From $0 to $8M ARR: Stefan Smulders of Expandi on Growth Marketing

Ryan interviews Stefan Smulders, founder and chief strategy officer of Expandi, a LinkedIn automation SaaS company. Stefan shares how he bootstrapped Expandi to $8 million in ARR in just 4 years through relentless hustling, including doing over 700 product demos in the first 3 months. He emphasizes the power of inbound marketing through valuable content creation, building a personal brand with his face on it, and capturing leads into a tight community. Stefan also stresses the importance of focusing on reducing churn by improving onboarding and guidance instead of only chasing new signups. With the right team in place to solve these challenges, he’s confident Expandi can scale to $20 million ARR quickly. Tune in to hear Stefan’s energy, insights and unique story on growth marketing and scaling on LinkedIn.

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  • Stefan completed over 700 product demos in first 3 months to validate product-market fit and learn users’ needs
  • Expandi focused on inbound marketing through content creation and giveaways to build an audience
  • Stefan his personal story and face on the brand to stand out and build trust
  • Expandi captured leads into the community, to build relationships and get feedback
  • 90% of new signups still come from content and inbound marketing
  • The biggest challenge now for Expandi is reducing churn by improving onboarding
  • With the right team, Stefan is confident Exapndi can rapidly scale from $8M to $20M ARR
  • Relentless hustling and grind in the early days was key to explosive growth


“I was working around 16, 17 hours a day and mainly running demos.”

“We started heavily to distribute all these pieces of content and that drove so many people.”

“If you really understand what’s the pain points of the people you want to reach, you can easily host live sessions.”

“The biggest transition I needed to understand and make was, okay, we need to leverage data-driven approaches.”

“If we can solve both of them [problems] and we are working on a daily base, we will grow to 20 million within no time.”

Ryan Staley

Founder and CEO

Whale Boss


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