Dave Lukas Chats with Nischal Shetty
76: Nischal Shetty, The “Accidental Entrepreneur” who Bootstrapped Crowdfire to Over 15 Million Users
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Nischal Shetty. Nischal is the founder of one of my favorite social media management tools, Crowdfire. Crowdfire is a social media manager that helps your manage across all social accounts, grow your impact, audience, and message, and helps you to engage more fully with your tribe.
Millions of people and companies use Crowdfire for their social media growth and engagement.
Nischal not only founded Crowdfire, but physically built it, boostrapped it to its first million in revenue, and took the service from 0 to over 15 million users without spending any money on marketing or advertising. In fact, he developed a unique marketing strategy called ETC to achieve this, which is just one of the things I want him to share with you today. For his efforts, not only does he have a great company to show for it, but has also won a number of awards, including being chosen as a Forbes 30 under 30. I am really excited for you to learn from him.
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Nischal says he is an “accidental entrepreneur.” He was an engineer that wanted to create some extra money, so he created a blog because he had heard you could make money doing it. After blogging every day for a month, he realized that “just blogging” doesn’t guarantee success. So he started researching and spending time learning how to market his blog and get the message out. That lead to him building the first version of Crowdfire. He used that to grow his blog and eventually put it out there for others to use and was amazed at how many people used it.
He then bootstrapped it for the next year and then quit his job to go full time. That was 6 years ago and Crowdfire had about 500,000 users. Now it has over 15 million users and employs 45 people.
Nischal credits his entrepreneurial streak to his father – a restauranteur, but it was never forefront until much later. The building blocks were always there, but it took him some time to realize it.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself in your journey?
At the 7:20 mark, Nischal and I discuss his way of thinking like a contrarian and turning whole business models upside down.
Lessons learned from bootstrapping Crowdfire to its first million?
Thoughts on creating community?
What does it take to build a successful company?
Thoughts on building a company culture?
At the 21 min mark, Nischal discusses the ETC strategy and how Crowdfire used it to go from 0 to 15 million users with no marketing money spent.
ETC stands for Ego, Temptation, and Curiosity
What trends are changing in social media? What’s working?
At the 33 min mark, Nischal gives example of how he things Blockchain will impact marketing and social.
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