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SaaS: College Business Plan Turned $4m Biz, “We Just Raised $6m”

http://nathanlatka.com/thetop858/

In Episode #858, Nathan interviews Tom Coburn. He’s the cofounder and CEO of Jebbit. He left Boston College to pursue the company and is currently in the Forbes 30 under 30 list. He’s also the cofounder of Enjoy Life Education, a non-profit that empowers teens to be the best versions of themselves, and SSC Ventures which invests in Boston College entrepreneurs.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Doodle
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 5
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “How long these things take. Be patient”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:50 – Nathan introduces Tom to the show
  • 02:21 – Jebbit takes up the majority of Tom’s time
  • 02:27 – Jebbit is a declared data platform which works with large enterprise platforms to solve their problems on customer data
  • 03:04 – Jebbit gets the most important things out of the customers
  • 03:17 – Jebbit allows the companies to create interactive mobile experiences which take consumers a minute or two to complete
  • 04:08 – The questionnaires are shown only in the areas where brands are already engaging with their customers
  • 05:37 – An average of 60% of the consumers answer the questionnaires
    • 05:50 – The questionnaires aren’t pop out survey but they’re well thought of and valuable
  • 06:54 – Jebbit is a SaaS business
  • 07:03 – ACV is around $3000-4000 a month
  • 07:14 – Jebbit was launched in 2012 while Tom was still in Boston College
  • 07:47 – Jebbit has raised under $10M with a convertible note to start and a seed round in 2013 and 2015
    • 08:03 – Series A of $6.8M just recently closed
  • 08:10 – Team size is under 40
  • 08:19 – Jebbit has around 50 customers
  • 09:17 – Tom is now 26
  • 09:30 – Average MRR
  • 10:04 – Pricing leverage
    • 10:09 – Jebbit started with a charge of $500 a month which slowly increased after the customers see the value
  • 11:17 – Logo churn in 2016 is around 20% annually
  • 11:30 – Jebbit has net -10% revenue churn
  • 12:34 – CAC is $10K-15K
    • 12:50 – Jebbit has spent $5K-$10K to paid ads in LinkedIn and Google
    • 13:10 – For LinkedIn, Jebbit pays a couple of hundred dollars per qualified lead
  • 13:40 – LTV
  • 14:18 – Half of the team are engineers
  • 14:58 – Gross margin
  • 15:20 – Goal for 2017 is to get close to $10M in ARR
  • 15:40 – 2016 ARR was $2M
  • 17:50 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. A college dropout can be successful in business too.
  2. Consumers won’t ignore questionnaires if they see value in them.
  3. Some things take time, just be patient.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • GetLatka – Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

The post SaaS: College Business Plan Turned $4m Biz, “We Just Raised $6m” appeared first on Nathan Latka.

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Bitcoin Hits $10,000! What’s Next?

https://chrisdunn.com/bitcoin-hits-10000-whats-next/

This bitcoin trend is the most incredible bull market I’ve experienced in the past 15 years of being involved in the financial markets… And some of the same people that called the bitcoin community crazy for believing in it when the price was below $200 in 2015 are now calling early investors and traders “lucky”. […]

The post Bitcoin Hits $10,000! What’s Next? appeared first on Blog of Chris Dunn – Learn Skills. Grow Income. Invest Profits..

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This Marketing Strategy Might Revolutionize the Industry the Way Email Did. Here's How to Get Ahead of the Trend.

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How to amplify your content marketing with influencer-driven writing contests

https://searchenginewatch.com/2017/11/28/how-to-amplify-your-content-marketing-with-influencer-driven-writing-contests/

The purpose of a content marketing campaign is almost never a boost in sales: People who want to consume and share information rarely intend to buy. Content marketing is mostly about influencing the influencer, i.e. those people who can impact your customers’ buying decisions.

Hence the most effective content marketing strategy is the one that involves influencers, especially influencer-driven content.

According to the ANA survey from Linqia, 57 per cent of marketers report that influencer-driven content outperforms brand-created content:

Influencer driven content

  • Influencers are people who have already earned your consumers’ trust, hence influencer-created content is more trustable than brand-created content
  • Naturally, people prefer to engage with people rather than brands, hence influencer-created content triggers more audience engagement than brand-created content
  • With the above in mind, it’s obvious that influencer-driven content results in higher ROI – and also thanks to the fact that it spreads easier using the power of participating influencers.

But how to engage influencers into creating content for your company blog? One of the most effective ways is to set up a writing contest: Have them contribute content to your blog for a chance to win a prize or a set of prizes.

Benefits of holding a content marketing contest

There so many marketing opportunities behind this idea that it will make your head spin:

  • Free editorial content from notable names in your niche published on your blog will attract more clicks, grow your email list and diversify your rankings
  • Social media shares that content will bring will build your brand awareness
  • Partnering with other businesses in your industry for them to provide prizes for your winners will build important connections
  • Involving niche influencers and popular media outlets to judge and announce your winners will bring more connections and exposure.

Furthermore, think about the customers you will be able to engage when announcing the contest in your newsletter and on your social media channels.

There are so many reasons to try this tactic that you may be wondering why you haven’t done it before. Well, it’s tough and time-consuming, but the steps below, together with some handy tools, will make it possible.

1. Brainstorm and research topic areas

Obviously, hosting a content marketing contest starts with what any content marketing tactic should start: Brainstorming and keyword research. There are mainly two approaches you can take here:

  • Focus all entries around your brand: Invite your current customers to submit content that talks about your product. How are they using it? Which problem did it solve? This way you’ll enrich your blog with a variety of user-generated content that will bring many more users who will be encouraged to give it a try too. Of course, that will engage your userbase but it will limit your contest entries to your current customers.
  • Focus all entries around your general niche. This can be timed out to upcoming holidays (e.g. “Submit your Christmas recipes”, etc.) In order to keep the topics relevant to what your product does, you may want to come with a set list of topics which is where keyword research comes into play.

When I plan any content marketing campaign, I always start with keyword clustering, which is something I’ve explained how to do in a previous article for SEW. Playing with keyword groups always gives me a nice perspective and helps me brainstorm.

Here’s an example from Serpstat breaking down a very cluttered topic into nice categories to pick one to go with:

Serpstat clustering

Read more on how keyword clustering works on Serpstat and how to group your keyword lists.

2. Reach out to participants

Now that you know the topics you want to focus your content marketing contest around, it’s time that you reach out to prominent writers and bloggers in your industry who you think will want to participate.

If you are focusing on your product-related content, it’s as simple as reaching out to your customers. For general how-to content contest, you’ll need to create a list of influencers who:

  1. Will want to participate
  2. Are probably to busy to participate, but will agree to help you spread the word and collect more entries.

I use Buzzsumo to find active content writers in my niche. They have handy filters that allow me to find bloggers who have hosted or participated in similar ventures, or don’t mind contributing to others.

Buzzsumo filters

3. Get organized!

You’ll be dealing with lots of new contacts: hopefully influencers participating and coming on board to spread the word, press contacts, media partners, sponsors, etc. Unless you get organized, you’ll be lost and miss a lot of opportunities.

You can use your current customer management platform to organize all the new contacts and leads you’ll be building throughout the contest. Otherwise, give Hubspot’s CRM a try: it’s free, and it will give you all the required features to record, organize and follow up with all the new contacts you’ll be building along the way.

Hubspot CRM

I also use Cyfe to keep everything relating to a current campaign I am running within one dashboard. You can use the dashboard to keep an eye on brand mentions, create quick links to other tools you should be keeping an eye on a daily basis, import your Gmail messages, and so much more.

Cyfe

4. Keep your content quality standards high

  • You want your participants to disclaim any relationship or bias when they mention other sites
  • You want your participants to stay away from mentioning your direct competitors
  • You want your participants to only provide exclusive content and never publish it anywhere else
  • You want your participants to adhere to particular quality guidelines (a certain length, format, using images, etc.)
  • You want your participants to clearly understand the judging process (I recommend against using easy-to-game metrics like “The most shared article wins”. It’s much better to come up with something more complicated, for example, winners will be determined by a panel of unbiased judges based on certain criteria. However keep the process very transparent: Those judges should be publicly listed and their voting should be publicized too)
  • You may want your participants to support a certain payment method (in case you offer a cash prize)

All of that should be listed in a formal agreement all the participants should review and sign to avoid any misunderstandings later. Try using KeepSolid Sign app which is currently free to make sure every participant is well-informed.

KeepSolid Sign

5. Collect in and present your entries

There are plenty of ways to easily collect entries for your contest. You can use Google Forms or set up advanced Contact Us Forms that will force entries to comply with your guidelines (e.g. set the required minimum word count, include extra mandatory fields like links to the author’s social media profiles and previous articles). Here are great WordPress plugins for that.

There’s also a tool that is specifically designed to collect entries for content marketing contests, called Easy Promos. They have additional features that may make your job easier like integrated voting features, photo and video uploads, etc.

With the platform, you can pick a winner via public voting, a jury or by random choice with certificate of validity.

easypromosapp

When it comes to collecting and displaying entries and participants, you can go as creative as your imagination takes you. For example, Gleam allows you to create and embed blog widgets with the contest leaderboard (which naturally attracts more entries).

You can also collect your contest entries and turn them into a beautiful Slideshow using Haikudeck and/or a nice flipbook using Flipsnack. You can embed both to your blog when announcing winners.

Flipbook

6. Scale up your content promotion

Obviously, you want that content from your contestants to do well on social media because it’s your site that will generate additional traffic and exposure from those shares. I use Drumup for all my social media campaigns, because it makes it so easy to organize content that needs promotion.

Use Drumup Content Library feature to keep all the entries in one category to easily go back and see all of them. Furthermore, set up each article to go live throughout your social media channels several times in the future to reach more of your followers:

Drumup

You also want that content to spread beyond your immediate social media circles! To achieve this, you can submit every entry to a tool called ViralContentBee [Disclaimer: This is a project I co-founded].

ViralContentBee allows you to tag each contributor in the “RT” field to encourage your participants to engage with every tweet:

Viral Content Bee RT

I hope these tools will encourage you to give hosting an influencer-driven writing contest a try. Good luck!

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How to Amplify E-Commerce Efforts Following the Holiday Rush

https://www.internetmarketinginc.com/blog/amplify-e-commerce-efforts-following-holiday-rush/

The holiday season is the busiest time for most e-commerce businesses and between holiday shopping, Cyber Monday, and end-of-the-year deals, it can be easy to spend all your marketing dollars on this big push. But what happens when the holidays …

The post How to Amplify E-Commerce Efforts Following the Holiday Rush appeared first on Internet Marketing Inc.

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