Keep Your SaaS Product Competitive with Syed @ — EV Ep. 3

Imagine a 12-year-old high-schooler who just came to the US, all the way from Pakistan.

He barely speaks English and spends most of his time in the library. Basically, he’s a total geek… all he wants to do is play computer games, but the library computers have their proxies blocked (because school’s not meant to be fun!).

So what does he do?

He creates his own proxy…obviously!

… no wonder he went on to become such a successful entrepreneur, who, might I add has over 2.5 mil YouTube subscribers.

Such problem-solving skills are priceless for entrepreneurs. Most of our job boils down to finding solutions and bypassing obstacles.

In this episode of Escape Velocity, watch this now grown “high school nerd”, Syed Balkhi CEO of WPBeginner / OptinMonster (and 2 dozen other companies) dive all the way down to the technical details of black-hat SEO, YouTube domination, and the rise of the WordPress giant.

It’s rare to hear someone go beyond just scratching the surface with interesting ideas. But Syed drills all the way to the bottom and gives VERY PRACTICAL tips that you can use to grow your SaaS business.

And in case you’re wondering, it all started with cricket…

It’s hard to list all the gems I got from this conversation, but here are some of the key topics:

  1. The role of a mentor
  2. Why SaaS is like real estate
  3. How to evaluate business opportunities (make sure they NEED it, not just want it!)
  4. Getting them to subscribe (retrain the consumer)
  5. It’s all about customer mentality
  6. Staying competitive with your SaaS product
  7. What is the SaaS niche with a big void? (You’ll be surprised)

While the practical juice in this conversation is spilling all over our 30+ minute conversation, it’s the insight about staying competitive that can give vitamins for your SaaS business right away.

Around minute 22 is where Syed unwraps it all in a 2-pointer response…

  1. Customer-driven surveys- Everyone does surveys for their SaaS. But the key is to use them to really talk and understand your customers. One way to do this is through conditional surveys.
    If you bombard users with automated questions, you are not going to understand why they responded with a 3 and not an 8 to your previous question. So make sure you personalize the follow-up questions based on what they initially respond.
  2. In-product marketing- Your product probably has some premium features which are not available for the lower-tier customers. Instead of hiding these features, make sure you add a link, a preview, or a video…You need to explain to your users the value they could get by upgrading their tier. A simple strategy that can easily increase your existing clients’ revenue.

It all boils down to the attention to detail.

Be sure to catch the full episode here and drop me a comment with any questions you have about maintaining your product competitiveness.

Dan Martell has advised more startups than his hometown has people and teaches startup founders like you how to scale. (Get the free 3 videos to grow your business here.) He previously created, raised venture funding for and successfully exited two tech startups: Flowtown and You should follow him on twitter @danmartell for tweets that are actually awesome.

Originally published at on June 6, 2019.

I coach ambitious software founders | Award-winning angel investor / 5x founder with 3x exits | Speaker | Proud Father.

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