Discover how this entrepreneur’s passion turned into a social media platform for car enthusiasts.
On any given weekend, car enthusiasts across the globe gather at local car shows to glimpse exotic or rare vehicles. In the state of California alone during the month of June automobile lovers could visit any one of seventy or more car shows.
A younger generation of automobile enthusiasts, however, is more likely to gather around a computer to explore interesting cars or share photos of their vehicles. But finding a social media platform built just for them is easier said than done.
Sharing Your Car Family Tree
Nik Mirchev is just one example of an automobile enthusiast who wanted a better way to show off his collection of vehicles.
Mirchev, a self-taught designer, is a big fan of Instagram and Facebook. In the past, he was content with posting photos of his cars on those platforms, stitching pictures together with Photoshop so he could share collages.
One day he was about to make a Photoshop collage of what he calls his “car family tree” or all the cars he’s ever owned (and there are a lot of them). He started thinking, though, that not all automobile enthusiasts know how to use Photoshop, so creating a collage of vehicle photos would be difficult for them.
“I wanted to post all of my cars that I own,” Mirchev said, “not only what I have currently, but I wanted to stitch pictures together of my first car and so on.” He continued, “I’m a self-taught designer, so for me it’s easy to do that on Photoshop or different apps. But how cool would it be if there was a platform for car people to build a profile of their cars.”
Too Much Noise
Another problem Mirchev has run into as a car guy is that other social media platforms are full of noise. While he follows mostly automobile accounts on Instagram, his newsfeed is still full of pets and family vacations and what his friends are eating for lunch.
He wanted a dedicated social media network for vehicles. That way, if he didn’t want to see cat photos intermixed with automobiles, he didn’t have to.
Mirchev found a few other social media sites centered around vehicles, but they lacked some of the features he wanted. His ideal car social network would allow automobile enthusiasts to build profiles around their vehicle ownership. They would be able to post photo galleries of every automobile they had ever owned past and present, as well as share photos of dream cars and the vehicle they planned to buy next.
Building With Gigster
Since Mirchev had yet to find a social media site that fit his vision, he decided to build it himself. After learning about Gigster on Product Hunt, he partnered with them to build Kar Page, his social media site for cars.
Kar Page is a platform for automobile enthusiasts to share their vehicles and their passion with other car lovers globally. When a user signs up, they’re prompted to create a short bio and then upload photos of current and past vehicles. Users can explore other cars by searching for make or model. They can also view profiles of owners to see what kind of automobiles others have owned in the past.
Mirchev asked his Gigster team to build him both a website and a mobile app. Because Mirchev prefers to view social media sites on his desktop, he had the website built first and then followed up with the app. The website is similar to Facebook’s look and feel, he says, while the app is more akin to Instagram.
Not Just For Car People
Kar Page isn’t just for extreme car enthusiasts, however. Mirchev sees the platform as a place for everyone to share images of their vehicles and as a place to gain inspiration.
“I’m a big Lakers fan,” Mirchev said. “I would love to have Kobe Bryant on Kar Page to see what kind of first car he had. I mean everybody knows he has a Ferrari and Rolls Royce right now, but I would like to know what kind of car he had when he was 16 or 17.”
For example, Mirchev feels that if users could see that their favorite celebrity owned a Honda Civic as their first car but now they own a Ferrari, users would know that it is possible to gradually work toward a better vehicle.
How A Passion Became A Business
Kar Page has grown to several thousand users in just six months with little to no marketing. Mirchev attributes Kar Page’s success to a few things:
- Making it a full-time gig. Mirchev has devoted himself full-time to Kar Page. Instead of trying to balance another job and moonlight as an entrepreneur, he is focusing solely on this project.
- Build for yourself. Mirchev says he built Kar Page for himself. He saw an open space in the marketplace for a product he wanted, and he built it.
- Prove the product first. Mirchev has yet to raise venture capital for Kar Page. He wants to prove that his product is successful before he uses outside funds.
- Engage with potential users personally. All Kar Page users signed up because Mirchev reached out to them personally over Instagram. Instead of purchasing ads on Google or other sites, Mirchev messaged automobile enthusiasts to tell them about his new car-centered social network. User engagement levels are high because of this personal connection. The one drawback he says is that he can only contact a finite number of potential users.
Start Your Engines
Kar Page launched in December, and Mirchev says its potential is limitless. In addition to the thousands of automobile enthusiasts already on the network, Mirchev sees it as a powerful platform for automotive businesses to connect with potential customers.
Next he plans to hire a team member to help out with marketing. While his personal engagement strategy has been successful in the early days, he believes it’s time to move to the next level.
Could your passion become a business? Talk with a Project Engineer to see how Gigster can help.