Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Bridget Loudon from Expert360.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Founded in July 2013, Expert360 is a global marketplace providing businesses with experienced freelance professionals on a contract or temporary basis. Expert360 has redefined the traditional professional workplace, giving businesses who may not be able to employ specialised talent full-time the opportunity to access niche skill sets on a convenient and flexible online platform. Expert360 has grown to over 4800 top consultants across Australasia, North America and Europe. Clients include listed and unlisted companies, investment firms, consulting firms, SMEs, entrepreneurs and freelance professionals.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
Expert360 has been very successful in raising private capital. The business has experienced support from a number of venture capitalists who have aligned with the business, contributing essential expertise to assist the platform to develop and grow.
The business has a direct focus on online marketing channels, including paid search, SEO and content marketing. This has assisted Expert360 to be increasingly visible, gaining new clients and experts to participate on the platform.
Other methods to grow the business have been to ensure that customer has a positive experience by building a platform that is user friendly, reliable and regularly updated. This has given Expert360 a large number of returning clients, as well as positive traction through word-of-mouth and referrals.
What's the biggest challenge facing your business?
The biggest challenges are those that are associated with high growth. When the business hits a new record number of users each week or levels of usage from existing customers, issues are identified that were not anticipated beforehand.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
Expert360 has a focus on white collar expert freelancers and consultants, rather than blue collar workers. This has allowed the company to target a niche market within the professional workforce, providing specialised services on a convenient and easy-to-navigate platform.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Audible. It's my instant gateway to a world of storytellers, scientists, dreamers and doers.
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
My father is a brilliant entrepreneur. The best piece of advice I ever received was from him was: hire character, train skill.
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