/ Marketing

TinyTorch Launches Content App for Social Media Marketing

We want our platform to start connecting content creators, curators and designers with businesses who need help with their social media presence.

Utah startup TinyTorch launched its content app for social media marketing today. We had the opportunity to speak with Co-founder Kylie Lakevold about her background, what sets TinyTorch apart from its competition, and much more.

Beehive Startups:

Let’s start with the big news. You announced the launch of TinyTorch this morning. What’s the story behind TinyTorch? What should our readers know about your product? What’s the problem you’re trying to solve?

Kylie Lakevold:

Jon Bradshaw and I were managing over 40 social media accounts for various businesses. We would spend hours searching pinterest, google images, and blogs looking for content and images to post to our clients Facebook pages. It was time consuming to search all of the different sites and there wasn’t a central location to discover relevant content, organize all of our post ideas and schedule our content to post. I saw the need in our own businesses to create a tool that would help us manage and post our social content, so I created a quick prototype for TinyTorch and we have been building it for the past 5 months with the help of a small beta group.

TinyTorch offers scheduling and posting capabilities combined with visual content that is designed to engage your social audience. In less time than it takes to brew a pot of coffee, businesses can login to TinyTorch to find and schedule a month’s worth of industry-relevant and engaging visual content to post on their social pages.

Unlike our competitors who only provide businesses with trending news content, we recognized that image based content has the furthest reach on social networks. Photos get 53 percent more likes, 104 percent more comments, and 84 percent more click-throughs than a link or text-based update. Our content looks awesome, but more importantly, it gets people talking about your brand.

We like to think of ourselves as the iStockphoto for visual social content.

Beehive Startups:

Tell us about your background.

Kylie Lakevold:

I was born and raised in small town British Columbia, Canada and have since moved to Calgary, Alberta. I fell in love with Alberta when I moved here to attend the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge Community College where I was taking my bachelors in fine arts and multimedia production and design. I dropped out of University and college twice, and then decided to take my education into my own hands. One of my first big gigs as a designer was with We’re Related/Family Link based in Utah and I have been hooked on building startups ever since.

It wasn’t until the last two years that I started to branch out from design and started to learn to code.

Beehive Startups:

What were you working on before TinyTorch?

Kylie Lakevold:

I was working on another one of my startups, TypeWhale. I was also moonlighting in Jon’s startup (because one startup just isn’t enough).

Beehive Startups:

How did you get connected with Jon? Has it been difficult to start a company with someone who lives in a different country?

Kylie Lakevold:

I was connected with Jon Bradshaw about three years ago and we have been working on projects together ever since. We have worked on projects that have involved everything from bitcoins to puppies and are great friends and partners. I can be a little introverted and Jon is a fantastic networker, so we balance each other very well.

Beehive Startups:

Have you bootstrapped TinyTorch up to this point? Do you plan to raise capital soon?

Kylie Lakevold:

We have been draining our bank accounts… I mean bootstrapping, but we will see how far and fast we can run without funding.

Beehive Startups:

What does the future of TinyTorch look like? If everything goes as planned, what will it look like five years from now?

Kylie Lakevold:

TinyTorch has huge plans. Aside from being a great place to discover content, we want our platform to start connecting content creators, curators and designers with businesses who need help with their social media presence. This helps us double down on the content we can provide to our users. We are also looking to develop a mobile app for content discovery and creation on-the-go and build out more sophisticated reporting and analytics tools.

Where will TinyTorch be in 5 years? We can’t tell you all our secrets, but we can tell you that it includes world domination.

Beehive Startups:

How do you plan to market TinyTorch?

Kylie Lakevold:

We have been fairly quiet about what we have been building up until now, but still managed to acquire over 1,300 pre-launch registrations through our website. We plan on marketing through social media (of course) and some PR. 90% of all businesses are on Facebook, so look for us where businesses are.

Beehive Startups:

You’ve founded and worked on a number of startups. What has your overall startup experience been like? What advice do you have for budding entrepreneurs who are thinking about starting their own company?

Kylie Lakevold:

If you aren’t willing to put your life on hold, drain your bank account, and work insane hours. Don’t do a startup. It’s not glamorous. It’s stressful and exhausting… and yet there is NOTHING more exciting and rewarding than building a product that people want and need.

Beehive Startups:

What’s the best piece of startup advice you’ve received?

Kylie Lakevold:

First, make sure your product is something people want and are willing to pay for. The only way to find this out is to talk to as many people as you can.

Second, “Just Ship It.” You’ve talked to your customers, you’ve built what they asked for, and now it’s time to ship the product. It’s never going to be perfect at first and don’t be afraid to launch.

Beehive Startups:

Congratulations on today’s launch! Thank you for taking the time to let our readers know a little bit more about what TinyTorch is all about.

If you want to learn more about TinyTorch, feel free to visit their website. They would also like to invite our readers to offer some feedback by signing up for their beta version by going to social.tinytorch.com.

Published 2/3/2014