e4 caren schwannauer

4: What’s Caren Schwannauer’s secret for getting consistent sales?

Caren Schwannauer, co-founder of Staq, offers valuable advice on sales, content marketing, and event networking. She also shares the story of how their first client grew into a successful billion dollar company.

First Customers podcast episode #4 with Caren Schwannauer

She convinced me to change my own tactics during this conversation. I highly recommended taking notes & learning from this high performer. How did she find Staq’s first customers? Listen and find out.

Topics covered:

Full Transcipt of the First Customers podcast episode 4 with Caren Schwannauer:

This transcript was generated automatically from the audio. So please forgive any misspellings since it’s more of a phonetic translation of what was said during the podcast.

paris_vega:
All right, welcome to the first customers podcast. We’re here with Caren Schwannauer and her company is called Staq. Caren, Good to meet you.

caren_schwannauer:
Thanks for having me Paris.

paris_vega:
Glad to have you here. Why don’t you just start off by telling us about your company.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, so my name is Caren. I am the co founder and managing director at Staq, where growth consultency, where focused on helping tech companies scale. We do different areas. One of them is investment, so we help introduce them to founders and investors like we see business angels. The other areas partners we helped them introduce to potential business partners, and a third one is people, so we help them build successful teams along the line and to her Complete high cycle.

paris_vega:
Okay, Could you give me an example of maybe like how a client would interact with you? Like what’s that process look like? to give a better understanding of kind of

caren_schwannauer:
Yes, so

paris_vega:
what service your company offers?

caren_schwannauer:
yes, So it really depends on the stage, the companies, and so sometimes we start talking to founders right at the start when they just have an idea about somefing. We kind of advice them a little bit on their product market fit, help them kind of like refine what they’re looking to build, And sometimes the company might go to a bigger funding around, and they’re looking to build a team And then we help them get the right people at the right time to go to the next day. Really?

paris_vega:
Okay, so you guys you can help them grow no matter which stage they

caren_schwannauer:
Yes,

paris_vega:
are as a company.

caren_schwannauer:
so we’re focused from Like, basically pre seed up until pre IPO

paris_vega:
Oh wow,

caren_schwannauer:
to different rounds. Yeah, that’s that’s really our focus. Most of the companies we’re working with are, but in the earlier side, so like Seed stage Duris crisp, but we also have some clients that are like pre I po. That really want to like nail down everything before before that?

paris_vega:
So if somebody walks in off the street and they just have an idea, Is that the level of company that you can help, or do, they have to have a little more than that.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, so I love talking to those people because I think that’s a really exciting time and it’s really important time if you want to build a success, successful company to get that stout bit right. So

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
I love talking to those founders that are just like coming to us being like. I’ve been thinking about building something in that area. What are your thoughts on it? Do you know how the competitive landscape looks like? Do you know how I like? basically build a pitch and all that? So I love talking to those companies And basically see them grow from the start on.

paris_vega:
Okay, so the whole point of this podcast is to help people understand those very first early moments of a company where you’re sitting there with nothing at first of most companies where they start. You don’t have any clients yet. How do you get that very first customer? How did you get your very first customer?

caren_schwannauer:
So when we started right at the beginning, we basically went into our network and started talking to people.

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
And I think what’s really important at the start is getting feed back. I think that’s absolutely crucial. talking to people that are within that area that could benefit from your solution of what you’re trying to build, and talk to them about it. And you don’t need anything for that. You don’t need to have a product. It’s enough to have an idea and just be like. What do you think about that? Would that be helpful for you? And if yes, what can we do better? And if not like, why is it not helpful? And that’s what we did at the start. So we talk to people in our network and we were like we’re looking to like offer this. We’re looking to build something around. This Is this helpful for you as a founder Does that like make things easier. and from that we got loads of valuable feedback, and also our first client, which was an introduction from someone in our network And they had a client. They were just expanding to Germany, and they just needed some help with like setting everything up. So we got our first be client and

paris_vega:
Awesome,

caren_schwannauer:
that was that was great right from the start. Basically true. talking to our network.

paris_vega:
And so you weren’t even necessarily trying to pitch them a hard sell. Them. You were just asking for feedback and then

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
that just led to a sale.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, yeah, basically dad,

paris_vega:
Okay, So the value of the network? How did you build your network? Talk a little bit about what you were doing before this business And then what made you decide to start this business?

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, so I built my network a lot through events online and offline events, kind of like pre pandemic, and then a lot of online events and then I build it through writing content a lot.

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
So I used to write a good bit on Linked in. I got like good insights and from other people, just like feet back from other people, and also just like reaching out, like. I think, being genuinely interested in other people that are in similar industry definitely helps with building that network and offering help to them definitely helps as well.

paris_vega:
Okay, and um, what field were you in before you were doing what you what you’re doing now?

caren_schwannauer:
So I was working in a recruiting tech startup. Before that, I was basically their first employee. They hired me just at the start, so I saw all the like chaos. The

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
on side of hat.

paris_vega:
Right,

caren_schwannauer:
they hired me. I was in there to build out the business development function. So I, talking to their first clients and also to like investors, was a bit of like a general Ist role, and After that I actually got hired by a recruitment agency to build out their fin tech desk for the German market, so that was a new market as well. So I was building that out and true that I realized that there is kind of like a gap in the market for companies helping startups with not only the hiring part of things, but general, like advisor on how to basically start your own business, and what kind of mistakes to avoid and what avenues You can take

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
to like build your own company, And that’s how we started sack. really, to kind of have a bit of an intersection between, like a, kind of like a management consultancy, but also kind of recruitment partner. And that’s where we are now.

paris_vega:
Yeah, I think that I’m a part of a few projects that could use that help specifically

caren_schwannauer:
Oh

paris_vega:
as the company grows. There’s definitely these different layers that we seem to go through to where. Once you get to a new layer, it’s kind of a mystery. It’s like Wait a minute. This

caren_schwannauer:
Exactly

paris_vega:
is a totally new situation with different dynamics. Like now we need an HR department. What does that even mean And

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, exactly.

paris_vega:
okay?

caren_schwannauer:
and like when you go to a different stage is like every stage of different Like with every stage to culture changes the

paris_vega:
Right?

caren_schwannauer:
like different. Like important things change all the time. So it’s good to have like a partner on your side. I think that can just like. like Okay, We’ve been in the scenario before we know how other companies to it. We have a lot of insight in the market like, let’s get you to where you want to be and like

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
guy along a little bit.

paris_vega:
All right. let’s zoom in even farther to that moment. Um, maybe that every entrepreneur has. But what was the kind of moment you decided to start the business? Like what? Talk a little bit about more. What was going on and why you chose to to start something new.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, it really just happened like true, talking to like companies I was working with at a time and just kind of like hearing their pain points and like being like that’s actually something that can be solvable That they’re like. We actually need like some advice here and there, and

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
like, M. Yeah, it really just happened to that and then at some point I was just like I’ll just do it Like. Why not give it a try and see how

paris_vega:
M.

caren_schwannauer:
it works out.

paris_vega:
So it was a natural progression from your spills and experience that you built up. over the years. You just knew the answers to this whole area of problem, so it made sense for you to be the one

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
to build

caren_schwannauer:
definitely,

paris_vega:
a company around it. Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
yeah, and I think I always want to like, have my own company as wel, so

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
I always had that kind of like I was when I was younger. I was working as a free lance or a lot, and I really enjoyed kind of having that freedom. So I thing for me was kind of a natural prprogession. To just be like. Okay, I want a company that’s myself and like my own, like baby to work on. So

paris_vega:
Right,

caren_schwannauer:
yeah,

paris_vega:
I understand that. Okay. So when you were talking to that first client, that kind of naturally turned into a client. give us a little more perspective on that moment where you’re having a conversation. How did you find out they wanted to do business with you? Like zooming a little farther into that first sale. Because I know a lot of people when they’re starting a company there, they’re stuck in that kind of gray area from idea to executing some stuff, and then trying to figure out The target how to target, And then there’s kind of that amazing moment where you do get that very first check from a very first client. so

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
give us paint that picture a little better for us.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, so he declined that we were talking to at a time. It was an introduction from another company that we’ve been talking to and they’ve been working with that company and they basically gave us a warm introduction which I think they’re the best thing that can happen to you.

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
so

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
they got us in touch and we were basically just explaining to them how we’re doing things how we can help them And it was just really the right timing. so they were like that. sounds Per, That sounds exactly like what we need. And then we just started working together and it was a great company to work with at the start because they got really big. Like just after we started working with them, they got big funding around. They became a unicorn and it was just like the perfect time for us to like be there and it really helped us as well. I think not only like it’s great having a clime from like a revenue perspective and everything, but it also helped us just to give us some confidence Start, because we’re

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
like we have this great client like right from the start, and it helped us aloft to then like, grow to the next clients. Because we have that. so I think that’s really important.

paris_vega:
Wait. so. wait a minute. Your first customer turned into a unicorn.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
That’s crazy.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, it was

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
it was great.

paris_vega:
And so your company is Is what you’re helping people with his growth. So every other sale after that you can be like. Hey, you want to grow? Well, we turn companies into unicorns.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, exactly

paris_vega:
Wow, that’s amazing

caren_schwannauer:
yeah, now it was really good, but like when you’re talking about, like, kind of researching like clients, and kind of find the right person to talk to. I think it’s It’s really helpful to create just like a real good market map at the start, So we did that as well, and I advise every founder you like, Just do that, just like sit down and put some time aside to do some research on Who’s in the market who could be like a potential client Like it just takes so much work like not only at the start but like, I have lists of companies that I that like a year or two ago. I’m still using them like so much because they’re so valuable.

paris_vega:
And so do you use any tools for market mapping or you have any recommendations there?

caren_schwannauer:
Not really tools. I know, there is a few out there, but none of the top of my head Like a lot of it. Just like happens like through like proper, like researching, like on. linked in, for example, and most of the times, if you’re in a specific, like either specific vertical or specific area, there is a lot of lists out there already, so you actally don’t have to do all the work. If you.

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
If you search properly, you’ll find them. And yet those can be really helpful just to kind of map the market out. And just Like Okay, these are the companies like we want to work with, maybe in the future, and it also helps you, depending on how details you do your list to kind of see how they grow over the years. Um, so if you check them like a year later or something, you can kind of tell like how is it going for them And then you want to work with them later stage?

paris_vega:
So did you focus in on a certain nitch industry Or was it

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, so our main vertical the bit like split between the team, But my focus is fin tech. That the area like most knowledgeable, but we also focus on gaming and we also focus on Webtreandblock chain. Those are our main verticals,

paris_vega:
What was

caren_schwannauer:
that

paris_vega:
the third one?

caren_schwannauer:
block chain and web tree.

paris_vega:
Oh, okay, yeah.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
okay,

caren_schwannauer:
So those are the main areas, But like every now and then we get like, for example, a Sac company reaching out, or like an E commerce platform reaching out. so yeah,

paris_vega:
So did you choose those nitch markets based on? like you said, Maybe your past experience, or was that a result of the market research?

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, really past experience and just knowledge that have in a team. like one of my colleagues, She’s like really big into the gaming space like she’s She’s a game. or so, I was kind of like a natural thing to

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
be like. Let’s go into markets where we know something about, but also markets that interest us And I think if you’re like as a founder, if you’re trying to find your own nice, that’s probably the best like area to go into. Like something you know something about,

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
And also something you’re interested in. So you already can say something to people, but you’re also excited to learn more. I think that’s the best way to go about it.

paris_vega:
So even if your specific skill set or your specific job or industry that you’re in may not be your passion, you can kind of layer in your passion to help your target a market to go after with your skills

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, I suggest that because it makes it just easier. like having your own company can be like difficult at some times,

paris_vega:
Right.

caren_schwannauer:
so it does help if you’re passionate about it.

paris_vega:
Sure, yeah, okay, this is really interesting. Um, and just to clarify, So a unicorn? That’s what defined as a billion dollar company?

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
Okay, and that company that you guys helped to grow that first customer. were they? Where were they? when you started working with them?

caren_schwannauer:
So

paris_vega:
What side were they?

caren_schwannauer:
um, they, they just closed their serious Ay. I believe I actually can’t sand. remember, I think they just so serious a

paris_vega:
Okay?

caren_schwannauer:
M. and they were about to expand into different markets, So there were a French company and they went into German into the German market and they needed help to build that out and we helped them with that.

paris_vega:
And how long has Staq been in business?

caren_schwannauer:
We started We twenty one in April, So almost two years.

paris_vega:
So in less than two years they went from raising money to a billion dollar company.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, so yeah, basically

paris_vega:
That’s incredible

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, they were Brillicool company, or they are a real Cal company. So yeah, again, like they were just a great first client to have because they really helped us get started properly.

paris_vega:
And so is there a certain size that a company has to be for you to work with them? like, Because I know that’s the one thing that I talked to people about is figuring out the target audience. And you know what level of company to go after. And you said you cover a pretty broad range from

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
what preceded the pre I po. But what’s the kind of details about that target audience?

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, so our kind of our sweet spot would be like fifty people plus. so

paris_vega:
So you go by team size,

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
So okay, so you’re not necessarily helping grow on the like, the revenue or marketing or sales side, as much as helping them with the inner workings of how to grow the team size as they’re expanding,

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, yeah,

paris_vega:
I understand. Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
so

paris_vega:
cool

caren_schwannauer:
that’s kind of what we’re targeting. Um, I think I mean it always depends on your product. What kind of like sizes or like stages? You should go after. Um, If you’re working like, we’re not really like working with large companies, Because it’s very long sale cycles.

paris_vega:
Right,

caren_schwannauer:
It just takes a lot of time and we can’t really be a value at. at that point like It’s an enterprise Companies were like specifically focused on like star jobs, so doesn’t

paris_vega:
Because

caren_schwannauer:
know what

paris_vega:
if they

caren_schwannauer:
we

paris_vega:
already have an H. R department and everything, then they’ve kind of got that problem solved. Is that how you see it?

caren_schwannauer:
Not necessarily, because

paris_vega:
Okay?

caren_schwannauer:
there is always there is always stages where you need like additional support, and again with your the other avenues where we like help, like partners or like investors. That can always be of like some help. So it’s not only about like having an R department, I’d say, um, but yeah, our ideal like customer has like around like fifty people. Usually, um, but again, like we’re also working with Com. Needs that are like just at the start, so yeah,

paris_vega:
Okay, all right, so I’ve got a few kind of rapid fire questions here. Um that I like to ask people to see if you use different tools or technologies.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
Maybe so your first customer came from your network and

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
talking to people making content. Um, So now this gets into a little bit of growing from here. Like how did

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
you get your next customers right after that first? Maybe that first few, and I’ll just go down a list of different things, And you can just say kind of yes or no, and we can get into some of those if you want.

caren_schwannauer:
Hm,

paris_vega:
All right when starting your company, Did you use Twitter?

caren_schwannauer:
Yes,

paris_vega:
All right, Facebook,

caren_schwannauer:
No,

paris_vega:
Instagram,

caren_schwannauer:
Not really.

paris_vega:
You tube,

caren_schwannauer:
No,

paris_vega:
All right, linked in

caren_schwannauer:
Yes,

paris_vega:
Pinterest.

caren_schwannauer:
No,

paris_vega:
Okay, read it

caren_schwannauer:
Not really. I’m

paris_vega:
Okay.

caren_schwannauer:
sometimes active on redit.

paris_vega:
All

caren_schwannauer:
Um,

paris_vega:
right.

caren_schwannauer:
and it’s ertinly, something I want to explore further. I think there’s a lot of value in red. It, so not really not yet, but

paris_vega:
Okay, What about Snap? Chet

caren_schwannauer:
no,

paris_vega:
Tik Tok,

caren_schwannauer:
Yes,

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
we just started with Tiktok, like a few months ago.

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
So far it’s going pretty well.

paris_vega:
All right, what about product hunt?

caren_schwannauer:
No, not really. I’m sometimes active just to like research companies, but

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
not like actively contributing.

paris_vega:
Medium,

caren_schwannauer:
Also not really, but same thing. It’s a great resource. It’s great if you want to. if you want to learn more about the companies you want to work with, Because almost every company has something on medium, and it’s really good to kind of understand where they are, so yeah, it’s a good channel to use. I’d say

paris_vega:
Yeah, I’ve always wondered how how companies use it Because you think well, we’ve got a company blog, So why put it on

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah.

paris_vega:
another platform? But I guess it has a little bit of the social aspects of it too, and discovery.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, it does have that social aspect and like one of one of the companies were working where they’re using it quite actively, and they always put like it’s like a moon round up on their medium, which is like similar

paris_vega:
Okay.

caren_schwannauer:
to a company block, but like they do have a good like follower amount on it and it just put down their up dates. like how they’re getting on on their road map and all that, And that’s pretty cool. Like So you can definitely use it for that and you might reach more people On medium then you wore on your company block. So

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
yeah,

paris_vega:
what about Cora?

caren_schwannauer:
No,

paris_vega:
Okay and does your company have your own blog?

caren_schwannauer:
No, we don’t

paris_vega:
Really? Okay?

caren_schwannauer:
now, we don’t. we? We’re going to start one in the next year. We’re going to get a new website and everything. So

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
we dot. We’re going to start out as well, but right now now

paris_vega:
Okay, so that’s interesting Because earlier you were saying that you put out a lot of content. So where were you putting out content?

caren_schwannauer:
On Linton, Mainly,

paris_vega:
Really?

caren_schwannauer:
yeah,

paris_vega:
Okay, Yeah, I’ve heard a lot more about people saying that linked in is where it’s at these days. with maybe other. The other places are so crowded and then the business minded folks are just waiting for some good content there. What do you think about Linked in?

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, I think if you know how to use it write, it can be very powerful if you found your own niche. I think that’s that’s really important. Don’t just like put some stuff out there like. there’s a lot of un valuable things on Linkedon as well, so I think

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
like, if you’re active on it, like focus on providing like real insight or like real opinions on something. And don’t just like re. post something The hundredth time. That’s That’s not giving anything to anyone, so yeah, it can be very powerful. You have to engage with your network. Definitely like you can’t. just like put something up and expect great things to come. So definitely do that. but over all I’d say it’s very powerful to use it. Yeah,

paris_vega:
Okay and are you doing? mostly posts or like the long form articles? I know they

caren_schwannauer:
So

paris_vega:
have that article feature.

caren_schwannauer:
they do. Yeah, I used to write more articles on it. I haven’t done that in a while because their engagement is not great. Usually,

paris_vega:
Really

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, linked in, really decrease the engagement on articles and just over all, like the amount of impressions you get. so it can be good if you, because it usually shows up on on a Google search. and if someone searches for your length, article would show up so it can be okay for. But over all, it’s not that grade. Usually posts are better, and if you have like

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
a photograph or something or like a document, you have a touch ship. those give you the most engagement. So

paris_vega:
So so you didn’t have your own blog? So when you were posting on Linked in, there were you sending them anywhere like off site to get more into? Or was it just you were posting long linked in posts that they could just contact you as kind of the follow up?

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, I was mainly posting the articles on Linked in. I think I might have put something up on medium at the start, but then I

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
didn’t really follow you with it, so I just like stick to link in, because I knew that that’s where the people I wanted to talk to her anyways,

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
And if I already have the engagement there like, let’s just keep it like that.

paris_vega:
Yeah, makes sense. All right. So no blog on your side yet? What about a forum or other Nitch industry type site?

caren_schwannauer:
No, not really.

paris_vega:
Okay, um, g, two

caren_schwannauer:
No,

paris_vega:
Cap, Terra

caren_schwannauer:
No,

paris_vega:
Trust pilot,

caren_schwannauer:
No,

paris_vega:
Okay, All right, And what about Any form of advertising? Did you do any paid promotion type things?

caren_schwannauer:
No, we didn’t.

paris_vega:
Wow,

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, we didn’t really see the value in it just yet,

paris_vega:
Right,

caren_schwannauer:
so yeah,

paris_vega:
And so you haven’t done any since you’ve launched.

caren_schwannauer:
No, we didn’t.

paris_vega:
Wow, So pure traditional sales in a way other than the content. marketing.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, so yeah, the content part is a big piece. and then, like the traditional sales, and we do, we do check that we go to a lot of events and stuff. So

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
that’s something that I think really really helpful. Even if it’s not to like find a customer. it’s good to build your network and the easiest way is being at an event. I’d say

paris_vega:
In

caren_schwannauer:
so.

paris_vega:
person,

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, so We’re looking to go to likenetworking events. General, like industry specific events, we’re hosting our own every now and then.

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
And yeah, that’s that proved to be like, pretty good because it’s it’s really about like building mean meaningful connections with people. so

paris_vega:
Right,

caren_schwannauer:
that’s the best way to do it. I’d say

paris_vega:
It’s interesting because each person I talked to has kind of different, like little golden rules that they stick to

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah.

paris_vega:
believe. Follow through it. So that’s really neat. Okay. what about cold calling?

caren_schwannauer:
No,

paris_vega:
I like you’re saying. it’s more about the relationship so you’re not just going to randomly,

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, I

paris_vega:
So

caren_schwannauer:
think

paris_vega:
go ahead

caren_schwannauer:
now I think we’re called calling. It can be effective like I first, like, obviously can be effective. People have been using it for for ages.

paris_vega:
Right.

caren_schwannauer:
I think it like it just wasn’t anything for us at the start because we really wanted to build a brand and build a trust around it, and called calling. And sometimes you know I put a lot of people off because they’re like.

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
Why are they calling me again? So

paris_vega:
It was like Pam.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, exactly, and we didn’t want to span people and I think it called calling like it. Also, it’s a lot of time to put into it for. like. not that much of reward. sometimes unless

paris_vega:
True.

caren_schwannauer:
you have someone that’s a great cold collar. Really. so yeah, it just really wasn’t our focus.

paris_vega:
Okay, so it wouldn’t be called cold calling, but there is some level of making the first introduction. Like at an event in person. Even at some point you’re making new connections,

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
so talk a little bit about that part because it seems like you’re really good at that new in person connection like you’re expanding your network, so at some point you’re eating people you’ve never met.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
How do you go about that moment of making a new connection?

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, it’s really. It’s really just like talking to people. like getting to know them. Don’t try to sell anyone on the spot like

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
you never never do that. Their won’t work if you’re like. Let’s say you’re meeting someone at an event. It’s really about like meeting them like, be genuinely interested in what they’re doing and talk with them about. For example, if they have their own company, talk to them about that becaus. Everyone loves talking about that. So

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
it does

paris_vega:
okay,

caren_schwannauer:
help like. if you’re talking to them, find some like. I don’t know if you have Common interest review and similar niche like, Find some talk to talk with them about. And yeah, that’s that’s really it. But like people know if you’re not really interested in them. So if you’re not really interest in what the other person has to say, maybe just don’t talk to them at all. So just like, be genuinely interested. See There’s ways where you can help them. For example, that’s always. That’s always good if they’re like talking to you and they’re

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
talking about a specific issue there, facing with specific challenge there facing like, see if there’s something you can help them with and they’ll return that favor. Like usually. so

paris_vega:
Yeah, that’s good. I feel like you could do a course on like in person selling at events

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
that that’s good stuff.

caren_schwannauer:
yeah, now it’s not that difficult. I think like talking to people at events. You just really. you have to be productive and you just have to like get it started. So

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
yeah,

paris_vega:
all right, what about Snalemail? post cards, letters? Anything like that?

caren_schwannauer:
No, maybe for Christmas now we send some

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
happy

paris_vega:
but it would be as it would be. it would be

caren_schwannauer:
you.

paris_vega:
after the sale. Like if they were a client, you would reach out, but you wouldn’t do it without

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
Uh. flyers.

caren_schwannauer:
No,

paris_vega:
That’s going way back

caren_schwannauer:
Uh,

paris_vega:
old school. Um, what about influence or adds? like some kind of social influence or partnership or something like that?

caren_schwannauer:
No, because it doesn’t really fit what we’re doing too much,

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
and we’re like trying to establish our brand now in the market, for example with tik tok, so we wouldn’t really go with like an inference. But if you have a product that would work with something like that, definitely do it like.

paris_vega:
Hm,

caren_schwannauer:
I see no reason why you wouldn’t do that. It’s way better than not saying like way better, but in some ways it can be way better than like traditional. Adds. for example, because you know that they have a spec Thick client group that you want a target, and they’re like almost all of them are your target group, So definitely

paris_vega:
Right.

caren_schwannauer:
you don’t. if you have a product that fits,

paris_vega:
So it seems like an extension of that if you’re at an event and there’s going to be certain speakers at the event, So if you’re doing like self is with each other or something like that, it’s

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
It’s like a form. It’s like an organic version of influence or marketing when you’re associating yourself with people at certain events. Possibly,

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, yeah, it could be if you if you find someone that’s really influential and you take a

paris_vega:
Yeah, what about email marketing?

caren_schwannauer:
Um, So we don’t really do that right now. It’s all something that we want to look into. We’re doing a little bit of just like called email outrage, But it’s not really like proper campaign that we’re doing, so we’re doing a little bit of that,

paris_vega:
But it

caren_schwannauer:
M.

paris_vega:
is a cold email. You said.

caren_schwannauer:
yeah,

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
yeah, so we’re doing that a bit on the side. I think similar to cold, Calling, It Sometimes feels like a lot of like afore you have to put into and then the reward is kind of so so because you, you can have like an open rate of like, I don’t know eighty percent, and then a response rite of like four. so we’re

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
not really to focused on that. At the start, we were working with a company that I was doing kind of like a La generation. They would do like outreach,

paris_vega:
Hm.

caren_schwannauer:
but we literally can at Once because it didn’t work. It didn’t work at all, so we were like okay with draw it or not, But

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
see.

paris_vega:
All right, and what about retargeting or I guess that falls into Adds as well. if you’re not running any ad than you’re not doing any kind of retargeting,

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
So how do you follow up with the connection you make in an event? For example,

caren_schwannauer:
So usually you would connect with them if there is like. If you have a really good conversation with someone, you can always already suggest like a follow up. If you have the number something, you can always call them or send them a message and just be like Hey Jwanametup, for like a coffee or something. It really depends on how the conversation goes. I’d say if you just have like a quick chat with them, you can just be like. Send him a message the next day. Be like Hey, great And to you yesterday I love to talk further. you know, so

paris_vega:
Yeah, do you

caren_schwannauer:
yeah,

paris_vega:
usually use email or text or linked in message? What’s the medium that you usually communicate through?

caren_schwannauer:
Bit of a mix. So linked on messages are the easiest I think for most people to just like Okay, let’s connect on. linked on the easiest to get. Not too many people are walking around with business cards. So

paris_vega:
Yeah,

caren_schwannauer:
if you have a business card, I’d always send an email. I think that’s that always works better. and of course, if you have a phone number or like what’s up, just text them Or just called him. that works as well. So

paris_vega:
Okay,

caren_schwannauer:
depends a bit on what information you get.

paris_vega:
Yeah, of course, all right. So you got the big first customer? How has growth been since you started

caren_schwannauer:
It’s going really well, So we grew to team where seven people now, So we started as a founder trio. We hired a few people. Has been going really well and on the client side as well. I think we got over hundred companies were worked with, So

paris_vega:
Over a hundred?

caren_schwannauer:
yeah,

paris_vega:
Oh wow,

caren_schwannauer:
So no, it went really well. We’re really happy with everything. So yeah,

paris_vega:
That’s awesome. And what’s the goal for Staq? Are you looking to grow it and sell or what’s kind of your forward projection?

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, so we’re definitely looking to grow at over the next couple of years, And then we’re really see how things are planning out if we sell it, maybe at some point, or if there’s avenues that we can build it out, even if there’s order. Like if we want to develop bit more like products. For example, that could help our clients. That could be an avenue to take for us just on like a general growth, or like again. If we sell it, we see How our thing plans out.

paris_vega:
Yeah, it’s hard to predict exactly how it’s going to go.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah,

paris_vega:
Um, okay, this has been awesome. Why don’t we close out with any advice you might have for somebody who’s trying to get something started. They’re looking to get their first customers. Kind of the last piece of advice. Maybe that you see is the most important thing to focus on in that that period before they’ve gotten their first customer.

caren_schwannauer:
So I think the most important thing is like Really, to talk to you. network, Get feedback and like, talk to people about what you’re building. Um, Really, like, take their feet back on board when they suggest something, and if you’re talking to people to get feedback like, have your own questions, ready. M that you want to ask them like, don’t only go into like, I don’t know, like a demo, and just explain everything and then just wait for them to come up with some Solutions or some pain points they might see in your product. Is really about guiding them to that, and then ask some problems that you might have pre identified on what could go wrong, and really dig into that. So you at the end have like a really good product or really good service, and then with that you can basically talk back to them and just re engaged with them and they might become your first customer. Then so

paris_vega:
Awesome, Um, Now, if anybody wants to look up staq, Um, hire you guys once to give us the quick pitch for what staq does and then where we can find you on the Internet.

caren_schwannauer:
Yeah, so where it’s that? helping Te company scale? We help them in different areas. We connect them to Cis. partners and people where mainly active in Europe, And you can find us on our website, which is Staq team. That’s one word, or you can find us on Linked on Under Staq, or on Tik Tok at Hello Staq.

paris_vega:
All right, Karen. thank you so much for being on the podcast.

caren_schwannauer:
Thank you.

Show Links

Learn more about Staq:

https://staqteam.com/

https://www.tiktok.com/@hellostaq

Follow Caren around the web: 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/caren-schwannauer/

https://twitter.com/CSchwannauer

Listen/Watch this episode on other platforms:


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