Kris Bartels | How Snapchat Killed my Business
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How Snapchat Killed my Business

How did Snapchat kill your business, Kris?  Great question!  Let me tell you! (And no, I am not being interviewed)

The best way to tell you the story is to break it up into three main parts…

  1. The Idea

  2. The Execution

  3. The Downfall

The Idea

About a year ago, I was watching some Gary V on youtube and I heard him say something about Snapchat.  He was on one of his rants about hustling and identifying where there were opportunities and Snapchat just happened to be one of them.  At the time, Snapchat was the only social media platform that had Geofilters.  If you are not sure what a Geofilter is, it is a filter that is activated by your geolocation.  So, I heard Gary mention how a person or company should start designing these Geofilters for people to purchase.  BAM!  “Great idea Gary!”  So from that moment, that idea lit a fire in my belly and I pursued it that same night.

The Execution

The execution happened to be a little easier than anticipated.  Since I have a lot of experience with building out WordPress websites, I decided to stick with what I know and work with someone on the design of the website, as well as the filters.  I reached out to a good friend of mine, Ryan Black, to work on a site layout as well as bring him on as the “Lead Design King”.  This was the mockup for the site.

Once the mockup was complete, we decided to search for some domain names.  We tried to get domain names as close to what we were offering to make it SEO friendly.  We had four main domain names that we thought about.


The final choice was obvious because the others just weren’t available or didn’t work with the concept we were going with.  From there, we purchased a domain from, then transferred it over to ipage for hosting.  I then setup a WordPress theme and customized it according to the mockup.  This step was easy.

From here, we had to actually get some clients.  We setup a Google Adwords campaign to help us out, and it did.  We had between 5 and 10 people a day inquiring about our services.  The process for us to fulfill orders was pretty simple.  We had a questionnaire set for inquiries, as well as having them submit their phone number for a better line of communication.  Once the client had an idea, Ryan would present a concept and depend on the feedback, I would either submit the design to Snapchat or Ryan would make a revision.

Things were great.  Then everyone and their mother decided to do the same thing us as.  The excitement faded and due to the market being saturated, we didn’t get much business.

The Downfall

The first part of our downfall was Instagrams introduction of their version of stories.  That took a ton of people from Snapchat and provided another app for people to make daily stories.

The second problem was the fact that Snapchat provided templates for people to make their own filters.  This essentially cut the middle man, which was us.

The third problem, as of late, and the nail in the coffin, was Snapchats ability to let users make filters in the app and upload from there.  What the hell!  Such a great idea for Snapchat.  They keep all the money in-house and the little guys, Ryan and I, end up getting pushed out!


I learned a lot about business.  The biggest takeaway for me is the next time I have an idea, strike when the iron is hot.  I would have and should have spent more money on advertising and make a few changes to the site.  One idea would have been to incorporate a section where people could download digital copies of filters, without communicating with us.  I will save that for our next venture.

In the meantime, if you have questions on how to start a website or the steps to building it out, feel free to email me.  If this article was informative or entertaining, please share with someone!