Hear from the Angie behind Angi – the home services powerhouse formerly known as Angie’s List. Imagine being a shy recent college grad and launching a service business — by knocking on doors…. Now imagine evolving it into an international corporation. Angie Hicks describes this remarkable entrepreneurial story – and why she is encouraging others on their own business path – in the skilled trades. Oh, and why she would never encourage anyone to try to hang wallpaper with their spouse!

Marketers will appreciate this informative conversation around Angie’s 25+ year story of brand building, innovative growth strategies, and how tenacity can make all the difference in scaling a startup into an industry leader. 

It’s fun to hear how Angie applied scrappy early stage local marketing tactics —  and the difference it made when she placed her first major media with an NPR sponsorship that helped explode the brand’s early visibility!

Everybody said that little ad wasn’t going to work, but you know what? It worked. And the phone started ringing, and we started selling memberships. And within the year, a thousand homeowners had joined in Columbus. Maybe I was a fearless marketer that I was willing to try anything.

Gotta love audio. It’s part of why Angie is now hosting her own podcast, “Trade Up with Angi,” which I’m proud to have produced through Moss Appeal, with Steve Lack as expert editor.

Trade Up Key Art - Epi 1
Trade Up with Angi Podcast art – Epi 1

Why? The Angi goal was, and is, to help homeowners get home projects done well. 

But it’s also to help home service professionals grow their business, and podcast lets Angie, now Chief Customer Officer, continue her customer conversations and spotlight some inspiring pros who speak to how rewarding – and  well-paid  — the trades can be. 

We talk a lot about being entrepreneurs, but we don’t talk enough about the local plumber being an entrepreneur, which they absolutely are.

From Angi’s corporate milestones – including the rebrand in 2021 – we truly get the insider’s scoop on leadership philosophies to brand evolution, nurturing connections, and the power of grit, ingenuity and keeping people at the core of your business. But it’s clear her warmth and approachability are hand carved into Angi’s community-focused culture.  I loved hearing Angie’s personal musings on a growth mindset, purpose-driven leadership, the value of building relationships, and just when she realized she needed to build a relationship with an expert for her own home projects!  

People in the trades really like what they do and I think that’s something we should be talking about more, especially with GenZ: it’s really important for them that they find real value and satisfaction in their career, and I think the trades can be a great option. And, I do not think AI is gonna take over the trades any time soon. — Angie Hicks


0:00 – Angie’s Origin Story: From Door-to-Door in Ohio to IPO

3:45 – Early Marketing Wins: Newspapers, Trade Shows and NPR

08:54 – Launching ‘Trade Up With Angi’ Podcast (with Moss Appeal!)

9:04 – Making it Personal: Staying Connected Through Team & Customer Relationships

11:36 – Angie’s Own Evolution: From Co-Founder to Chief Customer Officer

13:57 – Strategic Rebrand: Unveiling Angi and Expanded Service Offerings

20:47 – The Value of Considering the Skilled Trades, Being a Part of the Community and Leading with Purpose