Entrepreneur, Social Media

How This Boss Bootstrapped a $4 Mil Company with Laura Roeder of Meet Edgar

Episode 119: Show Notes

Today on the podcast we welcome Meet Edgar Founder and CEO, Laura Roeder. Meet Edgar is a social media automation tool that makes sure your social media content gets posted to all the appropriate places. Often we are so afraid to repurpose or repost content more than once. But if you knew that your reach per post is often sitting around 5%, you might start to think a little differently! Meet Edgar helps small businesses and entrepreneurs reuse their best content to bring in a ton of views.

Today on the podcast we welcome Meet Edgar Founder and CEO, Laura Roeder. Meet Edgar is a social media automation tool that makes sure your social media content gets posted to all the appropriate places. Often we are so afraid to repurpose or repost content more than once. But if you knew that your reach per post is often sitting around 5%, you might start to think a little differently! Meet Edgar helps small businesses and entrepreneurs reuse their best content to bring in a ton of views.  |  The Strategy Hour  |  Think Creative Collective

But we are not only talking about social media today; we are talking about how Laura bootstrapped her company, how she has developed a 100% remote team of 30 employees across the US, generated over seven thousand subscribers, is bringing in $4 million in annual revenue and how she has survived all of this with zero sales team. Oh, and all of this was in just three years. Today, we will be diving into all her juicy secrets, discussing the future of social media networks, and why we should be utilizing them while they are still free.

Who the Heck is Edgar?

Edgar is basically the octopus that manages your social media. The name is derived from when Laura and her husband were starting a company and naming their projects after “older” people, like Harriet and Edgar. When it came time to launch what is now known as Edgar, Laura and her husband came up with a lot of cliche names but didn’t like any of them. Then she thought, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we just named it Edgar?” It was a name that people started remembering, so it stuck. That’s Edgar. That’s the answer to the million dollar question!

Meet Edgar’s Remote Employee Team

Meet Edgar is made up of 30 remote employees, based all over the US and Canada. Working remotely gives a whole lot of flexibility to the team. Instead of employees just going to visit their family for a weekend, for example, they can go for two weeks and do their work from there. There is a long list of benefits. The team meets regularly online because scheduling for them is easy, being in the same / similar time-zones, and then they also meet twice a year in person. Because Laura likes a regular schedule and regular communication, having employees all around the continent can often be tricky, accommodating all employees’ time-zones and working hours. Meet Edgar launched three years ago, with just three employees. As the company continues to bootstrap, hiring happens when the revenue is raised. When you are bootstrapping you have to be a lot more deliberate and hiring has to happen gradually. The teams in the company include: customer service, product, marketing and operations. A lot of her employees started out as part time, interns or contractors, and then moved to full time. Laura believes this is a good way to go when you’re starting out.

How Does Meet Edgar Not Have a Sales Team?

Meet Edgar does marketing instead of sales. This means that they are very active in promoting the business. Since they don’t do sales, there’s no one to talk to one-on-one. You can email customer service but it’s what’s called a self-serve model. Everyone just signs up on the website, they’re not going through sales calls. This was a very deliberate choice they made which means their customers are mainly small businesses and entrepreneurs. But what Laura finds really cool about marketing is it’s a lot more scalable. Content marketing and organic marketing can scale, really really huge. So you can grow the amount of people coming to your website without having to grow your team dramatically.

Marketing Strategies that Have Helped Grow Meet Edgar

Meet Edgar currently has over seven thousand customers, bringing in $4 million annual revenue. They scaled to this size in just three years through focusing on online marketing. This includes, blogging, sophisticated SEO, social media, Facebook ads, and using paid advertising strategically, right in the beginning. Meet Edgar works on a recurring business model, where customers sign up and stay for a certain period of time. But how do they keep their customers? Firstly, at Meet Edgar, people leaving and unsubscribing is inevitable so they try not to get too upset. Secondly, the vast majority of “churn” (people coming and going) happens within the first and second month.

Usually after that, people tend to stay for longer periods of time. With that churn in the first month, it’s really important they focus on setup. So Meet Edgar is constantly improving the setup process, making it really easy for people to use the software and educating them on how the service works. Meet Edgar also uses programs to track their own marketing / sales data such as Mixed Panel and Profit Well, and also employ the first-response resolution rule. Meaning that when people sign up, all the information they need is presented in the first email. They also do weekly live demos to help and support their customers. Meet Edgar’s email campaign drives most of their blog post traffic and this line of communication is often overlooked by small businesses. But ultimately, their focus is really on just keeping people happy and feeling good.

Unlocking the Next Level for Meet Edgar

There are millions of levels Meet Edgar wants to achieve, but for now the plan is just to grow bigger in size and keep being the best at what they do, which is repurposing content. There’s a lot of things that people do on social media – such as customer service, brand images, connecting with influencers. Meet Edgar is not an all-in-one tool. Their roadmap is all about improving functionality and keeping up with the constantly changing landscape of social media. Meet Edgar has just introduced multiple image upload, video upload and are improving their Facebook mentions.

TweetThis

Once you go in and see your stats, it becomes obvious just how crazy it is to post something just once.
Tweet This via @lkr

Why You Shouldn’t be Afraid to Re-Purpose Content

How can utilizing a tool like Meet Edgar help people who perhaps don’t have a lot of content to repurpose? The important thing to understand is how low your exposure to your followers on social media actually is. A lot of people have never gone in and looked at their stats - 5% is normal. Yup, 5% of your audience is seeing what you post! Once you go in and see your stats, you will see how crazy it is to post something just once. So the most obvious thing businesses can do, even if they only have a little bit of content, is start a system of making sure that that content keeps going out and keeps getting exposure. People often wonder how often they should be repeating their content and most of the time, it’s a lot more than they think!

The Future of Social Media

There’s a joke that marketers ruin the social media platforms and it’s kind of true. Usually, on these social media platforms, you start out following your friends and then you end up following influencers, brands, companies and so on. These communication channels quickly become marketing channels and the more they become marketing channels, the more your own reach is going to drop, and the more that channel is going to push you to pay for exposure. It’s all about accepting the reality of the reach. The access we have now, might not be the same in ten years’ time. You don’t have to pay for your Twitter account right now, for example – it’s a free platform to communicate, grow, sell and share. And we don’t know if it will be that way forever, so appreciate the organic reach opportunities while they are still around! Because someday we might have to pay for it all….

Rewind: What Got Laura into Optimizing Social Media

The reason Laura got into social media was because she owned a business making websites for small businesses in 2008. Her clients started paying her to tell them more about all of the social media channels taking off at the time, like Twitter and Facebook fan pages. That’s how she got started in the whole social media world. But for Laura, her passion has always been about helping small businesses succeed, rather than social media itself. However, the fact that we have these free communication platforms to grow huge global businesses on is a really unique moment in time. This is what fires Laura up and what she believes we should be taking advantage of, utilizing and experimenting with. So what are you waiting for?

Highlights

  • Who the heck is Edgar - the story behind Laura’s business name. [0:03:10.1]
  • Meet Edgar’s remote employee team and hear how they went from three to thirty. [0:05:20.1]
  • Why meet Edgar does not have a sales team and more about their self-serve model. [0:12:00.1]
  • Find out about the marketing strategies that have helped grow Meet Edgar really quickly. [0:13:50.1]
  • Unlocking the next level for Meet Edgar: What are their current business goals? [0:23:50.1]
  • Why you shouldn’t be afraid to re-purpose your older, already established content. [0:25:15.1]
  • The future of social media and why we need to be utilizing these platforms while they are still free! [0:27:40.1]
  • What got Laura into optimizing social media and why she believes in small businesses. [0:34:25.1]

#TalkStrategyToMe [0:36:20.6]

  1. Don’t be afraid to repeat your stuff.
  2. Send offers to your audience.
  3. Build your team gradually.

Today’sGuest

119-Headshot.jpg

Laura Roeder

Meet Edgar

Website | Instagram

Facebook | Twitter

Laura Roeder is the founder of Edgar, a social media automation tool designed to prevent status updates from going to waste. Since 2009, her online courses have taught tens of thousands of entrepreneurs how to harness the power of social media. Laura has given talks at conferences like BlogHer and South by Southwest, and has spoken about the value of independent entrepreneurship at the White House. She’s also appeared in Forbes, Fast Company, Mashable, CNET, and other major publications.

KeyTopics

  • Re-purposing content.
  • Bootstrapping a business.
  • Online marketing strategies.
  • Increasing content reach.
  • Running a remote employee team.
  • The future of social media.

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