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Interviews

How Marketers Stay Productive: Tim Chaves of ZipBooks

October 3, 2018

This week we feature Tim Chaves, Founder of ZipBooks. ZipBooks is free accounting software that sends invoices, tracks time and expenses, integrates with your bank & lets you process credit cards. From accepting your first transaction to operating a high-revenue operation, they have a plan that covers your business.

In this interview, you can read more about his work at ZipBooks, favorite marketing tools, productivity tips as well as his advice for budding marketers.


Your location: Salt Lake City, UT

Your favorite gadget: Kindle Paperwhite (by far)

You start your day with: A healthy breakfast.

Your favorite time-saving trick: The StayFocusd Chrome extension keeps me from accidentally getting taken too far down the news/Twitter/etc. rabbit hole.

Your top 3 blogs you read daily: I think that in most cases, the value of information has an inverse correlation with its publishing frequency -- in other words, I try to avoid reading blogs daily. I do read a lot of books, though, mostly fiction or non-business topics to keep myself sane and well-rounded.

Describe an average day at ZipBooks?

I wear a lot of hats, and we'll often have a standup meeting with the product team to discuss any outstanding issues, and I'll dive in deeper anywhere I need to. Then, I usually spend the rest of the morning working on marketing tasks and with the marketing team.  In the afternoon, I try to get some alone time in the product to keep everything polished and focus on UX.  I'll usually have at least a meeting or two -- strategy sessions, partnerships, board meetings -- peppered throughout.

As a marketer, what is your favorite productivity hack?

Do one thing at a time.  Even though all marketers have a million balls in the air, there are high switching costs to going back and forth. Once I start something, I try to finish before I move on.

As a person who is well-versed with online marketing, I’m sure you rely on a few marketing tools to automate your efforts. What are the top 3 tools you use?

Ahrefs is unmatched in terms of SEO software -- not only is their product amazing, but their content is second-to-none.

Even though it was built more a sales tool, I use Mixmax for all my marketing emails.  It helps me test things quickly, watch my outreach funnels, and blaze through emails.

And of course, Google Trends.  I keep a close eye on keywords volume, both general and seasonal, using it and it's helped us find some unicorn keywords.

Your company has a growing community of users. How do you use this treasure trove of customer insight to power your marketing efforts?

We track pretty much every important click that happens in our app.  When we launch a new feature, we see who's been poking around it, then we'll often follow up with a email or call specifically to that user to sell, onboard, or get more feedback.

What is your strategy for getting people to your site and then converting them to a customer?

It's pretty much what you'd expect for content marketing in 2018 -- write excellent content that's focused on a keyword that has high volume, low competition, and high business relevance.  We use those content pieces as opportunities to educate the reader generally on the topic and on our product as well.  From there, we have a high signup rate because we're a freemium product; we're also generous with free trials so people can try our paid features easily, and (hopefully) pay to keep using them.

Is there any advice you’d like to give to budding marketers to help them work smart and stay productive?

Make sure you love it. If you're "budding," then you've still got a lot of options. Marketing can be hard work, but if you love it, you'll continuously and naturally find yourself learning and improving. If you don't love it, then find something you do love!  I mean that sincerely; you will find yourself doing your best work when you're truly engaged and (cliche alert) passionate.

A big thanks to Tim for taking the time out to answer these questions! If you haven’t already, we highly recommend that you check out ZipBooks.


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