How Kieran Tie Built a Productized Editorial Marketplace With SPP
We’ve talked to Kieran Tie from Chatty.so on how he built a productized editorial marketplace on SPP with the help of powerful automations. Read on to see what kind of ideas Kieran had to make his SPP workspace one of its kind.
On coming up with the Chatty idea
Former embedded software developer and project manager Kieran Tie is now a content marketer and editor with over 6 years’ experience. He found that for editing it is difficult to find the right people with a deep topic knowledge to bring content to a high standard.
With more and more companies publishing content, it’s increasingly difficult to stand out. Some companies, especially those in the software market, need an extra level of quality and insight because their topics are not easy to write for.
The biggest issue Kieran has noticed is that there’s a disconnect between finding editors and working with them. Most companies take their chances by looking for editors on platforms such as Upwork. This leads to a lot of trial and error because you might not be happy with their work, or it’s simply not a good fit.
That’s where Chatty comes in: a platform that provides an easy way to find high-talent editors that have been vetted already.
On finding and vetting editors
Speaking of vetting: Chatty has an extensive vetting process in place: there’s an application form they need to fill out with details about their experience, type of clients they want to work with, and other questions. Once selected, Kieran hops on a call with the editor so they can get to know each other, and see if this partnership is a good opportunity for both sides. Those selected undergo an editing test before they are onboarded onto the platform.
In regards to finding the editors to begin with, Kieran mentions that it’s 50–50. Some find Chatty organically, others via job ads that have been posted when the platform launched. Right now, Chatty has paused the hiring process as they optimize their core process with the help of client feedback.
Being able to choose a different editor
Chatty pairs their clients with the right editor for the job. However, clients are still free to choose a different editor whenever they want.
For on-demand projects, clients can also choose which editor from the Chatty network they want to partner up with. This works well if clients want to test working with different editors until they find one they want to partner up with on a regular basis. For this to work, there’s a public profile of editors on chatty.so that clients can view.
For agencies who require a bigger capacity, Chatty pairs them up with multiple editors so that their content editing requirements can be fulfilled.
Deciding to use SPP as a platform
Kieran knew that, to build a productized service, he wanted to use a turnkey platform. As a small company, building a custom platform was simply out of the question.
With that said, Kieran wanted to go the extra mile and provide an all-in-one platform, not just a simple Trello board for project management. Everything from payments and subscriptions to tickets and messaging should be in one place to be able to keep track of clients information.
After starting the customization process, Kieran quickly realized that “SPP ended up being a really good fit for what they were looking for.” Kieran loves how he can customize the software to fit Chatty’s needs, how easy it is to add new services, and how it gives customers a single point of use.
Building custom flows on top of SPP
The number one feature built on top of SPP is assigning orders and payments to a particular editor. As Chatty works with freelancers, all of them need to be paid for their editing services–and the exact amounts have to be tracked. To make this order tracking work, Kieran built a system in Airtable that has a copy of all requests, editors, and payouts.
In Chatty’s order forms in SPP, there’s a selector that allows clients to choose which editor they’d like to work with. The selector fills in a hidden field on the order form so that Chatty knows which editor has been selected.
Another cool feature is a custom page that allows clients to browse editors. They can filter them by expertise, topic, who you’ve worked with before, or who’s been marked as a favorite.
Experimenting with client onboarding
While the portal itself is fairly self-explanatory, Kieran uses SPP’s onboarding page to help new users find their way around. As the portal evolves though, and more options start appearing, the onboarding page will be really helpful to guide clients to the right place.
Chatty also makes use of a knowledge base in HelpScout that is available as a widget inside the portal. The widget is both a chat widget for questions, as well as a resource to browse the help center.
Adjusting & tweaking Chatty’s positioning
As a new company, Chatty.so is constantly tweaking their positioning. Kieran isn’t sure yet if they want to stay a productized service just for editing, or if they want to become a network for editorial talent.
On one hand, Kieran is interested in expanding Chatty, and to offer other services such as content writing, fact checking, and illustrations. However, as they promote themselves as an editing service, it might be difficult to offer additional services. Instead, Chatty’s long-term goal is to become an editorial collective for freelancers where they can set up their own projects, clients, and network with publishers.
To further develop Chatty, Kieran also regularly talks to clients and editors, collects their feedback, and uses it to build the platform. One major change that was made is that it’s no longer an unlimited editing service. Instead, there’s a monthly word limit that can be extended with add-on services.