Many people consider side projects to be little more than a glorified hobby. Sure, they might be able to help you bring in a little bit of extra cash in the long-term, but there’s a good chance that most side-projects will never get big enough to deliver a real and sustainable income.
However, if you’re willing to tap into the right resources, then you could find that your side project has far more potential than you give it credit for. For instance, you might have heard of a social marketing and entrepreneur magazine before called “Foundr”. This fantastic website was built in March 2013 as a side-project for 26-year-old Nathan Chan, an entrepreneur with an interest in marketing and technology. Today, Foundr is worth seven figures, and it’s a name that’s recognized around the world.
Creating a Powerful Business in a Dying Niche
When Nathan created Foundr in 2013, he was building a publication in an era when publishing was on the way out in terms of popularity. Chan recognized the fact that print was a dying trade, and he believed that there was an opportunity out there to create a publication that allowed start-ups to learn how they could develop digital businesses from scratch.
By working in the digital world, instead of sticking to the traditional print format, Chan was able to start making a real difference to his small side project. In the first month that Foundr went live, Chan received about 20 subscribers. He knew that it wasn’t much, but he believed that it was a sign that his side venture had some genuine merit.
The moment people started to show interest in the digital publication, and purchase their own subscriptions, Nathan realized that he was onto something special. He decided to start planning the next issue, and soon, he had hundreds of thousands of readers around the world.
The question is, how did Nathan Chan and Foundr create such a successful enterprise out of almost nothing? Keep in mind that Nathan had absolutely no funding to help him get started. The simple answer is that he knew how to take advantage of the technology revolution.
1. Chan Tapped into Online Outsourcing
One of the first, and most significant ways that Chan was able to build his side-project into a seven-figure business was with the help of online outsourcing strategies. With tools like Upwork, he could find writers, designers, and editors across the globe who were willing to contribute something special to the growing magazine each month.
If Nathan had been forced to search exclusively for employees in his local area, he would have had a much harder time finding the range of talent he needed for a price that fell within his budget. Not only did online outsourcing offer a more cost-effective solution at the start of Foundr, but it also meant that he could access the skills of people across the globe. In other words, even when Chan was sleeping, he knew that his outsourced professionals in different time zones were still growing and building his side venture into something incredible.
2. The Publication was 100% Digital
As mentioned above, when Foundr was first theorized, the marketplace for print publications was dying. Although there are still a few magazines and newspapers on your store shelves today, the chances are that you don’t see nearly as much physical prince as you once did.
Foundr got ahead of the trend by producing and distributing their magazine entirely through digital channels like the Google Play Store and the Apple store. Nathan didn’t have a great deal of cash available to him at the time, and the digital choice meant that he could get his content out there without having to worry about a loan for a print magazine. Since technology is so advanced in today’s environment, it’s often far easier to produce a magazine in digital format that’s just as incredible as the traditional publication.
3. Foundr Knew How to Rank in the App Store
SEO is a term that you’ll hear frequently if you decide to invest in online marketing strategies. Chan and his team knew that if they wanted to get ahead of the game with their side project, then they needed to get their magazine in front of the right people at the right time. This meant mastering the power of SEO for the app store so that they could rank for as many crucial key terms as possible.
Because the team knew how to access all the benefits of search engine optimization in the app world, they could ensure that people searching for digital content were sent straight to their website, instead of seeing the advertising efforts of competitors in the industry.
4. They Harnessed the Power of Social Media
By 2013, the strength of social media was already evident for Chan and his followers. In fact, many considered it to be the ultimate channel for word of mouth marketing – a belief that continues to have an impact today. The good news for Chan is that his team knew exactly how to leverage the power of social media for their own benefits.
By accessing social media, Foundr were able to spread the message about their growing brand at an incredibly rapid pace. In fact, the company credits Instagram with being one of the most powerful channels they’ve used to grow and enhance their brand. Within 18 months, Foundr were able to grow their following on Instagram to over 800,000 people – that’s a pretty amazing result.
5. Foundr Took Advantage of the Podcast
Finally, Foundr didn’t just take advantage of social media when they wanted to spread their message across the globe, they also harnessed the value of countless other forms of content too. Chan realized during the early stages of Foundr that there’s always room to grow in the digital world. He found that since many people preferred to listen, instead of reading their content, there was an opportunity there for audio creation and eve more – to build this company out to a 7 figure online business. The development of new technology in the marketplace meant that Foundr could reach a brand-new audience at a low cost. Today, Foundr have used their podcast to grow the brand without ever having to invest in radio advertisements.
A Side Project That Continues to Grow
Now that Chan’s side project has grown into something far more significant with the help of incredible technology, he doesn’t intend to stop at a 7-figure company. Right now, Nathan’s team offers their content to the world almost entirely for free, but he believes that there’s an opportunity available in the world of online education that will allow the brand to develop premium content for their customers.
Thanks to their in-depth understanding of the print and audio content world, Foundr have also decided that it may be a good idea to expand their content options even further, into the visual space. After all, like many of the other organizations in the marketplace today, Foundr believe that video is going to grow even more popular as the years pass by, allowing companies to stream on almost any platform.
Foundr is a message to any company with a side-project that even the smallest idea doesn’t necessarily need to remain small. Over the years, the company has grown from being a small digital endeavor to a fully-fledged 7 figure company packed with powerful media.
With the right strategy and the right technology, it seems that almost any company can become a seven-figure business. You can find more information about how to build a successful 7 figure online business here: https://the7figurecycle.net/