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Early-Stage Founder 27: Dave Schneider on 10X-ing in 18 Months With Influencer Outreach

Early-Stage Founder 27: Dave Schneider on 10X-ing in 18 Months With Influencer Outreach

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For the next 2 weeks, I’ll be releasing an episode on Tuesdays and Thursdays, to gear up for MicroConf on April 9th. These episodes will be focused on self-funded, often solo-founders. Some are on the smaller side, while others have ARRs over 7-figures, but they all have valuable lessons to share for any founder.

Today, I’m talking with Dave Schneider, a co-founder of Ninja Outreach, a SaaS startup designed to make it easy to find influencers and automate your outreach.

In our chat, we cover everything from how Dave and his team managed to turn things around after a failed beta to why they aren’t setting out to build the next unicorn, but where we really dive in is the exact content marketing and influencer outreach process Dave and his team used to fuel their 10x growth from $3k MRR to $30k MRR in 18 months.

Dave will be the first to tell you that this process isn’t revolutionary, but if you apply it consistently, you will get results, and today Dave shares everything you need to do just that.

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Topics covered:

  • (1:15) Dave discusses how he came up with the idea for Ninja Outreach
  • (4:00) Dave shares how he got his first customers and their struggles during the beta 
  • (12:19) Dave outlines the influencer outreach strategy he followed to accelerate his growth
  • (19:54) Dave talks about the importance of relentlessly removing bottlenecks from your processes
  • (23:41) Dave shares why he is OK with the idea that Ninja Outreach will never be a $100,000,000 business and what his real goals are

Resources mentioned:

Where to learn more:

Check out the Ninja Outreach blog for a monthly update on their progress to $1M ARR and also for great tips on influencer and content marketing. If you want to reach out to Dave directly, tune into the episode for his email address.

Transcript:

00:01.6 ANDY:  Dave, thanks so much for coming on the show today.

00:03.9 DAVE:   Thanks for having me Andy.

00:04.5 ANDY:  Of course, and so, why don't we just get right into it? How did the idea for Ninja Outreach come about?

00:10.8 DAVE:   Sure, so we're going back, like two and a half years now.  mid-2014 and I was thinking about starting a software business for no reason other than I wanted to have a self-employed business. And I was thinking about what that idea could be. And my original idea was something like help blogger … promote their content because everyone was talking about content promotion.

Like the touch of articles I was reading was like here's 17 ways to promote your content and they were all one off… You know things that you can do. I said what if there was a software that kind of grouped all that together and maybe with the click of a button, kind of did everything…

and I reached out to some bloggers to see what they thought and a couple of people said yeah, that sounds cool, but what I'd really like is  a blogger outreach CRM. Something kind of like group {inaudible 00:58.9} but at a reasonable price. And I had two really prominent bloggers say that and that was the first time that I saw like  like you know an overlap in… in something.

And I said well okay, well this is interesting… It's not the idea that I had but let me explore this further.

01:14.6 ANDY:   Mm hmm

01:15.4 DAVE:   And we started to look at what types of blogger outreach CRM's were out there and what they were charging. And it was true that there wasn't really a blogger outreach CRM that combined a prospecting and an outreach tool in one and did so at a reasonable price. , there were a lot of prospecting tools out there, there were a lot of outreach tools out there…

ANDY:   Right…

01:38.5 DAVE:   But you would have to use both of them to kind of basically handle the same work flow. And then of the few that kind of did both, they could be something like 10 thousand dollars a year which is just not really affordable for a small business. So, our value proposition was to combine both at a reasonable price.

01:55.5 ANDY:   And so leading up to that had you been doing much of this outreach on your own?

02:01.6 DAVE:  I had kind of been the recipient of the outreach actually because I had been blogging for several years myself, and  especially in the travel niche and I had been receiving inquiries from advertisers who wanted to basically post on our blog and buy links and things like that.

ANDY:   Mm hmm.

02:19.7 DAVE:   And so I thought, okay well, now I have a little bit of a network because we've worked all of these advertisers, I can kind of leverage that, and maybe have a little bit of an idea about what they're looking for and… and things like that. So, that… it wasn't… It was kind of like, you scratch your own itch… but a little bit also not I was on the other side of the market place.

02:37.9 ANDY:  Interesting. So, how long from getting this early validation, getting this early feedback from others out there… How long from that point did it take for you to actually have a product that you were ready to start selling?

DAVE:   It took six months.

ANDY:   Okay. That's pretty quick. Are you technical yourself?

02:56.4 DAVE:   Not really, no. I mean I'm at least like  a technical savvy enough to be able to kind of like understand what's going on and have a conversation with a developer but not to actually code it. So, this is you know back… this… this became basically the brainchild of three partners, one of which was the lead developer in the early days and he had a prototype to start with and we built on that one. Took about six months we launched in January 2015.

ANDY:   Okay. And once you do launch, what does the product do at that point? Like what are the capabilities?

DAVE:   Technically, the capabilities were that you could put in the key word, one would search for influencers, filtered by some basic metrics, add them to a list, integrate your email address and send emails to them one by one.

ANDY:   I see and so once you have that out there it… It's enough for people to get interested and to say alright, I'm willing to pay for this. But how were those first customers coming in? How are they finding you?

04:00.4 DAVE:    so we had done a beta. , we did a beta a couple months prior watching where… what… What we had basically done was outreach to a lot of people. I mean we… we built… we built a website and we started blogging and we generated some traffic that way and we were active in some communities where marketers were hanging out and then we did outreach campaigns to people that we thought would be interested in trying it,  people that had written about the competitors or were maybe featured on their website in testimonials, and things like that.

to kind of come up with a list  anyway, we asked people, would you be interested in joining the beta… You know when it's ready and we got a list of maybe one or two hundred people to try it out and then when the product was ready to try out for the beta, we reached back out to them, and invited them to try it. And  , you know half of them did, half of them didn't, , the end result though was that  no one … Virtually no one from the beta converted.

ANDY:   Really?

4:59.3 DAVE:   It just… It just went awful… Yep. Oh yeah, we got one. One person converted and it was just this nice older gentleman who I had spoken with on the phone and I just think he took pity on us.  it was not at all like the customer avatar that we were going for. And he…he…he bought it. , but everybody else really hated it.

they hated… they just didn't like the product, it was a desktop application, for Windows only, it was slow, it was buggy, it was way worse than what the competitors had and there was really no business or reason for them to use it whatsoever. So, the beta went totally flopped but, we decided to keep going with it anyway because we had, well, we had already spent six months on it, let's just keep trying. So, in… You know basically we just kind of kept spending more and more time, to develop a better product. Kind of now where we are, where we feel more on par with what's out there.

ANDY:   How long did it take you from that point, from the failed beta until you had something that you think actually was worth paying for?

5:56.8 DAVE:   Yesterday. … Basically… Yeah… I mean it really… It… You know… It took us several months to build a web application … that was … outside of the desktop app but then once we built a web application I mean it was… We were basically starting from scratch again. We didn't have email integration, until August, so  I mean now, it's like the whole value proposition that we thought we were going to have, we didn't even really have, … You know and then… And then even when we did, I mean… It still, it was just way worse than what the competitors had, but even… even so, there's a lot of people that don't do competitive research when they're shopping around…

ANDY:   Okay.

DAVE:   They just kind of like you know they look for a solution and they… They stumble upon one and then they try it and if it goes okay, they continue using it so, even though we… We got off to a really really slow start, it wasn't like we had zero customers even though we had a product that frankly was just worse than what was out there. You know in August, we were still, doing like 3000 dollars a month or something, I mean, it's small but like noticeable. Like at least…

ANDY:   Right.

DAVE: We didn't have to be like, oh yay, there's something here. You know so we would just kind of keep going and then you know over time, eventually now, it's like you know we do have like … We have a pretty on par with the future comparison we have. But  like I said, yeah, I mean  they… There really was a lot of people that would… Were willing to give it a shot even though it was just categorically worse then everything out there.

ANDY:   Well, at least you're honest about it and so, at this point, roughly how big are you in terms of MRR?

DAVE:   Around 30 K.

ANDY:  So, in August 2015, you have this okay thing. It's doing about 3k a month, today 18 months later, it's doing 30k a month, what happens in between to ramp up to that point?

DAVE:   There… There's a lot of things that we just kind of kept doing, just a lot of grinding, and that was probably the majority of it.   complimented by , a couple of instances sort of break out you know  features and stuff.  for example,  in August, which was kind of a month when I feel like we made a decent amount of progress, I think we probably went from like 3k to 6k or something like that…

ANDY:  Mm hmm…

DAVE:    we got on Entrepreneur on Fire… we had posts go out on Boost blog traffic and Unbounce, we  launched on product time, we doubled our prices, you know so we… we kind of made a lot of moves in August, and  that…That… that kind of set up the rest of the year because then we went from something like you know 3k in early August to like 10K in December. So which is just like… you know we started at zero and we had a really really slow start,  so that’s… those types of things really set up the rest of the year, but you know also… oh and then later on we did Appsumo for example, like in October of that same year…

So, a couple of those really big things really set up 2015 and then kind of gave us a foundation to grow on in 2016. That said, we still were always doing a lot of the grinding, we were doing a lot of blog writing, guest posting, product reviews. Just the day in, day out type of stuff to kind of build links and get noticed.

ANDY:   Yeah, and so I… I want to dig into what that kind of grind was like because some of those publications you mentioned, like Entrepreneur on Fire, Unbounce, all of these blogs, all of these podcasts, these types of things, those are something that as an outsider, I would think would be easy to get on to and to get into for… How did that process work?

DAVE:   Yeah, I mean it was you know this is important to marketing, basically which is kind of what they tool is about and the idea… The idea is that  if you got influence in this space and you can find a way to work with them,  you can find a mutually beneficial outcome, where you're providing them value like content usually or something like that.

And they are then providing you value by sharing  you with their audience, so we would reach out to you know {inaudible}. Traffic, Unbalanced, you know Entrepreneur on Fire and see, if they had opportunities to work with us you know could I… Could we come on the show? Or could we write some content… And you know they do, because, that's how they work… They work… they live off of providing content to their audience and they produce it by these type of guest appearances, so, there wasn't anything spectacular about it, except that we just kind of researched and read and give them {Inaudible}

Outreach and they said yeah, sure, show us what you've got, if it's good, we'll post it. And you know, {inaudible} took a while to write you know to be fair and I would go back and forth with the editors of each of them, you know, but the outcome was something much better than the vast majority of other guest posts that I've done where you know people didn't really care that much about what I wrote.

So, it was worth the effort.

ANDY:   Okay and so there's a few things that I want to unpack there. The first is… You talked about pitching and you talked about {inaudible} and different ideas, what does that actual initial email look like because even if someone with a smaller, podcast, I get a lot of outreach emails that are absolutely horrible, and so I'm sure you did something different than a lot of people when you're writing them, so how did you write these emails to actually get them read and get them to pay attention to you?

DAVE:   Yeah, the first thing we'd do is really visit the website and get a sense for what they're about and  always read their guidelines.  which is something that a lot of people fail to do… I got… I gotta request yesterday to write a guest post on Ninja Outreach and we have a write for us, right on the bottom of our footer, so you know and that person had sort of completely ignored everything that we had said so…

12:09.3 You know we… we went… We would go to these websites, we'd read what their terms were, you know who was the right person, to contact, what… what… what was… did they want to see in a pitch, and then we'd use our own sort or research to take a look at the… Their audience,  articles that had done well, and try to relate what we were offering to things that had worked well for them in the past. So saying like well, you published, this article about you know 50 SEO tactics that work, really well,  what about so your audience really likes long lists of tactics, what about you know 50…

50 tactics for influencing marketing or you know, something like that you know in theory.  so just kind of personalized, well researched, outreach.

ANDY:   And then, so once they bite… once they say yeah, sure, we'll check it out, we'll consider that, you'd mentioned that these types of guest posts, took a lot more effort than others. What were some of the examples of the guest posts that were actually accepted and why did they take so much time?

DAVE:    for example, the one that I wrote for Boost Blog Traffic, was  like a {inaudible} hack to get like thousands of visitors and it was about how we  basically, how to build an ultimate guide using like influencers and list posts and things like that and there was a lot of … Kind of like you know, these things usually, are to kind of like technical in a sense so you're… maybe you're referencing screenshots, or there's some sort of… You're referencing different tools, or you know how to do something in a spreadsheet.  so you really have to…It…

It takes really a lot of time to kind of write those types of posts as opposed to kind of the wishy washy you know five ways to do this and that and you can kind of say whatever, and you don't have to actually reference data or anything like that.  so that was one reason. The other was just that the editors have high standards and they would continue to kind of go back and forth with us and say can you clarify more here, can you add more here,  they want really complete publishing you know so it's not enough to just kind of  you know talk about one thing, but you really, have to go from start to finish, you know, how to come up with the idea, how do you execute it, how do you promote it. So for those reasons, they… They would take you know, definitely like many hours.

ANDY:   And so, once you finally, got them to accept the post and get it published, how are you tying it back into Ninja Outreach so that you make sure you're getting some results from this other than just maybe a link?

DAVE:   Sometimes we would feature our tool, in the article, you know when it was relevant, and we'd say well now you need to go find the contact information of the influencers. You could do that by hand or you could use Ninja outreach, so you might do something like that. Obviously, there's always like,  kind of a link at the end of the article that… That kind of goes to us and we might link to ourselves, in the article. Maybe not the tool, but like, an article that we wrote, so there's kind of different ways that we're interweaving or weaving in our product into the post.

ANDY:   I see and so how much of your growth do you attribute to this type of influence or outreach… This type of content marketing?

DAVE:   I think that it's pretty significant I mean for it… It's… Yeah, it's really hard to say…

ANDY:   Right.

DAVE:   Like a good number, I know that the blog is about… … … I guess half of the traffic for example, that the entire website gets  and that is really a combination… The blog is really built on you know, content marketing that we've wrote but also influencer marketing that we've done to get ourselves out there that build links, to  you know, to get  you know views and… and mentions. I mean I… I feel like, it's half. You know half the growth.

ANDY:  Okay.

DAVE:   It's probably that.

ANDY:   Okay, then so a lot of that you said is from posting on other sites from tapping into other influencers audiences, but you do have a very active blog, at Ninja Outreach so how do you think about… Just big picture, how do you think about content marketing for your own blog to get results?

DAVE:   So usually you know, a lot of people kind of start … You know a blog because you know, they've heard about why you should start a blog and things like that.  and when we started the blog… We started the blog right away admittedly,  but the main focus in the beginning was on things like guest posting and product reviews… And really kind of getting out of our own blog because our blog had no traffic so there was no reason to work in it. It made more sense to really work out of it.  until the blog kind of passed a threshold where it… You know maybe we got more value posting great posts on our own blog than giving it away to somebody else. And then the shift became more in with the focus which is kind of a bit more where we are now, even though that's still…

We still try to do you know guest posting and stuff. You know when we can fit it in.  but you know we, take our take our content strategy in the same way that we think about like product which is we try to research the people that are reading the blog. I'm even putting a survey together right now, I'm going to send out to the list and understand more about what content… You know, who the people are, who are reading it, you know what content do they want to read, and see if we can kind of adapt our strategy to make sure that the articles that we're putting out are more relevant to the people that are on the list and you know are interested in reading about it.

So definitely, you know thinking about the you… The… the subscriber is one part. SEO you know plays a factor. You know what are the keywords that we… That we want to be targeting. What do we think the opportunities sort of are,  those are the main ways that… That we use to develop the content strategy.

17:33.1 ANDY:   Do you have someone who owns the content process on your team? Is that you or how do you divvy up those responsibilities?

17:41.5 DAVE:   It's me and we recently brought on a girl in December who is a talented writer. And… and also knows about content strategy and she is kind of like the blog manager right now.  yeah but she kind of also like reports to me in that sense.

17:58.9 ANDY:   I see, and… and earlier… In the earlier days, though, were you doing all of the writing yourself?

18:05.8 DAVE:   Yeah, 100 percent.

18:08.3 ANDY:   So, what was the… What would like an average week look like for you while… Cause when you're in the {inaudible} of a startup, there are thousands of things that you need to do and one of the most common reasons I hear, from founders of why they're not able to do content marketing is because they don't have the time. So how were you able to find the time to consistently put out all these guest posts and keep your own blog active?

18:29.6 DAVE:   Well, we had a lot of time because we didn't have like customers… So, you know. There wasn't that much customer support to do yet. Three… You know we had three by the end of January 2015, right after a month of being live. So,  that was just pretty easy to cater to them,  you know, I had a co-founder…  who was doing his part,  we you know we had… we had develop… We had a developer or two, who were working on the product, but you know development is not an overnight thing so usually I would you know say… I'd set the strategy of the road map and you know a couple days out, he would work on something and I would need to review it for a bit of time. So, kind of in that down time, I was just writing content, churning it out and trying to market to grow the traffic for the business.

19:34.1 ANDY:   What would you say as advice for those founders who may be in that position where they don't have as much help, whether they're solo founders, or they have a heavier customer support that they're handling themselves. How would you recommend that they find the time to pursue influencer outreach content marketing and all of that?

19:54.6 DAVE:  You need to really think about where are the bottlenecks in your business, you know, early on, the bottleneck in our business was leads. You know, how do we get more leads to the software…  how do we get more people to sign up. And if that's the case, then you need to be thinking about marketing. It doesn't make sense to think about the onboarding the tool because there's nobody to onboard.

And I think that's like  obvious but a common mistake that a lot of people make. Nowadays, I mean you can always use more leads, I mean like obviously like hey I wouldn't mind having double the traffic but realistically, I think there's a… The low hanging fruit is more from  you know the conversion rate, the trial to paid conversion rate and the turn rate. So, it's… I think it's very more of a product centric problem right now so from a mindset perspective I'm kind of more focused on that than I am say writing the next piece of content when you've already got, you know 40 thousand visitors a month, or whatever it is.

20:49.6 ANDY:   Right. And so it's not necessarily, forcing the time for a content above all else, it's saying, let's take a step back and let's look at the business, let's see, where the bottlenecks are and see, what needs help, and if it is a marketing problem then whatever else we're doing, we need to find the time to focus on marketing, content is a great way to do that but, if there are other issues, then maybe it is okay if we don't have the time for content. Is that a fair way of summarizing it?

21:15.5 DAVE:  Yeah, I think that's correct.

21:17.5 ANDY:   Alright and so one thing I'm curious about, because you had said, this before and you had said, that one of the harder parts about growing the business was just that because you're bootstrapped, the progress is slow. And so, was it a decision to stay bootstrapped to bootstrap up until this point a deliberate decision, and if so, why?

21:37.2 DAVE:    it was sort of semi deliberate, you know, a lot of people… I… sometimes people ask me, yeah like why'd you stay bootstrapped and I would just say, well, no body offered us any money you know so it wasn't really… {inaudible} seem like it's… It's sort of this choice or whatever and the reality is you know, like if I really hustled if I really devoted a lot of time to sort of raising money you know, could we maybe get in an investor or some independent group or solo type of person that kind of put in some money.

yeah, probably, I mean you put enough effort into something you know, you can probably get some terms or something like that.  but you know, the reality is, we tried  to… to join some incubators, early on, we applied to 500 startups twice, we were rejected both times,  their reasoning was mainly, they just didn't like the market we were in and that's a very tough thing to get around, it's…you know you can't… I can't change the market that we're going after so it was really unappealing for investors …

22:24.6 ANDY:   How do people define the market that you are in or how did they define it and why didn't they like that like that market.

DAVE:   Basically, influencer marketing, they felt like it was really crowded, there were dozens of {inaudible 22:53.1} that we didn't really have a unique selling proposition, that it wasn't really like a 100 million or billion-dollar market. All of these things are basically true to be fair.  so for that reason, they weren't really interested in going forward with our application, even though technically, our business was earning more than the vast majority of other people that applied or probably even got accepted to be honest.  and then so after we kind of tried those… those types of things and we kind of got rejected it wasn't that we got down about it, it was just kind of like, well, that was… that was kind of the low hanging fruit, that was something that we could do, it didn't take a lot of time and time to just focus on growing the business, so we just decided to stick with that.

23:33.1 ANDY:   Does it bother you at all, like in your mind, is it a problem that this may never become a 100-million-dollar business?

23:41.2 DAVE:  It's almost definitely never going to be become a 100-million-dollar business and I've kind of like realized that a long time ago and it doesn't take a genius to really figure that out, to be honest.  and once you see that you say well… well…well, that doesn't mean it can't be something great. I mean  just because it's not 100-million-dollar business doesn't mean it couldn't be a multi-million-dollar business and I wouldn't mind a multi-million-dollar business and you know I could still  pay myself good money and have a lifestyle that I actually preferred…

Probably preferred more than if I had a 100-million-dollar business, because starting like I think  commitments that you have when you're that large that you know  a smaller business probably doesn't need to deal with.  so definitely come to terms with it. I've realized that, that's probably more what I wanted anyway,  to… to be honest, because, I'm more of a lifestyle entrepreneur and  you know of course, there is time for other businesses in the future, you know if that was something that I ever really wanted to try to achieve.

24:44.0 ANDY:   For sure and it's something that I hear a lot when talking to other founders that are bootstrapping that you see a couple of different camps. You see a few who right from the get go, they know they want to be bootstrapped, they know this was the way to go, they hate the venture capital they hate the Silicon Valley, echo chamber and I get it. And so, they say, we want to be bootstrapped, I want to own the whole thing. And then you have others who aren't as deliberate. Like in your situation but when they take a step back and think about it, they realize like hey this makes sense, this can build a business that can support my life, and build the life that I want and that's okay, like I don't need to be the next Zuckerberg to still radically improve my life. Does that seem like a… a fair  categorization?

25:30.0 DAVE:   Yeah, I mean, generally, those are the two big ones. I feel like there is a small third subset of people that do take money but kind of run their business like a bootstrap startup. A good example is like Bare Metrics. It has actually taken money, but I feel like I read their blog, I feel like it's more of a bootstrap community. He'll speak at MicroConf, Josh… You know Josh, the…the founder. So, that… There's a little bit of those people and I kind of like… I like that group of people as well because I feel like they may have the opportunity to maybe get a bit of the best of both worlds. It's kind of like taking money the right way. But they seem to be small. Yeah you know in nber.

26:08.2 ANDY:   And I mean I think Josh, is actually a great example and similar to Su Chen Patella {?} who has… He owns a multiple  fast companies but he's also fully bootstrapped and he… Su Chen said, that if he does raise money, it will be on his terms and that it won't necessarily be, alright, I'm going to raise this money for my seed rounding… It's going to be series A and then series B, and if we don't get to a billion dollars, the investors are going to sue me, and this and that and that.

But it's that, there is that middle ground where it's possible to take money without a complete lead destroying kind of the philosophical ground that a lot of bootstrappers stand on. So, I'm glad, you pointed that distinction out. And the one thing though, I want to ask it to start wrapping things up, a little bit is that for founders who are in those earlier days, like you were, when you were struggling with the product what… what could you give them for advice to help make a decision on whether or not they should keep going on what they should focus on, on how they should prioritize their effort?

27:07.3 DAVE:    well, the question on whether or not to keep going, is a very difficult one because, probably, you know in theory, looking at the way we got started, it probably should not have kept going I mean it's just such an awful start you know, you're talking about 300 dollars a month at the end of January. You know 500 dollars a month at the end of February. After six months of development and you just kind of think this charted out where we were going to be at the end of the year it just seemed like we should throw in the towel. We decided not to and you know, here we are. We have a bigger business, and something a bit more viable and something a more fun to play with but it's been a long road to be fair. I mean I…I…

To be honest, like that start is relatively representative of what happened. It just you know, we just stuck it out and you know and… and here we are. If you… I don't want to say if you stick out anything long enough, you'll get there, but you'll… but probably more things will make it than you realize  I think that  you know I… I've given up on a lot of projects, too early and you know just said well, this just doesn't really have potential. And maybe I avoided kind of a long hard road, but realistically, if I had committed to it and really put in the years, you know it probably would have been something that you know, I would have liked it to have been, so that's…

So, that's… It's a difficult question, you have to ask yourself, well, this thing hasn't taken off, am I willing to put in the years that I'm going to need to get it where I really want it to be. Do I have the funds and the runway and the mental stamina to kind of play that game? Or is this really not what I want to sign myself up for, you know I have a job, a family, I'm looking for something that's either really going to kind of takeoff or I'm just not… I just don't want to grind. You just have to kind of know yourself.

28:50.4 ANDY:   Honestly, I think that was an amazing answer because you're right, is that in sas {?} especially, when you're… when you're building something, it… it's going to take a lot of work and you can do a ton of customer development but if you expect to hit it out of the park right away, with your first version of the product of public, even if it's private and beta, you're probably going to be in for a rude surprise so asking yourself those questions, am I willing to stick it out, is hugely important because if you're not, you can probably save yourself a lot of time and effort by avoiding it but, if you are, know to kind of brace yourself for the ride you are about to go on.

29:27.4 DAVE:   Mm hmm.

29:28.0 ANDY:   And so, what I like to do to wrap up the interview, what I like to do is just ask my guest a few just quick questions. The questions will be short but your answers don't need to be and so the first one is just what do you currently spend too much time doing?

29:42.6 DAVE:    I probably spend too much time checking analytics and stuff. I really need to  stop you know opening up Google Analytics and Stripe and PayPal and updating docents daily that I could just like update once a month and be like okay this is what happened this month.  that's one thing. Yeah.

30:01.2 ANDY:   What do you not spend enough time doing?

30:04.4 DAVE:   , I don't spend enough time  writing really anymore.  I've just kind of you know once, you write a lot, it does become a little bit like  it becomes a bit of a chore at that point and I haven't really felt inspired to kind of sit and write something like I used to make two or so years ago.

30:21.6 ANDY:   What did… and this is just a random off top one, but like how many pieces… Like how many words, how many articles would you typically write in a week when you guys were first starting out?

30:31.9 DAVE:    I knew… In a week, I'd probably write you know two or three. You know, I'd write an article or so for the blog and an article or so elsewhere,  you know just probably three.

30:43.6 ANDY:   Okay. And so, what are you hoping to accomplish with Ninja Outreach in the next quarter?

30:49.7 DAVE:   In the next quarter, I'm will… I mean we have some… we have a product road map that we're basically focusing on to really make it more user friendly  and kind of make some headway on some improvements to the search and things like that  from a business prospective, you know, we have a… we have a goal, this by the end of this year to make it a seven figure annual recording revenue business. Which is you know it's just {inaudible} but those are always the best kind of goals.  and I think that we really need to  focus on the product and… and… and improve the customer experience and we're going to get there.

31:31.7 ANDY:   And if you were to pin point one major obstacle that you can see right now, as potentially getting in your way, of achieving that big business goal, what would you think that would be?

31:42.0 DAVE:   Eh, the main obstacle is that when you… You realize later on the things that you've done wrong and the way that you should have maybe designed something or… or done something  but you kind of you know but you've already built it. You know so for example, like, the entire application or the way the flow is or things like that. And then, once you have more data and you understand the customer better, and things like that, you want to go back and fix it but those are not small tasks.

The bigger the business is, the harder it is to make these types of adjustments. Obviously like there's coding that needs to be done, you have to like redesign the application but then you have to  educate the users, you have to update all of the docents, you have to update the support team, you have to do all these different things that because you didn't really do it right in the beginning all the while, we're still putting bootstrapped, we still have a budget, we still have only like three developers which you know is not necessary that much when you consider that there's like bugs and things that need to be dealt with so that… I mean that is , that's going to take some time.

32:44.0 ANDY:   Yeah, for sure. Honestly DAVE, you gave us a ton today and I want to say thanks so much for sharing all of this but before we go, if listeners want to follow along on the journey of getting Ninja Outreach to the 1 million dollar ARR mark, where is the best place for them to go?

33:00.2 DAVE:    we, do have a blog and on the blog, like you know on the homepage of the blog where the articles are shown, we update on our annual recurring revenue monthly so you can kind of see where we're at and you know post some good articles there.  if you need to get in touch with me, you know [REDACTED] is my email address.

33:20.2 ANDY:   Well, again Dave, thank you so much for chatting with me today, it was a lot of fun.

33:24.0 DAVE:   Thank you Andy