Michael Cheng is the founder of Sniply, a new startup that allows you to attach a customize call-to-action to every link you share on social media. With this platform, they want to give you an opportunity to grow your business and web traffic with every social share.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your company – what is Sniply all about?
Sniply is a marketing tool that allows you to attach a custom message to every link you share. As you share content online, you can use Sniply to add your own call-to-action onto the page itself, allowing you to drive conversion through content curation.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you started your company?
My educational background is in interaction design and my cofounders Chris and Nigel specialize in software engineering. We noticed that businesses around the world share tons of links and articles on a daily basis, but we also realized that return on investment for efforts spent through content curation can be difficult to capture. We created Sniply to create a conversion opportunity with every link shared, allowing businesses to capture real value from their sharing activities online.
Q: What are some of the projects you are working on right now?
My main focus currently is building Sniply, but I am also a cofounder of WittyCookie, a digital agency, and Beta Collective, a coworking space. Much of my time is spent interacting with users of Sniply, absorbing their thoughts and suggestions, then feeding that back into product design.
Q: What are your plans for the future, how do you plan to grow this company?
We have plans to build out the role of Sniply in an enterprise environment and acquire Fortune 500 users. We have been gearing up for a number of enterprise integrations, preparing the product for much larger usage and usable by much larger teams than what we have traditionally offered. Our goal is for Sniply to stand on the level and scale of companies such as Salesforce when it comes to marketing and sales.
Q: What were the top 3 mistakes you made starting your business and what did you learn from it?
We made the mistake of underestimating the value of our own product. We released our product for free and it took a while before we introduced a pricing model. To our surprise, our users were very willing to pay for our product. Never underestimate the value of your own product. Putting a price on what you do will allow you to see the true value of what you have built.
Another mistake we made was spending time trying to secure press coverage. We put a lot of effort into getting media attention with minimal results, so we decided to just focus on building our product. As of today, we have been featured on over 100 blogs and we never pitched to a single one of them. We learned that you don’t go to the press; the press comes to you, so just focus on building something great.
Last but not least, we used to think that marketing costs money. We are now serving several million visitors per month and we still have no marketing budget. When it comes to growth and marketing, creativity is more valuable than a big budget.
Q: Please share some advice for new entrepreneurs, someone who’s just starting out.
New entrepreneurs can benefit from less planning and more execution. Research and planning leads to information overload, resulting in analysis paralysis. Successful entrepreneurs learn through execution. They dive straight into the battlefield and figure everything out along the way. The modern business world is moving faster than ever before and speed of execution has become paramount to success.
Q: What was the best business advice you have ever received and who gave you this advice?
The best business advice I have ever received is to treat your business like a family. Your customers, partners, employees, investors, and everyone involved should be treated with utmost respect and attention. Regardless of whether someone is a free user or an enterprise customer, they all play vital roles in the growth of a business. Treat everyone as family and grow the company together.
Q: What are the top 3 online tools and resources you’re currently using to grow your company?
Q: What’s your definition of success?
My definition of success is to improve the lives of everyone involved with the business. Generating value for customers, creating a good work environment for employees, generating healthy returns for investors, and so forth. I believe win-win scenarios are absolutely possible and am against sacrificing the interests of one group of shareholder for the benefits of another.
Q: What are three books you recommend entrepreneurs to read?
Less reading and more doing—go out into the world, make mistakes, learn, and write your own book someday.
Q: What is your favorite entrepreneurship quote?
Read less quotes and get more done—someday others will quote you.
Q: How can our community get in touch with you?
I can be reachable via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.