Christopher Lier interviewed by Shahid Shahmiri, Digital Marketer at LeadGen App
Quickfire questions with Christopher Lier - Some silly questions so that our audience can get to know fun facts about you that normally won’t be seen.
If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want to have with you?
A tent, water and a compass
Which is your favourite social media platform?
LinkedIn: The content quality level tends to be a lot better than any other platform and the quality of the audience is also something you wouldn’t really find elsewhere. LinkedIn is one of the few platforms that are still powerful in terms of organic reach. It’s a good place to stay updated about what’s happening in the industry.
What was your first phone?
An LP Optimus smartphone of the late 2000s
What does your desk look right now: tidy, an organised mess, or just a mess?
I prefer to have it organised, though it’s not always like that.
What’s your life motto/a quote you live by?
Be obsessed or be average.
Tea or coffee?
Christopher Presenting LeadGen App
Trust in data: Chris Lier presenting digital marketing stats to the team in the office
Right, let's start with a quick elevator pitch! Would you be able to describe your business to me in 4 lines?
Our online tool LeadGen App helps businesses maximise their growth potential with better lead capture and lead management tools. We believe that most companies sit on a goldmine of leads with their existing online presence.
Instead of investing more money into ads, LeadGen App is helping marketers and companies optimize their existing web presence to increase lead conversion rates. LeadGen allows businesses and marketers to build more custom and trackable lead forms. These forms can be embedded on their website or landing page content.
What inspired you to take the leap and start up your own business?
I just felt I had to do it, other options didn’t really satisfy me. There have been many other people building things in online marketing that I thought I could also do myself. I think when you get into the job world, e.g in a corporate role, it’s easy to get comfortable and get stuck. I wanted to avoid that and rather take the risk early when I also have less to lose.
Since starting out what has been the most exciting/proudest moment for you since you started LeadGen App?
To get our first paid user on the tool that found us online. The user found us through online content and initially started as a free member. After some time then signed up for the Pro version without us doing anything. It’s a lot different to win customers automatically online vs. selling in person.
That was a surprise at that time since we had no contact with that person. As a founder, this gives you the confidence that we can provide value, that the tool is easy to understand. Also, things can happen even without a sales conversation.
Obviously setting up a business is an incredibly hard and grueling time for a person.
Has there ever been a moment that you have wanted to stop and throw in the towel? And what was it that kept you going, that drove you through this moment of doubt?
There is obviously a lot of ups and downs, but there hasn’t been a definite moment like this. I see entrepreneurship as a journey that requires you to change a lot, which might mean you need to pivot your business model. Sometimes you need to give up something, but as long as you keep going, you will find your way. Also, it helps me to have a Co-Founder/ Business partner on this journey.
Would you be able to tell me a little bit about the app itself? And how do you aim to help people and their businesses with the date that you collect?
LeadGen is a web app for anyone active in digital marketing, marketers or companies running online campaigns. We build the tool from our own struggle to find a tool for great performing lead capture forms with customization options. When you are running a lot of landing page campaigns which we are building for business clients, you realize the importance of various factors that affect your conversion rate.
Having the right offer on the page and a fast-loading lead form in your branded style that you can also test for best performance is essential in making your campaign a success.
LeadGen allows marketers to create their own lead capture forms with an intuitive form-builder that can be used to build multi-step forms, conditional question forms, A/B form testing and more. It is built on the knowledge we have gained after spending many years in the digital marketing space and handling lots of client campaigns.
Using the web app, companies l can collect user data, and integrate their lead forms with their email marketing, automation software or CRM.
Since the start of your journey, what has been the best piece of legal advice you have received?
I can probably not call it legal advice, because it came from an entrepreneur directly. The advice he shared was “Stop worrying about VAT or other tax bills” and rather aim to pay as much as possible in taxes.
He mentioned that he himself got this advice from his business partner Alan Sugar who apparently has a big wall in the office with all the VAT bills he had to pay throughout his career. Business needs to pay taxes, but instead of aiming to minimize the tax burden as much as possible (which is still useful), you can probably spend your time better by focusing on growth & expansion and other legal essentials that you need to take care of.
You have also founded another business called Leadcube Media, would you be able to tell me a little about this?
Yes sure. In Leadcube, I help other digital and Software-as-service companies growth by optimizing their digital marketing. We specialize in developing sales funnel strategies, building their online infrastructure as well as optimizing existing funnels.
This is particularly useful for companies that have some sort of online presence or also companies that are about to start with a new venture. By having a sales funnel and marketing strategy in place, companies can spend their marketing efforts and budget more wisely and grow in a more sustainable way.
Often times, companies jump straight away into a channel and then give up because things don’t work. That’s why having a thoughtfully built strategy from customer acquisition to lead generation and follow-up is so essential.
And how do you find balancing your time as founder of two businesses?
That’s a good question. We have got to a point at which I am fully committed to our SaaS product LeadGen App. I believe that having an own product gives you more opportunities to reach more people and the chances of developing a brand long-term.
The consultancy business model is time-intense and if you offer strategy work it is often linked to your own skills which inevitably takes your time. In Leadcube, I work selectively with certain types of businesses where I can add the most value.
Who has been your role model during your startup story?
Grant Cardone, an American Marketing Influencer and Sales Guru. He has opened my mind about essential business skills like sales and marketing as well as thinking big for growth. His mantra of constant improvement and growth is something I live by every day. Also, his advocacy of discipline and persisting on the journey despite the hardships is vital for any founder.
Lastly, what do you think the future holds for you and your businesses?
At this point, we are still in the early days and just getting started. The next step will be the introduction of a completely improved user interface of our LeadGen tool and more product features. The priority of every SaaS company is user growth.
This is what I am spending my time on and we will keep experimenting with growth hacking strategies. In the short to medium-term future, we will for sure keep expanding the team with in-house staff for development as well as marketing. Long-term, we want to build a brand with innovative tools that play a key role in the marketing strategies of SME businesses and digital marketing agencies on a global scale.
Here is a podcast interview that Chris did with with Ben Parry on the Startup Chats Podcast, reflecting on our journey of building LeadGen App: