Tell us about yourself and your startup;
My name is Chidi Nwaogu, I am the CEO and co-founder of Publiseer, a digital content distribution company headquartered in Nigeria. We discover African writers, musicians, filmmakers, and game developers and give them a platform to focus on what they love doing which is to create and we handle the tedious business of transforming their creativity into wealth. Two years ago I started a non-profit called Savvy to equip people with the skills to start their businesses and become independent in the wake of the pandemic.
How did the idea for Publiseer come about?
Publiseer was created by me and my twin as a result of our personal experience. After selling and existing from our previous startup, my twin and I decided to get into the creative space. I became a writer and he went into music. After recording 2 albums he realized he could not make any money by distributing them. We founded Publiseer to meet the growing needs of independent African content creators. We help creatives to focus on the creative process and we handle the distribution, content protection, content promotion, and content monetization process.
How did you build a successful customer base when you were starting your startup;
My style of building a company is to get the demand first before I build a product. We visited Facebook groups for writers and musicians. We asked the creatives questions about the challenges they were facing. The insights we got from them informed how the platform would work and the key features. We gathered their emails and phone numbers so that we could reach out to them again once the product was built. We had over 100 users before we started creating the product.
A growth opportunity exists for your company if…;
To know if there is a growth opportunity in your business the first thing you need to do is to understand what the annual spending in that industry is. I will give an example. Us, we are in the digital media industry so we asked ourselves, how much do people spend in the digital media space in Africa? It doesn’t matter how many people consume music, what matters is the buying power. Does the annual spending increase over time? We discovered that the industry had grown by over 50% in the last 4 years and is projected to grow by 53% in the next 4 years.
Secondly, we asked ourselves, if we could leverage the existing infrastructure, how much growth can we achieve? Rather than create another Amazon as a distribution channel for us, we decided to take advantage of their popularity and usage and have them as a distribution partner.
Thirdly, find out what your path to profitability is. We decided to leverage our people network to be able to grow more rather than money. We reached out to the press and they covered us. This was our growth strategy. Making sure we are heavily published by the press has helped us dominate our search results online.
Highlight the best growth paths for startups;
There are two ways to grow as a business. You can invest in yourself as an entrepreneur by upskilling yourself or you can invest in the business. I decided to get formal training as an entrepreneur by growing through many accelerator programs. The greatest benefit of this was that my business model was tested a lot which helped us refine it.
Use organic advertising to grow your business. When you use paid advertising, you can only grow as first as your money. Find incentives for referral marketing to grow the business. Leverage strategies that do not rely heavily on money.
How to know if your product is solving a pain for your consumers.
To understand if your business is solving a problem, you have to start with the problem and not the solution. Pick a target audience and understand what their problem is first. Conduct in-person interviews with your customers to find out what their needs are. How can you make some part of their day easier? The most common value proposition you can give to people is Accuracy, Efficiency, and less time consumption.
Affordability is not a value proposition. When pricing your product ask yourself who can generally afford it rather than making your product cheap.