We started The Juice in July of 2020. Helluva time to start a business.
It will always be a part of our origin story. And I hope it’s the same story many technology companies get to share about being started right after the .com bubble or during the 2008 recession.
In the early days of my career, I recall how ExactTarget turned the recession into an opportunity. Marketers’ budgets were shrinking and this new channel of email marketing would help marketers dollars go further.
This is slightly different but I think we will feel the benefits (yes, the benefits) of launching a business during a global pandemic for years (yes, years).
During the summer of 2020...recruiting was hard. Selling was hard. Hell, getting out of bed and being motivated was hard.
So we prioritized the only thing we knew how -- listening.
There are so many benefits to launching out of the High Alpha Venture Studio. I’ll save that for another blog post. When I started, I was fortunate to have the support and encouragement of the High Alpha Partners to meet as many of our potential buyers as possible. Not to prospect. Not to sell. But to listen.
I’m competitive. I love a goal and a deadline. So, I set one for myself: 100 marketers in 100 days.
Me, setting goals.
It’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to my career.
At the end of this process, we had validated our vision, identified new opportunities, created a beta program (because people were asking for it), answered tough questions, and had more conviction than ever around our idea.
Oh, and I felt really, really, dumb.
Not because I had talked to 100 marketers who were much smarter than myself but because I hadn’t done a good enough job previously in my career of listening to prospects and customers. I thought I had all the answers. I did not.
So, I want to help you. If you’re wondering how you can spend more time with customers or prospects, just listening, I’ve shared our process below.
The happy medium, I created a spreadsheet.
It allowed me to quickly plugin key quotes, takeaways, and quick notes without trying to get every last word. It’s then easy to see all of your notes in one place and keep them searchable (command + F is your friend).
We were asked enough about a beta program that finally, we had to answer “Yes, and…we’ll get back to you with more details.” We built a beta program pre-product but had enough insight from our conversations we knew we could drive value. The business was better because of it.
I truly hope this post doesn’t sound like me patting ourselves on our collective back. We want to build in public. We want to share the good and the bad. And this process has turned into the foundation for our business.
If this benefits one entrepreneur, or even someone at an established business, mission accomplished. If you want to learn more about this process or if you want to be one of the conversations numbered 101-200, let me know.
And finally, I’d like to thank all of the marketers that made these first 100 conversations so valuable. If you’re reading, thank you!