Social Media & Content Planning Tool | ContentCal
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Looks like a good product, did you make it to scratch your own itch or was there another inspiration to tackle content planning?
Thanks - I worked in corporates managing social/content for a few years, then founded/ran an agency working with SMEs + large companies doing the same. The product was designed to streamline/automate the legacy processes in those roles!
Wow... that's amazing! About fundraising Tim Ferriss advice is also gold. Check his book "Tools of Titans" for more
How long did you take to make the MVP? How did you get your first 100 customers?
Who are your competitors? Were you the first of its kind? Looks like I've seen stuff like this before. How did you manage to market it differently?
If you had to choose B2B or B2C, which one will you choose now?
Someone said there is a lack of questions so I fulfilled the need.
MVP took 3 months to build initially then iterated. It was in the days when an MVP was forgivable by customers. The standard is so high nowadays I think you need a MLP. We rebuild the MVP after 2 years as it broke constantly.
First 100 customers took around a year (we now add 100 every 2 weeks or so)
No.1 competitor is Google docs/excel. Others include Hootsuite, Sprout Social etc. We were one of the first platforms to put content collaboration and a calendar at the heart of the product.
B2B all the way. I’ve invested / advised and worked in B2C. You either need way more money or to hit the zeitgeist at the right time with B2C. B2B is more formulaic.
Did you raise money just to scale more quickly or for the build? I think this is a hot niche so I am guessing you might have had traction before the raise. Have you gotten to cash flow positive at 2,000 customers? How long did it take you to get to this point from the moment you decided to build it? Did you build it completely apart from your agency?
Built the design prototype with profits from an agency I ran so bootsrapped initially. Raised a small amount to build working MVP ($50kish). Got initial sales, then raised several Angel rounds to keep iterating the product from feedback whilst establishing PMF. Took 2/2.5 years to do that. Then raised first VC cheque end of 2019, second in 2021. Been working on the biz since 2016 so quite a while to get to this stage. Not CF positive yet but that’s by design - we could be but we are going for huge scale. Founded separately from agency.
are you more biased towards the tech and iteration side of things right now or towards the sales and marketing side in terms of staffing and spending? How do you manage the balancing act?
Spending on tech/marketing/sales is close to equal. Probably going to be slightly more on marketing if anything to drive demand gen.
Balancing act: eventually you go to benchmarks on budgeting for high growth SaaS and tweak that advice to your business. The key is to remove all personal bias from the business: product is not more important then sales and vice versa etc. It all needs to be funded and working well to succeed.
the lack of questions is a bit disappointing. I don't have anything smart to say either though. anyway, congrats and thank you
Cheers - happy to answer any Qs if they come to you!
How do you acquire most of your customers? What is the thing that's working best for you?
In the early days it was outbound sales for our first 100 customers or so. It's now word of mouth and organic/direct traffic a no 1 source. We also invest a lot in paid media, reviews, blogger/influencer outreach, webinars, content marketing etc - the full marketing lifecycle!
Question from me. Do you find having raised funding puts more pressure on yourself to generate more income? i.e. Just got $10 million in funding now I have to find a way to make that $10 million back (worry face)?
Also how closely do you work with your investors?
I think it makes you have more focus on the revenue generation/finding product market fit/scaling growth part of the business vs product. As a founder you have to balance the need to create the best product possible vs creating an engine for revenue growth. I was (and still am) mostly product/marketing focussed, but i have had to learn sales, sales practice, management etc along the way, and realise its super important to get that engine working for the success of the business.
I work very closely with our investors; Monthly board meetings, chat weekly when needed, its a very collaborative/transparent process with them.
WOW congratulations with your saas. What's your single best tip whem starting a saas business?
Thx :) Get funding, have clarity of vision, work relentlessly towards it, hire the best team you can afford to execute.
This is IH, you know? ;)
Hack your way to funding ;)