Brian Casel is the founder of AudienceOps, which is a productized done-for-you content marketing service, and Ops Calendar, a software tool that enables content marketers and agencies to plan a content calendar, schedule social media, and track traffic and conversions.
Brian also organizes a ski/snowboarding/business mastermind called Big Snow Tiny Conf, co-hosts the Bootstrapped Web podcast with Jordan Gal, and has his own podcast called the Productize Podcast, teaching professionals how to productize their services.
I caught up with Brian to talk about his journey building AudienceOps. After he sold his previous business, Restaurant Engine, Brian had to decide what to do next. I think you’ll appreciate hearing his thought process and why he decided to build a productized service, AudienceOps.
Whether you realize it or not, you’re modeling entrepreneurship to your kids. That’s a good thing. Brian was an entrepreneur before he knew he was an entrepreneur. His upbringing in many ways prepared him for a career of self-employment. For all you parents out there listening; take this lesson to heart: don’t be afraid to bring your kids into your confidence about your business. The lessons you’ll teach them just by watching you will change the way they see the world, and will probably inform their own career choices.
Entrepreneurial enthusiasm is the fuel that drives us. Brian experimented with several different businesses, and you can still hear his enthusiasm for those early wins. Small things, like getting his first customer, and earning his first $59 from his WordPress theme, were like gas in his entrepreneurial engine.
Productized services can be easier to launch than SaaS products. A productized service is a service that you offered in a tightly defined package. There’s not a lot of variation in the process of what you do from one customer to another, although the outcome – whatever it is you deliver to the client – is unique to them. AudienceOps is a great example of a productized service: they provide custom content production. Although the content that they develop for each customer is unique, the process is the same, and so it can be done very efficiently. Brian was able to launch AudienceOps very quickly without having to build any infrastructure up front (that came later).
The only way to get it right is to get it wrong a whole bunch of times. You have to be willing to risk getting it wrong; otherwise you’ll never start. Start something small, launch it, see what you learned, and then improve your approach for the next time. That’s how you work up the ladder to success.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Audience Ops
- Ops Calendar
- Big Snow Tiny Conf
- Bootstrapped Web Podcast
- Productize Podcast