Creating Relationships: How To Raise Money With Just a Landing Page
Raising money is hard. There’s no denying that. That being said, there are ways that you can help yourself right out of the gate to raise money. Carlos Alvarez, Founder of Workep, the project management platform for Google Suite, was able to raise forty thousand dollars with just a landing page. His secret? Building and maintaining relationships.
To help explain the process Alvarez and the Workep team went through to get their initial investment, the story has been broken down into different sections.
In the first week of Workep’s existence, Alvarez created a landing page where he could get people to show interest in the future product. The landing page he created was nothing great, it was just enough to show people what Workep would be in the future and get interested peoples emails. With this landing page complete, Carlos hit Facebook and Twitter to get subscribers. In about a week, he got 25 subscribers. Soon, these 25 subscribers would become the main source of feedback for the Workep team as the platform was created.
From the feedback of the 25 subscribers and information from Hotjar (Website Tracking), Alvarez created a new version of the landing page. Throughout the creation of the new landing page, Alvarez asked for the thoughts of his subscribers to help him create the best product. Once the new landing page was complete, Alvarez set out to get the new landing page on Betalist, a place where people look to find new internet startups. Usually, getting launched on Betalist takes a month but Workep was lucky and got posted in just four days. Just from launching on BetaList, Workep’s 25 subscribers turned into over 1,000. Then, when the launch was shared on Facebook and Twitter, Workep suddenly had over 2,500 subscribers. In just a matter of a few weeks, Workep had increased their number of relationships 100 fold.
Now that Workep had a following (still with no shippable product), it was time to make some relationships with professionals who are involved in the Google/project management world. Workep started talking to Google and Google Resellers to get them interested in supporting Workep. To do this, Alvarez individually contacted Google Resellers around the world and asked to hear their thoughts about Workep. With the feedback from these representatives, Alvarez tweaked the landing page adding a place where Google Resellers could subscribe for updates.
Now that Workep had interested people, mockups and a pitch deck, it was time to grow. At first, the team’s strategy was to just start talking to investors, again, building relationships. To do this, Alvarez would send out an email to a group of investors every two weeks announcing new updates regarding the progress of Workep. These emails would provide information regarding anything from the creation of the platform to the relationships that Workep had created with the Google community. Since Workep had not formally asked for an investment at this point, the investors were happy to read Alvarez’s emails and would ask to stay in the loop regarding the progress of Workep.
When the time came around to actually ask for an investment. Alvarez was sure to use the relationships he had made to his advantage. He emailed five investors and asked for an investment. Each investor responded and said they would need about a week to decide. After meetings around the country with these five investors, one investor called Alvarez in and said, “convince me to invest in you.” After showing this investor all the feedback and active conversations he had been having with his subscribers, the investor was impressed and decided to invest 40,000 dollars in the company just to get started.
GET TO WORK!!! Just because Workep got an initial investment, did not mean they were done working. If anything, there was more pressure to succeed now. Alvarez and his team at the moment decided that their first investment would be in their team. They were now able to hire a team that could build the Workep platform efficiently and well. With this team, Workep created its platform.
The Workep team learned a lot from starting the company with nothing. They learned to utilize any feedback they were given and keep everyone in the loop at all times. Most importantly, the Workep team learned that one of the most important elements of growing the business successfully was to keep its subscribers and investors happy all while creating a great product.
“It’s the relationships that I built with my subscribers that got Workep to where it is today. They have dictated what Workep should be and this is the platform that they asked for.” Carlos Alvarez, Founder & CEO, Workep, Inc.