Chris Savage and Brendan Schwartz started Wistia in Schwartz’s living room in 2006. Over 11 years of being in business, the co-founders made many mistakes. Savage shares the three dangerous mistakes that defined Wistia, making the company what it is today.
Wistia’s first mistake was hiding who they were. Savage and Schwartz wanted people to perceive Wistia as legitimate and professional. The website featured a bland management page until they hired two more employees. For friends, they made a new team page with a hidden Easter egg, featuring everyone dancing. Sharing the page across social drove people to the website who actually converted. Savage and Schwartz realized being honest and transparent with people creates trust.
Building for someone else was Wistia’s second mistake. At this point in time, the company had 100s of paying customers, but the website’s featured video was only a screencast. Chris Lavigne suggested the site needed a video to show what it’s like to work at Wistia and shot one against Savage’s wishes. People loved the video, and Savage started seeing opportunities with video marketing. A lightbulb went off when they created a landing page for a five video course and redesigned it. By being their own customer, Wistia was able to understand pain points to improve upon, and their landing page redesign resulted in a conversion rate increase from 5–30%.
The third most dangerous mistake Wistia made was marketing a product. All of their marketing efforts were product-focused, from blog posts to paid search. However, no one cared. People were more interested in knowing how Wistia produced their videos. To answer their burning questions, the team made a video to tell people gear doesn’t matter. Tons of people who cared about this topic responded, and Wistia finally recognized their content shouldn’t be about the product, but about a mission to make business more human.
Watch Savage’s presentation to learn all about the three dangerous mistakes that defined Wistia.