Introduce yourself and tell us about Kapwing?
My name is Julia and I am the co-founder and CEO of Kapwing! We are a small startup in San Francisco with an online suite of video and photo editing products for casual creators.
We’re the product for Teachers, Meme Makers, YouTubers, Marketers, Students, Influencers, Business Owners, anyone who wants or needs to make awesome content for the internet and doesn’t want to download huge software onto their computer and spend many hours learning how to use it.
What made you start Kapwing & what is unique about it?
We started Kapwing because we struggled with media creation ourselves. There are lots of apps and tools out there for making videos, images, and GIFs, but many of them are spammy, not functional, or ridiculously complex. We wanted to build something simple, fast, and accessible, the kind of tool that we wanted for ourselves and our friends.
What did you wish you knew before starting Kapwing?
I wish I’d already known about the importance of great content and SEO. Content marketing has been so essential to our success, but I had to learn a lot of it through trial and error.
How are you marketing and promoting your business?
SEO is our biggest acquisition channel by far. Our Resources blog brings in a lot of new users who are looking for an easy way to edit and create. We also partner with our community of users to spread the word about Kapwing and get good feedback on our products.
We do some fun and wacky press stunts to promote our business as well, though I wouldn’t say that’s our primary marketing strategy.
What did you learn from your biggest failure?
Fundraising was much more difficult than I expected it to be. There’s a lot of heartbreak and discouragement that comes with the process, and even the best startups get a ton of No’s. But coming out of that experience, I’m much better (and faster) at assessing if someone understands and believes in what we’re doing.
If you had advice to a new entrepreneur what would it be?
Work from a “value-add” mindset. Constantly ask yourself if what you’re putting out is useful and different. It can be easy to latch onto ideas that might not actually be worth pursuing. Avoiding that waste of time and energy means asking the hard questions early on and not being afraid to let go of ideas. You will always have more ideas!
What unique selling point (USPs) do you offer that your competition doesn’t
Kapwing is fully in the browser, meaning that you don’t need to install anything to use it. We also allow our users to remove the Kapwing watermark for free.
From a high-level perspective, the biggest thing that distinguishes Kapwing as a company from our competition is that we are truly trying to make tools that creators will love and find useful. Our goal is always to delight our users and make it easier for them to create.
What sacrifices have you made to become a successful entrepreneur?
Work-life balance is a lot harder as an entrepreneur because you care so deeply about the business. I’m constantly thinking about how to make the company better, regardless of the time of day or whether I’m in the office or not. My workday never ends at 5 pm.
It can be a bit lonely to be an entrepreneur because your friends who aren’t business owners don’t usually understand how important work is to you. Finding a community within the entrepreneurship space is really important, and I especially love connecting with other female founders.
What is your favorite book and how has it helped in your business?
I really enjoyed Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth. Unlike most entrepreneurial books, I thought Traction was very tactical and helpful.
What is your goal for the company?
Our goal is to build a collaborative workspace so that teams can seamlessly work together. We are also working on making it easier for our users to connect with each other as a community. We are constantly improving our products and creating new tools based on the feedback we get from our users.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
We just moved into our own office! Hitting that milestone is amazing.
YouTube: Kapwing App
- Growing your Social Media Channels
- Maximize ROI on your Social Media Campaign
- Writing a Business Plan
- Great Business Books to Read
- Psychological Traits of an Entrepreneur