In this episode, we chat with Jay Desai, Founder of Swpely. We cover his approach to activating marketing influencers to help saturate the market, the impact appropriate giveaways can have on moving the needle for your business, and scaling through simplicity.
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About Demand Gen Chat
Demand Gen Chat is a Chili Piper podcast hosted by Kaylee Edmondson. Join us as we sit down with leaders in marketing to discover the key to driving B2B revenue. If you want benchmarks or insights on trends in the market, this podcast is for you!
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:00:00] Hey everyone and welcome back to another episode of Demand Gen Chat. I'm your host Kaylee Edmondson and today we are joined by Jay Desai, who is the marketer turned founder of Swpely, and currently the host of DTC POD.
Jay Desai: [00:00:15] Thanks for having me, Kaylee. I'm super excited to, to chat. I know we have some fun topics planned [laughs].
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:00:21] Yeah, absolutely. Do you wanna just dig right in, start with a little bit about yourself and what you're doing right now at Swpely?
Jay Desai: [00:00:26] Yeah, for sure. Uh, so hey everybody, I'm Jay, I'm the founder of Swpely. Swpely is basically a tool to help you save, curate and share content from all over the internet. Um, so like not just websites and images, but like videos, podcasts, LinkedIn posts, tweets, all the content, uh, it gets interactive with, uh, live in the actual application. So you don't have to like click around for a bunch of links or anything like that. Um, I just actually started Swpely probably, it's been like seven months now, six months, something like that. Um, but before I was working on Swpely, I was actually working at a B2B company for influencer marketing called Trend, um, where I was the head of growth over there and helped, uh, grow the company from six paying brands to 400 in a year.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:01:15] Yeah, absolutely. No, I think Swpely is so interesting. And just for anybody listening, how I found out about Swpely, I guess it was like a month or so ago now, I had posted, um, a poll on LinkedIn just saying, "Hey, does everyone here have a swipe file?" Uh, like yes or no. And it was kind of crazy. I feel like everybody came out of the woodwork to comment on it and let me know that I needed to be using Swpely and like Swpely would solve all of my problems. Um, we had some really great conversations in the comments where I was just like, I feel that I have some things saved in emails and some things saved on my desktop. It's like, if, you know, if you close all my tabs, my desktop was like a nightmare of just things that I had seen in the wild that I wanted to reference back to.
I'm like all the time trying to look at how people are running their advertising campaigns and steal inspiration from it, but it was, um, not a very active way to keep track of things. So anyways, that's kind of how I first heard about Jay and [inaudible 00:02:10] company. Um, I don't know, probably 20 people at least commented specifically saying I needed Swpely. So I'm, I'm a user, I love it so much. But I wanna know specifically. So you're at Trend and you find there's a huge gap in the market, everybody's organizing their files like me in a little bit of everywhere, right? Is that how this kinda came to life?
Jay Desai: [00:02:32] Yeah. Uh, I think you kinda nailed it over there. I think, uh, some of the other factors that were kind of at play for me personally, um, and, and kind of to just share, I'm building Swpely for myself for my own problem [laughs].
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:02:45] [laughs].
Jay Desai: [00:02:45] Um, so that's a little bit about it, but to give a little bit more context and back story over there, it really kind of started to manifest probably back in July, 2020. I started working on building my personal brand on LinkedIn, um, and posting every day, talking about different marketing things, 'cause that's what I, was the field that I was in. Um, but I actually just, uh, graduated from college like three years ago. So I only have so many experiences to share. Um, and so after a while, what I found myself doing was really kind of putting my own take or my ideas on other concepts that people were presenting.
And so with that, I used to collect a lot of different ideas and topics, things that I could potentially talk about. Uh, and then you combine that at the same time with, uh, at Trend we had a newsletter. Um, so I was constantly collecting resources for that. We had a podcast as well, kind of like how you mentioned earlier Kaylee. So we had to always come up with content ideas over there, and really it kinda just all became a mess on my computer. And I was engaging with a lot of different types of content as well, which I'm sure most marketers today do. We don't just engage with like websites or images. People watch videos, people listen to podcasts, uh, Twitter and LinkedIn has become really big as well. And so consuming all of these different types of content in different forms makes it really difficult to keep everything in place.
So that was kind of like the aha moment for me building this. And then one of the other things that really helped push me over the edge over there was back in September, 2020, I was moving apartments and my girlfriend finally convinced me to jump onto Pinterest to start saving stuff. Um, and I really liked all the recommendations that I got, from furniture and, um, things that were like more to my tastes and preferences. And I was like, there's gotta be something like this that exists for content. And so that was really all of those different factors, uh, kind of manifested into what Swpely is today and what we're building.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:04:51] And so as you're making the transition from Trend over to Swpely and, you know, putting all of your time and effort behind launching this, I know that you, um, you know, s- stopped working full-time at Trend, but kept the podcast going. And, you know, so you could shift some of your time and effort into standing Swpely up as you see it today. Talk a little bit about how you started to get those wheels turning and generating those first 100 signups.
Jay Desai: [00:05:16] I think one of the biggest things that I learned was probably in March, 2020. I've always wanted to start my own business for a while. Um, and so I tried my hand at a sports newsletter thing that was supposed to kind of be like a morning brew, but for sports. And-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:05:32] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
Jay Desai: [00:05:32] ... so I, I spent not a lot of money, but probably ended up spending like 1000 bucks and, on an idea that never really took off. And, um, after that, I was really like, I don't wanna spend, it wasn't a ton of money, but I, I'm still like, I've worked at a lot of smaller companies and so that tends to make me a little bit more careful about how I spend. And so I was like, I don't want to spend a dollars without validating an idea ever again. Um, 'cause I could have used that money for a vacation or whatever, something else.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:06:04] [laughs].
Jay Desai: [00:06:04] Um, and so what I did this time was actually, I put together the website, uh, we just had like a single email sequence, uh, and I put it out to my, my network on LinkedIn. So I've been working on building my personal brand, um, starting from July and, and put it out probably the first week of November, and basically said, "Hey, if anyone's interested, go ahead and sign up for this thing," and the idea behind it was, if there was enough people interested, we'd be able to, to build the product and I'd feel a lot more comfortable spending money. And with that, um, you know, one thing that I also ran to to kind of bump up that, that wait list as well was we did give away for two Patreon subscriptions, one for Dave Gerhardt's, uh, DGMG and another one for John Bonini's Some Good Content.
So my audience is mostly marketing people and I figured, uh, why not give them something that they'll actually use that's, uh, a marketing resource. And so that helped to really drive the wait list up. And, um, we actually built like a little bit of a flywheel as well in that sense. So, you know, not only did a sign up equal an entry, but if you got other people to sign up, you got more entries. And then we also gave out more entries for people responding back to emails. And so that really got the sharing we all started, and that's really what, uh, got us to 100 people.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:07:27] But also like building the community aspect of Swpely as well, because it's very engaging, right? And, and it entices you to engage not only with you as the founder, but also with other like fellow Swpely members on LinkedIn and Twitter, uh, which is super interesting. And you talk about this, uh, first startup, I don't know how much you wanna talk about it, but I'm really interested in, now you spent $1000, what'd you spend it on and what'd you learn most? Like what, how did you, like, what were your signals to be able to say like, "Okay, this is not taking off. This is failing." In order for you to say, "Okay, I need to stop this and like move to the next idea."
Jay Desai: [00:07:58] Yeah. I think the biggest signal was just the, not necessarily the cost of user acquisition, but the time of it. And so we were doing some stuff, uh, obviously like we started in March, 2020, right when-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:08:13] Yeah.
Jay Desai: [00:08:14] ... COVID was really taking up, obviously the best time to start a business. [laughing] Um, and so, uh, sports got shut down at the same time and I was like-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:08:22] [laughs].
Jay Desai: [00:08:23] ... what am I gonna do over here? And so, you know, we started testing some stuff out on like Twitch, uh, spending a little bit on marketing over there. And then just really, I think the thing that was, um, the biggest expense that we had was actually forming the business. Um, and that was-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:08:40] Hmm.
Jay Desai: [00:08:41] ... probably the biggest mistake that I made, uh, because it's really like spending money on things that don't necessarily need to be bought when you don't have revenue or, or things like that exist. And, you know, we'd spent some money too on like, you know, having a, a more premium like site plan that we were paying for, and more premium level for our email tool. Like we could have just used a free planner or something like that. And it's those little things that you don't really think, um, are big. Um, but they start to, to add up and compound over time. And so that was really it.
Um, it just took a lot of effort and, you know, I, I thought I knew the problem. I, I love sports. I've been in the sports space, uh, before. I, I've, I've worked at different like sports blogs and, and all that fun stuff. And I thought I knew the problem, and the fact of the matter was that I didn't know the problem. And so I think that's a big thing as well as, you've got to be so fiercely close to what the problem is and truly understand why that's a problem, or surround yourself with people that do understand that. Because without that you'll never know what the secret is to acquiring people.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:09:51] Exactly. No, that's great. That's a great takeaway too, I think it's like the product market fit. Um, if there isn't a fit for it and you don't understand how to speak to these customers and what is going to make them move, then you're like marketing to nothing, right? It's like you're just putting words out to take up space, but yeah, at the end of the day, it's like standing up a new, even us, right? Like, so right now we're, um, standing up marketing and, to a new persona, um, that we've never actively gone after before.
So we are essentially trying to recreate that flywheel or like that startup within a startup kind of mode. And it's like starting from scratch, right? We don't, we don't know these people and we don't know their pain points as well as we know the other pain points that we've been marketing to for years. Um, and so we're doing that same, that same process, right? Of just trying to like get in their mindset, take a day in their shoes, figure out what their real pain point is, um, so that we can build a product that solves for it.
Okay. So let's talk about this though. There's the first 100 sign-ups, what about the first thousand? Like, I know that y'all just met this crazy goal of reaching 1000 signups in 30 days and I think you beat it?
Jay Desai: [00:10:56] Yeah. We ended up beating it by a week. [laughs] Um, and that was actually really crazy 'cause the reason I set that goal was not necessarily thinking that we were gonna reach 1000, uh, users to sign up. It was more so, uh, hey, if we set a goal for 1000 and we land at like 750, that would be still really sweet and awesome.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:11:15] [laughs].
Jay Desai: [00:11:15] Uh, so that was kind of the reasoning behind it. Um, but it really pushed us, uh, to, to go after users and, and really be focused on user acquisition. Um, and I think one thing that's always been big for me is h- how do I get other people to, to want to refer and sign up? And, and what's the incentive that can be put out there, uh, for people to sign up?
A- and so for that, you know, we work with a lot of influencers, um, in the business space, like business creators, uh, people on LinkedIn with big audiences and, and things like that. Um, and really just trying [laughs] and digging up any possible thing that we can do. We ran another giveaway, um, for, uh, CopyAI, which was a tool that other marketers use as well. And so we really wanted to focus in on a specific niche, 'cause I knew there was enough in that niche, uh, to fill that goal. Um, and just really trying everything we possibly can to get there.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:12:12] And so you talk about influencers and I think like influencer marketing and B2B is going to become a more common thing, but I do definitely think y'all are on the front end of that. What, what does that look like? Standing up an influencer program? Like how many, you know, how do you identify who you wanna work with? How do you approach the conversation? Um, get people interested and like bought in to helping you, you know, disseminate your, your product to the market.
Jay Desai: [00:12:35] Yeah. I think it really starts by having a close relationship with those people, um, and opening up those conversation channels. And I kinda see it as a way to continue to not just earn media today, but media in the future, as well as you're building up that relationship. And those people don't just become your users, but they become your friends or people that you can rely on and trust. And so part of that, I think it starts by, you know, just working on and first of all, identifying who those people are, um-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:13:07] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
Jay Desai: [00:13:07] ... figure out what niche you're going for and then try and figure out players within that space. Um, if you don't know who those people are right now, um, I know there's a lot of tools out there for identifying people with large audiences. So figure out what that niche looks like, and then just really engage with their, their content first. I think that's the biggest thing not a lot of people, um, think of. It's not just, "Hey, let me pay you like $100 to go post this thing." Um, that's definitely not how it works. You can try that, but I promise you, you probably won't get very good results-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:13:40] [laughs].
Jay Desai: [00:13:40] ... uh, versus the other way.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:13:42] Yeah.
Jay Desai: [00:13:42] Um, and so I really think that's what's the, the big piece over there is engaging with those people. And then once you've sort of, uh, uh, built that rapport with them, that they're seeing you and, and trust me every, every single creator, um, for the most part, like for people that have like under 50,000 followers, they're definitely seeing you. I know because I've tried this myself. Um, and if you're engaging with someone's content regularly, they're going to see you, they're going to know who you are. And, and that sounds kinda crazy because you're like this person has like tons of followers. Like they probably don't even see me. But I, I promise you, they are seeing you for those, uh, accounts that are probably like 50,000 or less.
And so as you're engaging, a- and once you get to a certain point where, you know, you've provided a lot of value to them and you are providing value because by engaging, you're boosting their content, uh, feel free to, to reach out and open those lines of communication. Um, you know, if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out, but the worst thing they can say is no. And, and as you kind of start to open up those lines of communication, you can mention, "Hey, I have this product. Like, I would love to, to show you what I'm working on." Um, and things like that, and just get your perspective on it. I think one other thing that, uh, a lot of people don't always understand is figuring out what's the value exchange that makes the most sense. Um, so for us-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:15:05] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
Jay Desai: [00:15:06] ... uh, Swpely is a free tool. So obviously we don't have, I can't say like, "Hey, we're gonna offer you like 100 bucks off." But a lot of SaaS products do have the ability to, to do some of that stuff and, and leverage that, and I think that's a great tool to leverage for yourself. And so if you're able to, to offer that value to that person and really lead with value, or, or maybe it's access to something that other users aren't getting yet, um, or whatever that is, uh, a- and really opening up that conversation, and, and let them go and try it on their own, um, and see how they like it. Um, and, you know, as conversations continue to progress, uh, you know, figure out what that agreement looks like that's going to benefit mutual value from both sides.
Um, and the best tip that I'll leave off with too for that is, whenever it's time for them to, to post, um, or you're asking them to post or, or helping you out in that sense, don't put parameters around the content itself. You have to let them really run with it because they know what kind of content best resonates with their audience. Um, and so you really have to, to let them figure out how can they spin your tool or spin your product to fit their audience.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:16:21] Yeah, absolutely right. And I think like, so you go into this almost like completely open-ended, right? Where you're just like, "Hey, this, this week or whatever, we're launching this new feature or something, like we'd love for you to post," and leave it at that?
Jay Desai: [00:16:34] Yeah. So it's really, I just am very open with sharing. So I think it's also important for someone to be that person at any company, um, have that one person that's going to be active and sharing, um, content. And that can be the person that can kinda open up those lines as well. Um, and it's really kind of like, we, we work on it in a couple of different ways. Uh, so for us, we actually have, that's one thing I can't share is a certain like value exchange, um-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:17:03] [laughs] Yeah.
Jay Desai: [00:17:03] ... for, for the company, um, in terms of like, 'cause obviously we're giving away a free tool. Um, so-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:17:09] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
Jay Desai: [00:17:09] ... we have certain things that we give away, uh, with influencers, for us to make up for the fact that, you know, our product's free. Um, but for other people, I think it's really just figuring out what that value exchange looks like.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:17:23] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
Jay Desai: [00:17:23] Um, and, and going ahead and doing that. Um, and for us, like, like I said, we don't have any really parameters for, for posting. Um, and you know, as long as you're going to the right creators, people that would probably fit your target persona, that's the best thing you can do. Because if you built a pretty solid product, chances are they'll use it. And if they are getting something for free or discounted versus what other people are paying for, they'll be probably more excited about it [laughs].
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:17:54] It's, it's brilliant, and I think that like, like I said, I think B2B influencers or brand founders or whatever we're gonna call it, um, will be more common in the next coming years. But like, I just think people haven't really jumped on that train yet. I assume that people are probably going out to try and, you know, get these influencers in the way that you're saying don't do it, uh, like, you know, with a very sales-esque mindset of like, it's very like transactional. And at the end of the day, like you just have to think that these are people too that will be promoting your brand on their own brand, you know, like on top of their own personal profile. And so trying to treat it as though it were a transactional like sales engagement just will not be as effective as if you're really trying to create an actual relationship, like a long-term relationship with these people that you'd like to help promote your brand or your product or whatever it is you're putting out to market.
Jay Desai: [00:18:44] Yeah, totally. And, you know, I think it connects back to even whoever your users and real customers are. I'm very much-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:18:51] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
Jay Desai: [00:18:51] ... of the mindset and I always tell other people that I come across, when you're acquiring customers or users, or even like these influencers, think of every single person as an opportunity for this person to become a super fan of your product or whatever you're delivering. Um, and really turn them to someone that can really share your product. You know, even if they have only five people in their network, cool. That's five more people that you can bring into your product. If they have 10 people, that's 10 people. If they have 1000, that's awesome, that's 1000 people. But every single person, regardless of how big or how small their audience should be, you should be working to create them and turn them into super fans. So that way, you know, it's not transactional. Just because you're working with an influencer doesn't mean that's where you draw the line between not making it tra- transactional. I think that should be the case for every single user or customer that's brought on board.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:19:49] Yeah, no, that's a g- that's a really great point too. And I think that a lot of that focus at scale just gets lost in translation. Um, but ultimately like regardless of scale, like even if you're, you know, a one person startup or 1000 person company, um, that's the goal for everyone. And I think at some point it just, uh, it shifts or gets like muddied. Um, but no, that's a, that's a great point.
Um, okay. So we've talked about some of these non-standard marketing tactics that you've tried in terms of, um, giveaways to like DGMG and, um, Copy.ai partnerships and influencers. But I think there's some other things too that you mentioned last time we chatted, that I'd love to kind of get an update on. I know that season passes was one of them, and that might not be what you're calling it, [laughs] but I think it was like sometimes season pass. Can you tell us what that is, a little bit more about it?
Jay Desai: [00:20:37] Yeah. So since Swpely is free, obviously we don't generate any revenue, um, which is-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:20:44] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
Jay Desai: [00:20:44] ... the best part of running a business. It's, uh-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:20:45] [laughs].
Jay Desai: [00:20:45] ... definitely the way that most businesses run. Um, obviously I'm joking, but-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:20:50] Yeah [laughs].
Jay Desai: [00:20:51] ... um, so for us, you know, we wanted to drum up a little bit of revenue, um, as well. And I think this really speaks more towards like building a brand versus just, um, you know, having a single product or whatever your product is. You know, if you're selling-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:21:08] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
Jay Desai: [00:21:08] ... video meetings, like you don't just have to sell video meetings. Um, so for us, one of the things that we did was this Swpely season pass. So we just basically set up an Eventbrite event. Um, I gotta shout out to, um, Twitter for this one, 'cause I got this suggestion from here from someone else. Um, but we set up an Eventbrite and basically sold tickets to teach people how we got to 1000 users in 23 days. And we also shared, you know, um, what we're using for our tech stack and what we used to build the business at the beginning. Um, and like how we're spending less than 150 bucks a month as a business, and kind of like how we think about some different problems.
And so we sold some tickets for that. Um, and I'm super, I, I love doing low, low effort tasks that are high reward. And so this was one of those. Um, you know, I didn't spend a ton of time marketing this thing out. Um, I didn't spend a ton of time putting together this crazy like presentation or, or thing for it. Um, I'm very much of maximizing things. So what we did, so we sold tickets for that. Um, we had three different tiers that we set up. Uh, one of them was just the event, one of them was the event plus a Q&A after the event, um, and the other like included 30 minutes one-on-one with me, uh, to chat about whatever.
Uh, and so we sold that and then what we did too to generate some more revenue for us, is we actually took the video recordings and like I made a small PDF for each session, and we repackaged that and sold it on Gumroad, um, to get some more extra money as well for the business. And so just some kind of fun plays like that. I'm very much of a believer that you don't have to just give away all your value for free. I mean, that's a great way to bring people in, but if you have value, people will pay for that stuff. Another play that I actually really liked that we hadn't worked on yet, um, is at some point, maybe towards the end of this year, Q3, Q4, uh, we're planning on opening up an e-commerce store for Swpely merch.
Um, so just another way. I know a lot of businesses give away free product, uh, but the cool thing about opening up an e-commerce store and doing this, I think fast is a great example, actually, um, of a brand that [crosstalk 00:23:28].
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:23:27] I was gonna say, or Lessonly.
Jay Desai: [00:23:29] Yeah.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:23:29] Lessonly is also doing a really great job. I think it's like Ollie Llama Co. or something. But it's really great merch, right?
Jay Desai: [00:23:35] Yeah. It's, we, and hey, here's the thing about that merch. Like not only, first of all, you're not losing money on it because you're not giving it away.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:23:44] [laughs].
Jay Desai: [00:23:44] Um, you're generating revenue and those people that purchased are gonna be way more likely to be connected to your brand because they actually spent money on something. Like who's gonna throw away, uh, a hoodie if you spent like 40 bucks on it? Like maybe you'll toss it out in like a few years or whatever, but like, you're not gonna toss that away like the next day, or it's not just gonna be sitting in your closet. Like if you paid 40 bucks for that, 50 bucks for that, you're probably gonna wear it a few times and, and get some use. So those are some things that I kind of consider for a brand. Like there's, there's a lot of different things that you can do, a lot of fun things to do. Um, and I just don't like to limit to what the main product on offer is.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:24:26] Yeah, no, exactly. And I think that's what's going to differentiate you in the market, um, or any like tech company in the market, right? That's doing things that are outside of this traditional mold that B2B has kind of like put themselves in. Um, and even like going back to the, um, hoodie conversation, like I have a Llama, or I think it's Ollie Llama. I'll have to look it up after this, but, um, I know it's Lessonly, that's the point. Anyways, I have one, a pullover, it's like really nice. And every time I've worn it, which has been maybe five times, someone has asked me like, "Oh, what is that?"
So it's a great conversation piece too, because every time I'm like, "Oh, it's this great tech company, ta da da, it's actually Lessonly, it has nothing to do with hoodies." It's just like a really-
Jay Desai: [00:25:07] [laughs].
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:25:07] ... natural conversation. And so it's a good, um, it's a good conversation starter and a great brand piece.
Jay Desai: [00:25:13] Yeah, exactly. And they're making money for that. So that's awesome. They get to-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:25:17] Yeah. And especially you guys, right?
Jay Desai: [00:25:18] ... [laughs].
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:25:18] An extra revenue stream, you're like, "I'm here for it."
Jay Desai: [00:25:20] We've also got some, uh, fun NFT stuff signed up, uh, ideas too, but I'll, I'll save that for maybe another discussion.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:25:27] All that I know about NFTs are that we just did our first NFT a few weeks ago. And by our, I mean, I cannot take credit for any of this. Um, Nolan is our video guy, but we all wear tons of random hats. So somebody, one of the sales guys, Kyle Willis, he's actually a sales guy over at ZoomInfo, put up a really funny GIF of him dancing on, for closing a big deal, um, for the last day of the month. And we turned his dance into an NFT. I can't take credit for that at all, but it was really, it was really entertaining to make. Um, he of course loved it and then we got tons of like great coverage for it on LinkedIn. So no, I would love to know what your thoughts are [laughs].
Jay Desai: [00:26:05] Yeah. That's super sweet. Yeah. We're thinking about, uh, doing some like Swpely trading cards for some early users. Um, and the thought behind that is that hopefully in the next, you know, five to 10 years when Swpely's a much bigger company, um, it would be cool to have one of those like first edition trading cards from back when the company just started.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:26:24] I love that so much. Okay, cool. Um, do you have other thoughts while we're on this topic outside of, um, trading cards? [laughs]
Jay Desai: [00:26:32] Uh, yeah. I don't know. I mean, I honestly come up with [laughs] weird revenue stream ideas, like all the time. Like I even like, like Swpely is like, obviously, like our core product is a tool for like content saving and content sharing.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:26:46] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
Jay Desai: [00:26:46] But I kinda consider Swpely as more of like a very, not just a one size fits all like tech company, so like if we have an idea for like a business and the way I kinda see revenue, um, is just like a means, like a mechanism for us to be able to grow. It's not just, uh, you know, hey, we need to keep generating X amount of dollars from here and continue to keep scaling and stuff like that. Like, there's gonna be points in our business, uh, that we'll hit like blocks where, you know, either we've hit a block on how much of the market we can, uh, capture in a certain niche or vertical or whatever, um, and that's gonna happen.
And so for us, I kinda just consider that as an opportunity. Hey, we're just gonna start building some other blocks over here. Maybe we wanna start this other like, uh, product that maybe only generates 10K a month or something like that. Um, and you know, that's not a lot of money, but you know, if we're able to generate a return on our investment for whatever we spend to build something like that, 10K a month is maybe one or two people's salary. Um, and so-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:27:49] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
Jay Desai: [00:27:49] ... that's kinda how I think about revenue is, you know, it's just really, uh, a means for us to continue to build and scale and acquire more and more dollars for the business. And so what you'll probably see at some point, you know, as, as long as things that's likely go smooth, which they have so far, uh, we'll come out with other cool products and, you know, we're not looking to, to scale to like every product to like hundreds of thousands, millions of users. Uh, but hey, if we get like 5,000 people using a product and they're paying maybe like 10 bucks a month, uh, that could be 50K MRR, um, and pay for a lot of people's salaries and stuff like that, or even like a company trip [laughs].
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:28:31] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Or even a really cool company trip. But like when you take a step back and you think about your like product roadmap, or even your planning, I realize y'all are still early stages, but are you thinking about things in terms of like six months sprints or even quarter-long sprints? Or are you just kind of opportunistic in terms of like what comes next for Swpely?
Jay Desai: [00:28:51] Yeah, I think it's more so having an opportunistic mindset and that's the case right now. 'Cause you know, we're still early, things are gonna change, the market's gonna change. And, um, we've only been around for so long. So I have to consistently like adapt, and plus, I don't have the bandwidth to, to go and spend like a whole day like planning out our entire plan for, for six months or whatever. And so we're very much of like fast moving and, and I love doing that stuff.
I think, uh, you have to sort of have an opportunity in your business to be agile and be able to, to jump on a trend. You can't be so inflexible to say like, "Oh, hey, this cool new thing came out and yeah, we're not gonna do it because we already have our plan in place." Um, and I think that's really not the best approach. Um, and so for us, like, uh, I, I just leave, love moving as fast as I can. Um, and I also don't like limiting what our potential can be. Um, and so I find plans to sometimes be limiting where you're like-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:29:50] Hmm.
Jay Desai: [00:29:50] ... "Hey, oh yeah, we're gonna get this done in like three months." So, okay. So that means, you know, you might spend a month not really doing very much, because that might be a task that takes like two months. Um, and so for us, I'm constantly just getting us as fast as we can go. Uh, and sometimes that still means we're gonna have slow periods, um, and we'll have fast periods as well. Um, but the goal is to, to really just move fast and not let time, um, manage us.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:30:19] Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So speaking of managing time, you in this role are clearly wearing a ton of hats. And I feel like most marketers are also wearing tons of hats, even if they aren't a founder or CEO [laughs] of a current company. Um, how do you manage, like what tactically do you do to manage the micro hats that you have to wear in terms of like execution and day-to-day grind, on top of the macro hats of like the business, the vision, projections for your company at the same time? Like what does that look like daily? Or maybe start high level and then go daily, but I'm super interested to know how you balance both.
Jay Desai: [00:30:56] Yeah, for sure. I like to, I probably split my days more on like a day-to-day basis. Um, so I have like high-level plans and every time I have a high level plan, um, which like pops into my head, I'll, I'll usually write it down and then I'll collect those ideas on maybe like a day on the weekend or something like that and organize what that longterm vision looks like. But in terms of day-to-day execution, um, I usually like during the daytime, I will spend a lot of time, uh, you know, interacting with our, our users or my audience that I've built up and things like that. And then I'll usually save my evenings for like deep work and, and getting that stuff done.
Um, I think what's really important too is not everything has to be going on at the same time. Um, and I think that's where, uh, that can trip up a lot of people. Like you don't have to be checking this stat like every single day, like, um, or things like that. And so that's what I focus on is, you know, some things I'll just leave be and I'll say, "Hey, I'll come back and check on this in two days and, and we'll see where it's at." Uh, but you have to have those moments where you step into deep work. Um, and so I usually get mine done in the evening. Um, obviously my schedule is very different than most people because, uh, for most people and as they should, you know, you shouldn't have to be working at a job like 18 hours a day. You should be working for, you know, X amount of hours and then have a personal life and do all that stuff.
I'm a founder. So, um, first of all, I'm really passionate about what I do and second of all, um, I need to keep working because otherwise I can't grow my business. It's like the hardest part is going from zero to one. Um-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:32:37] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
Jay Desai: [00:32:37] ... but yeah, that's kind of how I, I manage my day. Um, you know, during the, the mornings, uh, I will, you know, be engaging with my audience, uh, working on some smaller tasks that really don't require that much brain power. And then at a certain point, I'll kind of switch into deep work where I'll shut off like communication and stuff like that and, and really just dive into, uh, a couple of tasks at hand. I always like to, to focus on like, um, you know, I set two to three very high level deep tasks that I wanna get done every day. Um, whether it's like implementing something or spending some time like analyzing data that we have. Uh, and so that's kinda what I do in, and once I have those three wins off my checklist, um, that's kinda like my, my day is complete.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:33:23] Nice, I like that. And are you managing your deep tasks or like daily to do's in like a spreadsheet or in your head?
Jay Desai: [00:33:32] Yeah. Uh, I use probably, uh, notes for that. So I have like, uh, a little like journal or-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:33:39] Love it.
Jay Desai: [00:33:40] ... whatever you want to call it, um, to write down some of that stuff.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:33:41] Oh, it's called notes [laughs].
Jay Desai: [00:33:43] Yeah. So, and I'm, I'm actually, I'm exc- I'm super excited once we start getting, uh, some other features for note taking up in Swpely. That's gonna be, so I'll probably move it-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:33:51] Oh.
Jay Desai: [00:33:52] ... back into there. Um, but for right now, that's what I do. I also try and do, um, a lot of time blocking as well. I'm, I'm not the best at it, but I'm, I'm trying to get better, 1% better every day. Um, but that's been really helpful to at least kinda like visualize what are those tasks at hand that I need to complete?
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:34:09] Yeah, no, I think that's incredible. Time blocking for me is like my saving grace, because I feel like I, um, never say no, it's very hard for me to say no. So I just constantly accept new requests to do new things all the time. Time blocking has been great. We can like actually just like make the task as a time, a block of time on my calendar, and I know that if I don't have any blank spots, then that means I actually can't do it. And that is what I default, like default to when I have to say no. Like no, I literally can't do it because there isn't any free time on my calendar.
Jay Desai: [00:34:37] Yeah, it's super hard [laughs].
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:34:37] Um, which I wasn't good at before. Yeah. I wasn't good at it before, I'm still working on it now, like you said, like 1% better every day. It's hard for me to say no, because I'm like really excited about, like I love what I do for work. And so I really, I get really bought into it and I just want to do all things for all people. So like saying no and making the time is probably the hardest part. But calendar blocking does help.
Jay Desai: [00:34:58] Yeah. It's super useful. One of the things that's really helped me, um, to get better at it is I always like to leave like, uh, like a 15 minute buffer after my task ends, or supposedly-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:35:10] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
Jay Desai: [00:35:10] ... supposed to end, because I often find myself like going down rabbit holes. And like, [laughs] if I don't leave that buffer, sometimes I'll get to the block and I'll be like, "Man, I really wanna spend a little bit more time on this." Um, so that kind of makes it a little bit easier to time block as well, so I can have that kind of like wind down period also.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:35:27] Okay. Last question that I always like to ask guests when they come on, is who's another marketer or even founder in your case in the space that you are following that our audience should go follow, read their books, subscribe to them, whatever medium they're on.
Jay Desai: [00:35:40] Yeah. Um, man there's so many good ones-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:35:45] [laughs].
Jay Desai: [00:35:45] ... to pick from. Uh, I'm gonna get a lot, I'm gonna get in a lot of trouble for the people that I don't end up picking since you're asking me to just pick one person.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:35:52] [laughs].
Jay Desai: [00:35:52] Um, I think one person that's, uh, really been, uh, fun and interesting to follow, um, is probably Camille Trent. Um, she's actually one of the advisors for Swpely, uh, but she's probably like one of the best, uh, content writers, editorial directors that I know. I mean, uh, she works at MarketerHire. Some of the work that she does is like, um, I'm like, man, I wish I had, uh, the ability to do some of the stuff that, that she does in terms of writing. Um, and she's just a really great, um, marketer, um, just really gre- a great copywriter and an excellent marketer. So that's who I'll probably, uh, throw out for this. You should definitely talk to her, um, about convincing people and she's also grown her, uh, audience really, really fast.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:36:41] Oh, well. And she's primarily active on LinkedIn?
Jay Desai: [00:36:44] Yeah, she is primarily active on LinkedIn.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:36:47] Perfect. No, that's incredible. I will go follow her for myself and then of course, anybody listening, go check her out as well. Um, for anybody that wants to keep up with you or follow along with you, uh, Twitter, LinkedIn, both?
Jay Desai: [00:36:59] Uh, yeah, both is-
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:37:01] [laughs].
Jay Desai: [00:37:01] ... what I'm on right now. Um, so if you want to connect with me on LinkedIn, uh, feel free to just Jay Desai, J-A-Y, uh, last name Desai, D-E-S-A-I. Uh, search it up. If you're connected with Kaylee, you'll probably be able to find me. Uh, and then on Twitter, I'm J-A-T, so at, um, and then Swpely. Uh, so I just recently actually changed that, but, uh, yeah, feel free to connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Uh, I used to say that I respond back in the same day, but now it's probably like 48 hours.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:37:33] [laughs].
Jay Desai: [00:37:33] But if you send me a message, you will hear back from me at some point. So feel free to reach out to me, I love connecting with people, I love talking with people. Um, and if you have any questions about anything we chatted about, uh, my DMs are open.
Kaylee Edmondson: [00:37:47] Love it. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast and sharing your wisdom with us. I think it's just super intriguing, um, how you're going about building this product. And of course, like how I found out about you guys, obviously it's all working. I am always very influenced by, um, really out of the box marketing tactics. So when, um, I was kind of swarmed with all of the people that already know and love Swpely, I was very convinced myself. So hopefully others listening find this, um, insightful and can take some of these ideas around giveaways or influencers, um, and implement them into their own marketing strategies. So for anybody listening that found today's content helpful or valuable in any way, please make sure to leave us a review. It helps us continue to make valuable content like this and bring it your way and we'll see you next time.