"Differentiating your company in a world with jaded customers and lots of competition" with Dusty Davidson

Moving 10,000 sites for customers is not easy. It’s hard work… And it’s what differentiates us from the competition. They don’t do it because it’s hard and expensive.

Dusy Davidson is the founder of Flywheel, a company that host Wordpress websites for designers. Now very successful, the biggest thing they did to get started is “hustle and become friends with our customers.”

If you're a SAAS company, chances are you're in a crowded market and customers are sick of trying new apps out. We think the way out is to market better or innovate more... In this interview, Dusty discusses the unique way his company tackles this challenge and talks through some simple questions you can ask yourself to solve this dilemma.


"Differentiating your company in a world with jaded customers and lots of competition" with Dusty Davidson

We’ve experimented with lots of marketing automation… We do some of that, but it’s just one piece of onboarding.

Looking at what has been successful, high touch personal responses and physically migrating our customers' sites are major drivers of our success today.

What’s your customer's biggest roadblock to adopting your product?

When somebody signs up on our site, their biggest roadblock to using the product is not knowing or wanting to move their site.

Even if what they’re currently using is bad, that's not enough to overcome the pain of moving the site.

Back then, we were young and dumb, and didn’t have anything but time on our hands… So we said, “What if we just moved the site for you?" "So we did, and we did it for free.

We had a lot of time. We didn’t think what it would cost us — we JOKED about it — what happens when we get 10,000 users/day?

You might someday, but if you don't yet have 1000 people signing up per day...

Just send an email and offer to personally eliminate the biggest roadblock for customers. When you’re just beginning, it’s easy.

Look at the status quo — Is it to make it your customer’s problem?

Our onboarding process is very manual. We use humans.

The status quo in my industry is to move your own site and get by.

That’s just the way it is.

Or some competitors try to automate the process… Just write a documentation, here’s how you migrate, good luck! Some outsource it to some 3rd party and charge $200-$300 per site.

None of these work very well.

Even then, companies ignore it and just sort of make it your problem.

For us, we say: What you currently use sucks, but you don’t believe moving with us will be faster and better? We'll move your site for free and you can compare. Only pay us if your life gets better. No harm in trying.

In a world with lots of competition and customers are jaded, it’s how we get a customer to choose us.

It’s every customer's number one objection, but nobody does it because it’s hard and expensive.

What’s one thing everyone says has NO way could be done?

Handheld onboarding — doing it for people — is still a major differentiator for us.

But now we’re at a point when we have to migrate 500 sites in a week… How do we do it at scale?

That’s mindset. How we look at problems is to assume we have to do it… Now what?

We look at bottlenecks. Build better tools. Improve processes. We can hire people.

There’s no way you could move a thousand sites? That just sounds too expensive?

Well, what’s the alternative? Failing.

Doing things that don’t scale coincides with the idea of hustle. Too many people are afraid to hustle and do hard things. Moving 10,000 sites for customers is not easy. It’s hard work…

And it’s exactly what differentiates us from the competition.

Your main barrier to success is not being willing to do hard and repetitive things.

People ask me all the time, how do I grow my early-stage company?

My answer is simple: Call 10 people every morning for 2 months, then come back.

The number of people who do it? Zero.

Instead, they focus on things like how do we get this hockey stick?

Every day, commit to calling 10 people. You can do it in 2 hours every morning. It’s not major.

If you can do this every morning for 2 months — instead of too much worrying about what happens if you have 10,000 customers — your company will be pretty amazing.

What is Concierge Onboarding? Read about All Aboard!

Photo credit: Dusty Davidson