One year ago, sage founder Pierre Yeargin worked full time for Cisco while kicking off its question-and-answer startup.
The startup is originally an on-demand consulting platform with the mission of answering “all the questions of life”. Users could find experts on a wide range of topics, from paying taxes to building a website to decorating a living room.
“I thought there were a lot of good elements in the Q&A world,” Yeargin said last year. “But there was nowhere for public questions that give you a good answer, and a way for users to monetize it.”
Since our arrival last August, Yeargin has left Cisco to work on Sage full time and has two other founding members as Chief Data Officer Kelvin Michel and a community leader. They went through the Leaders of startups in Philadelphia Founded in the Philly Accelerator and based in Baltimore Conscious Business Lab currently. In developing the site, the trio have also since realized how important SEO was going to be in boosting brand engagement and aiming to get really good.
The more Yeargin learned, the more incoming users the site received, and he realized that SEO was a business opportunity in itself. He started investing time and energy in this new direction in February, with the launch of the Sage Tech Tips Blog. The blog uses keywords and other SEO tactics in blog posts which in turn drive traffic to Sage.
“There were a lot of really expensive ways to hire SEO specialists, consultants, digital marketing agencies that start at around $ 5,000 a month,” he said. “I had to learn SEO myself, and with technical training as I got better, we generated more inbound users. “
“You don’t have to be attached to what you are building.”
Traction picked up this summer, bringing enough business to the site that the team didn’t have to recruit. There was a ripe market for other small businesses to use these SEO-focused content creation services, Yeargin said, and in August they launched beta services for around 25 clients that will run until the end of the year. end of October. Instead of charging thousands of dollars like most services, Sage performs beta testing for $ 100 per month, Yeargin said.
So what did the first-time founder learn from this process? Even after spending over a year developing the consulting side of Sage, Yeargin said he needs to be flexible and open to change.
“You don’t have to be attached to what you’re building,” he told Technical.ly. “The idea in the startup world is that if you build something, you mostly learn. The main goal of any startup is to prove the business model. And if the business model doesn’t work or you find a better business model – that’s kind of where we ended up – you have to go 100%.
The rest of the year will be spent understanding the operational aspects of the SEO solutions the team is building, building the software that allows them to acquire clients and start raising pre-fundraising funds. -boot with SEO and Marketing VCs.
“I just think the SEO space is so ripe for innovation right now and that’s why we’re doing it – there are so many entrepreneurs and small businesses struggling with this, and we’re creating solutions for it. them, ”Yeargin said.