I met Dave Cunningham from OurExplorer.com about 1.5 years ago at a Young Professionals event run by one of my friends, Jeffrey Wang. Dave was the guest speaker and spoke about sales & marketing. He had successfully sold a startup business a few years ago called “Shanghai Vision” which was a real estate business, selling property in Shanghai to westerners. It was definitely one of the best sales & marketing seminars I’d been to because it came from someone with experience, with genuine passion and great takeaways and implementation points.
I caught with him after the event and we spoke about his new business, which was OurExplorer.com. It was an eCommerce website for booking private tour guides. When I met him, he didn’t have many tour guide listings on the website, the product wasn’t quite there yet, and the website seemed clunky.
However, he had the experience and credibility after an earlier successful exit. Now was he in an entirely new industry but he had a vision of what he wanted OurExplorer to be. He didn’t have a lot experience with internet marketing. Despite this, he was clearly eager to learn. Dave picked my brain about SEO, paid search, asked for general feedback for his website and came along to a Next Digital / Google Breakfast that I helped organise and actively participated in the Q&A session.
Fast forward 1.5 years later, and Dave has built up a successful business and made his second exit. The website is now a quality product with more reviews from customers and more quality tour guides.
His story is definitely inspirational. From the interview above, I can tell that he probably knows a lot more about internet marketing than I do now!
This interview comes from the iPitch website. It is broken up into 4 parts and is worth watching. I’ve provided the 1st part only.
For me, the key takeaways from the interview were:
- learn the 80% you need to know, and the missing 20% you can go to a vendor/provider for
- focus on a quality niche product, it allows you to build a competitive advantage
- a problem or complaint represents an opportunity. Be curious and ask why?
- PR (Public Relations) is an incredible effective sales and marketing tool: having news articles written about you, doing radio interviews, etc…
- The majority of online marketing material is free online. It will help you learn that 80% you need to know
- If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t lie to the customer. Just say you dont know and will get back to them.
From his LinkedIn Profile, he’s now looking for a new opportunity to get involved with.
Great insights Matthew.