Ep22: BuzzStream Founder Paul May Teaches You How To Recover From A Total Product Launch Disaster With Paul May


may_headshot_-_185pJoin us as we talk to BuzzStream CEO and founder, Paul May. BuzzStream is an online software helping marketers promote their products, services and content to build links, buzz, and brands. Paul has been entrenched in the start-up world his entire career spanning across 20-years. His original Co-founder, Jeremy Bencken, came fresh from ApartmentListings.com where they focused on long-tail search and drove traffic through SEO PR and relationship building. Jeremy and Paul saw a need for a tool a to organize their links and relationships with influencers and publishers in one place.

  • After stalled starts and an underwhelming launch, BuzzStream grew to 5,000 users with thousands logged in on a regular basis.
  • Paul has seen the company’s revenue double every year for the past 3-years with no signs of stopping.


  • Paul reflects on offering beta invites to ramp up interest through scarcity and won a few thousand initial customers.
  • Shares how free beta customers don’t always translate into paying fans, and how their big launch was met with overwhelming silence.
  • Discusses the importance of figuring out how to take the long-view approach to relationship building regardless of how long it can take.
  • Realized BuzzStream was in trouble when there was an outage, their site went down, and no one noticed or complained.
  • Started engaging with early adopters and gave loyal customers a ton of love, aiming to make them as successful as possible in their careers.
  • Shares insights from early customers who moved around in their industry and took BuzzStream’s services with them.
  • Sees building an engaged community and relationships with influencers as crucial components to growing BuzzStream organically.
  • What Paul does at conferences instead of selling or even talking much about BuzzStream.
  • Shares his tested science behind supporting campaigns with outreach, social and minimal paid search.
  • Steps behind launching Linking Outside the Box and how Paul tapped into a specific segment of his network to systematically promote it.
  • Gives insights on how BuzzStream has spent next to nothing on paid social media ads, but invests heavily in ebooks costing upwards of $20,000 at 50 or 60 pages long.
  • Reasons behind building foundational and evergreen pieces to continuously generate leads.
  • Warns you simply can’t create high-quality content without an investment of time and money.
  • Talks about fairy dust content marketing and why hitting the publish button just isn’t enough.
  • How top notch content will fail miserably without a strategy of how it will be found.
  • Why the unpopular Panda algorithm was actually a great thing, and how it forces people to make better content.
  • Shares why marketers need to figure out the true lifecycle of a customer and be everywhere they are.
  • Sees the SEO community still thinking about targets and content instead of an effective marketing funnel.
  • Talks about his approach to lean start-up methodology and how to build a business designed for learning and understanding the customer.
  • Admits BuzzStream would have died with a fail-fast mentality, and how they burned through cash and used Paul’s personal savings to meet payroll.
  • Why you don’t need an MBA to be successful in content marketing, but how it undeniable exposes you to understanding customers. Paul also shares a resource that teaches you as much about understanding the customer as an MBA teaches.


  • Content Marketing – The curation and creation of valuable content to attract and retain customers.
  • Panda – Google’s change in its search algorithm first introduced in 2011 to help eliminate low-quality sites and return higher-quality sites near the top of search results.
  • Lean start-up – The scientific approach to creating and managing startups and help get desired products into customers’ hands quickly.

Strategies Behind Content Promotion Success:

Paul’s Recommended Resources: 


Disclaimer: As with any digital marketing campaign, your individual results may vary.