Founder Stories: M Waseem Aziz On Building ArrowUpz
In today’s Founder Story, we feature M Waseem Aziz, Founder of ArrowUpz!
Read on for lessons he has learned from launching and marketing his company.
1. Please introduce your business and share your role
I’m M Waseem Aziz, founder of a freelance digital services agency “ArrowUpz”. We are a talented team of skilled professionals who work together to deliver outstanding results for our clients.
My entrepreneurial journey began by offering freelance graphic design services on various online platforms. As I took on more projects, I realized I needed to expand my skillset beyond just design work to properly serve clients.
Between 2019 to 2022, I spent time strengthening skills like web development, digital marketing, SEO optimization, and video production. This diverse expertise enabled me to provide a wider range of offerings and oversee projects smoothly. I lead a team of talented digital professionals committed to bringing our clients’ visions to life.
Rather than a platform connecting clients to remote freelance talent, we operate as a cohesive unit handling projects end-to-end. Our team includes experts across disciplines like graphic design, web development, digital marketing, SEO optimization, video production, and more.
We serve clients predominantly based in the US, UK, Australia, and Europe who need experienced freelance partners to execute a wide range of digital projects.
What makes ArrowUpz unique is our meticulous, hands-on approach to every project, large or small. I personally oversee each task to ensure seamless execution that meets our high standards. My journey equips me to understand the freelance experience and enable my team to achieve great results for our clients.
2. How did you prepare for, and go about your launch?
The launch of ArrowUpz was an immense success, owing to the strong client relationships I had built during my years as a freelancer. I felt confident that referrals from satisfied customers would enable the business to grow quickly in the initial months.
Leading up to launch day, I had nurtured a client base of over 100 customers from various freelancing platforms, including many long-term clients. I personally reached out to inform them of ArrowUpz’s expanded service offerings and benefits. Because these clients already trusted me, they eagerly agreed to work with my new company. This allowed us to onboard existing customers from day one.
Clients also appreciated our one-stop-shop approach. Rather than coordinating with multiple freelancers, they can now get all their needed digital services expertly fulfilled under the ArrowUpz umbrella.
As CEO, I work diligently to ensure a steady pipeline of new business. We run targeted ads on platforms like Facebook and Google to reach prospective clients.
I bootstrapped ArrowUpz entirely through my own savings from years of freelance income. Making it a habit to reinvest earnings into growth has been crucial. This self-funded, entrepreneurial mindset empowers me to scale the business on my own terms.
Within months, our top-notch service and focus on relationships enabled ArrowUpz to thrive through referrals and repeat customers. I’m proud of the success we’ve achieved in a short time solely by delivering value, not outside funding.
3. Since launching, what types of marketing campaigns and designs have worked best to attract and retain customers?
When first launching ArrowUpz, I knew establishing trust and social proof would be critical. To overcome this, I proactively reached out to previous freelance clients to request referrals and feedback. Since they were already familiar with my work, many happily obliged. Their endorsements and recommendations enabled me to quickly close initial deals and validate my services.
Over time, these referrals allowed me to accumulate a strong portfolio of customer testimonials. With this social proof, I felt equipped to begin investing in paid ads on platforms like Google and Facebook. These ads now drive around 30% of our new customers.
Additionally, roughly 60% of clients still come from various freelance sites where I continue building my profile. I strive to maintain around 50% of these relationships on the platform itself to keep garnering positive reviews. The other 50% I aim to transition to direct, long-term partnerships.
Beyond paid and platform-driven lead sources, around 10% of our customers organically discover ArrowUpz through our website, blog, YouTube, and other owned media channels. To boost organic traffic, we consistently publish high-quality, relevant content. I also make sure to capture visitor emails through opt-in offers. This allows me to nurture relationships through valuable content that often leads to sales.
When it comes to customer loyalty, approximately 54% of our revenue comes from repeat business compared to new accounts. To encourage retention and loyalty, we make it a priority to upsell and cross-sell relevant services. If a client needs a logo, we’ll also recommend complementary offerings like business cards, website design, etc.
Our most successful retention strategy has been introducing a subscription model for ongoing services like ads management, content creation, customer support, and more. By becoming a dependable partner that handles critical monthly needs, we foster enduring, mutually beneficial relationships.
In summary, our success has been driven by leveraging referrals, thoughtfully allocating ad spend, building organic channels, and providing recurring value to convert customers into loyal, long-term clients.
4. What have been the most influential brands for your business? Whose branding and marketing do you aspire to and why?
Our client recently discovered a company that utilizes top-notch SEO services. I couldn’t resist checking out their website and was immediately blown away by their stunning branding and user-friendly layout. To top it off, they even showcase customer reviews right on their site, boosting their credibility and winning over new visitors in no time.
Inspired by their success, we also prioritize customer feedback and reviews, reaching out to every client after completing our work. And it’s paid off – we now have an impressive 250+ positive reviews on various platforms, propelling our business to new heights.
5. What are your favorite marketing platforms/tools?
Facebook & Google – are the primary platforms we rely on for advertising and reaching new customers at ArrowUpz.
Adobe Creative Cloud – For professional photo and video editing, motion graphics, and designing projects, Adobe CC apps like Photoshop are essential.
WordPress for website.
Hostinger (for hosting) and Namecheap (for domain).
Convertkit for email marketing.
Loom for recording videos.
Skype and Zoom for messaging and calls.
6. Looking ahead, what are you most excited about?
Looking ahead, I am most excited by the tremendous growth potential I see for ArrowUpz.
I’m eager to continue expanding our talented team to bring even more skills and perspectives on board. Strengthening our capabilities across all digital disciplines will open up new opportunities to better serve clients.
I’m also thrilled to keep enhancing our suite of services. There are infinite possibilities for combining our experts’ passions and innovations to develop new offerings. Delivering more holistic solutions will provide greater value to our customers.
Most of all, I’m excited to make an even bigger positive impact. As we grow, we can help more individuals and businesses achieve their goals through our work. Making a meaningful difference in more lives is my ultimate motivation.
The chance to foster connections and growth within our team, spark creativity through new initiatives, and expand our reach is what gets me out of bed each day. I cannot wait to see how our culture and community evolves.
ArrowUpz is still just getting started on its mission. The chance to watch our company and clients thrive in parallel drives me. I could not be more energized by what the future holds.
7. Who or what inspires and motivates you?
I’m inspired by entrepreneurs like Ali Abdaal and Dan Lok who have built successful businesses through perseverance, generosity, and a commitment to continual learning.
Ali Abdaal demonstrates that with focus and discipline, you can achieve great things even with limited time. His thoughtful approach to optimizing productivity and well-being motivates me to bring more intentionality to how I spend my days.
Dan Lok’s rags-to-riches journey starting from nothing and overcoming obstacles through hard work and learning is so motivating. His transparent storytelling encourages me to keep leveling up my skills and knowledge.
Beyond them, I find inspiration in seeing people use business as a force for good. Social enterprises that uplift their communities give me hope and reenergize my purpose. I’m also motivated by the boundless potential of technology to create new possibilities.
But most of all, my team and clients motivate me daily. Seeing my team members grow motivates me to nurture talent. And client success stories reinforce why I do this work. I feel privileged to collaborate with inspiring people translating imagination into reality.
There is no shortage of motivation when you surround yourself with supportive communities. I try to absorb lessons from many sources while staying grounded in the day-to-day work of serving others. This continual inspiration provides the fuel to keep pushing myself and ArrowUpz forward.
8. What are some lessons you’ve learned along the way that you would share with entrepreneurs hoping to launch or who have just launched?
One of the biggest mistakes aspiring entrepreneurs make is never taking the leap due to fear of failure. But in reality, failure is a necessary part of the journey. As Thomas Edison once wisely said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
At ArrowUpz, we firmly believe the only true failure is not trying at all. When you pour your passion into a well-planned business, even if it doesn’t succeed, you will walk away wiser. Each setback provides an invaluable lesson to inform your next venture.
My advice to those hoping to launch a company is to not overthink it. No strategy is foolproof, but a thoughtful approach will put the odds for success in your favor. As long as you remain flexible, embrace lessons from failures, and persist, you will eventually find what works.
For those who have recently launched, avoid getting discouraged by early stumbles. Challenges are inevitable but success comes to those who adapt. Review setbacks objectively to extract key takeaways. Stay laser-focused on delivering value for your customers above all else.
At the end of the day, the only way to know if your idea will work is to put it out there. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Have the courage to take your shot and turn failures into guideposts that inch you closer to your goals. The rewards of entrepreneurship come to those take action.
9. What do you believe are the qualities of a good entrepreneur? And what makes a team successful?
Good entrepreneurs are:
- Persistent – They don’t give up easily when facing challenges.
- Creative – They come up with new ideas and solutions.
- Good communicators – They can clearly explain their ideas and lead teams.
- Customer-focused – They build things that customers need.
- Resilient – They bounce back from problems stronger than before.
Successful teams have:
- Different skills – Team members are good at different things so they complement each other.
- Shared vision and values – The team agrees on the big-picture goals and how to interact.
- Accountability – Team members take responsibility for excellent work.
- Trust – Team members are comfortable being open and vulnerable.
- Communication – Ideas are shared clearly among the team.
- Collaboration – The team works together efficiently.
- Passion – Each person cares about the team’s shared mission.
The best entrepreneurs lead by example. They are honest, fair and inspire their teams. When a passionate, unified team works together, they can achieve big goals.