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Starting with friends

This week I did a lot of experimentation aimed at answering the ‘who want this’ question.  I think my take-away of the week is that I should focus my early growth on my personal network.  This is common in the traditional art advisory space (and for services in general) where most work is referred by word of mouth.  What’s interesting is that I’ve been pursuing the opposite strategy- actively not targeting friends so I can understand how a true stranger-customer responds to Kollecto. 

Has anyone read articles on whether starting your business with friends/acquaintances is a terrible idea?

My first 3 customers have been acquaintances- one who read about Kollecto on social media & reached out to me; another 2 who I reached out to b/c they both told me (months ago) that they wanted to be art collectors.

I frequently have friends ask me for art collecting advice or to come along when I visit galleries. Is it a bad idea to start here? My concern is that it won’t be scalable & that my growth will plateau after I exhaust my friend-base.

Below are the segments & channels I tested this week:


Segments tested

  • Recent grads
  • Art lovers  & aspiring collectors
  • Designers & fashion bloggers
  • Recent grad friends who’ve expressed interest in art (my network)
  • Management Leadership for Tomorrow young professionals (my network)

Segments not tested yet

  • Established collectors
  • Tech early adopters
  • Museum young professionals

Channels tested

  • Email
  • (internal messages that push to external email)
  • Linkedin 1:1 messages
  • Twitter 1:1 messages

Channels not tested yet

  • Twitter ads
  • Facebook ads

Messaging tested

  • Tips: Free tips on affordable art collecting
  • Service: Personal art advisor for $40/mo


Next steps

Next week I’m going to pursue a few more channels & segments and then start scaling what works.





TaraReed_ View All

Hi there- My name is Tara Reed & I’m the founder of Kollecto. I'm a non-technical founder building software without writing any code.I’m also a first-time entrepreneur who swore I'd never become an entrepreneur…Oh well, sh*t happens! :) Follow my journey as I build a cool art startup...

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