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“The thing is, not much has been done to bring that backyard, over the fence, word of mouth to the web, until You Need My Guy.”

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Guidant Financial: The leader in alternative startup, franchise and small business financing

You Need My Guy is the best way to find service providers in your area, and see how you know those who trust them already. From plumbers to golf coaches to attorneys, it’s the only place that uses meaningful social connections to help you never hire the wrong person again. For service providers, it’s the best way to show your prospects how they know your current clients.

What we all really want is to do business with businesses that we’re connected to socially. We all know hundreds if not thousands of people online, and they all choose to do business with someone. But, LinkedIn has become crowded. Everyone knows everyone and is good at everything. Other directory sites are full of anonymous reviews, which we all write off as fake [rightly so]. If that’s the case, how can we see who our friends & colleagues are choosing to hire, without asking hundreds of people each time a need comes up?

MO: How did you come up with the concept for, You Need My Guy?

Joe: Well, I hired someone to put up some drywall for me, and he flooded my basement. Last time I checked, you don’t need to adjust the plumbing to tape drywall. Anyways, he was awful, and I was a little embarrassed that I hadn’t checked with the people I know when deciding on who to hire. I searched for a site that allowed me to see this kind of data, but really couldn’t find it. So, I set off to build it. The thing is, not much has been done to bring that backyard, over the fence, word of mouth to the web, until You Need My Guy.

Sometimes posting a question on Facebook or LinkedIn can be the solution. “Where should I get my pants tailored”, or “Anyone have a good golf coach?”, or “Thinking about re-doing our bathroom, anyone have a good handyman?”. But, just as often, we get some witty/unhelpful response like: “How about you lay off the cheeseburgers!” or “No amount of coaching can correct that slice”, or “I have some free time, neighbor. A few cases of beer and I bet we could knock it out in a weekend”. So, it’s not just the answers that we’re looking for, it’s the answers, without asking the question, right? You want access to your friends black books, and freedom to search through them.

MO: Let’s say that I am looking for an accountant; can you talk me through the process of finding one through your site?

Joe: For sure. So, you would search for ‘accountant’ in the search bar, which would take you to a search results page, displaying every accountant who has been listed by users on You Need My Guy. They’ll be sorted by popularity, not by those paying for sponsored listings. Since you probably [but not necessarily] want to hire an accountant in your area, you’ll be prompted to sign-in via or to link a social network [Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn]. Now, the display is different. It’ll be shown based on which accountants people you know [through those social networks] are using. Many of these will be in your geographic region, and some may not be. From there, you can see which of your connections are using each accountant, view their profiles, send them a message, etc.

We know that at this point, accountants who have paid for a premium account are more likely to get clicked on, just based on the ways users eyes are drawn to their contact options, and visual differences in their profiles. One other note here. Premium accounts feature video and photo, which help those profiles start to be returned in web searches.

MO: While being in beta, what’s been the most useful feedback that you’ve received?

Joe: I think I underestimated how much referrals mean to business owners, and how difficult it is for the average business owner to organize, present, and receive referrals. Because of this, it’s my job to make giving a referral [listing someone on You Need My Guy] as easy as possible. Originally, an email address was required to list a ‘guy’. But now, we’re allowing users to just use a phone number, since they’re guaranteed to have that information close by, usually right in their phone. When this happens, we call the person listed, and they’re thrilled to give us their email to receive future notifications/referrals.

We all like to be ‘owed’ one by the people we do business with. That’s why we recommend people, isn’t it? To be a VIP is attractive. We get called back more quickly, and in our minds we get better service [probably true]. More referrals mentioning us helps speed up the rate that we reach VIP level, and documenting a recommendation online is a vehicle to do just that. Call it self-preservation, call it ego, or call it making sure your favorite photographer is still in business when your next kid is born because no one can get those cute sleeping naked baby shots like she can. Whatever the reason, we want to be valued consumers, and the best way to do that is to show the public who your valued ‘guys’ are.

MO: What inspired you to start You Need My Guy while already running your own consulting business? Was your family supportive of the idea or did they take some convincing?

Joe: Consulting is like a very cool job. Except that you usually don’t have benefits, and sometimes the landscape of what you’re doing changes very quickly. I was running a huge RFP for a client once, and they sold the company in the middle of the process. Since the people who had hired me were out of jobs, so was I. You need to be able to pick up a new project in a hurry when something like that happens. And, although there are some exceptions, like most jobs, a consultant doesn’t have any stake in the company she/he is helping.

Because of all this, the idea of building something that I owned was very attractive. It was a pretty big jump, but I hope will prove to be worth it. [Enter every cliché about nothing worth having comes easily]. I’m married to an incredible woman who cares about my brain, and knows that I needed to try this thing. My older kids were convinced with some fruit snacks and my little guy can’t talk yet so they didn’t prove to be against it.

MO: Can you elaborate on the significance behind striking a deal with KAYWEB Angels and what that means to the growth and development of the company?

Joe: It’s an incredible blessing to have partnered with KAYWEB on You Need My Guy. They’re a smart bunch, have a super talented team, and stand behind me and You Need My Guy in every way. To build something like You Need My Guy is difficult and expensive. Not having to front those resources puts us at an advantage for sure. Also, the portfolio of companies invested in by KAYWEB has turned into a nice family of entrepreneurs. We bounce ideas off each other, encourage each other, and help promote each others business.

MO: What have you been doing to prepare for your national roll out in the coming months?

Joe: I thought you’d never ask. I’m so proud of the 7 brand evangelists we have ready to go in cities across the country. Christian in Southern California, Brandon in Chicago, Ana in Miami, Brandon [a different one] in Nashville, Harrison in Buffalo, Rick & Jess in Philadelphia, and Matt in Cincinnati. This team is ready to promote You Need My Guy when we flip the switch to go live.

Of course, we’re pursuing media coverage, syndicated article coverage through the YEC, and a general social media push organized by Harrison and his team of gurus. In addition, we’ve partnered with some big charities like Souls for Soles and Royal Family Kids to publicize, grow, and send resources back to. Lastly, we’re excited to announce partnerships in the coming months with national advertising and media companies already on board to give all of their clients exclusive access to You Need My Guy.


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