Getting to $1m in ARR in 15 Weeks

It’s all about the content

AnWelcome back to The Small Business Mentor!

A quick message before we jump in:

  • If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the Small Business Mentor Podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts

  • If you’re reading this online, subscribe HERE and join thousands of business owners and professionals receiving these emails every week.

Let’s dive in…

This week, we're diving into the world of digital marketing and content with Adam Robinson, founder of RB2B.com and Retention.com.

Key Take-Aways

  • Social media is seeing the rise of the attention based algorithm in response to the success of TikTok.

  • LinkedIn is following the trend with its Thought Leader Ads.

  • The ads have two advantages:

    • You can see what works before putting spend behind it. You boost your organic content with ad spend only when you see it getting traction.

    • The ad is cheaper as it is also giving LinkedIn something it wants: attention.

  • This will give companies that can create good organic content a huge competitive advantage over their competitors.

  • We are going to see the same rise in “creators” and “influencers” in B2B that we’ve seen in e-commerce and B2C.

The Story

Adam has had an impressive career. After a tour in investment banking where he experience the Lehman meltdown during the Great Financial Crisis, he founded a software company to help e-commerce vendors achieve better results.

He’s managed to drive it to $22 million in ARR over 4 years. 

For most of us, that’s a career but Adam kept going. He’s recently launched his third company called RB2B.com. It allows website owners to identify anonymous visitors and match them with their LinkedIn profiles. 

The value is obvious as it allows companies to reach out to an already interested audience that has far higher close rates.

But the really interesting part is how Adam is building his company and what the implications are for owners going forward. 

Instead of raising venture capital to go fight it out with other SaaS vendors through traditional channels like Google or paid social ads, Adam took advantage of a new channel.

His target audience is on LinkedIn. Since the rise of TikTok, most of the social media companies are focused ever more on attention. They want to maximize how long users spend on the platform.

Enter Thought Leader Ads. To encourage people to create more content that will engage its users, LinkedIn created a program that rewards generators of good organic content.

The algorithm will show that content to more people for free but then allow the creator to put spend behind it to boost it further only after they see it’s working. Those creators pay much for less for more reach than traditional advertisers.

After perfecting his content over several months to dial in on his eventual customers, Adam launch RB2B in March 2024.

Over the last 15 weeks, the company has reached $955,000 ARR. It has grown 100% in the last month alone. 

Of course the product is a good and compelling one but Adam's quick success with RB2B stems largely from his LinkedIn strategy. He creates long-form, authentic content that resonates with his target audience.

Adam explains, "I'm trying to create this human-to-human connection. It's like I'm letting people become friends with me at scale."

The Shifting Landscape of Digital Marketing

Adam highlights several key trends reshaping digital marketing:

  • The "Tiktokification" of social media algorithms

  • The rise of interest-based content distribution

  • The growing importance of organic, authentic content

  • The power of personal branding for B2B founders

My guess is that within a year or two, seed investors are going to be asking B2B SaaS founders how developed their personal brand is and how dialed in it is on their core customer.

As Adam points out, creating the software is a commodity. Some guy in Estonia can duplicate what he’s offering in a few hours. Just like a suitcase is a commodity in e-commerce but the story and brand are what make a customer choose you over the competition.

As small business owners, we can learn from Adam's approach. 

The question for all of us: how can we leverage our unique knowledge and experiences to build stronger connections with potential customers?

Keep growing,

Alan

P.S.

P.P.S.

  • If you’re reading this online, subscribe and join thousands of execs, business owners, and working professionals receiving these emails every week.

  • Listen to the Small Business Mentor Podcast on Apple or Spotify.

  • Be sure to follow me on X/Twitter and LinkedIn for my most up to date content.

Join the conversation

or to participate.