Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hi guys! My name is George Avgenakis, and I’m the founder of Loopcv. I started the company more than 2 years ago to automate my job search, and it became viral on Reddit, helping thousands of users.
Today Loopcv is growing every single day!
Our platform now has not only tools for job seekers but also businesses. More specifically, Loopcv offers solutions for:
- Bootcamps that want to help their graduates find a job
- Universities that have a career office and can use our platform to provide job recommendations
- Career coaches that offer our service to help their clients find job opportunities
- Developers that use our API to get job search insights and offer our job search automation to their tools and platforms
- Recruitment companies that use Loopcv as a lead generation tool to find companies that match their pool of candidates and contact them to close the deal
- Job boards and online platforms that use our Whitelabel product to create an additional revenue stream from their existing audience of job seekers
- Affiliates (blog owners, newsletters, etc.) that use Loopcv to make money from their subscribers
- Companies that perform internal restructuring and reshuffling and use Loopcv to identify the matching between new roles and existing employees
We are growing about 15% MoM, and we are currently improving our business solutions to help businesses that support job seekers!
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
About 2 years ago, I moved to Belgium (I am originally from Greece, but I was pursuing my master thesis in Belgium at that time). I was in the final months of my master thesis, so If I would like to find a job after my working hours, I had to spend time on this as well.
I was doing research for my master thesis for more than 10 hours per day, and thus finding the time and the courage to search online, apply, and send emails to companies was a very difficult task.
I realized that while there are hundreds of tools for companies (they can filter, match, select candidates, automate emails and interview requests, and a lot more), there is a very limited set of tools for job seekers to help them aggregate jobs in a single platform and apply online providing ways to test different CVs, get feedback during the job search process and help them have a workflow instead of switching between hundreds of tools.
This is how everything got started!
I quickly created a landing page for Loopcv and started sharing my idea on Reddit. I got hundreds of signups with a single landing page, and people started reaching out to me.
Then I started looking for co-founders to build the platform!
I was looking to bring people with experience building deep technical software as a service product, microservices, and web scraping solutions! So I started reaching out to people using Linkedin! And finally, I found my co-founder!
This is how a simple idea of just automating my job search was the starting point to create a suite of job search services that serve both job seekers but also companies that want to automate their processes and find the best fit between candidates and jobs.
When I first started publishing Loopcv on Reddit, I realized that the demand for such a service was huge (I was receiving hundreds of emails, and people were starting to subscribe on my landing page without even having a product at that moment).
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
The first version of the product was quite simple. I created a very simple script that collected jobs from Indeed and Linkedin (we had only two platforms integrated at that time), and I was using Sendgrid to send emails.
To find emails from companies, I initially used Hunter, which was very good as a starting point (later on, we built our solution to identify the best email in a company to reach out to). The first product was designed based on the initial discussions I had with early adopters! I built a simple Slack community, and we started bouncing ideas here and there!
Our MVP was super simple and had only 2 inputs asking a user to add their desired job title and their location. It took about 6 weeks to be developed, and the UI was super simple!
After our MVP, we released several times, improving the Machine learning model, adding more functionality to manage the job searches (loops), and providing statistics and feedback to the job seekers about their job search progress!
Today it looks super nice:
Describe the process of launching the business.
I launched the business initially on Indie Hackers and Reddit. I started posting in various job-related subreddits where people used to hang out and discuss job hunting and tips on getting a job faster. Every time someone was asking for help with their job search, I tried to provide help, sharing my product link and asking for feedback!
Try to collect all the feedback from your customers but never build everything that they ask. It is very important to focus only on what makes sense for your business and not for a single client.
This is the initial landing page that we used to have at that moment:
These are the product screenshots from the initial product we launched after a month! We started seeing traffic immediately, and people started sending support messages and questions!
After a couple of months, we also received angel investment, and this is how things started becoming more serious! We found the investor through a European competition after being accelerated for a couple of months!
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
We started investing time and resources to improve our SEO and start ranking in Google for multiple keywords.
We have also been performing backlinking activities to get backlinks from high-authority sites.
We also did a couple of Lifetime deals on various sites such as Appsumo, Dealmirror, etc. This had two main advantages:
- We made a lot of revenue quickly.
- A lot of businesses found us and started engaging with us, asking for various customizations of our solution so that they could use it for their business case.
To engage with our customers, we also have multiple email sequences that educate our customers and provide insights about our platform.
We also joined multiple Facebook groups and youtube channels to engage with the group members.
So to summarize, our distribution today mainly focuses on:
- SEO (content creation, link building, guest posting): We researched topics that are related to the job search, such as interview tips, CV building tips, etc.
- Affiliate marketing (we have our affiliate program): We found YouTubers that talk about the job search, and we provided details about our affiliate program.
- Social media (groups, posts, and community building): We mostly used Reddit and some Facebook groups!
- Partnerships: We recently started working with companies that are in the same industry for cross-posting opportunities
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We are still experimenting with various customer segments, and we A/B test a lot of features. Our customers provide amazing feedback and request new features and improvements, so we are focusing on making the most important ones.
Most of our customers provide feedback over our chat and by sending us emails to our support email! We collect the feedback in a spreadsheet (for now), and we try to prioritize new features and bug fixes in our weekly sprints!
We have hundreds of new subscribers daily, and we are very happy about that (our SEO blog posts and pages finally get thousands of views).
Our focus today is not only on the improvements in our b2c product but also on improving our b2b products (tools for boot camps, recruiters, and career advisors).
Short term goals:
We have a big backlog of product improvements and bug fixes! Some of them are small touches of the UX. Others are bigger features that we want to include.
Long term goals:
We would like to integrate more job boards into our platform, improve our machine learning algorithm and launch some VERY COOL product features (we will share more soon).
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
One of the main lessons is that distribution and marketing are super important.
A lot of technical founders (like I did) believe that product is the most important part of the equation (don’t get me wrong, building a solid product is super important) but what I realized is that at some you should stop focusing only on the product and start focusing on how you should communicate clearly what you are doing, distribute your product in the sales channels that make most of the sense for your specific business model/case.
What is also super important is learning to prioritize.
Try to collect all the feedback from your customers but never build everything that they ask. It is very important to focus only on what makes sense for your business and not for a single client. One more feature might not be the answer to why your customers don’t pay you (don’t fall into the one-more-feature trap).
Try to identify the problem that you are solving.
What is a problem that a personal trainer is solving for a customer?
Let’s brainstorm here:
Someone could argue that a personal trainer helps you get fit, but this might not be the real problem. I could get in shape by just doing push-ups in my home, right?
Or someone could argue that a personal trainer knows all the exercises and thus he can help you train your body correctly. But I can find all of those online, right?
So what is the real problem?
In my opinion, one of the real problems that a personal trainer is solving is making you accountable and helping you to stick to a schedule. If you are training in your home, you can easily say…. Well, I am going to skip the workout today. I will watch a Netflix series.
Why is this related to your business?
Try to find the real problem that is being solved. It might surprise you what you will learn.
A great video that talks about the jobs to be done framework will help you get a better idea of how you should think about why your customers might need your product
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
We use the following tools:
- Sendpulse and Sendgrid
- Slack for communication
- Fiver(for freelancer services)
- Loopcv to find great companies to work with
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
In my opinion, some of the greatest books for people starting their new company include:
- Predictable Revenue
- Who Not How
- Secret Sauce: The Ultimate Growth Hacking Guide
- Hacking Growth
- Never Split The Difference
- Finish What You Start
- The Courage To Be Disliked
- Give and Take
- Trillion Dollar Coach
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
I created this image that shares my view and learning.
One of the most important lessons here is that the only way to learn is to make mistakes! So don’t be afraid to start! Loopcv wasn’t my first project! I started a couple of other projects before! Every project or company that you create will provide valuable learnings and help you improve on specific topics. So my advice to new entrepreneurs is JUST START.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We are looking for various positions such as software engineers and account managers to support our clients:
The software engineers’ tasks will include:
- Working on the development of integrations with job board APIs
- Improving the existing infrastructure
The account/sales manager’s tasks will include:
- Supporting existing clients
- Cold calls and demos with clients
- CRM work (Pipedrive)
Where can we go to learn more?
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