Hey everyone, in today’s episode, I share the mic with Michael Sacca. Michael is the president of Crew, a website that connects people with writers or designers for hire.
Listen as Michael delves into the reasons why relationships are key to building your startup, how starting a podcast (Rocketship.fm) helped him successfully grow his new business, how he grew Unsplash by 30% MoM, and the challenges of building a marketplace.
Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: How Crew President Michael Sacca Grew A Startup By Leveraging His Podcast TRANSCRIPT
Time-Stamped Show Notes:
- 00:42 – If you enjoy the content, leave a rating, review and subscribe to the Growth Everywhere Podcast
- 01:02 – Eric introduces Michael Sacca
- 01:30 – Crew connects freelancers with vetted projects and builds trust between project donors and freelancers
- 01:45 – Michael used to work in San Diego and Crew was a natural fit for him
- 02:11 – Michael became the president when Crew and Unsplash split up
- 02:12 – Unsplash is a free, stock photography website
- 02:37 – The idea for Unsplash came from a photo shoot that they were doing to boost Crew
- 03:03 – They had over 10,000 downloads of the images and people wanted to get featured
- 03:28 – Unsplash grew by 30%, month over month, and that’s when they decided to have different CEOs for the two companies
- 04:00 – Crew had 4.3 gross merchandise volume
- 04:23 – Crew and Unsplash had two different business models and funding sources
- 08:23 – The agency used to make half a million a year and invested a 150,000 in their flagship project
- 08:40 – The project did not work out the way they wanted it to
- 09:08 – Michael decided to have a podcast because he wanted to ask for advice for their startup, Brandisty
- 10:02 – Michael had 167 customer interviews to learn from and inform their product when they launched Brandisty
- 10:31 – They got their first thousand customers through cold reach outs
- 11:23 – Michael learned what needs to be done through the podcasts
- 12:07 – They learned that people struggled with brand distribution and addressed that need
- 12:16 – The price was too low and this might have contributed to the first thousand customers
- 12:38 – They always had beer for the people who came to their office
- 13:17 – People do want to help others especially when they feel they are valuable
- 13:55 – Businesses always hit plateaus
- 14:16 – Crew is now piggybacking on the content they have in SEO and search engine marketing
- 15:19 – Paid ads can be used to learn the strategies for SEO
- 16:10 – What’s one big struggle you faced while growing Crew? – The hardest thing with Crew is hiring the right people and they struggled with remote teams
- 17:30 – Remote working is for people who are proactive
- 18:10 – Michael does a one-month trial before having someone join the team
- 19:21 – What’s one piece of advice you’d give to your 24-year old self? – “To worry a lot less”
- 20:08 – Amazing things do happen when you take steps
- 20:26 – What’s one new tool you’ve added in the last year that has added a lot of value – Klipfolio
- 21:31 – What’s one tool you can’t live without everyday? – Slack and Excel Spreadsheets
- 22:32 – What’s one must-read book you recommend? – The History of the Machine Gun
- 23:50 – The problem is not automation, but how do get people to eat
- 24:07 – Find Michael on Twitter or shoot him an e-mail or go to his podcast
3 Key Points:
- Look for mentors and find a way to make it a win-win situation for the both of you.
- Make people feel valuable and they will gladly help you out.
- It is the responsibility of tech people to address the problems of other people.
Resources From This Interview:
- Excel Spreadsheets
- Must-read book: The Social History of the Machine Gun by John Ellis
- Michael on Twitter
- Michael’s e-mail
- Michael’s Rocketship podcast
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