How Kean Graham Bootstrapped MonetizeMore to $23 Million in Revenue

Mar 5, 2020 8:35:53 AM
Author: Kieran Flanagan

Imagine you're working at your dream job, doing killer work, and suddenly you get laid off. What do you do? Most people would look for another job.

Well, what about going traveling in South America, walking the Inca trail and deciding you want to be an entrepreneur, not tied down by location.

That's what today's guest did, Kean Graham, founder and CEO of MonetizeMore.

On this episode of the GrowthTLDR, we talk to Kean about:

- How he secured his very first client for MonetizeMore and why making them a bunch of money turned out to be a bad thing for him.

- How did Kean grow MonetizeMore to $23 million in gross revenue and the marketing channels that have helped them to grow?

- What MonetizeMore's biggest growth constraints are and how Kean plans to overcome them.

Happy Growing

Time Stamped Notes

 [3:50] - MonetizeMore is a fully distributed company, 142 employees, bootstrapped, and generating $23 million in gross revenue.

[4:55] - MonetizeMore helps companies to monetize users via display ads and increase revenue for publishers. 

[6:30] - Kean got laid off from his role and decided to go traveling around Peru. After that experience, he wanted a career that allowed him to work from anywhere in the world. He decided to dive into digital marketing to figure out how he could become a digital entrepreneur and offer unique value to businesses looking to grow online.

[11:25] - Kean talks us through how he landed on the business idea that eventually became MonetizeMore, and how he secured his very first client. Kean was able to prove his business model on that first client by helping them to generate millions of dollars in additional revenue.

[15:50] - Kean's first client paid him a percentage of the profits he made for them. That eventually became an issue when those profits became very high, so they moved him to a flat fee. Kean feels he should have communicated himself as a business, "we" vs. "I" to avoid this problem.

[19:10] - Kean hired a CTO and began to invest in automation that he could offer his clients. He thinks of this as HootSuite for advertising technology.

[23:20] - MonetizeMore's key acquisition channel has been content marketing. They've invested a lot in blogging, social media, answering questions on Google's product forum, Quora, and Youtube.

[26:20] - One of MonetizeMore's most significant growth constraints was developing their product fast enough. Features like adding a dashboard and their new platform PubGuru has had a considerable impact on their business.

[28:40] - Kean was able to fund the growth of MonetizeMore via its service model. The revenue from that helped to fund the software they built.

[30:00] - Kean would prefer to grow the company without VC funding but is always open to having conversations with potential investors. 

[30:50] - One of Kean's biggest hurdles to growth was learning how to invest in their product, and building great technology, that includes hiring developers, and how they should collaborate as a distributed team.

[32:45] - Kean doesn't see a time when he'll ever consider setting up an office for MonetizeMore. He thinks distributed companies can scale to hundreds and thousands of employees.

Kean on Twitter / LinkedIn
– Kieran on Twitter / LinkedIn / Medium
– Scott on Twitter / Linked / Medium

Topics: Growth, Podcast, Founder

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