March 7, 2022

Meet the founder: Trey Chong

Meet the founder: Trey Chong
Trey Chong speaks about buying Instant Logo from a friend, giving back to the Indie Hackers community, SEO strategies, bootstrapping and more.

Hi Trey, give us a quick introduction of yourself!

Hi there! I am Trey, founder of Instant Logo Design! I am currently based in Shanghai, China.


What is Instant Logo Design and why did you want to enter this niche?

Instant logo design is a great way to get initial  logo designs generated by an Ai. There's also an option for startups and small businesses to customize or refine their logos until they reach the result they prefer.

I decided to enter this niche because many businesses out there could use a good logo but don't have the time or money to invest in one.

So, I researched and found that the algorithm behind the logo design was impressive. But since the website is already up and running, I also noticed that aspects weren't very good, including the SEO.

This was my opportunity to get in on the ground floor and make some passive income!


You bought an existing logo maker site from your friend He Ping. What drove your decision to buy and build?

When I first stumbled across Instant Logo Design, I was intrigued. Why had no one thought of this before? It's such a great idea!

I wanted to form my own tech team and develop the product myself. But, then I realized that coding was not something I could do.

So, when He Ping offered to sell his logo maker site to me, I didn't hesitate for a second. I'd been following the product's development and was really impressed by the quality of the logos it produced.

After some discussion, Ping and I agreed that he would get a percentage of revenue from the site to motivate him to continue developing it after the acquisition.

This way, I'd also focus on my niche and what I enjoyed the most on my last venture at Roomz: SEO and marketing.


What were some of the biggest challenges you were facing post acquisition?

Since I don't need to worry about the software itself, I knew that driving traffic would be essential if we wanted to stay afloat. The ranking and traffic were both low now, so I had my work cut out for me.


I started by optimizing on-page SEO and doing some off-page SEO as well. I also tried to keep things light and fun on social media in order to engage our audience.


The first few months were a bit rocky, but we are slowly managing to turn things around with some hard work and a new strategy.

Trey Chong, owner of Instant Logo Design



What were your best-performing strategies to get traction?

As a small business owner, getting our name out there can be challenging. But there are effective strategies that we can pull using On-page and Off-page SEO.


First, we focus on analyzing our competitor’s, hitting high volume long-tail keywords by creating logo categories, and writing valuable content relevant to our target audience.


Another great way we target keywords is by avoiding those with high difficulty ranking, such as "logo maker" and "logo design," even though they have more than a million a month volume.


Why? Because Instant Logo Design has already fluctuated for those keywords, making it hard for us to rank and compete with the websites in the same niche.


But that's not all! Let's not forget about off-page SEO!


We've achieved significant progress by creating valuable content and syndicating it to high-authority sites. This helped us reach new audiences and gain credibility with potential customers.


We also launched our social media pages to post informational ideas about our industry and market and connect with potential customers, partners, and even employees!

Product directory websites like Product Hunt, Betalist, SaaSworthy, and others are also great ways to get links and referral traffic to get exposure and build momentum.


And let's not forget, getting more media reporting is one of the best off-page SEO activities we can do - just like this interview.


You post regular updates on Indie Hackers about your business. What is your strategy behind building in public?

When I first started my business, I was really hesitant to share any information online. I was worried that people would steal my ideas or look like an idiot if my business failed.

But after reading about so many other businesses on Indie Hackers, I changed my mind. I've been following many companies here, and I'm really inspired by their stories - both success and failures!

I realized how important it is to be transparent about my progress and strategy, especially when starting out. Now, I post regular updates about my business on Indie Hackers.

And even though we're still in the early stages, it's been beneficial to get great advice and feedback from the community.

At the same time, I'm always willing to help out other entrepreneurs, so I'm happy to answer any questions people have about my business or topics that I'm interested in.


You recently reached “ramen profitability”. Congrats! What was the hardest issue to solve to get there?

It can be tough to make a business profitable. But when we hit that "ramen profitability" mark, it's a real accomplishment!


And while it may seem like the most challenging part is behind us, keeping our business profitable can be a real challenge. Right now, I only have one freelancer to help me with this marketing approach and need a few more people to grow our small team.


Although hiring a new team can be expensive and demanding, I believe getting an SEO Specialist, Content Marketing Manager, Customer Service, and Growth Hacker will complete our team and help us grow further.


Are you considering raising capital to grow Instant Logo Design or do you plan to continue bootstrapping it?

When I started my audiovisual integration company in Shanghai, I knew that I wanted to create a great team culture. But with 30 staff, it can be hard to manage everything and keep everyone happy.


That's why I was hoping that Instant Logo Design would be built by a small and talented team consisting of 5 people who will work hand-in-hand to achieve success.


This would make it easier for me to keep track of everything and ensure that everyone is happy and productive.


Where do you see the business in 2 years time?

It's hard to say for sure, but I think we'll be doing very well.

When I imagine the future of my business, I see us thriving and growing. The number of people searching for logo design is constantly on the rise. We're one of the only providers that can offer a genuinely instant solution.

But there's still a big room to grow from our online presence, credibility, and revenue.

In the next two years, our targeting revenue is at least 30k/month with a team of 5. We'll provide an even better experience for our customers thanks to our expanded team and new technology.


Do you already have an exit strategy planned? If so, are you looking for a full acquisition or a partial buyout?

It's always essential to have a backup plan. 

This backup plan should be an exit strategy for online businesses since we'll never know when things will take a turn for the worse. So, it's best to be prepared.

For me, this means having a solid revenue stream from my website that would act as my pension down the line. I was confident in my and my team's ability to bring in traffic and convert it into sales.