In this episode of Startups For The Rest Of Us, Rob talks with Christopher Gimmer of Snappa, about his journey to making SaaS his full-time income. He details how he stair-stepped his way from small apps and products to 7 figure SaaS.
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Rob: In this episode of Startups for the Rest of Us, I talk with Christopher Gimmer about stair-stepping your way to SaaS. This is Startups for the Rest of Us Episode 480.
Welcome to Startups for the Rest of Us, the podcast that helps developers, designers, and entrepreneurs be awesome at building, launching, and growing ambitious startups, whether you’ve built your fifth startup or you’re thinking about your first. I’m Rob and today with Chris Gimmer, we are here to share our experiences to help you avoid the mistakes we made.
Welcome back to the show. Thanks for joining me this week. Pretty interesting story this week, Christopher Gimmer did a talk at MicroConf Starter back in April. He and his co-founder really stair-stepped. They launched an app that had one-time sales, it was a marketplace. They grew that to where it plateaued which wasn’t enough they could live on, and they saw an opportunity and started a B2C type stock photo site. I guess it’s not B2C, but kind of B2b and used that to parlay into a SaaS app.
I don’t want to belabor it as we get into Chris’ entire experience in the interview. One thing I really liked about Chris’ story is that he and his co-founder learned small things first and they didn’t try to go play in the major leagues when they didn’t have the skills to do that. They went and they played little league, then they went and played highschool ball, then they played college ball, then they played minor leagues, and then they played major leagues, that is that repeatable meticulous disciplined way that I’ve always believed in starting startups.
It’s not trying to raise hundreds of millions and take this bid luckshot that you may or may not have the skills or the confidence or whatever to do, but after listening to Chris’ story, you know that even if he were to exit his company today that he has the skill set that he can take with him to the next thing and it becomes this repeatable startups, building real products, selling to real customers for real money. Without further ado, let’s dive into our conversation.
Christopher Gimmer, thank you so much for joining me on this show today.
Christopher: Thanks for having me.
Rob: We are here today to talk about Snappa. Your startup that’s at snappa.com and your headline is, “Create online graphics in a snap. Whip up graphics for social media, ads, blogs and more even if you are not a graphic designer.” You did a talk about nine months ago at MicroConf Starter and it was a really interesting tale of your journey with your co-founder across six or seven years, multiple apps to how you got to where you are today. You and I were just talking before with a call, that you expect to hit a million dollars in ARR in the next month or two. Congratulations on that.
Christopher: Thanks very much.
Rob: You guys launched Snappa in November of 2015. You had $4000 MRR at the end of the first month, is that right?
Christopher: Yeah, we have built up a bit of a list before we officially launched and we had a beta period, so we had an audience launch too. Within a month of launching, we did hit about $4000 in MRR.
Rob: Which is obviously good. We are going to dig into that in this episode of how you got there and how you parlayed and stair-stepped your way up multiple apps. It’s a pretty interesting story. By April of 2019 which is about nine months ago, you guys were about $62,000 MRR, that’s what you mentioned in the talk and then you are just about to hit the magic $83,333.33 and for those who wanted to know, that is one million ARR.
It sounds odd when you say it in MRR, but in ARR it’s so cool to say, “Yeah, I run a seven figure business.” You are looking forward to that day?
Christopher: Yeah. Marc (my co-founder) and I remember when we first started Snappa, we are like, “Man, if we could just get to $10,000 MRR, life would just be magical.” Obviously, you end up hitting that and then everyone just talks about the $1 million in ARR and the seven figure. Once we […] full-time on Snappa and we are making a living off it, that next yardstick is super arbitrary, but I love to get to that $1 million ARR. So, we’ll definitely celebrate when we hit it most likely next month.
Rob: That’s cool. Do you have plans of what you’ll do? Are you and your co-founder remote? Are you able to get together and have a glass of champagne together?
Christopher: We both live in Ottawa. We are pretty much like bestfriends so we hang out quite a bit. We might do something special, we haven’t planned exactly what yet, but we will definitely do something.
Rob: If there’s anything I’ve learned from my wife who is (for folks who do not know) Sherry Walling, she’s a psychologist and she works with founders is to celebrate those wins because they are (unfortunately) few and far between. There’s a lot more struggle than there is the wins and I have never been good at celebrating the wins. She has forced me to do it and I think it’s a good thing for everybody. Frankly, the win is not just you and your co-founder. It’s like taking your wife out to dinner or your fiancée out to a great dinner or a great trip.
That’s the thing, the whole family had to put up with me when I was growing up my app. I’m sure your girlfriend (now your fiancée) has had to put up with a lot of crap from you as well. I think we all deserve to have those wins when they come in.
Christopher: Yeah, definitely. She’ll be excited to hear that.
Rob: Yeah, totally. Something about your story lines up with both stair-stepping that I talk about a lot, but also this concept or quote that I keep throwing out of, “Doing things in public creates opportunity.” You went through multiple apps to get to where you are now. You had one in 2012 that is unrelated, but was it in 2013 where you launched BootstrapBay?
Christopher: It was 2014.
Rob: That was a theme marketplace for bootstrap which is a CSS Framework. Tell me about how you guys thought what the goal was there in launching that. Was it, “We want to launch a business. Very much the dream of us is to get to the point where it’s supporting us full-time”?
Christopher: Yeah, that was definitely the goal of BootstrapBay. Marc and I were actually both working in the government. That’s how we met and it was funny because we were two of the youngest guys in the office. Naturally, we just started hanging out and became friends.
One day, Marc pulled me into his office and he was like, “I want to show you something.” It was almost a Zillow type of website, like a real estate website, and I was like, “Wow, you can actually program.” I had no idea because he was doing something not related at work. That kicked off the journey of me and him just trying to figure stuff out and see if we can launch a business that could enable to support our jobs.
The goal of BootstrapBay was something that we could do while we are still working in our jobs full-time and hopefully the idea was we can make enough money from it so that we can quit and go full-time on it. It wasn’t necessarily a project that we are super passionate about and that we were planning on running for the next 10 or 20 years.
Rob: That’s interesting. Why start it as a marketplace where you have to essentially get buyers and sellers rather than build out a bunch of your themes and sell them. You are basically a digital product company instead of a marketplace.
Christopher: Essentially, funnily enough we started reading about keyword research and SEO. Initially, we are actually looking for things that we can draw up […] or whatever. Marc stumbled across this bootstrap themes and bootstrap templates as a keyword that was getting a lot of search volume. At the time didn’t have crazy competition like ThemeForest, then you can have its own own bootstrap category. There was one major market place at that time which is called WrapBootstrap. I think it’s still really big today. For a variety of reasons and being super naive, we thought we could build something better than this.
In order to exceed the market place, Marc designed the first three or four themes. But we just thought it would be more scalable if we were able to get other theme authors on board and add more supply to the market place than we could generate on our own. That’s how it happened.
Rob: Was BootstrapBay a successful business? Can you give us an idea of how much revenue it brought in for you?
Christopher: The peak month was during about $8000 to $10,000. Once we paid out all the theme authors, I think we are profiting maybe $4000 or something. It was maybe a decent side hustle business, but we essentially got to the point where we are having trouble growing strictly through our SEO because our margins and lifetime value wasn’t high enough. We just couldn’t put any money into paid ads. We just started plateauing after a bout a year. We knew it was going to be an uphill battle from there which was why we started thinking about other stuff that we can launch.
Rob: No recurring revenue and the funnel is only so wide. There’s only so many people searching for bootstrap themes.
Christopher: The other problem was (like I mentioned) being the top marketplace and as you know, […] and it was something I learned after the fact is when you are the dominant marketplace and you got the first […] advantage, it was just so hard to unsee them, so we were ranking number two or three and the number one guy was just cleaning up. We knew it was going to be a really tough battle. One that we really didn’t want to keep fighting.
Rob: As you said, a nice side hustle because obviously $4000 a month is nothing to sneeze at. I have this concept of four competitive advantages when you launch a SaaS app. One is who you know, so it’s your network. The second is who knows you, so it’s your audience. The third is being early to a space, say Josh with Barametrics was early. In this case you guys were early. You were able to get in. You weren’t the first, but you were early enough that you were able to get in. Can you imagine launching a bootstrap themes marketplace now?
Christopher: It would be really difficult. We were even too late, but we were still early enough where the really big players hadn’t specifically focused on it. If we were to do that today, there’s no way we would have gotten any traction at all, quite frankly.
Rob: Yeah, It’ll be painful. You plateaued with that business and I think of it as a step one if I were to overlay this stair-step approach in bootstrapping. It was a nice step one on business. It brought in non recurring revenue. It brought in enough money that it made it worthwhile and it was a success. You gained experience, probably gained confidence in your skills both you and your co-founder.
You had a little bit of audience, I’ll say. Not audience in the blog or podcast type where people are looking at you as a personal brand but audience in the sense of traffic. You just had a lot of traffic coming in. Then you built out your SEO and your content skill set. You went from there and you started a StockSnap, stocksnap.io. Can you tell us about the unique opportunity you almost stumbled upon that led you from BootstrapBay to StockSnap?
Christopher: One of the ways we ended up growing BootstrapBay was primarily through content marketing and SEO. We ended up writing a blogpost about where to find free stock photos. This is when a lot of these really new creative comments started popping up like on […] today are really big. So when we had written that blogpost of where to get free stock photos, we started sharing it around Reddit, social media and whatnot. Out of all places, it went viral on StumbleUpon which I don’t even know if that site still exists today.
Next thing you know, we start ranking on the first page of Google for free stock photos. I figured it out at some point that would die off, but the traffic just kept increasing month over month. We were in this interesting position where we are getting so much traffic with just this one blogpost and we looked at all the websites that were linking to at the time and we noticed—again this is in the early days—that none of them had search functionality. A lot of them were releasing 10 new photos every 10 days or something to that effect. We thought, “Why don’t we just create our own stock photo site that you can actually search?”
Marc went ahead and I think it took them about three months and he ended up building what became StockSnap. Of course because we have all of that traffic coming to the blogpost, we just linked to ourselves as source and the next thing you know, we started getting a bunch of traffic to stocksnap.io.
Rob: At that point, were you thinking, “We want to start another business. BookstrapBay has plateaued and we are going to autopilot it. If we launch StockSnap, we are going to turn that into a business”? Or was it just a fun larch that you went, “Hey, I got all this traffic might as well put a website up”?
Christopher: Yes, that was the thinking. At this point, BootstrapBay was plateauing. We knew that it wasn’t going to be the business that would enable us to quit our jobs and everything. We just saw this opportunity and we knew that a free stock photo site is just something that is always going to have value. We just saw it as an opportunity that is like, “Hey, if we build this up now and we start getting a lot of traffic to this website, we will almost certainly be able to either monetize the website itself through ads or use that as a springboard to launch some other app down the road.”
To be honest, we started thinking about SaaS at that point and I had this idea in the back of my head for this graphic design tool for marketers or entrepreneurs, if you will, because I was always struggling to put these images together whenever I needed to add a featured image to whatever blogspot. That was the thinking of, “We are getting all this traffic to the blog post. Why not divert some of it to one of our properties which could be very valuable to us down the line?”
Rob: That makes sense. Did you wind up making revenue from StockSnap?
Christopher: Yes. After we launched StockSnap, like I said at that point we really started exploring the idea of a SaaS app which obviously became Snappa. I think we had one […] ad placement or something like that, which was bringing in maybe $1000 or $2000 a month in advertising, but almost from the start, we started using StockSnap as a way of promoting Snappa as opposed to really trying to monetize the website as much as we can.
Rob: That makes sense. With BootstrapBay and StockSnap, obviously people know the end result that you started Snappa […]. Do you still own those other properties or did you exit from them?
Christopher: We ended up selling them off. StockSnap was a bit of a more difficult decision in the sense that it’s still bringing in quite a bit of traffic, but when we first launched Snappa, probably 80% or maybe 90% of our leads were coming in from StockSnap whereas by the time we sold it, I think it only made up 10% or 15% of our leads because we had really built up our content and SEO and word of mouth. At that point, we decided that it just makes much more sense to put a bunch of cash in our bank account and focus on one thing as opposed to trying to maintain two separate properties.
Rob: That makes sense and by that time you had a SaaS app that you are focused on which we know takes a lot of attention. I’m curious. We glossed over several years of work here. We almost made it sound easy, like you stumbled into this thing and you ranked number one in Google for this free stock photos, which is very hard to do. In my experience, this kind of stuff is a grind, especially when you are learning it from scratch. Learning SEO to get as good as you guys are as well as content side of things, that’s really what your wheelhouse has become, is this social promotion of getting organic traffic for high competition terms.
How long did that take you to learn and did you feel like it was something where you are just grinding it out, not getting results for a while and it suddenly clicked? Or what is that process like?
Christopher: As you mentioned at the top of the interview, the first thing we ever launched back in 2012 was actually a […] website. Without going to much into it, that was basically a year of work that was not successful ultimately. Then there is actually another app in 2013 which didn’t go anywhere. There is basically two years that we are working on stuff and we got absolutely nowhere. I think a lot of people might have just given up at that point. So before BootstrapBay is when I realized I don’t know what I’m doing regards to marketing and I just read tons of blogpost and listened to tons of podcasts and videos.
At least with BootstrapBay at that point, I had built up some knowledge in terms of how to do it, but obviously you have to put that practice into motion. But even with BootstrapBay, the first three or four months, as you know SEO takes a long time. It was a lot of trial and error. A lot of blogpost didn’t end up working out, but the more you try and the more content you put out there, you start to realize what works and you get a little bit of process and a little bit of formula going.
I would say about six month to a year into it, at least in BootstrapBay we started figuring out the content side of things. With that being said, we did plateau and what was the next frustrating thing was we are a year into this business, it’s still spinning off a couple of thousand for the both of us. How are we going to get to that next level? At that time, we didn’t know that everything will work out, but we start questioning, “Is it worth it? Should we really be spending our nights and weekends trying to get this going?” We just have to persevere.
Rob: That’s what I like about your story is you really didn’t have these marketing skills and you went out and through founder forum you just learned things that were probably difficult trial and error. You grounded out and you start this site and it’s in a small niche. I’ll say bootstrap is not the most massive niche in the world and you learned the skill set in a less competitive space.
You didn’t start an ESP. You didn’t start a CRM. You didn’t start some massive SaaS app as your first effort. You started a couple of small things, BootstrapBay gets some traction, then you learned SEO and content really well, and then StockPhotos is one level harder than that. The Snappa stuff is still on the same boat, but it’s a very wide funnel, and if you didn’t have the four or five years of learning before that, starting Snappa would have been really hard without the skills. Do you think you could have even succeeded without the knowledge you have gained from the other failed and successful efforts?
Christopher: I think there’s two things that made Snappa successful. Number one was everything that you alluded to. The first couple of things that we launched, we just didn’t really know what we are doing. It took awhile to really learn those content and SEO skills and how to get traction. Just how to actually grow a software application or any kind of website to be frank.
The second thing that made it possible was having that existing funnel of traffic through StockSnap. As you know, the lower the price point, the more customers you need to make an app sustainable. It would have been extremely difficult if day one of launching Snappa we have no existing list or no existing user base that we can tap into to kind of get that going. That’s really why we were able to get up to $4000 MRR just after a month, because we had all of that list and that user base built up already.
Rob: Talk to me then about Snappa. You mentioned in your MicroConf talk, I remember you mentioned it. You built it to solve a problem that you yourself were facing. What was that problem?
Christopher: As you mentioned, I was doing a lot of content marketing for BootstrapBay. For each blog post, we need to create a featured image, and also some images within the content itself. I was doing a lot of this stuff and Photoshop. We didn’t really have the money at the time to hire a designer. Mark was pretty good with Photoshop, but he’s working on development which is more of a top priority.
I just thought, “Man, it would be nice if there was a tool that just made a lot of this easier.” When I did some brief market research at that time, I found that the tools are either too simplistic—it was essentially a code generator—or they were still too complicated. I thought there was a need to create something that was kind of in the middle where it was still super easy to use but still not overly complicated, that really anyone can just pick up and use it.
Rob: Talk me through the customer development you did to validate that, because there’s the old adage, “You should build stuff for yourself, solve a problem you have,” but I always caveat that with, “Yeah, but make sure other people have it, too, and make sure they’re willing to pay for that.” How did you do those things?
Christopher: Because we had StockSnap, we had an email list of people. The first thing that I did was email our list and just asked what they were using their stock photos for. As I kind of expected, a good percentage of those were using it for either social media or content marketing, which was kind of our target audience or what we thought would be our target audience.
For the people that did answer saying that they were using it for content and social media, I asked if anyone would be willing to hop on at 10-15 minute call just to learn about how they’re using the software, those and whatnot.
I ended up getting a call with (I think) around 15-20 people in the end. I was just asking them questions about exactly what they’re using the photos for and then going a step further in terms of what tools they were currently using to create graphics, what their process was like, who’s involved with that process, and taking a lot of the questions that I learned from the Lean Customer Development book.
The number one takeaway from that book is basically not to ask leading questions. I never once asked, “Hey, this is what I’m building, do you think this is a good idea?” or any kind of those leading questions. I was essentially trying to see if they would mention (without me poking them) whether or not they had pain points with the existing solutions.
After about 15-20 of those calls, a lot of people did mention or said things like, “Yeah, right now I’m using Photoshop and it’s a huge pain and takes too much time,” or, “Yeah, I tried this app out, but it’s not really that great,” or, “Yeah, we use an in-house graphic designer, but the turnaround time is sometimes 2-3 days. I wish I can just do it myself.”
When I heard enough of those kinds of comments, it gave us enough confidence to at least go ahead and start building some sort of MVP for Snappa.
Rob: Super cool. Mark is a developer. Did he just sit down and start hacking it out?
Christopher: Yeah, that was pretty much it. Like I said, we’ve built things in the past that didn’t really work out. We wanted to make sure that there is going to be a market for this because this is by far going to be the biggest and most complicated thing that he’s ever built. We wanted to really make sure that this could be a viable business. Once we had that validation, then Mark went ahead and just locked himself in the basement and started hacking away.
Rob: It feels like the story kind of writes itself from there. You have a lot of SEO and content skills. You applied that, you cross promoted from StockSnap, you had this existing audience, existing traffic sources that you then promoted in order to grow Snappa. I am curious. A couple of things, a couple of questions that I want to touch on before we wrap. One is, early on you said, “When we first started talking about building an app, we said, ‘Wouldn’t it be magical to hit $10,000?’” Was it magical when you hit $10,000?
Christopher: Yeah, it was actually. I don’t remember if it was exactly $10,000 but it was magical the moment that we knew that this was going to sustain us. We didn’t have to go back to our jobs, the business has legs. At some point, we would be able to probably hire more team members just to know that we had done it. It had taken us, like I said, the first thing we had launched in 2012. This is several years in the making. It truly did feel magical and we still feel very fortunate today that we’re able to do this.
Rob: Yeah, I agree. How large is your team at this point?
Christopher: Now we have four full-time team members and they’re awesome. Another thing that I really didn’t anticipate was how much more fun it is working with a team. We’re really fortunate to have such awesome people working with us at this point. We have four full-time and then we also work with a couple like freelancers and writers and stuff like that.
Rob: That’s good, that’s a pretty capital-efficient business to only have four folks working on it. Another question for you is your price points. On an annual basis, you’re $10 and $20 a month on a monthly basis, you’re $15 and $30. When I see an app like that, I think ouch. You’re probably going to have (just from the outside, I don’t know all your numbers) high churn, I would expect a low average revenue per user, which means you’re pretty limited in how you can market like you’re not going to run AdWords as an example because you don’t have the lifetime value. How has that been? Am I relatively on the mark? How has that been for you guys?
Christopher: Well, 100% you’re definitely on the mark. As you can imagine, we have probably higher churn than some of the other apps or founders that you’ve had on the show and that just goes with the territory of the low price point. That’s always been a challenge and enough reason why we had to get really good in organic (in particular) and why we focus a lot of time and effort on content marketing and SEO.
At this point, we don’t do any paid advertising whatsoever. We really do rely on word of mouth, SEO, and content, just giving a really good experience so that people talk about us. We get mentioned in blog posts and just have a sustainable and repeatable way of acquiring users.
One thing that’s interesting, though, that maybe not a lot of people think about is I think you had the founder of, was it Userlist that you had? That you were talking to a couple…
Rob: Jane Portman?
Christopher: Yeah. It was funny because I remember she was talking about how it’s difficult to get people to either try the app or switch to Userlist. I think on one hand, it’s really nice to have a low churn app, because once they kind of get in, usually they stick around and maybe it’s easier to build a sustainable business that way. But on the other hand with an app like Snappa, we’re premium, you can try it out, and really within a couple of minutes of even trying out Snappa, you’re going to know whether it’s going to provide value to you. The flip side of high churn is that our activation rates and the top of the funnel converts super well. That’s one thing that maybe some people don’t consider with these types of apps.
Rob: Yeah, there’s almost no switching cost. It’s just learning which buttons to click, but they don’t have to migrate stuff over. I agree, I think that’s a real advantage to it and I think longer term, I think an app like a Userlist or my experiences with Drip was, there was a lot of switching cost. It was harder to get people in. The churn was really low once they got in, but you’re right, the growth was tough. The growth was hard fought, but once you got that growth, it was there. It was locked in.
I think that’s where it cuts two ways. At Snappa, your funnel is so much wider. The number of people that visit your website, the number of people that sign up for a trial, and the number of people that probably start paying you is astronomically higher than what we had at Drip, as an example. I think that that is a unique advantage especially when your skill set is SEO and content, which tend to be wide funnel things. Not always, but especially in these spaces, you’ve been playing deliberately, these are wide funnels. That allows you to have this low price point and it allows you to not need to run ads but still grow business to seven figures.
Christopher: Yeah, I’d say that’s super accurate. Don’t get me wrong with low churns to go along with what we have. You learn that the market that you choose (to some extent) controls how high a churn’s going to be and that kind of stuff. We’ve learned to just embrace and accept it, and just stick to our lane, so to speak.
Rob: Yeah, it makes sense. I’m going to assume that if we look back, let’s say over the past year or even I guess ahead two months, you’re about to hit $1 million in ARR and I’m going to assume that that might be the high point of the year in terms of the business. What was a low point or the hardest part about the past year? A specific time that you felt like you were really grinding it out.
Christopher: I would say the last year. There wasn’t too much low point, but in 2018, I think it was around 2018, growth is really slow and we’re ready to start to plateau. At that point, we had, I don’t know if it was a combination of shiny object syndrome or we were so scared of competition because there’s actually quite a bit of competition in our space and we have a lot of really well-funded competitors.
We went down this rabbit hole of, we need to find a new business or we need to find another route because at some point, we’re just going to plateau and we’re not going to grow. I think we really took our eye off the prize, so to speak. That was a really tough year just seeing growth plateauing a little bit, trying to get these other projects and spinning our wheels there. I think that was tough.
In 2019 funny enough, we realized, “Hey, we’re in a really good position. We have this app.” I almost felt like we were taking it for granted or we realized that we were taking it for granted, so we said, “We’re not going to start any new side projects. We’re going to buckle down, we’re going to figure out how to get growth back on track.” We really focused back on the business and we promised ourselves that we would never consider launching another project until we hit $1 million ARR. It’s funny how that worked out.
Rob: Yeah, that makes sense, just refocusing. That’s the thing, these founder stories are almost never straight lines. It’s very, very rare. You hear the myth of people starting whatever, Uber, Facebook, Lyft, these big companies and they do a lot of side projects, there was a lot of uncertainty, and I think our stories in our own ecosystem are very similar where you often have multiple projects going at once. You don’t really know which one’s going to succeed often and you’re just trying to figure it out as you go.
I think the last question before we wrap is, you mentioned something to me about a pricing experiment that you ran, that goes against that “charge more” idea. As I said, when we talked about it, well yeah, you can always charge more until you can’t, or until people aren’t willing to pay that. There’s always a ceiling to this stuff. Talk us through what you did with your annual and your monthly pricing, and how that worked out.
Christopher: I’ve obviously been to a few MicroConfs now and one of our recurring themes is always to charge more. I’ve just always been really scared to do that again, especially because we’re serving the lower end of the SMB market. We’re in a really competitive space, but I thought, whatever. There’s enough people telling me to just charge more. We’ll go ahead and run the experiment.
What we did was we kept our annual price the same which is $120 a year for the program and then we bumped up the price of the monthly prescription from $15 to $19 a month. We were thinking more people and to send the annual plan which would obviously help out with the churn. Assuming that our conversion stay relatively the same because we’re getting the $19 a month price point even if the churn is a bit higher, all in all it should work out.
After running that—we ran it for a couple months—we realized pretty quickly that the churn had just spiked up way too high for our comfort, and the conversion rates had actually dropped more than we had anticipated. We ended up reverting back to the pricing.
I’m glad that we ran the experiment because at least now we can put that to rest, but it was just more proof that charge more, or charge less, or whatever isn’t always the best advice. It’s really a case-by-case basis, and that it just depends on a variety of factors really.
Rob: Sure. Charge more is a really great advice if you’ve never heard it before, because most people tend to charge too little when they launch. Most of us think our apps are not worth what they actually are. It’s definitely good advice. But obviously, the further you get in, if you’ve experimented, if you know your customers, there’s a certain point where pricing elasticity may or may not be there, and you’re also in a pretty price-sensitive space. You’re in a prosumer, I’d like to think one notch above consumers, so there’s going to be price sensitivity there.
The lesson I take away from it is: (a) experiment because now you know. You don’t have to think about it every month, every week, “Should I be charging more?” and, (b) you were scared to do it, but you did it anyway, and it sounds like it was a relatively easy experiment to undo which are the best. You just revert back. You just change the pricing back. Now, you have one cohort of people or something who are paying a little less I’d imagine, but that’s a small price to pay to have the knowledge that you probably are towards the top of your range right now.
Christopher: Yeah, for sure. The way that we did it was basically any new customers, they would see that new price point, and then once we reverted back, if there were any customers that were on that $19 a month plan, we just put them back on that $15 month. Now there’s no one on that increased price. It was a relatively safe way to do it and obviously, there’s no backlash as a result.
Rob: Yeah, that makes sense. I said people paying less at the pricing reverse, but whatever. Cool. We’re going to wrap up. If folks want to check out Snappa, it’s at snappa.com just like it sounds. You are @cgimmer on Twitter. Any place else folks should check out?
Christopher: That’s about it. I’m trying to make an effort to do more blogging on my personal site this year chrisgimmer.com. There’s only a few posts on there. Twitter is probably the best place for now.
Rob: Aren’t we all trying to blog a little more? I say that every year. It’s just so hard to find the time to write.
Christopher: Yeah. Essentially, my goal for this year is one post a month which I think is super reasonable and I think I’ll be able to hold myself to that and then we’ll see how that goes.
Rob: Sounds good man. Thanks again for coming on the show.
Christopher: My pleasure. I’m a huge fan of the podcast, so I’m happy to be on here.
Rob: Awesome. Thanks again to Chris for coming on the show. If you have a question, if you’re curious about part of Chris’s story, if you have questions about SEO or content marketing, feel free to either tweet me @robwalling or send them into email@example.com. If I get questions, I might invite Chris back on the show to share some of the skills, because he has hard technical skills in this SEO and content space, and he’s done a lot to grow. This business has really wide funnels and has a lot of knowledge there. If you want to hear more about that, I’m happy to have another conversation with Chris.
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What a great episode! While a linear shoot to the winning start-up would be desirable, but I think the stair stepping may be necessary for many.