Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses. I’m laughing because it just occurred to me TiVo. I was watching video of people show off the candy that you used to sell on a subscription service. Um,
Thibaud: excellent. Yeah. You know about that. You’re aware of very well-informed.
Andrew: I went back. I started looking on YouTube and it just occurred to me that I saw these people with French accents talking about what they got in the mail. Was it just a French only system that you were doing?
Thibaud: Um, well, you know, it’s, it’s actually a pretty long and fun story, but basically my partner, uh, Noemi who’s now my spoos and the co-founder of Leumi. We were traveling around the world. And so we were banging candy, selling them, uh, over a subscription. And the first version of that e-commerce store, where we were actually sending all over the world.
And then when we wrapped up our run the world trip and went back to France where we are from, uh, then that’s when we started focusing on the French market.
Andrew: All right. I want to ask you about that. It was called, is it candy? Scovery like candy discovery. All right. That was, that was like the fun first business. After that, um, Teebo started creating a few other companies. And the one that I wanted to spend the most time talking about is a company called lonely because what he discovered doing social media and other marketing first clients was it’s a pain in the neck and anyone, frankly, even if you’re doing it for yourself, you understand what we’re talking.
First, you have to think that when am I going to publish? What? So maybe you have like a spreadsheet with when what you’re going to publish and your team knows it. And then somebody has to go and design the posts. And so you pull out some software and you go and create the post there. Then of course you want to make sure that you get it approved.
So you send it over via slack and you say, is this okay or whatever. And then you get the approval, then you want to publish and then you need to go back and make sure you’re responding the comments and all that stuff. And so much more. He says, you know what, it’s a lot of work. What if we just create one software that does all of it, we’re not going to do every piece of marketing, but our software will just handle this whole flow that I just described.
And basically that’s what lonely is. So Teebo is the founder of the company. Teebo Clement. I invited him here to talk about the candy business that he had. I want to find out how he ended up, uh, coming up with the idea for lonely, how he built it up and how can he frickin work with his wife all day? You guys still in love.
Thibaud: Of course. Yeah. More than ever. And she is, she’s the best for bearing as me.
Andrew: All right. And we can do it. Thanks to two phenomenal sponsors. The first, if you want to start your business, you need a website. Go to hostgator.com/mixergy to get it. And the second, if you’re in content at all, you should know that you don’t just have to try to get money from advertising. You could also sell directly to your audience.
And if you use , they will make it easy for you to do it. And to own your relationship with your customers. I’ll tell you later why you should go to dot com slash Mixergy
Andrew: revenue. How much, what do you guys.
Thibaud: Well, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s going fast. Uh, you know, in, in may we actually pass the 7 million that our, uh, revenue mark in terms of ARR. And we, you know, we hope to be, uh, around eight by the month of July. So it’s, it’s growing fast.
Andrew: Wow. This is really growing fast. You grew over COVID.
in a way. Yeah. So, you know what, at some point there was some uncertainty in the digital marketing business where, you know, everyone was talking about, Hey, let’s, uh, just, uh, pull back on the budgets and everything. But then that, that was probably just a mile. And so, you know, probably from middle of March to middle of April last year, and then, then.
Everyone started shifting online. And so that’s when, you know, like we started having a lot of, I just don’t interact because on the one hand, there were smaller businesses who, you know, were for the first time we’re kind of going from offline to online. And so once they had set up their store a while, the next thing that they needed was to communicate on social media.
So there was a lot of interest for what we were doing. And then on the other end of the spectrum, the larger customers. But the larger companies and teams do, we’re used to working in an office and maybe everything you just explained about how do we find ideas for where we are going to post and how do we create a content and stuff?
They were doing it in a meeting room. And then all of a sudden there is no meeting room. There is just a living room. And so, you know, that’s basically how they needed wide. It needed to have like a workflow, sorry that works remotely. And so normally it was perfect for that.
Andrew: Right. Let’s take it step by step and see how we got here. You and Noemi, the two of you were dating and you decided just going to traipse around the world.
Thibaud: Uh, well, so yeah, we met, uh, back in Paris when we were working both with the both of us follow reality. Uh, and then, you know, we moved to Canada for a year where I was going for my MBA. That’s when I heard about you for the first time. And, um, you know, then after that, uh, we decided to go around the world for a year and to learn about e-commerce and just, you know, get ideas about what crazy and cool things entrepreneurs around the world were doing.
And yeah, that’s how we started our
Andrew: Did you get to do that? You were talking about roughly 20 11, 20 12, right? That’s when you did this chore, did you actually go into different startups offices? Did you get to see things differently than you would? If you just spend time on the couch, looking on the internet,
Thibaud: Oh, yeah. Yeah, that was insane. So for a year, the way we had structured the trip was we were not really backpacking. What we wanted to do was we wanted to spend time. And the places that we were visiting. So we basically broke down the year into 12 segments of one month and we’re spending one month in each city.
So we went to China. So it was Korea, um, you know, Hong Kong, uh, Thailand and, and, you know, Australia and the. Uh, and, and, and then south America, and it was just amazing and yes, we met entrepreneurs, uh, everywhere. We went, um, you know, I was basically publishing articles for a French magazine called L’Express, which is kind of like the French, uh, the economist.
And so, uh, you know, that, that just opened many doors and allowed me to, uh, see?
here, you know, how you could be doing e-commerce in China or how you would be, uh, you know, what kind
Andrew: you are a reporter, you could go into a Chinese e-commerce company and say, teach me so that I can write about. Wow. And they would do they have a translator and I guess what English.
Thibaud: Well, English was, you know, always, you know, the, the common language also, you know, as you can tell from my accent, I’m French. And So you know, there is like kind of like the French Matthew out around the world. So it also opens doors for you. And all of that is really,
Andrew: So what did you learn? I was around, I was doing podcasting back then. What did you learn by being on the ground? That I didn’t know.
Thibaud: Um, probably the fact that we should actually start our own business if we wanted to really learn something. And so that’s that’s how and why we started
Andrew: Ah, so you said we’re going to travel the world, we’ll have fun together, right? We’ll explore the world, we’ll learn, but then you realize, you know, what the best way to learn is to actually create, so you start creating the company. And the idea I think was kind of bubbling at the time.
People were kind of into this Japanese candy and so on. And as you were traveling around the world, you said, I see some interesting place, some interesting in candy in South Korea, et cetera. That was your idea. As long as we’re traveling, we’re gonna say.
Thibaud: Exactly. Yes. And, and the idea was, you know, we are getting to learn so much from the people that we are going to meet. So probably one of the best way to kind of, you know, uh, translate that into actionable, uh, insights and, and, and residents is to actually apply it. And So because we’re learning about SEO and social media, and we
Andrew: it’s not enough to sit down in someone’s office and have them say, look, SEO is really big, but you want to be able to say, I’ve got this candy business, show me how I could do this. What could I, what could I be doing differently? Got it. So the candy was going to be personally bought by. You annoy me in these different stores.
It was okay. You were personally going to ship it from wherever you were in the world to all over the world.
Andrew: That’s a little mental. Okay. Wasn’t it.
Thibaud: is, it is. And, and what do you have to understand? We, we bootstrapped this, uh, this venture or completely because we were, you know, just travelers and we were just going out of, of, of, of the university. So we were just had literally no money. So I like to joke and say that we started this business with minus $200 on our bank accounts, because basically the way we bootstrap it.
We were taking pre-orders and then with the money of the pre-orders, we were buying a candy that then we would be shipping a few weeks later. So that’s how we started
Andrew: Shipping must have cost you a ton.
Thibaud: Yeah. It was built into the price. Uh, and that’s one of the reasons why, when we came back to France, we actually started focusing on, uh, shaping, you know, from friends to friends and working with people who would be importing the candy for us.
Uh, that was just a much more scalable and sustainable business
Andrew: to be spending too much time on this idea, but it’s, it’s kind of a fun idea. What did, how did you get customers back then?
Thibaud: Uh, essentially social media, you know, our Facebook page at a time and in Facebook ads.
Andrew: Blog posts. Did you reach out to bloggers? They were
Thibaud: Yeah. So we’re, yeah, we’re doing all of that. We ended up on French national TV, so that helped a lot. And these kind of things, because it was, you know, a phone project. So it was, it was, you know, kind of catching attention.
Andrew: I know that it was about learning, but how much revenue were you able to produce with this?
Thibaud: It wasn’t much, uh, you know, it was like, almost was like 10 years ago. Yeah. W it wasn’t a long time ago. Uh, I think that, you know, the, the main and coolest thing that happened is that 18 months after starting it, we ended up selling it. It was definitely not the exit of the year, but what is interesting is.
Because there were so many people who, so us on TV and in magazines and stuff like that, then they started, they started reaching out to us and said, Hey, can you help me do the same? And that’s basically how we started our advertising agency, which in turn led to creating loony. So everything’s kind of connected.
Andrew: I get that. I don’t want to harp too much on this cause I know it was just a fun project to learn, but are we talking about, were you able to get it to what? 5,000, a mile, 10 sales,
Thibaud: Yeah. Yeah. more.
than that. Probably something like that. Yes,
Andrew: that gives me a sense of the ballpark. And then do you sell it for more than a hundred? A hundred K.
Thibaud: no, no. Under that it was again, like very small exit. It was just, you know, fun project we would strapped in solely. It was fun.
Andrew: The one thing that I I noticed was that I think could have been improved was the packaging. And I imagine that’s because you are shipping internationally, right?
exactly. The first, the first, uh, the first version. Yes, we had to ship internationally. So it was basically envelopes and stuff like that. And then we kind of refined it over time, especially again, in the second phase, when we were in France, where it was just easier to kind of, uh, industrialize everything.
Andrew: All right. And so then companies are asking you to do this for them. L’Oreal is one of those companies. And now I understand why the Loreal connection, because you worked for them, people there were watching what you were doing. Then they said, can you do it for us? What a Loreal need for you to do? You need you to do.
Thibaud: What it was, it was a long time ago. So, you know, it was like digital marketing was still kind of NASA and, and, and, and not everyone was as made sure as they are today. And so, you know, it’s actually annoying me who started doing social media for five brands for follow rail. And so that’s basically how it started.
Andrew: Well, social media, then Twitter. And then can you post on Facebook
Thibaud: Facebook Facebook and Twitter and a little bit of LinkedIn. Uh, that was, that was basically it. Yeah.
Andrew: Okay. And so you were, she was doing it for them. Were you helping her get new customers?
Thibaud: Yeah, I was, I was trying to think was that, uh, so Noemi was focusing on social media analytics, uh, All these sings, and I was more focused on content SEO and e-commerce. So I was basically helping other customers, uh, you know, smaller brands, uh, who were just, you know, Getting started. It was e-commerce uh, Shopify was not as big as it is today.
They were already very successful of course. But, uh, you know, it was, it was still a bit more complicated to set up a shop. And so, you know, we were helping and music was dad and we were helping him drive there for sales. And that’s basically how we got started with the agency.
Andrew: All right. And that’s where you discover the problem. What was the problem as you experienced it? Describe like a typical interaction.
Thibaud: the thing is, you know, so Noemi was preparing the content for all the clients and the thing is all clients needed their content every month.
And usually the product. Was happening at the same time of the mounds. So she had some kind of rush time, you know, around like the, the, the end of each month preparing the content for the following months where she had to create a spreadsheet for each client. And then she had to come up with, you know, 10 or 20 ideas for each client.
And then, you know, just list them in the spreadsheet with the date and the time and the co-PI and the image or the video. And then she would have to take the spreadsheet. Send it to the, to the customer or to the clients over email, uh, kind of praying that they will be responding and giving, uh, if not approval, at least some kind of a feedback.
So that once we got, you know, um, the, the feedback from the client, we were able to copy and paste everything into either. Like a scheduler, like Hootsuite and buffer or, uh, directly on, on, on social media, like Facebook and all of that, it was just time-consuming repetitive error prone. And it was just a big waste of time and it was coming to all our clients.
And even when we came here to the us and opened our own agency here as well, we had the same issue. And so that was just something that was just a big part of what we were doing.
Andrew: Do you get people to develop this?
Thibaud: Uh, I built it. I built the first version. Uh, I’m not an engineer. I just run everything on my own. And I wrote the first line of code.
It was back in August, 2015. And by the end of that year, we had a prototype up and running. We started using it with our clients. We did not.
Andrew: you start? Uh, I’ll get to what you’re about to say, but how did you learn to code it up so fast?
Usable or anything, you know, like that, like an actual product. And so when I had that problem of how do we just streamline the process of managing editorial calendars and I had kind of these opportunity, you know, where I could use Ruby on rails. And now I was able to apply that knowledge to an actual problem.
Then, you know, that kind of created the magic. And that’s how I came up was a prototype.
Andrew: All right. You were about to say, did you tell them, if, did you tell your clients that you’re using your new software?
Thibaud: Yeah, well, that’s why we told them and,
Andrew: say your, oh, did you say, but from what I understand, you, you told them you’re using new software, but you didn’t say you created it because.
Thibaud: Yeah. We didn’t want them to say, Hey, good job guys. And just, you know, give them a, a bat in the bag, just because the new us, we wanted to get some kind of, you know, we just really wanted to know if what we had created was helping and, and it looks like it was Because you know, we have one client who basically said that he would fire us as an agency if he had to go back to using the spreadsheets.
Andrew: what did it, what did it have in it? What was it able to do?
Thibaud: It was probably the simplest credit application that you can imagine. You could basically just create a post upload, an image or a video typing some co-PI. It would generate a, a mock up of the posts and showing you what it would look like on Facebook and Twitter, for instance. And then you would have a page in the URL that you would be able to send to anyone in your team for review.
And then they would be able to, uh, you know, just like approve the post or your own edits and leave a comment. And that was it. There was no publishing, no analytics, no asset management,
Andrew: even do the stuff that buffer did of just teeing it up. It was just, I send it to you. You see what it’s gonna look like on the site? You come back to me. Got it. And before that she would do what she would know him. He would, would
Thibaud: All of that with spreadsheets. So it was just a waste of time because
Andrew: a spreadsheet. She would say, this is what your post is going to look like. Can I send it out?
Thibaud: Well, she was just basically, you know, he would have a condom with the date and there’s a column with the time who knows a column was the image and it was a column, was a co-PI and then another column for column. And the client would have to figure it out, uh, by themselves. It was either that, or the fancy version of that was actually creating a poor upon presentation who was inside of that, but that was even more time consuming.
So that was not great because it was not even giving a good representation of the content as a client. He was not really doing a favor or, you know, or be grateful to, to know Amy’s work. And so that’s also why we did that.
Andrew: All right. I won’t talk about my first sponsor. You might’ve been noticing that there are a lot of people who are now selling access to their newsletters, right? They write a re a weekly or monthly newsletter, and then some of what, maybe it’s more than a monthly, but they write it in a newsletter. And occasionally they also have for paid members, only content.
A lot of the software that’s being used for that is more like a service that locks you in to their platform. The beauty of my sponsor member full is you don’t need that. You can just use your email software as it is. You can set up payment with them and you could sell it. And guess what, if you decide, you know what, I don’t just want email.
It turns out people sign up for the email, but what they really need is community great member full. Let you add that to maybe what you need is also a video. Great, memorable that you add that to basically, if you want to sell to your audience, if you’re already a content creator, even if you’re really small, you’re.
Source of revenue is going to come by selling good stuff to your audience. And if you need to do that, memorable is there for you. You’ll own the relationship with your audience. You won’t have to spend a big percentage and you’ll have all these tools available to you. You’re nodding. Can you say yes, Andrew?
I love it. Hallelujah.
Thibaud: I think it’s amazing. Uh, we are very interested in the creator economy, uh, lonely and, and wasting that, you.
know, any tool that emperors creators to generate revenue and, and, you know, kind of just like have their own freedom to just create. We think it’s amazing. Uh, and you know, the. You know, we’ve, we are hearing from, from other companies that maybe I don’t want to mention, but, you know, w we are talking about entering, uh, the, the second Renaissance of, of, of the creator was going to meet.
And that’s just amazing. And and, and that, it’s the end of the starving artists. They love that he imagined. I think it’s just amazing. And it’s really cool that you’re working with a sponsor who’s
Andrew: you know what I agree, and you know what an advertising, which is the first, the first big step step, and you know, these like sponsored posts, sponsored tweets about whatever, all that is going to stay. It’s great. It’s fine. I’m not saying get rid of it, but your audience wants to buy directly from you.
Give them something that they could buy. Listen to me. I could talk all day. I’m going to tell you, just go sign up, go sign up at dot com slash Mixergy. They were acquired by Patrion accompany that you know, that treats creators well. And now all that, that software goodness is available to you right now.
Try it for free. If you go to dot com slash Mixergy, and you know, if you’re someone who just wants to learn how to do it, let them give you a demo. Look at their demo process. They’ll walk you through how to do this. I love it. Remember full.com/mixergy. How long did you spend, um, talk, uh, selling this to your, or using this, excuse me, with your existing clients before you said let’s look for outside customers.
Thibaud: About two months. Uh, it was, it was, you know, it was So, transformative for us. It was just, you know, overnight, it just catch in half the time didn’t know me, was spending on a process. And so, uh, you know, we. Like I said, we had some up and running by the end of 2015. And so in February, 2016, we opened it up in public better.
And you know, that was, uh, when we kind of really realized that there was some interest for what we were doing, because like you said, it was a very, very simple application, really bearable. And despite that we have. The first users who are saying, I’ve been looking for that for 10 years. I’ve been looking for like, I’ve tried 10 different software. I don’t understand why it doesn’t exist. And we were in the same boat. We didn’t understand why it didn’t exist.
Andrew: So, I didn’t know that you existed, who found out that you guys launched.
Thibaud: Well knowing me, you know, she, uh, she was a social media manager. She was, uh, very engaged in all the online community is about social media. Again, it was, you know, a long time ago, so things were a bit different. And so she was part of Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups where, you know, social media managers were sharing tips and tricks and new tools they were using and stuff.
And so well, she said, Hey, I’m creating a tool for social media managers. Do you guys want to give it a try and do you want to give us some feedback? And at that time it was starting at $12 per month and there was like two months for trial. So it was really kind of, you know, low, uh, low risk for anyone.
And that’s how we started having a lot of feedback, which just, you know, helped us tremendously.
Andrew: What was the feedback after people started using it? What did you learn that you didn’t know by yourself?
Thibaud: Well, actually, it just, it just depends how on how, how much time we have, because, uh, basically, you know, Getting the feedback is something that we’re obsessed about. And this is something that we have scaled up until today. And so there is not just one thing, it’s just everything. It’s, it’s like, you know, the image that I like to have is it’s like an impressionist painting.
It’s touch a faint. Maybe it doesn’t mean. But then you stay, can you take a step back and you see the entire picture and it’s crystal clear and that’s exactly how we see customer feedback. It was all those little touches that, you know, maybe taken separately. They were, you know, they may seem like they didn’t matter, but then once we acted on all of them, we kind of reshaped a product.
And so there were sayings like, Hey, add this feature, please. Maybe, you know, like, well ad scheduling or publishing. And so. The funny story is that to add publishing at that time, we didn’t build it in house. We partnered with buffer and we integrated with them and that’s how we offered publishing to our
Andrew: people needed to have a buffer account. And what you did was through their API APIs, you were sending, ah, and you know what? That makes sense because buffer, um, well, because buffer was just focused on this one thing and it was being used by your clients anyway.
Thibaud: Exactly. And what we were doing was not, uh, you know, a competition was not competing with borough because borough was the publisher. They were, you know, they would take existing content and it would publish the social media. We were the break that happened before that, in the process where we actually help teams create a content from scratch and make it ready for publishing.
So it just made sense to do it then.
Andrew: Did they help you get more customers?
Thibaud: No, not really. It was just a basic integration. They had an open API and that’s how we built it.
Andrew: They weren’t promoting you or anything or emailing them? No, none of that
Thibaud: It’s just, it’s just funny because now we could be considered competitors.
Andrew: you are,
Thibaud: It’s funny that that sound point we were just integrated.
Andrew: you know, you are competitors to some degree, right? They don’t have as many features as you do, but I think they work with more platforms than you. Right. And they’re focused just on the publishing schedule.
Thibaud: I don’t know if they work with more platforms than we do, because we, we cover some that, you know, are not very, uh, widespread in the scheduling industry, like Google my business and YouTube and even Snapchat and Tik TOK. But, you know, buffer is a great platform. It’s a great tool. We honestly, within their grades, uh, and they’ve been around for more time than we have.
And so we have a lot of respect for what they built.
Andrew: I T you’re smiling as we’re talking, like what, what are you holding back on it? I actually don’t feel like there’s any competition. I mean, you’re not aggressively promoting against them, but I was using SEMrush. And to just get a sense of where your traffic is going. One of the top pages on your site is Hootsuite alternative.
So you’re clearly like for people who are in that space, you’re trying to say we were here for you.
Thibaud: Yes we are, but you know, I think, you know, maybe to do the same, I don’t know. I cannot speak for them, but also, you.
know, I think that HootSweet, they, they are, uh, focusing on larger and larger customers. Now they are changing their pricing in this direction. So, you know, again, I don’t think we are directly competing.
I think we are complimentary in terms of, uh, the segments that we.
Andrew: All right. So you tell me that the first people that know me went after were people who are social media managers like her, but you told our producer, you know what? In time we discovered our audience is different. What was the difference?
Thibaud: So when we started again, because we were solving our own product, right. And so we were an agency. Noemi had been a freelancer before and we had clients. So we knew there were people inside. Brands inside organizations who also needed that kind of tool. So yeah. At first, you know, we said, okay, basically our target audience is social media managers and it can be for an answers, they can be in an agency or it can be working for brain house.
That was it. And then, you know, as, as we just started, you know, growing and getting more users and, and having people who just found us that we were not targeting, uh, where we realized that they were. Much, you know, many more people than, than that were interested in doing what w what and using what we were building.
And so, uh, there were, you know, SMBs who were just, you know, like even sometimes very, very small businesses, and even sometimes just, you know, uh, like, like solopreneurs who needed what we were doing. They were also nonprofits. There were government agencies, pretty much anyone who needed to just create content, approve it and distributed, which is basically everyone.
Andrew: Why would a solopreneur need to approve content?
Thibaud: What I first, we, you know, at first we were, uh, not only focusing on teams, we were also helping, uh, sort of preneurs and it was helpful for them to see what content?
was going to look like before publishing it, because sometimes, You know you want to create a tweet. And at that time you had only 140 characters and you’re like, oh, okay.
I see. But you know, it, wouldn’t be helpful to see how it’s going to jive with the emails or something.
It’s just helpful to preview before you publish.
Andrew: You know what I have that frustration with Twitter to this day, I want to publish, I want to just post a photo with a little bit of text fricking thing will sometimes cut off the important part of the photo. And there’s no way to see it because when you go to this site to upload a photo, what they show you is your photo in a square or something like not, it’s not representative of what it’s going to look like on their site.
Thibaud: Yeah. well, that’s, you know, that’s one of the things that we try to help with where we try to be as close as we can, to what the content is going to look like so that you don’t have surprises. That’s one of the things that we have with boys, as the saying is also, you know, it helps to preview the content sometimes to prevent typos or saying something you’re going to regret later or something like that.
So there are,
Andrew: Social media is all about saying stuff you regret. That’s how, that’s, how you get far. You ever regret anything? I have not said anything that I regret on social media and I have also not had any haters. So I feel like I’m not fully participating. Have you?
Thibaud: I don’t think so. you?
know, we try to, to be good and we try to listen and sometimes, you know, you have trolls, but it is
Andrew: I haven’t here. I did have the one bad thing that happened was someone very aggressively posted my cell phone number. So they used to be very open about it, to all these different places. And they used it like a very ethnic name. And then they went to like payday loan places. It was a very racist thing to have done.
And then they slammed my phone number through it. And as a result, it was just constant phone calls on that, on that cell phone. I still get phone calls on it to this day. Years and years I can’t, because it’s like the two factor authentication on stuff and all that other pain. It’s such a, such a nightmare
Thibaud: I’ve seen, I’ve seen DJs like pranking each other, doing some kind of things, but I didn’t know he was, it was a thing that spammers would do.
Andrew: No. If you’re angry at someone, what you do is you take their phone number and you just post it on a bunch of different contests and a bunch of different payday loans. And then that’s it. The person’s got to put up with this forever. Oh.
Thibaud: about that.
Andrew: But you know what, as things go, that’s actually pretty damn good. I I’ve been spared.
Luckily, what was their major feature that helps you bring in even more customers like make a dramatic improvement?
Thibaud: Um, well, you know, indeed, what was interesting is, so we had this beautiful platform that was helping you create a content. What, you know, then we had customers who were super happy with it and they had created, and they were like, okay, now how do I publish it? And so indeed at that point, it, you know, it, it, it was game changer to had publishing features, um, in-house and natively.
And so, yeah, that helped because it, that is what kind of led us to being in the publishing game and not only in the project management game. And, and today, what we see is that Lumi is right. What, what makes normally great is that we have those two components. First you create, then you publish.
Andrew: Makes sense. The editing features, how, how robust were they in the beginning? The ones that we’re allowing people to design, are we talking about like competing with.
Thibaud: Um, I don’t know. I wouldn’t say so. Ken Vi’s in a league of their own. They are terrific. They’re a great app as well. And so, you know, for a long time we didn’t even have the editing features. What we had was we were just allowing you to. Upload an image or a video and add the co-PI and then it will generate the mo-cap for you.
But that was kind of static. Um, we, we added an editor, I would say in 2019. And so, um, you can, you know, add filters, you can crop and we help you with the most booklet, our crop ratios for social media, and then you can add text and effects and things like that. So, uh, I think cannabis again is a terrific, uh, application, but you know, we have, we have users who use canvas and then to, uh, used DSS at accrediting canvas in lonely.
Andrew: All right. Second sponsor HostGator. Usually my host Gator ads because they host websites. I asked my guest, if you could start today, imagine you know me coming back from your travel around the world. You need a new business. What would that business be?
Thibaud: a, that’s a good question. So, well, you know, we’ve like in the past it was funny. We started. The candy business, the candy business kind of led to starting the agency and then the agency led to creating Lumi. So, I mean, if we follow that logic, probably we would launch something to help with SAS businesses.
That’s probably what we would do.
Andrew: Wow. Because that might lead to something which might lead to something else you’re saying, look, just start by creating something and then follow the need.
Thibaud: Exactly. Yeah.
it’s the, it’s the, the domain IFA it or the, the butterfly effect. However you want to call it. It’s just, you know, when you start something you don’t know where it’s going to take you. And also once you start doing things, actually doing things with your hands, then you’ll run into issues. Uh, and so either you find a solution to fix those issues or while you build it.
Andrew: All right. That’s why I like consulting businesses. You do the work for other people. You feel the problem. And then you say, there’s gotta be a way to solve this problem or to automate this so that we don’t have to keep doing it. All right. If you need to start an auto, if you need to start a, a consulting business, you need a website.
Here’s the thing. If you go to hostgator.com/mixergy, they’ll let you host your site quickly, inexpensively and dependably. And frankly, if you’re not happy with it, you take your site, you go to somebody else. These aren’t people who have lock-in, they have really good open source software that will allow you to host your site.
Right. I happen to use WordPress and have for years, and I been using HostGator for years and I’d recommend them to, if you use my URL, they’ll give you a little. And I’d love to hear about what you do with it. Here’s a URL to get that price. It’s hostgator.com/mixergy. And of course, if you want to give me feedback about your experience with HostGator or show off what you’ve done with it.
My email address is email@example.com. And I was want to hear from you. You told our producer, by the way, TiVo, you’re obsessed with customer feedback. What are you doing for customer feedback today? How do you express that?
Thibaud: Um, why don’t we speak with over 250 customers every single day? Uh, we can speak with them on the chat, on our website or over email or on social media, of course. And so, well, basically first of course, we try to solve their problems, uh, and we hope they don’t have too many problems, but, you know, beyond that we just, uh, collect their feedback and we just.
Feedback as just, you know, as gold because that’s what it is. And so when they tell us, Hey, uh, I don’t understand where I can find these or that we understand that maybe there was a prime was the UI or the UX. Uh, when they say, Hey, I would really like to be able to do that when you send a, we miss a feature and when they say, Hey, I’m trying to do that.
It’s not working. We know we have the bag. And so these three things are the elements that make the structure of the roadmap. We prioritize everything based on the number of requests that we get for a specific feature or bag. And that has been helping us tremendously to get where we are today.
Andrew: How do you prioritize
Thibaud: Well, based on the number of requests, uh, so, you
Andrew: straight up number of requests?
Thibaud: Yeah. So we have like a, you know, uh, we have actually a spreadsheet, which is ironic. You I’m sure you’ll give it to me. Uh, so we have a spreadsheet. And so, you know, we have a list of all the requests. And so depending on how often the, uh, they are requested and you know, they are sorted. And then whenever we are working on the next quarterly roadmap, then we say, okay, here is like, you know what?
He’s the most frequently requested. And we just tackled it first.
Andrew: what was your first hire? I’m guessing a developer or you wanted to stay close to it.
Thibaud: No, no, it was it wasn’t engineer. Uh, and then the second hire as well. And then the third hire was customer success. Uh, Okay.
Andrew: What, what network do you see as the top network right now? Is it Instagram for brands?
Thibaud: Yeah. So, you know, Instagram is, is, is of course like the, the big leader is where a lot of the action happens. Uh, and it’s, it’s amazing. And it’s, it’s, it’s, it keeps growing so fast, although it’s already so big. So it’s, it’s just, it’s just impressive.
Andrew: number two with LinkedIn.
So what’s interesting is to me, there are three platforms that I find really, really interesting.
Uh, yes, LinkedIn is one of the three, uh, because it’s terrific for B2B. And When we say B2B, it’s just more of the professional part of your life. Uh, and it’s helpful for, uh, you know, maybe you want to advance your career. Maybe you need to hire talents, or maybe you just, you know, want to reach out to B2B prospects.
And so LinkedIn is just amazing and we see that the rich is terrific. We see more and more of those posts that go viral. And I just think it’s amazing. Another one that I love and that I think is in a way is, is, is, and it feels weird to say that, but in a way to me is underrated. It’s YouTube and YouTube is just terrific because when you see the audience, the engagement, uh, it’s just, it’s, it’s incredible.
Many content creators. They, maybe they take one year or two years to reach 1 million subscribers. And then it will the sentence, three months later, there are three, four or five minutes, but it’s just insane.
Andrew: see that happen, you can see when someone’s on a roll, when they’re just committing to publishing on a regular basis. Publishing the same thing and you can see them just obsess and improve. It’s so fun to watch them grow
Thibaud: It’s amazing. and I’m, I’m really, I’m really fascinated by that. Um,
Andrew: and lonely plays in that space. Number three, and for you, for your customers, is, is YouTube.
Thibaud: Uh, I mean, alumina is integrated with YouTube. Uh, and so yes, we will show them to you. We are our customers and our users to publish videos to YouTube. And yes, there was a lot of demon for that because there are not that many publishers and schedulers actually that support YouTube. Um, so that’s the second one and the serve the one itself.
Take, you know, how can you, how can you not talk about tic-tac it’s, it’s, it’s insane, the growth that we’re seeing there as well. And I think it’s interesting because, you know, they brought a fresh type of content. And, and what we hear now is that, uh, they are not only competing with social networks. They are actually competing with, uh, you know, streaming services and, and you, you hear competitors like Netflix say yes, our biggest competitor is tick-tock.
So I think it’s, it’s fascinating to see what’s happening and, and, and also how it. Into how it fit into the pandemic.
Andrew: Does lonely allow people to publish directly into tick-tock? I know you just had the Instagram integration, right?
Thibaud: yeah. Yeah. Uh, so yeah. So on, on Instagram you can publish natively on tick-tock. You still have to receive a reminder because there is a dis time. There is not yet, uh, an API for, for that, but even with that, it’s just, it’s one of the fastest growing, uh, networks that we see.
Andrew: Do you think that YouTube is going to, you know, how they are now going into standard posts? Do you think that that’s going to be a big thing for them, like beyond video, will they become the place where you have Tik TOK style video, which they’re making a play for and almost Instagram style images, which is not really
Thibaud: And they even knew the shorts. Right. So the shorts are like take the videos
Andrew: That’s what I meant. Did they, did they call it shorts that they were trying to short? They were trying stories. They’re they’re experimenting with these short form things. It seems like shorts has caught on
Thibaud: so they have shorts, but they also have what they call community, uh, you know, posts where you can basically post a photo. So I don’t know, I can’t be wrong, you know? And, uh, and I don’t have like a crystal ball, but the way I see it is the videos, like the actual high quality videos that you see that, you know, creators post every week or every month, these, you know, remains the blood of the platform.
It’s, it’s just, you know, the, the core aspect of the platform is probably why. You come to the platform as, as an audience member, those, um, you know, the shorts and, and the community photos. What, what I find them helpful for is kind of, you know, like spring, spring, how do you say spring? Yeah, Yeah,
that’s very cool.
And, and, and it’s helpful because you know, it kind of, maybe in between two videos you have to create, or who shows something behind from behind the scenes, or it gives an update because they are not going to be able to publish this week and say that. And I think it gives like a human touch that kind of contrast very well with the high production value of most videos these days.
So I think it’s interesting. I don’t think it’s going to displace the audience or replace the core content, but I think it’s a very nice.
Andrew: it does make so much more sense than say YouTube music, which I don’t fully get. It makes sense. It makes sense.
Thibaud: What have you seen how many views there are on the, on, on the clip, uh, videos. It’s insane.
Andrew: is. I also find that a lot of them are, um, are like clips of someone else’s videos, you know, it’s, they’re, they’re not yet getting original content the way that tick-tock is. Um, but the community stuff with their posts, that’s awesome to see someone that you’re waiting for another post from saying, here’s what I’m thinking of.
Or I just bought this. We’re going to make a video about it soon. That’s kind of interesting. Um, I think you’re right. YouTube is such a fascinating, um, platform. Do you know the one that is disappointing is Pinterest. I thought that one would end up really taking over. I don’t know.
Thibaud: What it is. It’s huge.
Andrew: Is it big for you guys?
Thibaud: It is. And, and I think, you know, so it’s, it’s funny, you mentioned that because we actually published an article on our blog, um, very recently, and we were kind of calling them a black horse in the sense that they don’t make that much noise, but they are winning big and they are like, they are huge for e-commerce.
Uh, they have very interesting features like shopping lists and, and rich spins, where basically you can sync up your e-commerce store, the catalog from your e-commerce store. And then on your pins, you will have dynamic pricing for instance. So whenever you change your price on your Shopify, Product page Daniel will be reflected automatically on Pinterest and, you know, they’re, they are just great for e-commerce.
Uh, there are the windows shopping platform by excellence and they are just, they are huge. Um, and they sold it off growth, uh,
Andrew: I didn’t realize it. Yeah. Look at this during, COVID look at this, your I’ve got the chart up on your screen. So I’ve got the numbers, growth of monthly active users of selected social media platforms worldwide from 2019 to 2021 Tik TOK of course, number one 38%. But number two, it’s not Reddit. It’s not Instagram.
It’s fricking Pinterest, 38% for tick-tock 32 for Pinterest. I had no idea,
Thibaud: it is amazing. Yes, it is. It’s big.
Andrew: you know, where I, and that they’re really big. They’re SEO is just off the charts. Right? If you look for like a printable for your kid, printable maids, it’s going to be on Pinterest and then it’s going to lead you to their app. If there’s certain things that they just rock at.
Thibaud: And you can actually find, uh, case studies about that because they are just amazing. And one of the things that I just, you know, keep in mind is one of the ways they have been winning at that is because they basically localized the content. So for instance, if you know, they, they have been able to use a local domain names for each countries, for instance, you know, Pinterest as the DEA for Germany and fr for France and stuff like that.
And this has helped tremendously. They are a case study. For growth hacking for this specific reason.
Andrew: In growth hacking for search engine optimization largely.
Thibaud: Yeah. I mean, yeah, exactly.
Andrew: Huh? The one that I’m really rooting for is, uh, it’s big cloud. Do you know, big cloud?
Thibaud: Not, not that much.
Andrew: It is, it’s just like a few weeks old, but you can see that a lot of the, the, the, uh, Took them out, big cloud.com. It looks when you go to the site, kind of like Twitter, but every single person has a coin automatically
Thibaud: Oh, yeah. Yeah, exactly. And, And yeah, I was like, you know, I’m asking, they haven’t even like, you know,
Andrew: Elon Musk isn’t even on the platform, they didn’t ask permission, but they have the coin. I think that’s fine. A lot of people now are noticing, are claiming their coin and say, Hey, you know what? I’ve got a coin on this platform. Let’s just go and do it. And what’s interesting is there’s a price on everyone’s head.
And then at first it’s like, you’re betting on people the way you’re betting for sports cards. It doesn’t seem that interesting. Eventually what I’m noticing happen is people say, if you own a certain amount of my coins, You get access to calls with me or access to my community or access to my content.
Right. And it then gives people a reason to invest in your coin. And in addition, if you’re communicating well, if you’re really being active on the platform, people start to find you and then buy your coin. And then that goes up. And so you’re going to make money from this coin that goes up as opposed to hoping that you can get some advertising.
It’s an interesting, a very, very small community so far.
Thibaud: It is, uh, I think it’s amazing. And it’s, you know, we’re talking a lot about the NFTs and many of the things that, you know, in the decentralized finance and stuff like that. And I think in the creator economy, and I think that this is kind of like blending everything together and, and coming up with a new business model and your revenue streams for creator as an individuals.
I just think it’s amazing.
Andrew: Really is the website is dot com. I liked the domain. You guys had to pay a lot of money for it.
Thibaud: Uh, not that much but, uh, we, we also have, the funny story is we also have loom dot LOI for our URL shortener. So that’s, you know, kind of also how we came up with the name. I honestly, I don’t know. I don’t remember.
Andrew: Yeah. It’s it feels to me like it’s about 10 K easy to
Thibaud: maybe, but actually I’m wondering if we actually maybe lonely, did we get it firsthand or was it secondhand? I honestly don’t remember.
Andrew: Okay, great domain. Easy to spell and as a terrible speller, I especially appreciate it. Thanks for being on here. And I want to thank the two sponsors who made this interview happen. The first, if you’re hosting a website, you’ve heard me just rip through those ads talking way too fast, but the site, the software, the hosting just works.
Go to hostgator.com/mixer. And number two, when you’re ready to actually start not just making money from advertising, which is nice. Look, I’m doing it right now, myself, but also by selling directly to your audience. If you’ve got content and you want to start monetizing it, go to member full.com/mixergy, great platform.
All right, TBL. Thanks so much for being on here, man.
Thibaud: Thanks for having me. Andrew was a pleasure.
Andrew: You bet. Bye. Bye everyone.