31

How To Grow a Startup When You’re Creating a Sub-category

Transcript

In this episode, we’ve covered a lot of ground with Peep Laja, and his startup growth stories, mindset, and lessons. We’ve talked about rebranding, sub-category creation, growing a startup, and brand building.

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We’ve discussed:

2:18 – How Peep moved from a software engineer to a leading CRO in the world.

04:05 – How did he land into making an e-learning platform from consulting?

05:52 – How Wynter’s concept came into being?

11:16 – Why rebrand from Copytesting to Wynter.com? When does it really make sense?

23:59 – What’s his playbook for brand building and category creation for Wynter?

32:37 – How should a not-so-popular and zero-email list founders think about growing his startup? Not everyone is Peep Laja.

39:49 – Who does he follow and admire?

42:40 – What he has recently changed his mind about?

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Key Lessons:

About starting up

  • Want to start a new business or product? Start with your existing list and solve their problem.
  • Solve your problem first. It’s much easier to build a product when you have a problem.
  • Early-stage customer interviews, product strategy, and marketing —Do it yourself. Don’t delegate. You’ll learn much more and faster.

When does it make sense to rebrand?

You should rebrand if:

  • You’re solving the bigger problem than you thought initially
  • Keep falsifying it – Falsifiable if possible observations contradict it. Not what is right, but look for what is wrong.
  • When your persona isn’t right, or they don’t have the budget decisions
  • Branding – It creates the moat. Your branding needs to be aligned with your product. Copytesting wasn’t doing it the right way.

How do you differentiate?

  • Your features will be copied, but not your branding. Play the long game. Branding is the way you differentiate.
  • Name your start that means nothing at all, and people can associate a verb to it themselves. Don’t give descriptive names to your brand like electriccars.com for Tesla.

How do you grow a start-up?

  • Focus on first start building awareness that you exist. He did it with Wynter Games. Evangelize your concept or category of people who don’t know about it.
  • Start brand building and content marketing today. Once you have traction and message-market and product-market fit.
  • Keep balancing between long term vs short term.
  • Use your personal brand and team to focus on social media for brand building.
  • Building an email list to start building awareness now. You need to be on top of your users’ minds.

What if one does not have a personal brand?

  • Focus on content curation. Easiest to get started with. Lead with usefulness on social media. 
  • When people don’t know the solution exists. Paid marketing won’t work. Category creation, and if it’s something new, then paid marketing won’t work. 

Few quotes:

“You are what you repeatedly do. Start a side-hustle if you’re in growth marketing, and have already gone through CXL.”

“I used to make fun of hippos hippo, the highest-paid person’s opinion, I was a conversion optimization person. It was stupid to prove them wrong with an AB test, but here’s the thing hippos because they’ve earned it.”

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