It’s Friday, so this is Jói writing to you. It’s noon and the sun has just risen over here in “sunny” Iceland. I hope you’ve had a great week!
The sun here is very low on the horizon the whole time it’s up any day in December and January, which makes for very long and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I’m moving to a different office on the same floor soon and will have a north-facing window instead of a south-facing one. I’ll miss watching the sun!
Sponsored tool of the week 😎
Driving traffic and capturing customers is challenging enough for a startup. If your site isn’t working right, it’s impossible. NodePing is a cost effective way to make sure your sites and services are working well so you can get on with running your business.
Resource of the week
This is probably one of the most epic pieces of free content out there for entrepreneurs, at least that I’ve come across in a long while. Put together by the New York Stock Exchange, it’s over 250 pages of solid, actionable advice on all stages of building a company from founding through seed, growth, operations, and to various types of exit.
Tools I actually used recently
This is an interesting alternative to doing actual screen captures using something like Loom. You take screenshots (optionally using the Fleeq Chrome extension) and then you arrange them in a sequence, mark them up with highlights and pointers or zooming, and add narration, which can be either text-to-speech or your own custom upload. You can also localize the narration to different languages, which makes “Fleeqs” a potentially neat alternative to videos when you’re using them for customer support and have a multi-lingual audience. I made an example that shows how to add users to your CrankWheel account, took a bit more time than a Loom video would have taken, but it seems like Fleeqs can be a bit more reusable.
Tools discovered recently
This is an email campaign management tool that you can use from within Gmail. Haven’t tried it yet so I’m not sure it does automated follow-ups, but it does let you do mail merge quite easily. Free if you’re OK with branding in the email footers.
Serpstat is a freemium competitor analysis, business intelligence, keyword and ranking research tool. Free trial, entry-level plan is a pretty reasonable $19/month.
It’s a downloadable design tool to create beautiful color schemes to use in your projects, starting from images, or random, or color wheel stuff. Appears to be free for Linux, $4.99 one-time purchase for Windows and Mac.
Another database of contact information for content creators (blogs, newsletters, podcasts, social media influencers) open to sponsorship opportunities. There have been a couple of these recently, Sponsored is one and Upstart was another.
Automate follows, unfollows, likes, comments, and schedule Instagram posts. Free trial.
Not the cheapest, but looks like a slick implementation of a referral program where you give out different rewards based on how many signups a given customer has generated through their referral link.
Articles for this week
Affiliate programs have been on my mind as we recently started one for CrankWheel and are growing it. This is a really good article on how to create and nurture such a program.
Apparently you have 7 seconds to make your first impression. This article focuses on how to create a value proposition that will make your customers interested during those 7 seconds.
Some actionable advice for non-technical folks on interviewing a potential technical co-founder. Good stuff.
That’s it for this issue
As always, it’s a privilege writing these newsletters for you, and I hope you’re getting value out of them.
If you have pointers for the best places to publicize a WordPress plugin, I’d love if you’d send them my way. I’m busy pushing the CrankWheel WordPress plugin that we launched recently, and if I get a good list of suggestions I’ll put them to use and write them up in a blog post.
Have a great weekend!