Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Akhimien, the creator of OneTopic.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Mark. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Onetopicnow.com was the first of many ideas I jotted down in a notebook during my sophomore year of college. I came up with the idea for OneTopic in 2016 while I was going out at night with some friends. We thought it would be really cool if you could get a girl’s number and Instagram at the same time after you meet them. Inspired by Snapcodes, I began looking into QR codes as a viable solution to the big data problem. At the time, the average person (be it for business or personal) would actively use a phone number, 4 email accounts, at least 3-9 social networks, and use 5-7 streaming services for videos, movies, and music. I thought giving users the choice to show what they want people to find without being restricted to one source would be valuable because we all know that our online identities have an impact on the real world today.
I realized the true benefit of my idea when I started working in sales and noticed how tedious following up can be when salesmen/recruiters collect or share paper business cards. 90% of people you give a business card, resume, brochure, or flier will never follow up with you, and having to manually enter a collection of people into a contact list was time-consuming. The worst part is the memory of your first impression will fade quickly. By the time I’d finish putting my lists together for an email blast, prospects would already forget who I was, what we spoke about, and my warm leads would turn cold. With OneTopic, everything would be mobile but would still be accessible on the web. Follow up would happen instantaneous upon initial contact, and our users could make a great first impression by differentiating themselves at networking events by using our personalized RED icon as an eco-friendly, instantly-accessible, online business card.
In the summer of 2018, I got funded by the ACC division of the NCAA to work on OneTopic. I argued there is no point in having a paper business card if everything is directly accessible online or on mobile. That same year, I won the University of Miami Business Plan Pitch Competition and began exploring options to develop the product. When I graduated from college, I put up a video announcing that I left my job at AIG to build OneTopic and launched the initial beta in October.
Over 65 people shared our posts and within hours things took off from there. By the end of the first month, OneTopic amassed viewers in 300 cities across the globe. Today the number of cities is now over 1200 in 81 countries and almost all of our viewers come from Google searches, Instagram, Linkedin, and sharing peer-to-peer. OneTopic has since grown beyond it’s initial purpose as an online business card and has become a popular resource for people to control their online brand presence across multiple platforms simultaneously.
We’ve even started to see a growing community of Instagram influencers that have between 20K – 70K followers posting their OneTopic link on their Instagram bios. One of the most popular people on OneTopic has over 200K followers and uses their OneTopic link on Instagram, but majority of our users grow from 1K to 5K followers.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Our site crashed after the first day of the launch. I was panicking back when it happened, but now I guess that it was a good thing in its own way. I was always told that if things don’t break and need adjusting at some point during the process that just means people aren’t using it enough. Other than the occasional technical difficulty, things have been going well. Our viewership went international almost immediately, so building features like WhatsApp integration for international phone numbers have been exciting. We also have gotten tons of support from places like the University of Miami, WeWork, and Venture Cafe but it honestly all started by reaching out to people one person at a time.
We’re now approaching 10,000 active viewers, so we’re preparing for some major developments and looking to scale. On March 29th, we are releasing OneTopic V.2 which will have a ton of new features such as instant follow up and contact exchange, plus we’re gearing up a pilot for the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding process. We also will have paid-for add ons for artists, entrepreneurs, and realtors in the V.2 release. Those features will be free for a year for anyone who signs up on the first day.
Please tell us about OneTopic.
OneTopic is a tool that lets artists and entrepreneurs control what people see when they Google search you. By posting your OneTopic link on your Instagram bio and using our peer-to-peer camera sharing icon, users dramatically increase views, followers, and follow up leads to all their content across the web. Your OneTopic page, as well as the links on it, will then rank higher on Google so that whenever people look you up they will see more of the information that you want them to see instead of seeing distractions, like unrelated links or competitors. Anyone who follows up with you on OneTopic will get a reminder to contact you
OneTopic is a lot like having a personal Wikipedia page. We are the only website where the links and content you add to your page will increase your exposure through Google, Instagram, and Twitter when people look you up. It is an easy, powerful way for you to personally control what people find out about you online before paying over $1000/month on SEO. More and more people who are focused on sales, personal branding, and online media are trusting us as a resource to distribute constant, verifiable information to prospects, customers, employers, and fans alike.
What were you like growing up?
I’ve been told that I’m a stoic person, but I’ve never had any trouble making friends. I grew up in the Bronx right around Yankee Stadium. I’m a huge fan of 50 Cent, Tupac, Alicia Keys, Kobe Bryant, and Kanye West. I love Chinese takeout, making art, basketball, and girls. I love cracking jokes and I hate pineapples on pizza.
My experience in high school and college have had a profound impact on my worldview. Growing up in New York shaped my perspective in many ways. When I was in college I was a 3-time award winning business student at the University of Miami. Since the launch, a lot of people in both Miami and New York have started calling me the “New Mark Zuckerberg”, which is pretty cool.
- Free Version
– View example: User Page
- Advertising: starting at $200
- Online Content Distribution: starting at $250
- Online Product Distribution: starting at $500
- OneTopic Pro Add-ons $5/month (or) $50 flat fee each
– View example: Premium Artist Page
- OneTopic Pro Add-ons $5/month (or) $50 flat fee each
- Download contact directly into phone’s contact list
- Personal website + customized header and QR icon
- Private pages
- Event pages
- Lead Generation Package: $10/month
- Follow up contact list
- Email list campaigns
- Facebook pixel integration
- Website: onetopicnow.com
- Contact Info: onetopicnow.com/user/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @onetopicnow
- Facebook: https://www.