Escaping Web Design to Build a Software Business, with Edgar Co-Founder Laura Roeder — The Busy Creator 79

The Busy Creator 79 w/Laura Roeder

Laura Roeder (@LKR) is the co-founder of Edgar, a social media scheduling and management tool. Laura began her career as a web designer, moving first to solo practice, and then to social media consulting.

From this conversation, you’ll learn how Laura transitioned away from work-a-day design and into entrepreneurship, how her team at Edgar manages their software development, and some of the philosophies behind their hiring and company management.

One thing we don’t cover are the features of the software itself, and the idiosyncrasies which separate Edgar from competitors like Hootsuite or Buffer. To learn more about Edgar itself, scroll down to the show notes for examples of Laura explaining in further detail on other podcasts, and some embedded videos showing off Edgar itself.

That said, Laura and her team have offered listeners of The Busy Creator a free month of service for Edgar. Sign up before May 31, 2016 and use the code SUNANDSURF. Request an invitation on MeetEdgar.com, and when it arrives in 1-2 days, use the code to sign up and receive your first month free.

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Show Notes & Links

  • Laura Roeder describes Edgar in greater detail on Smart Passive Income #132
  • … and on EOFire #802 … and on Online Marketing Made Easy #35
  • Laura describes herself as the founder of Edgar, at least today
  • Laura started as a web and graphic designer, worked at a design agency when she was a fresh graduate
  • Her rationale for leaving her agency job was largely that it would take a really long time to get to do the work she fancied.
  • 10,000 hours
  • Laura was inspired more by business owners than design practitioners
  • Chamber of Commerce

“I felt like a fish out of water because I was so much younger.”

—Laura Roeder

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  • World of Warcraft is the New Golf
  • Laura replaced her salary the first year, then doubled her earnings the following year.
  • The transition from Paid Services → Packaged Services → Retail Packages

“It felt a lot easier to sell an online class than to get individual clients.”

—Laura Roeder

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“It was always a business. I didn’t start with a blog.”

—Laura Roeder

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“We don’t make major changes to our software. We’re focused on iterative improvements to what we already do.”

—Laura Roeder

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“Always run split tests on the home page and signup page”

—Laura Roeder

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“I wasn’t that passionate about design. I was interested in other elements.”

—Laura Roeder

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“If you’re talking to the HR Manager, you’re doomed.”

—Prescott Perez-Fox

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Tools

Techniques

  • Think of the “Worst Case Scenario” before you quit
  • Start with freelancers before hiring full-time staff
  • Create a Wiki for shared information (customer service, company values, etc.)
  • Methodology is more important than software
  • When A/B testing, use dramatic comparisons; two completely different versions

Habits

  • Have a planning meeting every Monday and retrospective meeting every Friday
  • Always write multiple subject lines
  • Make lists in Google Docs (don’t overcomplicate it)

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About Prescott Perez-Fox

Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 15+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.