My Public Pensieve


Cold Email Teardown #1

“Why aren’t people responding to my cold emails?”

This is probably the question founders ask me the most.

And I get it. When you’re a new founder, writing cold emails can be a daunting task.

But – in all honesty – it’s actually quite easy to write an effective cold email if you focus on the few things that matter (and ignore everything else).

So, today, I’m going to do something I’ve wanted to do for ages and share with you a teardown of a recent cold email which caught my eye… Continue reading

Your 10-step blueprint to writing copy that sells 🤑

This article originally appeared in the FiveMinuteFounder newsletter. If you’re building a business and want to grow more revenue faster, join 3’000 founders for practical, weekly articles like this one.

Do you struggle to write great copy that converts?

Well, guess what…

No matter what project you’re working on, if you can’t write effectively, you’re leaving easy money on the table.

If you can’t write effectively, then all of that hard work and money you’re putting into getting email subscribers and website visitors is a massive waste of time.

Whether it’s a landing page Continue reading

Playing Battleship: The hard way to find your first customers…

Are you still struggling to acquire your first paying customers?

Even though you’ve put time and effort into sales and marketing?

Don’t worry – you’re not alone.

In fact, you’re in the exact same position as most of the founders who are taking my live Sales For Founders course right now.

You (and they) want to get your product in the hands of customers. And have them pay you.

But you’re almost certainly falling into a common trap.

A trap I see most founders make. Especially Continue reading

Double your sales 🔥 by moving from product- to value-based messaging…

This is a draft of a post I’m writing about how to identify and fix a common marketing mistake founders make, which could double your sales in under 90min.

There are a few rough edges and the examples aren’t final. I’d appreciate any feedback/questions/thoughts to the usual address. Thanks!

Last week, a friend reached out to me with a problem.

He’s a technical solo founder and just started a side project. Because he’s still employed full time at a FAANG company, he asked me not to share his name/project, so let’s call him Dave.

Anyway, Dave’s problem was that he had put up a landing page for his project and was doing cold outreach, but not seeing many sales.

When I took a look at the landing page, it was obvious that Dave was making a super common mistake that nearly all first-time founders make…

His messaging was focussed on the product functionality, not the value to the customer.

We sat down together and, over a coffee, made some small changes to the landing page and cold-email copy.

This week, Dave has converted nearly 5x as many paying customers since Continue reading

How to make your first remote marketing/growth hire

Growing a business is hard…

If everything is going well, you’ll be swamped in work.

If things haven’t quite taken off yet, you’ll be sweating over growth.

Either way, sooner or later you’ll think about hiring someone to handle your marketing and help you grow the business.

As a founder/indie hacker on a budget, you’ll most likely choose to make a remote hire.

Sometimes, this can work out really well. But if you’re not careful, you can fall into any number of common traps which will leave you with more work, no results, and a lot less cash.

Here’s a stage by stage rundown of how to set yourself up for success when making your first growth hire Continue reading

Your referral program won’t work. Here’s what to do instead…

When founders start trying to acquire their first customers, they often search for shortcuts.

One of the most common shortcuts founders try is some kind of referral program.

In this post, I’m going to talk about why referral programs almost certainly won’t work for your (early stage) startup, and how you can get most of the results anyway by building bits of a referral program into your sales process instead. Continue reading

Sales > Marketing

I spend quite a bit of time on, helping newer founders. By far the most common question I see is “I’ve built product X, how can I market it and get customers?”

Well hang on. If you’re in that situation then you’ve already made a big mistake.

There’s only one way to make sure you’re building something people will pay for. And that’s to Continue reading

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