In this episode, Robin Vander Heyden (ManyRequests) talks about:
- Leveraging Facebook Community, Reddit and ProductHunt to get early customers
- Building specific content for every step in the marketing funnel
- Prioritising distribution channels before product development as a growth strategy to bootstrap development
- Pre-sale as a way to validate your business model and idea, and recruiting early adopters
- Leveraging multiple customer channels to generate micro-conversion to find captive leads
- Establishing clear structure and processes that help scale the operational aspect of the business early on
About the guest
Robin Vander Heyden is the founder of ManyPixels and ManyRequests. He grew ManyPixels, a productised design service, to a 6 digit ARR within 2 years. He went on to build ManyRequests, a SaaS solution for agency owners to help scale their businesses, where he grew the business by 330% within the first 6 months of launch.
Find him here:
Books, tools, people, frameworks mentioned in this episode:
- Reddit – https://reddit.com/
- ProductHunt – https://www.producthunt.com/
- ManyPixels – http://manypixels.co/
- ManyRequests – https://manyrequests.com/
- Dribble – https://dribbble.com/
- Google Drive – https://drive.google.com/
- Asana – https://asana.com/
- Trello – https://trello.com/
- Productized Startups – https://productizedstartups.com/
- Productized Community Facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/192719694795609/
- Productize Book – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-br9CMwTZP9Dk_vN6z51PgbdI848k0RJsiZholXwuj4/edit
- Apollo – apollo.io
- Slack – https://slack.com/
- Pat Walls (Starter Story) – https://twitter.com/thepatwalls
- Pieter Levels (NomadList) – https://levels.io/
Robin Vander Heyden 0:00
You need to have a great product. But you also need to have a way to distribute your product and to reach out your your customers. And so that’s what actually I had built, we had built a distribution before even thinking too much about the problem or thinking about building a product. And after we pre sold that product, for six months, we started building your software.
Ricky Willianto 0:21
That was Robin Vander Heyden, talking about how he managed to sell $20,000 worth of subscription. Before he started even writing the first line of code for his product. He believes that finding and building a strong distribution channels to the right customers early on, is key for any new startups that want to have an explosive start to the business. And he’s a master of this growth strategy. Having managed to grow his second startup many requests by 330%, within the first six months of it going life. My name is Ricky Willianto, co founder of Ravenry and the host of the Growth Multiplier podcast. Through this podcast, I hope to uncover the pathways, startups and companies have taken in their journey of growth, share some stories from the trenches, and hopefully identify patterns and hacks that can be replicated by businesses in Asia and the rest of the world. I hope you enjoy the show.
Hi, Robin, thank you so much for joining our podcast grows. It really nice to have you here. We’ve been talking a lot about growth in the past. So I’m really glad that now you can share it with the broader community. So Robin is a serial entrepreneur who is currently based in Thailand. I know he’s been in Southeast Asia for a while now. He is currently the CEO of Many Requests, a platform that helps agencies productize and scale their services easily. Prior to Many Requests, he’s also founded and successfully scaled, a company called many pixels, which is a productize design agency into a six digit arr business in less than a year, which is amazing. He’s extremely passionate about building communities and has proven himself to be able to take startups from zero to one and then scale them very quickly. So once again, Robin, welcome to the show. Really nice to have you here. Before we start, maybe I can also have you share a little bit about yourself, and maybe a little bit about the two companies that you started. And you’re currently running.
Robin Vander Heyden 2:16
Sure, thanks, Ricky for having me. Yeah, my name is Robin, I’m from Belgium. And I’ve been living in Southeast Asia since December 2017, where I started with many big sales. So for those who don’t know that business, it’s on demand design service that was created in Jakarta, in Indonesia. And the idea was actually to help companies all over the world, get a designer for a flat monthly fee. So instead of relying on Upwork, and other freelancing platform where you have to interview designers yourself, and have to manage them, you just pay a subscription per month, and you get a designer and a platform where you can submit all the design requests that you want to that centre, and you can scale up and down as you need. So I’ve run that business until August 2019, where I’ve sold it to my partners where, whom I’ve started the business with. And then after that, I created many requests, which is actually a software as a service for agencies and productized services. So what it does, it’s actually a client portal, where you can manage your entire business, which means like the tasks that customers requests from you, your team, the files, but you can also create forms and build customers. So it’s really all in one tool to manage your entire business, and to make sure that it’s scalable. So this is what I’ve been doing. And in the journey of studying those two companies, I’ve documented it a lot. And I’ve been very vocal and created a lot of content, and as well as the community corporate test community. And I think we’ll touch upon those growth tactics in this podcast. Before we go into many requests, which is your current full time company?
Ricky Willianto 3:57
Can you share a little bit maybe about how you started megapixel and how you’ve been able to grow it so quickly into a six digit arr business within just like a year?
Robin Vander Heyden 4:07
Yeah, just before ManyPixels, I studied law in the Netherlands, and I just want to make some money. And I started a real estate company next to my studies, and I met a couple of landlords and I started renting out their rooms to international students and what became a side hustle from my first my second year of university, to my master degree, became really a full agency. We had an office in the city centre, we had over 100 properties rented a year and a turnover of 250 k per year in revenue. And so it was a real business, which meant that I had to build a small team, but hiring team members in the Netherlands is very expensive, especially designers, and they’re very good to work with. So I started looking for talents abroad and I was working with Indonesians because I found their portfolio on dribble and I was realising Wow, they’re very good and very talented and they are actually at fault. as well. So after I started the business, there is a business, I thought, Okay, I’m going to focus on this, helping other companies abroad in Australia, the UK and US to help them with finding designers very easily. And so this became actually the early days of many big cells. So I had one or two designers in the beginning. And I told them, if I pay you monthly, can you handle three or four clients, and then I made quick calculations. In my mind, I was like, Okay, I’m paying the designer, I don’t know, maybe $600 a month, and it can handle five clients who each pay $500 a month. So this is actually a five times return from the cost of the designer itself. And I was like this business model, it works, right, if I can pull it up. Of course, it wasn’t like that at the beginning. And we were all priced for cheaper. And we were targeting the wrong customers. But this was the idea at the very beginning. So how we started and how are we scale so fast? First, we were one of the first on the market. And I think we, the idea was a bit novel, and everybody was tired of using platform. So when people thought, Oh, I can just pay a flat monthly fee and submit as many design requests as I want. This resonated Well, in the entrepreneur and startup community. I had a small audience there. And so I launched it on a few Facebook groups. I launched it on indie hackers as well, and a few other community like Reddit, and and people who subscribed and we then launched on product hands, which was a big bump of customers, we got 200 customers, in a matter in a matter of days. And yeah, we reached out reached out amount. And that was pretty good. Except that after one month, I think we had 100% churn, and we lost most of our customers, because first systems built in place. And secondly, we were not targeting the right customers. We’ll touch upon that in the later part of the podcast. But that’s one of my biggest learning.
Ricky Willianto 6:49
Thanks a lot for sharing that. So actually, I’d love to hear immediately now, like what are some of the key learnings you had about like building systems and also like building a channel for your customers so that you make sure that you get the right ones? Can you share a little bit about how you’re able to kind of like build that very strong funnel for many pixels in its early day.
Robin Vander Heyden 7:07
The key thing that you need for your business is a predictable way to run it right? Otherwise, it’s not a it’s not a business, it’s a job. And you need to have that kind of predictability in everything you do, from marketing, to service delivery to managing team and hiring and everything. So you need to document it. And you need to have a structured process based approach, how you do that for marketing, you actually create a funnel, which is very easy, you know, you have awareness, and then you have consideration and then a conversion, and then loyalty and engagement. That’s basically how your funnel works. And for awareness, you can create some content, you can run some ads, for conversion, you can either have a newsletter, or like a trial, and then loyalty and engagement, you can just have referral programmes and make sure you have good customer service in place. So this is how I approach and also at my current company, many requests marketing, we try to see it as a funnel, at every step of the funnel. And at every step of the customer journey, we have a different message that we give to them. So for people who are not aware about their problem, we would create a content a piece of content, for example, oh, why you need to outsource graphic design? Why is it so important for you to do this, and so that you can grow your business, right, because people are not yet aware about the solution and that problem that they have. So you need to educate them about this, once they are aware about the problem they have, you start to talk about your solution. So you can create content, for example, like a demo video, or some content, for example, with 50 ideas of stuff you can do with my design service. And that can that kind of comes in, right. So I really try to follow that approach to educate customers about their problem, because I think we are in the business of solving problems and getting paid for it. And if you really understand the problems that your customers have, and have a structured approach to solve it, then that’s the way to go. In my opinion, that’s the logical way to go.
Ricky Willianto 9:03
So I love to revisit this again, because I want to hear your context or your assessment of this funnel building process through the lens of many requests, which is your current business. But I want to also hear very quickly how you’ve been able to systemize many pixels, design businesses and design agencies oftentimes have very different kind of project. A lot of clients have very different requirements. How have you been able to productize it standardise it and scale it?
Robin Vander Heyden 9:27
Yeah. First of all, I didn’t do too much of those processes and systems. But I’ve learned a lot from my co founder who is known as CEO of many pixels. So when he came in the company, I think he started about nine months after I started it. He really built processes from scratch. He was like, wow, this company is a mess. And actually it was right it was so he really started building a lot of process for the company. So how we did it basically, we started documenting everything we started organising the role of every person. So we had a Google Drive, where How big was your team at that point? Sorry,
Ricky Willianto 10:01
how big How big was the team at that point?
Robin Vander Heyden 10:03
35 designers? Wow. Okay. Yeah, so it was we had a bit of process, but they were not efficient. And they were actually not usable, useful. And also, he really built it from scratch. So they documented things such as how the work must happen during the day rules, for example, the working hours, how the communication happens with the clients. So we had a company that we use called slides, where for every, every role of the company, and every fully work, we basically documented all of their work expectations. So that was a big step because it aligned the team. And also, after that, we were able to align the customers and tell them, okay, this is, for example, when you can expect to receive your design requests, we have a turnaround of one to two days. And this really helps to start to to systemize the company. So that’s what we did. Yeah.
Ricky Willianto 10:57
Yeah, that’s amazing. So I think, since many pixels, you’ve not only had become like an advocate and kind of like a leading voice on the internet, about productizing service businesses, I think you’ve also built a tool, which is many requests, right? To help a lot of this agency owners or small, you know, business owners scale their processes and build teams around specific services. Now, can you share maybe with us a little bit more detail about what many requests is? And what are you trying to achieve with this company?
Robin Vander Heyden 11:29
Yeah, so again, when I was running my previous company, ManyPixels, I realised that I needed a platform to handle the client requests and to assign those requests to team members. And I couldn’t find any software. I tried Trello, I tried Asana, but G’s were a project management tool that were not really client facing, and also missed a lot of features such as forums, or the ability to build customers. So I was like, okay, there is not a choice, we need to build something. And so that was born and I had a small audience already had a Facebook group, I share a lot my content over the years. And so I got the first customers, I think, the first months, we pre launch, and we made about 20 k in sales. So we had really like the validation from potential customers, okay, there is a need for this. And then it took about six months to build a V1 of the product, and then a few more customers. And then a few months later, we got some funding from Earnest Capital, which is bootstrapped funding fund. And this helped us grow again, a little bit more on the hire more full time employees. But what it does, yeah, it’s basically a project management tool and client portal for agencies where they can run their entire business with one platform, so they can build their customers from their website. So if an agency has two or three different packages, they can display those packages on their website and put a binary button. And then once customer purchase one of these packages, they get taken to their client portal where they can submit requests and interact with the agency. And then the last step, the agency can assign those requests to team members, and also see the files that the customers send to them, and then manage your subscriptions and their billing and the invoices and that kind of stuff. So it’s a really all in one tool to run their entire agency. Most of our customers are design agencies for now. But we also have WordPress, maintenance businesses, content writing agencies, and we hope to target margins in the future.
Ricky Willianto 13:26
Sounds great. So I want to break down what you just said, I think you mentioned a couple of very interesting things for me. And I know, just because we’ve been, we’ve known each other for a while that you’ve spent a lot of time prior to many requests, building a community. And you mentioned you didn’t mention Facebook as one of the biggest channels for you right at the very beginning. Now tell us a little bit about like the inception or the moment you start that Facebook group, and how that led to collect you building a community of all this productized service business owners that, you know, basically our target users for many requests. So tell us a little bit about that process.
Robin Vander Heyden 13:57
Yeah, I actually, I didn’t think too much. When I started that productised community, I think I started it more or less at the beginning, when I started ManyPixels, if you check the first box, and I just share my journey, really, I just like, share with other entrepreneurs, what I’ve done, and I think I really just relax to share stuff. And at the beginning, I remember I had posted, I had been the post, don’t worry, this community is not business. I don’t have your business objective behind this committee will always be free. I don’t want to sell you anything. But after six months, I realised maybe I cannot do that always for free. I need to have a business goal be behind it so I can support it. And it can be sustainable. And I can actually get paid for my time as well. And so after six months, I decided actually this community could be very good for people who want to either start their own agency or a service and maybe they can become a customer for many requests. So for about a year, the community was just me posting content almost every day or every day actually. And I didn’t have anything to sell. I didn’t have the software yet. I was still running ManyPixels at a time and eventually lost. summer after I sold many big sells, we just said through the community a we are building this software, would you be interested to purchase it. And we made a one time offer, it was a lifetime offer where they could purchase the software for a one time fee. And then other people bought it. And this got us a bit like our seed funding, but also Most importantly, validation that members of the community were interested in that. So I would say community is really interesting to get your first users, but also to get feedback. And on your product and validation.
Ricky Willianto 15:30
Yeah, thanks. Thanks for highlighting that because I was actually one of your early hires. Yeah, I really enjoyed working with founders who’s starting from scratch and involving their audience along the way. And I think what you’ve done as well in the Facebook group is amazing. I think just the generosity of you being able to share everything. And I think like you documenting everything, in great detail to help other entrepreneurs was great. Thanks for doing all that. I want to talk a little bit about what you mentioned as well about being able to launch and reach 20 k sales within the first month.
Robin Vander Heyden 16:02
Yeah, like I said, for like about a year I had a I posted every day I was doing it. And I didn’t do it for the money and I had zero revenue for a year during that span, that’s basically community. So the thing is that even though the product can be awesome, if you don’t have any distribution strategy, or any audience, it will not arrive because you don’t have any way to reach out to the customers. And so when you build a company, you always have to think, Okay, I need to focus on a really important problem and having a market, right. And you need to have a great product to solve that problem. But you also need to have a way to distribute your product and to reach out to your customers. And so that’s what actually I had built, I had built a distribution a third part before even thinking too much about the problem or thinking about building a product. So I always, that’s my mindset of always building the distribution before you build the actual product. And after we pre sold that business, right, pre sell the product. For six months, we started that after that building it we send a newsletter and then through the users who had bought it, and then we build that within the software. So I think this is how we were able to get through 20 k in pre sales very quickly, is because we had the whole distribution already in place before.
Ricky Willianto 17:18
So let’s just be clear, so that everyone can like understand your process as well. When you collect close at 20 k worth of sales. What was the product? Like what stage was it in?
Robin Vander Heyden 17:30
There was no line of code? I mean, yeah, it was like, I’m going to buy this do you want to build it. And the thing is that it can be a bit weird to sell something that doesn’t exist. But actually, it’s not look at Kickstarter, or look at Indiegogo, many products actually launched that way. And some have raised 10s of millions of dollars. 20 k is nothing compared to that. And for users, you can always ask for a refund. And customer actually asked for a refund. And he came back a few months later and said actually I really needed it was not true. To use it, no one was refunded it and it was a good way to actually to actually kickstart things for the money first, even though 20 k in the grand scheme of thing is not too much. But it’s also the validation, right? Instead of spending months building a product, not having a distribution, not being sure that your customers are interested in it. Pre selling is a real validation, right? When somebody puts their credit card details. This means they’re serious about what you’re like about their problem, and they really want your product to solve their problems.
Ricky Willianto 18:41
I think if you’re adding value, right to an audience with trust you, people don’t mind that you are making money off that process. Because it’s the same thing as a Facebook community that you’ve built the product as community, you started it as a free community for everyone to learn and share. And people don’t mind it when you can use that as a way for you to introduce like many requests as well, because people get so much value. And even until now, after it’s been rebranded you know, under many requests, it’s still a very vibrant community, and people are still sharing and learning. I think it’s the same thing as well with pre selling and software, I think you’ve built quite a lot of trust in the community. And again, as I’ve mentioned to you, thanks so much for the generosity of sharing and teaching other people to live their passion and live the life they want by building their own startup. Now, let’s move on to the next part of that journey, which is from the 20 K and now you have six months to be one right now tell us a little bit about that process and how you’ve been able to keep the momentum going and make sure that the audience is still growing. And you you know, continue to kind of engage them even though after they’ve paid for the product. The six months they’re not going to get it right. So how do you make sure that engagement continues.
Robin Vander Heyden 19:46
After six months, during those six months, we started really building a product talking to the users who bought it. And so this was very slow six months from August 2019 until January it was very slow. We had of course we just At one time serves, right so we didn’t have revenue there. And in from January till about May, it was also very slow, we kept building a product, the first version that we had released wasn’t as good as we thought we released it, but we, it was not so good. And we had to really completely rebuild it from scratch again, so from like, around May to July with work like so hard, and release the v2 of the product. And that was the inflection point where people really started buying it. And so it’s been really growing well, since July 2020. Until now, until Until today, but we have to build a product again. So we have two versions of the product in less than a year. But first, the second product. I remember like Gabrielle and his brother, because his brother is on the team. They worked almost every day for I think like the last 45 days, it was like a was a bit of a nightmare. But eventually we got there and customers were really happy with
Ricky Willianto 20:57
what was the difference between v1 and v2, what was a v2, so much more attractive to the customers,
Robin Vander Heyden 21:04
a lot of UX, and then a lot of learnings. So after we launched v1, we had those customers trying it and they were saying, Oh, we have those kind of problems with an app. So we need to really redo it and paste learnings. And that’s why it’s important to release stuff in the market, because they will give you the right answers. Because you might have some assumptions, and you might do your own research or you solve your own problem. But when you really sit with customers that pay you, you really have to make sure they’re happy, it wasn’t completely bad is just that we had a lot of learnings. And so we thought, okay, instead of trying to fix that first products, we’re going to use different language. And we’re going to completely redo it, and it’s going to be much faster and much better for users.
Ricky Willianto 21:43
Yeah, so since July 2020, which was the date you launched v2 till now, how which is, I guess, just to give people a bit of context, this is January 2020. When we’re doing this interview, how has many requests progress? And can you share maybe like some of the achievements in six months?
Robin Vander Heyden 22:00
Yeah, so in numbers, we have about six client portals created the revenue undisclosed it yet, but the growth rates since July has been now about 330%. So that’s quite good. churn is very low. It’s below 5%, which is good, it’s on par with the benchmark of SAS. Users are very happy, we actually have 0% churn on our ultimate plan. And our very, very low churn less than 1% of hopeless plans. for customers who don’t know about it, we have three plans, starter, plus and ultimate. So people who actually pay more money don’t really churn because they’re really needed to run their business. So we’re quite happy about this. What is missing is a few features in terms of products, and also a marketing funnel is not 100%. Yes, in place. We have a newsletter, we have email sequences, we have the community that drives lead, but for example, SEO, we were still waiting for the SEO effects kickoff, so that we generate leads, but so far, it’s been a good trajectory, but it’s gonna take more years of hustle and hard work.
Ricky Willianto 23:01
That’s why we’re here. So for now, what is your biggest channel for Acquisition? Like? How do you reach your customers, what’s the most effective channel that you found so far?
Robin Vander Heyden 23:11
So it’s still the community and the contents, let me explain a bit how it works. So we have different channels, right? We have the community Facebook community, we have LinkedIn, we have Twitter, and we have a Facebook page, we don’t post that much there. And so all of that content and our blog, and all of that content that we create on a daily basis, we try to get a micro conversion, so that people are subscribed to our mailing list to our email newsletter. And once it’s subscribed to it, they actually get a sequence of messages, telling them about our software and what it does for to improve their life to make their life better. And so once they get email some of those,
Ricky Willianto 23:47
let me pause here. Let me pause here. I want to understand real quick, just also to give context to the to the listeners, when you talk about converting these people into your newsletter subscriber. Were they aware of many requests? Or are they still in the productize? community? Are they in because in this different channels is very different contexts and very different content being shared? So can you share with us a little bit like what that conversion or what what, where this audience comes from?
Robin Vander Heyden 24:12
Yes, so they are not aware yet of many requests, right? So on protest committees, a group of entrepreneurs and agency owners, so there’s a bit of network effect going in that community where other agency owners invite their friends, and they just discuss about business stuff there. And so they are unaware yet about many requests or about their problems. So we created a productized book, we created a database of agencies and productized services. So we created a lot of free content pieces, where people learn about, like my journey and about creating protest service and creating extremism and seeing getting inspiration from other agencies with a database. And then once they don’t know that piece of content, they get added to a mailing list, and that’s when I really tried to start Okay, send sending them out. Automatically, of course, some email sequences and the start a free trial, and then they haven’t been convert. But as I said before, this funnel is not yet perfect. It’s still a work in progress. We are always optimising it every month. But that’s basically how it works.
Ricky Willianto 25:15
Are there any other kind of channels that you are trying to build now that you think will be a great channel for a product like yours?
Robin Vander Heyden 25:24
Yeah, so a couple of months ago, I started doing outreach on LinkedIn, and email. And it’s been working quite well, especially for bigger customers, like, ultimate plans and that kind of stuff. So just reached out to them. And I said, stuff like, Oh, I see that you’re running an agency, I did that as well. How do you currently manage your requests? Or how do you currently sending advice, like, I asked a lot of discovery questions. And then basically as try to understand their problem, and if they have a problem, and if they are qualified for product. So this just says it’s not calling and cold calling customers yet because our product is too cheap for investing time in cold calling, but to do cold email at scale, it’s possible and it’s proven to be a profitable channel for us to acquire customers.
Ricky Willianto 26:12
What is your what is the amount of effort you put into this cold outreach? And what is the conversion like just so that, you know, people know,
Robin Vander Heyden 26:20
and then track the conversion numbers yet, just started doing it. And we did like sporadically over the last few months, because I was still really busy with content, but I do it more this year. But we don’t send too many messages, maybe like 200 a month for now. So we just make sure that they are personalised and very targeted. So that’s the key. But then, yeah, conversion rate, I hope it will be like between two to 5%. Or at least that I have more course books. And then of course, and it’s also a funnel for outreach. So we have a list, maybe 200 people, maybe only 10 replies or 20. And then out of those 20, maybe five will book a call and then one will subscribe to be like 0.5 conversion rates. And that’s in a sense, but be okay for as long as it’s scalable. And that it’s you have a steady way to get leads.
Ricky Willianto 27:10
And how big is many requesting right now?
Robin Vander Heyden 27:13
So right now we are three, so my co founder, his brother and myself. So yeah, it’s a very small team.
Ricky Willianto 27:20
Yeah, with such a small team, I guess you have to be smart about like how you convert and you’ve been able to systemize businesses like megapixel in the past. Tell us about this outreach that you’re doing right now, with LinkedIn? Have you been able to systemize that process as well.
Robin Vander Heyden 27:34
I’m just doing it myself to go to LinkedIn Sales Navigator, or usually I go on Google, I have a few database like Apollo, for example. And I just export the leads. And then I try to contact them as much as I can. But I haven’t done it much. I’ve just experimented it, and I saw that it’s working. So I decided to start scaling this next month. Sounds good.
Ricky Willianto 27:56
What are the current growth initiatives? Are you calling implementing right now many requests?
Robin Vander Heyden 28:02
yet, so often, and we want to really make sure that it’s perfect, and that it really works? Well. So tracking, like the conversion rates from for example, email subscriber to free trial, and then free trial to pay to something who wants to do more tracking? And then to understand, okay, how, where do we put more power, what really works to get more email subscriber, or what really works to create to get more views not only about the funnel, but like having a more systemized way of creating content at scale, and sourcing content ideas and building and outsourcing content. Because right now, really real small teams, I’m just doing it all myself. But once we have that scalable way and system to produce content, then it will be time to hire an outsource some bandwidth. Right now I’m busy doing that. Yeah. Sounds great.
Ricky Willianto 28:51
I’ve seen you being very creative with a lot of the kind of content you post and a lot of the activities as well that you kick off in your community, right? When you get ideas for all of this growth initiatives and like engagement initiatives for your community.
Robin Vander Heyden 29:05
To be honest, I copy others, so I just see what works. And then I add my own ideas to it. But usually, it’s a lot of reading and following what other people do and trying to apply it for you. I think ideas are not a bit worthless. But if you really copy and apply it in your own environment, this is a great way to do it. So I read, sometimes I have a lot of conversations with other entrepreneurs. And then then I was I’m like, oh, what he’s doing is great. Maybe I should wait for my business. A lot on Twitter as well. And I follow what other people do there because a lot of people building public their company they share what’s working for them and what’s not. And yeah, just I’m a fast follower in that, in that sense, where I think you have less risk when you actually repeat what works and copy what works versus trying to do something out of the box that is unproven. Oh, it’s proven, so I’m just going to do it myself. That’s it. Okay, sounds good.
Ricky Willianto 30:03
Thanks so much for sharing all that Robin. It’s been really valuable. Now we’re gonna go into the quickfire round. Are you ready?
Robin Vander Heyden 30:08
Ricky Willianto 30:09
Okay, cool. Now, first question is, what is the one metric that you care most about right now and why?
Robin Vander Heyden 30:17
Of course, it’s revenue. But this is more like a vanity metric. But this email subscriber really tried to grow that that’s channel because we actually own it compared to other platforms, like followers. And that kind of stuff we don’t really own one is on Twitter, on Facebook, but email subscriber its own list. So I care about it. And I care about it, because it’s also a direct way for us to send messages. And we really own that channel. So yeah.
Ricky Willianto 30:43
What is the biggest conversion channel for your newsletter?
Robin Vander Heyden 30:47
Oh, it’s all free content? Definitely. So all database of services and all book.
Ricky Willianto 30:52
Awesome. What is the one software that you swear by as a growth expert? Or as a CEO?
Robin Vander Heyden 30:59
Question, so probably slack for communication.
Ricky Willianto 31:03
Okay. And then what is your favourite growth strategy or growth tool?
Robin Vander Heyden 31:11
Ricky Willianto 31:13
Okay, you’ve definitely proven yourself there. A lot of times. You’ve also mentioned quite a bit about looking for ideas or listening to what other people are doing with their own businesses. Where do you find like these resources? Where do you hear about these ideas? Tell us if it’s a book, if it’s a newsletter, is a website, just tell us what are the favourite go to resources that you you’ve found so far?
Robin Vander Heyden 31:34
Twitter. So I follow a lot of entrepreneurs that have other businesses. For example, I follow Pat Walls from Starter Story. It’s more about SEO stuff. Peter Levels from Nomad list. It’s a guy who like lives in Berlin, very creative guy. So I follow a lot of people and just see what they’re doing.
Ricky Willianto 31:55
And you might have answered this question before, but I just want to understand really quickly, if you have any growth role models, specifically in Asia, if there’s any, if not, then just tell us what are some of the people that you look up to when it comes to growth?
Robin Vander Heyden 32:09
Yeah, so basically, everyone that I follow on Twitter, who is not one in particular,
Ricky Willianto 32:14
that was good. At this point, you need to share with us what your Twitter account is so that people can see who you’re following, and therefore, who your growth role models are. So tell us, what is the best way to reach out to you and who should reach out to you?
Robin Vander Heyden 32:27
Yes, so it’s vinrob92. So VI, n, r ob, nine, two. So who should reach out to me it can be like anyone that wants to create a service business, or is interested about also building their sass company. So I don’t have a lot of learnings. It’s just been like two and a half years learning, creating service business, and one year doing a SaaS, but I think I have a lot of, I’ve seen a lot of people doing the same so I can connect you. If you are, for example, wanting to start a design service, I have a few people in my network that are doing the same. And sometimes it’s really good to be paired and have a mastermind with one or two people because you learn the most when you have a lot of context, right? If you have advice from people who are doing something completely different, and are at a different stage, this is not really helpful. But if you work with a small amount of people while doing the same thing and have the same goals as you This is useful. So feel free to reach out to me if you want to, please join our Facebook group called productize community. And check out many requests, there is a free trial, you don’t need your grades down and free to email me as well or send me a tweet and I will help you out.
Ricky Willianto 33:36
Sounds great. I think you’ve been very humble when you said that there’s not too much learning in the past two and a half years of you building this businesses. I’ve seen a lot of amazing insights that you’ve shared on the various channels that I follow you on. But thank you so much, Robin, for joining us today. And I’m sure we’ll see each other around.
Robin Vander Heyden 33:51
Thank you so much for listening to this podcast. Check out other episodes to hear more growth stories and hacks from experts who have been there and that that you can find our show on iTunes, Spotify, or via our website www.theravenry.com/growthmultiplier. See you next time.
About Growth Multiplier
The pursuit of growth is never-ending for any business – from a small startup all the way to a large global corporation. The Growth Multiplier podcast examines pathways, strategies, and hacks companies have explored and tested in their efforts to scale up their businesses.
In each episode, host Ricky Willianto – co-founder of Ravenry – speaks with CEO’s, growth hackers, product managers, and marketers all around Asia to find nuggets of wisdom and insights from their journey multiplying growth.
Ricky and his guests discuss viral marketing, community building, pricing strategies, channel development, and also company culture and people. Growth Multiplier explores not only replicable successes, but also phenomenal failures that we all can learn from.
Growth Multiplier is produced by the team behind Ravenry.