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💸 Growing RevGenius to a 14,000+ strong community of sales and marketing professionals
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💸 Growing RevGenius to a 14,000+ strong community of sales and marketing professionals

In this episode of CommunityHub Spotlight, we speak to Jared, Co-founder of RevGenius. As he says, he's just another human in the revenue world :) RevGenius just celebrated their 1 year anniversary! Watch the video to know more about how they scaled up from the early days to a 14,000 member strong community.

Shalini Nair Tekwani
June 21, 2021

Shalini: Hi guys. Super excited to have Jared with us today on this episode of CommunityHub spotlight. Jared, over to you. Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself, what's RevGenius and what are you  building out there.

Jared: Yeah. I'm just another human in the revenue world. Rev genius. We just celebrated our one-year anniversary. What RevGenius is, is a community of sales, marketing, and rev ops professionals. We have 14,000 people now been around one year, 600,000 messages on our site, 500 different companies. And our goal is all to help tell everybody in the space, a level up.

It's something really great that you're building out there.  Do you have a story about how this dates back? What was the intention behind getting this started?

Yeah, so we started RevGenius, Galem Girmay and myself a year ago. And we did it because we saw an opportunity in the space that wasn't being satisfied. There was so many webinars happening. And it was so fragmented. There was no like single centralized spot for all of them yet. The audience was the same.

So we just started organizing the events out there in one central location. It was just a Google doc and built a community of 30 to 40 people that were all friends on LinkedIn. That we just chatted about the events coming up and we realized that the power was in the community. So we looked at some of the other communities at the time that were around and we saw a gap.

There was no, in our opinion  accessible, positive, empathetic, inclusive, fully diverse, et cetera, community out there. And so RevGenius was born to fill that need.

Shalini: So how did you get to acquire your say first hundred customers? Let's say 30 to 40 were your friends, but then I'm sure that it was quite challenging to get into those first hundred members. Could you share your journey there?

Jared: It happened pretty fast. When you create something that's missing in the space and tell some people about it and have them tell a few more people. And there's no cost to it. They join. So now it's a little different because there's so many more communities out there, but at the time there was a true need.

And I think we talk about engagement in the community and engagement and acquisition and tools to do that. I think the ultimate tool is the ability to understand your audience and your membership or your perspective membership. Understand their challenges and hardships what they're going through and create a solution for them.

And if you create that solution and you don't charge them, oh my gosh, they're going to come in droves. That's the secret sauce.

Shalini: Okay. So how are you engaging your community? I do see that, you have a lot of events planned throughout the week, but besides that, is there any other thing that you use to engage them?

Jared: That's it. We send in newsletter every week, but they engage one another. They ask questions when they need help and other people help. So like they're here to solve their needs evolve. They change from hiring. To firing, to being hired themselves, to learn how to do sales skills, to manage teams, et cetera.

They come to our community. When they have a question or have a goal in mind, they present it and our community helps them. So we engage one another.

Shalini: Okay, awesome. Do you have any kind of tech stack that your community managers use?

Jared: Yeah, we're in slack or our website. We have which is a web flow CMS. We have different things like Airtable and Typeform and some other database tools. We have email from Gmail active campaign and some other stuff in there. And yeah, it's pretty straight forward.

Shalini: Okay. Are there any challenges recently that you would have come across and, you want to share with our listeners so that they learn out of it, how you overcame those challenges?

Jared: Yeah. So the challenge right now is figuring out what's the evolution of rev genius, right? Is a platform like slack or discord for that matter. Isn't super scalable. It is. But like all the benefits of having a synchronous platform eventually has diminishing returns, right?

Like sometimes it's so busy that it churns some people or has people show up because  engagement's too good. And it's just like things flying. So how do you combat that? And we're working through that now and we have some ideas in that regard. We'll show you all in soon enough.

Shalini: So what we would love to understand if there were any instances where members, like you said, members help each other out. Any story that's, really stood out from the community that you would share with us either professionally or personally?

Jared: So we've got a tons of people hired probably far over a hundred hundreds of people hired found people for roles and help companies scale up companies get noticed help companies acquire customers, help sponsors reach more people.

Okay. All of our members are acquired organically. How about that? 14,000 all organic. $0 in spend.

Shalini: Awesome. Okay.

Jared: So that's kinda cool, right?

Shalini: Yeah, absolutely. Do you think you did mention that you run the newsletter? Is it the newsletter that also helps build a word of mouth for your community ?

Jared: Nope. We're pretty bad with newsletter. Yeah, it's just the community. Okay. Okay.  We're improving. We're improving, but yeah. Okay. We just know what people want. And if you go on LinkedIn, people everyday talking about RevGenius, and they're not always the RevGenius team. So in other communities and other social media, they're talking about us and that's big and that's cool.

And that's helped people come in. And if people aren't there yet, a lot of you've heard of us. And if you haven't, when you hear about us and it's free, it might be something you check out. Yeah. We're excited. But partnership like. Partnering with others helps.  Helping somebody, helping a community member is one of the most powerful ways to grow your community.

Because they're going to tell somebody else, Hey, I got a job because, oh my gosh. That's awesome. Okay. Yeah. Give more than you take. That's the secret sauce. I'll say it a million times. Nobody wants to listen to me. Some people want to listen, but I'm literally telling you all. Give more than you take, whether it's in a community or in life, you will attract and magnetize your circle, people that want to be around you. It's a really nice quality.

Shalini: Absolutely. So I think giving more than taking is what helps build a successful community and ensuring that's an ongoing process. Yeah. Did COVID affect your community? Did it help, probably because everyone's working from home and looking for getting together online, did it help scale the community?

Jared: I think it probably did. I think the perfect storm happened. People were out of work. People were looking for connection and what was out there, wasn't fully meeting the needs. And I was a part of other communities that weren't fully meeting my needs. So we created one that did. I think that COVID, might've sped up that process of building the community, but there was a need that was there COVID or not that would've needed to be addressed.

So yeah, COVID didn't hurt the community's growth. It either was the same or probably sped it up, but there was a need for this type of community, regardless. I truly believe that.

Shalini: Okay. So you, you decided to use Slack for your community. Any reason why you picked slack over the other products that's available right now?

Jared: Yeah. So Slack is what our community asks us for. They're like, Hey, can we just create a Slack? Slack is a synchronous platform. And there's a lot of benefits to it. It's easy to stand up without development work. It's easy to invite people. It's easy to connect some tools to. It's easy to synchronistically chat with each other.

And in the business world, a lot of people are on Slack. So like you want to go where they're already at. Their teams are communicating on Slack. So to add another Slack channel versus adding an app like Discord or Discourse a common one that comes up or a Facebook group might be a little different.

Shalini: What are the platforms that you use right now for your virtual conferences or brainstorming sessions or meetings that happen within the community?

Jared: Yeah, so we use Livestorm as well as Goldcast for most of our events and there's some Zoom use as well.

Shalini: Any other tips that you would like to share with our community managers?

Jared: There's definitely a playbook and best practices with how to manage the community. Some of which we accidentally subscribed to some of which we need improvement with without a doubt. But I think the true secret sauce to growing your community is to listen to the community members and be active in recruiting new ones at all times.

We go towards increasing engagement and solving a need, having the right programming, does that. Increasing new members to the community also does that, it keeps it not being stale all the time. Because we have new people introducing themselves and you have new problems and new questions being asked, it can revitalize some of the people that have been there.

Also, support your members on other platforms, whether it's LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, et cetera, because your goal is to lift your members and to help your members. They're the core of everything. The most important reason why you're here today is because of them. If you have a product and a community that's backing that product, I posted today on LinkedIn about SaaS companies with communities. And it's a wonderful thing. And somebody asked a question about like, how do you leverage that audience to get what you need? And you can't think of it like at all right? That's your community. That's sacred. So you have to finesse a lot because I do understand the need to sell.

Just keep giving. Give more than you take. The same rules you hold your members to, try to follow yourself.

Shalini: You've done an excellent job having a zero CAC acquisition role from day zero. So any tips on how, other communities could look up to that? Be on the same track.

Jared: Yeah, just so there's never a zero true zero. Like your time is worth something, it could be out there, meet people, ask people to join directly, text them, email them, LinkedIn them and really leave a good impression on others so that they speak your praises. If you're creating something, that's not benefiting anybody, your CAC is going to be higher priced, because they don't need it.

Shalini: Okay. Thanks Jared.  I think we got a lot of tips, our community builders could use from this playbook out here and we'll definitely drop in a link to reach out to you in case they want to connect with you personally. Thank you again so much for taking out the time today and having this conversation with us.

Jared: Absolutely. And I'll also give you all my email, in the link I'll say right now, jared@revgenius.com feel free to reach out to me for anything I'm here to help you. I'm here to give and I'm here to embody, everything we say. Thank you for your time.

Shalini: Thank you. Thanks Jared.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shalini Nair Tekwani

Shalini leads all things growth at Threado. Prior to Threado, she was leading Zomato Bangalore's marketing team.

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