Today we talk with Dave Nevogt of Hubstaff. Hubstaff has gotten to a 1 million annual run rate this year. Hubstaff is great, because we get emails every morning about how many hours our VAs put in. We can also even see the URLs that they have been visiting.
In spite of the 1 million annual run rate, things still feel slow to Dave. The recent theme of Zero to Scale has been momentum, so it is great to hear Dave’s insights on growth. Dave has been running online businesses since 2003. He has been everywhere from ecommerce, SEO, and services. He has had three businesses at a million plus. He has tried a lot of things along the way.
Dave knew that he needed something to help him with hiring staff around the world. He wanted something that would report what they were doing. He ended up spending a lot of time as a manager trying to just find out what his team was up to. He wanted something that would do these things automatically and started building a software product that would do that.
Dave and his team launched Hubstaff as a free service, just to get users and see how it would go. Many of the free customers did not convert to paid customers. They got to about 2500 MRR after launch. They average about $30 a month per paying customer. To get started, they tried Google Ads targeting different geographic regions. They also do SEO and have niched landing pages for different keywords. Time tracking is a searched for niche. They still do paid ads, landing pages, and content marketing.
- Word of mouth is a great component – you need time tracking try Hubstaff
- Hubstaff has a remote team and uses their own software to track hours – people can work as much or as little as they want
- Hubstaff was a bootstrapped business, they self funded to hire developers and then added employees as the budget allowed
- Content marketing with in depth, quality posts is what they are using for promotion
- They use Keyword Canine to write posts about keywords, they create growth posts like what it takes to grow a business – these are good for reach and building a brand, the keyword posts are good for conversions
- They also have a secondary process to promote to Reddit and other places
- Content promotion strategies include a lot of mentions in posts and Twitter, which helps to get the engine started on a post, they will also put marketing posts on founder related posts
- They will also recycle content and turn it into an infographic and post those on the infographic sites, or turn podcasts into YouTube videos
- The content that does the best is because it is quality content not because of the promotion, but the promotion gets the ball rolling, compounding benefits of content are awesome
- Software is an asset, when you invest money and time into software you can reuse and resell it
- Hubstaff integrates with Teamwork – teams communicate on projects, assign tasks through teamwork, Hubstaff uses the API to link the task in Hubstaff
- The best way to use Hubstaff is to have it open all day long and just track time on different projects and entities, this enables you to track projects and ROI
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