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[Update] How This Online Remote Job Portal Kept Growing After A CEO Change

Tonya Mead
Founder, Search Remotely
$10K
revenue/mo
2
Founders
5
Employees
Search Remotely
from Sterling, VA, USA
started September 2019
$10,000
revenue/mo
2
Founders
5
Employees
222K
alexa rank
25
followers
1.64K
followers
1
subs
market size
$152B
avg revenue (monthly)
$83.8K
starting costs
$12.7K
gross margin
93%
time to build
150 days
average product price
$1595
growth channels
Word of mouth
business model
Consulting
best tools
Hubspot, Slack, Canva
time investment
Full time
pros & cons
36 Pros & Cons
tips
10 Tips
Discover what tools Tonya recommends to grow your business!
Discover what books Tonya recommends to grow your business!
Want more updates on Search Remotely? Check out these stories:
Start A Remote Hiring Company

Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

The last time we met, Search Remotely was headed by Christian Carella, the founder. He has since accepted a role with Peloton as Lead IT Support Engineer.

I’m the new CEO, Tonya Mead, PhD with a background in corporate training, behavioral sciences, and human resources. Search Remotely is a marketplace where remote workers can search for jobs, learn new skills by enrolling in our online academy, and get hired for a remote job. Employers use our platform to source top talent locally, regionally, or across the globe.

A few changes were made to improve the employer-client experience. We specially design images unique for the job listing and post them to our social media accounts. Further, we also offer an internationally scoped background screening service.

Finally, we’ve expanded our applicant screening process so that we will interview targeted candidates before passing their resumes on to the employer, saving time and onboarding costs. We offer these services at little to no additional cost to our existing program.

Our key performance metrics such as the average number of job listings per month vary from 100 to 300, with featured listings in the low double digits. This represents solid, steady growth in a crowded marketplace of a remote work promotion. You must remember, when this company was founded, there were only a handful of online marketplaces that emphasized remote work. It wasn’t even a widely accepted term in 2018. As we began to gain traction, other entrants entered the market so we have had to do more to maintain our position.

Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?

Just last year, Search Remotely was recognized by the International Trade Council as a top placer for eCommerce. We strive to maintain our position in the crowded remote job search marketplace by staying at the forefront of innovation and service.

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We’ve maintained our #1 Ranking position for our targeted keywords organically and expanded our #1 Ranking position to include additional keywords. See below.

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We continue to earn and receive solid reviews from independent third-party entities like Knoji and Sur.ly. You can read more about our ratings here.

Our two core service areas for the job seeker and the employer, we have upped our game so to speak. So that during the projected economic downturn we can increase sales or at the very minimum hold our own.

We are improving the jobseeker experience and striving to increase their chances of obtaining a remote job. So we’ve designed in-house classes available online to help job seekers acquire the remote skills needed. We are producing 3 new classes. We’ve also lowered our prices for our three best-selling e-books to low or no cost. While we’ve managed a Facebook Job Seeker Support Group for a few years, we didn’t market it, so we created a QRC code and posted it to the front page of our website.

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And, we have expanded our social media presence to serve as the foundation for our podcasts to be introduced.

We also wanted to improve the employer-client experience. We specially design images unique for the job listing to include our client’s logo for added visibility. We post it to all of our social media accounts and business profiles.

Here is an example:

search-remotely

Further, we can professionally translate job listings into English and have done so to obtain international clients looking to expand in the US market. We also offer an internationally scoped background screening service.

We’ve expanded our applicant screening process so that we will interview targeted candidates before passing their resumes on to the employer, increasing the chances of finding the perfect candidate for our clients, and saving time and onboarding costs. We offer these services at little to no additional cost to our existing program.

We have improved our branding. We had excellent name recognition before I was appointed CEO, but focus group feedback indicated that we needed to add the (dot).com at the end of our logo to point new visitors who are excited and heard about our offerings to the exact location of our platform. We also increased our 24 /7 accessibility by purchasing a highly memorable phone number 1-9713-REMOTE.

We hired a team of marketing pros to take a look at our homepage banners. They got back to us and said that the Bahamas, pina colada laid-back theme probably isn’t the right theme to push our remote job seeker and remote first employer services.

We needed to re-enforce our informal motto of “Work hard. Hustle harder. Play optional.” Employers are looking for remote workers who increase productivity from end to end. Job seekers are looking for remote employers who reward top producers with remote work options and the autonomy to get the job done.

Old banner:

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New banner:

search-remotely

Give back to the Community

Our ultimate goal is to do good while reaping solid financial returns and increasing market share. SearchRemotely (dot) com is a division of Shared Knowledge LLC. In June 2022, the company was recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration as an Apprenticeship Ambassador.

As an Apprenticeship Ambassador Search Remotely will use its platform to increase access and support for underrepresented and underserved populations in Registered Apprenticeships leading to remote work. This includes women, youth, people of color, rural communities, justice-involved individuals, and people with disabilities.

As a community service, Search Remotely will do its part to increase the awareness of rural and inner-city job applicants on the endless possibilities of working remotely through training and workshops.

search-remotely

search-remotely

Other Marketing Developments

Other marketing developments include the expansion of affiliations with other entities to create synergy and build upon the success of other companies that have already designed well-established products, services, and tools for generating revenue.

Our primary objective is to ensure that the services of our affiliates are closely aligned with ours. We have had long-standing relationships with Linkedin Learning, SafetyWing Insurance, SkyRoam Wifi, Running Remote Conference, and the Freedom Business Summit. To position the company for monumental growth we’ve established affiliations with many of the major online educational companies, resume writing, and critique services. We hope to further expand our offerings so that we may ultimately become a one-stop shop for remote job seekers and remote employers.

What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?

As a company, we have four big challenges.

The first challenge has been improving website speed and keeping the website fresh. We strive to do so while also maintaining the visual quality of our images and expanding upon our content.

The second challenge has been maintaining website security and to prevent fraudulent purchases. This is perhaps a huge concern for any web-based platform.

The third challenge is monitoring our social media accounts and private groups to prevent scams and to scrutinize the legitimacy of any independently posted job listing shared by members of our private group.

The fourth challenge is replicating my engagement with someone else who will build rapport with commenters on our social media accounts and members of our private Facebook group. The peaks and valleys in social engagement are directly related to my involvement with the members who comment frequently.

I have had two challenges.

One is that I am a private person and have maintained some sort of anonymity while providing services to my employer clients and job seekers. Well, three weeks ago I got called out. One of the members of our private Facebook group which I administer commented that my profile picture was probably fake. So, I started to post more relatable photos on my social media pages to show that yes, I am human and very much real.

The second item could be a challenge, but I don’t consider it so. I am an American of color and a female so there may be someone out there who may not see my potential or acknowledge my accomplishments.

Therefore, I’m hoping to serve as a role model to others out there not usually considered leaders of technology companies and platforms. Not only do I manage developers, data analysts, and recruiters; but I have often written code myself, use SQL to query large data sets, and even review security protocols as a certified forensic hacking investigator.

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

We would like to transform our Facebook group to a monetization engine where we alert members to our in-house produced job seeker training content. Right now we have about 1,500 members daily at its peak who actively engage with Search Remotely and other members of the private group. We would like to increase engagement numbers exponentially and avoid some of the valleys of low engagement. See our engagement chart here.

When purchasing an existing business, it is tempting to make a lot of changes from day one. Don’t. Fully analyze how the business works, its shortcomings, and its assets.

search-remotely

What’s the best thing you read in the last year?

I am reading two books now, The Power of a Positive Team and The Power of Positive Leadership by John Gordon.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?

I have three tips.

First, when purchasing an existing business, it is tempting to make a lot of changes from day one. Don’t. Fully analyze how the business works, its shortcomings, and its assets. When you’ve determined it necessary to make a change or tweak a business process or platform; think it over for at least one month before committing to making a major change.

Second, help others. This may seem like an afterthought but it isn’t. We endeavor to genuinely recognize other entrepreneurs who provide excellent customer service or deliver superb products to our company.

To manifest increased sales, profitability, and expanded market share, it’s important to be supportive of entrepreneurs that you someday hope to emulate.

When presented with an opportunity, we jumped at the chance to provide a video testimony for the RankMath SEO tool that we used to dramatically improve our metrics. Our video will be published on RankMath’s YouTube Channel.

We use our global platform to acknowledge other go-getters in the field of remote work with our “Day in the Life of a Remote Worker” Series. So far we have interviewed 14 movers and shakers ranging from remote work job coaches to CEOs of major WordPress plugins as well as YouTubers with several hundred thousand viewers.

Finally, consider using a multi-pronged approach to your day. This means that each day should be evenly split between the various functions of your company: sales/marketing, technology, customer service, logistics, and financing. To focus too heavily on one area for an extended period will be to the detriment of other areas. Having a well-rounded team is of utmost importance.

Where can we go to learn more?

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Tonya Mead, Founder of Search Remotely
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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