How I Use ConvertKit’s Simple Email System To Land Coaching Clients, Sell My Ebook On Autopilot, And Provide Content To My Subscribers

Overview:- Alternative lifestyle coach Laura Maya decided to pay for ConvertKit instead of using MailChimp’s free plan to run her email newsletter, before she’d even made a dollar from her website. 

In this review of ConvertKit, learn how Laura set up a system to sell her eBook and send emails and free gifts automatically, so her website builds a database of potential clients without her having to do anything.

Up until five years ago, I didn’t know it was possible to have a job that could move with me around the world.

I’d already been travelling non-stop for 14 years at that stage, but I always found work as I went along.

So I’d be running a campsite in France over the summer, working as a BBQ chef in Italy in the winter, then heading off to Honduras to work as a journalist for a few months until I worked out my next move.

I had a little blog where I wrote stories about my travels, but I had no idea I could use it to make money.

Then a friend of mine, who was a web developer, reached out and told me one of her clients was looking for a virtual assistant for his online education business. The job was 100% online so I could keep travelling and work from anywhere. I felt like I’d hit the jackpot!

When I started working for Yaro, it was like opening the door to a parallel universe — a mysterious world where people ran multi-million dollar businesses online with teams of staff all working from their laptops in their pyjamas around the world.

Over the next few years I got a crash course in digital and content marketing, and I started to think, — “Hey, I could do this myself.”

I took my old blog offline and started a new one called The Magic of Everything, a place to connect with other hyper-curious, freedom-seeking travellers like me who want to live life outside the box.

To start with, I had some basic goals:

Goal #1: I wanted the blog to be a shop front for the coaching and consulting business I was building, so my ideal clients could find me through my blog posts and web content.

Goal #2: I wanted to sell digital products on the site, including an eBook I’d written about how I find work around the world. As long as I could remember, people have asked me “How is it possible you’re travelling all the time!” and I wanted to offer a truly affordable and easily accessible answer to that question.

Goal #3: I wanted to build an email list. Because even though I find email marketing a bit icky at times, I’d come to understand it was still the most effective way to reach people and the only guarantee I’d have ownership of my contacts.

Goal #4: To build up my email list, I decided to offer an “optin” — a free gift I would give away if someone “opted in” and joined my mailing list. In my case, it was a self-coaching program called GPS for the Soul that I offer in a digital format.

To hit these goals, I knew I needed an email autoresponder system that was able to do three things:

  1. Create at least two online forms where people can enter their email address on my website and then, like magic, automatically receive an email with the free self-coaching workbook. This is called an ‘Automation’.
  2. Generate those annoying little pop up boxes to appear on the website after a reader has been there for a certain time — to promote my eBook and encourage people to join the mailing list. Because even though they’re annoying, they work!
  3. Separate all the people who sign up to my mailing list into different groups based on their interests and activity. So if they opted in for my book Work the World it tags them as being interested in travel, but if they opted in for GPS for the Soul they’re tagged as being interested in personal development. That way I can write emails to different groups that are more aligned with their interests.

So off I went into Google land in search of one system that could do all of those things.

Why I Chose To Pay For Email Automation Before I’d Made Any Money

Like most newbies starting out, I gravitated immediately to MailChimp because of it’s beautiful… price.

When you’re a new blogger starting out and your website hasn’t produced any income yet, the best option is usually the FREE option.

So I opened a MailChimp account and asked the web developer setting up my website to link them together, hoping she would just magically fix it so I could replicate what she did once I saw it in action.

Unfortunately, that didn’t pan out…

It turned out that on MailChimp’s free plan, it wasn’t possible to have two different pop-up boxes for two different optins, and I wanted one for both GPS for the Soul and the first chapter of my eBook.

I didn’t want to pay to upgrade MailChimp so I could provide two optins because, so far, I’d found the platform too difficult to navigate. I’d worked out how to set up an email list and send an email, but I couldn’t figure out how to set up automations so the website delivered my emails and free gifts automatically.

If I was going to have to pay something to someone, I decided to shop around and look for alternatives to MailChimp.

The only other system I was familiar with was the business automation software, Ontraport, which seemed like overkill and far too expensive for a new blog starting out.

So I narrowed my search down to ActiveCampaign, AWeber and ConvertKit based on the recommendations of other bloggers, coaches and VAs in some Facebook groups I joined.

I spent two weeks researching all my options, signing up for free trials, and ended up completely overwhelmed by all the tech talk, jargon, confusing interfaces and conflicting reviews.

Frustrated, I gave up the search and went with ConvertKit for two (not very well thought out) reasons.

Reason #1: Whenever I asked a blogger or VA why they use ConvertKit they said “Because it’s EASY. I don’t need a pilot’s license to drive it.”

Reason #2: Two big names in my industry — one blogger and one Virtual Assistant trainer — were plugging ConvertKit big time. And even though I know they’re probably making a killing from referral fees, I trusted their opinion enough to believe they wouldn’t do that if the software wasn’t worth the hype.

Setting Up ConvertKit Was Easier Than I Expected

By the time I made the switch to ConvertKit and paid for a subscription, I’d lost dozens (maybe even hundreds) of hours trying to make MailChimp work for me.

So I had low expectations going into ConvertKit and was kind of blown away when I managed to get everything I needed set up within a week — without any tech help.

That’s not to say I didn’t tear a few hairs out that week, but I got it all done — two free optin offers or ‘lead magnets’ as some people call them (GPS for the Soul and the first chapter of Work the World) with follow-up email sequences my subscribers receive automatically.

As soon as I signed up for ConvertKit, I was guided to a video tutorial for beginners and sent an email with a free automation sequence, ready made.

I’m not going to guide you through the step-by-step process I took because really, if you follow the beginners video, it’s like following a trail of breadcrumbs that will lead you to a castle.

And in this analogy, the castle is an automated system that sends digital gifts to your readers via email, all while you sleep.

But even if you follow the video, you’ll probably get lost at some point and when that happens, just find the button that says “New Automation”.

This will put you back on the right path, sending you into a sort of flow chart the helps you set up the different components of your email marketing in a logical order.

For example, in my case, in order for me to send my reader a free gift from my website, I first need to create a “form”, like this:

Only I forgot to create the form before starting my second “New Automation”. But it didn’t matter, because when ConvertKit asked me what I form I wanted to use, one of the options was “Create Form” in case I didn’t have one. I clicked on that and voilà, it immediately took me to the page to get it done.

Unlike MailChimp where I felt like I was constantly hitting dead ends if I didn’t know where I was going, ConvertKit has built their platform with breadcrumbs everywhere that you can follow forward and backwards so it’s hard to get lost.

If you’re moving to ConvertKit from another platform that wasn’t quite as user friendly, I recommend you try not to think too much, and just relax and follow the prompts.

One step usually leads you to the next and the next and if it doesn’t, just click all the buttons to work out what they do and where they go. By doing that, you learn about all the features you can use to improve your email marketing system and slowly add them in.

All that said, there were still moments when I get lost and overwhelmed and had to hunt for solutions without always knowing what the problem was.

Anyone who tells you they set up their first email autoresponder system with no issues, no second-guessing and without dropping the occasional f-bomb is probably lying.

For me, one of the biggest issues was my MacBook seemed to hold onto the memory of all my ConvertKit ghosts. By that I mean whenever I tried to change the text on a landing page, or the colour of a font in ConvertKit, my computer wouldn’t show those changes until a day or two later.

At first, I thought the changes I made hadn’t saved, so I kept updating it over and over again to no avail. Eventually I sent a support ticket to ConvertKit saying I was ready to give up and cancel my free trial, but their support desk was quick to respond and told me it all looked as it was supposed to at their end.

So I learned to test everything in an incognito window on Google Chrome as a work around and accepted it would take a few days before that changes were visible in my normal browser. I’m not sure if the issue is with my computer or ConvertKit, but as long as the people visiting my website see it the right way, that’s all that matters.

Once I got my automations set up, I called on family and friends to run at least five tests with five email addresses on five computers with different browsers. Each time someone came back with something wrong or missing or formatted incorrectly, and I had to dive into the ConvertKit resources to work out where I’d gone wrong.

ConvertKit isn’t foolproof, but with limited tech knowledge, I was usually able to work a solution on my own. Or, when all else failed, with the help of ConvertKit’s help desk.

Without a doubt, there was still a definite learning curve, but is ConvertKit easier to use than MailChimp? Hell, yes…

Once you’ve gotten the hang of the basics and your first automation set up, you can start incorporating ConvertKit’s more complex features. You can set up tags so your subscribers are automatically organized into lists according to their interests, and you can view their history to see all the different ways they’ve engaged with your website.

This information can help inform decisions about what to write about on your blog or social media so you get the best response from your audience and attract more clients.

For example, I thought everyone would be more interested in learning how to find work around the world because that’s the question I get asked the most in real life, but the overwhelming majority of people opting into my mailing list click on the “Feeling lost?” button that leads them to GPS for the Soul email optin.

Knowing that completely changed my marketing angle and how I promote my services.

All up, I think it took about one week to set up all my automations, write all my emails, and create all my forms so my website could run without me.

ConvertKit Email Open And Click RatesThe only thing I couldn’t set up myself was the integration with WooCommerce for the sale of my eBook Work the World, and so coaching clients could book and pay for sessions online. This I handed over to a web developer who took care of it in just a few hours.

Then when the website went live and I shared the link on my social media channels for the first time on January 15th, 2019, my ConvertKit dashboard lit up. Emails and eBooks started flying from my website to every corner of the world.

When I woke up the next morning I’d sold enough eBooks to cover the first two months of my ConvertKit subscription.

How I Use ConvertKit Now

To be honest? I don’t much, really.

Ever since I set it up, it’s been working behind the scenes to do exactly what I need. It’s a well oiled machine that runs on its own and I’ve barely touched my automations in over a year.

The feature I use most is sending broadcasts from ConvertKit whenever I write a new blog post, which is as easy as sending a normal email. I give the email two different subject lines and ConvertKit sends half of each to the first 15% of my list to see which one people are more inclined to open.

Then the winning subject line is sent to the other 85% of my list. This is called A/B testing and it’s really helped my open rates — the winner is always B, the second headline I write!

Otherwise, since the Coronavirus pandemic when just about everyone in the world stopped travelling, I made my Work the World book free for anyone who wants to download it. This only took 20 minutes to rewrite the email and get it set up in a few clicks.

Up until then, I was waking up in the morning and finding random strangers had bought my book and deposited $9 in my bank account while I slept. ConvertKit does all the work in the background, sending the emails, sending the products (in partnership with WooCommerce which my web developer set up on my website), so I can just sit back and reap the benefits.

I should emphasize I don’t use all the features ConvertKit makes available to me. I’m not using the pop-up boxes that appear when someone is reading my content (although I probably should because), but they’re available on ConvertKit.

My email sequences are also quite straightforward without a lot of the rules and tags and additional emails I could be using to really target my marketing.

There is probably a lot more I could be doing with ConvertKit, but I won’t go into those features in this review because that’s exactly the kind of information that made me feel overwhelmed when I was in the same position as you now, trying to decide which email autoresponder company to go with.

Just because it has all the features, it doesn’t mean you’re not getting value if you don’t use them all right away.

At this stage of my journey, I’m not a super active blogger publishing content every week, so the website is more of a virtual home office designed to attract people and potential clients to my business.

Now people find their way to the website mostly by searching for words or phrases that appear in my blog posts. When they arrive, they download what they need, join my mailing list, and I send them emails every so often to stay in touch. From that database, people reach out to me for coaching or consulting projects and that’s how I generate an income from my blog.

How Much I Paid For ConvertKit

At the time of writing, the entry level cost for ConvertKit is $29 USD per month.

But I pay $290 USD per year for up to 1,000 subscribers, and when I cross that threshold I’ll go up to $490 per year.

I hate having monthly bills so I prefer to pay it as a lump sum and forget about it until January rolls around again. The other good thing about doing it this way is ConvertKit gives me the equivalent of two months free for paying up front.

The biggest struggle for me with ConvertKit’s pricing is the exchange rate. As an Australian, I’ll admit, seeing the difference in the price quoted on ConvertKit’s website in USD versus how much actually gets taken out of my bank account? That hurts…

So every January when that money comes out of my account (well over $400 Aussie dollars last time), I tell myself I should search around for a cheaper option. But by February I’ve forgotten how painful it felt to hand over that money, because ConvertKit is just so easy.

And I love when things are easy…

It’s running a huge part of my business without me even having to think about it. After just one client receives an email and goes onto pays for a 3 month coaching series up front, the cost of the annual fee is more than covered.

I’m usually the kind of person who will use the “free” versions of anything before handing my hard earned money to a big, impersonal software company. But ConvertKit’s mission (or at least their marketing strategy) also really spoke to me.

They claim they built their software for *creators*, not using the same ultra-businessy language of other software companies that makes me feel excluded. ConvertKit feels like it was built with creative brains in mind — so an artist or creative soul (like me) who isn’t familiar with this kind of technology can still learn to use it without feeling like a complete dumbass.

If you’re not sure, ConvertKit has a free trial for anyone wanting to test all their premium features before committing, and a free plan for anyone starting out slowly who has less than 500 subscribers on their mailing list. So it costs nothing to spend a couple of weeks having a play with the software before you decide to buy.

Is ConvertKit Right For You?

I believe ConvertKit is the right software for anyone who wants to plan for their business growth right from the beginning.

No matter what plan you’re on (except the free plan) ConvertKit charges you for how many subscribers you have on your list, not for the features you have access to.

So I won’t have to learn a new system as my business grows, or upgrade to another platform for the features I need. I can use exactly the same features to manage my small business now as a huge corporation paying $3,000+ per month for a million subscribers.

Although that said, ConvertKit is not really an ideal platform for big companies with hundreds of thousands of email subscribers. Its pricing structure makes it an expensive option for high-end users and the platform doesn’t offer the same features as a more robust customer relationship management system like Ontraport or Keap.

But for me, ConvertKit does everything I can see my business needing for the next few years. It’s the best platform I found for bloggers, artists, creatives and anyone who (quite frankly) doesn’t want to waste their time learning fancy words for technical terms they couldn’t give a stuff about.

ConvertKit is for small businesses who just want to reach their audience and share their message, without getting tangled in the technology.

Convert Kit In A Nutshell

Overall, I’m a big fan of ConvertKit because:

  • It’s much more intuitive than its competitors and uses great visuals like flow charts and graphs to help you navigate around the platform.
  • The set up was relatively pain-free and I could do it myself without paying a tech person to do it for me.
  • It communicates seamlessly with the eCommerce platform, WooCommerce, so emails are automatically sent to people when they buy something from your website
  • I have access to every feature I need on the most basic plan, and there are still plenty of additional features I can use as my business grows (although I admit I don’t know what they are yet)
  • Their support desk is quick to respond and has helped troubleshoot me towards a solution for every problem I’ve encountered.
  • It has simple graphs that provide insights into my customers and how they engage with my website so I don’t have to search for that information. It lights up my dashboard as soon as I log in.
  • It’s hard to get lost in ConvertKit because there are always paths to guide you back and forward to build every part of your automation.

But there are some things I’m not too crazy about…

Firstly, the cost.

Ok, I lied. That’s the only thing.

While I wouldn’t expect it to be free, I do think there could be a middle ground between free and $29 USD per month for new users with 0 email subscribers.

While it’s not an issue for me now and I can see the return on investment, it certainly would have helped me out in the early stages of my building my business.

But to sum it all up, I’m happy with my decision to use ConvertKit and I have no plans to move to another platform in the future.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for simplicity.

And if you’re a blogger or small business owner who would rather pay a little bit extra for a simpler and more care-free life (not to mention less technology-induced grey hairs), then create a free account and take some time to play with ConvertKit.

Once you’ve seen how easy it is to navigate compared to its alternatives, you’ll probably find you’re happy with it too.

Laura Maya

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7 Questions With Mike Jennings, Divergent CEO Of Next Green Wave

Mike Jennings is an intriguing gentleman. He is a legacy grower and cannabis afficianto, from childhood up. His father (pictured here) was a legacy grower in the industry- before it was legalized. That’s OG! Mike is no newcomer to the business, it’s part of his DNA. And the enjoyment of cannabis? Mike has the chops, it’s crystal clear by examining his plants. The Next Green Wave crushes the competition. But why let me tell the entire story before we’ve even started? May I please present Mike Jennings, CEO of Next Green Wave. Cheers!

WB: What brought you to the cannabis business? What did you do originally?

Mike Jennings=MJ: From day 1 cannabis has been in my blood.  My father grew and sold commercially in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s up until I was born in 1975, and then continued for some years on a smaller scale after that. From as early as I can remember my dad was growing, selling and smoking cannabis; I couldn’t have been more than 4 or 5 and I remember walking into the hothouse (greenhouse in old school parlance) attached to the side of our farm house off of my bedroom and it being full of big, green sticky plants in big white buckets. From the ground the plants were taller than I was and all I remember is loving the smell… I’ve always loved the smell of cannabis. So fast forward a little to 1998 and since then I’ve been growing, breeding and selling cannabis in the California medical market. However, during that time I received an education, owned and operated many other businesses, at one point even attending law school because I wanted to be a lawyer. But ultimately my heart was always in cannabis and I have been drawn back to it over and over again.

WB: Do you have a mentor?

MJ: Not really. It’s very difficult to get any helpful information in the cannabis cultivation game, especially back in the day. You have to remember, predating the internet and Youtube (I’m not kidding, I’ve been in the game that long) the only IP a new grower could get their hands on were poorly written grow books from ‘has beens’ that never knew how to commercially grow in the first place. So the only information available to us were empty anecdotes and useless peripheral grow tips. The only real, valuable resources available to us at that time would be directly from the Og successful growers, but there was only one problem: Back then they kept their trade secrets to themselves. I mean think about it, if there are no other resources other than a select few who are actually doing it and making a ton of money in the process why would they help some new guy like me out? So no, no mentors for me… I had to learn the hard way every step of the way.

WB: Did you always want to do what you do today?

MJ: I could say yes, but that would betray the fact that I ever thought it could be possible to be the CEO of a public cannabis company. For me growing up, any form of cannabis legalization seemed so far in the future that I couldn’t imagine it not being illegal; in 1996 when prop 215 passed I was already 21. In that context I never imagined the chance would present itself in the way it has over the last 5 or 6 years. In fact, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today if not for complete legalization in Canada and the subsequent explosion of capital into cannabis based business models, so in that context I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

WB: Who inspired you?

MJ: I’d have to say my father because he instilled in me all of the traits necessary to succeed and inspired me to be the man I am today. I watched him work tirelessly to grow our family farm and do whatever it took, day in and day out, to get the job done, and that made a huge impression on me early on. He taught me that you can’t expect from your partners or employees what you don’t give yourself and therefore half measures are unacceptable. So from the time I was 8 he expected me to contribute my abilities in every way possible and constantly reminded me that anything less was unacceptable, which pretty much embodies my operational business philosophy.

WB: What are your goals in business? Six and twelve month?  What about the obstacles? What about stigmas?

MJ: My current goal is to continue to grow Next Green Wave into the mature, profitable company it is already becoming and expand on that business model into strategic markets.  Over the next six months that means getting our extraction facility online and beginning the process of expanding our flower production capacity.  Over the next twelve months I’d like to continue to focus on the CPG side of Next Green Wave by further expanding our product portfolio in the California recreational market to continue to capitalize on the rapidly growing demand for our artisanal grade products.  That being said, the main obstacle we have in the short term is supply, because we are consistently 100% sold out of everything we produce, sometimes weeks in advance, so we need to expand capacity and fast.  As far as stigmas go, that’s so far in my rearview mirror I don’t even see it.  Honestly at this point the best thing I can do to reduce the stigma, or any other cannabis CEO for that matter, is to continue to operate the most compliant, efficient, profitable company I can, period.  In those terms the only thing that’s going to remove any remaining stigmas on the cannabis space is legitimacy.

WB” Do you have a favorite food memory?

MJ: Interestingly enough, yes I do have a favorite food memory. Although the older I get the more childish it sounds to say anything is my favorite, I do have a food memory that was so off the charts amazing that I can say it is bar none my favorite: Proposing to my wife at Eleven Madison Park in New York. The entire restaurant, patrons and staff included, gave us a standing ovation. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it; I planned it months in advance and it was simply a surreal moment in my life that I will never forget and it went off flawlessly and ended in a way I could have never imagined.

7. What is your favorite strain to grow and why?

MJ: Over the years my opinion on that has changed many times, but I’d have to say that GMO Cookies is my favorite strain to grow at the moment. The strain has all of the aesthetic and quantitative qualities that matter in the game right now, and on top of that it’s the most fire smoke I’ve had in a long time, bar none. Her aroma profile is off the charts, she has great structure, she yields (both flower, hash, wax) and she hits.  What more is there to say?

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Two Recent Harvard Grads Build Platform To Help Furloughed Chefs During COVID-19

As COVID-19 spread coast to coast, closing restaurants indefinitely, hundreds of talented chefs and bartenders were furloughed or laid off. In parallel, the demand for virtual social experiences and opportunities to stay connected with friends and co-workers continues to rise. With home cooking becoming more popular than ever, two recent Harvard graduates saw the perfect opportunity to build a platform to connect furloughed chefs to customers around the country looking to gain inspiration and tips in the kitchen. 

Kookoo Club was founded in April by Harvard ‘18 graduates, Aditya Agrawal and

Chu Zhou, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as a mission-focused platform to help chefs from their favorite restaurants continue to monetize their passion from their home kitchens. Kookoo Club provides live, virtual classes, hosted on Zoom, for both individuals and corporate teams led by Michelin-starred chefs and mixologists who have worked at top restaurants like Momofuku and Eleven Madison Park. The Kookoo Club team takes care of class scheduling, logistics, and marketing so chefs can focus exclusively on teaching the classes. “People often think about celebrity chefs, such as Gordon Ramsay, but there’s a whole army of incredibly talented and well-trained chefs, mixologists and sommeliers at these top restaurants that go under-appreciated,” Aditya said. “We saw a lot of value in bringing a lot of these top chefs from different restaurants teaching classes together on one platform and the resulting cross-pollination benefits,” Chu added. 

In the first three weeks of launching, Kookoo hosted 400+ participants across 20 unique classes and 6 corporate events. “We’ve been incredibly inspired by early feedback of the platform,” says Chu, “so far, our attendees have given us a 90% positive review and we are seeing more and more people return for a second or third class!”

 This past Sunday I was fortunate enough to attend a class led by Kia Damon, former Executive chef at Lalito NYC and New York Times’ 16 Black Chefs Changing Food in America. The class was filled to capacity with over 20 participants eager to learn how to whip up a coconut fish curry. Throughout the class, Kia provided personalized feedback and answered questions from each participant, it almost felt like we were in the kitchen directly alongside her. The experience was incredibly unique and truly made me feel like I was in a private cooking class. 

While building the platform, Aditya and Chu intentionally focused their outreach to create a diverse and robust slate of chefs. “We are proud of the fact that our chefs and mixologists are >50% women, >70% People of Color and >75% Michelin-star trained with experiences at top restaurants like Gabriel Kreuther and Del Posto,” Aditya said. “The food industry, like many others, is dominated by white males and we wanted to make sure a diverse range of chefs benefited.” Chetan Shetty, one of the chefs offering classes on Kookoo Club, is also the Head Chef of Indian Accent New York, one of the world’s best Indian restaurants. “This is such a timely initiative and we really needed something like this. Not only do I get to monetize my skills and get some extra income from this project, but I also get to gain new fans.”

After an overwhelmingly successful launch, the Kookoo Club team is excited to diversify their current offerings by launching a series for both beginner cooks and for more experienced food enthusiasts to become experts within specific cuisines. Starting in August, Kookoo Club members can sign up for ‘Become an Expert Indian Chef in 5 Weeks’ with the Head Chef of one of the world’s top Indian restaurants or ‘Become an Expert Chinese Chef in 5 Weeks’ with the founder of one of New York’s top Chinese establishments. Participants in these series will start from scratch and progressively cook more complex dishes, culminating in a live virtual ‘Cook-off’.

This week Kookoo Club is offering classes for $15 and Forbes readers can get 30% off any class using the code FORBES30. Upcoming classes this week include “Shrimp and Mushroom Dumplings” with the former chef of 2-Michelin starred Momofuku Ko and “Mascarpone Doughnuts” with the Executive Pastry Chef of Michelin starred Del Posto.

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus

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Snappa founder on staying optimistic through a rut (and how he’s keeping perspective)

Andrew Warner: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m a, I’m coming to you with a Mixergy listener who I’ve gotten to know over the years, whose story I think is the type of story I want to encourage more of in my audience. He’s an entrepreneur who bootstrapped a company that enables non-designers to create designs in a snap and.Bootstrapped lives outside of the San Francisco Bay area. Built this thing up. A software just works beautifully. It stands up on its own has done well since the beginning. Um, and then a few months ago, when I said I’m kind of, I’m pressed to find stories of people who are doing well after, after COVID lockdown, he said, Andrew, We’re doing well and we’re doing better in fact, than we did before.And so I talked to him about doing the interview and then. Did I flake out on you? I don’t know that I would use the word flake. I communicated heavily, but I backed [00:01:00] away at the end, right?Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. I think, uh, someone backed out of an interview and then you were like, Oh, well, we’ll do it. I don’t know a day or two from now, but then that person ended up.Uh, wanting to do the interview. So then you’re like, Oh, well we’ll just have to reschedule or something.Andrew Warner: It was really tough those days. I should introduce the person whose voice you heard. That’s Christopher Gimmer. He is the founder of snapper. It’s now I think when we first met it, wasn’t right.What was the domain?Christopher Gimmer: It was snap Warner: My browser automatically just types in snap, right now, but it reconnects it re. Direct and what they do is help non-designers create online graphics and a snap. We’re going to find out how we built this company. Thanks to two phenomenal sponsors. The first, if you’re hiring developers, go check out top towel.And the second after this interview, I’m gonna recommend that you subscribe to a podcast called traffic secrets. Um, Chris, I, I was balancing so many things in those days, wondering when the world was going to collapse completely [00:02:00] and then found that there were some stories that were just. Optimistic enough to keep me going.And it was really tough doing all that while also having my kids at home and homeschooling them and feeling like this is my moment to finally teach my kids the way I would have wanted to be taught. What are you going through in the early days of COVID before we get into how your business is doing and why it’s doing well?What was it like for you?Christopher Gimmer: Um, it was really interesting actually, because we’ve always been, um, you know, fully remote, like, so my co cofounder, Mark, and I, when we started the company, um, you know, we were still working day jobs. So, uh, and then even our first couple employees were all just kind of working from home and stuff.Um, so COVID was, was kind of interesting because. When you turn on the news, it would seem like the world was coming to an end, but at least, um, work-wise, it was kind of the same for us. Like, it didn’t seem like that much had [00:03:00] changed. And, you know, we were super fortunate in that our business actually grew during COVID.Um, so it wasn’t nearly as stressful as, uh, you know, some of the people that had businesses that were we’re deeply affected. Um, so. You know, for me, um, it was just a matter of, you know, trying to, you know, keep up with exercise and, you know, spending time with my fiance going for walks, we ended up getting a dog that we had planned on getting for a while.So that, that seemed like a good opportunity. Um, so yeah, it wasn’t too too bad. Uh, I have to say,Andrew Warner: well, we like this because I think the first time that I did the interview with you, one of the things that I told you, I was. Just amazed by was that you came here to my office with nothing more than a Kindle.You’re just so chill that you enjoy the morning in a world where, I mean, in San Francisco where people, they pretend that they’re relaxed, but in [00:04:00] reality, they’re just eager to do something and constantly under pressure. You don’t seem to ever have any pressure.Christopher Gimmer: Um, I mean, I I’ve, you know, I I’ve had highs and lows obviously, but you know, one thing that I’ve always tried to get better at is maintaining more of like a healthy equilibrium.Um,Andrew Warner: what’s the thing that would have set you into a low, and then you were able to bring back because you cared enough to get back to equilibrium.Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. Um, I mean, a couple of things like in the early days, um, when we’d have setbacks with like, you know, the technology or, um, you know, the site going down and stuff, like I remember the first time that the site went down.I was like super stressed out and freaking out or whatever. Um, and then every time one of these, what seemed like a catastrophic moment at the time, um, in, in hindsight, it always ended up being like kind of minor. And we always ended up coming out [00:05:00] stronger than before. And so I’ve, I’ve almost like trained myself nowadays where, when a.Problem comes up. I’m like, Oh yeah, I’ve seen this before. You know, we’ll get through it. This is an opportunity to, uh, improve whatever is messed up right now. And so I tried to approach it that way. Um, but you know, in, in, in my personal life it’s, um, I dunno, I just. Read a lot and just try to try to try to be mellow.I, I just try to approach life that way. I guessAndrew Warner: I have two moments that I always think about the one moment, whenever things are going bad, I have two moments. The one moment was. I had worked really hard and I found myself $5 million in debt because we had easy leases. We had easy, you know, instead of paying for computers, which we could have out of our bank account, Dell offered us to take a loan and the loan was zero interest or something like that.And so we took it and I end up with $5 million and I remember journaling, I don’t know how I’m going to get through this. I’m stuck. I don’t know how I’m gonna get through this. I wonder what’s going [00:06:00] to happen. And I could be bankrupt after all this hard work and feel exhausted and then have to start from scratch when you’re exhausted with no recuperation.Cause you can’t, you know, so I came through that and things weren’t so bad. So I think about that. And then the other thing I think about was I used to go running in Manhattan and yeah. Running down first street at night was super easy, no little cross traffic, no problems. And then one day there was construction right on 57th street or so, and I couldn’t go down my path and I was so upset.But I, I yelled at the, at the construction worker, which is what you do in New York. Like, what are you guys doing? Well, you’re keeping us from running. You’re blocking, not just cars, but people too. And he said, why don’t you just run over there? And so I looked over and sure enough, I lived in New York for my whole life before realizing that you can run along the East river.And there’s this path that if you don’t mind having some of the highway, uh, the FDR drive. Next [00:07:00] to you. You’re fine. You get to, you get to go straight up. Look at the beautiful river. Look at Queens, look at Staten Island. And what I think about a lot is when things are kind of so frustrating that I want to shout.Maybe there’s an opportunity. That’s going to get me out of my rut. That’s even better than my ride. What is it for you? When things are tough? When the cycles down on the business feels like it’s not going to recover flashed Hill. Yeah.Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. I, I, you know, well, one thing that helps is I, I do, um, my, my co founder, Mark, he’s like super awesome, optimistic about that stuff.And he just, I mean, You wanted me to chill a guy he’s like even way more chill than I am. So, um, usually when that stuff happens, it’s like, ah, don’t worry about it. But, um, I have a very longterm view and, and in my life in general is like, I always, um, you know, I like to say I play the long game and so. You know, I always view thing as, [00:08:00] as kind of, um, you know, stuff like that.It’s I always recognize it’s like a short term thing, right? Like this isn’t, you know, the site going down, that’s not going to cripple us over the line.Andrew Warner: You zoom out of this moment and have a longterm perspective. Here’s where I’m going. Here’s what I’m going to do. And in that vision, yeah, an outage a few years ago, even if it’s for multiple days is an interesting story and a bump, but not significant.Christopher Gimmer: Yeah, for sure. And one thing too, that I’ve I’ve, um, that has helped is, um, you know, take the example of like the site going down as, as, as like one of the co founders, you think that like every single person is on the site when it’s down, when in reality, it’s only usually a handful of people. And, um, I think too, we, you know, as, as founders we have this, um, This kind of a distorted version of reality where like everyone’s watching you and every move is being watched by so many people.[00:09:00] Uh, but the reality is like, that’s really not the case and most people don’t really care. Um, so that’s one of those things too, is like, when you realize that you’re not under, you’re actually not under a microscope and, um, You know, there, there’s actually not that many people watching you. Um, it kind of helps in, in those situations where, you know, things aren’t going well.Um, you can kind of see past it.Andrew Warner: So when the site did go down, how many complaints did you get?Christopher Gimmer: Well, that’s the thing I don’t remember exactly, but it’s, it’s always so much lower than I then than we would have anticipated. AnticipateAndrew Warner: everybody was angry. Everyone needed to use you right now. And in reality it was maybe a dozen or two.Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. And like, everyone’s going to cancel the account and let like, you know, screw this. Um, you know, another, another example was, um, this was kind of actually right after we had launched, um, And then shortly after we had realized that there was a couple of key features, one of them being like image resize.So someone created like a [00:10:00] Facebook graphic to be able to click a button and convert it to like the Twitter size. Um, we’d realized like the initial way that, uh, that Mark had built the app, it would have been, it’s kind of impossible to do that with, with the way that it was originally written. So we spent, um, Mark spent like two, three months to kind of rebuild it.And this is right after we launched where we had all these like a feature backlog. And then right before, like, I think it was the night before we’re going to launch. We realized like shit, the system work was Safari. And, uh, so we, we kind of looked at the analytics and it was like, well, there’s only 10% of, of the.Of the user base that’s on Safari. So we, we went ahead and launched it anyways. And again, we’re like, okay, everyone’s going to freak out and get pissed off. And I think we had like one or two people cancel and the rest just use Chrome. Right. And so that, that was another good example of something that, you know, you, you think is going to be such a huge problem, but.[00:11:00] It’s really not that big of a deal. I guessAndrew Warner: you just changed something in your mic. It sounds a little different.Christopher Gimmer: Uh don’t think so.Andrew Warner: I see now this stuff makes me like, so frustrated, like something just changed it now everyone is listening thinks that I can’t even get it together.Christopher Gimmer: No, it wasn’t Andrew’s fault.Is it, is it sounding okay? It definitelyAndrew Warner: sounds different. I don’t know what the difference is. Why don’t we go into. Revenue. Do you feel comfortable saying what your revenue is now?Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. So as of now we’re doing 117 K and MRR,Andrew Warner: 117. Monthly recurring revenue just a few months ago, you sent me an email saying Andrew, we’ve just hit a million dollars in, in annual run rate.Meaning what is $3,333 and 33 cents. Right? That’s the magic number to get in monthly revenue?Christopher Gimmer: That’s 1.1 0.4 and a, an annual recurring revenue.Andrew Warner: You guys are taking profits. What do you do with the money? Is that too [00:12:00] personal?Christopher Gimmer: Um, well, we obviously, uh, you know, reinvest some of that in the business and then some of it, we just, um, you can keep a war chest in the business for either a rainy day or for kind of future future endeavors,Andrew Warner: but you’re not taking it out and putting it in your own personal account.Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. I mean, so typically what we’re doing now is we’ll, we’ll pay, we’ll pay ourselves like a base salary and then typically. Um, we’ll pick, we’ll pay out like a percentage of the profits and dividends. Um, so that way a percentage of the profits are kind of kept in the business and then a percentage, um, we, we kind of get to enjoy on, on the personal side.Andrew Warner: Does it bother you that now you’re paying taxes?I know that everyone says it’s nice. I love to pay even more taxes because it means I’m making more money. One of the frustrations about hitting a million in revenue is. You make a really big leap forward, but a big part of that gets taken [00:13:00] away from you, right? Yeah. They’re not talking about, cause I want to take it and go out and spend money in Vegas.It means that you can’t get it to reinvest it in the future that you’re always taking. You always go back halfway, you know, and that’s very frustrating.Christopher Gimmer: It’s it’s funny. You mentioned that because, um, I have these conversations all the time and it’s like, so I live in Canada. So the, the top end of the tax bracket is almost like 50%.Right. So every incremental dollar you’re paying out 50% taxes. And if the tax rate was a lot lower, we would probably hire more people. Right. Um, and so, yeah, I think with me in taxes is like, obviously. I have no problem paying taxes. Like I get the, the, the idea of having to pay taxes. But I do think that we, um, probably don’t get the value that we should be getting for the taxes.Um, but, uh, that’s probably a whole other [00:14:00] conversation.Andrew Warner: Here’s the way to just remind people that we’re not evil for thinking it though. I don’t mind if they do. I didn’t look at people who. Who are friends of mine whose money doesn’t come from taking a salary becomes from selling their companies, right?Then their cost is much lower. I mean, their taxes are much lower and that type of thing is frustrating. Now used to have these types of conversations at dinner and the person who stands out for me as being the most anti this point of view was no Kagan came over my house. I bring this up. People always have interesting answers to it.Know who goes, I’m just happy to pay money. And like he said, it in such a way that he was like shutting it down completely. And then a few years later, he comes out with his book with what his rich friends are doing to save money on taxes. You know what I mean?Christopher Gimmer: Yeah.Andrew Warner: Um, so I’m not put off by people feeling like this is an evil decision.I think that we’ve got a situationChristopher Gimmer: where an entrepreneur wasAndrew Warner: working really hard and decides, you know, I’m not going to sell the company. I’m going to make a profit [00:15:00] and I’m going to take some of it for myself because it’s expensive to live in these big cities. And I’m going to keep some of it in the business to reinvest that entrepreneur is actually, I think tax wise, Is in a really tough spot is getting the short end of the stick because they’re being forced to give up half of their money, which for them means half money that they could reinvest in the business.This is me actually getting too political. I shouldn’t. Um, why do you think you did better because of Corona? Why do you think you did better after Corona?Christopher Gimmer: So I think there’s two things. Um, one is you’ve got, um, you know, quite a few people that are unemployed. Um, but they’re collecting, you know, some form of stimulus, um right, right.Depending on where, on, where they live. And so I think, you know, um, smartly, a, a percentage of those people are like, well, I’m at home, I’m not working. And I now have $1,200 or whatever the symbolist packages. Maybe I’ll try this, you know, online business thing, or maybe I’ll [00:16:00] throw up a Shopify store or maybe I’ll, you know, start selling some course.And obviously those people are going to need graphics to promote their stuff. And so. I think, uh, you know, uh, a portion of that, uh, increase in demand was kind of from these people that were starting these side hustles, as it was like a really good opportunity to do so, um, being at home and not having to work.And then I would say the other thing is, um, just this huge rush to, um, you know, work remotely and digitally. A lot of, uh, brick and mortar stores were kind of forced to, um, start selling stuff online. And again, all of that requires, uh, you know, graphics. And so I think it was kind of those two use cases where we just saw, uh, quite a big surge and uh, in signups and usage.Andrew Warner: No, that makes a lot of sense. There’s a local bookstore that I started following on Instagram because I was supposed to speak there. I noticed that they’re [00:17:00] posting a lot more after COVID closed down their store. And I noticed that other local bookstores are doing similar things too. And I realized. Hey, they’re getting good at this because they’re at home.They have to let us know they’re still around. I do feel more connected to these bookstores because they’re posting, but they’re not artists. So they go to Snappa, they get a photo of their store and then they add some text to it to let us know here’s what’s going on to tell us that they care about whatever issue they care about.Right. That’s what we’re told. Say they miss us. That’s a big one too. Right? And that’s why people go to snap, but it create these, especially,Christopher Gimmer: I know youAndrew Warner: work with lots of different designs, but it’s these social posts that seem like the heart and soul of the business.Christopher Gimmer: Am I right? Yeah, the social is definitely the big one.Um, I mean, restaurants is another really good example. Um, a lot of restaurants, you know, don’t do that much promoting. They just kind of rely on people walking in the door. And so when all of a sudden you have to do delivery, um, you know, [00:18:00] and you can’t rely on people just walking past your restaurant and coming in, uh, again, you kind of have to take more of a proactive approach and, and start, uh, No posting more on social media and, and, um, showing people that, you know, we’re open for delivery.We have delivery kits, uh, all the, all that kind ofAndrew Warner: site. Right. And now they’re learning to do it. And the beauty of Snappa is it’s just easy, quick drag and drop.Christopher Gimmer: Exactly. Right.Andrew Warner: Alright. I want to take a moment to talk about my first sponsor, and then I’m going to come back and ask you the question that I was too hesitant to ask you in the past and too hesitant to follow up on, but it’s one that you told me you were finished.You told me you were really nervous about when we first talked. Fair to say that. Is that revealing too much? No, no, no. I don’t think so. I, maybe it is. Well, I’m trying to read your face. I can’t tell. I feel like sometimes it is a little bit pushy for you because you’re not as gregarious as I am, but you don’t care.You’re willing to go there. Am I right?Christopher Gimmer: And necessity kind of accurate. [00:19:00] Yeah.Andrew Warner: I, my first sponsor is top tile. You probably heard me as a listener. Chris, talk about top tile a lot. I’m going to tell you about a company kind of similar to yours that you, that uses top Taltz company called picker. I interviewed the founder and he said, we use top tile.I said, how small look, we’re a small organization. Sometimes we need to move fast and we don’t have people on staff to do it. So he says what he does is he just goes to top Cal. He gets to hire an expert. Who’s phenomenal at what they do. But he doesn’t have to have a year long five-year long commitment as Noah Kagan said, you don’t have to go through.I forget what he called it. He’s like I basically said, hiring employees is a pain in the butt because, and then he listed all the expenses that go along with it and all the difficulties of ramping up and the difficulties of ramping down. Anyway, the founder of snapper to the founder of picker, didn’t get that negative about hiring people.But he did say it’s nice that I’ve got this person at top down. I just hire them when I need them. When I don’t, we don’t do anything. So that’s the beauty of top town.Christopher Gimmer: Anyone out there looking for developersAndrew Warner: should do it. And I’ll tell you, Chris. I also have [00:20:00] said that I hired a finance person through top Cal just the other day.My brother calls me up and says, Hey, you got the PPP loan. I said, yeah. He goes, you know, you’re supposed to give them paperwork and close it out within eight weeks. I said, yeah. Okay, fine. I guess he says, well, you know, it’s coming up in literally two days. He did the math and no, I didn’t know it. He says, well, do you know what you can do?I said, I don’t. So I thought Michael starts Googling and researching. I’m not Googling the way you are. That’s not going to be a second job to do whatever the government needs for my PPP loan. So I sent a message to Jack. I said, Jack, can I do this? Can I do that? And can we get on a call? He says here detailed responses to what?To your questions. And I’m not available today. How about tomorrow? Oh, you know, Jack, you just gave me thorough response. I don’t even need to talk to you. This is great. You know, I had an expert who’s way more qualified than, than I need to, to give me the answer. Jack helped, uh, um, help the legislators. I don’t know how much I can say, but he let up the senators who were putting this plan together.He helped them do it. He was on calls with them. [00:21:00] And so I get access to him because that’s the type of person who who’s on top towels in top sales network. I’ve talked a lot about how that’s the best place to go to get developers. It’s also great to get finance people. I’ve done both of those. I’ve also gotten designers from them.If you’re out there and you need to hire top will not only be your entry into a conversation with someone to top, top to see if it’s a good fit for you. But it’s also going to get you 80 hours of developer credit when you pay for your first 80 hours. In addition to a no risk trial period of up to two weeks I have to do is go to the URL com slash Mixergy top isn’t top of your head towels and talent. Top J I N E R G Y. Canva. I keep watching CAMBA get bigger and bigger. They just raised a ton of money. And the only reason I know it is because guy Kawasaki, the guy who used to be the evangelist for Apple is now the evangelist for fricking Canva, your competitor.What do you think about that?Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. So, um, so with Canva, obviously they’re, you know, have boatloads of funding and, [00:22:00] um, they’re kind of on, on the IPO track. Um, so. You know, we have to be realistic in terms of like, as a bootstrap company, we can’t just, um, compete, head on and, and try to do exactly what they’re doing.So essentially what we’ve done is we’ve tried to. Focus on kind of a niche and verticals. So, um, we focus purely on online graphics. Um, so that, that allows us to keep, um, the platform really quick and easy to use. And then we also focus primarily on kind of the small business, uh, B2B use case. So we don’t offer, you know, wedding invitations and, um, you know, birthday cards and that kind of stuff.So. At the end of the day, um, as a bootstrap company, w we have to be realistic in terms of, you know, what our valuation would be, or how much revenue we can generate [00:23:00] versus a competitor of that size. Right? Oh, you’reAndrew Warner: hit mute so that I don’t keep breathing into the mic. You’re saying, Andrew, we’re not going to be as big as Canva.I get it.Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. I get that. Raising more money, IPOAndrew Warner: track going to be bigger because they’re taking on more than you are. The thing I wonder is. Why are people still using snap out when Ken, but lets them also create graphics? Yeah. So actually let’s let’s understand that.Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. So like I said, um, we, we’ve just kind of.Try to make ours like as super easy to use as possible. And then we’ve focused primarily on specific use cases rather than offering the whole kit and caboodle. Um, and so the people that use us over Canva, um, based on like customer interviews and whatnot, they found that it’s just easier to use. It’s faster.Um, it’s less cluttered and, and bloated. Um, and so. That’s kind of what, we’re, what we’re optimizing for, rather [00:24:00] than let’s, let’s do every template or every size under the sun, because we know that we don’t have the team and the resources to kind of compete with them. Head-on um, and then the other thing too, is like, especially when it comes to software, there’s always going to be.A number one or market leader. And then there’s always going to be two, three, four, five. Um, and at the end of the day, it comes, comes down to preference. Right. Um, and so. I think there’s, there’s always going to be room for a second, third, and maybe a fourth company, a competitor, and any sort of a space.Andrew Warner: So then what’s the thing that gets you guys to be the, the second one.It’s the simplicity you’re saying, you’re saying that when people go to Canva, there’s so many different options that it slows them down. When all they want to do is create a quick image to post on Facebook, another image to post on Instagram, right?Christopher Gimmer: That’s it. Yeah. And that’s, that’s what we optimize for,Andrew Warner: you know, what I’ve noticed that too with them that [00:25:00] sometimes I just need to create a quick post for Twitter and I’ve got to go and figure out where it is in the menu.And I know I could search, but then once I do, I feel like I, I don’t have enough tools, but at the same time, too many tools, that kind of a weird thing to say, cause I know they could do everything, but they eliminate a lot of the tools, so I can’t see them. Right.Christopher Gimmer: Yup. Yup.Andrew Warner: So I end up with. I ended up with this feeling of overwhelm and being stupid for not being able to use canvas for a quick tweaked.Does that make sense? Is that what you’re talkingChristopher Gimmer: about? I a hundred percent. All right. So you’re, you’re going to have the people that want. Like every size and they want all the features and then you, you know, there’s, there’s always going to be that subset, which is like, I’m only on Instagram. I only want to crank out or not necessarily a crank out, but I just want to do these types of, of graphics.And I want the tool that’s the easiest to use and the fastest. Right. And so [00:26:00] that’s what we’re optimizing for. And as a bootstrap company, um, you know, we don’t, we don’t have to. Grow to their level or, or cater our product to everyone under the sun. Um, and so that’s just kind of the, the choice and the path that we’ve taken,Andrew Warner: or, you know, one thing that I can’t do with Canva is sometimes I like to have this, like, to have a picture of someone on, uh, background and then have it kind of have a, have a bit of a shadow or something so that it stands out.With Snapple. What I could do is duplicate the picture and turn the one behind it. That’s a little bit off into a dark picture, right? Yep. Is that the way to do that?Christopher Gimmer: Uh, if I’m thinking of, of what you’re talking about. Yeah. You can do that.Andrew Warner: We’re getting into like real tech support for me, but the products are just super, super simple and super elegant.And you know what else I’ve discovered that I didn’t know until [00:27:00] now he works on an iPad, like, like on a desktop.Christopher Gimmer: It’s a browser, right? Uh, it’s a fish like officially, I don’t know if it works. Um, there might be a few kinds of things that, that, uh, might not work. Properly on the iPad. Uh, cause it is, uh, like we, we tested for Safari Chrome and Firefox.Um, what are you using right now? Yeah, yeah. Yeah.Andrew Warner: Um, I’m looking for, I’m looking for issues. I’m sure that there’s something in there. Let me see what happens if I had saved, saved. If I hit download.Christopher Gimmer: Is it, are you using like a mouse and keyboard or something with the iPad? Yeah, I guess, yeah. I think if you use the mouse and keyboard, then you should be good to go.Andrew Warner: Yeah, that’s it. It’s working right there. I wonder how much of this would not work if I was just doing it with my hands, but I feel like I’m more and more. You’re not going to need to have an app [00:28:00] for iPads because it’s just going to become like a desktop. You know, um, I noticed the teams is prominently displayed more prominently than I noticed before.That seems like a really big feature, right. That for getting new customers.Christopher Gimmer: Um, the, the team plan, you meanAndrew Warner: the team plan?Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. Um, so that’s actually something that we, so right now, um, we’re actually undergoing two major things. So one is a, is a site redesign and a big brand refresh. So I don’t know when this interview will be posted, but it may or may not be live by then.Um, we’ve kind of been using the same kind of branding and colors and it’s, it’s definitely, uh, outdated. So. Um, one of the graphic designers we hired recently is she’s just like crushing, uh, the new site redesign. So we’re pretty pumped to get that out. Um, and then we’re also doing a big refactor on the backend.So, um, the app is going to actually be even. [00:29:00] Way quicker. And I would say even more easier to use once we roll that out, but that’s several months down the line. Um,Andrew Warner: who’s developing this.Christopher Gimmer: Um, so basically it’s my, my cofounder. And then we have, uh, two developers on the team. SoAndrew Warner: that’s it. It’s the four of you in the business, plus I’m someone who does customer support.Christopher Gimmer: So it’s a, there’s seven of us full time. So there’s myself and my co founder, two developers, a graphic designer, uh, a marketer. And then, um, like customer support slash social media guy.Andrew Warner: I’ve got to stop playing with the app. It’s just so compellingly simple that I keep tapping and tapping and tapping and tapping.Um, How do you, how do you talk to customers? Do you still do it yourself?Christopher Gimmer: Um, I did a lot in the early days. Um, I haven’t, we haven’t done it that much recently just because you kind of start to hear the same things over and over again. So I find that I don’t get [00:30:00] as much out of them as it used to. Um, that being said.Probably overdue, uh, to, to maybe do some calls. Um, we do do some surveys though. Um, and those are, those can be pretty helpful.Andrew Warner: They are not, I’m not doing enough calls myself. I was backing away for a little bit. And then occasionally I’ll get on calls with people randomly. And number one, they’re really appreciative because they hear my voice in the mic.And so it feels like it’s a connection to the person that they’ve heard for a long time. Number two, I just get the sense of amazement and how. Impressive my audiences. The other day, I was talking to a guy who was a Google engineer who quit working Google. Who’s creating an app for, um, uh, online, um, online courses and other online training.He’s got Google as a customer. And so they’re using his software. He’s got a few others and I’ve taught this isn’t really well done. Start for someone who’s listening. And it feels like that’s a typical listener and it [00:31:00] always fires me up. I just don’t get to do enough of it. I know for me, the issue is it’s, it starts to spread out beyond the number of days that I can give it, you know, it becomes Andrew, ya’ll get on a call with you, but, you know, I know I was supposed to do it this week.Can we do it in a month? And I say, sure, can we do it three months later? Cause I’m not ready. I say sure. And then it starts to become this thing that creeps into the rest of my schedule. How do you handleit?Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. Well that’s yeah. You talking about calls with customers specifically. Yeah. And that’s the thing is I think, um, like I said, I, I learned a lot more from the customer calls in, in the earlier days.Um, whereas now the product has, has matured quite a bit. Um, and we’re at, you know, somewhat of a scale where. We kind of know what needs to be improved upon or what features need to be added just based on like, you know, support tickets and that kind of stuff. And so I find myself like trying to focus on more higher, [00:32:00] uh, leverage stuff, as opposed to, you know, scheduling, uh, calls every day.And it, it, it does get, um, it does get tiring for sure.Andrew Warner: You do surveys also. I found the surveys just don’t work for me.Christopher Gimmer: Yeah, we do. Um, like I think the last survey we probably did was, was last year. Um, yeah, we, we definitely did a lot more of that stuff, uh, in, in the earlier days for sure.Andrew Warner: One of the little features that I can’t stop tapping on is removing the background from an image.Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. We just, um, launched that, uh, about a month ago and that, that, I think that’s one of the game changing feature that in imagery size, um, people get pretty stoked about that.Andrew Warner: Yeah. I wonder why that it just feels magical. You know, there’s an image there. It’s got a clear background. You tap the remove image background, and suddenly you just get that.If I would upload my photo, would I be able to get rid of the backgroundChristopher Gimmer: from here? Yep. Yep.Andrew Warner: I should do that. I [00:33:00] see. This is why I get sucked into your softwareChristopher Gimmer: because I mean like, think about, um, how much of a pain it is in Photoshop too. Like just do a simple thing, like remove a background, like you got to trace it.AndAndrew Warner: I never used Photoshop. I do. One of the things that I liked about the iPad was there’d be standalone apps that would do these one off things.Christopher Gimmer: Right. SoAndrew Warner: I switched to the iPad so that I can get background removal, for example. But even there, it will get you most of the way there, let’s say 75% of the way there of getting rid of the background, but it still wants you to use that magic wand to trace around the person’s head.And then by then, I’m just done. It’s not my job to sit and get rid of a background.Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. Like the one click, um, yeah, that that’s the magic is you just click the button and boom, it’s gone.Andrew Warner: And there are tools now that do it. I’ve seen them on product on demand. You integrated one of them into this, right.Using their API. Which one do you use?Christopher Gimmer: A removed OD BG.Andrew Warner: Oh, that’s the first one to hit really big on product hunt. [00:34:00] Right?Christopher Gimmer: I mean, it’s, it’s it works amazingly. Well, yeah.Andrew Warner: You just give them a image in the backgroundChristopher Gimmer: andAndrew Warner: they charge you per image, I guess, or perChristopher Gimmer: thousand images. Yeah. Yeah. It’s like a credit system still the base, like the more credits you use, the cheaper it gets essentially on a, on a per image basis.Andrew Warner: Yeah. That was really good. Marketing. Just create a tool. Let us all try it out for free. No, that we can all experiment with it and then sell it to companies like yours. What else is a, is a big feature like that, that you can essentially outsource to someone else, but get all the benefits of.Christopher Gimmer: That’s the, actually the only feature that we haven’t built internally, that we’re using an API for, um, Well, I guess the other thing too is, is the, uh, photo and icons library.So we work with, or we kind of use third party providers. Um, so that’s, uh, that’s pretty big, but it’s not, it’s not like a feature I wouldAndrew Warner: say. [00:35:00] Alright. I want to talk about how you get traffic to your site. I’m looking at your numbers according to similar web. Oh, what is this? Is this from? Yeah. May you guys did this seem right?1.7 9 million visits.Christopher Gimmer: Uh, we do about a million visits a month.Andrew Warner: Okay. Wow. They’ve overestimated you, you tweeted out just, I think yesterday, or maybe it was today, you thought that you were going to run out of keywords to target and suddenly you’ve discovered a whole lot. So SEO is a big part of your traffic plan, right?Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. I, um, uh, It was actually, yeah, I think it was like two years ago or something. And I was actually having coffee with Liam Martin. He’s he’s been on Mixergy, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. And, uh, I remember saying to him, Like, yeah. I feel that at some point we’re going to run out of keywords ideas and he goes, yeah, I thought that five years ago, trust me, like you, you won’t run out.Um, and sure enough, like our Trello [00:36:00] board of, uh, keyword ideas just gets. Longer and longer by the day,Andrew Warner: how do you come up with them?Christopher Gimmer: Um, so we use, um, a tool called atrophie, um, and it’s, it’s, it’s really, really good. So it’s just a combination of, um, looking at either competitor sites or. Um, not even necessarily like actual competitors, but blogs that are kind of serving the same industry and niche.Um, and then just looking at, um, Uh, and, and even just kind of plugging different keywords into the keyword Explorer to look at, uh, look for like long tail stuff. So for example, we’ll just literally plug YouTube. Um, and then we’ll, you know, click on phrase match or keyword ideas. And then we’ll literally just go through the list and see, you know, what are the YouTube related keywords that people are searching for that we can write articles about?Andrew Warner: And who [00:37:00] writes theChristopher Gimmer: articles. So, um, our process is so, um, so Nick is our full time marketer. And so he basically does all the keyword research. Um, and then what we’ll do is we’ll usually, um, assign that to, um, one of, uh, a writer that we’ve been working with for a couple of years. And then she writes the majority of the content.Um, Nick also will write some of the posts. Um, but, uh, Anna’s is a freelancer that we work with and she writes quite a bit of our content.Andrew Warner: I’m trying to find it right now, but I guess once you’re logged in the blog disappears from the, from the top menu, right?Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. If you just log out and then click blog, um, you’ll be able to see it.Andrew Warner: I’m in incognito mode and I see it now. And so you just mentioned YouTube, it looks like the latest post on the site right now is best YouTube channel, name, ideas, and usernames to avoid.Christopher Gimmer: There you go.Andrew Warner: And that’s what you’re talking about. Yeah. And then the whole idea is people who then need thumbnails for YouTube would be searching for that, for those that have that set of keywords.And then [00:38:00] they discovered that they could also create thumbnails on snapper.Christopher Gimmer: Exactly.Andrew Warner: And then I look to see where you’re getting the most traffic according to similar web. Oh, you know what, let me take a moment since we’re talking about traffic. I’ll tell you about a new podcast called a well, it’s not that new anymore.It’s called traffic secrets. It’s by Russell Brunson, the creator of ClickFunnels. You still listening to podcasts.Christopher Gimmer: Oh yeah,Andrew Warner: you are. What’s one that you’re listening to.Christopher Gimmer: Um, I’ve actually been getting into, uh, more into Bitcoin lately, so I’ve actually been listening to a lot of Bitcoin related content.Andrew Warner: And when you listen to them, what type of people are you looking for?Christopher Gimmer: Um, podcasts are you’re listeningAndrew Warner: to,Christopher Gimmer: uh, well, some of them are either like interview podcast or people that are just recapping, you know, news and that kind of stuff. Um, but. Uh, I really like the ones that are looking at it from more of like, uh, economics and kind of, uh, investment side of things. So typically scope out those ones.[00:39:00] Andrew Warner: I want the doers and I want somebody to vet the doors to make sure that Weber’s talking has actually done some freaking thing there. I’ve got this guy who wanted to do an interview with me. He said he was the, he, the founder of this African company that I happen to know is really well known. It’s a big company.I said, there’s no way. He’s a founder. I started doing research on them. I start contacting the media person for the company and I was right. He didn’t, he didn’t start that company, but if you do a Google search for him and that company’s name, he comes up on all these different podcasts as the expert, the guy who knows how to start companies, because he started his business and they’re all perpetuating this myth.Yeah, it just frustrates me back to traffic secrets. The reason I’m bringing this up is Russell. Brunson’s the guy who does traffic all the time for, for ClickFunnels, right? He’s known for creating the software that people use to collect email addresses, to build landing pages that convert to [00:40:00] then upsell people, to get people who are, who are.Not familiar with the company to go on and not just give an email address, but often to buy. So he he’s gotten traffic for his site. He’s gotten traffic for software. He’s gotten traffic for his landing pages and all of his customers like me have gotten traffic and you just figure it out. What is what’s working for?All of us, let’s put that in the podcast. So if you’re out there listening to me and you’re looking for a podcast, we’ll will show you how to get traffic. How to get likes Napa. These guys have gotten so freaking good. Go check out traffic secrets, the podcast available in whatever podcast app you’re listening to me right now.And it’s secrets because Russell discovered that if you say something’s a secret, everyone wants to know it. So traffic secrets, I think all of his books have secrets in theChristopher Gimmer: word. And know when it comes to, um, like startup or entrepreneur related podcasts. I definitely like to stick to the doers, I guess why like, you know, Rob at startups for the rest of us and, uh, you know, that, that, that the dudeAndrew Warner: is really good too, when I think, um, What I’ve [00:41:00] noticed now, come back to listening to, or reading the transcripts of Rob’s interview, reading the transcript of Jason Fried’s interview, people who have now known for 10 years, there’s this solid consistency things.That seems so ridiculous. Back when they first talked about them now. Makes sense, but they’ve stuck to their guns. Jason Fried’s transcript. I happened to have interviewed him because he launched, Hey, the email app recently.Christopher Gimmer: Sorry. Now listen to that one. Good.Andrew Warner: So freaking consistent with what he said in the past.And one of the things that stood out for me was that. He used to stand up and say, if you’re creating software charge for it, stop offering it for free. And it’s funny that there was a time when people assume that everything needs to be free. Rob walling, you said tiny is fine. You could start a small company.Stop trying to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. And he said it for years. Without shame without embarrassment, without feeling small for doing it or smaller than other people and insignificant because of that. [00:42:00] And now the world’s catching up. You seem happy having a company that by Silicon Valley standards would seem small, right?Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. So I think, um,Andrew Warner: SoChristopher Gimmer: w so going back, like, you know, when I was working a day job, I got to a point where I was just like the socks. Like I want to do something else. And, um, when you’re kind of evaluating, going down the bootstrap path versus, you know, the startup lottery, um, uh, I, I kind of subscribe to the notion that it’s, you, you, you have a higher.Chance of, of making it as a, as like a bootstrap founder. Um, but your payoff is obviously going to be much smaller, right. Whereas if you, if you do hit the, the IPO lottery, then obviously you’re going to be set for life. Um, I’m typically more of a risk averse person. So the way that I’ve kind of thought about it is.Let me bootstrap until I get to the point where I theoretically [00:43:00] don’t have to work anymore. And then I’ll start swinging for the fences because even if I fail, it kind of doesn’t really matter at that point. Yeah. So I don’t know if that’s the best strategy or not, but that’s kind of how I’m thinking about things that at this stageAndrew Warner: of my life, I think that makes sense.I, I used to believe in the burn, the boats approach, you know, that who was it, Cortez. He landed, he then burned his boats and then he’s, he and his people were forced to fight really hard. Um, but I realized that if there’s so much, if there’s a lot of risk. Your mind focuses on the risk a lot, and people who deal with a lot of risk.I was just talking to an entrepreneur who dealt with a lot of risks because he believes in taking on risks. He ended up doing a lot of alcohol, lot of drugs to find a way to deal with it and telling himself that he wasn’t really drinking that much. He wasn’t doing a lot of drugs. That way, he, the way he was was everything had to be big, but in reality, he looks back and he says I had to cope with all that risk.And it is a lot of [00:44:00] distraction.Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. I think I’m. Yeah, I think it would be tough. And that’s why I would kind of prefer to go that, you know, swing for the fences wrote with, with a lot more of a safety net,Andrew Warner: but you’re still feeling like you need to swing for the fences. It’s not enough to just be here. Huh?Christopher Gimmer: I was not for the money reasons. I’m more for the, um, I have this passion to build this thing that doesn’t exist yet. And, um, In order to do that. Sorry.Andrew Warner: What is the thing that in order to do that, you have to give up the small and aim for the fences. What’s the thing, that’s the big vision that even when things suck today, you can zoom out and focus on,Christopher Gimmer: uh, I don’t have it yet.Andrew Warner: You don’t, you just know it’s going to be something really big.Christopher Gimmer: It doesn’t even necessarily have to be big. Um, It’s just like, if, so, if snap a, you know, it keeps growing and we get [00:45:00] to, you know, two to 5 million, or we have some big exit one day. I don’t think that I want to start yet just like another B2B SAS app, just for the sake of making more money or launching another app.Um, At that point, I would, I would just want to do something that I’m more personally passionate about and it doesn’t have to be like a super big idea. It’s just that if the idea fails, it doesn’t matter because I’ve already. Um, made enough money. Um, it’s more along those lines. Does that make sense?Andrew Warner: It does.Yeah. I feel like you’ve been consistent about that too. It feels like snap is a good thing for you. A good stepping stone, a solid business, but you want to then create something that feels closer to your soul.Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. Yeah. Like I don’t, I don’t see snap as like my life’s work. Um, it, it’s a great business.We’re super grateful. Mmm. You know, we, we, we have an amazing team. Like we’ve, um, you know, we have a really good work [00:46:00] culture. Um, but I think like, If I’m thinking 10 years out at some point, I know I’m going to want to move on to the next thing for sure.Andrew Warner: Do you know what that is for you? Like what your personal passion is?Christopher Gimmer: Mmm. I mean, one thing that I, I, I really care about is, um, investing in personal finance and from the standpoint of people just waste too much money and. People take on way too much debt than they need to. Um, and so I don’t really know what that is yet, but I really like the kind of like the FinTech space.Um, like I said, um, uh, I’ve been kind of really getting into a Bitcoin and sound money and all that kind of stuff. So. Could be something in that area. But as of today, I don’t really know yet.Andrew Warner: You mean an advice or creating software to make it easier for people to get into it?Christopher Gimmer: Oh yeah, it would definitely be more product stuff.Like, I don’t think I [00:47:00] have the, uh, the, the passion to do like info products or education stuff. Uh, I do really, really like products. Um, so, um, yeah, it would, it would definitely be more on like the product side of things.Andrew Warner: All right. So back to getting traffic to snap up, why is YouTube sending you so much traffic?Christopher Gimmer: What are you doing? So we actually just started one of, um, one of our key initiatives for this year was to actually start doing a lot more YouTube videos, um, because we kind of. You know, YouTube really is like the second biggest search engine now. And a lot of our content, um, transfers over really well to YouTube.Um, so if we write a post, you know, something to do with like a YouTube thumbnail, we’ll actually create a video and kind of embed that into the actual site. Um, and then we also have a, um, And affiliates, um, at primal video. And so he’s created some content around how to create, you know, video content for YouTube, [00:48:00] and then he uses Snappa as one of his tools for creating the thumbnail and, and channel alert.Okay. Um, and so that sends us, uh, some traffic.Andrew Warner: And is he the, is affiliate, is the affiliate program a big part of yourChristopher Gimmer: customer?Andrew Warner: Um,Christopher Gimmer: is it a big part of how you get customers? Uh, it’s not huge. What we found with affiliates is it’s kind of like the 80 20 rules. So we have a couple affiliates that do the vast majority of the, of the sales.Um, and he happens to be one of the bigger ones.Andrew Warner: Yeah, I’m looking at YouTube channel. It’s not huge.Christopher Gimmer: Yeah, we we’ve targeted well. Yeah. Well, like I said, we, we, um, we largely ignored it up until this year. Um, so we’re, we’re starting to put a lot more, um, emphasis on it. NowAndrew Warner: this is your software. This is snap creating this, this thumbnail, right?Christopher Gimmer: That’s it? Yeah.Andrew Warner: Yeah. That’s like an iconic design where you have the, the title ish or this. [00:49:00] Section of the title in the image. Got it. Laid over and then I’m imagining you’re able to get rid of the background of thatChristopher Gimmer: guy. Yep. It’s picture actually, that’s our, uh, our marketing guy. So he’s, he’s doing the YouTube videos.Andrew Warner: All right. I want to close it out with a personal note. You got engaged. You were supposed to get married, right? Aren’t told me he, he was supposed to have a baby and then COBIT hit and he started to. I think he said he was crying over. What’s going to happen to his kid was going to in his family. I get it.You had, you’re supposed to get married next month.Christopher Gimmer: Yeah, it was August 29th was supposed to be the date.Andrew Warner: Okay. And so when it didn’t happen, did you, did your fiance, did you feel like, well, maybe it’s never going to happen now. Did you freak out at all? No. You guys don’t freak out to, youChristopher Gimmer: know, so, um, I can’t remember exactly.It would have been a month or two months ago. And, um, so. [00:50:00] So about five months ago, the venue had basically sent out an email and it was like, okay, the policy is going to be, if there’s still, you know, government restrictions, uh, 30 days before the wedding, then you can kind of postpone or reschedule. And at that time, um, Kobe didn’t seem as, uh, you know, like the lockdowns seemed like it was more of like a temporary thing, so we’re like, okay.Yeah, that makes sense. And then, um, As we kind of got a bit more into it, we got to the point where I was like, Holy shit. It’s like three months before the wedding everything’s closed. I can’t, you know, get a suit we’re supposed to send out invitations. We don’t even know if this is going to happen. And we started to get a bit stressed out about it because we’re like, how the hell are you supposed to plan this wedding?And if we don’t even know if it’s going to happen, and then the other thing was, we didn’t really want a wedding where people can even like dance or hug and just like, I’m not gonna waste all this money and not have the wedding that we had kind of. [00:51:00] You know, dreamed of. So we basically called the venue and was like, you know, I know there’s a 30 day rescheduling policy, but we really want to reschedule.Now it’s becoming way too stressful to try to plan this. Um, so they were accommodating and. And let us, um, you know, reschedule to next year. So, uh, yeah, the wedding is going to be next August,Andrew Warner: anything good? Come out of COVID and beyond the revenue growth. I know for me, it’s, there’s a bunch, I just didn’t. I asked you and I interrupted you, but I gotta tell you I’m loving how our families come together.We’ve been in the house together a lot more. We’ve been spending time together a lot more. Um, I think Olivia and I are both very independent, very busy. So we’d often just spend a little time. Together as a family, but largely it’s me with the kids or her with the kids. We’ve just been spending so much time together that it’s been really nice.Um, the other one is I’ve taken up camping and we’re going to go camping in a couple of days. We’ve never been that big in camping, but [00:52:00] it’s nice to be able to go somewhere, not worry about having a hotel room and just go and be on your own and do your own thing. And the final one is all these big expenses that I thought mattered.Don’t anymore. And big expenses, I guess, are just constant business expenses that I just kept going with because I didn’t want to, I didn’t care to stop and analyze it. I have time to do that, but it’s also like, did I really need to get a pizza every day from era’s Mandy? It’s a great place, right?Delicious pizza, but who needs it? Did I really need to do all these other things that I really need to have coffee as much? We’re looking at our expenses. Gone down dramatically. And I know that that’s not great for the economy, but I feel like in many ways it’s good for my soul.Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. Um, it’s funny. Cause you know, at the, at the, when the lockdowns started, he started seeing all these like memes on social media and stuff about how Erin is going to be getting divorced and stuff like that.And [00:53:00] so, Mmm. You know, one of the really good things was. Similar, like spending a lot more time with my fiance and stuff, and like really, really enjoying our time together. Um, whereas, you know, some people that I know, uh, in my circle, it’s almost like for them, it was the opposite where it’s like a burden to spend more time with their significant other, um, So that, that was kind of nice where it’s, you know, reassurance that, um, all, all I really need to be happy is just, you know, my family and my health and stuff like that.And, you know, it just puts, puts things into perspective quite a bit. Um, so w it was nice knowing that. Being locked down and really only being in, in, uh, in your home and, but still being happy. Um, it kind of puts things in perspective and you realize that you don’t need a lot of shit. You know what I mean?By a lot of stuff, you don’t need to go out [00:54:00] all the time. Um, so yeah, it was, um, it was, it was really interestingAndrew Warner: to cut back on any expenses like I did.Christopher Gimmer: Um, Yeah. I mean, I don’t spend that much money to begin with, but you, we would usually go out to eat at least once a week. That’s usually kind of like our weekend date thing.Um, so yeah, definitely spending less money on restaurants and stuff. Um, but apart from that, it’s been more or less the same, um, also like less money. Like obviously we have no travel plans this year, so we, we for sure would have. Done some sort of traveling in the summer. So, um, uh, to know who would have done a lot there, no money on travel.Yeah.Andrew Warner: Yeah. I kinda miss that. Um, I also miss spending time with people. Just getting together, having drinks, feeling like you can be comfortable with each other. I miss the hell out of that, but now that I’ve done this, [00:55:00] I feel like at some point we could, as a family go off and does this TV show on Amazon prime about a family that moved to Corfu this little part of Greece, and they just decided to make a new life for themselves for a little bit, leave England behind and have a brand language brand in life.And I always wanted to do it and wondered, could I, my answer is yes. As long as there’s internet. Yes. As long as there’s internet high speed internet, it’s the only thing I test for. Yes, we could do it. And that’s a super power on its own. This seat, this feeling like we’re self-contained we can do this.All right. Congratulations on, uh, Snapple’s growth. Thanks so much for being on here. And I’m looking forward to having you back on here again. What’s the next big milestone. It’s not going to be 2 million, right? That’s not a big enough milestone for you the next big one. Yeah. What do you think is going to be.Christopher Gimmer: Uh, I honestly don’t know Andrew. Um, yeah, two, 2 million probably won’t seem like the 1 million for us was, uh, that was a huge milestone. I mean, I like when I kind of first started the journey, I couldn’t even imagine building a seven [00:56:00] figure business. So. That was pretty special, but, um, I, I don’t, I, yeah, I don’t know what the next milestone is going to be.Andrew Warner: What do you, what’s your pricing? You guys are pretty inexpensive too, to be able to get to a million on just a couple of bucks a month. Right? What is it? Nine, 10, 20 bucks.Christopher Gimmer: Yeah. So if you pay like per month, it’s 15 bucks. If you pay annual, then it’s one 20, so works out to like 10 bucks a month. Um, And then we have a, the team plan.Oh yeah. I forgot to answer your question about the team plan, but, um,Andrew Warner: what was that?Christopher Gimmer: Well, I think you’re asking if the team plan was like a big feature or a big thing for us. Um, it’s something that we definitely need to work on to improve, uh, the, that feature and that functionality. So that’s definitely something.That’s kind of in the works. Um, but anyways, yeah, so it, it’s a, it’s a cheap product for sure. Or inexpensive product. I should sayAndrew Warner: it is dead to get to a million dollars. I feel like you guys could probably double your prices and nobody would care. Nobody would leave you. [00:57:00] But, um, but w what do you think of that?I just noticed you smile. As I said it, IChristopher Gimmer: feel like there’s something there. I think. At the lower end of the market, people do become price sensitive. And I feel like almost all of our competitors are in a similar price range, soy. It would, it would be an interesting experiment, but, um, uh,Andrew Warner: fricking elegantly simple.And I’m imagining somebody who’s in a restaurant who doesn’t care about design, like learning the tools to the design just wants it to work. I don’t know of a different software that does it like this it’s this, this purity of. Features being there, but getting out of the, I don’t know how to describe it.I don’t have the words to describe it. It’s really well done. I feel like here is the next milestone. I think the next big revenue milestone is probably $5 million. My hunch is that you’re probably going to get an offer. That’s going to lead you to sell the company before you hit $5 million in sales, right.You’re on track to do it. But then the world is moving towards this. [00:58:00] Right? More people need design. More people go social, more people areChristopher Gimmer: more businesses are going online.Andrew Warner: More businesses are recognizing that they need to have nice designs, but they don’t have the patience to do anything about it. Right.That’s why a Squarespace is taking, uh, customers that would have in the past, gone to WordPress. Same thing is working in your favor. I feel like someone’s going to make you an incredible offer. And my guess is that you’re probably getting offers already to invest, probably getting offers to buy, and you’re going to eventually just succumb and sell and likeChristopher Gimmer: David Heinemeier Hansson down.Andrew Warner: We’ll see. All right. If everyone else wants to go check it out, I do not have an affiliate link and I do not want one. I just want to tell everyone about my, my guests, um, and have it be pure. The website is SNA And I think the two sponsors who made this interview happen the first, if you’re hiring developers, especially if you’re not somebody who’s got this giant budget, not willing to make big commitments right now is a good time for you to get in with top talent.Get the best of the best [00:59:00] developers, Silicon Valley level developers without. The hassle and you can get started with them quickly. If you go to top And finally, now that this podcast is over,Christopher Gimmer: yes, there a bunch of Bitcoin podcastsAndrew Warner: you can go listen to and feel free to what’s one that you’d recommend that they’d listen to.Christopher Gimmer: Um, Stefan Lavera is really good.Andrew Warner: Just a fan Lavera what type of podcast is that?Christopher Gimmer: Yeah, it’s for a Bitcoin. That’s probably one of the better ones to fund less than Aero hostAndrew Warner: interview or, uh, let me see. Podcast just called the Bitcoin podcast on Stefan, right?Christopher Gimmer: Yeah, I think it’s just called the Stefan Lavera podcast.Andrew Warner: Yeah, it looks like his latest episode is what is Bitcoin? So we’re talking about basics. Am I right?Christopher Gimmer: I’m going tax strategies,Andrew Warner: the next hundred million Bitcoin users. Okay. Nevermind that those into different topics, notChristopher Gimmer: just basics. AllAndrew Warner: right. I’m going to recommend that they listen to the click funnels podcast.It is called traffic secrets. If you need traffic to your website, it’s not gonna necessarily make you into a These guys are killing it when it comes to traffic, [01:00:00] but it’s going to help you really grow your traffic. Go check out traffic secrets. Alright, thanks so much for doing this.Christopher Gimmer: Thanks Andrew.

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I spent 10 months coding before going to market….almost failed before the launch : Entrepreneur

Key takeawaysUsers don’t care about the technologyThe more time you save from users, the more they are willing to pay youNiche down as much as you canRelationship matters1. The AHA moment• Freelance projects might bring new ideas/needs from clientsFuture client (former colleague) “I’d like to monitor some KPIs. The information is spread on different databases and in one webservice. I spend hours gathering the data to create reports in Excel. Can you send me a proposal to automate it?”Me (after analysing the request) “Well, it’ll be expensive (~$40k) . And also, I wouldn’t like to deliver it in your timeframe. As you know, I burned out. Don’t want to work under pressure”I have a proposal, 10x cheaper than the bespoke project. But will deliver in my timeframe. And also, will make it flexible enough to sell to other companies.”How I came up with the idea? (Image from text above)Similar to how Tyler Tringas’ Storemapper started Company creationSo excited. Wow, I’m an entrepreneur! Well, Just need a name for the company, website, email, logo, product name, leaflet, etc. After more than 1 month along with my 2 co-founders working part-time, the company (Everesti) and product (Nera) are named. Everything else is set up, we can start.3. Just one more feature…Now, onto the product. Let’s build an iPhone app! 2008. That will be cool! Clients will close deals as soon as they see it! New things to learn! So, I bought a macbook (I’d never used one before) and an ObjectiveC book.I’m a Java architect. Will build the architecture and the product. I don’t want to hard-code anything, of course. We need a dynamic product to be used by new clients.One more feature and we can sell. Ok, let me implement another one. Got an idea for a new page, just one more month….time has passed…Finally after 9 months, my baby was born! I’m so proud! Built this amazing, state-of-art architecture. So many features like signup/signin/sms alerts/email alerts/SOA bus/connections with loads of different DBs/Webservices/Text files.Time was running out. Almost one year with no income. We’re ready to sell! Our pricing strategy is set. Well, we didn’t talk to any potential client, apart from the one we previously “pre negotiated”.My product, after 10 months4. Build and they will come…well, not reallyPotential users: “What can I monitor with your product?”Me: “Anything, any area of your company”Potential users: “What industries and KPIs are you focusing on?”Me: “Nera can adapt to any industry. You define the KPIs and with our self-service dashboard, you don’t need us”This is how my meetings gone (image from text above)After tens of meetings:They didn’t want to create anything. I could’ve avoided building a whole admin side and saved months of work.If we’d focused on relevant KPIs for any particular industry, we would’ve talked the users’ language and become expertsThey asked how much would cost, but I didn’t have the answer as the product was too flexible (Well, I’ll discuss pricing in another edition, as we struggled a lot with this)At least, we made a deal with the potential client that requested the project. Took us “only“ 10 months. Obviously, they used only a tiny part of the massive product we created.5. What would I do today?Meetings before buildingTry to build a community around KPIs for an industry http://rosieland.substack.comHard code to get dataPersonalise and automate Excel to connect and generate charts/tablesEmail the charts/tablesBuild community first (Images of some tweets)———————————————————————-Do you like this article? Say Hi on TwitterThe text is extracted from my newsletter

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