Jim Raptis is the founder of BrandBird, MagicPattern, and Screenshots.so. His strong background in product, design and development allows him to build a portfolio of SaaS tools as a solopreneur.
Where did the idea for BrandBird come from?
I’m a Twitter creator and share content about design & SaaS daily. While I creating graphic assets for my posts, I noticed the friction in my process. Even though I am a professional designer I spend far too much time designing these posts. That’s why I came up with the idea of BrandBird.app, a tool to help you create Twitter graphics with zero effort and instantly. Slowly I expanded to a full-scale social media design tool.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
On my typical weekday, I wake up early to walk my dog, hit the gym, eat breakfast, and then start working on my tasks. Normally, I respond to support tickets for 30min and catch up on my Twitter account. Then, I work on tasks that require a clear mind, like design & coding. I noticed that handling 3-4 tasks per day and working for up to 8 hours keeps me the most productive.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Whenever I have a new idea, I try to come up with a simple MVP within 1-2 days to validate the feasibility of this idea. Once I complete the MVP, I polish the UI for another 1-2 days, and then I immediately start searching for early users willing to use the product and provide useful feedback. The next step is to iterate based on their feedback and move toward a proper launch.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The power of AI and its application on our daily workflow. In the following years, I believe AI can transform the way we work and automate a ton of boring and annoying tasks.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Limiting useless calls & meetings. As a solopreneur, time is your most valuable asset and you need to spend it wisely. Meeting distract me from my tasks and require a lot of mental energy from my side, so I try to make calls only when necessary.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Get out of your comfort zone and follow your dreams. During the past few years, I’ve learned that anything is possible if you work hard enough and have patience!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Building any SaaS tool is dead simple and anyone can do it even in a day. The difficult part is to market and brand it correctly, which requires years of hard effort!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Share more things with the public. Share your successes, failures, goals, thoughts, and dreams. It not only helps others learn from your experience, but it boosts your personal brand and helps you clarify your thoughts & vision.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Focusing more efforts on marketing. As a technical founder, I use to spend too much time building new features and working on useless technical refactors. But marketing brings new users and customers to your business who help you stay motivated & profitable.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
In my early days, I failed to find new users and customers for my products. I thought building a good product is the only requirement for business success. But I was wrong!
Once I started investing in marketing by building in public on Twitter, writing content for SEO, and leveraging email marketing, users started coming on auto-pilot. By listening closely to their feedback and implementing it, I shaped better products for them.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Recently, I see a lot of Notion products find success. For example, a form builder (or in-app feedback widget) that sends all the responses to a Notion database, a website builder from your notion files, etc.
Notion builds a strong ecosystem around their product and betting on them seems like a good choice right now.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
My best purchase under $100 is the Kindle. It helped me read more books and articles because of its relaxing screen and lack of distractions (compared to a traditional tablet or PC).
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Notion. I literally use it every single day!
It’s the place where I keep my thoughts, tasks, and all the docs. Also, I write all my blog posts in Notion because I love their flawless editor.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Traction by Gabriel Weinberg is an excellent book that helps founders understand marketing and structure their customer acquisition strategy.
What is your favorite quote?
Get out of your comfort zone!
- Creating assets for social media and blog posts is a tedious process. That’s why Jim built BrandBird.app to help anyone design beautiful graphics with zero effort.
- Jim has built a portfolio of SaaS products by taking advantage of his technical skills and pairing them with marketing strategies like SEO, building in public, and email marketing.
- Sticking to a morning routine and setting an upper limit on your daily work hours is the only choice to stay productive (and sane) as a solopreneur.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.