We Recently Launched A Social Network For Creators [In August, 2023]

Published: September 22nd, 2023
Mikhail Kelim
Founder, Heyscribe
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Heyscribe
from Wilmington, Делавэр, США
started February 2023
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7
Employees
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Hello, I'm Egor Aizen, and I am the CEO and Founder of Heyscribe. I have several years of experience managing teams in animation and product development, and this unique blend of experiences led me to start Heyscribe, which is the first platform that allows creators to scale their income by monetizing and managing creative work-in-progress.

Heyscribe has an Instagram-like interface, blended with Trello-like management tools to allow influencers, vloggers, tik-tokers, YouTubers, podcasters, artists, bloggers, and musicians to verify their content before publication and get feedback from their community.

Currently, no other existing platforms offer the ability for creators to monetize and manage their creative work-in-progress. This is what sets Heyscribe apart, as it provides an opportunity for creators to increase their earnings.

Heyscribe stands out by functioning as a social media feed, which allows authors to grow their audience through a spillover effect. Additionally, it enhances audience retention by enabling users to collaborate with their favorite creators.

The platform also supports creators in building their communities, a crucial factor for success in the online world. Subscribers on Heyscribe can verify and provide feedback on the creator's content, fostering a stronger connection between the creator and the audience.

One of the key issues Heyscribe addresses is the time scarcity problem faced by creators, who often have full-time jobs alongside their creative pursuits. The platform is free for all creators and only charges a 10% fee on generated revenues, allowing authors to retain up to 90% of their subscription income.

In the digital age, creators desire more than just being influencers. The rise of individuals with unique brands and substantial online followings has made them a powerful force.

With the creator ecosystem projected to double in the next five years and reach an impressive $480 billion in market value by 2027, Heyscribe offers creators the chance to create, share, earn, and make creativity an integral part of their lives.

We publically launched the site on August 16, 2023.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

My story begins in a family where everyone was a creative soul: my grandmother was an artist, my mother an editor, my sister a journalist, and my closest friends were photographers, screenwriters, and bloggers.

But I always dreamed of running a business, which drew chuckles and playful teasing from them. While they received vintage lenses or collector's knives from Counter-Strike as a birthday present, I asked for a dotted notebook for a more efficient organization of my time.

Often, my friends asked me to help them produce their projects. I never declined and helped as much as possible, for instance, by creating "boring" Excel spreadsheets.

When one of my photographer friends showed me how he was fundraising for his project on a certain platform, I was struck by the inconvenient user interface and the ineffective usage of a creator's most valuable audience – paid subscribers. That's when the idea for Heyscribe was born.

I noticed that creators face the problem of fundraising and garnering support, which can result in a lack of time to develop their craft. 60% of American creators have a primary job that provides their main income alongside their creative pursuits.

It occurred to me – why not engage this loyal audience in co-producing content? Receiving early feedback and getting subscriber participation in the creation process – all of these contribute to an increase in the quantity and quality of content created by the creators in the same timeframe.

In 2022, after careful market and audience research, I founded Heyscribe, the first all-in-one platform that helps creators grow their businesses by sharing their creative processes.

Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.

Starting out, we focused on building a website and driving traffic, but things didn't go as planned. We soon discovered that our competitors like Patreon, Ko-Fi and Buy Me a Coffee were leveraging different marketing tools to attract traffic, and we had to adjust our strategies accordingly.

This was a challenging moment, a test of our resolve and commitment. Yet, we believed in our idea and were ready to learn from our failures and to keep progressing.

When I say we, I mean our incredible team, which consists of a development team (two backend, one frontend, and one QA developer), a UX/UI designer, and a marketing team consisting of a CMO and an SEO expert.

When I hire, I choose people who are smarter than me and better than me at what they do. I try to provide my team with a lot of freedom in decision making, and this gives each member responsibility for their own work.

Initially, I aimed to create a platform for creators to monetize their process and enhance collaboration. We made prototypes in Figma and showed them to our target audience, which we defined as photo, video, and audio content creators between the ages of 18 and 37.

However, after prototyping and obtaining customer feedback, we found it too geeky and tech-heavy. As a solution, we incorporated a social network feature, making the site more effective in growing creators' audiences.

My ultimate goal was to develop a user-friendly product that serves users' needs and empowers creators. I wanted to ensure the creative process remained unharmed, avoiding any unintentional hindrance to the creative journey.

Our next step was to design prototypes and conduct customer validation. This was an exciting phase as we started to see our concepts materializing into something tangible.

From the outset, our team, including myself and our UX/UI designer, crafted the platform's interface. To guide our design process, we examined various task trackers and monetization platforms and ultimately realized that transitioning to a social network format was the way forward.

We decluttered the platform, focusing less on management tools and more on user-friendliness, as this format resonated most with creators. After validating our hypotheses with potential users, we initiated development.

Initially, I hired a technical director, but due to compatibility issues, I assumed the leadership of the development team. For the backend, we opted for Python and FastAPI, while Vue3 and Quasar powered the frontend.

Although we initially lacked structured processes, we swiftly resolved this by bringing in an external consultant who streamlined development within two weeks. Our prototype platform garnered positive feedback from potential users, who eagerly requested updates and new features.

This iterative customer development research allowed us to refine the platform and gain our first loyal users.

The feedback we received was extremely encouraging, affirming that we were on the right track. The energy and excitement during this phase were electrifying, driving us to push boundaries further.

As our idea transformed, it was time for a rebranding. We changed our name from Covirally to Heyscribe, signaling a fresh start and a stronger commitment to our mission. This name change was more than just a cosmetic adjustment; it was an affirmation of our evolved vision and renewed direction.

All in all, building the first version of our product was a roller coaster of emotions, filled with ups, downs, and sharp turns. Yet, these experiences helped shape us and our product in ways we couldn't have anticipated at the beginning.

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Before - After (feed)

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Before - After (Creating a post/task)

Describe the process of launching the business.

The process of launching Heyscribe was an all-consuming endeavor that demanded seven months of relentless effort, seven days a week. I was pouring my heart and soul into this project. At one point, my girlfriend and I decided to take a weekend break and headed to a spa hotel. The hotel was luxurious, filled with amenities like massages and wellness treatments.

But once I hit the bed, I slept straight for 24 hours, just getting up to have breakfast, and then, I fell asleep again, this time for another 20 hours.

Finally, on August 16th, we launched Heyscribe. At the time of writing this article, we are yet to grasp the feedback fully, as it's too early to judge the results. Nevertheless, we hope that our product resonates with the creator community. We've put our heart and soul into making Heyscribe a success and are optimistic about its future.

The journey leading up to the launch has been challenging. There were highs and lows, triumphs and setbacks, yet each step, each challenge, each hurdle taught us invaluable lessons. In retrospect, launching a business is much like a rollercoaster ride, and in our case, one filled with countless late nights, persistent efforts, and boundless hope.

Embracing the identity of an entrepreneur requires significant life shifts, and the journey, whether successful or not, can be financially demanding. In the end, it is the users who determine the true measure of success.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Since launching Heyscribe, we've realized the importance of forging personal connections to attract and retain our user base of creators. Generating direct traffic has presented its challenges, urging us to adopt methods that are better tailored to our audience.

We pivoted to direct outreach, extending personal invitations to creators via social media and email, underlining the value Heyscribe could bring to their creative process. Leveraging targeted promotions on social platforms became essential, turning them into vital engagement touchpoints.

Furthermore, partnering directly with creators has deepened our understanding of their needs and our mission's essence. To inject some excitement, we've been hosting giveaway contests, which generate buzz and reinforce our community ties. And, in our continual quest for innovation, we're currently exploring the potential of CPA networks for quality traffic.

In wrapping up, our journey with Heyscribe is not just about tech and tactics; it's about fostering genuine relationships and curating a thriving creative community.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

It's been more than a week since we launched Heyscribe, and here are some of the results we’ve obtained:

  • We've gotten over 600 users on the site since launch, and nearly 70% of them have registered and become active users.
  • Our platform has already processed transactions for over $150, demonstrating active user engagement as they explore various features.
  • We are currently in negotiations with the largest influencer agencies in the United States for potential partnerships and collaborations.

In the next couple of months, we will start actively attracting an audience and plan to launch a mobile application.

Furthermore, we're actively considering partnerships and potential investors to amplify our growth trajectory and increase our user base. Our sights are set on global expansion, striving to make Heyscribe ubiquitous, regardless of whether a creator's primary platform is YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, or any other.

We are gearing up to integrate cutting-edge AI capabilities to significantly enhance the content creation process for our users, ensuring they receive unmatched quality and relevance.

Ultimately, our mission is unwavering: to establish Heyscribe as the definitive standard to monetize content creation. We're driven by passion, and the future looks exceptionally promising.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Becoming an entrepreneur can be quite daunting, especially when it means stepping away from the comfort of stability. For a considerable period of time, I hesitated to leave my day job.

I set conditions for myself, promising that I would quit once my business made twice as much money as my salary. However, even when my business became ten times more profitable, I still clung to my job.

Embracing the identity of an entrepreneur requires significant life shifts, and the journey, whether successful or not, can be financially demanding. In the end, it is the users who determine the true measure of success.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Each day begins with a stand-up call, where we discuss any issues and ensure everything is on track. We also conducted sprint demos and retrospectives, sharing what we liked and disliked in the past two weeks. These insights feed into our continuous learning and process improvement efforts. To facilitate our agile work environment, we rely on a set of essential tools specifically tailored for remote teams:

Our two-week sprints are meticulously planned and executed through Jira. It's a robust platform that helps us manage tasks effectively, keep track of our progress, and adapt our strategies in real time.

The design of our interfaces takes place in Figma. It provides a collaborative space for our design team, allowing us to visualize, iterate, and fine-tune our user interfaces.

Slack is our digital hub for team communication. It's where we share updates, celebrate victories, and address challenges. We even have a daily routine where each team member fills in what they accomplished yesterday and what they plan to do today in a dedicated Slack channel.

As for handling payments on our platform, we use Stripe. This tool is an excellent fit for our needs, offering great flexibility to implement features that are crucial for our users. The convenience of Stripe allows us to focus on improving Heyscribe, while it seamlessly takes care of the transactional side of the platform.

In short, these tools empower us to work efficiently and to foster collaboration, transparency, and continuous improvement in our everyday processes.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Here is a list of some of the most influential resources I used besides the lessons I’ve drawn from my own experience.

"Start With Why" by Simon Sinek: This book has completely changed how I approach my business. Sinek's concept of starting with the 'why' before the 'how' and 'what' resonated deeply with me. It highlighted the importance of purpose-driven innovation and inspired me to create products that are not only useful but also meaningful. Its endorsement by successful entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs simply reaffirms its significance.

"The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries: This book was a game-changer for me. It introduced me to the concept of an MVP and taught me the value of iterative learning and constant improvement. The idea of learning quickly from failures and pivoting effectively has shaped our product development at Heyscribe. The fact that it's recommended by industry giants like Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos speaks volumes about its impact.

Each resource has profoundly influenced my entrepreneurial journey, and I've integrated their key lessons into my approach toward Heyscribe.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

To those contemplating the entrepreneurial path, I offer the advice of considering whether a plan B is necessary. Fear should not hold you back, as the absence of fear renders a plan B irrelevant.

It is crucial to pursue your goals relentlessly, knowing that the final judgment lies with your customers and their response to your endeavors.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Of course! As Heyscribe continues to evolve and expand into American markets, we're keen on welcoming dynamic individuals to our team.

Product Manager:

Tasks: Drive and innovate our product, collaborate with teams, and set product strategy. Full-time, paid.

Social Media Manager:

Tasks: Lead social media campaigns, engage our audience and curate content. Full-time, paid.

Apply: [email protected]

Where can we go to learn more?

And my social networks are Twitter and Linkedin.

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

-  
Mikhail Kelim , Founder of Heyscribe
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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