As an entrepreneur, you’ll be faced with many challenges throughout your company’s life cycle. One of the most important decisions you will make when starting up is who your target audience should be and how you will acquire them. If I were to ask you the question, “Do you know your target market?” you would most likely answer “yes.” But is this really true? Do you understand why they need what you are selling and how to reach them?
How do I target my audience?
Josh Melick learned about targeting his audience during his time at Broadly.com, a small local company mobile CRM and messaging platform he co-founded and ran as the CEO. After four years in the market, Broadly had 10,000 paying SMBs on its platform, $30 million in venture capital to back it up, and was sold for about $100 million.
During his time at Broadly, Josh learned a lot about the strategies that work well when selling SMBs. Josh attributes Broadly’s success to its focus on targeting specific markets with tailored messages rather than being everything for everyone. We recently caught up with Josh to hear more about his journey starting up Broadly and finding product-market fit.
“Before Broadly, I had started three companies but was always the CTO. This time, I wanted to try something different and be CEO,” Josh said about why he co-founded Broadly with David Reischer, an attorney that helped him on his past ventures.
“We worked diligently to create a product that we were proud of, and we knew we could sell. So we started Broadly by selling the product directly to businesses ourselves, rather than changing it around to make it more attractive for investors or acquirers.”
Josh’s decision to start selling Broadly directly to the business paying customers was made early on in the company’s life cycle. “We figured out what users would want and how they would want to use it,” Josh said. “I knew that if we built a product that users loved, they would talk about us, and word of mouth would take over.”
When asked how he kept this momentum when building up sales at Broadly, Josh’s answer was simple: “We stuck with it. We took every piece of feedback seriously and tried to make the necessary changes.”
Once word of mouth started rolling in, Broadly got between 30-40 new customers per month. “We were selling about $50,000-$75,000 per month with under 20 employees at that time,” said Josh. As the company grew into hundreds of employees, it needed to support the increasing customer base.
Broadly could no longer continue this growth rate with Josh doing all of the work himself, so they decided to bring on a dedicated sales team. “We added another ten people in about six months,” said Josh. He also mentioned that this decision ultimately led to the growing revenue by 2-3x.
While the decision to bring on a dedicated sales team was critical to Broadly’s growth, Josh also mentioned that he didn’t want to spend too much time in meetings. “I would rather be building product than selling it,” he said.