Hi Laura, tell us more about yourself and MeetEdgar…
I’m Laura Roeder and I’m the founder of MeetEdgar. MeetEdgar is a social media automation tool for indie business owners that are looking for an easier way to manage and publish their social media content.
We’re 100% bootstrapped, completely remote team of 12 and we just hit our 5 year anniversary! Our monthly revenue is around $220k.
What’s your own background. Were you always proficient in this business, or did it just strike your mind one fine day?
I became an entrepreneur when I was 22. My parents were entrepreneurs so I’ve always had the entrepreneurial spirit. I was a graphic designer at a small agency and I wasn’t really happy just being on the design side.
I wanted to get more involved with working with clients so I became a freelance graphic designer creating websites, business cards, anyone that needed design work. I then began doing social media consulting and information products, like courses.
It was during this time of selling information products that I really needed a better social media scheduling tool and when I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I built MeetEdgar!
What went into designing the initial product? Can you take us through the actual process?
I had developed a social media strategy that I was teaching in my course, Social Brilliant. It was based on sharing content based on different categories and resharing each piece of content based on a schedule and we were manually cutting and pasting our different updates into our social media scheduling tool.
I was so frustrated that I couldn’t find a tool that would make it easier to do this process.
My husband is a developer and one day I was complaining to him about this cumbersome process and how frustrating it was and he said that he could probably build the software I needed.
Talk us through the process of the launch of your business
Well, I had already had an info product business and huge email list and social media following from my LKR Social Media business. I was still selling courses and running LKR Social Media.
Originally Edgar was meant to be something of an experiment. We already had an audience of 75,000+ entrepreneurs interested in social media and when Edgar was ready, we began sending introductory offers to that list to try Edgar.
Everything grew quickly from there.
How is your repeat customer rate like? Can you take us through how you attract and retain customers?
We were founded as an education company and education is still at the core at how we attract our customers.
We offer free resources, like, guides, checklists, and downloads, host webinars and participate in partnership summits, like our recent Content Creator Day summit with ConvertKit, Demio, and Podia.
It’s really through these educational efforts that we are able to attract customers to sign up for Edgar.
As for how we retain customers, our software is obviously fantastic and we also have the best customer support team in the business. We work really hard to take care of our users once they are signed up with plenty of education.
Like we offer daily office hours if users need help with a question or want to learn about a feature and we host a monthly Content Batching Party where our onboarding specialist hosts our users in a virtual planning and scheduling session.
Users ask questions, share tips and we help our users get their content organized and scheduled.
What is the current situation? How do you see yourself in the next 12 months?
2018 was really a transitional year for us because there were so many changes with the platforms and my role recently changed.
We promoted someone to a president role and I’ve taken a step out of the day to day aspect of the business with that change. A big part of what I do now acts as a spokesperson for the company and that’s really fun for me.
As far as the company, we’re just continuing to try to serve our audience and make sure the product is the best possible tool for content creators.
As a woman founder, do you see this as only financially uplifting? Or otherwise too? If yes, then how?
Obviously working for yourself is very financially uplifting but flexibility and freedom are also incredibly important to me. I was pregnant when we launched Edgar and I took 3-month maternity leave in our first year of business.
That’s something that not everyone is able to do in the corporate world and it’s not even something every founder can do.
One of the things I realized right from the launch of MeetEdgar is that this business needs to not only function without me but be able to grow without me.
The freedom of being a founder is very empowering for me.
What tools or services did you use?
We used Ruby-on-Rails to start developing the initial version of Edgar. Since the beginning, email marketing has been a big driver of customers so we used our email list to attract our first users and we use MailChimp to manage our email marketing.
Outside of consistent social media posting (Which is done by Edgar), we’ve also relied on Facebook Ads to help attract new customers and build our business. Really our main goal was to get our name out as much as possible.
What are your key challenges today? How are you planning to tackle those?
2018 was a tough year for us and it was a year of change. We got hit really hard with some changes by the social networks. Twitter dramatically changed their terms. Facebook stopped allowing tools to post to profiles.
The nature of our business is that it is dependent on other platforms but with that being said, we’ve seen great growth in 2019 and I think our goal is to continue with that growth.
We’re always working within the confines of the different platforms but we’re still learning to adapt and continue listening to our customers so we can give them what they want and need from a tool.
Which are some resources, books, articles or podcasts that have been useful to you, and would share with your readers
Many times, women feel that businesses are for only for men. What’s your take?
Well, there are actually more female-owned businesses than most people realize. 4 out of 10 businesses in the US are run by women and that number is growing every year.
I think it’s important for people not just to look at the big news stories about IPO or huge tech companies because those are mostly run by men but there are millions of women who run smaller firms or solo businesses.
So I think more women are running businesses than people believe they do.
Looking to kick start your own venture?
Hi ! This is Misha.
I interview women founders in building profitable businesses??
My idea is for other women to get inspired by these actionable tell all stories and start their own profitable enterprises.
I am hugely inspired by inspirational interview series starters like IndieHackers, StarterStory by Pat Walls, Failory, SpaceBandits and have put significant efforts in reaching out to women founders in order to get started.