An update from The Squiz – where we’re up to, where we’re going…
It’s a long way to the top if you want a sausage roll…
Geez, it’s been a big year. And with December still to come, all that keeps playing through my mind is Wilson Phillips’ classic Hold On For One More Day. But what a ride it’s been.
While much of the day-to-day feels like we’re walking through wet concrete, we’ve recently had cause to stop and reflect on how far we’ve come this year. And we thought you might like to know where we’re up to.
Team Squiz is growing
In January, it was just Tucker (the Frenchie) and me, as it had been for 2017. But the cavalry was coming… Kate Watson (who was already an adviser/shareholder) joined as commercial director with the job of getting our partnerships and revenue model established. It’s bloody tough, but Kate’s made good progress and if anyone can do it, she can.
And October brought Larissa Moore to the team. A social media and digital expert, Larissa’s job is to get the Squiz word out more broadly using the wonders of the internet. In just a short time, she’s already made a big difference.
Putting the pedal to the metal on our plans
Enter a group of most excellent investors. We decided in the first half of the year that we needed to go hard(er). July to September was taken up with pitching to potential investors with a view of having the resources to deliver on our plan up until December 2019. In total, we raised more than $400,000.
Peter Tonagh was the first to commit. He’s a media executive/news consumer who believes in email and female-led content. Tick and tick. We are still pinching ourselves that Peter is supporting us.
Cecily and Ross Thornton also signed up with a significant investment. They have been supportive since we started developing The Squiz in late 2016. Cecily has also joined our board.
Others along for the ride includes Lauren Thompson (who is our board chair), Penny Winn, Larry Anthony and Kate Abrahams. They join Helen McCabe who has been a shareholder/adviser from the start.
I consider all involved not just friends, but people at the top of their respective fields who add great value to The Squiz.
Where we are up to
We’re fast approaching 18,000 subscribers after starting with 900 in March 2017. The vast majority of this growth has come from word-of-mouth referrals. The weekday email open rate remains above 50%. Our Squiz Today podcast has had 310,000 downloads to date. These are stats we’re incredibly proud of.
Some of the great brands we have worked with to date include Commonwealth Bank, Woolworths, Future Women, Qantas, The Growth Faculty and Four Pillars Gin. We are grateful for their support.
To the marketing and brand managers – we’re coming your way. We have a trusted and growing platform that captures the attention of busy, educated women (our subscriber base is 75% female). The Squiz is their shortcut to being informed about the news. Our subscribers want us to help make their lives easier in other ways, so we’re looking for partners to do just that.
We’re improving our tech to make The Squiz easier to share. We’re also going to be able to track referrals with the view to turning on a loyalty program to reward those who spread the word about us to their networks.
And there’s a whole bunch of other things we’re looking at. But the key is remaining disciplined about our output, making sure it’s excellent, relevant and not adding to the clutter our subscribers already have to sort through.
If you’ve read our email, listened to the podcast, or told someone to sign up – thank you. Keep doing it. (Seriously, we really need you to keep doing it. Now isn’t too soon…)
We have a looong way to go before we can say we’ve made it, but we wouldn’t even have a shot at it if you hadn’t supported us.
We’ve got a lot of work to do before we hit our two-year anniversary in March, and we’re excited about what 2019 will bring for The Squiz.
Claire Kimball, Founder
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