SkinnyScoop empowers women to unleash their inner Oprah, share what they know and love, and get recognized for their knowledge and influence. Women make 85% of all purchase decisions largely based on the recommendations of female influencers in their network. SkinnyScoop makes it easy and rewarding to curate and find the information women use to make decisions. SkinnyScoop was founded by Eden Godsoe and Larissa Dinh and Erin McBride Crocker.
The SkinnyScoop.com website is fresh, light and inviting. Comprised of a balanced and easy to access mixture of lists, comments and images relating to a wide swath of categories of interest,.. the community is dynamic and engaged. With Angel Funding of approximately $850,000, 6 employees and more than 370,000 visits for this month, SkinnyScoop has quickly become a go-to resource for women and moms.
MO: Welcome to Mo.com, Eden. What are some of the things that you do to differentiate SkinnyScoop from other women oriented content sites in the web media space?
Eden: Most women-oriented websites are editorial driven. They are online versions of magazines or books where an expert of some sort shares his or her view. While this format works well for select topics, we believe it’s the collective wisdom of everyday women, product recommendations from go-to girlfriends, and parenting tips from mom mavens that truly drives decisions and purchases. SkinnyScoop is all about empowering women and giving them an easy and rewarding way to share what they know and love. Everyone has something they are passionate about or have deep knowledge in. We help these women amplify their voice, share that knowledge and get recognized for their passion.
MO: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced with SkinnyScoop and what have you learned from that?
Eden: I have built and managed large teams in past roles but I’m not sure I realized just how important it would be to find the right Co-Founder. My background is in sales, marketing and finance so I knew I needed a Co-Founder with a strong product and development background. Not only that, I needed a Co-Founder who shared my passion for our mission, someone who would commit fully to making SkinnyScoop a success. I interviewed people who had good skill sets but it wasn’t until I met Larissa Dinh that I knew I had found my Co-Founder. Her background and work style complements my own and we are equally passionate about revolutionizing the way women make and influence decisions.
MO: What is your revenue model? Are you currently earning revenue?
Eden: SkinnyScoop is currently focused on growth – enabling female influencers to curate interesting content and to share that content with their networks through blog widgets, social media hooks or word of mouth. At the same time we are thoughtful about how we are rolling out the product in terms of future revenue streams. There is nothing bigger than female purchase power and being able to tap into the networks of female influencers.
MO: You offer your members points for various actions. How important are these points to your readers, and as you roll out more rewards and benefits, how important is your points strategy for your business?
Eden: Our mission is to recognize and reward women for our knowledge and influence and “gamifying” our site is one way to do that. Women love seeing that their list was viewed by thousands of people or that they shared information that helped hundreds of other women make an informed decision. Women also use SkinnyScoop to discover other women who share their interests or are knowledgeable in a key topic. To date we have not rolled out monetary rewards associated with the points (for example product discounts or special offers) but we are considering doing so.
MO: Your monthly visits this month is going to exceed 350,000. What kind of growth do you anticipate over the next 12 months? If your growth curve jumps very dramatically and within a very short period of time, say to 3.5 to 5 million monthly visits, do you have a technical and financial plan to manage all that additional web traffic, so your website stays stable and responsive? How will this affect your server costs and budget?
Eden: Since launching our social curation platform SkinnyScoop has been growing 50% per month and influencers now drive 370,000 monthly visits to SkinnyScoop content. This growth has been achieved without any marketing spend or PR activity (this article aside!) Women want to share their lists and other content with friends and that in turn fuels more women to make lists and share them with their networks. We expect this kind of viral growth to continue as we enhance our product and grow our network of bloggers and content partners. We are confident that our technology and backend can handle that kind of growth and that our business can scale without huge increases on the infrastructure side of things. We will need to grow our team – both on the development side and the business and operations side – which is a good problem to have.
MO: What is your mobile strategy and and how important is it for you in the short, medium and long term? Are you doing any strategic planning for the current and growing media convergence that will bring websites and content like yours into people’s living rooms, on both tablet devices and on large screen TV’s?
Eden: We do not currently have a mobile version of our site or a native app but those are both on the roadmap for 2012. We believe women (moms in particular) consume content across a variety of platforms and SkinnyScoop should be available on all of them. Our content – bite-sized, actionable and visual nuggets of information – lends itself very well to mobile. In fact it’s the #1 thing our current users ask for.
MO: What are the most popular content categories on your website?
Eden: Women use SkinnyScoop to create content – namely lists – on a wide variety of topics. We don’t limit how women use our platform beyond removing anything that is offensive or obvious spam (both of which are rare.) We are delighted when women use SkinnyScoop in ways we hadn’t contemplated (like using a list to generate interest for a blogger event) or share lists on topics that are very niche (such as a gift guide for bacon lovers.) That being said, we do see a large number of lists focused on parenting tips, go-to apps and books, and anything cooking related.
MO: If you only had 30 days left to live and were given a cheque for 100 million tax free dollars to spend any way you’d want, what would you do for the next 30 days and what would you do with that 100 million dollars?
Eden: To be honest I’d be more focused on the 30 days than the 100 million tax free dollars. If I only had 30 days left to live I would spend those days with the people I loved – namely my husband, two young children, parents, extended family and close friends. I recently started going on hikes with my two children where we have these amazing conversations on all sorts of topics – why some kids have two moms or two dads, who the strongest super hero is, what to build next with our 1000s of LEGO and much more (they are four and seven in case you are wondering!) That time with my children is priceless. As for the 100 million, I would be inclined to give it to a handful of non-profits that can use it to make a real impact. You can see that if nothing else, I am consistent – I answered this million dollar question the same in one of my SkinnyScoop lists called All About Me.
MO: Eden, we want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions for our readers.
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