I’m closing new signups for Credo Pro tonight at midnight Pacific Standard Time. I’ve had a number of questions around why I am doing this, especially seeing as Credo is growing well and companies on the platform are making a lot of money off it. These are all amazing things and great signs for the future health of the business.
My priorities through the end of the year are:
- Roll out some new features that pros have asked me for;
- Continue to grow high quality leads to Credo pros;
- Continue marketing the Credo platform to industries who need consultants/agencies.
You’ll notice one thing that is not on that list – Credo revenue growth. Credo is a subscription business, which means that revenue is recurring. At this moment, I am happy with the revenue run rate of the platform and do not need to prioritize it for the good of the business. What keeps Pros on Credo is great lead flow and a quality product.
In the technology/startup world, the attitude is often growth at all costs. You press your foot down as hard as possible on the gas for as long as possible, just seeking to make those revenue numbers go up and to the right. While I also very much enjoy a fast growing business, I have purposefully not taken on external funding simply so that I can completely control how and when Credo grows.
The decision to close Credo Pro signups for a few months, likely reopening early December, was actually a pretty easy one to make. There are a few realities in my life right now that have led to it which I will quickly outline.
Before I do that though, let me assure all current Credo Pros that nothing changes for you. Credo will still be driving you new business. This is actually a good thing for all the current pros as it means you will have less competition for leads for the coming months (and I am working on some new things to better help with lead pacing).
So why close Credo Pro? Here’s why.
To Grow Sustainably
Credo has grown unbelievably well since the launch of Credo Pro. Without that pivot, this business likely would not be alive today. Moving to a subscription allowed us to focus on the core product and improving that while also investing more time and energy into marketing.
This has paid off in spades. Compared to the month before Pro launched:
- Overall traffic is up 85%
- Organic traffic is up 45%
- Referrals are up 68%
- Overall leads are up 86%
- Revenue is up 300%
In early July I stopped the self signup model for Pro and started asking every potential pro to do a phone call with me before they were able to sign up and receive leads from the platform. As I said in my Mattermark guest post, I started seeing problems with churn. By moving to this higher touch sales model, churn has essentially gone to zero.
I’ve begun to notice a new problem though – sometimes people who are not the right fit for the platform (because of mindset, expectations, or type of projects they take) are scheduling calls with me. We hop on the phone and while I am always glad to connect with them via voice, the time is spent not growing my business directly.
So I am taking a step back and rethinking how potential pros get access to the page to schedule a call with me. I have a number of ideas around this that I will implement, but I also need to spend some time streamlining my funnel technology so that I am better speaking to the right people over time as they get closer to converting to being a Credo Pro.
Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to take a bunch forward.
As I said at the top, part of the reason why I am building this business the way I am is for the freedom of it. I am a big fan of Tim Ferriss’s mentalities espoused in The Four Hour Work Week (non-affiliate link), wherein he talks about building the business you want and being able to have the life you want.
For me, that is being able to step back every once in a while to take care of life. Over the next few months, I plan to work on a number of new and exciting features. When I am spending a lot of time creating software, sales calls take me out of that deep flow. I genuinely want to build the best lead generation platform for the marketing industry, so I need to keep pushing the platform forward.
On a personal note, my wife and I are in the process of moving. This means that I will need to spend time packing and taking care of many of the logistics that come with that.
International Travel Challenges
My wife and I are also planning to travel for a number of weeks both in the US and internationally before settling in our new city. This means that I will be in seven (7) time zones over the course of seven weeks. Product development, email, and support are all relatively seamless to handle across time zones (sometimes with a slightly longer than usual delay), but phone calls are extremely hard to schedule and know that I will be awake and mentally prepared to do a good job.
I’ve always wanted to be more of a digital nomad (and did it back in April). For the first two weeks we are traveling, I’ll be working from the cities where we will be based. Being a digital nomad isn’t necessarily about travel, though, and we will be moving around a fair bit for the three weeks we are abroad.
Most digital nomads who run their business from abroad stay in the same place for months at a time, which makes it easy to adjust your time zone on your calendar and know when you can do Skype or WhatsApp calls. But this isn’t a technology challenge; this is a priorities challenge.
With moving cities three times in two weeks and being in new places, I cannot guarantee that I will have awesome access to Internet and my sales system is not currently set up for me to easily change time zones.
In the future, I’ll figure this out. But short term, with the other priorities for the business right now, that process doesn’t need to be optimized.
This is the right time, a full year in, to take a step back and think strategically about the long term growth and health of the business. We have a great early start and I genuinely believe Credo is and can be something special.
Pros, you all know where to contact me with questions. New interested pros, you can sign up on the Pros page to hear when the platform is reopened to you.