Interview With The Founder Of Icon Finder Martin LeBlanc Eigtved
An interview with Martin Leblanc the creative genius behind Icon Finder, An amazing interview where Martins shares why he set up icon finder, future plans for the site and his marketing strategy for promoting Icon Finder. Leave your thoughts within a comment about what you think of the interview and also Icon Finder.
:My name is Martin LeBlanc Eigtved and I’m 27 years old. I’m an web designer and developer and the founder of Iconfinder which I have designed and developed. I also work as a consultant at Glassbox (http://www.glassbox.dk) which I co-founded last year. My job at Glassbox is in optimizing websites to increase sales – often based on analysis of web statistics such as Google Analytics and ClickTale. Our clients are web shops or other companies who get a large part of their revenue directly from the Internet.
Besides that, I am currently studying computer science and business administration on my last year at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. Before that I finished a two year design education in 2004. I currently live in Copenhagen with my lovely wife (we married in September).
:The motivation came from a personal need. In 2004-2005 I was working as a full-time web designer, where we used KDE for Linux (I had an extra computer for Windows and Photoshop though). When you use KDE you have all the icons for folder, files etc. on your hard drive in PNG-format. All the files where named e.g. user.png so I started using the OS search functionality to find the icons on the hard drive if I needed an icon in a web design or as inspiration for icon design.
Frustrated of the performance of searching with the OS search, I decided to built a database and have the icons indexed, so the searching would be easier and faster. I made a simple web interface and at the end of 2006 I bought the domain, Iconfinder.net, and started working on the public website.
It was launched in 2007 and got on the front page of Digg and on Lifehacker and Smashing magazine. So it really got a good start. I was lucky to launch the first icon search engine, so it got a lot of attention, that you wouldn’t get today.
My favorite is Smashing Magazine, although there’re a many great design blogs out there.
4. What’s your marketing strategy to help build Up Icon Finders awareness across the Design Community?
‘: Definitely word-of-mouth. I believe if you make a remarkable product and you can deliver the best service around, the word will spread. Of course you can help spreading the word, which I do by using Twitter, when new icons are added.
In May 2009 Iconfinder got it’s new robot mascot as a logo, which also helps people remember and relate to the site. The logo was created by the incredibly talented Turbomilk (http://www.turbomilk.com).
I also work with link-bait. E.g. when Iconfinder reached 100,000 icons, I made a special page with all of the icon sets, shown on a single page (http://www.iconfinder.net/ultimate). Compared to banner ads, this can be really a very cost-efficient way to get traffic. That page alone has been visited 50,000 times.
SEO is also important, especially for targeting new users and the segment outside the design community, who don’t know the site. People who just want to style their desktop often comes from search engines.
I have bought some banner advertisement through BuySellAds, and will buy more in the future. They offer an excellent service.
:The plans for Iconfinder is, of course, to grow, not only in the number of Icons, but also in the numbers of users. One way is to create translated versions of the site in Spanish, French and Chinese. That would help increase the number of users in the non-english speaking countries. Revenue-wise, selling icons is a natural next step for Iconfinder.
Iconfinder will also be sponsoring the Annual Design Awards in 2010 (http://www.annualdesignawards.com/), which I’m pretty excited about. You will probably hear more about this event soon.
:At the moment I’m also working on a mobile application for Android called Gigbox (http://www.mygigbox.com) which is not related to Iconfinder. Together with two computer science students from University of Copenhagen, we built the application for the Google Android Developer Challenge II. Right now it’s the 350 most downloaded app of 10,000 and we just launched it last month.
:Including search refinements there are about 6,3 million searches per month. It’s increasing with about 10% every month at the moment.
About 50% are from direct traffic from – probably from because of bookmarks. 25% are from search engines and 25% from referring sites where Stumbleupon tops the list.
This Or That
: Batman (because of the last movie)
:Photoshop (I don’t have Illustrator installed at the moment)
:Vectors (I never really use brushes)