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In this episode, Brian Casel, founder, and CEO of ClarityFlow, discusses the benefits of asynchronous messaging for coaches and the recent rebranding from Zip Message. They also talk about the importance of name changes and pricing strategies for SaaS startups, and ClarityFlow’s success with their demo-led approach and upcoming updates, including mobile apps, courses, community spaces, and payments integration. Lastly, Casel emphasizes the value of sales calls for research and development.
Brian Casel is a software company owner and founder known for his expertise in software product design and web development. He is the mastermind behind ClarityFlow (formerly ZipMessage), a popular asynchronous messaging tool for professionals in coaching, consulting, and remote teams. With a successful track record of founding and operating businesses like ProcessKit, Audience Ops, and Productize, Brian’s vast experience also extends to his roles as a designer, web developer, and podcast host. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Product Launch:
- Clarity Flow is growing to include payments for coaches, personalized coaching programs, and community spaces for coaching groups
- Castle and his team are 100% asynchronous and use tools like Slack and GitHub to collaborate effectively
- Names can affect the success of a product and the perception of its direction.
- Customer research, both live and asynchronous, can provide valuable feedback for naming and strategy decisions.
- Analyzing usage data and creating custom reporting can also help identify a target audience and pricing strategy.
- Inbound demo requests have become a preferred way for some coaching businesses to evaluate the product
- The success of a demo-led approach influences product development, marketing materials, and customer success
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- 02:59 – “My team and I, we literally don’t have calls live, like live calls. We’re a hundred percent asynchronous. And it’s weird, it’s a little bit weird, but I’m not exaggerating. Like we literally just have, we use Slack and we use GitHub issues and stuff like that when we’re working on stuff. But we do have like video meetings where they’re seeing my face, they’re seeing my screen, I’m seeing their response. We’re collaborating together on things, but we’re doing it across the world, across time zones and spread out at a time that makes sense”
- 03:38 – “But we can really still have the same level of collaboration as if we’re on a live call together. I actually would even argue that it’s better because we have space in between our collaboration. So I could ask something and then my marketing assistant can think about it and do some work and jot down some notes and then get back to me with her thoughts and then I digest that and I get back. So, I really think that communicating asynchronously and having these meetings at like a slower, more spread out pace really, really helps a lot.”
- 04:41 – “I can’t help but think sometimes nowadays when I’m on one-to-one meetings, or even worse if I’m in a group setting at so many meetings and so much time and effort and energy is largely wasted because yeah, only one person could be talking at a time, right? So if you’ve got a meeting with like 10 people on it or grows even larger than that, just the, the cost to hold that session when most people aren’t really doing much. It’s asynchronous for the win all day there.”
- 11:229 – “So if you look at our site now, it’s like, yeah, we’re still like an async conversation at the core, but we’re building into more of a platform to run an entire coaching business. So I got to really understand exactly what they’re trying to do, and then that informed all the features that we’re rolling out now.”
- 19:18 – “I think especially when you start to gain traction with your product, right? Prioritization becomes critically important because if you put the wrong step in front of a step that should have been prioritized. Like you said, you could pause something that’s really important for a really, really critical moment, like an inflection point.”