Business-focused topics from Jason and Kim. We’ll discuss giving your team space in conversations vs. stepping in — when is the right moment and how can you avoid stunting ideas while also course correcting and stopping unapproved tangents. We also talk about A/B testing, specifically how our current “tagline” is a bit vanilla. Could we try something more inspirational?
Transcript: Season 2, Episode 11
Welcome back to that talking thing. I’m Kim and Jason. Uh, we have episode 11, season two with some business topics. The first one it’s about giving your team some space, specifically, not jumping in, into conversations that are happening. So either on zoom meetings, we work remotely or in our slack channels.
If people are talking about something, I found like I have an opinion or like, or someone asked a question and they’re like, what do you think? What should we be doing? And I’m like, of course I have an opinion on this. I try now with, you know, a team of 15 to 18 and, um, you know, more managers as well. Like I’ll, I don’t have to jump in early.
I have to give them some space to figure it out. There’s someone else on the team who also has an. And at least half the time, like someone that’s like great job, someone else says it, you know? And then I get a moment of like, I can agree. Like that was a good idea. Like either behind the scenes or in the moment, like, you know, like that’s a good idea, Andrew has, which is the same idea I would have suggested.
And it’s almost like it’s better. It comes from someone else. So it’s hard to keep that in mind, but that’s almost something like I write on a note for meetings and, um, lately. I think I’m proactively doing this, also trying to let conversations happen before I jump in, because I know as an owner, once I respond and comment, everyone else’s comments are shaded by what I’ve said.
Um, but the problem is lately I’ve seen conversations that I hold back from, go down a path. Major correction either because it doesn’t align with our goals, with our vision, with our core values, uh, with, with things I know that are happening in other teams and, and these conversations go too far. And before stepping in, they’ve gotten to a place where it’s very much off the rails.
Think they’re excited about a new feature, but like, we should totally do that. Let’s do that. Let’s pitch it, dot that speech has got to be awesome. And then like me and mom, but like, you know, and you get to a point and that conversation has gotten so far, like a slack channel specifically. It doesn’t happen in video call as often because I wouldn’t let it go that far.
I wouldn’t let people falsely believe that their idea was great and they all got together and went pretty far. And I would just sit there with my eyes. Um, but it has happened in a slack conversation I come to later and it’s very hard to hold on everyone actually now, and not just sound like a complete ass.
I think it’s like that just like with kids is like, this is a learning opportunity. And like, in her mind, maybe don’t say that, but you say it to yourself. You’re like, oh, this is like, this. Isn’t like a problem. This is a learning opportunity. We are in the process we talked about before about, you know, sharing the core values with the team.
And so if it is that’s, the issue is, is kind of like, Hey, like our core value, you can talk from that angle or man, a lot of the time it’s like, we’ve tried this, or we thought about this, or like we were doing this. Or we looked into that, you know, as like new people are coming on the team, they don’t know the history.
And it’s like, this is a great idea. And you’re like, we tested that and it didn’t work, you know? And so it’s like weird if it gets really. I find myself, even in conversations, you’re not in saying, you know, when Jason gets involved in this, we should use different language or we should talk about it in a different way.
Or this is something that I, I know that Jason will have a strong opinion about. I said, things like that. So before you go further, we should make sure that Jason has, uh, gets involved in this conversation. Uh, not throwing you under the bus, but just saying, I don’t want to parrot your. And make the decisions on your behalf or share your opinion to them.
But I I’ve been in, especially the new feature type conversations where I know this is something Jason has been involved in, has an opinion about, and before you move forward with anything else, get him in, in this conversation. Yeah. I feel like I’m doing the same thing for you, but also others on the team, like, oh, like I know David has an opinion about this.
Let’s bring him into this conversation or let’s make sure we talked to him about. Or w you know, Kim had some thoughts on this let’s, you know, CC and tag you. Um, but yeah, I guess, I dunno. Yeah. I dunno. Maybe it’s good to, yeah. Like people it’s weird. I feel this is related to something else that has gone on in the business where we’re bringing out a manager’s restructuring people, giving them different roles and stuff.
Um, I feel a little out of touch. And so like, conversations are going on that I kind of haven’t been able to, like, I was talking to one employee and they talked about how they had a conversation with someone else and I was like, oh, that’s odd. Um, and, uh, about kind of that kind of thing of like, here’s a conversation that like is, I don’t know, like I hate project management tool.
So I think, you know, like a lot of times you change your project management tool and it’s like, great. Now you’re documenting the fact that you’re not getting anything done. Like it doesn’t actually have to get done. Like there’s like a deeper issue. And it’s, so it’s kind of like, if people say like, that’s like the problem or whatever, oh, that’s an example.
And it’s just like, oh, like you said, like, I know Jason has a strong opinion about this. Right. And it’s, um, how do I, yeah, have it’s weird. Like, I feel like I got to have conversations with him, but it’s oh. But I feel like what I was going to say is I feel like. Stopping people from having ideas, like what we were talking about, pitching someone pitched something early and we’re like, we’re not actually writing up the whole pitch, just ideas now.
And I’m like, it’s in some ways a pitches like brainstorming and sharing ideas. And it’s like, why am I being so authoritarian about like, you’re not allowed to have ideas unless you talk to me first. Like I kind of wanna encourage. So that’s the challenge I have is like, how do I encourage folks to like, have ideas?
Like I don’t wanna, you know, they, maybe it’s a good idea. A lot of times it’s a good idea. You know, but still have the communication going on so that like, people aren’t steered off track, um, people that like, is it really a problem? Or maybe they know more than you I’m like, I’m not so sure. Like, it really feels like it’s kind of affecting productivity when people are spending too much time kind of going down a path and then it just feels bad.
Like you said, like when you say like, no, we’re actually not, I know you spent like a week thinking about that, but we’re not going to do it. Right. And you’re like, I wish I’d talked to you on Monday and like kind of steered you in the direction of the version. Nina more acceptable. I think as we grow, that’s going to be one of the biggest new things that we both refine as leaders as bosses.
And I think to this point, we’ve been small enough that we haven’t had to write be un-involved in every small thing. Uh, I’m in a mastermind in, and a person had read a book and the gist of the book. She said don’t read the book, but just the gist was be a boss. So if you are the boss, be the boss, uh, and use that as a decision-making as an, and don’t sugarcoat it.
Don’t tip toe around.
I think to this point, we haven’t been bossy bosses, but we have been like declarative specific, strong, harsh, high standards type people, because we are kind, we are human and that’s a core value of ours. Everyone is human, but I think as you grow there, that changes to a point and to see yourself as a boss.
And make a comment that say, we can’t do that because X we’ve considered doing that in the past, but X and not feel sensitive about it and not feel sad about it and not rewrite your slack message 10 times to make it sound more kind. Um, maybe that’s a female thing and maybe not something you need to hear, but for me, I use qualifiers, like just, and maybe when, I mean, no, now this, and I mean specific things, but I curtail my language with qualifiers to not sound like a boss when maybe it’s okay.
It will make us more productive and more aligned in the long run because we are. Yeah, specific verdict. I think that employees, they want to know what to do and they want to be, you know, of course, corrected like that and yes, you know, know that and yeah, that’s our job to tell them what to do basically.
Um, yeah, but also give them, how do we give them? Flexibility to feel like they control the space to be creative, have ideas, and when to step in constraints, help creativity. So we kind of provide the constraints and yeah. Focus on this. Hmm. You marinade on that. I’m going to introduce our next topic, which is.
Well, I mean, months ago you had this idea for a new tagline for paid memberships pro, and what’s interesting. It comes out of a competitive research. Patrick did where he looked at other membership plugins, and just looking at the descriptive one liner, that what they call themselves, how they describe themselves in the fewest number of words.
He found that none of the us and our competitors relatively had the same tagline, the same core message. Similar ours is the most complete membership platform. So we consider ourselves complete someone, considered themselves customizable, which we also use that word. Someone said they’re the most powerful, but relatively speaking, these are all very.
And I remember months ago you had this concept of a tagline, the membership platform that grows with you, that it could address levels of your business. As you were in the startup phase, in this kind of teenager phase, in this late stage membership site. Do you still like that tagline and how could it, what would a powerful tagline prove or change if you did an AB test?
I remember when Patrick brought that up, I was kinda like, well, we came up with that first. I was like, I was looking and I was like, oh, that’s odd. I was like, I’m pretty sure, like, we’ve been the most complete membership plugin since like 2013. And like, they must’ve copied us. So like, why should I change my name?
Like, um, But cease and desist on your bullshit. Yeah. But we’re actually the best. So I had a little of that. Um, so I was like, I don’t think the tagline has to be different just cause it’s all the same, but it was a good observation to make like, Hey, it would, because that, Hey, if everyone’s angling for the same space, maybe we can, you know, kind of market ourselves in a different way to go around what everyone else is doing.
It’s good and fresh. Um, and then, yeah, the idea for the tagline of the membership platform that grows with you, something like that came about when one of the hosted membership platforms like raised their fees from like 10% to 12% and everyone’s like, I’m done, I’m leaving. I want to go to like, you know, something that doesn’t have built in fees like that.
Um, and so we were like, oh, should we like really quick, like try to get, you know, whatever it was, Patriot and member full customers. Those those fees means that the more you grow, the more you pay, right? Yeah. So it’s, it’s um, for us you play pay a flat fee annually. Yeah. And there’s no per member fee, so there’s no impediment to your growth.
Like there’s no limit. We don’t make more money. If you’re successful, you don’t spend more money. If you’re successful. If there’s a 10% fee, that’s great for the site that’s making. A thousand dollars, it’s a hundred dollars for a website for a year. That’s a really good deal. But then when that membership grows to a hundred thousand dollars, they get $10,000 for basically the same, like a similar kind of service.
So people, you know, people were doing that math and then it’s kind of a problem for that business. Cause then. They ha they lose their big customers and they usually give them sweetheart deals just to ground stuff. It’s like a weird thing. So people are talking about that. And I was like, oh, like, we could address that.
Like we, like our plugin really is one that will grow with you because you can use it for free. You don’t even have to pay, um, And, you know, there is no fee structure like that. That’s going to hurt you when you grow up in, you know, it’s kind of a flat fee. You pay for support and updates for things if you want it.
Um, and then like WordPress scales and people come to us and they’re like, how do you scale? Do you address scaling? And it’s like the same issues you have scaling any website, like scales this membership site. Um, and we try to do more with that. Um, but yeah, so that I was like, oh, that could be a tagline.
But I also think about taglines, like the best tagline. Our crazy simple, and just say what it is like there’s a tendency to get flashy with it and like poetic. And it’s like, no, it’s a membership plugin for WordPress. Like the, um, I mean, a more spiffy specific is charger recurring payment to access your content.
Or that explains what it does. I mean, maybe. And learn about taglines and tagline foster, because there’s also kind of like, just do it. Is that the tagline that doesn’t say anything about sneakers. Um, but it’s like about like the mission and the lifestyle, and that’s why it’s important. But I feel like the tagline we’re talking about, which is like, I see the logo they’re called paid memberships pro, and then it says, what does it do?
I think you want to be like really simple and straightforward. Um, and I’ve, I’ve seen other marketers kind of correct in this where they, it could be like a weird flowery version and he’s like, you’re basically, you know, whatever it is. Um, you know, you’re a membership plugin for WordPress. Why don’t just say that, you know, like that answers a lot of questions about what you do.
Um, but maybe there’s a better way to answer. So I feel like even though I came up with the membership plug in the groceries, I was, I don’t know, that’s actually a better tagline, but we should AB test it. Cause maybe it kind of that message lands more. There’s like a, another marketing idea of, you know, can you like, w what’s the biggest, um, challenge or complaint that people would have, and just answer as soon as possible.
Like, I know you’re worried about this, but you know, like you’re worried, this is not going to grow with you. This is the membership plugging the gross. Um, I don’t know that that’s the best thing, but we could test different taglines. I guess if I, if I had to answer that, what would most people say? I think most people coming to our site have very little website building experience.
So their insecurity is whether they can even do it. Like they, they don’t believe that they can launch that they can produce something worth paying for, even if they have great con. I think they believe it may be impossible. Yeah. To, because of their own skills. I think they believe it won’t be as straightforward to me.
Can I do it? So like a tagline, like you can do it too, like, or like, I dunno, the emergency plan that allows you to something like focus on them. I think like knowing more about who that person is, who’s reading, it helps. Cause then like, do people know what we’re presses or not? Do they know what a plugin is or not?
Did they know? Like yeah. And so that kind of kicks, you know, oh, well we should really be focused on which we are, is kind of figuring out, you know, individual customers. And how do we kind of address them individually? Um, you know, different segments. Yeah. And it’s related to that. I think of what you, you know, how yeah.
Is, if that’s the biggest challenge is people don’t think they can do it. And we talked before about like, we want to lean into that and be like, we’re going to help you. We’re here. It is hard, but we’re here to help you. Um, so if we changed the tagline on the homepage, the homepage CTA, we would just want click-throughs to the pricing page.
To the view plans and pricing page. So would that be how we maybe test yeah, yeah. Change the tagline and then see which basically like sales is the metric you want to go for. So like people who see each tagline, does it affect sales or if there’s not enough kind of data for that, um, you know, then like who clicks through to the pricing page is a good.
If the convert, when we can test the conversions from pricing page to sales, so we can kind of make an estimate. Um, yeah. How do we know which one’s better? I mean, at the end of the day, that’s what we want is kind of sales. So we’re users sometimes, you know, so which one gets more people to install the plugin as kind of the one that we should do.
I know we’re talking about AB testing, so it’s cool to talk about. Yeah. I guess every AB test you run, you have to know what you’re maximizing for. Yeah. Yeah. That’s the thing we ran into. It was like we were writing up. So we were thinking about AB testing this and a bunch of stuff and setting up like a routine for like, let’s always be AP testing.
We had like a big change to our plans and pricing and we made good decisions on things, but, um, And some of that too is like, let’s say B test. We already AB tested that and we found it out, but maybe it’s time, maybe things have changed. Um, but yeah, we find like, we’re like, Hey, we should maximize revenue, but we’re like, oh, is that actually the goal maybe we should maximize for, you know, market share for years, let’s trust that 10%, five to 10% of free users upgrade, then just try to get free users, um, or, you know, do we want money?
That’s an interesting thing to maybe another topic, but in our tagline is. Yeah, I, yeah, that was, I was thinking about it too. It’s like how, how important freemium is? Yep. It’s another topic. All right. So we got to go, let’s just go to the next podcast. So it’s recording. We got to say goodbye next time. When we talk about the freemium and we’ll be testing that next time.
All right. Cool.