in 111 Books in 2011

#35/111: Start Small, Stay Small

What is it about?

You want an independent lifestyle? If you are creative, you should consider being a micropreneur. Rob Walling defines a micropreneur as a one person company which sells products (software, ebooks, designs) online with a minimum of effort.

Key points?

Go niche: Why? You don’t have so much competition, i.e. your advertising budget is smaller (ads are cheaper, your customers are on the same place) and you can increase your profit margin. Furthermore, your product don’t have to be extraordinary.

Marketing first, product last: Founders often make the mistake to build a product for 9 months to three years and then try to market it. Go the other way around. If you found some possible niches, build a small squeeze page where people can subscribe to a mailing list for further information and market the page with Adwords. After some weeks you can see how many people are interested in your product. If there aren’t enough, go to your next idea.

Outsource: Your time is expensive. Instead of trying to do everything, do just the things that matter, i.e. marketing and building your product. For other things consider using a virtual personal assistant which costs around $6 to $15 per hour.

Automate: If you tested enough marketing tools and done enough SEO, you won’t have to do so much. Try to automate most of the other stuff, i.e. use auto responder for new prospects or build a list with answers for most problems, so you can trim down your support time. After some time, you will have a steady income stream with a little effort.


Terrific book, even for bootstrappers who want to grow. It shows you how to test your ideas and how to do most of the online marketing. It’s extremely actionable and hands-on. No platitudes and fillings. Recommendation for writers, software developers and designers who want to start their own business!

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