Interview with Sujan Patel
Last updated: October 2, 2020
An interview with serial founder, marketer, and all around hustler Sujan Patel.
Sujan Patel is a hustler’s hustler. He’s got more products than you can shake a stick at. Here are a few:
He’s also a great marketer, and he writes more content in a month than most content marketers do in a year. I’ve used several of his projects, but more than that, I’ve legitimately had to sit down and study how he’s able to do this day in and day out. Very few can perform at this level, repeatedly. So, I asked him how he does it. Answers below.
You’ve got like 35 startup products. Where the hell do you find the time to execute on all of them? Is there a synergistic effect from having them target the same audience?
Technically I have 8 products 🙂
The way I’m able to manage running multiple companies at once is 3 fold:
- Great business partner who does all of the stuff I am not good at (finances, operations, hiring & managing developers)
- Great team. I’ve build a team for every company that handles most of the day to day. This allows me to focus on the strategy (big picture) and high impact initiatives that can grow the businesses
- My experience running and working at an agency helped me get good at switching between projects and shifting gears quickly. It’s skill I think anyone can learn
Running multiple businesses isn’t easy and takes time but if you always focus on the 3-5 big things you can do to move the business forward and hire a team I believe it’s possible.
Building a team also takes time to master but the hard part here isn’t finding the right people, it’s identifying the right roles/positions a company needs to be successful. Once you figure out who you need on the team it’s fairly straightforward to find good people to fill those roles.
It’s also worth noting that we use EOS (based on the book Traction) to run our companies.
How does the startup culture of Austin differ from San Francisco?
Very similar culture however the work hours are a little bit more reasonable (9am – 6pm).
What’s your internet browsing device breakdown? I’m going to guess 65% mobile, 35% desktop.
60% mobile 25% desktop 15% iPad Pro (I work 1 day a week on an iPad)
When you’re shopping, does that differ at all?
No. It’s about the same.
When you browse a site, what are some red flags for you?
Bad UX really bothers me. When the value prop is not clear it’s a red flag.
Do you have any war stories from times that you’ve changed something, tested something, etc and it had a significant impact (either positive, or negative)?
At Voilanorbert.com we made a few small improvements that doubled the conversation rate.
First was adding an email nurture sequence (onboarding emails) that instantly increased conversions by 35%. The emails were educational but reminded users to come back to the site to either continue to use the product or purchase.
The second change was in-app prompts to purchase. We used usage data tracked using Amplitude to identify how many times our current customers used the product (searches conducted) before purchasing. The number was 3 or 4 (I forget the exact number) so after 3 successful searches we showed an upgrade prompt. This increased conversions by 50-60%.
At another company we made a simple mistake when launching a completely redesigned website and blocked search engines from indexing the site for a week. That killed our traffic for 15-20 days 🙁
On an average ecommerce site, would you optimize for newsletter opt-ins or sales? Why?
Usually a mix of both. I always try optimize for sales but in most cases email opt-ins + email drip can generate more sales.
The question we’re all dying to ask, but I think that everyone is afraid to… which Patel is the better marketer?
Does the other Patel even do marketing anymore? J/k I’d say these days I am better because I’m in the weeds and constantly testing tactics.