Hey Megan, thanks so much for joining me today on the SaaS breakthrough podcast. How are you doing today?
I'm doing so well and excited to be here. Thanks for having me.
Yeah, I'm super excited to have you here. MeetEdgar is one of my fave companies. We've been doing some partnership stuff together for a few years now. And I was saying pre-show, I can't believe it's taken this long to get you on the show.
Yeah, we absolutely love Demio for our webinars and all of our educational sources. So it's fun to continue the partnership here.
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And you guys are doing some incredible stuff, but for our listeners who don't know MeetEdgar yet, why don't we kick it off by explaining a bit about the company when it was founded, who your customers are and what you're doing uniquely in the marketplace?
Yeah, absolutely. So MeetEdgar is a social media automation tool and we connect with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and we really help to simplify and amplify your message as a small business owner out to those networks, to really make sure you're not spending all of your time logging in and out of social media all the time, and you can work on the other areas of your business that are really driving the needle. We were founded in 2014. Our founder, Laura Roeder actually created the company because she saw this problem for her own business. She had an educational business that was teaching people about social media and she was finding that she was spending way too much time posting and not enough time creating the sources of her educational classes. So she created the tool for herself actually, and just started kind of telling a few people about it.
And other people were like, Oh my gosh, yes, I would completely use this. And it kind of just started growing organically from there, which works because it was her just trying to solve a problem for herself. And I often find that those tools really are the best ones that are made specifically for small business owners when they have the same problems. We are a little unique compared to other scheduling tools and the fact that we focus on an evergreen social media scheduling posting. And that's just because we all know the reach these days on social media can be a little bit dismal. They say it's about 6% and that's even a little generous. So if you're going to spend so much time writing really quality updates, we want to make sure that they're being resurfaced. And if you're gaining followers throughout the year, they might not know your origin story. They might not know a blog post that you wrote maybe a couple of months ago, but if you're resurfacing them and sharing them over and over, you can continue to get so much out of one piece of content.
That is absolutely fantastic. And any tips for listeners to expand their social fans and followers?
Yeah. You know, I think it's all about really making sure you're not going after followers, who you don't have and really focusing on the ones you do have and serving those people. It can be kind of this like grabby game, I think on social media when you're like, I need the attention of everyone, but truly the companies who are paying attention to their small audiences and really serving them, the information that they're asking for are the ones who are getting those really good word of mouth marketing from other people who are bringing their friends into the community. And that's really what you want. You don't want to be pleasing everyone and going after everyone, you want your community to grow organically. And that's just really helpful and making sure that you're putting out information and putting out posts that speak to exactly what your ideal audience wants.
Oh, that's great advice. I really love that. I'm taking a step back. When did you actually join the team?
I joined about four and a half years ago now.
I can't believe that it feels like yesterday. Cause I'm, you know, we met around that time, so that's so fantastic. But the company's been around for about seven years now. It sounds like so you've been a big part of that journey. When you joined, did MeetEdgar already have product market fit. Were you a part of that conversation or how did that persona the small business persona kind of evolve along the way? Because when you say that it spans, you know, thousands of industries, you know, what is that kind of persona?
Yeah, absolutely. So our, we are always in the mindset that you want to make sure that your tool is built for someone and not everyone. So we are built for solopreneurs and small business owners and we of course go through a lot of iterations depending upon how things are changing. Like right now the coaching industry is just blowing up. And as you guys of course know online courses and education like webinars are just blowing up. So we are continuously look for kind of what are small businesses doing to refine that persona. But basically we really do look for the type of person who like our founder, Laura was really that one team, that one solopreneur person who doesn't have a lot of time to actually market themselves online, but still know they need to do that. So we kind of pay attention to what's going on and trending these days, but really stay focused to small teams.
You know, we have a lot of people right into the support box, like, Hey, do you have multi-user and blah, blah, blah. And it can get really tempting to pass that feedback along to our product team and be like, Oh, we got like three emails about this, but we have to remember that we're not trying to be an agency tool. We're trying to be that tool for small business owners. So we want to keep the features. I'm really focused on that. And I think that's been kind of an interesting thing that as a whole team, we've had to really zone in on and not get that sort of SaaS feature creep that can be so alluring to be like, I want to have all of this for everyone. So we do try to stay pretty focused on that, but also take a note on what people are kind of gravitating towards online these days.
It's really good advice for both product teams and just overall companies, right? Like how do we stay focused? How do we put the blinders on and just understand who our target market is? So congrats for you guys figuring that out. We have a system kind of similar where we kind of rank the feedback requests that we get by industry to make sure that it is our persona that is asking for those things. And that gets like a higher impact score, right? So doing the exact same thing, trying to filter feature sets that matter most to your target market. So that's really fantastic. And then digging into some of the, you know, Edgar initiatives and experiments that you guys are doing, you know, let's talk about educational content. It's something that we're huge fans of. We have our own educational content and content marketing strategy that's built in. And you guys have, you know, a quote unquote university as well. The Edgar university that you've relaunched recently, I'd love to learn more about the process of the relaunch, why you did that and you know, what has changed as you looked at it differently?
Yeah. So we love positioning ourselves as an education first company as well, just because we take a holistic view of our community members using the tool and the more successful we can make you at marketing and the more successful we can make you on all of these other parts that go into social media, the more successful you're going to be using our tools. So that's just going into this idea that we're not looking to just give you a software. We're looking to give you an entire sort of marketing go-to with Edgar University. And the reason that we actually relaunched it is because we offer one of the courses, social brilliant in there for free. So you don't have to be an Edgar user in order to access this course. But we were noticing we were getting a ton of leads from it. So people were signing up for it.
They were loving it. They were going through the course. We could see that the engagement was really well. We use Teachable to host that course, actually. So we were seeing it do really well, but we weren't seeing it actually convert to paying customers for our tools. So the relaunch was actually going back into that course, digging through, seeing how we can actually link the things we were teaching about social media back to the product, more. So doing a lot more of this idea, like, okay, we're bringing people in, they're loving the course. How can we actually get them to see the benefits of what they're learning put into our software? So we're showing a lot more of the inside of our product, trying to make one of our big goals this year is making Edgar super screenshot so anywhere you see it online, you can see exactly the simplicity of our tool, how to use it. So we're really trying to put those things back into the University there so that we can link it back and try to get all of these leads we're getting from it to actually convert, to be paying customers.
When you say a screenshot (inaudible) is that more like utilizing inmate gifts to show you the activity? Is it just a focus on UI UX and the actual design elements so people can understand simplicity? What does that actually entail?
Yeah. Great question. So this year we went through a big kind of relaunch on our goals just to make sure all of the work we were doing is completely relating to the things that we know are going to help. So our main goals are meet them where they are, screenshot of all Edgar and SEO. So screenshot of all Edgar means that if you see any part of Edgar anywhere online, you can exactly know like what is going on within the app. So we really pride ourselves on the simplicity of the software, because we're a software that's aimed at saving you time. So we have a lot of features. The benefits of these features are to save you time. And if you get into the piece of software and you can't immediately know what to do or where to go, we've kind of failed you because you're having to spend a lot more time figuring that out.
So that's kind of the UX side of why this is such a huge initiative for us in the first couple of quarters here in 2021. Just really making sure we're leaning on the promise of, you know, it's great (inaudible) the onboarding coach here at Edgar. It's great that we can make all these videos. And we use Demio for like daily office hours for our users to come in and ask questions. But ideally we almost don't want you to have to come in and ask those questions. We want you to get in there and know exactly what to do without having to spend even a second thinking about it. Cause we know you have so much else to think about as a small business owner, which again, just links back to knowing our ideal audience. Isn't someone who is just in a marketing position and is just focusing on marketing, you're focusing on your entire business. So this should be the easiest part of your business.
Definitely. Yeah, that absolutely makes sense. And also, you know, why you need the educational content. So how are you now tracking whether that educational content is converting into a paid customer and how are you kind of moving them through that pipeline faster?
Yeah, so we track the emails and we see if people who are signing up for the free courses or our lead magnets are actually coming into our program or our software. You know, we don't love to do things that are super, like here's a coupon to try it out because we do give a 30 day money back guarantee. So we really like to make sure that people know we've got your back because we want this to be the right fit for you. So if you do end up not loving the software and you end up leaving, we'll refund you within the first 30 days, no questions asked. So just really trying to make sure that we're paying attention to those numbers as well. You know, that churn within the first 30 days, like where is it happening? Is it in that first week?
Are people just not getting the understanding of how to set it up? Or is it like a little bit closer to the end of that 30 days and the fact that like they got it set up and they're just not seeing the results they were hoping for? So I think there's a lot of those sort of lead and lag indicators in there that we need to get a lot better and more focused on. And that's kind of a big initiative in 2021 as well as just understanding where we're losing people and how we can set up tools in order to help fix that.
Yeah. I love that. That's such a hard part of this. Is that kind of matching that data together, and there's so much data that you can pull in and I've asked that question many times here on the show, which is like what data is most important and why? Because I think that's a big question that we all have. And then how are you transitioning or how what's the plan to get them from this relaunch course into the platform itself?
Yeah. So again, we're showing a lot more of the product in there. So hopefully enticing people to understand how to use their knowledge they're getting and how to actually use it with our product. Then we link a lot of emails. You know, when we're sending emails out, we go ahead and let people know about the seven day trial that we offer and just have that sort of drip campaign.. All of our welcome emails and all of our emails to people who are not actually customers yet are very focused on Laura's story. That story I mentioned at the beginning because we find that it is a way that we're able to connect people to the human side of our business, which is something that's important to us as well. We always want to make sure that people are reminded, you're not just buying a software and being kind of abandoned by it after people like actually go through the course, we do have a drip series that goes out and it's just telling Laura's story how it's helped her spend so much time with her family.
She's actually transitioned into creating another business now PaperBell, which is a software for coaches. And she's able to do that basically because she has so much automation in her businesses and she's understands these systems. So just really telling that story as an aspirational thing for our users who are reading that to be like, yes, that's where I want to get to, seems to be working really well. So I think it's also just understanding where our customer base or where people who would use our tool are aspiring to be in their business and then showing someone who's actually used that for that sort of social proof to get there, seems to be working really well.
Yeah. It's such a great relate-ability factor and also differentiation of products. Like we're not just a SaaS product we're built for this, here's the story behind it. And you know, story-based marketing is so great there. So utilizing education for kind of top of funnel, also middle of funnel. But also I know you guys have a lot of retention programs that you're doing as well. I know one of them is utilizing ads for retention, which is a really interesting topic. I would love to know how you're leveraging your community based ads on Facebook and kind of what the goals and implementation is there.
Yeah, so we all know that we get a bajillion emails a day and you don't open all of them. So we send a lot of onboarding emails. We send a lot of emails, just trying to make sure that our customers feel really comfortable with our feature set, but of course they're going to miss a lot of them. So we spend some money putting money behind our customer list. So you can upload emails into Facebook ads. So we get our customer lists, we upload them there and we actually target people who are already paying for us because we know that keeping these customers, being a subscription based business is a lot more valuable than actually going out and having to acquire a new customer. So targeting these people with educational ads about how to use certain features or reminding them they can always come to an office hours or a webinar with us is working really well to create a community who continues to see us.
And this just also is a good reinforcement. I feel like if you like buy something from an ad and then you like, see that ad later on, it's almost like a reinforcement being like, Oh yeah, I made the right choice here. So just staying top of mind, reminding people, especially in that first 30 days to log in and use the software, because a lot of the time we might get trigger happy and purchase a software and then kind of forget we purchased it and never actually get rolling with the setups. We want to get people in there to see right away the benefits of how you can send something out from our software to social, to all of the social platforms. So our goal with those ads is to get people to that first win, to send that first piece of content out within that first week of having Edgar and we're finding it's working really well, especially like I mentioned, because we know every single email we send out is not going to be open, that this is just another way to kind of nurture our current community.
It's a really good idea. How often are you guys uploading that customer list? I'm assuming it grows or changes quickly? Like how often are you changing that list in Facebook?
Yeah. Good question. I think it's probably done on a monthly basis when we go over our churn reports and everything, but I would have to double check with our director who's actually doing that work.
Oh, I love it. I think that's a great idea. And then, you know, are you guys tracking, who's going to, you know, these different events, maybe like the the training events, the office hours, are you looking at the activities who's clicking, what that drives or have you just explained it as, Hey, we want to build brand enjoyment and just like you know, retention in and we're just going to allocate some percentage of our budget and it doesn't have to have a direct outcome. It's really just overall for the greater good.
Yeah. I think it started out overall for the greater good, but what we're finding is really interesting and the fact that we think a lot of the educational resources we're putting in front of people would be really helpful for those who are on a free trial. But when we dig into the numbers, what's interesting is we're finding people who are like paying customers either a month or two in, are actually the ones who are using the educational resources more, which kind of goes back to this sort of like buzzwordy slogan of people who pay, pay attention. And it truly seems to be coming to fruition with our educational sources. It's not the people who are on a free trial or who maybe got a coupon for a free month who are using this. Is the people who are paying and who have that sort of skin in the game who seem to be coming to the office hours and seemed to be coming to our like content batching parties to help people create that. So I think that was one of the biggest learnings out of that. That kind of surprised us as well.
Yeah. I mean, as you say that out loud and I kind of listen, it makes total sense, right? You're investing in it. You're trying to do better with your implementation. You have the tool now let's make it work. Like that all makes sense from a high level, but we often use education on the front end so much. It's just like this attraction magnet is lead magnet to bring people in, but you know, if we have their attention, we gotta stay in front of them. And I think that's a really, really cool initiative to do that. Now we've also chatted a ton on this podcast about brand building, building brand trust, talking about brand affinity with Wistia. Those are conversations we often talk about. I know you guys are doing that. You mentioned office hours, you're also doing webinars with partners. How have you seen, or how have you thought about building brand trust with these partner initiatives and what's your approach to building those out?
So I think it's always easier for someone else to mention your product or service to their audience, then for you to mention it to just a completely cold audience. Right? So we do a lot of partner webinars where we actually get our partners to spend some money that we actually reimburse them on for the ads behind it, or for actually putting out just organic posts even. So let's take, for example, we have like a productivity influencer who we do a lot of work with Alyssa Coleman who spends probably about $200 for every partner webinar we do with her on ads for it. And she'll mention our name in it. And she'll go ahead and put like Instagram stories out. And why this is important to us is because her audience is our ideal audience too. She works with solopreneurs on how to be more productive in their business.
And if she is the one who's actually recommending it to them, rather than them just cold seeing one of our ads that trust is already built in, because they're following her, they trust her already. So her recommending works way better than us just trying to target her audience with our ads. So we're seeing that build a lot of trust in there. Obviously she uses our tools so she can speak directly to it that way. And we do a lot of work with our affiliate program, which is actually pretty new as well. And what we love to offer our affiliates is always access to one of us on the customer support team or the onboarding team to go to your Facebook group or to go to your Facebook page and actually do a live demo on there. So we do this just because we want people to see the human side of our brand, and we want people to really be comfortable seeing a demo before they sign up. And we're seeing that work really well. Also just to make sure that people understand kind of how to use the product and that we're always there for them. And that kind of out caring seems to do really well to bring people to our tool versus competitors. Is just to understanding that like, Hey, we're always here for you. So that sort of trust building has been really fun to see work because like logically I think it should work. So it's fun to see when it plays out properly there.
Yeah. And those are some great ideas and we have a pretty good size affiliate program. We actually just passed a pretty cool milestone of like a, like 1.5 million generated by affiliates or something like that. Like something crazy. It's huge. But I love this idea of like, you know, being more of a, of a partner with them working together with them and being in those groups. We'll definitely think through that. Now with these I'm very interested in like kind of the influencer slash like partner marketing you're doing, so you said like $200 for your webinar. Like what stops you guys from scaling that up with your influencer or like partners here and not just saying like here's $5,000, because it seems like it's pretty great acquisition for you guys.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think one day we might be able to do that. I think right now it's just kind of budgeting for what we have in 2021 and just trying to look at what's working, but absolutely, I think it works incredibly well to kind of offer that sort of monetary ad spend for someone else. So I could totally see us increasing that.
Have you also like, started to think about like, who are other partners or are you just working with most of your users right now who are also influencers?
So we do work with a lot of partners. I actually go through a lot of like podcasts that I know our community would listen to, stuff like Social Media Examiner and see who they have on there and do like some mass outreach just to see some of the topics that I know would resonate well with our community and reach out to them. And so we did a, we actually, right before I came on here, did a Google Analytics webinar with Chris Mercer, who's from Measurement IO. And it's just one of those really great ways, again, to really holistically support our community because Google Analytics doesn't necessarily have to do with a social media automation tool, but if we can help our community become better at Google Analytics and understand where the traffic that MeetEdgar is sending from Facebook, if that's actually working for them or not, it just helps to kind of prove the worth of our tool and the value of our tool as well. So just kind of looking for these other things that we're not experts in, and we can't specifically speak to, but we know if you can actually become an expert in these areas, you're going to be better at using our tool, which will hopefully have you stick around a little bit longer. So looking for partnership opportunities like that has worked well. Again, just thinking about things we're not an expert in, but we know our community could benefit from.
Any specific strategies that have worked well on that outreach when you're kind of, after you have that list together of like your curated partners. These are the people I want to go after. What has worked for you to get these partners on that are kind of cold outreach?
Yeah. So I think a lot of it is we do get a pretty good sign up for our webinars. You know, we push probably about a thousand people who sign up for the webinar and just making that really clear, making the email out to them as cold email, short and punchy, and really letting them know like, this is what you're going to get for it. You're going to get for an hour of your time, you'll get a thousand new lead emails. You'll get the replay, et cetera. We allow people to make any sort of pitch for like a freebie that they might have. So always thinking what's in it for the other person when you're doing that cold outreach and really reminding yourself, you know, you probably get a thousand emails a day kind of going back to that. You don't want to spend time reading like five paragraphs, so short and sweet and really thinking what's in it for them, seems to get a really good response right there.
Yeah. I love that. That's really good advice. Finally, any helpful hints for social media in 2021? Things that have been working really well in social channels, video, I don't even know. I'm not a very big social media person myself, but what's out there working right now?
Absolutely. So I am a big fan of the more simple, the better. So we are a category based system as social media, and you can do this, even if you don't use a tool, but come up with four or five categories that you can rotate through to really make sure you're sticking to one message. I think oftentimes we think we have to have 5,000 different things to say on social media and that's truly not leading to success. What's leading to success is becoming an expert, which means you have to go really deep into one subject area and not be afraid to continue to repeat that. I use this analogy a lot because I really love it. And the fact that if you're going in for a surgery, you want the surgeon who's done a thousand of the same surgeries, not the surgeon, who's done a thousand different surgeries.
And that's kind of what you need to think about. So repurposing your content, your same message into multiple formats is like the only way to stay sane these days and get off of the content creation treadmill. So like you mentioned, video is incredibly powerful these days. If you're someone who your main content might be blogging or a podcast, think about the ways you could take that blog, whip out your iPhone and do a two minute video explaining the main points in that blog post. You don't have to go out and research more, but you're giving someone who might not like to read a blog post access to your knowledge, access to your industry kind of insights through medium that they might watch your video. So it's just thinking about those things. That's working really well. I also always like to remind people that your content on social media, the main goal of it should always be to drive traffic back to a space online that you own and having categories, make sure you can kind of rotate through those things.
So we all know the social networks really hate when people leave them. You know, Facebook wants you to stay on Facebook, but as a business, you need to make sure you're linking it back to your site. So categories work really well to make sure that not every single link you're sent or not every post you're sending out is a link, but you can make sure that you're at least getting like one link a day or one link every other day in there. So categorizing, upcycling one piece of content into multiple formats, and really making sure that you're giving people a well-rounded view of your whole team, you know, that behind the scenes content really works well because it's sort of this idea of like, you know, celebrities who go on talk shows or give like interviews on People magazine. You want to know that behind the scenes content about their lives, pretty much, same for your businesses. People want to buy from people that they agree with their values and their opinions these days, way more than ever. So having those things out there and reminding people like, Hey, by following me on this page, you're getting something, a value that other people who don't follow me, aren't getting, and that sort of exclusiveness really speaks to kind of the human curiosity and that side really well.
Such a good answer. So much great little nuggets of wisdom in that. So I appreciate you sharing. And then looking back over your past four years, maybe even close to five years now, you know, any hard lessons learned from experiments that you've tried or things that work out as expected?
Yeah. Great question. So I think a lot of it has to do with reminding yourself about like what's actually working and not being just busy. We are a pretty small team, you know, we're about 14 people. So we really have to kind of pay attention to where we're spending our time. And I think it can be really easy to spend your time on like a lot of busy work and you feel like you're so busy all the time, but as I was kind of speaking to our goals this year, having us really make sure that we can link everything we're doing back to one of those three main goals has really helped us all be on one team and on the same page and kind of working towards the same thing. So I would say really thinking about the activities you're doing, sometimes you do have to slow down to speed up when it comes to actually doing well in a SaaS company. So yeah, just kind of paying attention to the numbers and stuff that mattered.
Yeah. I think focus is the key, right? Like you definitely could have a thousand people on the marketing team, but to your exact example earlier, like if everyone's spread out doing their own thing, it's the same impact of having like one or two people on the team. The focus is what makes it great. So I love the way that you guys goal plan and kind of set these three tiers and not have 10 things, which is really exciting and probably a great way to gain massive momentum. So that's amazing and congratulations to you all for building such a great business with that team size and with what you've done over the past few years, it's been awesome to watch. But what I want to do now, based on time, is just flip over to our lightning round questions. Five quick questions that you can answer with the first and best thought that comes to mind. You ready to get started?
All right, let's do it.
All right. You're going to do awesome. What advice would you give for early stage SaaS companies starting marketing today?
Oh man. So I might be a little bit biased having worked in customer support for the majority of my career, but I would say listen to your customers, listen to their feedback and really treat customer support as a actual feature of your product and service. And not just something that's like a necessary evil, because that can truly make a huge difference in the lives of your customers.
Well, absolutely. And I think it's, you know, huge for your business model itself. It becomes like a marketing factor for your company, right? It's a referral, it's recommendations coming out of that support side. So that's a great piece of advice there. What about a skill that you think is vital for marketing teams to improve and build on today?
Yeah. I think funnels are something that we all need to get a little bit better at thinking about, especially if you have like a higher ticket item or even priced at anything, how can you bring people in your community and build trust with them with like either a lower priced item or a freebie, and then build that trust and nurture people to actually sell on that higher ticket item? I think that is one of the lowest used kind of marketing tactics these days. And it really can be a way to make sure that people feel good about buying from you and not feel like nervous about entering their credit card information. Cause if you can get them in on something free or something really low paid, this is the way that you're going to build that trust the fastest, I think.
Yeah, keyword that you're definitely saying in there is building trust and relationships with your customers. Right. And I think that's definitely a strategy you can do to do, to use that and build that. What about a best educational resource you'd recommend for learning about marketing or growth?
I am a huge fan of the podcast by Neil Patel called Marketing School. It's just super short, punchy episodes and you can just listen to them. And I think most of them are five to 10 minutes. And I think he gives super actionable advice on there.
That's a great one. That's with Eric Siu, right? Oh yeah. He's, he's great. We've had him on the show as well. What about a favorite tool you can't live without?
So I have this tool called Flycut. That's just an extension that I have on my computer and it allows you to copy and paste like a hundred different things and it stays in there so you can always access them later. And I find this to be something I definitely use probably every hour of the day.
I need this tool. Cause I just put them all into one big sheet and I lose them. What is it called again?
Fly cut. F L Y C U T.
All right. I'm using that one. That sounds great. What about a brand business or a team that you admire today?
Yeah, I am a huge fan of Amy Porterfield and how she runs her business. I think she's incredible at being a solepreneur, an influencer, but also just being really transparent about what it takes to run a business. I think the advice she gives about not only marketing, but about all areas of her business is always incredibly truthful. And I think she does a really great job with her branding online.
I love it. Yeah. She's definitely a huge influencer, a Demio affiliate actually as well. And someone that's just really doing a great job as a solopreneur online and I love any business that is transparent and you know, honest about the journey because it's not always easy, but it's worth doing.
Yeah, no, she's great. So I just want to say Megan, thank you so much for jumping on for talking on MeetEdgar with us, sharing these initiatives and experiments. It was a real pleasure. Thanks again for jumping on.
Oh my gosh. This was so fun. Thanks for a great conversation, David.
Yes, no problem. Thank you again. And we'll talk to you soon.