How Farzad Rashidi was able to fund and gain his first clients at SaaS startup

Respona is a compact link-building outreach tool that helps businesses find and engage with relevant authoritative publications. This allows them to develop relationships, acquire backlinks to their website, and boost the performance of their content and websites on Google. Farzad Rashidi, the cofounder, and lead innovator, tells Geordie about his journey.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • What is the podcast average link-building strategy?
  • How did Farzad get exposure for his Respona tool?
  • What did Farzad do differently to facilitate the success of their eBook?
  • What was Farzad's experience working with AppSumo?
  • Challenges Farzad and his team encountered with the first MVP
  • Challenges Farzad and his team faced during the transition period
  • Importance of understanding customer needs and expectations when developing a product
  • How much time should businesses invest in link building?

In this episode…

While businesses can use numerous link-building strategies, the concept only works for some niches and industries. According to Farzad, companies use link building for experimentation purposes to help them determine what works. In this case, a marketer's job would be to eliminate what doesn't work and maintain the strategies that work.

Farzad gives an example of link-building strategies that don't work and says strategies that work involve developing relationships with brands. If you're looking for an effective link-building strategy, listen to this part of the podcast for some insights. One of the link-building strategies that Farzad uses is the podcast average strategy. However, he mentions that businesses should only appear on podcasts that add value to their space.

Farzad's marketing career started in a B2B software company where he was responsible for identifying a customer acquisition strategy that would help the company get a consistent flow of customers for many years.

Farzad and his team analyzed their options and chose not to spend money on paid ads, an acquisition method he describes as unscalable. They also eliminated the cold outreach strategy and decided to publish blog posts and improve their landing pages to increase organic traffic. However, this strategy bore no fruit. Find out why from the podcast and learn how they build a tool to improve the situation. Farzad also discusses how the tool works in the podcast.

This tool helped Farzad and his team automate all their time-consuming tasks, leaving them enough time to personalize their pitches. The tool creation process would later lead to the creation of Respona, a standalone product. Find out how Farzad convinced his CEO, who later became his cofounder, to help him market his tool.

Writing an eBook helped Farzad market Respona. He discusses how he partnered with various companies and organized an eBook campaign, attracting up to 10,000 downloads in two weeks. In the eBook that Farzad wrote, he included practical step-by-step instructions for different marketing strategies that worked for them. He highlights content marketing as some of the most effective marketing strategies.

While the eBook gave them exposure, Farzad says it was unsustainable. The team developed a solid tool platform to cater to the rising demand. They later hired a team and built the tool for an entire year. Why did Farzad and his team decide to rebuild Respona? He says they weren't prepared for the product's success in its initial stages. They were shocked that people wanted to use it despite being poorly designed, slow, and clunky. They figured that a more advanced product would be more successful, attract more customers, and help them make more money.

Farzad talks about the challenges the team experienced with their first MVP comprehensively. If you are considering building a product, you don't want to miss this podcast section. To transition customers from the old product into the new product, Farzad and his team had to build a migration tool capable of reading data from the old version's database and translating it to the latest version.

The team worked hard to ensure that the new version's data was compatible and functional. Farzad says that phase was one of the most technically challenging. Developing software can be complex, and Farzad was willing to do everything possible to ensure everything was right. He discusses the marketing strategies they are currently using to boost the performance of their product, with SEO and content marketing being the best.

When it comes to link building, Farzad says the resource application process a company uses can either make or break its SEO. Get more insights and a breakdown about this from the podcast.