#1 Strategy That Can Grow Your Business 35x in Revenue – Miruna Dragomir

In this week’s episode, we are joined by Miruna Dragomir. Miruna is the Chief Marketing Officer of Planable. She helped Planable to grow 35x in revenue in the last three years.

As a social media collaborative platform, Planable traces back its beginnings from a 5-man team, including one marketing person – HER. She experimented with strategies and ways to make the system better. One of the things she said had the biggest impact was their love for collaboration.

Visit Planable’s website: https://planable.io/

LinkedIn: https://ro.linkedin.com/in/mirunadragomir

Katie Brinkley 0:02

Hi friends. I’m Katie Brinkley, and you’re listening to Rocky Mountain marketing. This podcast is all about helping Colorado based small business owners, entrepreneurs, realtors, and professionals discover the strategies and systems that take their marketing to all new heights. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Welcome back to Rocky Mountain marketing. My guest today is Miruna Dragomir. Miruna is the head of marketing at Planable, a content collaboration platform for social media teams. For the past three years, she’s been leading growth efforts of Planable. They’ve grown 30 times in revenue in just the past three years, which is just insane. And they continue going up. She also was previously part of Ubers marketing team and Oracle’s social media team. Miruna, thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Miruna Dragomir 0:52

Thank you so much for having me.

Katie Brinkley 0:55

I’m really excited to have you here. Because as we were talking about before I hit record, one of your clients is my business coach and somebody that I’ve been following for a long time Susan Timmerman. So I’m really excited to talk with you a little bit about what you do and how you help people. And this is just really exciting that people that are listening are in for a treat.

Miruna Dragomir 1:16

Yeah, yeah, I can’t wait to talk to and I am, it’s always amazing when you find mutual connections that, you know, feels like a small and comforting world.

Katie Brinkley 1:25

You know, the older I get, and it’s true that the world gets smaller and smaller, the older that I get, but I’m that Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, it, I think it really is a real thing. But let’s get back to you, let’s learn a little bit about you. Tell us about yourself, where did you grow up? And what was life like growing up for you?

Miruna Dragomir 1:44

Sure. So I grew up in Romania, and small-ish town from Romania, it was I think, I’d say a pretty normal childhood, nothing out of the ordinary. Growing up, it was very interesting for me, because I always kind of knew that there’s not one very niche specialty that I would like to try. During my career. I always knew that I like a lot of everything, a bit of everything, you know, to kind of be a hybrid, I was always a very curious person. And I loved multitasking and learning new things. And so I think, yeah, that’s, that was that became clear and clear, as I started to grow up and to approach the big decision of, you know, what should I do with my life. And that’s how I discovered marketing and how I fell in love with it.

Katie Brinkley 2:37

It’s interesting, too, because I think it was similar for me. I mean, when I was growing up, being a social media, anything wasn’t a thing. I mean, social media was still being born, like I got into social media back in the days of MySpace. So it’s crazy to see how jobs and our careers kind of take us down paths that we never really think about as a kid. I mean, like, oh, what do you want to be when you grow up or be a teacher or a doctor. But life takes us down different journeys. And we talked about it a little bit when I was giving your introduction about how you started with Uber and Oracle, take us along your career journey a little bit before you ended up here at Planable?

Miruna Dragomir 3:13

Yeah, so when I started out in college I wanted, I fell in love with advertising. I mean, fell in love with it is a bit too generous, because I didn’t really know what it meant. And it was all from movies, and it felt so cool. So I really wanted to work in advertising. But then, you know, in college, I kind of got familiar with the differences between advertising and marketing and working agency side and client side. And then I decided, I mean, I realized that on the brand side is the place that is the place where I belong. And so I joined or call as a social media specialist at first. And it was I was part of a very big team, I think, you know, for a company in general, the team of social media people was about 20. And that’s pretty large. And it was large back then, too. And I think that was, you know, the basis of my career, I learned a lot about social media, I got my first opportunity to play with data and analytics for social in particular. And then I realized I wanted something a bit to be in a place where the overview is a bit more generous, you know, where you can see a bigger part of the picture. As you know, Oracle was a very big company. And so the it was a bit separate, the teams were separate, so you wouldn’t necessarily be able to understand the entire pipeline. And so then I joined Uber, which back then was very much still run like us, like separate startups in each country and cities it was in and that was a very thrilling experience. It was very the most accelerated learning period of my life. It was a lot of work and a lot of new information. And then I scaled back even more, you know, Oracle that Uber, there was a story called The biggest of one of the biggest corporations and Uber, which was a scale up. And then Planable, which was this tech startup, when I joined, there were only the founders and one engineer. And I really was able to find my place here, because it was the place where no boundaries, no, the biggest transparency whatsoever, and I was able to experiment all the time.

Katie Brinkley 5:32

Now, I’m familiar with Planable. And what it does, and what a time saver that it is, and a lot of the clients that I work with. So I work with a lot of small business owners, realtors, and entrepreneurs that are just kind of trying to do all the things and they they know they need to be on social media. And introducing a tool like Planable really is a game changer. So you know, I mean, I think that that’s why a lot of people get discouraged with their social media, it’s because they they don’t realize that there’s tools like Planable. So can you tell us just a little bit about what Planable is, and really why it is such a difference maker?

Miruna Dragomir 6:11

Sure. Yeah. Planable is a social media collaboration platform. That means that it gives everyone the environment to work together on posts on the content planned for social media to create it, planet, review it and approve it, and even schedule it. So it’s the biggest one of the biggest benefits of using it is that it’s extremely visual. So comparing it to, you know, excels or spreadsheets, you see the post exactly as it will look like and a feed view and a grid view and anything and everything. And for people, it’s even easier for people that aren’t that used to social media management, because they know what to expect. They can invite anyone who can advise or share their content, if you know, you’d have someone that can take shots, quick photos and upload them in order to plan them for the future. That helps as well. So it really unites everyone involved and gives one platform one way to see everything.

Katie Brinkley 7:10

And it really I mean, it really makes a world of difference. I mean, what do you think that the areas that take up the most time for social media is for is for a lot of business owners,

Miruna Dragomir 7:21

I think out of you know, the research that we’ve done so many clients of ours that we’ve talked with, it’s really about the communication and collaboration side of things. Because I mean, a lot of teams use kind of a mishmash of tools, they do they create the actual content in a spreadsheet, they then copy paste that spreadsheet and share it via email, then they collect feedback everywhere on all the environments implemented, and then copy paste it in a publishing tool or on the native platform. And it’s a lot of the time, first of all, going back and forth between all of those tools. But then it’s also about the miscommunications that can happen. And we know how, you know, cluttered and inbox can get and how impossible it is to keep it to inbox zero or clean or to keep track of everything. So that’s I think the area that gets most people in social media frustrated.

Katie Brinkley 8:20

I completely agree. And I think that to having a tool like this is it makes such a difference for people who are just getting started with their full strategy. And maybe they’ve been handling the social media for them by themselves for a bit. But then they decide, okay, well, I’m going to go ahead and I’m going to delegate this task out. Because once you start delegating things out, that’s really when you can grow as an entrepreneur, but you’re kind of still want to see what’s being pushed out there. And that’s where having a tool like this allows you to Okay, if you are having an admin or if you have a social media manager that you’ve contracted to work with, they can create the content and then you can go in there and actually approve it, you can see how it’s going to look on each social platform. It really makes it easier for somebody that wants to take a step back from the actual content creation, but still have the final say before it gets pushed out there into the internet.

Miruna Dragomir 9:14

Yeah, exactly. It offers its most popular amongst approvers because it gives them this one very, very quick place and easy way to just see it, approve it or feedback on it and get it over with. And I think you know, it’s a good tool to get started as well. Because starting off with a process that seamless I mean not this is not only about planning, but but generally if you manage to create processes that can be scalable in time that’s really going to help you out as you grow. You know,

Katie Brinkley 9:46 I would love for you to elaborate a little bit more on that because I think that that is one of the it’s one of the hardest things to do when when you’re just getting started. This is to grow. And I’m all about delegating, but again, there’s that’s a lot times where it’s hard to let go of some of you know if your business is your baby, and it’s hard to give up some of the tasks. So what what would your tips be for helping a business grow? And how they can really help optimize their resources that they have?

Miruna Dragomir 10:17

Yeah, I think I can speak from my own experience, I don’t have all the answers. But I can tell you that the team at Planable grew a lot too. So when I joined, we were three founders and me and another engineer, right, five people in total. Now we’re 20 something people and only the marketing team is made of five. And so from one person to five people is a pretty big change. And what I tried to do along the way, and what my team does is that we constantly look at what we’re doing. Because I think it’s never one iteration kind of situation, you can’t get it right from the start, you need to constantly look at it as you grow. But the first you have to have a few pillars of a few values that you very much respect along the way. For us, for example, its efficiency, no matter what we do, we run away from manual processes. Every quarter, I asked my team, is there anything manual that you’re doing? Is there anything involving copy pasting? If so, let’s talk about it, let’s think. And let’s find a way to automate it or to delegate it to someone else to work with a freelancer on this, because my team needs to spend time on the things that they’re best on.

Katie Brinkley 11:36

I love that. And I think that that really is, you know, like I said, it’s hard to imagine trying to give up some of the tasks. But automation. That’s it’s a game changer, really. So I also would like to talk about, you know, collaboration, and I know, we talked about it at the beginning, when you said, you know, yeah, it gives you these tools that give you the opportunity to collaborate with everyone on your team. And, you know, I think that that is something that really makes a successful business. So why is collaboration, something that teams need to prioritize and put a lot of focus into,

Miruna Dragomir 12:12

I think, at first collaboration really empowers I mean, it takes us all to the best possible outcome. Right? I think that that should be something we all embrace as a concept. Because the more brains involved, usually the best outcome we’re going to reach. And as I think, you know, it’s very, very tempting to run from collaboration to kind of want to want to keep it small and efficient, and in just a few people, but if we do empower collaboration, we’re gonna keep pushing each other. That’s something again, that we really empower at Planable. The idea that, you know, feedback is never something we should be afraid of saying, We’re never something that we should be ashamed of receiving, because it’s we’re all in this together, no one knows better than anyone else is just about helping each other out. Everyone has a different angle, and different angles make for a complete picture. And that’s why I think, you know, collaboration is one of those things that should not be left aside. Especially, I mean, you have the opportunity to work within a team, you have the opportunity to talk with different people that have different experiences and points of view. So why wouldn’t you make the most out of that?

Katie Brinkley 13:28

I completely agree. And, you know, you mentioned too, that, you know, when you started at Planable, there was three founders, you and IT person, and now it’s a team of almost 30, there’s five of you in the marketing department. I mean, talk about growth. That’s, that’s really awesome. Over just three years, if someone is listening right now, who is an aspiring new business owner, what is the biggest piece of advice that you’d want to give them about trying to grow their business as their journey begins?

Miruna Dragomir 13:57

For us, I think the secret to success was, I mean, success. It’s a very debatable thing all the time. But the secret to the growth that we’ve seen so far, has been being open to experimenting all the time. So at first, honestly, any I think any new business, regardless of your experience, it’s very hard to come in and say, I know this is gonna work, we’re gonna do this on marketing, and it’s gonna grow 30x in three years, that’s almost impossible. But it’s a lot about experimenting. And for us, it really helped that we had that open mind to experiment with anything and not be afraid to do that, especially at first, when we really didn’t have that much to lose, there wasn’t you know, or a Peter brand reputation or anything. And then it was really paying attention to the data, which is a very, let’s say, a more boring aspect of it, but paying attention to all the data as it you know, in real time trying to see what is working and then doubling down on that to ensure that is something we should iterate on it and make it perfect helped us to narrow it further narrow our what we were doing as marketing team, because we started out really broad, we started out with everything, you know, social media ads, content blogs, podcast shows anything that was an idea. We tried it. And then after a while, we really sat down, looked at the numbers and said, Okay, this isn’t working, well cut, I don’t know, two thirds of all of that. And we’ll just stick to what has worked so far.

Katie Brinkley 15:28

I think that’s one of the things that people try to even with, with all the different social media channels is that they try to be on all of them, but they’re not really looking at what’s working. And when you take a step back, and like okay, well, is this working from our marketing? Like, is it worth it to spend hundreds of 1000s of dollars in Facebook ads, then? Maybe not, maybe we could just go on, you know, clubhouse stages and talk about it, or podcasts or get, I mean, God is taking that step back and looking to see what works and what moves the needle, I think is extremely important. So, you know, we talked about how you guys did take a step back, what does your model look like for finding and engaging and insert and selling to your ideal client customer these days?

Miruna Dragomir 16:08

For us, it’s mostly content marketing, I think that I mean, 80% of our customers come organically. So it’s a lot about the content, and SEO, which is one of those things that again, we perfected in time. At first, we were really good at it, we were targeting all the bad keywords and all the bad targets. But then we perfected in time, I really started to understand what does work for us in terms of content and content marketing on a few different pillars blog, our blog is the let’s say crown piece, and then we have a podcast too. And then we develop valuable resources that we really put the time in. But we develop those a lot more rare. Because we found out you know, it’s more important to have issue going to if you are going to bring out an ebook or report, we take the time to really build that in a way that it’s going to help our audience. And then the second part is its performance with trust. It’s a lot in search marketing, that kind of is a huge driver of revenue for us.

Katie Brinkley 17:15

Yeah, I think I had a guest on the podcast a few months ago, we talked all about search marketing. We’ve had I’ve had a Google expert on I’ve had a Pinterest expert on Sony to find my YouTube expert to come on and talk about all the different ways to search because it’s such a valuable way to find new people to be interested in your product. Well, this has been such a great conversation. And like I said, I think that things like Planable really are a game changer. And I would just love it again, I know that you mentioned it at the beginning of the show a little bit about what it does. But if you just want to tell us again, about how this tool really can make a difference for your team with their social media presence. I would love it if you just kind of elaborated one more time.

Miruna Dragomir 18:00

Sure, my pleasure. So yeah, Planable is the platform for everyone involved in social media to collaborate, see all the content in the same place. And it’s about context a lot too. So you can see your posts and all the views that you see them in natively. So we can see them a few feet view, just like you can you know, and on Instagram, or Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn or Google My Business, and some others are coming soon. And you can see it in a grid view as well for Instagram, especially which grid is still very important. You can also build stories. And so we have a lot of content formats, because we really strive to have that perfect previews and eliminate as many workarounds as possible. Again, for efficiency purposes, approval is one click. So anyone if you’re the approver, if you have someone helping you out with the you can click and everyone knows it’s got greenlight and it’s ready to go out. And then scheduling happens automatically, as I’m sure you’re used to you just select whenever you want that content to go out, you can even drag and drop it in a calendar if that’s easier, and then see it shine.

Katie Brinkley 19:17

You know, and I just I’m so glad that I had you on the show today. Because like I said, I’ve tried a lot of different tools like this. And it really is the simplicity of what Planable is really does make a difference. And it allows, like you said teams to get together. If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re finally able to have someone else start doing your social media, you can still have your hand kind of in the pot there and see what’s going out. So I just absolutely love tools like this. And I know that you so generously are going to give the listeners of today’s episode a discount code if they want to sign up for Planable.

Miruna Dragomir 19:52

Yeah, so first of all, if you do want to sign up for Planable you can try it with no commitments whatsoever. You don’t have to put a credit card or anything and you can’t you have the first 50 posts for free. So you can really test it out with all its features and understand if it works for you or not. And if it does work for you, we offer 30% off for the first three months to the listeners of this podcast using the code Rocky 30.

Katie Brinkley 20:18

I know that’s so awesome of you. And like I said, it’s if you’re still posting to social media natively. So if you’re actually just opening up the Instagram app and posting on it, you can definitely be optimizing your time in a better fashion by using a tool like Planable. So thank you, again, so much for coming onto the show today. Thank you so much for your generous discount that you’re going to be giving the listeners really, really appreciate it. Is there anything else I didn’t ask you about today that you think is important for our listeners to hear?

Miruna Dragomir 20:45

No, I think just everyone should go try anything, go in marketing and be patient for the results because they’ll come I’m sure of it.

Katie Brinkley 20:55

Thank you Miruna, this was such a great conversation. Where can we learn more about you and your business online?

Miruna Dragomir 21:01 You can find me on LinkedIn. I’m very present there. And you can find Planable ad Planable.io is the website. It’s very easy to go through.

Katie Brinkley 21:12

Yep. Awesome. Well, thank you again so much for coming on the show today.

Miruna Dragomir 21:16

You too. Thanks for having me.

Katie Brinkley 21:20

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Rocky Mountain marketing. As always, I’d love to hear from you. You can visit my website at https://www.nextstepsocialcommunications.com/ Connect with me on LinkedIn or check me out on Instagram. Let’s keep taking your marketing to new heights.