Shifting Gears, an interview with Clay Collins

Clay Collins takes a trip down memory lane to discuss how he found the first 200 customers of LeadPages before the software existed, what he learned about leadership growing his first startup, and what it’s like to shift gears into a new industry where nobody knows about your track record.


Notable highlights from this episode (thanks to Lewis Mudrich for sharing these highlights on IndieHackers)...

“Pre-sell everything you do. Sell it far in advance before making it. No excuse for not knowing whether or not your thing is going to be successful before you launch it.”

— Clay Collins, Founder of LeadPages

9:30 - Clay created videos reviewing landing pages, then created photoshop files & html files to offer as free downloads (email opt-in).

People then asked him how to upload & use those free resources. That's a clue that maybe there's a product possible here.

Based on that clue, then...

10:30 - Clay does an email blast to his list asking if he built a software, would they pay for it to handle their needs? They said yes.

He did a pre-sale email campaign. Got 200 people to give $200 ($40,000 in pre-sale revenue). Built the first version in 2 & 1/2 months.

11:10 - He had his first 200 customers in 2012 upon launch. A year later in 2013, LeadPages had 2.5M, $10M in 2014, $20M in 2015. This taught Clay a lot about the power of pre-selling & the power of content marketing.

Clay says you shouldn't just start working on a product, you should start working the Minimum Viable Audience of people who you will sell the product to eventually.


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