacker News
    • No influencer friends
    • No help from the people you interview
  • Focused strategy is a luxury you can afford

Social Share Toolbar

FemtoConf 2017 Notes and Noteworthy

This is the central resource for a recap of FemtoConf 2017 in Darmstadt, Germany.
If you write/record/create ANYTHING related to FemtoConf please let me know (Twitter: @itengelhardt ) and I’ll be happy to add it here.

Notes on the Talks


Articles and Podcasts About FemtoConf 2017

Social Share Toolbar

20+ Attendees share their key takeaways from MicroConf Europe 2016 [Expert Roundup]

At MicroConf Rob Walling and Mike Taber encourage the attendees to set their goals for the conference as follows:

  • gain 3 actionable take-aways that you want to implement in your business
  • find 3 people that you want to build a relationship with over the next year

And boy, there were more than 3 ideas to take away from MicroConf Europe – and way more than 3 people that I would love to build a relationship with.

But I wanted to know what other founders took away from MicroConf Europe 2016. So I asked them to tell me which 3 key lessons they learned at the conference in Barcelona and here are their answers.

James Mayes

@james_mayes |

  1. Ask for help. There’s always someone who faced and solved the problem before.
  2. Explore more tools to make better use of time
  3. Remember to look at long term strategy regularly and not get stuck in the weeds!




 Victor Purolnik

@_recurse |

  1. “If we’d stopped coding ourselves earlier we would’ve gotten to 12MLN faster.” –Peter Coppinger, Teamwork
  2. “Don’t rebuild the frontend and backend at the same time.” –Janna Bastow, ProdPad
  3. “Developers don’t estimate in time time, they estimate in flow time” –Anders Thue Pedersen,




Rachel Willmer

@rwillmer |

  1. It’s more profitable to retain customers than to gain them
  2. It’s important to focus. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
  3. Just because it’s hard, doesn’t make it valuable.




Robin Warren

@robinwarren |

  1. Talk to customers (more)
  2. Increase my prices (based on Patrick’s approach)
  3. Email might be how people use my app more than through the web interface



Christoph Engelhardt

@itengelhardt |

My 3 big take-aways (along with a bunch of smaller ones) were:

  1. Gamified trials as described by Janna Bastow in her excellent talk. When she presented that idea I remember sitting there with my mouth wide open for a minute or two. Mind blowing!
  2. In some situations doing more customer development correlates with a failing product: If you have to talk to 200 people to get a dozen presales of your product, you do not have a winning product. Luckily, when you’re doing customer development AND asking for the sale, you’ll notice the pattern long before the 200th prospect.
  3. Giving an attendee was fun and it’s great to talk with attendees afterwards. I’m definitely going to repeat that next year



Kamil Toman

@katox |

  1. Don’t even think about coding, do your market research and validation homework first.
  2. Selling is uncomfortable and it doesn’t get any easier over time.
  3. Focus on important things disregard the rest. There are always too many things to be done.



Carlos Hernandez

@polimorfico | 

  1. Stop obsessing on acquisition. Work more on monetization.
  2. Founders must create and test their own predictable & scalable sales funnels.
  3. The best time to sell your business is when you don’t need to sell it.




Anders Thue Pedersen

@andersthue |

  1. Ask for the close
  2. Working on being more aware of what is bothering me and what is bothering my employees
  3. Create buyer’s personas for my product




Martin Judd

@Martin_judd | 

  1. Need to get more leads and turn them into customers rather than spend time improving the product at this point
  2. Need to define personas for my customers to help with marketing
  3. Need to ask new customers to give me a referral to others they think may benefit from the product




Chris Kottom

@chriskottom |

Here are a few things that I have already implemented since MicroConf Europe

  • Quantified sales funnel for my book
  • Planned new content for September and October
  • Released a simplified testing cheat sheet
  • Contacted several friends from MicroConf and scheduled follow-ups

And here are a few things that I am going to work on over the coming months:

  • Process feedback on new product ideas, make decisions on what’s next
  • Read through some of the book recommendations I got
  • Write up my own take-aways and post to blog



Benedikt Deicke

@benediktdeicke |

I got my main takeaways during conversations with fellow attendees. They mostly revolve around changes to my product and the packages I’m offering.

I’ll most likely start to offer a “Done For You” package and focus more on the higher tier plans, maybe even discontinuing my cheapest plan.

I also got some good input on new ways to reach my target audience.

To sum it up: While the talks were great as usual, the main benefit for me was the hallway track. I’ve never had so many conversations with people at any other conference, but MicroConf.


Stephen Kellett

@softwareverify |

  1. Improve onboarding
  2. Improve email marketing

What I will do in the next few months? Who knows, I never get time to do what I want in the order I want!




Thomas Smale

@thomassmale |

  1. Facebook Live & Facebook Ads are a great combination
  2. Selling a large business is an emotional process





Damian Thompson

@damianthompson |

My key take-away is to focus on funnel backwards:

  1. retention
  2. ARPU
  3. acquisition




Lukasz Bilangowski

@blukasz |

I have one main take-away: Lead source is more important than sales skills.




Daniel Hepper

@danielhepper |

My main take away was that even the most successful folks struggled at some point. I’m going to implement what I should have done last year: start a Mastermind group





Alex Yumashev

@jitbit |

  1. Quantifiable customer personas – a metric-based portrait of your customer
  2. Gamifying trial experience (Janna’s talk) – adding tasks and rewarding users with more trial time on completion
  3. Concentrating on improving churn and trial-2-customer conversions instead of just customer acquisition (paid or organic)



Simon Nordberg

@simonnordberg |

I really started realising the importance of timing and seemingly random events. Spending more time on customer development might not be a silver bullet. Depending on analytics to make decisions during the early stages of a product/service may be counter-productive. Relationships are key.




Drew Sanocki

@drewsanocki | 

Biggest thing for me was just meeting like-minded entrepreneurs. I learned a lot but more important was personal connection which got me thinking of a lot of new things.




Jacob Lonroth

@lonroth | 

Janna from ProdPad showed us how they had implemented gamification of trials days. In their product a trial user starts out with 7 trial days and then based on the actions trial users make inside the SaaS give them extra days, e.g. +1 day for filling in your company name. Super smart and something I will try for sure!


Damian from LeadFuze told me the two reasons people buy and that it’s totally different if you sell to founders or employees. If you pitch to a founder you can

  1. save them money or
  2. make them money.

But an employee doesn’t give a #€%& about this, the only reason they buy is to

  1. Be the hero (i.e. get promoted) or
  2. Save their ass.


Patrick from Price Intelligently showed us combined metrics from 2k SaaS companies and introduced the concept of adding valued features, least valued features, WTP, CAC and LTV for each of your customer personas to make better marketing decisions which is a great suggestion and something I will implement for my SaaS.

Social Share Toolbar

Expert Panel with Jordan Gal, James Kennedy, Greg Mercer – MicroConf Europe 2016

  • Q: Greg, you transitioned from Chrome Plugin to SaaS. How did your user acquisition change?
    • We mostly stopped selling directly instead trying to get their email address
  • Q: Jordan, how do you go about identifying where your users hang out?
    • We tried forums, blogs of gurus, and each platform’s support forums. In the end we realized everything happened in closed Facebook groups.
  • Q: James, you increased your exposure on platform. How did that come about?
    • We first did some keyword advertising and tried stuff. But found that delivered much better results.
  • Q: What’s an underutilized acquisition strategy that you have seen?
    • Greg: Facebook Ads are underutilized. Laser-focused
    • Jordan: Webinars to push the annual plan
  • Q: What keeps you up at night as a founder?
    • James: Bringing people onto a team
    • Jordan: I fear being wrong on the product. Building something that people don’t want
  • Q: How do you go about building buyer personas?
    • Jordan: We find our perfect customer, who are desperate to get our product. Then reverse-engineer why they are a perfect fit
  • Q: Have you tried FB lead ads? Did it work?
    • Greg: We tried, but didn’t work for us.
  • Q: Do you still use SEO as a traction channel?
    • Jordan: We are not good at it. We just produce content and hope for the best
    • Greg: We are pretty active with link building & outreach. Travis seems to outrank us on everything
  • Q: What’s your key action item you take away from MicroConf Europe?
    • Jordan: Using the telephone more.
    • James: Build good buying personas.
    • Greg: Gamify the trial. That and being more active about predicting churn
  • Q: What is the biggest pain-in-the-ass thing that has worked in your marketing?
    • Jordan: We lost focus on outbound sales and eventually stopped doing it altogether. I didn’t like doing outbound
  • Q: How did you get your first 5 – 10 customers?
    • Jordan: brute forcing it with cold emailing. When they would reply, I’d hop on the phone with them

Social Share Toolbar

MicroConf Europe 2016 Notes and Noteworthy

This is the central resource for a recap of MicroConf Europe 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.
If you write/record/create ANYTHING related to MicroConf Europe 2016 please let me know (Twitter: @itengelhardt ) and I’ll be happy to add it here.

Notes on the Talks

Attendee Talk Notes

Articles and Podcasts About MicroConf Europe 2016


Social Share Toolbar

Building and Launching a SaaS Product in 2 Weeks: A Shopify App Postmortem – Daniel Bader – MicroConf Europe 2016

The MicroConf Europe 2016 Talk Recaps can be found on the central hub page.


  • Goals:
    • help you avoid mistakes I made
    • help you evaluate the Shopify App Store as a platform
  • Shopify App Store
    • Shopify: hosted e-commerce platform
    • App Store: “Saasy WordPress Plugins”
    • Shopify handles plumbing, takes 20% cut

Nearby Shop Notification

  • Notifies people about deals when they are close to one of your retail stores
  • What went right:
    • I made $31.92 from it – Woohooo!
    • I didn’t spend a lot of time on it
  • Things that went wrong:
    • I just built what I wanted to build

Social Share Toolbar

How to Work with Remote Workers – Roman Rudnik – MicroConf Europe 2016

The MicroConf Europe 2016 Talk Recaps can be found on the central hub page.

Twitter: @rudni4ok


  • How to make your remote work successful
    • Speak with the staff about the disadvantages of remote work
  • Use tools for remote workers
    • on trust-basis
      • e.g. Excel
    • Autocontrol
      • Desktime, Yaware
      • Pros: Automation
      • Cons: designed to count the time in general, inconvenient to keep records of the tasks completed
    • Big Brother
      • UpWork Client, TimeDoctor, Tahometer
      • Pros: Clear picture of employee, manager knows everything including screenshots during work
      • Cons: It is necessary to control oneself and not to forget to switch between tasks
  • Write job descriptions/standards
  • Implement 5 minute-meetings
  • make 20% of salary dependent on proper behavior
    • “screw-ups” (e.g. not showing up for meetings) result in some salary being taken away
  • Do all your work in Dropbox

Social Share Toolbar

3 Emails to Boost Your MRR – Christoph Engelhardt – MicroConf Europe 2016

The MicroConf Europe 2016 Talk Recaps can be found on the central hub page.

Twitter: @itengelhardt

  • Good E-Mail Habits
    • Personalize your message
      • Use their name in the emails
      • Use the name in the main content
    • Always follow up
      • If it’s worth sending it once, it’s probably worth sending it a 2nd time
      • For example: Re-Send this to people who did not open the first one
  • 3 Email to boost your MRR
    • Signup Abandonment Emails
      • 2-Step Signup
        • 60% stop at Credit Card info
        • You have their email address from step 1
        • Send them e-mails
        • ~10% lift in conversion rate
        • Offer a free trial without credit card requirement if they don’t sign up after the first e-mail
    • Trial Extension Emails
      • Typical user: signs up, toys around a bit, becomes inactive
      • Should you charge or should you let them go?
      • Offer them to extend their trial!
      • (You can do this manually, just ask them to respond and extend the trial by hand)
    • Value Demonstration Emails
      • Churn is a major problem for most SaaS business
      • Users don’t recognize the value they’re getting out of your product
      • Find a correlation between your key metric and dollar amount
        • “Prevented 13 no-shows results in $910 revenue”
        • “You’ve invoiced $5,000 in the past week. You’re paying us $49… your ROI is amazing!”
      • Ideally customers can print it and go to their boss and get promoted because of the great tool they introduced
  • Check out the book: SaaS Email Marketing

Social Share Toolbar