Growing a SaaS from 0 to 5000 Photographer Customers w/ Nate Grahek (Sticky Albums)
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Nate shares lots of interesting tactics he used over the years to dig into the professional photographers niche. He had an amazing growth from 0 to 5000 paying customers in just 2 years.
Nate is very talkative and open. We talk about viral marketing tactics where his clients are the ones to help spread the word. Also, we talk about growing a team but keeping it lean and mean and quitting his job to dive full time in his project.
[6:48] How Nate had the blip to create Sticky Albums while shooting high school senior portraits on the side.
- “My second product looked very good on paper, but after 2 months it fizzled out. I required my customers to do too much, to change too much.”
[15:30] Big Groupon style launch for the concept. Delivering the SaaS in 30 days.
- “I was doing 8 hours at the day job and 8 hours at night [for Sticky Albums]. It was pretty bad. But I wouldn’t do other way. I didn’t risk anything other than my time.”
- “I judge somebody’s expertise on how accurately they can estimate something will take.”
[26:53] Paying to access other people’s audiences to promote the product. Leaving the 9 to 5, family, and first hires.
- “So many entrepreneurs make this mistake. It’s not the idea, it’s not the product, it’s your domain expertise that really have saved you.”
- “It’s like, you have day job, business, social life, family. Pick 2.”
[34:21] How to know when to hire and when to build new products.
- “The old corporate model to interview 20 people to see if we can predict if you are a fit… it’s like an exercise in futility. Let’s just try it with a small project!”
- “The lesson I continued to learn was making sure I maintain trust with my customers.”
[45:48] Using Videos to communicate with everyone, even when replying to customers and hiring.
- “I can save so much time in a 5min screen recording than I could ever write in a 30 minute email with images and arrows and crap.”
- Nate Grahek on Twitter
- Nate Grahek’s first product, StickyAlbums
- Nate Grahek blog, Sticky.Blog
- Sticky Products
- Bootstrapped Web Podcast with Jordan Gal
- Animoto on Amazon AWS
- Lean Startup Book
- Rework Book
- Adobe AIR
- Clay Collins, founder of LeadPages
- Soapbox Wistia