“Persistence is one of the main attributes of an entrepreneur”.
Tonnes of articles, inspirational videos have been created to explain why this is important. Despite all this, it is hard to be persistent if you are carrying a baggage of a failed startup.
This happened to me!
I started a company, made a team, got 105 paying clients but had to shut it down. This was a low point in my life and it was difficult to come into agreement that I “failed”.
Yes! I failed. And I am proud that I failed. 🙂
From this failure, I learnt a lot of important lessons which is helping me in my current venture – “Stagephod”.
With no clue how to proceed after my first startup, I started doing theater again (Which I used to do in school and college). As I built the team, I saw that many people are making short films so i decided to try my hand. We did lot of jugaads and made a short film in almost zero budget. When I was making that short film, I realized that film making is very much an entrepreneurial activity and filmmakers stories should be told to wider audience. So I decided to start a platform – Stagephod.org (now community.stagephod.com) to showcase filmmakers and their work. It was an agenda-less and not for profit activity. Hence the domain is .org.
Initially my main focus at Stagephod was to feature filmmakers. I approached video makers on facebook. Filmmakers liked the idea and happily agreed to share their stories. While talking to a lot of filmmakers I realized that they all had a common problem, the problem was about the work opportunities.The filmmakers did not get relevant and frequent work opportunities. On the other hand, while interacting in my entrepreneur circle I realized that lot of people were looking at how can videos be created but were not sure of the where they could find quality filmmakers. My entrepreneurial bug started popping out again and I instantly saw a problem which could be solved by creating a marketplace where video makers can be connected to video seekers. I did a quick research and founded that around 5-6 companies in US and Europe are doing similar work and are doing well. So, the idea got validated as other people also felt that the same problem existed and since then are trying to solve it. Hence, Stagephod – A market place was born.
Also read how I met my Co-founder Akhil Gupta.
The other side of the market place is to bring in requirements from the clients. The big question was – How to bring them? One thing I was sure that traditional methods like typical business development or normal online marketing stuff for acquiring clients would not work. I asked myself what can I do differently? The answer was – somehow use my network repetitively/ effectively, but How? I thought if I can write good content, my network will share the content and if they find it relevant and we will get visibility. Good idea, but who will write the content? I suck at writing content, forget about sharable content. A problem in hand but then you have to do what you have to do.
Solving the problem
The best thing about entrepreneurship is that it pushes you to do things which are out of your comfort zone. This is what happened with me. I started writing traditional content about video making etc. but it was not impactful. So, I decided I will not write traditional content, instead I will write and share what I am experiencing and what I am learning from my startup journey (this post is an example). I did that and people found it interesting, they shared it in their network and bulk orders started pouring in. People read about Stagephod, liked the idea and started referring other startups and within just 5 months we got 100+ clients. Fortunately, Till date we have’nt made a single sales call and we do not have any business development person (Completely opposite to what I did in my previous startup). All requirements came inbound with companies coming on site and posting their requirements.
- Stagephod’s strength lies in ‘Stagephod video makers’ community. Hence we will be doing activities which will give them more visibility
- We will continuously strive to provide more and more value to client. We are building a platform where client can find the best person, manage his project online, get good SEO ranking for the video and even distribute the video through this platform.
- We are starting Wedding films service also and will launch that with a ‘wedding film’ competition (Will share the details soon)
I would like to thank each and every person associated (200+ video makers and 100+ clients) with Stagephod for inspiring me. I have realised that my creative quotient has increased while interacting with each one of you in the previous months. 🙂
We at Stagephod believe in making long term relationships and one of the most important step towards a successful relationship is communication of how we are doing. Moreover we love to interact with passionate/ intuitive people as this keeps the spirit of being an entrepreneur alive.
Be intuitive and Be independent !!