Female Startup Club

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6 Quick Questions with Sam Safer Valentine, Founder of Norby (part 2)

by Female Startup Club
August 18th 2022

Today on the show we’re learning from Sam Safer Valentine, one of the co-founders of tech startup Norby.

You might have heard us talking about Norby recently in one of our ads or across s... More

Welcome Back. Here are the six quick questions. So question # one, What's your why? Why are you doing this every single day? I have three wise, great thought about this hard working with small businesses, creators, makers, creative entrepreneurs and providing them with the tools they need to achieve success. However they define that success really brings me personally, so much joy. I love nothing more than hearing from our users about, you know, how using one of our tools, help them to drive, you know, x amount of sign ups or build their list or everything just like looks really beautiful or something that's easy to use. Um and I love getting to, you know, sell to new ones or just have conversations and build community to my co founders, nick and steve and my team, I feel so deeply lucky and grateful to be building a business with them and with really talented individuals and that really, that really feels me every day and I want to prove to myself in the world that I can do this and that alongside Stephen Nick, we can take you to places we never dreamed of, and that's a challenge and I love a challenge.

Damn, how cool is that? I love that. I love a challenge. Question number two, what has been your favorite marketing moment so far? I would say my fave number one marketing moment of this year was probably our partnership with, I love creatives, we sponsored 10 scholarships for their instagram course and if you guys don't know, I love creatives, you should definitely check them out and check out, you know. But it's she's so cool. Yeah and it's a really really amazing community where you know I think it was also one of those kind of dream kind of moments where it was really very aligned to our core values in there. So around kind of accessible tools and education upscaling, developing what success might look like for creative entrepreneurs. It was also very very aligned in terms of target customers and I love creatives themselves as an ideal user and a kind of community for us to kind of like tap into.

We did some I. G. Lives and emailing and collab and kind of content. It was really it was very cool and it was almost one of those kind of pinch me moments and the partnership performed amazingly. Honestly it was like one of the best months we've had this year. So that has been a really wonderful moment for us. Love that. Very cool. Question # three is what's your go to business resource when it comes to like a book or a podcast or a newsletter or person etc. Cool. I have a few not gonna lie. Um newsletter right now is Lenny's newsletter. Um it's all about kind of product growth, Ops leadership, absolutely love that. Subscriber part of the community, there's like a slack group kind of channel as well, highly recommend This podcast. Honestly I have loved female startup club from the beginning, I was a listener since you started in 2020, even before Norby was kind of a glint in my eye, I should say.

Yeah, no way! That's so cool. How did you find us? I've generally just been always very interested in entrepreneurship, leadership, women in business and I think it was probably an algorithm. I'm not gonna lie, it might have been a Spotify algorithm that I was like, oh, huh, what was this? So I do, I know I love that for us and then here we are now. So that was great. Yeah, the 20 minute VC. There's some really cool episodes on sales, growth product and venture from founders. But actually I think more importantly that one, there are like a lot of VP level roles or you know, there's kind of C suite and just kind of below C suite that they get on there and there's some really great ideas and kind of thoughts on kind of strategy, like actual tactics and some leadership stuff in there.

That's great. And I love to read honestly, but I don't really have that much time. So newsletters and pods are pretty much my jam right now you jam, you go to Yeah, question number four. How do you win the day? What are your habits and rituals that keep you feeling happy and successful and motivated giving into the snooze button. I press it one too many times every single morning and me too. I have been fighting that. I've been fighting it for years and actually I am giving birth next month and super stoked and I was like, you know what, I'm gonna be an early morning. Like I don't know why I'm striving to be an early morning person. Like I'm just gonna naturally be that way like with a little baby. So I'm just leaning into this news. My husband wakes up extremely early naturally. So I'll normally kind of go and find him and give him a cuddle and love on him a bit working out coffee jotting down some kind of gratitude and accomplishments. I am very hard on myself.

So I think it's the gratitude and accomplishments are good just to remind myself that like even when days are hard, like I'm doing pretty good things. I check it in my friends and my family just to get also out of my head a bit to put on a great outfit and accessories. That always helps. You know, if my schedule allows maybe walk around the block. But yeah, it's yeah, simple things. The simple things in life. I'm with you. I love the simple pleasures Question # five, biggest money mistake. How much did it cost you? I'm not sure we've had our worst one yet yet. However, during our beta launch, we definitely tested a bunch of influencer marketing and I feel like I've heard this on this, this podcast uh, a few times on instagram and Tiktok and we, you know, we definitely had a few bombs just kind of like super silence, really, really kind of poor performance didn't really move any metric either which way We spend probably around 3K, maybe a little bit over in total.

So not necessarily a ton of money, but like when you're actually trying to extend your runway and be pretty scrappy, like $3,000 definitely hurt at that time. However, we did kind, you know, we learned what a successful kind of like influencer marketing and partnership would look like and what those kind of like methods were, which I do think was, it's really important to, to do that. And I think, you know, sometimes there's gonna be money lost in the influencer kind of marketing game, but particularly I think when it comes to testing those tactics. So I think on the back of that, it really was like test fail hone and just make sure that the next kind of test you do is just kind of like incrementally better. Yeah, 100% great learning to have. Last question question number six is what is just a crazy story. You can share good, bad or otherwise from the journey of entrepreneurship, Have a good one.

I think, oh, great. I was, I've been this one. This one, Yeah, I hope it's relatable. It's definitely, I think probably our fear and some other people's other businesses fears out there too. But you know, we've been, um, we've been in a kind of closed beta kind of invite only, um, scenario for a little while that's gonna kind of change in the fall. But we had a competitor, a yC kind of Combinator company. Um, and if you're not familiar with Y. C, they're kind of like the creme de la creme of kind of startup incubators, they weasel their way into our product and with kind of like fake info and after exploring and touring our product and features and kind of content and stuff, they literally kind of like stole slash like plagiarized wording verbatim from one of our beta launch blog posts that nick and like our positioning that nick had written and honestly they like kind of hardly changed a word and, or like maybe a few, but they used it like on their website for a time and company descriptions on other websites.

They started to use it as part of like an S. C. O. Play and we actually found out about it, that they also used it in a pitch deck or to, to investors that we were also kind of talking to, um, and starting to kind of build some relationships with. I had a fundraising and we were kind of alerted to that and I think there's a call where it was like, oh, this really sounds like really, really familiar, like something similar that I was like, just pitched. So it was wild to say the least. That that sucks. I think quite frankly were probably freaked out for a minute and then we were like, you know what actually, okay, we're actually doing something good. Like kind of just knowing that the biz that you're building was making moves and felt like a kind of threat or maybe kind of good enough to your competitor. Um, and they were kind of sweating it a bit. We were like, okay, like, you know, there's, there's honestly not a ton you can do except out execute and outperform and it just feels us to do even better.

Yeah, I love it. Mike Sam, this was so much fun. Thank you for taking us through the Norby journey and your lessons and your insights and all the cool bits and tips you've shared throughout this episode. Love you. You are so welcome. Love you too. This is an absolute pleasure, so excited that we were able to do this and and partner and yeah, it's a great way to start my morning

6 Quick Questions with Sam Safer Valentine, Founder of Norby (part 2)
6 Quick Questions with Sam Safer Valentine, Founder of Norby (part 2)
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