28 Year Old Female Entrepreneur Making 100k’s Product Images Better for $2 Each

Holly Cardew

In Episode #270 Nathan interviews Holly Cardew, a member of the Forbes 30 under 30 list and the founder of Pixc – an online image optimization service. Holly dropped out of college to grow an image editing empire that’s making just short of $1 million in revenue each year. Listen as Holly and Nathan talk about Pixc’s bootstrapping ethic, the importance of revenue over investment, and how to get the most from an affiliate program.

Famous 5

  • Favorite Book? – The Lean Startup
  • What CEO do you follow? — Ben Chestnut, though he’s kind of hard to track
  • What is your favorite online tool? — Intercom
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — I wish my parents had told me to go to Silicon Valley. I should have learnt how to code.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:15 – Nathan’s introduction
  • 01:56 – Welcoming Holly to the show
  • 02:03 – Holly took a corporate job in London after university
  • 02:20 – Tried multiple online businesses before Pixc
  • 02:40 – Pixc is an online image optimization service
  • 02:50 – Sells credit image packages
  • 03:05 – Launched a landing page in 2013; started properly in 2014
  • 03:20 – Largely self-funded; raised $150k in capital
  • 03:55 – ‘At the end of the day, you need to have a business – not just capital’
  • 04:15 – 16 team members
  • 04:30 – Revenue in the range of $200k – $1 million per year
  • 05:10 – What are the running costs?
  • 05:20 – Semi-automated process with some human input
  • 05:35 – Currently breaking even and re-investing in the business
  • 05:50 – Holly is 28; she dropped out of college to start her business
  • 06:20 – Working with over 7,000 clients
  • 06:40 – Acquisitions through referrals, integration, content marketing and affiliates
  • 07:10 – Affiliate program is very effective. One article brought in 70+ customers in 3 weeks
  • 09:20 – Affiliates make 20% commission on referrals
  • 10:40 – What’s the competition? Largely freelancers.
  • 11:03 – What’s Pixc’s growth strategy?
  • 11:40 – Planning to expand the affiliate program and build partnerships
  • 11:50 – Thinking about what other services they can offer in this niche
  • 12:20 – Connect with Holly on Linkedin, Twitter and at her blog
  • 14:58 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Focus on revenue, not on investment. You have to know that your idea can make money.
  2. Learn how to code – it’s a basic skill that will pay you back a hundred times over.
  3. If you’re looking at expanding, consider what other services fit in your niche. What else do your customers need that you can provide?

Resources Mentioned:

  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • shafiqul


    Subject : For want jobs in Graphics Design related.

    With due respect, i m shafiq working as a QC in an Outsouring It company for 7 years. i m a expert to processing image, like Clipping, maskin, retouchig, manupolation, neck join, shadow create, and re-design work like vector, logo, banner.
    Finally i m agree to work with your group, If you give me change.
    i will be very happy if you give me change.
    Good-LUCK you all


  • shafiqul

    I want to work with your group.