A Conversation with Vedran Rasic of LeadDelta
Rasic explains the inspiration behind LeadDelta, his very busy schedule balancing three brands, and how he used Product Hunt to make 400 sales in one week. He also shares his predictions about the future of software and marketing.
LeadDelta is a productivity app for your LinkedIn first-degree connections. It gives you the option to tag your connections, view your connections in a table view, and leave notes. You can also send up to 25 personalized messages, but no more because we don’t want to create more spam. There are no ads, no unwanted notifications, no distractions. It’s a very simple, no-frills, beautifully designed app for LinkedIn.
In just six months, we grew from 50 to 100 to over 1,500 users, and most of that happened in about four weeks. Out of those 1,500 users, over 50% left feedback—either by filling out a form, contributing to a roadmap, or doing 1:1 interviews (over 100 recorded).
In terms of the future of LeadDelta, we’re still deciding. Is it just going to stay for LinkedIn, or will it become something else? It depends. We’re thinking about de-risking because you never know at the end of the day. So, maybe we will go in the direction of G Suite contacts; maybe we'll go in the direction of adding an app like Twitter.
I’d like to ultimately position the company as a productivity app for CEOs rather than a sales-focused app. The people who will benefit from LeadDelta come to the platform because they care about their network and their connections—they do not care about more sales, more outbound, more spam. Although winning more business is always a consequence of carefully built trust in your network.
Currently, I’m splitting my time between being the director of marketing at VanillaSoft and working as the product developer for LeadDelta. I often work 10 to 15 hours, which is definitely quite a lot, but if you want to ship projects, that’s the way to go.
At VanillaSoft, I manage two brands: Autoklose and VanillaSoft. On that team, I have a production manager, who is responsible for video, content, and design; a content and SEO marketing manager, who is responsible for writing and link building; a PR/AR person, who is responsible for public relations and analyst relations; a RevOps and email automation person; those four managers also have their own teams.
I think the main thing in marketing is to prioritize and not chase every shiny object because that's how you mess things up fairly quickly. For example, everyone got excited by Clubhouse. But VanillaSoft is targeted at higher-education institutions, merchant services, insurance brokers, and other real-world industries, which means Clubhouse wouldn’t be particularly useful for us—we don’t need to get distracted by those shiny objects.
On the LeadDelta side, our marketing is still pretty scrappy. I built our website using Elementor. Emails are usually product updates, and I’m actively looking for a chief of staff and growth roles.
If you visit our website, we actually have our profits publicly announced, so you can always see what's going on. Lately, it's actually been pretty crazy.
The idea is that toward the end of the year, we’ll get our investment back and then reinvest in production. Toward the end of February 2022, my goal is to be at 20K MRR.
We recently launched LeadDelta on Product Hunt and received recognition as the number one product of the day.
One key strategy was managing the campaign by the time zone. For example, when Product Hunt launches, it's 3 a.m. in my time zone in Toronto, Canada. And who's awake? India's awake, Serbia's awake, Europe's awake. So I would go there and pitch the Product Hunt listing there. My only goal was to be number one by the time the West woke up. Once the West was awake, I went there. And then, for the final push, I went to California on the West Coast. Launching these PR maneuvers helps you to keep the momentum and use the power of the community in different geo-locations.
Our Product Hunt campaign brought us over 400 sales in two days and over 800 users in seven days. On the first day, we had 1,500 visitors. On the second day, we had 1,300, and on the third day, we had 1,000. So the traffic slowly went down. We had over 70 reviews. And we can use those on our website. It was pretty crazy!
Another of my first projects for Autoklose was getting all the sales influencers to help us complete a full sales development ebook, which was around 150 pages long. And people loved it. And then everyone was like, “Who's Autoklose?” So that was one of the first things that we implemented.
We had zero budget for ads; we had zero budget for PPC. So we started doing search engine optimization, and we started partnering with other folks. And, quite honestly, we were using LinkedIn to the fullest—we were all over LinkedIn. And this was a time when LinkedIn actually started giving more power to creators. We were doing lots of webinars, lots of guerilla campaigns like that.
And people just enjoyed our content because it was always engaging. It was always based on real-world issues. We never talked theory; we always talked about specific tactics that work for us.
One big trend is community—people buy from people. And I think there's that maturity stage on the internet where people figure out the signals that really work. And they trust those signals. If you ask yourself when you last bought software without social signals, without a community, without being a part of a group where it was discussed, the answer is probably once or never.
I see automation 1.0—where you just automate every single thing—I see that disappearing. It just doesn't work anymore. You create more enemies than you create friends. So, if you want to build a sustainable, successful business, you really want to rethink who you’re building for and how you’re distributing it.
My thinking is that in 10 or 20 years, Salesforce is not going to be around. And a lot of people are like, “What do you mean? They're still growing at a crazy rate.” Yes, but what do you do with Salesforce 10 years from now? It’s a beast—if you want your teammate to use Salesforce, you have to train them for 6 to 12 months.
My prediction is that we're going to have fewer and fewer software interfaces. I mean, Elon Musk is building chips. In three, four decades, we're going to have chips in our bodies—we’re not going to have an interface as we do now. So I think it will be less “click here, click there,” and more about data, information, and signals. It’s bold and scary, but I think it’s coming.
We’re at the stage where we don’t have much content out there. I just don't believe in creating for the sake of creating. I was always a big fan of those guys that disappear and create—you don't hear a single thing from them in three months, six months, and then they show up, and they blow your mind with the new insight.
Personally, I never have time to sit down and write, but at VanillaSoft, we have a team of amazing writers—people who can really mimic our tone of voice. We do a lot of paid research at VanillaSoft to dig deep into trends and understand how things work.
We also do a lot of writing for verticals, such as higher education and telefundraising. We send our marketing people to talk to sales to learn. But we do not impose what they are going to write. Every conversation matters, and we let the sales colleagues shine.
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