Wondering how to get traffic to your blog and get your posts seen in an increasingly crowded online space?
If you’re serious about standing out from the 2 million blog posts pumped out every day, you’re going to need a proper strategy to get traffic to your blog.
So we invited Benjamin Dell, founder of social automation tool MissingLettr, to share his tips with us.
Listen in now.
Key Takeaways From This Episode:
- Why most people suck at using social media tools and blogging successfully.
- What social media scheduling tools do well, and what they do terribly.
- How you can set up 12-months worth of social content within 20 mins, all to drive traffic back to a single blog post that you publish.
- How Missinglettr got their first 1,000 customers.
- Why Ben doesn’t document processes and has yet to write a business plan.
- The pros and cons of having free customers for a Software As A Startup (SAAS) business.
- The challenge of balancing a young family, business, and a dog.
- How a 4-week marketing experiment led to Ben building a whole new product from scratch.
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MissingLettr Demo – How to create 12 months of social media posts with one piece of content in less than 10 minutes.
A-Ha! Quotes from This Episode:
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- MissingLettr – Create 12-months worth of social content for a single blog post within 20 mins
- Upper Case Summit – An online conference by Missinglettr dedicated to helping you learn, grow and transform your business.
- Hey Summit – Pain free Webinars and Summits, that deliver
- Podcast Giveaway: Win 1 x Lifetime business plan license for MissingLetter – Turn each of your blog posts into a 12-month social campaign. Save time and stress promoting your blog content ($480 / year value) (There’s over $5,000 worth of tools and resources up for grabs!)
- Read our free guide to developing financial intimacy with your spouse and take control of your finances as a couple (click image below).
Click here to view the full transcript
Alrighty, to celebrate the launch of this podcast, we’re running an iTunes and Stitcher contest. Leading up to the first 10 episodes of our show. one lucky winner is going to get an invite to become a founding member of our founders connect in a circle mastermind group, which is normally worth 848 USD per year to join. We’re also going to give one lucky winner a 30 minute marketing blast of consulting call with myself, or a 30 minute ideal relationship coaching call with Cindy. We normally charge $500 per session, so definitely worth it. You can also win user licenses to a couple of our favorite online marketing tools. Thanks to our awesome contest partners will announce the winners and Episode 11. So we’d like to become a founding member of our founders connect the inner circle or get some marketing or Relationship Coaching. Head on over to founders. connect.co forward slash when to enter now.
Welcome to founders Connect podcast. We have lifestyle entrepreneurs to grow their business online and create a happy marriage. Did you know that approximately 45% of marriages end up in divorce. And 65% of all startups fail Judah found a conflicts. But we’re here to change that. Each week. We bring you in inspiring guests and practical tips to help you with business relationships and sustainable living. Now let the fun begin.
Hi, everyone. I’m Cindy Pham and founders Connect. And today we are welcoming to the show our good friend Benjamin Bell, who is the founder and CEO at missing letter.com. Now missing letter is missing a letter in the name. So that’s a social marketing automation company that automatically creates more months worth of social content, which blog posts you publish, where a client will be using the tool since it began.
So I’m really excited to have been on the show. He previously owned a web agency over 10 years, which has been acquired. And during that time, he also launched a number of SaaS startups through of which have been sold now pins passionate about empowering businesses and brands with tools that help them succeed. Welcome to the show them. Hey, has to be on. Great to meet you both. Oh, I want to ask you been on a scale of one to 10 How weird I knew he was saying that I was thinking I don’t be a boring one to 10 scale, go and make it one to 12 or something else. So maybe that kind of answer that I like to be a little bit different. I suppose. I don’t necessarily buy into the norms that you have to do things a certain way. So in that regard, I suppose I’m a little bit weird, but yeah, no. Weird. And the other guy, I suppose we can have people saying, I don’t know, what’s your number? Hello? Maybe. Yeah, I need to shoot for the moon. Or maybe it’s one 256 just to be random.
Excellent topping it. What kind of kid were you in school, um, I think was a good well, so I went to school where my dad was the headmaster. And in fact, not only we lived in the school, it was a boarding school for girls. But a day school for boys and girls, you know, I was allowed to be there. But it was very strange. So we would have Sunday dinners with the borders on Sundays. And then we would play round is on the pitch in the afternoon. It was very idyllic sort of childhood in many regards, but very strange, because my dad was the headmaster. So when you go through those natural sort of phases where the scale fancies you, or you fancy them, or I could do any of that, because I was just always thinking my dad’s going to be walk into the room any second. Now, when this was primary schools, and this was happening in the final to the couple of years, then embarrassing memory that immediately came to mind when you asked me that was actually in secondary school when I first went there, and I was that guy that turned up to school with a briefcase. So I think it was best days, I was going to be a businessman of some description I quickly got rid of, I think I did it for about two goes two days. And then I realized that no one else was carrying a briefcase with them. Maybe I should fix that and leave it at home. Think you just intuitively knew that you had to stand out and you were different? Like maybe. Alright, cool. So if you had all the time and money in the world, what would you be doing?
Why, honestly, I would be doing exactly what I’m doing now. I’ve had this asked a few times and both internally within my head and by others on podcasts like this, and it’s genuine. And the answer I know, it might sound intentionally crafted like that. But no, I love working on startups, building products, innovating defining new markets. If I made you know billion tomorrow, I would wake up the next day and launch the next business that’s just in my DNA. I love it. That idea, that uncertainty of creating something and then seeing whether you can build that traction behind it and create something hopefully that others haven’t thought about yet. I’m not in this game to chase a market and do a copycat thing because there’s an obvious financial gain to be made. And I want to win and business from a financial side. But it has to be because it’s innovating something it’s something that is new that interesting captivates hearts and minds.
So you mentioned your dad was a headmaster when you’re younger, who’s your mother and entrepreneur? I’m curious where that entrepreneurial streak came from? Oh, she worked in the school as well as the school matron. So the school matinees, that sort of a nurse I suppose so yeah, she would put the plasters and the band aids on the kids as they would fall over in the playground. So she was the exact opposite. She’s a lovely as nice as personally never meet, but not a very entrepreneurial sort of person. I wouldn’t say I wouldn’t use that bracket. I don’t know where it came from, or, frankly, interesting. So some of the listeners might be going,
Okay, what’s his accent? So where are you actually based. So I’m based in the UK, which rather strangely apart from those in Australia, anywhere else around the world. quite common that my accent will get or British accent will be confused with Australian, there’s your arms. But anyway, I’m based in the UK about an hour away from London. So yeah, we have the bastardized version of the British accent. So history goes back a couple of years. Alright, see me. So what’s your favorite quotes? Is this one I had to write down in the thing? And I probably had to This is strange on this, because I’ve done a few podcast interviews before. And this is a fairly common question that comes up. And every time I think I must write that down somewhere Central’s of it, when I’m asked it again, I can refer to that because A, I’ve got a terrible memory and be I just find it so boring. I have a quote, I’m sorry. People like quotes, affirmations and everything else.
But I don’t know. I think they serve a purpose. I suppose they can serve a purpose to sort of moral down something to an essence and help remind you of some motivation that you might need and something else. But quite frankly, if you need a quote to help you with that you’re doing something wrong that’s just me skirting around the subject, because I can’t do yeah, let me reframe the question, then, what is a belief that you have, or something you say to yourself that drives what you do and who you are? Yeah, good cash, put me in the back. That’s again, let me say. So I’m a big believer in doing rather than just listening and reading and consuming.
I think clearly, there’s a wealth of knowledge out there, particularly in this day and age with the web, you know, so really consume and take advantage of people’s lessons and failures along the way. So do that. Don’t stop doing that I’m a voracious reader of business biographies. I love the robber baron era back from the 1900s, all that stuff. So I love all that sort of stuff. But take it for what it is not what you want it to be. It’s not that sort of silver bullets. That’s going to solve all your things. So I’m a massive believer in knowing when to draw a line in consuming that content, that knowledge from celebrities that you follow online.
And then realizing that at some point, you have to take the action to actually put something out into the real world, even if it fails, because you just got a silly old Silicon Valley thing, you fail quickly, all that sort of stuff. But that’s something that I hold incredibly close to my heart. If you’re not setting goals, and actually delivering something, then you’re basically doing nothing, because it’s just an idea that you might be building, you might be tricking yourself that you’re doing something because you’re building stuff, or you’re writing that essay.
But if you don’t publish it, or if you don’t launch the product, or if you don’t get it out ugly in that 31st stage, then you might as well not started in the first place. So get really good at working that muscle. And that’s something that I just constantly drilled into my head. If I’m working on something, it’s like, well, that’s great, and working on it. But what is the goal here? What is the next goal? Is it to launch it in next week? Or? If not, is it to launch it the week after? And if not, when is it that I’m planning to launch it? Having a deadline focuses the mind really, really well. Really like that action is king? There you go. Yeah. So who’s been one of your greatest mentors in your life when your career and what did you learn from them? I alluded to the business biographies that I read. And I know when you set that off, that probably you’re thinking real life people that you know what will be Now perhaps I’m a very bad mentee. So I draw my inspiration and advice in that sense from people that I’ve read about in the past, and Richard Branson been probably most recent and Elon Musk and those sorts people and you know, Steve Jobs, but more so in the day, I love the robber baron era, Andrew Carnegie Rockefeller, JP Morgan, I love reading those sorts of rags to riches stories, and how they’ve, you know, really built something from nothing. And those are the ones that inspire me unhappy long in terms of pure mentorship.
As I said, I’m really bad at being a mentee, I hate being told advice, I like to go and seek it, rather than be given it is a weird FDIC thing in my head, I need to work at any to fix that first, before I can really be open to proper mentorship sort of relationships.
Well, it’s interesting, because it seems to be working for you. So I wouldn’t say correct something that’s already working well, you know, you can always do better. So, you know, if you talk to someone who’s 100 million dollar business, and you say to them that I’m terrible at mentor, and this is how I’ve always done it. Well, that’ll obviously going to come back to you and say, you know, we have achieved 100 million dollar business making this change what you do that, so it is all about perspective, and what is the next level you’re trying to get to. And so, you know, I think, in reality, I do need to get better at that I’m not ready to do it now. So I think at some point, I probably do need to evolve and just allow myself to be open up a little bit more. So what is missing letter and how did it begin.
So missing letters you mentioned at the beginning is a social media automation platform, it’s kind of the antidote to the buffers out in the world, where as brilliant as they are amazing as the companies are, they do two aspects of the social promotion really, really well, they do the scheduling and then the distribution. So they will help you schedule it. So you can pre schedule something for feature and then they do the sending out for they will set it and forget it. And I’ll post out to your social accounts over that period, over, you know, over the next year, or whatever. But what they don’t do, and, you know, for right reasons, that’s not their day, they leave it to you to create the content in the first place, which, you know, you can very easily argue, but of course, you should create the content early, you know what you want to write, you don’t want a robot writing it for you. But the reality is that there are many, many situations where a robot can do better than you can. And if it’s solely on you to write the content as I found myself using tools like buffer.
So frequently, you fail to turn up because you have to build that habits to turn up every day, or every few days to keep your buffer or q topped up. So it requires a human habits to be formed to really use these tools successfully. On the flip side, missing letter, we do the standard scheduling, and then the distribution. But we create the content for you as well. But specifically for those companies that blog. So whether you’re an individual and your consultant, and you’re a coach, or a brand and you’re blogging, or whether you’re a business or an enterprise. And using blogging as part of a content marketing strategy, it doesn’t matter. Our job is to help drive traffic and engagement for each of the blog posts that you create. So we essentially when you click publish in WordPress, or whatever the platform is, that you’re writing a blog posts in, we detect that within about 20 minutes will create 12 months social media campaign off the back of that. So we’re extracting quotes and phrases that we think will work well will recommend hashtags will extract images if you place them in there. And we’ll also generates branded quote, bubble style images for you as well.
And then we package all of that up into a 12 month long campaign that you simply need to review. So within about 20 minutes to be publishing a blog post, you’ll get an email from us saying, hey, new campaign ticket or go into missing letter, you can cycle through different options if you want to, if you don’t, most people don’t, they’re pretty happy with the initial they can just go go. And then we will drip that social content out to the social accounts that you’ve connected over the next 12 months, or to drive traffic back to that single blog post. So for each blog post that you publish, assuming their campaign worthy, they might not be, you know, the might be sort of opinion pieces that need to be promoted, arguably. But for each blog post that you publish, it will get its own 12 month campaign. And so that’s the core of what missing as does as a lot more of course, but that’s the essence.
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So what kind of results of your clients seen in terms of traffic being generated from using the tool over a period of time. So I can’t give exact client details here for confidentiality reasons. But it’s common stories like, you know, we got a bunch of customers who will tell us that the majority of the clicks and the traffic that getting on a typical blog post of bears is now all coming from missing that it was a result of a campaign that missing letter was created. And that’s very, very common sort of case where, you know, you’ve got different sort of stages of a business that might use missing that you’ve got those that are fairly small business or a solo printer and their blogging as part of the primary outfits.
And they don’t necessarily have a huge amount of traffic already. And so missing letters in those situations, providing the majority of the traffic for them, and just helping create that constant flow of traffic, so that they can then convert them or do whatever they want to do once they’re on their site. And then you’ve got to have it up to the other end where they’re bigger companies. And it becomes an element of their traffic generation. But it meaningful one, because it helps provide in addition to the traffic, that presence and that activity on their social channels, it helps keep them fresh and alive. And so it’s those sorts of things, but will have come, you know, customers who, you know, getting thousands of thousands of visits to the blog post every month, right through to those that are getting just a few doesn’t move you hundred. But that still is 500% more than ever getting before using missing data. So it really depends on where you’re starting from. And as with everything, because our campaigns are created on your blog post, you know, we’re not writing a blog post for you. It is, you know, as with anything, it’s all about how you have positioned to your business, your content in the first place with your market. So if you’re writing about dogs to the cats market, you know, there’s no social campaign, whether it’s written by machines are not that it’s going to amplify. So you still got to do the basics, right, you know, target research put in front of the right people.
That’s really absolutely, Cindy says logins still relevant in 20 1819. Yeah, I think so. I think it’s an interesting market as its evolving because over 91% of businesses blog as part of their marketing strategy is crazy. Basically, every business blogs, you do it in some fashion, whether it’s just, you know, we’ve released a new feature, whether it’s an opinion piece on something else, there are different strategies and tactics, but pretty much everyone’s doing it. So it goes to show how accessible as a marketing platform and how effective it is, for almost every business out there it is, number one, the most approachable and cost effective marketing strategy that anyone can apply, it doesn’t cost you anything to write the content and it can be done properly create that snowball effect. But the problem is, as was just alluded to, with the number there, that if everyone’s doing it, there is a new problem now, which is how do you actually surface your content and keep your head above the crowd because there’s just so much out there and this is why you’ve got things like you know, Snapchat and Instagram doing stories and there’s different sort of different mediums different approaches video obviously a very big at the moment as well and these things are there to solve that itch where it’s becoming a bit more crowded so what does that mean for the blogging space when it means that you know people are still consuming content but it’s now an important more than ever to a make sure you’re putting even more research into writing the right content in the first place if wondering that before double down on that because as I say you know stupid question when a stupid answer actually other so create great content to start with and then anything beyond that whether it’s you doing manually or missing that are doing it automatically will only amplify that to do that right and number two do you use tools like missing letter to really help create a more joined up brand output for that content.
But he going out there it is definitely no longer good enough to post a blog post published a blog post today, tweet about it tomorrow, and then assume that that’s it. And people will just come to you because it is so crowded out that you need to be dripping it out gradually, whether you use missing that you’re not doesn’t really matter. Just come up with a schedule over that 12 months. But each blog posts that you come up with to really just help get it in front of your users. Because we’re all busy people are social feeds are getting effective algorithmically by Facebook. But also we’re busy, we just missed up so dripping, it helps increase the chances that your audience will see it will relatively
Yeah. So we recently did a survey of 50 business owners on LinkedIn asking them about their blogging habits within a blog or not. And what frequency do they share that content and overwhelmingly majority say they do blog. But big challenge for them is time and then the effectiveness of the content. And what I sort of observe is that they’re doing what you’re saying not to do, which is just publish it once, and then share it once and then leave it there. Right. And so I think that’s the real advantage of having a tool like missing letter, because you can actually then automate it to some degree, the constant promotion of that content. And that’s I think we’re a lot of people fail to focus on is the promotion part of the blogging process? Right?
Yeah, I was reminded that 91% stats in the same survey, I remember the exact number, the 91 was the exact one, but I can’t remember they thought it was somewhere might be 70, but I’ll say 50 to 70, just to be safe, about 50 to 70% of that 91% cohort were moderately satisfied with the results of the blogging that they were doing, which totally ties in with what you’re saying there that doing it, they know they should be doing it.
There’s huge opportunity in blogging, but not quite getting the results that they want. It’s delivering results, but it’s not quite as effective as they think it’s probably for reasons that you say that they’re not quite thinking about how they promote it, and what they do to get above the crowd, or so we’ve got that one. All right. Cindy, you like this question?
Yeah, definitely. To see going around the industry that you disagree with? What bullshit? Yeah. Hmm. Well, I think more generally, and it goes back to the topic without, so I gave a minute ago. So it’s regurgitating a little bit suppose but this idea that you can just follow people and read what they do and follow what they do. And it will just deliver results. You know, going back to those sort of the so called celebrities that will talk to you about, you know, people who just blindly follow people in think that if they follow their playbook, it will work that I think is bullshit that has pedalled far too frequently. And this belief that you can just consume a book or watch a webinar OPT, in many cases, pay through the nose to attend some crazy three week long webinar with this guy that’s pre recorded something in this on recycle, and people believe that they can actually do that stuff really frustrates me, because then the day you will learn so much more just by doing something, if you have a nucleus of an idea, just going out and doing it. And then just talking to a couple of customers failing, maybe, and just pick yourself up and doing it again, that is going to be a much better life. And for you again, as I hate it, when I see people blindly follow those things, or people pedal it thinking that they have the advice to give give advice image worthy, of course, I think there’s a fine line.
Yeah, well, you’ve been able to build businesses and get them to the point where they’re acquired. How do you select? Like, is that part of your sort of ideation phase is to think about a Will this be business that I can sell? Or how do you choose which projects to work on? Yeah, so I never set them up expecting to sell them, because there’s so many different outcomes that a business can have, it could be that you see it just exponentially growing every year, and you bring in an ever increasing team to actually run, including us, you know, replacement CEO, that sort of evolution is one that, you know, could work in some of the companies and can be done very, very effectively. So, it could be that it could be that it’s going to be sold, it’s far too early, when you’re creating something to second guess or to plan around a particular outcome. Because who knows what the markets going to do, you don’t know yet whether you’ve got any initial customer traction and market fit. So no, I don’t do that. You know, I think the only thing I do do is I think I create products that I have an intuition I play a lot of guts and kind of that person that should do a lot more from the outside people would maybe tell me should do a lot more customer development. But I do elements of that. But then I really, you know, that Steve Jobs quote, you know, I much prefer to look at where the hockey puck is going to end up versus where it is today. And customers as brilliantly I will generally talk about their problems today, and not necessarily where they see that opportunity going. So I more look at where I think that opportunity is and where it can become and what type of opportunity to get can be. And everything has a viable business case to be made for it, irrespective of what the outcome could be. And almost irrespective of how big the market could be. I don’t mind having a smallish sort of business in a small market. As long as it’s profitable. That’s what it’s all about. But it has to be a product I enjoy. As I say, I will never do something simply because there’s a buck to be made. It has to be something that excites me that I think there’s an exciting interesting challenge that is to be found that I really like that that’s a really good one. For those listening. Don’t just chase the money or the journey down the it is too easy to chase the money and it will trip you up later on. Because you will drain your whole soul because you’ll never make the money as good as you think you can make the money and therefore you will be in a business for longer than you think that ultimately isn’t fueling you emotionally and intellectually and everything else. So Ben, could you take us back to the beginning of missing letter and how you got your first play 1000 customers? Like what was that process? How did that look like for you. So we launched missing letter alongside the agency that you mentioned in the intro. And it was more just an experiment. It was niche that we were scratching to see whether we could integrate basic way just automate the creation of some basic tweets and social posts based on blog posts. And so it starts off really, really experimental. And we tasked yourselves with a single week to see if we get a thing designed. And the core tech built ugly as it was within one week. So that if somebody were to knock on the door, I either in a fictitious SaaS customer, they could purchase a plan on day seven and become a paying customer. And so that goes back to what I said before. I like having deadlines. I think it firms the mind really well, that’s how it started. And I don’t think we did get a customer straight away, probably took a few months to get our first customer. But we did a bit of stuff on social obviously missing, that’s what’s happening us without I went and did a pitch thing at a conference. And that was I think the thing that gave us that first traction. And in fact, there was a speaker there at this conference in the UK that later on, like what we were doing, and later on when to talk about us on podcast that he was doing at the time. And then he was also a Guest writer on Social Media Examiner. And he did a couple of posts on there as well. And we still get a bit of traffic from that. And that gave us that first I think it was probably the first 1020 customers something like that. And it happened fairly quickly. And it ramped up in the first of the month or two. And that gave us that sort of impetus, that sort of initial kickstart, if you will, and that wasn’t architected that just as often that happens to you know, being in the right place at the right time, speak to someone who likes and is equally as passionate about the problem you’re solving. And then they without you asking go out there actually talk about your product. And we’ve been really, really fortunate in that sense of almost every one of our customers ends up being an advocate for us and goes out there and talks about us without us asking, because they just love what we’re doing. Which is really, really handy.
That’s a sign that you’ve got a great product and you’re working on the product being great, rather than so much on the promotion side of things. That’s really cool. How do you decide what to delegate and what not to dedicate a delegation, I’m terrible on my whiteboard that will come to at some point in my later life to try and get better at what do you work on? Well, I think I’ve if I give the example of the journey that we’ve been on with missing letter start off, you know, you’re told to the on scalable things. And I would very much advocate that because that plays into the mindset that I liked, which is do stuff don’t just talk about stuff. So a great example of areas and customer development and customer support. And my background, actually, no, prior to setting up businesses is development. So I started off with missing data, but building it, designing it customer support pretty much everything marketing. And so delegation naturally kicks in when you reach a when you think you’ve reached capacity, just go beyond that, and maybe a bit beyond that. And then you really reached capacity. And then it’s very, very clear that you need to bring people in. So you know, one of the first people I brought in was to take over the customer support. I love speaking with customers. But it was a constant every single day. And that just meant it was very difficult for me to focus on specific projects within missing letter that maybe, you know, took more than a week just being sort of pull back to get with a painter do the unforgettable stuff first, and then you’ll know and I was actually reminded me of this advice that someone gave me, Oh, god, I’m going to give some advice now.
And that’s the same, don’t hire a sales person if you haven’t done the sales yourself. Because if you can’t give them a playbook of some sort of this completely contradicted what I just said that he’s a wordplay. But but I think it goes to show that if you’re not doing the thing that you’re trying to get someone in to do yourself, then you don’t know the pain points, you don’t know the struggles, the opportunities, some of the tactics that have worked, and it doesn’t mean that it has to be fully formed doesn’t mean that you have to say, Do these exact things. And it will work because you want them to have their own slant to it. But you should at least be able to say look, we tried that market, we’ve found that this works really well when we did this even some sorts of insight. So I found that to be a really really powerful process to go through do the and scalable things because you want to learn those pain points as well as learn from the customers and feels and then when you do hand over to your and delegate, you can empower them with knowledge that you’ve learned along the way that’s such an important piece if you’re gonna hand something over the worst thing you can do is hire someone and they say well what do i do and he was on the job description
Then did you document the document it what is generally processes, processes and stuff so boring. You do know God, no, I hate funny enough. I’ve had this family friends, good family friend. So we started off with a mentoring me for a while. And then it quickly transpired that that could not happen for the reasons I gave before. But along that time, he was trying to get me to write a business plan. And I was kept kicking back to this, I’m gonna kill myself. If I have to write a business plan. I know what I need to do. And I know there’s gaps in that. I know there’s a bit of intuition baked into there. But you know, I’m speaking with customers every day, and I’m doing stuff and I seeing what’s actually happening, and I can hear them million dollar business man listening to this going,
Yeah, but if you really want to scale to that level, you need to write a business plan. So again, it’s one of those things that I probably need to document more, I probably need to be a bit more thoughtful and those sorts of sensors, but that’s not kind of my DNA, I’m more of a gap to the person like to communicate, I think that’s keys don’t confuse me saying I’m not documenting with not communicating. So as a leader, it’s one of your most important jobs is to communicate the vision and aspirations of the company the core mission behind it, make sure that that is understood and alignment on objectives for the business but also in the individuals what is it that we’re actually aiming to achieve within the next quarter break it down by quarter month and then week and do those things right? But that can be done vocally or over video in person but appointed maybe maybe that captures the box the documentation, but no, I got it.
That’s good to hear. actually quite refreshing to hear that you are listening to the founders Connect podcast, helping lifestyle entrepreneurs to grow their business online and create a happier marriage. Now back to the show how large the team currently
Oh, we’re small company, there’s four of us, okay. Oh, yeah. Well, you know, it’s all self funded. We haven’t gone down the dirty, powerful investment will have toyed with it at certain stages. But no, we weren’t really bootstrapped. And how many users since launch. So we have, I think last count is about 17, 18,000, there you go, we have a freemium plan. So not all of those are paying, we are actually in the next couple of weeks, actually, we’re going to be doing a massive revamp of our pricing, which will see us take out the free plan. Now we’re doing that as an experiment, it might be that we bring it back because, you know, we see the value in it. But I think we’re at the stage where it’s quite a costly business to crunch the numbers or letters in this case, and process all these campaigns. So having free customers, although that amazing, it does add a massive financial strain on the business that I think as we now are maturing, we might need to sort of walk away from or if you’re listening to this, by the way, you’re a customer or a free customer after user, all existing users will be remaining on what they’re currently on. So Mr. Got that this is purely for those signing up in the future.
Yeah, I mean, but it’s a fair point, there is a cost of support that, you know, you need to consider when you’re building any kind of business, ticketing, SaaS, if you’re giving freemium or free software. Yeah, good point. All right. Let’s skip into your relationship. Questions. Oh, I love that one. So what’s the biggest challenge you faced with one in your business and maintain a happy and healthy relationship with your wife?
Yeah, it’s really it’s tough. I mean, I’ve got wife, three kids, and one dog dog, a dog. Yeah, love yellow individual who, fortunately, is not barking the second but I wouldn’t draw it out. And kicks eight, six, and three, so nice and young. So it’s tough. I mean, when I sold the agency a year and a half ago, the agency where we had a bricks and mortar office. So you know, I would drive out from home in the morning, come back, sometimes if I was lucky six or seven. But most the time 910 11 and it was a separate business home life. And it was actually a little bit easier back then. Because although I would maybe come back later, it was a definite I’m home that is home and play with lots of stuff. But when I sold that business, and went into missing, that’s a full time I told myself, no, I’m going to intentionally create a remote company for my staff. But also for myself, I wanted to work from home be the closer to my family, I knew there will be challenges with that. Now, I knew one of those challenges and others about relationships, but just on the work side of it for a second. And you one of the challenges for me would not be working. And I know some people have that potential issue and a genuine one working from home where they get distracted with they actually be productive. For me, that’s never been an issue. I can work through anything. And I’m delighted in my perseverance in getting something done, I won’t have lunch until I’ve done what I’ve said I was going to do for that morning job. I split my days into morning jobs and afternoon jobs as well. But I’ve luncheons under three, four o’clock and beyond. So does have to skip it. I need to get that thing done first. And that doesn’t matter that I’ve got stuff going on. And I’ve got noise at home. But it does create attention because I put on a lot of pressure on myself in a business sense to deliver incredibly quickly. And quite ambitiously, I don’t think we’ve spoken about the applicator conference yet. But since July, August this year, I’ve been on a roller coaster ride that maybe we can touch on the minute been really interesting. But I just put so much pressure myself that I’ve been doing Bigger, Longer, late nights. And that is tough. Because it’s one thing to come home late. And then see your kids. It’s another for them to see you working. And I suspect they might very naturally be thinking I’m ignoring them. Versus they might not be thinking that if I’m out in the office, but still working late hours. So you’ve got to be very careful about that. And I try I’m not doing a very good job at it. I think in the week to do better we can I generally never work this weekend I did, which was an exception. But generally speaking, if you send me an email, I get back to you very, very quickly. But if you send it over the weekend, or on a Friday evening, you won’t get an email from me till Monday morning. I just don’t do that stuff at all. So with my wife, we do date nights at least once a month. We’ve got one this Thursday, which is great. Which going out to cinema usually just an opportunity to sleep now this fall asleep.
You’re such a romantic been put out the red carpet right there. enjoy that. I mean, we’re going to the cinema this Thursday. We normally go for a meal beforehand. But with a babysitter coming in a certain time. You don’t have time to me as well. I know, enjoy that. And that’s good. But we need to get better. But my friend is a very, very pragmatic person. She knows that we are in a certain stage where there’s a lot of opportunity, and it has to be capitalized on a vibrator. You know, she doesn’t want me to slack. put it that way. But she wants to balance and she wants some chores done and you want to be with a penis out and all that stuff. But yeah, she wants me to get on with the getting the job done.
So I’m curious, like when you guys got together? Did she already know that you are this type of personality? And what’s the long term view for you? Like how long you’re gonna be doing this business thing? And which point do you because we’re going through this too, right. So I’m just curious what conversations you’ve had around that and then bringing kids into the fold as well.
Yeah, she always didn’t know that. And I think she knows that it will never end as I say, make a billion tomorrow. I’m gonna be straight off back on that horse the next day. Setting Up next business. Yeah, she knows that. Yeah. So used to let you take it or leave it.
That’s pretty much Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Now, you mentioned you did the summit recently to tell us a bit about that and get that lead to this product you have to court about what’s the code about a day summit.com? That’s it. So it would see a couple of Scott, would you and by the way, I know we’re getting close to the Yeah, we’re getting there for about five minutes. And then Okay, cool. I’ll be quick on this. I think it’s just a good God. I can’t say the word less than that. But maybe there isn’t a lesson in there somewhere. So back in July, August idea to run a couple of webinars for missing data customers, just to tie them over over the summer to give them some value free value.
Just I was gonna bring in a couple of experts in social media or something like that. Didn’t know who at the time and I just thought I could send them an email, you know, halfway through the summer saying, Hey, we put on a webinar next week, it’s totally free. You’re going to learn x y, Zed about whatever it might be sign up here. Just a freebie i thought was a great way just to, you know, just to keep that communication open and conversation open with our customers. And then I woke up the next day and thought, Ben, that’s just so ambitious couple of webinar series. Come on, let’s a webinar series sounds very boring.
Let’s call it what it is. Let’s create an actual event. Let’s create a conference but an online one. So I thought, let’s do a summit. And then I looked at a couple of other sites that have taken place. I haven’t attended one before, but I’ve seen them before and seen them advertised. And couple of things bring out one, I hate those landing pages, and very salesy very friendly and very horrible and very spammy in many ways, and I know they’re not, that’s not say anything about the content that maybe these are giving out. But they give the impression that that very, sort of, you know, quick, rich sort of stuff, and it just hated that. And they were friendly, unambitious.
They felt like it would do two or three people some of them had maybe 10 people talking and it just felt and annoying and I thought, right okay, I going to do this or not. So I thought let’s do a 100 speaker summit. Let’s just let’s go for a big number. And let’s do it in like four weeks back, but because I hate those landing pages and everything else, let’s build the platform that’s going to run this summit from scratch. And then not only that, but I thought there’s no way because we just had a team talk with missing that, you know, couple of days before but we were working out the okrs for you know, objectives for the next quarter. I’m not going to suddenly as I sometimes do, pull people off and distract them in everything else. Let’s just I’ll take this all on myself, I’ll do the nation to engage with our speakers, boosted our build it I’ll do everything myself. Let’s just that will be fun experiment little things Tommy over that summer.
So that’s what it is. So we achieved it. Within about four weeks, we pulled in 100 speakers. Unfortunately, 102 in total, the two of them dropped out at the last minute. So we still managed to maintain that hundred speaker objective, which was fantastic. And we have companies from app Sumo from go squared from Brendan done talking. You have Lean Startup guide. Ashura, we had published authors, Emmy Award winners have a huge roster of people, it was incredible. And by the end of it, not only have we put on an incredible event over two weeks where I was sort of, you know, nail to a desk for sort of 10 hours every day hosting, recording, and then, you know, publishing and building in the morning,
I would do sort of six hours in the morning of fixing things that I’ve noticed on proving things that I’ve noticed the day before, things that would increase engagement, or increase the chances that people would actually turn up live to the event, we create giveaways. And basically, by the end of this to a conference, this was just a few weeks ago, back in September, we’ve built not only delivered a conference of that scale, but we’ve built a or I built a compelling world class summit platform that I thought, Ah, this is a frustrating now, it’d be stupid of me not to launch this as its own product. So I’ve got myself into a bit of a unmistakable corner there. So it was very clear to me that there was an opportunity because we’d already seen a bunch of people who were using the platform both as speakers. And also as attendees going where did this come from, this is like I’ve never seen I mean a speakers they were seeing we were giving them stats on the demographic breakdown of people that were attending that all how many were looking at all they were able to do things and see things that they’ve never seen before speakers. So it was very clear that I had to build it out as a product.
And so that’s the journey that I’ve been on over the last eight weeks, four weeks because we launched we finished I gave myself four weeks after the end of our case conference that we’ve been on for missing that’s up to actually launch the official new product to the public first of November of this new platform called Hey summits, which is based on a platform that we built for application and that happened last Thursday and we’re doing a big public launch on the 23rd of November this like dates of this month so we’re doing a big black friday and promotion around it just kind of been like a soft launch on Friday 30 last weekend is going to be a more official launch I’ve got 25 customers already for pre sale that we did not big number but a good number that you know you got to get past that first customer bought 25 of them so tick that box and yeah so that’s where I am at this stage
wow great journey they just get a sensor talking to a robot currently are incredible before that ambition. Okay, so we’re going to wrap this up Cindy you want to answer the next question the next question says very easy to get as an adult life so how to make fun applied in your life and also in business you seen from this conversation that little bit energetic with how I approach things and conversations and everything I think that carries through to everything I do so I’m dance around the room well, you know some days I’m a little bit somewhere as well you know, it’s not all song and dance but I try be silly with my kids. I think that’s probably that simple. answer them the obvious not the obvious one but the the best one. I think it’s being silly with their kids. My three year old is so silly.
He’s pretty he’s going to be such an actor but he will come in and do a stupid base a little dance and it can’t help put a smile on your face and just give them a little snuggle and be stupid around your kids I think it’s just such an excuse such an easy excuse to be unbridled in your stupid and weirdness and fungus and to use three words that have exist that you should not be doing it and you feel simple alive the end of it I loved it and tactic as an excuse to be a kid as well. Yeah, definitely. So they remind you to be that
Yeah. Alright, so after it’s all said and done, what do you want to be remembered for been achieving things like delivering stuff that actually solves problems, that not just vaporware. You know, Brexit is big over here. So topical example like not just releasing something because an app on Brexit because people are talking about Brexit, you know, not just something because it was just felt like it was all the time but something that was like that was an idea or an edge case or opportunity that I didn’t even know there was a problem. But now I see that that’s kind of cool. missing. That’s been great example and paste on it. Why is no one created a platform that helps people solve the problems before I like those sorts of challenges. And I want to be remembered for delivering successful businesses in those sorts of spaces.
you’re well on your way. And we wanted to acknowledge you for being the great person you are and the things that you’re doing, and for joining us on the show today. Thanks, Ben. Hey, thanks for having me. Thank you for your energy.
And for those of you listening. I also wanted to thank Ben for partnering up with us to put up a rise for our giveaway. So we are offering a business plan license for missing letter and all you need to do is head over to our giveaway page which is founders Connect co forward slash when they enter that and have a play of the tool we will be putting up a couple of videos and how to use it all because that’s something that we will save you a bunch of time and I’m looking forward to playing with the summit tours well when it comes out cool and maybe you can get on another time I’ll tell you about the business Oh, here we go. Alright, it just keep on coming. Or I thought everyone else you subscribe and share and we’ll talk to you real soon. Thanks, guys. Take care.
Alrighty. So that was our interview with Benjamin Dell founder and CEO of missing letter and also a couple of new tools which will be coming down the line so Cindy What was your key takeaway from that conversation my key takeaways action is king is actually really action take a person and even if you’re testing the market is nice doing this take the action to test it and validate your idea by newsy actions not by just learning to books and tutorials and videos and etc.
Yeah I love that as well because it’s easy to get caught up in watching a bunch of videos we’re going to seminars or doing courses but at some point you actually have to get out and speak to people customers and understand how to solve their problems that’s really cool is that your tech or hello and another one is mine my takeaway is I mean tied to that is always be experimenting and when it comes to relationship really sharing with your partner in this case Ben did with his wife who he wasn’t who he is and who he was always be and that you need to accept your partner for who they are.
And that’s the only way that relationship going to work because when you we didn’t really get too much into that but sort of what I read from that is they didn’t really try and change each other and they can accept it well that’s that’s who you are. And when you’re dealing with entrepreneurs that’s kind of their mentality and they’re always thinking about the next project like he’s on his like who knows 100 projects and he said even if he was you know hey made a billion dollars tomorrow he would still go back the next day and create something new that’s exactly an entrepreneur mind there you go alright so as we covered to Ben and missing letter have been kind to donate a prize for our giveaway so head over to founders connect that co forward slash win and you’ll get a chance to win a lifetime prob business license for missing letter and that’s a great tool to help you get really smart and automated with how you promote your blog content alright so head over and check that out now stay tuned for our next episode where we’re talking how to start a successful online business like a boss with na hum. Kligman from book like a boss and remember to live similarly purposefully and confidently to next time.
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