Lucas Sommer spent the past 10 years writing, recording and marketing independent music using his recording studio and the Internet. Eventually he began working with artists to market and promote their music careers online more efficiently.
He founded Audimated.com to satisfy this need by providing artists the tools they need to monetise their careers while simultaneously motivating fans to become the marketing and sales force for the music they support.
Sommer shares what his greatest challenge with Audimated.com has been so far:
The Challenge: The biggest challenge I faced when starting this business was building and staying focused on the product. In our business, this is the website platform. Originally, the web development for Audimated was outsourced overseas and, as a result, the interface design and functionality was lacking the professionalism and ease of use necessary to be successful online. At first, we focused too heavily on the many cool things we could do with the website instead of focusing on the one or two core things that the site should do.
The Solution: We fired the outsourcing web development company we used originally and hire a skilled interface designer/web developer full time. His first set of assignments were to remove features and essentially un-build what we paid to have developed. We went all the way back to the beginning by asking what is the ONE thing we want our artists to do on the site and the ONE thing we want our fans to do on the site. We decided to first fix the core differentiating features of the site and perfect those before moving on.
The Aftermath: We are still going through this process and fixing our core functionality, but even with minor improvements we have seen a substantial increase in user conversion rates. After removing some unnecessary features and fields, a lot more users are successfully uploading content and interacting with other users. We have received positive feedback so far, but improving the interface and the overall product will be a never ending process.
The Lesson: The lesson here is that less is more. It is better to do one or two things really well for one group of people rather than do a bunch of things average. Start small and focused and once you master your core value proposition you will have the knowledge and customer base to scale properly.
The Young Entrepreneur Council was founded by Scott Gerber, a serial entrepreneur, internationally syndicated small business columnist and author of the book, Never Get a “Real” Job. The YEC’s mission is to help young people build successful businesses and overcome the devastating epidemics of youth underemployment and unemployment.
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