I would highly recommend if you own a business that you are aware of the true power of social media. TechPayout has been profitable through social media even before we launched our website.
Audrick Kramer was appointed to the position of CEO of TechPayout in December 2011. Under Audrick’s leadership, TechPayout has implemented best in class marketing approaches through advanced social media and digital marketing strategies. TechPayout has seen tremendous growth upon launch by building a trustworthy brand through a unique customer experience combining implementation of technology, marketing, and customer service.
What are you working on now?
I am currently finalizing a project with our web developer and UPS. This project will give TechPayout’s customers the option to mail their electronics to us from their mailbox rather than traveling to a local UPS store. We are dedicated to helping our customers and are always working on finding the best solutions that make it easier to use TechPayout.com.
Where did the idea for TechPayout.com come from?
I worked for several cell phone carriers in the past. I noticed the tremendous amount of consumers that were upgrading to new technology. I started conversations with them and realized that many did not “need” a new cell phone, they were simply upgrading to the newest technology. This was long before carriers offered store credit to buy their customers phones back. I started asking the consumers what they were doing with the old cell phones. Almost all of them said they were putting it in a drawer at home or had no use for it. Recognizing the opportunity, I started writing a business plan targeting how to reach consumers nationwide in order to purchase their used technology.
What does your typical day look like?
I dedicate a lot of time to research and social media in the morning. I am always running reports and analyzing pricing and competition. The afternoon is spent managing package inspections and taking calls and meetings. My days typically do not have a set “end”. I am always collaborating and engaging in some capacity.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We have a lot of great ideas at TechPayout. What I typically do is keep a Google Doc for myself with all high level ideas. I tend to strategically map out the process flow of what is needed for the project. When the project has been researched, mapped, and put on paper; we typically meet with out we development team to bring it to life.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Social media is in our blood at TechPayout. Not only does it let us have a voice for our business but it drives our business as well. When a new site like Pinterest gets hot, I get excited game planning the approach and in the end how to monetize it. Right now, I’ve been testing some really high end social media listening tools.
What was the worst job you’ve ever had and what did you learn from it?
I used to the work in compensation for a large consumer electronics company. I found out quickly that the very long days of working in Excel spreadsheets and having no human interaction was not for me. I am an extrovert and love being around people. I did not mind the actual work; I could not stand spending so much time without being involved in a team project and having minimal interaction with coworkers. I did take away a great knowledge of compensation, as well as, above average skills in Excel and reporting which I still use daily.
If you were to start again what would you do differently?
I spent a lot of wasted time in the beginning phases of TechPayout with the wrong web developers. I would have been much more critical of who I was hiring in order to move things along quickly. Having a great team of web developers I can trust is crucial to my business.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I always try to make a point to attend networking events and meet-ups. I also attend groups such as social media meet-ups where I can not only meet new people with similar interests, I can help people by giving advice in areas that I specialize in. By attending these meetings, I have not only grown my business and personal network, I have hired some of the areas top talent.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I had a few bad experiences when it came to hiring and working with web developers. I would consider this a failure because time and money was wasted in the beginning phases of building our website. I am now much more thorough when it comes to interviewing web developers and tend to only deal with people who have been referred. If you are having problems with a web developer, my advice would be try to recognize any problems early and cut ties if the work is not up to par or being done on time. Hiring someone new may take some time, but in the long run may save you money and time.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would highly recommend if you own a business that you are aware of the true power of social media. TechPayout has been profitable through social media even before we launched our website. The power of connecting in real-time with customers regarding sales, customer service, or simply growing relationships is amazing. We are very proud of our strong social media presence. We have worked hard to accomplish more in less than one year than some of our competitors have done in 3-6 years.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
Well this answer hurts me to say but I think there is way too much unnecessary technology turnover. Of course, this insane amount of tech-turnover is great for our business and industry but in the end horrible for the environment. Our goal as a business is to obviously make money but also to help make sure the electronics stay active for as long as they can, and when their “time has come”, to properly recycle them.
Tell us a secret
I’m getting married next year!
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
My favorites would have to be Twitter, Google Reader, and Flipboard. These tools all help me engage with customers, friends, and prospective customers. Google Reader and Flipboard provide real-time content and make it easy for me to share with customers and friends via Twitter and other social channels.
What is the one book that you would recommend our community should read and why?
Believe it or not, I find it very hard to sit down and actually read a full book. That being said, I read all the media outlets news everyday, all day. This not only includes technology news, but sports and world events. I never have a problem carrying a conversation!
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I usually start to crack myself up after sitting in front of a computer for 18 hours straight. It could be the worst joke in the world and I’ll just lose it.
Who is your hero?
My father is my hero. He has always supported me and approved every decision I have made in life. I have watched him work hard his entire life with minimal complaints. I respect his work ethic very much and strive to mirror it myself.
When you are old & grey, what do you hope you will have accomplished with your business?
I hope to support my family for as long as I work and have enough saved to not burden my children when I’m older. As for the business itself, I hope the name TechPayout can one day be a household name associated with technology re-commerce.
What do you love to do in your spare time?
I love playing Texas Hold ‘Em. If I’m lucky I get to play once every month or so. There’s an art to trying to read your opponents that you don’t get to experience in other aspects of life. Who knows, maybe some day I’ll give the World Series of Poker a try.
Audrick Kramer on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/audrickkramer
Audrick Kramer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/audrickkramer
TechPayout on Twitter: https://twitter.com/techpayout
TechPayout on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TechPayout
TechPayout ‘s Website: https://techpayout.com/