Lessons Learned Working for a SaaS Company and Why I’m Passing on the Torch

In December 2018, it became time to begin selling my first WordPress plugin. I started Googling around for choices and fast stumbled upon Freemius – a SaaS for selling plugins and subject issues. Devour most varied newbies to the platform, I became thrilled on the possibility of how easy it shall be to monetize my plugin. Little did I do know that correct three months later, I would change into the Head of Advertising at this fast rising startup, a brainchild of the Founder and CEO Vova Feldman. 

My WordPress Tale

I started as a freelancer constructing websites back in 2010 and slowly labored on increased and increased initiatives connected to advertising and marketing, mainly specializing in concepts for SMEs tantalizing affirm, electronic mail automation, reputation administration, and more. 

After my journey living in China, I came upon the necessity for expats to have a more flexible methodology to salvage funds from customers both in and out of doorways of China, so I created a WordPress plugin to resolve that convey for WeChat Pay and Alipay.

That’s when the study started on one of the best ways to promote the new product. In my study, I first came upon Easy Digital Downloads, but soon realized it wasn’t correct for what I needed. I continued procuring and came upon Freemius.

I became so impressed by Freemius that I sure to appear at for even handed one of their open positions. 

The First Few Months

To dispute my ardour on the muse of working for Freemius, I answered with a non-public message without prolong to the CEO’s 2018 Yr in Review electronic mail, CC’ing the careers electronic mail that became readily accessible on the gain online page. 

Vova Feldman, Freemius CEO, answered fast thereafter, requested me a pair of background questions, and we started with the utility job, which entailed a 2-step project maintaining a extensive series of affirm advertising and marketing aspects in a relatively sized kit.

General, the strategy, including the project and two remote interviews took a entire of about 8 hours. 

The training and onboarding job became as thorough as doubtless, and the group became very open-minded to my enter and creativity as a new-comer to the industry, commonly soliciting for feedback on any opportunity areas I will also have seen all over training. 

After a selection of prime good and actionable sessions and reviewing the total previous affirm and processes, I felt assured for success in the role and jumped correct into managing affirm, deciding on up where the previous affirm marketer had left off. 

This became positively a convey, as there have been processes left in convey that wished to be revamped and updated for the tremendous-fleet progress we were hoping to retain out in the next few years, on the different hand it also supplied a expansive opportunity for a new methodology and renewed creativity. 

These first few months were pivotal to working out the needs of the group and advertising and marketing group. 

Lessons Learned: 

  • How one would be half of a fast rising startup and change into a “gain contributor” as efficiently as doubtless. 
  • How an efficient interview project would maybe also be a extremely good filter for applicants. 

The First WordCamp

After a pair of months of getting in the role, managing affirm, and planning a pair of concepts for progress, we attended WordCamp Europe in Berlin, where I had a gamble to meet a pair of of our companions, originate new chums, and gape what WordCamps are all about. 

WordCamps aren’t correct meant for fun – conferences and networking are major for success on this dwelling, and this became correct even handed one of two instances (later being WordCamp USA in St. Louis), that we’d have that likelihood earlier than the coronavirus hit. 

Happily, at both occasions, we were ready to film testimonials from companions, originate new connections, and retain the mutual advantages of these relationships in the lengthy-term after the conferences. 

We had even made expansive plans for WordCamp Asia, which became cancelled correct two weeks earlier than the convention became to happen. That became a particularly unhappy one – the total group became speculated to sooner or later meet for the most major time, and we booked a boutique hotel correct subsequent to the venue planning to spice up the convention with barely retreat of our enjoy – and even had a wonderful venue for a Freemius Makers’ meetup, a tradition we started back in 2017 in WordCamp EU in Paris. Hopefully identical plans will truly pull through in the cease…

Lesson Learned: 

  • Bewitch earnings of every networking opportunity since you never know what the future holds.
  • The associated charge of relationships can’t be overstated adequate, particularly in the WordPress dwelling. 

Expanding the Workforce

There wasn’t intense rigidity to private every detail in regards to the company correct away. Most processes and recordsdata were documented extremely well, and if one thing else became missing or new, I became impressed to document it for knowledge preservation and training capabilities. When supplied with one thing new, all of us learned together.

Documenting processes and varied treasured knowledge became a theme that would abet us later with onboarding new workers and creating more efficient processes. As we updated our processes and the corresponding documentation, the identical offers shall be extinct for training, which meant we had a “are living working template” of how we operated the advertising and marketing group in exclaim that practically any one would maybe soar in, heed what we were doing, and make a contribution successfully. 

Incessantly, I would document short, actionable movies explaining what a mission became all about, in exclaim that a new group member would maybe watch that video, and, within minutes, begin constructing on that job and making it better.

At the beginning, it became correct me and our amazing dressmaker and video animator, Vitalii Romaniuk. We fast onboarded new group individuals for video manufacturing, affirm advertising and marketing, and assemble, including a new focal point on the Freemius YouTube channel, which now has almost 2,000 subscribers. 

Freemius YouTube Channel Fresh Subscribers Boost

Our intention became to join with and lend a hand WordPress plugin and theme builders by offering one of the best recommendation shall we to to develop their agencies (in convey of reaching thousands and thousands of of us). 

I will also aloof mention that’s positively a expansive half of what made the role thrilling – the impact shall we have in a developer’s existence if they were ready to originate more gross sales in their industry consistent with what they learned. That intention gave us so much of motivation and focal point on easy how to share and structure the affirm we were creating. 

Lessons Learned: 

  • Documenting important processes with video/writing is even handed one of one of the best ways to fast develop a bunch. 
  • The most safe affirm connects with and conjures up your neighborhood. 

How My Role Modified Over Time

After leading the manufacturing of over 60 movies and 70 weblog posts over two years – maintaining the widest form of in-depth advertising and marketing and gross sales issues I’ve ever had the pleasure to work on – my role modified reasonably a bit consistent with the needs of the company. 

The most important precedence became repeatedly offering charge to our viewers in the originate of tutorial, recordsdata-pushed, in-depth affirm because that’s what helps builders who wish to develop their agencies, but this isn’t one of the best ingredient that builders need in our ecosystem. 

After gauging the needs of builders in our DEV Slack over months and months of debate, a pair of alternatives became obvious, even handed one of which became Partner Perks. We belief the muse of constructing relationships with review/promotional websites in the ecosystem that were willing to give Freemius companions a slash price for promoting their merchandise shall be mutually priceless for each person fervent. 

We structured it in exclaim that Freemius would cloak the discounted expense of the developer promoting their product with the 3rd celebration promotional build (the invoice shall be forwarded to Freemius), which would maybe then salvage deducted from the developer’s gross sales earnings. 

Because builders form their earnings through Freemius, it made it easy to facilitate this more or much less job, with the enormous earnings of minimizing the opposed impact on a developer’s money drift, while bringing these advertising and marketing advantages into nearer attain. 

I also had the opportunity to structure and open the Freemius Affiliate Program, so folk in the WordPress neighborhood can now refer builders to promote their merchandise with Freemius and salvage a portion of the referred developer’s gross sales. 

Supporting the company by taking the reins on constructing out most of these early-section initiatives that were horny in the WordPress ecosystem, while simultaneously helping prepare the group for future progress became a great studying job and opportunity for me. 

Lessons Learned: 

  • Hear to what your neighborhood needs. The answers are there, so correct listen to them. Infrequently it takes reading between the traces, and inquisitive about present relationships you have in a varied methodology. 
  • Having a developer supporting your advertising and marketing efforts is required in as of late’s atmosphere! 

Why I’m Leaving the Company

I in the beginning came upon Freemius because I had the intention to develop my enjoy industry, and that’s been passed over since being on this role. We very most practical have a short time on this planet, and I wish to use time creating one thing that I in point of fact earn half in the growth and truly enjoy

I’ve learned a expedient deal about advertising and marketing that I’m angry to position into practice in my enjoy industry, so I’ll be devoting the majority of my time to plugin initiatives I’m hooked in to at Gaucho Plugins. 

It’s been a expedient journey leading the Freemius advertising and marketing group through this progress section, and I’m ready to circulation on the torch to any individual who is ready to soar in and earn the company ever further on its mission to abet plugin/theme builders develop their agencies.

Why WordPress is a Colossal Plan to Work

As with every journey in existence, you salvage one thing out of what you retain in, and on this case, there are a pair of key the clarification why working for Freemius added charge to my existence in ways that varied companies or experiences would maybe no longer. 

The Other folks

Freemius attracts a pair of of the most a expert of us in the WordPress and power-pattern ecosystem. We were ready to position that knowledge to work every day, and so inspiration came from within the group. I came upon Freemius to be even handed one of the major inspirational companies to work for because it’s a great group of these that helps builders be successful using modern choices. The of us originate the culture, and the culture is group-oriented, fervent on outcomes, and highly motivated for success. 

The form of the area group at Freemius became also very cool, as we heard updates from varied individuals of the group consistent with where they lived, adore the battle in Armenia, and one of the best blueprint Coronavirus became affecting group individuals in varied parts of the sphere. 

Rapidly Innovation and Implementation 

It became enjoyable to gaze an belief strategy to existence so fast. When an belief became deemed a precedence, there became no “ready interval” – we bought started on planning and implementation as soon as doubtless (for sure, taking into tale varied priorities). 

The fleet tempo of implementation applied to the entirety – affirm releases, feature releases – all completed with a savage tempo and level of good that few varied entirely-remote startups can match, and half of that became the group’s skillset, but additionally the framework space up for us to work together from the beginning. 

Making an Proper Affect 

The impact became one thing I would maybe gape and feel when a partner made new gross sales or expanded their industry with the reinforce or recommendation I would maybe supply. This meant they would keep meals on the desk, reinforce their households – all over their very enjoy labor.

Connecting 1on1 with companions became repeatedly one of the best half of the job, however the 2nd very most practical half became the creativity, recommendation, and belief I became ready to position into the job that became bought well by inconvenience companions and teammates. 

From picking and curating article/video issues, to inspecting paid promoting efforts, the total methodology to having enter on the UI/UX of the Developer Dashboard – my concepts and feedback were valued in the strategy. 

It’s Handiest Getting Larger

I supported six amazing colleagues in my two years with Freemius, and the group has grown with three new group individuals in the last few months. 

After experiencing the internal workings of the company, there’s a extensive opportunity for Freemius to change into even handed one of the major safe in the ecosystem, which I mumble is inevitable given it’s fleet upward thrust to success thus far. I strongly suggest taking the soar of religion and working for this company, as this would maybe originate amazing changes. 

It became a pleasure working for Freemius, and expedient experiences will certainly be cherished as I signal off from this shuffle and signal on to a new one! 

The post Lessons Learned Working for a SaaS Company and Why I’m Passing on the Torch looked first on Torque.

Download the File

Download copy_release_archive.zip (12.5 MB)
Alternative Backup Mirror


Click here to download the archive from our server







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *