Ep. #1198 - Video Marketing Made Easy
In today’s Startup Hustle episode, Matt Watson and Vikram Chalana, CEO and Co-founder of Pictory, discuss video marketing made easy. Hear Matt and Vikram talk about the evolution of content marketing and why everybody should use video marketing. They also talk about the effect of AI and ChatGPT on tools like Pictory, why businesses should post more frequently, and why you should always repurpose your content.
Covered In This Episode
Online video reached 91.8 percent of Internet users worldwide in 2023. It is no wonder that 89 percent of marketers used it in 2021. Pictory helps businesses create videos more efficiently, even without technical skills.
The conversation between Matt and Vikram starts with Vikram’s entrepreneurial journey and his reasons for entering a new field. They discuss the benefits of entering a field with a growth mindset, such as with Pictory, and being in the right place at the right time. Vikram touches on the effects of AI and ChatGP, use cases, and pricing for Pictory. They segue into localizing the product, high-frequency versus high-fidelity videos, and more.
Finally, Matt and Vikram exchange insights on being a CTO in a startup and building the development team. Vikram offers advice on entrepreneurship, mainly why perfect can be the enemy of good.
Video marketing can do your business a world of good. Listen to this episode to find out how to make it easy.
- Vikram’s entrepreneurial journey (1:09)
- Entering a field with a growth mindset (3:15)
- Starting Pictory (5:46)
- The effects of AI and ChatGPT on Pictory (8:36)
- Being at the right place at the right time (12:13)
- The use cases for Pictory (14:00)
- The importance of videos in content marketing (16:21)
- From being a CTO to being a “Chief Test Officer” (18:11)
- Building the development team (19:30)
- Localizing the product (22:02)
- Pictory’s pricing (24:46)
- High-frequency videos versus high-fidelity videos (27:08)
- Use different channels and repurpose your content (28:24)
- Vikram’s advice on entrepreneurship (32:38)
- Perfect can become the enemy of good (34:07)
- Figuring out the go-to-market strategy of Pictory (35:00)
- Working with affiliates (36:34)
My first company was automotive CRM related software. When the 2008 recession came, that was actually a huge boom for us. Part of it was everybody moved to digital marketing. So like the whole market shifted that way. And we were just in the right place at the right time.– Matt Watson
YouTube is the second biggest search engine. And businesses don’t use it that much. So, like every business should have a YouTube channel and use Pictory or other tools to create content for that. Just keep feeding content into the YouTube channel. You’re gonna get new traffic to your website.– Vikram Chalana
Different channels will have different types of content depending on the business you’re in. But yeah, I think, and the other key advice is to repurpose, right? Repurpose as much as possible. So take that long video and make a short out of it. Create the blog, take it, create a video, and just repurpose your content.– Vikram Chalana
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt Watson 0:01
And we’re back for another episode of the Startup Hustle. This is your host today, Matt Watson. Today we’re going to be talking about video marketing and AI. We have the founder and CEO with us today, Vikram Chalana. And his company Pictory. I was just playing around with it before we started the podcast today, and it’s pretty cool. It automatically created some videos for me with AI. It’s pretty, pretty cool stuff. So we’re gonna talk all about his company and his entrepreneurship journey here. Before we get started, I do remind everybody that today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io, which is our company. Hiring software developers is difficult, but Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably. We have the platform to help you manage that team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. Vikram, welcome to the show, man.
Vikram Chalana 0:43
Hey, man, it’s great to be here. Thank you.
Matt Watson 0:46
I’m excited to learn more about your product, it looks pretty cool. I went in and it had a bunch of options. And I just put my blog post URL in there. And then, magically, I got a video out of it. So it was pretty cool stuff. But before we talk about that, I’d love to learn a little more about your, your journey before. And were you an entrepreneur before? Or is Pictory, your first first leap into entrepreneurship?
Vikram Chalana 1:09
No, this is my third time around. So I’m what they call a serial entrepreneur. And it’s a disease.
Matt Watson 1:16
It’s a disease once you start, you can’t stop.
Vikram Chalana 1:20
That is right. That’s exactly right. I actually compare it. There’s this famous meme the hero’s journey, right? So I compare the entrepreneur’s journey to a hero’s journey because you get you get called into action, then you go into the battlefield, and then you do all kinds of adventures. And then you come back. And there’s, you can’t just sit still anymore, you got to do that again. So we have like six or seven Star Wars because of that same reason.
Matt Watson 1:52
I don’t know. I feel like we get the shit kicked out of us along the way. And for some reason, we come back for more. I don’t understand. So what did you do before this?
Vikram Chalana 2:02
So my startup before, this was a company that was in the enterprise software space. And we had a tool that connected SAP with Microsoft. So completely different, something very, very IT-oriented. But the general theme of all the startups that I’ve done is the idea of making something that was really hard before or you needed experts before, and making it easy for non-experts. So, in that case, it was you had to go to your IT team, and you had to find your programmers to connect SAP with Microsoft, we allowed Excel users to do that. Okay? With Pictory, the journey is like you did it. You’re videographers, and designers to create videos. But now you can do it yourself. Any marketer can do it.
Matt Watson 2:53
So how was it? You were one of the founders, CTO, and Chairman, it says here, of Winshuttle, one of your last companies for a very long time. How was it jumping into the brand new startup again, after after a very long time? And I’m sure it felt a little more like the corporate world after all those years. What’s it like jumping right back into the startup world?
Vikram Chalana 3:15
Yeah, I got to about 350 people. And it was it was like a corporate world. And I was getting really bored at meetings after meetings and decision making process being very slow. And, and I really wanted to get my hands dirty again. And so after we sold that, I was like, okay, took some time off. And that didn’t suit me. My blood pressure rose, and I just couldn’t, couldn’t handle it. So I had to get back into something. And, and this, this is awesome. I think the two things. Two things can I recommend any entrepreneur but also my own learning, redoing it again, coming into a new field. I didn’t know anything about videos coming in. I knew something about AI. I had done that before. But I didn’t know anything about videos. So there were two advantages I felt I had coming into a brand new field. One was, you don’t know what’s impossible. So that’s a huge advantage. You don’t know the upper limits of what what you can’t do. And the second thing is, you come in there with a sense of humility and a growth mindset that, hey, I’m going to learn this field. I don’t know anything about this. I’m going to figure this out as I go. And and so you you come in there and you really are able to grow and learn and and not have the arrogance about oh, I’ve done this before but because every market is different, every customer different, every product different so so it really is an advantage to come into anything with that growth mindset.
Matt Watson 4:51
Well, and that’s one of the hard parts of working in the corporate world too is everybody just wants to do things because that’s the way it’s always been done and like I don’t know, you know, so many years ago, somebody decided we can only do this. And we can only do that, right? And everybody just keeps doing the same perpetual things. And then somebody like you comes along, you’re like, Oh, screw this, let’s try something different. You know, we don’t have those limits. We’re gonna blast past them, right? And then people potentially look at you like you’re crazy. Because you’re, like, why would you do that? We’ve always done it this way. But that’s the part of the problem of the corporate world and being able to go out and just do whatever you want, and there’s no limits. And everybody says, No, you can still try it. Maybe you’re crazy. But you still try it. And sometimes we’re wildly successful. Right? So for this new company, did you have some other co-founders? Or how, and how did you come up with the original idea? Was there a certain inspiration for this idea, originally, or…?
Vikram Chalana 5:46
Yeah, both. So I have co-founders, my, I have two other co-founders. And Pictory, one of my co-founders was actually a co-founder with me at Winshuttle. Both started Winshuttle together. So that was like there was a relationship there. Actually, he’s my brother. So there was a long term relationship. Okay. Yeah, the second co-founder was also somebody we had worked with at Winshuttle, he was one of our first product managers. So it’s somebody I really liked. So that was, that was the cool thing about a second time journey is you can go and pick some of the best people you’ve worked with in the past, and you can kind of bring them on. And that’s, that’s been a fun ride in the beginning that that was the team that we found was people we’d worked with before. And we found the best ones and convinced them to come work with us. The where the where we saw that the problem and how we kind of talked about this in the very beginning was so we had this 350-person company at Winshuttle and one of the things I saw was we had only one person who was good at making videos, actually, who was trained at making making videos. Her job was a designer. And, and she was in marketing. And everybody would be going to her for videos. Because something has shifted in the last 10 years. We went from text in Twitter to Instagram images to videos on TikTok, right? It is there’s been a shift to videos, and everybody was feeling the shift and everybody wanted videos, whether you’re in sales, whether you’re in marketing, whether you’re in product, HR. Everybody wanted videos. So everybody was going to this person and, and she was getting overloaded. And, and I try I would go with video requests to her but I said, Okay, I have to try and doing it my stride and do it myself. And I tried picking up some of the tools. He was the Adobe Premiere user, I picked up Adobe Premiere, I was like, This is too hard, man. Then I picked up Camtasia oh my gosh, the timeline, I couldn’t deal with timelines. So it was an I’m not a I’m a reasonably smart person. I was like, Okay, I should be able to figure it out. And I couldn’t. So like, there has to be a better way to do videos. And, and we saw what Canva was doing with design and anybody into a designer. And we saw all this, the AI so this was 2019 this was even long time before ChatGPT. But there was a bunch of AI stuff coming out that that looked very promising. So we said, Okay, maybe we can do Canva for video with AI in the mix and make it even easier and, and very, very fun as an experience. So that’s kind of what we did journey started. So.
Matt Watson 8:36
So when you started this in 2019. That was way before you know, AI and you know, AI has been around for a long time. But like generative AI and ChatGPT and all that stuff. It’s all the rage over the last year or so. So what was it like trying to do this in 2019? You know, compared to today, like when you first started doing this? Was it much more difficult with the current AI models? Or what, what was that like?
Vikram Chalana 9:00
Oh, yeah, so some of the things we were trying to do then it was touching the barriers of what, what was possible in 2019 with AI and it was like people had said, summarizing text is is a hard problem. And there were some papers that I read. I was like, you know, this is not good enough. We tried some other open source models at that time it started some tried some of the some of the latest and greatest and wasn’t good enough, right? Now, which rgpd summarization is like table stakes. It’s like the best, the easiest
Matt Watson 9:33
Crazy, crazy how it changed.
Vikram Chalana 9:34
Yeah. And so. So yeah, so it has it has changed a lot. And you have really good models right now. We have good access to open source tools we have everything is kind of changed in the last four years. And we’re trying to we’re trying to incorporate those models into our into our application as well.
Matt Watson 9:54
Well, so I guess part of my question is so your product say two years ago, was there a lot of features and functions that didn’t do? And then all of a sudden, when ChatGPT came out, you used it to, like dramatically improve all that stuff? Or was some of the you were doing before, but maybe not quite as well or whatever. But But how did you guys quickly jump on ChatGPTT when it came out?
Vikram Chalana 10:16
So there’s two answers two parts to that answer. That’s a good question. So we did have some AI tools, it was just not as good. Now it’s gotten much better. So that’s one. The second thing is we’re still, we’re still updating our product to use ChatGPT. It’s still not fully baked in yet, we have some parts of it that uses use the large language models, some parts are still we’re working on. So as an example, the part you just talked about blogs to videos, it’s still using our old blog summarization algorithm, okay, it’s not as good. But if I the the stuff that will come in the future, we’ll use the LLM based summarization, it’s going to be much better. But ChatGPT has had a huge impact on our business. And because one of our one of our core use cases is where you can start from script and make a video out of that script. So you started with a blog in your in your example. But you can just if you have some story that you want to tell, you can just write that script and create a video from that. So when ChatGPT came out, he reduced the barriers for people to create that script, the script creation or writing the script, there was people would kind of sit through writer’s block, what how do I write this? And, and there’s some of our customers created this, these videos that hey, use ChatGPT to create your video script, put it into factory, and create a video and create a YouTube channel, a faceless YouTube channel this way, and some of those videos went viral. And and with like, tens of millions of views and, and our business just took off since ChadGPT came out. And since those videos went viral, so So we’ve grown 10x, since ChatGPT came out, which was only about nine months ago.
Matt Watson 12:13
Well, and I think my so my first company was automotive CRM related software. And you know, when 2008, 2009 recession came out, that was actually a huge boom for us. And part of it was everybody went moved to digital marketing. So like the whole market shifted that way. And we were just in the right place at the right time. We had done all the hard work up until then, like we were nobody and then all of a sudden we were we were the thing, right and, and I feel like there’s companies like yours, Jasper and some others that probably they were doing AI related stuff. Maybe not a lot of people knew who they were, but then ChatGPT kina created more market more interest and all that. And you’re like, hey, we’ve been here doing this. We have the solution. Right? Like, I’m sure that, you know, the market moved to you in some ways, right? And all of a sudden, you’re like, hey, we have a product. We have a solution. We’re ready to go.
Vikram Chalana 13:04
That’s exactly right. I mean, and I use that phrase all the time being at the right place at the right time. Yeah, that was exactly so. So I it’s luck. Call it whatever you were you were ready by then. And yeah, it was, yeah, it’s been a good ride.
Matt Watson 13:21
Well, and I’m sure you have other competitors out there that are maybe trying to do the same things. But you’re four years ahead of them. Right? Like they’re they’re trying to start from from scratch. And that’s the point is like you you were ready for that big influx. And kudos to you for foreseeing the future, you know, three years ahead of where ChatGPT came out. So
Vikram Chalana 13:42
Yeah, it’s luck. I mean, I still think the problem is unsolved. That problem of videos, and content marketing using making videos easy. That’s still like, we still have a journey ahead of us.
Matt Watson 13:55
Yeah, so what are some of the most common use cases that people use your, your product for?
Vikram Chalana 14:01
Yeah, so I think the big one is for content marketing, right? Any company these days, like if you’re not doing paid marketing, which many people are, you’re gonna rely on building your content, SEO and driving traffic to your website and that way, so Content Marketing involves a lot of writing, a lot of written content, but we are saying you should add videos to your content marketing tool. So whether you’re writing a blog, I have a video in there, whether you’re creating social media posts, add videos in there, so make video a key part of your content marketing strategy. And, and that’s, that’s one those are those are two core use cases, right? You can take a script, convert that to a video, you can take blog, convert that to a video, add the video to the blog page, and you have something. So that two use cases the third one is where you make might have a recorded content. So a lot of people have webinar hours that they record or like this podcast, podcast, video, podcasts that record and, and we can start with that we can help make the editing of the podcast or the video webinar very easy. We use AI using a we transcribe the webinar, and then you can use text to edit the webinar. Okay, you probably seem to like the script and like and just makes it very easy. So we have similar things. And we’ve also added AI capabilities to summarize that, that in so you say, okay, 45 minute podcast that we we recorded, we can can you create a five minute trailer of it, and we pick out the best five minutes in that. And again, using using LLMs using AI to kind of help figure it out, filter out the best five minutes or that of that podcast.
Matt Watson 15:53
And the output is is a video. So it’d be the snippets of you and I and our video right now. Exactly. You just might get it. You just might have got a customer how much you have to pay for that.
Vikram Chalana 16:06
If it’s not that expensive. It’s not that expensive. Yeah.
Matt Watson 16:10
Well, look out everybody that might be the future of the Startup Hustle podcast right there. We, we need an easy way to do that. That would be phenomenal. I’m excited. Now I learned something new today.
Vikram Chalana 16:20
Yeah, yeah. Awesome. And so again, going back, like, that could be anybody, right? I mean, you’re a podcaster, you’re professional, you’re you’re creating a lot of videos. But most companies are sitting on a lot of videos, they have a lot of thought leadership content that they’ve created, that they just haven’t figured out how to repurpose it yet. And this gives you a way to repurpose it for, for social, or for YouTube. I like like, that’s the other thing that is under utilized in the business world is YouTube, YouTube is the second biggest search engine. And businesses don’t use it that much. So I like every business should have a YouTube channel, and use Pictory or other tools to create content for that just keep feeding content into the YouTube channel. You’re gonna get new traffic to your website.
Matt Watson 17:15
I love it. And I YouTube has always been a little bit of a mystery to me, I’ve tried doing some stuff with YouTube and I get like zero views. Like, like a lot of this stuff, you’ve got to put a lot of effort into it. And you know, if your platform can more easily help create those videos and create, you know, some something that people will watch and quality content out of it. That would be awesome. Like being able to automatically edit this and then distill it down to something would be super, super valuable. Well, I do remind everybody that finding expert software developers doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit FullScale.io where you can build a software team quickly and affordably. Use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs and see what developers are available to join your team today. That’s our company, be sure to check it out at FullScale.io. So, you know, Vikram, you used to be a CTO? Do you do any software development anymore?
Vikram Chalana 18:11
No, it’s been a while that I wrote code. But I don’t, I don’t miss it. I mean, different scales, different stages of a company, you do different things. Yeah. Yeah. Right now I’m in the company building phase.
Matt Watson 18:25
So are you are you still involved in the technology at all the product side of it, like you still go going back maybe to the old days of like trying to be somewhat involved? Or you just totally
Vikram Chalana 18:38
I’m always involved. I think, okay. As a I would say now it’s more Chief Test Officer.
Matt Watson 18:46
Product, it’s more product right?
Vikram Chalana 18:48
releases and making sure that the product features are how customers want it. So because I talked to a lot of customers and yeah, that feedback to the team. Yeah.
Matt Watson 18:58
It’s It’s like being the head chef that still got a taste test things every once awhile, right. You’re like, Okay, I got all these great chefs in the kitchen, but I still got to make sure they did it the right way. Yeah, no, we, when you’re when you’re in charge of product, you end up inevitably being in charge of QA because you’re the final. The final approval of this thing to say
Vikram Chalana 19:16
off yeah, say enough.
Matt Watson 19:18
So when you when you started this new company, how did you build your development team? Did you, did you were as part of your team developers, are you just hire developers or how did you do that part of it?
Vikram Chalana 19:30
So some of the people we brought on the team were people we worked with in the past. These were our great engineers from our Winshuttle days. So we hired them and brought them out. But then we in the early stages, we we brought on some consultants to help build some the MVP and stuff. And then we started hiring our own team. And now we have an engineering team in India, in the US, it’s a mix of locations. But yeah, it’s it’s a big part of all the manager’s job. So my CTO spends a lot of time in hiring and finding the right rec engineers and designers, QA people, all the all the roles.
Matt Watson 20:15
Well, I imagined hiring AI, AI talent, especially four years ago, was super difficult. I mean, today, it’s a little easier if you’re using ChatGPTs, API and whatever I felt like that’s the easy button compared to what you had to do four years ago.
Vikram Chalana 20:30
Yeah, and if you want AI talent today, it’s a challenge. I mean, you’re and we’re in Seattle. So it’s really hot here, the market and everybody’s, Microsoft wants all the talent and Amazon wants all the talent. But fortunately, because of the slowdown a little bit earlier this year, we are able to recruit some some good people here.
Matt Watson 20:49
So is your guys, are you guys remote or your office in, in the Washington area there?
Vikram Chalana 20:56
No, we’re fully remote. And it’s a decision we made very early on, which has enabled us to kind of hire people all over the globe. Super excited about interviewing Customer Success had in Ukraine tomorrow. And we have, we have a product manager in Nigeria. We have, so it’s it we’ve we’ve kind of been able to find talent everywhere in the world.
Matt Watson 21:20
Well, and as you can imagine, from like our company Full Scale, we have 300 employees in the Philippines. And I have to remind people all the time, especially in IT, 90% of software developers are not in the United States. And so you know, if you’re only hiring United States, you’re you’re greatly narrowing your you know, the talent pool. So it’s definitely a global market. And I’m sure a product like yours is probably used globally, too. Right? You probably have customers outside the US.
Vikram Chalana 21:49
Oh, yeah, we have half our customers are outside the US. So yeah, and absolutely. And half our team is outside the US, too. So it’s it’s it’s the nature of the world, small multinationals.
Matt Watson 22:02
Yeah. So my, my previous SaaS company they started was called Stackify. And we had customers in like, 60 different countries. And it was always super amazing just to learn what our customers did, you know. It’d be like the largest, you know, real estate website in South Africa, or a bike rental service in Brazil, or whatever, it’d be like all these weird companies, and I just always loved the stories of all the different companies, what they did from all around the world. You know, I always thought it was was fascinating. So
Vikram Chalana 22:34
Did you did you translate, you localize the product? Did you have different languages?
Matt Watson 22:38
No, we didn’t because our customer base, you know, was was software developers who almost always are fluent in English. We did notice there was a few countries like I think it was like Spain and France and a few others were even there the developers were not as fluent in English, in certain countries. But we, we had customers all over the place, and mostly were English was even more prevalent, but it’s, you know, English is usually the language of IT. So for us, yeah. Yeah. How do you guys deal with?
Vikram Chalana 23:09
Yeah, our product is today English only. But we do get a lot of requests. Because as I mentioned, customers are everywhere. So not necessarily the UI, but they want to see languages that that are narration languages being different. In different languages, right now. It’s only English or, or even our AI summarization that I talked about, or we have a search with searches through the, through the stock content, all that they want to be able to work in multiple languages. And we haven’t we haven’t enabled it yet. So but it’s, it’s coming.
Matt Watson 23:44
Well, and they have some markets around the world like the Philippines where, you know, they also mostly speak English or it’s, you know, their own flavor, broken English mix of English and their local dialect, you know. And it’s, I’m sure there’s a lot of people around the world that probably use the tool in all these weird ways. You don’t even know.
Vikram Chalana 24:02
Yeah, we are always surprised. Yeah, I saw, I saw somebody posting videos on our community page of Persian videos. So they obviously recorded their own voiceover in Persian. And they had an of course, we they can type the script in, in Persian. So the captions are showing in Persian. Yeah. And they that, yeah, they created a video for them.
Matt Watson 24:25
Back to your original use case, right? It’s like how do we make it easy to make videos, even if the generative AI doesn’t do quite everything it could do without that language support. But you know, it sounds like it still works as a video editor for other use cases. So that’s awesome. Exactly. So what do you what is the pricing of your of your product?
Vikram Chalana 24:46
The pricing is pretty straightforward. It ranges from about $20 a month to about $100 a month depending on whether you’re getting, how many users you got, how many videos you want, and those are the two main factors. And and yeah, it’s so it’s pretty, it’s pretty straightforward. Again, yeah, we have a lot of a lot of customers in the thereby our premium plan that’s our most popular one, which is about $40 a month.
Matt Watson 25:16
Have you had any crazy customers yet that come in and try and use like your product to do a million videos and some kind of crazy stuff like that? Have you run into that yet?
Vikram Chalana 25:27
In the beginning, we had unlimited number of videos. And we did see that and that just caused our AWS bills to just spike out. Yeah, so then we have to put a limit on the number of videos that people can do on every plan. So yes, so we that is everybody, every system will get abused in one way or the other.
Matt Watson 25:48
Oh, yes. I always say, somebody ruins it for everybody, right? It’s like, that’s what everything in life, like, everybody can wear flip flops at work until somebody trips down the stairs wearing flip flops, or like no more flip flops at work, right? Like that is that’s always the way it works. And especially tools like yours, you get somebody that thinks they’re like, I’m gonna flood YouTube with all these videos and be a billionaire by using your tool to create all these videos or whatever, like, somebody has some crazy idea. So
Vikram Chalana 26:19
And with ChatGPT, that became easier. And that was kind of the one of the things I was worried about is like all the spammy videos that people Yeah, they don’t have anything to tell. But they’re just like us, ChatGPT to write a script. And fortunately, we didn’t see that happen. But I’m sure a lot of people tried it. And YouTube is also smart to filter it out and, and not monetize those videos.
Matt Watson 26:43
Yeah, so there’s some pretty inventive, almost sort of crazy people out there that do these different things. So what other tips do you have out there for people that in regards to video marketing, like thinking, Oh, I should be doing video marketing? How could I use video marketing? Do you have any tips around video marketing and needing to jump on the train for that?
Vikram Chalana 27:08
Yeah, so I think the main thing, as I mentioned, is, is getting started think about so I talked about this idea of high frequency videos versus high fidelity videos. So we often get stuck in this idea that, hey, if you’re going to create a video, you have to get a crew and recording staff and the actors and all that stuff. And, and that’s what people think of when they think of videos, but, but there’s many ways to create video. And the important thing is to create a at a at a good frequency. So you talked about your YouTube channel and how you weren’t getting enough views. But I think that the trick is just to keep doing it over and over again, right? Often enough. In social media, the same thing, I mean, you’re, if you post something on LinkedIn, or Facebook or Twitter, the likelihood that that I’ll see if I’m connected to you, is actually very low. It’s like 5% of your posts may be seen by 5% of your followers may see a single post that you make. And so the key again, is frequency. Just keep, keep posting stuff at high frequency, and it will get seen by people you’re connected to.
Matt Watson 28:24
Well, and all the platforms do that because they don’t want you to get exhausted by a certain person, right? Like I don’t want to log into TikTok or Facebook or whatever it is, in every single day. My whole feed is nothing but your content, right? Like people want variety and to keep them coming back so that I mean we that’s one of the things that you know TikTok mastered and why tick tock you know, has become so big is they mastered that algorithm of you know, a creator like us could go create that video and potentially get thousands of views versus if you post on Instagram and only show to your 100 friends so at most you’re gonna get like 20 views or something. You have like a very small market so that that was the big game changer for TikTok, right, is you know, anybody all of a sudden could get a much broader audience and the videos that I did that’s that’s what I saw on YouTube I’d get almost no views but on TikTok I got a lot of views and on Instagram Instagrams Reels I got some. It’s those algorithms newer algorithms that are pushing like new and unique content to people really helps and it seems to find the right the right, you know, fan base eventually so
Vikram Chalana 29:33
And we just kind of my other tip I mean you gave this tip but but it’s tried different channels, right? That’s the other thing is like your videos may work really well on one channel and not not so well on another channel but but try multiple channels, post your videos on, on all have them and then follow the successes.
Matt Watson 29:53
And that’s part of the challenge of video marketing too, right, is you’ve got content that you could be doing that’s kind of top of the funnel. It’ll awareness, but then maybe you post that on TikTok or something. But then maybe on Instagram or LinkedIn, you it’s a little more middle bottom of the funnel maybe and maybe you create almost different content for those that is different is from what I saw from my experience.
Vikram Chalana 30:18
Yeah, and YouTube maybe for like training videos and stuff like that where your customers. After they become a customer and they might, they might. So yeah, different different channels will have different types of content depending on the on the business you’re in. But yeah, I think and the other the other key advice is repurpose, right, repurpose as much as possible. So take that long video, make short out of it, create the blog, take the blog, create video out of it, just just repurpose your content.
Matt Watson 30:48
Well, I we do this podcast four days a week, five days a week, sometimes four or five days a week. And since a lot of content. You know, video every day like this, and we don’t do the best job of repurposing it. That’s something we need to better job up. So I’m actually really excited to try your guys’s product for the video part of that. How long of a video can you upload? Can you upload an hour long video?
Vikram Chalana 31:14
Oh, yeah, you can upload about two up to two hour long videos.
Matt Watson 31:19
So can I, can I upload like a Hollywood movie and it gives me the recap of that movie.
Vikram Chalana 31:26
I haven’t tried the movie. That’s that was not the like the use case, the use case for more webinars and podcasts and stuff.
Matt Watson 31:34
You never know, I told you people are crazy, somebody like me is gonna be like, I’m uploading all the Star Wars movies. Let’s see what it does.
Vikram Chalana 31:41
But it works. It works best with spoken content. Movies have a lot of like, Yeah, send music and pauses and stuff. So it may not be awesome for that with. But in a in a setting like this where we’re talking. There’s a lot of spoken content. And there’s a lot of material for the AI to do tune into.
Matt Watson 32:03
Well, that is awesome, man. I do remind everybody, if you need to hire software engineers, testers or leaders, Full Scale can help we have the platform and the people to help you build and manage a team of experts. When you visit Full Scale, all you need to do is answer a few questions and let our platform match you up with our fully vetted, highly experienced team of engineers. At Full Scale, we specialize in building a long term team that works only for you. Well, as we start to round out the show today, I’m curious, do you have any other tips as a serial entrepreneur? What other kinds of tips you have for those that are listening out there?
Vikram Chalana 32:38
I think the biggest thing, and I like there are two schools of thought on this about launching products and building companies. One is, you know, you only get one shot. That’s the one school of thought. And other school of thought is launch often and early. And I’m on, the I’m on the underside of launch often and launch early. If you’ve, if you’re not embarrassed by the first version of the product you’ve launched, you waited too long. And so that’s kind of my, my general philosophy in, in building companies is products don’t get built in the lab, they get built in the market. So just get it out there. Just get your feedback from the customers improve, iterate, iterate, iterate, iterate. And, and that’s I mean, that’s my, there’s no rocket science to it. This is people have talked about in in lean startup and other other books. And just just that’s the advice that the one one parting thought for you here.
Matt Watson 33:43
Well, and one thing I always say is you need to focus on being best known not having the best product, you know, and it’s easy to be in the lab and you’re like trying to have the best product there is and you never go tell anybody about it, right? And so eventually you’ve got to get out of that mode and be like, the job is to go tell everyone there is about it. And then we’ll fix the shit that needs to be fixed along the way. Right? We just, we gotta focus on telling everybody.
Vikram Chalana 34:07
That’s it and perfect can become the enemy of good. Yeah, sayings about this, but yeah, that’s exactly it.
Matt Watson 34:16
Did you have any of those moments with with your new company where once you launch like, oh, we were getting all this feedback, we you know, had to make some changes? Did you have some of those those models?
Vikram Chalana 34:26
All the time. We still have it, we still have it, it’s we’re still improving the product, we’re still I’m still embarrassed about parts of the product like this, this can still use a lot of improvements. So yeah, and and we had like phases of growth where we suddenly acquired a lot of users, and we got a lot of feedback and and then we had to spend a bunch of time fixing things. And then then by the time we stabilized we got another growth phase and so so we’ve had we’ve had multiple rounds of faith in the last couple of years.
Matt Watson 35:00
Well, someone else I want to ask you about that. I’m sure it’s interesting. You know, from your Winshuttle days, you were selling an enterprise product. You probably aren’t, you probably knew who used SAP, and it was probably pretty easy to identify those clients and go sell to them. Versus having a product like this where you’re selling for $20 -$200 a month, like you can’t really afford to have salespeople. So was that the hardest thing for you is, is figuring out the go to market strategy of this company?
Vikram Chalana 35:28
It’s hard, it was hard because we were starting when we started out, we were like, Okay, we’ll sell to the enterprise’s. We’re going to try and build something for marketing teams that they will try to go to larger companies. And that’s the approach that was the first default approach that we took. But we weren’t getting traction there because marketing teams and large companies have agency relationships. They, they, they have agencies built videos for them, they don’t want new tools. Our videos were not like the fit and function that they wanted to see. So. So we’re like, Okay, this is not going to work. We have to figure out other other channels of going to market. So we, so part of product market fit is also finding the right channel, right? Yeah. So so we found, we found some good channels. We found, we found that are an affiliate channel that works really well to acquire SMB-type customers, which is what we have, and, and so, so yeah, it’s iterating, iterating, iterating, until you find the right, the right market for which your product is ready.
Matt Watson 36:34
Well, can you tell us a bit more about that? Because I’m sure there’s a lot of people that are listening to like, Oh, I’ve thought about working with affiliates before? Can you tell us a bit more about like, how that works for you? And how that why that channel works for you?
Vikram Chalana 36:44
Yeah, so actually, the first time we launched, we, when we discovered that this is our market for us was when we launched it on on a platform called App Sumo. If you’ve heard of it, yeah, it’s, it’s where people sell lifetime deals. And there’s a lot of people who buy from and look for deals there. And so for marketing technologies for, for things that are, you know, lower priced items, it’s a great place to build a starting presence and, and starting market. So we launched it there. It was one of the most successful launches for AppSumo. That year, it was 2021. We went from like 50 paying customers to 5000 paying customers in a month. Wow. And and it was, so that was one of those phases where we had to really iterate and improve the product and
Matt Watson 37:34
Scale up the servers.
Vikram Chalana 37:35
Exactly, exactly. They’re doing they’re doing that a lot. And then that’s when we started tapping into several people who came in and said, Hey, we would love to sell your product to my our audiences. So we said, Okay, this, we can try it. So we signed up with an affiliate system that so we can track all those things, okay, and, and we were happy to give those people a percent of revenue, and it worked. It’s worked really well. It’s still our biggest channel and half of our business comes through that channel, okay, to affiliates. And it’s almost like an extension of your customers telling other customers. So, we even made it very easy for any customer to sign up to become an affiliate. And they could tell their friends and read a little bit of discount on it.
Matt Watson 38:28
Awesome. Well, I really appreciate having you on the show on the show today. And it’s a great story. I love, I love the product. And I’m definitely going to tell our podcast team like, hey, we need to look at this thing because they really help us for what, what we’re trying to do so
Vikram Chalana 38:44
Awesome. And I have a special offer for the podcast listeners if they want to try it. I mean, there’s a free trial that you can just go and go to Pictory.ai and try it. And if you like the product and you want to purchase it, we have a coupon code called pod PODCAST25, podcast, all uppercase with 25, you get a 25% discount for life or any of our plants.
Matt Watson 39:07
Wow, hold on. I’m gonna write this down on catch 25. Okay, any other parting thoughts before we wrap up the show?
Vikram Chalana 39:20
I think because your listeners are startup people and entrepreneurs. The one thing I love the one phrase that I co-opted from Nike because I really like it just do it. Just do it. Sometimes we just let so many things get in the way of doing things, and, in the startup world is more important than anywhere else.
Matt Watson 39:43
All right. Well, again, everybody. This was Vikram Chalana, and his company is Pictory.ai. That’s p-i-c-t-o-r-y.ai. Check it out. Go make some cool videos. I love it.
Vikram Chalana 39:55
Awesome. Thank you, Matt.
Matt Watson 39:57
All right. Thank you