6 Reasons Entrepreneurs Should Learn to Code

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The decision of whether or not to learn how to code is a tough one for many non-technical entrepreneurs to make. It may seem like a major time commitment on top of non-technical responsibilities. However, learning even some very basics can be extremely beneficial. You don’t need to be an expert in coding to get value from it. Below are six ways learning to code can help your business.

Save Time and Money Recruiting a Technical Co-Founder or Hire

You don’t find co-founders in one day. It takes a long time. In that same amount of time, or less, you could easily be learning how to code. A month is enough to learn the basics. It can be challenging for many non-technical founders to find a committed technical co-founder that shares their vision. Learning to code will make you less dependent on outside forces and help you get your company off the ground. There’s also a risk that your technical co-founder could leave the company after joining, which could leave you in a tough position if you don’t know anything about coding.

Evaluate Technical Hires or Co-founders More Effectively

If you don’t know much about programming, it will be hard to tell whether someone can effectively program. Therefore hiring will be a major challenge. You will need to rely on others to help you evaluate technical hires. This could be a burden of time and/or money. Learning even basic coding skills will help you to more effectively evaluate potential hires or partners.

Build a Prototype to Test your Idea

Being able to at least build a prototype or “minimum viable product” of your idea will help you to test the demand for your product and business viability before you spend a lot of time and money finding and hiring developers. A prototype will enable you to see how users interact with your product and if it’s even providing them with something they perceive as being valuable in the first place. Interacting and testing with mock ups or just verbal descriptions is much different then a product.

Sometimes customers don’t know if they want something until you put it in front of them and let them use it. A prototype doesn’t have to be perfect, or even scalable, for you to learn, and save time and money. And you don’t need to be an expert to build a prototype. You could even build a landing page to test whether people will buy your product, that you can drive traffic to it, and to build an audience pre-launch.

Communicate With Your Development Team More Effectively

For business people who manage or work with coders, understand ingcoding can be extremely beneficial. Business people will need to know what sorts of things are easy or hard to code, what sorts of problems arise, how long a certain task should take, how hard it is to maintain code, etc.

Programming languages are called languages because they are a mode of communication. If you’re in Spain, you need to learn Spain in order to communicate effectively with people around you. If you’re in a technology startup, learning basics of coding and computer science will enable you to communicate effectively with your technical team members.

You don’t necessarily need to be an expert at coding to be able to communicate effectively with coders. Basic understanding can be helpful in determining what is a reasonable or unreasonable request, or how much effort a particular piece of code would take to produce.

Contribute More to Developing your Product and Company

One of the biggest time commitments in starting a new technology company is product development. While business activities such as customer acquisition and fundraising to take considerable amount of time, being able to contribute to building product can be tremendously beneficial to your company. Different products and companies will have different proportions of business and product development time needed, however in most situations, being able to build product will at least be helpful.

Better Understand your Product and Technology

As a non-technical co-founders some of your biggest responsibilities will be sales and marketing, recruiting and fundraising. You will need sufficient knowledge of your product to be able to effectively communicate with customers, investors, and technical hires. If you’re starting a technology company, you should know enough about technology to be able to run your business.

Conclusion: You don’t need to be the best coder in the world to benefit from learning. It’s not an all or nothing decision. Understanding a little about coding will help you to be better leader. You should still be recruiting technical partners, however learning enough to get your company off the ground and work with those partners will be extremely beneficial to your company. Learning to code will empower you — “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to code and  robotic minions shall fish for him forever.”

Check out How to Build a Landing Page for a beginner step by step tutorial. 

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10 Landing Page Design Tips To Boost Conversion Rates

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Landing pages are a great way to build an audience for your product pre-launch and engage your visitors to eventually turn them into customers. Below are 10 design principles for increasing conversion rates. Having a landing page that actually converts is important because you want to make the most of the time and money you spend on driving traffic to your landing page.  If you would like to learn about building and driving traffic to landing pages, check out How to Build a Landing Page. Otherwise, let’s proceed fourth with the advice…

1. Craft A Clear Value Proposition

Clearly and simply state the primary value proposition of using your product. Describe the end benefit to the user.  

 

What will your customer get if they sign up for your offering or use your product? For example, Airbnb gets them “a place to stay.” Our How to Build a Landing Page course gets you “a live landing page within a weekend.” Speaking from the customer’s point of view can help them appreciate the value of your offering.

2. Offer Something People Actually Want

If you have a product or offering that solves a real problem that customers have and truly delivers value, they will want it. Do some customer development to determine what people actually want and what their needs are. Highlight those value propositions in your site’s titles and copy.

3. Display Social Proof or Testimonials

Social proof means an indicator that other, well respected people like your offering. It has been shown to be influential on people’s decision making. For example, if Michael Jordan wears Nikes, many people will assume that Nikes are high quality. You could display social proof by showing logos of publications that have written about you, logos of customers who use your product, or testimonials.

4. Keep it Simple

Limit the amount of stuff on your landing page so that your visitors are focused on the action you want them to perform. Keep it simple. Too much text, links, or different CTAs can distract the user.

5. Highlight The Call to Action

A call to action (CTA) is the action you want to the user to take. For a landing page, the CTA is probably to get them to sign up, enter their email address, or pay for something. Make your CTA visibly stand out from the page. You could use a bright or unique color, make it larger than other items on the page, or use arrow images to direct the viewer’s eyes to it.

6. Make the Copy on the CTA Button Actionable

Some studies have shown that having the text on the button users click describe the value proposition increase click rates. Instead of “sign up” or “submit,” try something more appealing. “Get instant access,” “Get your free ebook,” or something similar may be more appealing to visitors.

7. Describe Your Unique Offering

If you’re offering something that other customers can get elsewhere, explain what makes you unique and/or better. Unique qualities might include your credentials, a unique feature or differentiator that your product offers. For example, Meetingburner offers “webinars and screen sharing,” but with the unique differentiator “no installation required.”

8. Address Your Customer Segment

Describing who your offering is for personalizes the experience and assures that it will provide value for their specific needs. For example, Stripe is “payments for developers.” Balanced is payments for marketplaces.”

9. Enable Sharing

Enabling your visitors and/or converted sign ups to share can lead to more traffic to your page. Add share buttons to your landing page to encourage your website visitors to share your content with their audiences. You could consider providing them with incentive to share, such as a discount or a discount to the people they invite.

10. Test, Iterate, Optimize

There’s no one specific magic formula for designing the perfect landing page. Different types of viewers may react differently to different designs or products. Try running some A/B tests to determine which designs perform best and iterate accordingly to optimize your page.

To learn more about landing pages, including how to build them and how to drive traffic to them, check out How to Build a Landing Page