Reading Time: ~ 4 min.
Hopefully you’re well-rested from the weekend and excited about taking on the world, with style!
Today’s Assignment: Tell one person they look brilliant today. Go ahead, do it now… I’ll be here after you’ve done it.
To infinity & community,
Let’s Meet: Alex Panagis
I’ve been getting to know Alex Panagis through the wonderful internet and we’ve collided a few different times in different places! He’s helping
saas businesses scale via community with his company, ScaleMath, so, that’s definitely up our collective alley!
Let’s jump in and meet one of our fellow
What’s your one-liner?:
Undeniably obsessed with helping our clients grow their businesses.
The moment you realized community was your jam:
Before I officially incorporated my agency back in August of 2019, I had already been doing a significant amount of work in SEO & marketing. I actually found my very first client on the Indie Hackers community where I connected with the founder of a small software company that was in a difficult stage & struggling to grow.
At the time, I was still in high-school but was driven & confident that I would be able to do what was necessary to help them grow as a company, and after diving into SEO head-first, in less than 10 months I grew one of this company’s software products from doing a couple hundred dollars a month to doing 5-figures per month.
Seeing how I was able to help that one business (and their founder) was when I knew this was what I wanted to keep doing. So, contrary to what most people would have done I didn’t take on 10 new clients all at once.
I first wanted to prove (to myself) that I was able to get results for businesses on a bigger scale and grew what is now ScaleMath very deliberately.
Community has always been a huge part of our story. Many of the best clients we’ve gotten and most of which still work with to this day have been opportunities that we wouldn’t have had if it wouldn’t have been for being an active member in communities.
Tell us about your agency and how community has been a part of your growth strategy. what has worked, what hasn’t, and is the best way to do it?
ScaleMath is my SEO & marketing agency, which, in short, helps (only) our favorite software companies scale customer acquisition. Community played a huge role in the early days and still does now, but what it means has changed over time.
In the early days, being a member of communities was all about networking with the right people. Especially when you’re coming into an industry at a fairly young age, I didn’t know anyone directly that was doing anything even somewhat related to what I was.
So I first turned to community to meet and connect with other people in the industry, founders of software companies, and basically anyone doing something I supported.
This can be done poorly with the intention of turning people into clients, but for me, that was never the case, especially when I had more time to do so, I was doing this just because I enjoyed meeting other people so much – talking to them about what they’re working on & struggling with and helping them if I can.
Now, this is still a big part of what I do in communities but the amount of time I spend doing it has been reduced. This is simply because, eventually, when that isn’t your core business, communities can become a bit of a time sink so that is something I recommend people keep an eye on.
What is an important community-centric practice that doesn’t get enough attention? why do you think it’s so overlooked?
Not being self-promotional. My approach to community and even sales has always been that my goal isn’t to sell people on what it is that we’re doing. Especially for a high-touch service where people need to be fully invested in working with you, you shouldn’t be doing the selling at all.
You should simply share your process, how you work and the people that are a good fit will naturally want to have the opportunity to work with you. I think everyone will agree that more of a focus on empathy & understanding a customer’s needs + doing the right thing is always the way forward, especially in community.
Who do you consider mentors in the community space? why did you begin following them and what wisdom have they shared that you’ve applied?
Rosie from the Indie Hackers community is definitely one of the people I’ve been following for a while.
If you were to start your agency over again knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? the same?
This is a great question, I honestly can’t think of specific things that I’d want to do differently. I feel like all of the choices I made have led ScaleMath to where it is today and I couldn’t be happier, so sure, I might be able to shortcut the journey if I were to do it over but it was worth it.
Peter Thiel Question: What is one thing you believe to be true about (online) community that very few people agree with you on?
Owning your platform is important. People still flock to Facebook Groups and Slack – which works great for them so I can’t fault it – but I still believe that truly owning what you build is important.