Google/Facebook ads terminology/guidelines mind map + Landing page CRO checklists & LP wireframes, copywriting formulas & teardowns, + advanced Facebook ads targeting checklist

Spent all day taking everything in my head and putting it onto a mind map. It usually helps me find weaknesses in my understanding/skillset, improves memory recall, cements understanding, etc… so I try to do it at least once per business quarter.

Mind map

The mind map breaks everything into digestible chunks of 2 – 4 items per category/subcategory. It's pretty massive (around 6mb in size). The customer journey section is a bit messy, so I apologize in advance for that.

Topics covered:

  • Landing Page CRO – Some standard frameworks & best practices
  • Neuromarketing – Basic psychology of learning modalities, limbic system functionalities & chemicals, cognitive biases, nonconscious motivators, etc…
  • Facebook/Google ads – targeting, content, ad types, etc.. all based on the buyer journey phase.


*Best experienced on desktop

A few tools (Google drive docs)

Have fun!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Looking for a simple, effective checklist for best practices in protecting IP.

Some of our investors have outright stated that the most valuable thing about our startup, at this stage at least, is our intellectual property, which the investors feel has value and needs to be secured. They are assisting us with some of the legal aspects of this, however the technical aspects are left up to us.

Is there a good guideline on avoiding malware, securing networks, etc.? How about a secure collaborative coding environment?

We are up for exploring anything, but we need to be reasonably sure that we're protected; ironically, using a startups services is probably off the table.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

The startup Checklist

So I have been working with startups for the last number of years and I have created multiple videos on startups on my youtube channel and I have created a list of stuff that a startup should have within their first year.

Now not all startups need everything here. For example, a solo founder will not need a founder's agreement and a coffee shop owner will not need a cloud platform. This is just a list that I have built up over the last number of years.

Here is the list

  • Business plan
  • 3 year financial projections
  • Key Financial Metrics
  • Financial Summary

  • Pitch Deck
  • Investor Pitch Deck
  • Teaser Pitch
  • One Pager

  • Sweat Equity Agreement
  • Consultant Advisor agreement
  • Employee Contact
  • Casual Employment contract

  • NDA
  • Website Terms of use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of service

  • Brand Strategic vision
  • Branding Template

  • Marketing Plan

  • Recruitment Plan

  • Website created
  • Social Handles Reserved
  • Technical strategy
  • Cloud Platform reserved

If I am missing anything feel free to add below!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

A 6 Step Checklist for Your Mobile App Branding

As of Q1 2020, there were 2.56 million apps in Google Play and 1.85 million in the App Store, so startup apps are faced with significant competition. With such a large number of apps flooding the market, you need to find ways to make yours stand out. A powerful brand can help you differentiate your app from the other apps in your category. A good brand that’s well-marketed can raise awareness, establish trust, and create a memorable experience for customers.

Here is a checklist for app branding to make sure you maximize the opportunity to stand out in the crowd.

StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here

What is a brand, exactly?

It’s difficult to define “brand” because the concept is so abstract.

David Ogilvy, dubbed the Father of Advertising, has defined brand as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.” And Marty Neumeier, a well-known expert on all things branding, has said, “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.”

Branding provides identity and gives customers something to connect with and to relate to; it reflects what people think about a product and how it makes them feel when they interact with it.

To get more specific, a brand generally includes a name, logo, design, tagline, brand voice, and other features designed to create an overall customer experience when people interact with it. Branding supports marketing efforts and should be considered at every stage in the marketing process.

When we think about the branding of a company like Starbucks, for example, we know what to expect. We’re familiar with the company’s color palette and font, and this carries through to everything they sell and everywhere they sell it. When you download the app, you generally know what to visually expect before you even use it for the first time.

This is why companies use branding — to create a consistent and positive experience that customers will be drawn to.

Related: 5 Step Process for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Mobile App

App branding checklist

Incorporating branding into your marketing sets the stage for the user experience, from the first time a person finds your app in the App Store or on Google Play. To build a brand for your app, you’ll need to consider several elements.

Here’s a checklist to ensure you hit all the important areas:

App icon and logo

An app icon and logo are interactive brand images that represent your app on multiple platforms. Icons and logos are visual symbols that may be the same as one another or different, but they should always be consistent. You’ll want to make sure they are simple enough to be seen, but identifiable. App icons tend to be symbols or letter marks, (think: Pinterest, Groupon and Skype apps) and will carry through brand colors and font.

Written content

All content within the App Store or Google Play Store pages, as well as within the app itself, should follow consistent branding and style. The words you choose and the voice you write in are just as important to your brand as your logo and app icon are.

It’s important to be consistent with your branding through your copy, both in the app and through other communications (i.e. email announcements, social posts, etc.)

The tagline you choose for your app should summarize your app’s core benefits to your target user, as you’ll use this tagline in other marketing channels, like your website, landing pages, email communications and social media.


Graphics are key to your app’s branding, since most apps are used on a small device — namely, a cell phone. Your written content may be limited by a character count, so the graphics become key to your branding. Everything from your app icon and logo, custom illustrations, branded interactive elements and photos should be on-brand, offering a consistent experience both in and outside the app. All marketing channels should consistently portray your app in the same way.

Landing page

The landing page you share pre-launch should also reflect your app’s branding. This webpage has a lot of work to do, especially for mobile-only products. When executed correctly, a landing page establishes the vision for your app and clearly articulates your target audience’s pain points, and more importantly, how your app will solve those problems.

User onboarding

The techniques and interactions you use to introduce new users to your app are also part of your branding, and this messaging carries your branding through the use of graphics and the copy. These details help to support brand loyalty and shape a positive user experience at an important entry point.

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Social media

Social media aids with brand awareness and recognizability, and can be a powerful marketing channel for direct sales and promotional campaigns. It has a tremendous influence on how your brand is perceived, and should be considered a vital part of the branding process.


App branding is one of your first tools to create a positive experience with you target user, from the very first interaction a person has with your brand. When consistent branding is used within your app and throughout all of your marketing channels, you’ll find its an effective tool to create and foster brand loyalty.

The post A 6 Step Checklist for Your Mobile App Branding appeared first on StartupNation.


Our own step-by-step startup/project launch checklist

Hey guys! So my co-founder and I launched several projects/businesses over the past 2 years (incl. our marketing agency, local tour agency, and a bunch of other stuff). We usually go through the exact same process for every project launch, so we decided to turn it into a checklist, both for ourselves & the internet people on Reddit.

You can check out the complete checklist here, and here's a Reddit-format-friendly post:

Step #1 – Research Phase

Before you start planning your launch, you need to figure out your overall product and marketing strategy. Here’s what you need to think about:

  • Create a list of competitors in your niche. Make a spreadsheet that includes:
    • Competitor Name
    • Link
    • Pricing Options
    • Key Features
  • Define your product & business. Decide on the following:
    • What’s your business model?
    • What’s your pricing model?
    • How many pricing tiers do you offer?
    • Do you offer a free trial?
    • Is your product freemium?
    • Which key features are you going to focus on for launch?
    • What’s your differentiator? How are you going to beat the existing products on the market?
  • Spy on your competitors and figure out which marketing channels are getting them the best results.
    • Content Marketing. Do they publish blog posts on a regular basis? Do they promote their content on social media? Do they get a lot of Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn shares?
    • SEO. Do they have good rankings on Google with their blog posts? Do their landing pages rank on product search terms? You can check this by running their website through SEMrush or Ahrefs.
    • Search Ads. Are they running ads on Google Search? You can check this by running their site through SEMrush.
    • Facebook Ads. Are they running ads on Facebook? You can check this through Facebook Ad Library.
    • Affiliate Marketing. Check their website footer to see if they have an affiliate page up. You can also do this through a simple search query: “site:[competitor website] affiliate program”
    • Referral Marketing. You can usually find this in the footer. Check what kind of referral terms your competitors offer.
  • Now, use everything you’ve learned so far and create a pitch deck if you’re planning on raising money, or a business plan if you’re not.

Step #2 – Slap Together a Website

Time to get things rolling. The next step is to create a website & lay the foundation for your marketing.

  • Pick a domain name. Pro-tip, all the good “.com”s are taken. Go for something more creative like a .io, .xyz, or other TLD. We recommend using NameSilo for buying the actual domains, they don’t do price-gouging, unlike most providers.
  • Buy hosting. We recommend using SiteGround – they have 99.99% server uptime, and their customer support is amazing.
  • Pick an email marketing provider. It doesn’t particularly matter which one. We usually recommend MailChimp since it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers.
  • Create relevant social profiles. The key here is relevant. If you’re a B2B enterprise software company, you really don’t need an Instagram profile where you post selfies. Usually, most startups go for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
  • Create a landing page for your product. You’ll need to create a landing page that sells your product. In 99% of cases, we recommend using WordPress. It’s going to allow you to be a LOT leaner than having your tech team code your entire website from scratch.
  • Create other essential web pages. E.g. about us, contact us, pricing page.
  • Set up a payment processor. We’d recommend Stripe (the best option on the market) or PayPal (if you really have to).
  • Set up Analytics. You can pick between Google Analytics, MixPanel, or other alternatives.
  • Set up a business email. We recommend using G Suite. Dealing with your hosting provider’s email service will be a pain when scaling.
  • Launch a blog. If you’re planning on using content marketing or SEO for your marketing (which, in 2020, most product companies do), you’ll need a blog.

Step #3 – Do Some Pre-Launch Marketing

If you have the extra time and resources, you can start marketing your product way before you’ve even launched. Usually, this involves:

  • Add an email capture on your landing page
  • Incentivize early adopters. Offer them something extra than just a “we’re going to email you once we launch!”
  • Drive traffic. Usually, the best channels to use for pre-launch marketing are content marketing, SEO, and PR. More on each channel under “Ongoing Marketing” below.

Step #4 – Get Some Initial Traction

Once you have an MVP, you want to validate 2 things: that your product works, and that it can drive conversions (and hence, revenue). Here’s how to do it lean:

  • If you did pre-launch marketing, launch an email to anyone that pre-signed for your product.
  • Cold call your first 50 customers. The easiest way to get your first customers is to do some cold calling. After all, if you can’t sell your product on a one-on-one call, how will you sell it to strangers on the internet via text?
  • Find leads on social media. Use Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter to find leads on social media and pitch them with a direct message.
  • Run search ads. If you have a flexible budget, you can run search ads on direct intent keywords. E.g. if your product is a resume builder, you advertise on the keyword “resume builder.”

Step #5 – Prep For Launch

Every startup gets one “launch” in its lifetime. Here’s how to make sure you get it right:

  • Create a Press Kit and put it up on your website. This is going to be helpful for journalists who want to write about your website.
  • Gather a list of journalists that wrote about your competition. You’re going to email them during launch and ask for a feature. Use tools like or Clearbit Connect to find the journalist’s email addresses.
  • Create a list of all your acquaintances that use ProductHunt (PH). You’ll want to ping them and ask for support once you launch on PH (more on this in the next step).
  • Create a list of all your friends and acquaintances who might have connections to your target audience. You’ll reach out to them during launch.

Step #6 – LAUNCH!

Time to hit that big, shiny red button and LAUNCH!

  • Reach out to all the journalists you listed in the last step and pitch your product. The PoV of the pitch should be “hey, you wrote about [competitor x]. We have a similar product, but here’s how ours stands out…”
  • Launch on ProductHunt
  • Reach out to all your friends and acquaintances we listed out in the last step, and ask for a share of your product landing page. For the best results, you should also give them the EXACT text they should use when sharing the page.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

I read all 60 point landing page checklist articles on the internet, found it confusing then created a 14 point checklist for myself.

Hey guys,

Most of the articles on the internet about landing pages have 60 point checklists. 60, serious? These lists suppose to help you but they can only create more confusion and anxiety.

So I created my own list. It contains only major conversion points and triggers. And eventually, I ended up with a 14 point checklist. Believe me, you don't need to overcomplicate things to increase your conversions.

So here I go,

(I'll try to make it short and sweet but also share extra articles and resources at the end of the post)

#1 Clear Value Proposition

A clear value proposition is a short and compelling summary of the primary benefit that you offer to your prospects.

The attention span of a typical visitor is lower than a goldfish. So you should start talking about your visitor’s pain point and your offer in the very first phrase.

Your value proposition needs to answer these 2 questions within 5 seconds.

  1. Which product or service does this website offer?
  2. What is unique about this product or service?

Here are three things to outline before you write your value proposition.

  • Know your ideal customer.

Her language, struggles and major pain points that make her upset.

  • Specific and concrete benefits of your product

.Focus on one primary benefit and include qualitative or quantitative, measurable end results of your product.

  • Unique Strength

What differentiates you from your competitors? Use your unique strength to convince your visitors. – This canvas makes it easy.

#2 Visual Focus

The background image of the first visual your visitors see. It’s a precious element, it would be a shame to waste it with a static image.

You can match your this visual with the value proposition to empower your message and grab your visitor’s attention.

Here are some ideas:

  • If it’s a personal brand -> Show your face.
  • If it’s a product -> Show your product with a happy customer, or show the ease of use or show the interface.
  • If it’s a service -> Show happy customers, share a moment from the environment.

Think of how you can get through the feeling or end result of your product to your visitors.

#3 Short forms

Make your forms short and sweet for higher conversion rates. Ask for an email and that’s it, you have everything to start a conversation.

Long forms are scary, and in general, they have lower conversion rates. Try not to ask people their company, city, dog’s name and how many cousins they have, as long as it’s not a must.

#4 Call to actions

Right after you talk about their pain points and present your offer, call your visitors for action. Their attention span is short, so you should show the next step before they leave the page.

Blend your value proposition and call to action to make it more effective.

Avoid: “Click here” or “Contact us.”

Instead, use: “Start building a landing page”. Or make it more attractive and write “Build a high-converting landing page now”.

Have a single focus call to action. If your product is too complicated, then you can have a secondary CTA, such as “Learn more about x.”

The design of your CTA is also critical. Try to find attractive colors that complement each other and make sure these colors are matching with your brand identity.

#5 Social Proof

People don’t know you. And the social proof is a shortcut to building an instant trust.

There are tens of social proof strategies, here are some of the most effective ones:

  • Show how many people purchased your product – 3043 people bought this course.
  • Written testimonials from your customers
  • Video Testimonials. A happy customer could sale better than your best salesperson
  • Badges. Such as security or trust badges.
  • Logos. Show the brands you have worked with.

#6 1:1 attention ratio

You know attention is the only currency you have. And you need to guide that attention to your offer, only, lonely. So you should get rid of all clickables, navigation elements, search bar and the rest of distractors.

Keep the attention laser-focused to your holy goal: conversion.

#7 Make it personalized

Browse subreddits, Quora and specific forums to find out how your target audience speaks and writes. Then try to talk their language on your landing page.

For example: If your potential customers are millennials, you can use “gimme” instead of “give me” to make them feel like they’re talking with a friend.

They’ll easily choose a friend over your competitors.

Note: Never use complicated words when there is a simple alternative. Try to keep your copy at the elementary level, it’s easier for the brain to understand even when it’s educated.

#8 Help your visitors by showing all the steps

You think your product is too straightforward and doesn’t need further explanation? Don’t leave a space for assumptions. Show how people can use, configure or implement your product.

Even the most straightforward product needs a step by step explanation. Because these steps give your visitors a sense of security.

This step by step approach will give your visitors a gameplan after they purchase your product. You’re placing stepping stones to help them cross the river of doubt. Use five or six steps at max. Otherwise, you may accidentally over complicate your product instead of helping them.

#9 Use bullet points to present your features or benefits.

I’ll make this one a live example for you.

Example 1.

With landing page software X, you can easily design your landing page by using templates and drag-and-drop features, so no coding skill needed. Also, you can A/B test and connect your landing pages to your favorite marketing tools to get the best out of it. If you have any problems, our customer’s support is on the line to help you, 7/24.

Ok, I confess I wrote it with no love to make it look worst.

Example 2

With X:

  • No coding skills required.
  • Design easily with a drag-and-drop feature.
  • Use 100+ templates
  • A/B test to find out what works best for you.
  • Connect X with your favorite marketing tools.
  • 7/24 fast online support.

You see, the first one is crowded and boring.

The second one is effortlessly flowing and snackable.

You know what is even better than that? Transforming the features to benefits.

To do this, you can sort all of your features and try to squeeze emotional benefits from each.

For example:

  • No coding skills required – You’ll never be dependent on an IT guy who rarely keeps his deadlines.
  • Use 100+ templates – With templates, you’ll save hours and instead, you can spend your time doing your favorite things.

Always use bullet points instead of long sentences to make your points concise and attractive.

#10 Page speed optimization

Is your landing page loads slower than 3 sec? WTF, are you living in a cave or smt?

Yes, people are annoyed if your page loads slower than 3 sec and then they bounce. And you’ll never see each other again.

The speed of your landing page is a passive component but it’s super important for two reasons.

One: as I mentioned, you lost your precious visitors.

Two: It also gives you the upper hand to rank higher on Google search.

There are many ways to find out your page speed, Google's speed test is my go-to.

After you took the test, follow the suggestions of Google to make your page faster

#11 Clear communication (what, why, how)

Make sure that your visitor immediately knows what he can get (WHAT), how he can get it (HOW) and why he needs it (WHY).

You can map out the structure of your landing page with these three communications pillars. The order can be flexible for each product, but in general, it’s like that:

Why? You’re embarrassed because you have a sweating problem.

What? Sweatnot can help you to get rid of your sweaty palms.

How? You can buy it by clicking the CTA and start using it in three easy steps.

I know what you’re thinking and no, I don’t have a sweating problem.

#12 Mobile Friendly – Responsive

If there were a constitution of the landing pages, that would be one of the major laws. Seriously, triple check your landing page and optimize it for your mobile visitors.

#13 Create urgency

Scarcity increases the conversion rates but it needs to seem natural and rational. It’s a robust psychological trigger called loss aversion and also known as FOMO.

These days, almost everything is limited edition and available for a limited time, so don't try to make a monkey out of your visitors. Use it carefully.

#14 Repeating the call-to-action

Hey, do you remember me? It’s me again, call to action and I’m here to transform you to into a customer.

No jokes here, Don’t hesitate to repeat your CTA 2 to 3 times more on your landing page. Your visitors could get distracted and drift away without clicking your call to action.

So add some more action.

So what does your landing page looks like?

Here is a scheme I use. You don't strictly have to hold on to the order.


  • Value proposition
  • Matching visual
  • Tagline
  • Form
  • Call to action
  • Section 1
  • Description + video if possible
  • Section 2
  • How to use the service or products
  • Section 3
  • Social proof
  • Section 4
  • Call to action -> link to the header.

That's it folks. I hope you learned something out of my post.

If you want a broader reading with images and examples,you can do it by clicking here.

If writing a value proposition is making headaches for you, read this. It reads like aspirin.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!