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77 Comments

Customer acquisition when broke...

When starting the project eight months ago I did not think that the hardest part of the starting a business would be the customer acquisition. I thought it would be technical challenges, design of the app, testing, etc... imagining that once launched the customers would pour in. Boy was I wrong!

So, the app ( https://cogency.io ) is launched! Now what? How do you let the world know that you had created a .. in your mind.. "kick-ass" service? Here are the attempts

  1. Google Ads - Failed w/ a few signups but none converted into paying customers

  2. Mass mail - Sent approx. 100K emails that unfortunately b/c of the shady email service we used ( not mentioning their name not to give them more publicity ) that prob was already blacklisted...so from 100K, 30+K bounced and the other 60+K emails most likely ended in peoples' spam folders and thus were never opened. I am deducing this from the fact that I received ZERO signups.

  3. Tried email some business folks directly ( as a personal email ) asking them to check out my app and possible give some feedback ( preferably critical ) ... nothing either.

  4. Started posting on twitter, but I just try to be positive about what I post. I did come across some successful strategies where the folks just keep "bitching" about how hard it is with their startups .. but I do not want pity.. I think I have a good enough product that would benefit a lot of people!

So, the question is.. how do you get the world to get to know you w/out sinking huge amounts of cash into advertising?

Seems like a herculean task!

  1. 11

    The fact you have had no responses to 4 different strategies perhaps indicates it's a product positioning problem which you have, as presumably each one gave you some traffic.

    Your landing page weighs very heavily on the technical features you offer, but not actually what I could use those features for. How does Cogency replace Slack or face-to-face meetings? What benefits or real world problems does it solve?

    Can you reach out to anyone who visited your website and didn't become paid? Have you spoken to those who signed up via your Google ad, for example, to find out what they did/didn't get from your application?

    I'd start by making a list of just 10 companies who you think would benefit from the product, explain to them how you can help their business and then politely invite them to a call – incentivising them (with gift cards) where necessary to do so. You'll get much more from those calls, or by speaking to the list you have originally, than throwing even small amounts of money at advertising.

    At this early stage getting to 10 customers is a priority and is best done on a very manual, almost hand-holding, basis. Once you feel like your product positioning is nailed, and have those 10 customers you can scale with some of the other efforts mentioned below.

    1. 1

      @td_evans Yes it seems to be the case that unless a bunch of known companies already signed up .. there is a need to create demos and manually walk the interested users through the app to highlight the features

  2. 6

    We used to do a lot of testing and optimising of websites for conversions, one thing we noticed really fast was it doesn't matter how good your website looks if it loads slowly or is unusable in some way, this is the ultimate breaker of trust, destroyer of quality and way to annoy people into not wanting what you're offering. This is too the point where ugly looking landing pages will out perform really polished glossy ones if they load slowly or one thing is broken on them.

    So with that said, I noticed a couple things on your website definitely worth fixing:

    iOS:
    Takes 11 seconds to load (fast internet, everything else loads basically immediately from London UK)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMqBn7cNFnk

    Scroll blocked
    https://youtu.be/mrIwARGO8qQ

    You get an F on GTmetrix and it took lighthouse so long to run the test I gave up waiting.

    https://gtmetrix.com/reports/cogency.io/qr6zT4G8/

    A good free first step to fixing this is to optimise the images on your site then work through all the big stuff and see what you can cut down in size.

    Then look at hosting, CDN etc.

    1. 2

      @Riseagainst Thank you for pointing that out. I am working on optimizing the landing page as we speak. I will have something ready in the next few hours. =)

      1. 1

        Awesome, I'm sure it will help.

        1. 2

          @Riseagainst I took a stab at optimizing the landing page today... reduced the size from 23MB down to 8MB. Going to look at not loading unnecessary JS next. Thanks!

          1. 2

            287.5% improvement already 👍 I’d be happy to look once you’re done and see if I spot any opportunities to go further

            1. 2

              @Riseagainst Alright, the site is optimized! Give it a try =)

              1. 1

                It's a big improvement! From 18.5 seconds to sub 4 seconds...

                Your main problems now are:
                https://www.cogency.io/inc/scache_js.js

                https://www.cogency.io/shared/images/marketing/video/boards-take6.webm

                (I would consider shortening this video, to just show one important feature / bring movement to page.)

                New gtmetrix:
                https://gtmetrix.com/reports/cogency.io/Em1o6OaE/

  3. 4

    Hello Linda.

    First of all, congratulations on the launch of your startup, a notable milestone.

    Ok, so I read what you said, and the other comments. I will be responding to your questions as well as commenting on what other said in my post. I have made some assumptions, I could be wrong, apologies if I am.

    None of your tactics worked, and they are tactics, not strategies. The tactics do have to share some of the blame, but there are multiple things to blame. To lay the blame on any one thing would be grossly inaccurate.

    Incentivising churners with gift-cards is a no. Why? Their focus is the gift-card, and they will say what they need to attain the gift-card. That is of no use to you.

    I see a number of responders stating you need to go after 10 users. The low number to attain is true, but try 1 first. Focus on getting one user.

    B2B partnerships: difficult to implement, have to conform to all manner of stipulations, now is not the time to have your hands tied by an outsider who has no real right to stifle you in anyway.

    Make more landing pages, to target different Ideal Client Profiles (ICP)? Waste of time. You can't get one ICP, what's the point of targeting more?

    Build your own community. Do you know how difficult and time-consuming that is to do? Now is not the time to build a community. Focus on what you absolutely need to figure out. Is there demand for your product by your core ICP.

    From what I can tell, the information you have received is, for the most part, more tactics to try. There were some responses about engaging in communities, relevant communities, they are on the right lines. Same with positioning, and competitors. Anyway, enough about what others said, although I applaud the stance they have of attempting to help others. Onto you...

    "The thing with google ads is that our campaign ran on a $30/day budget meaning we only got a very small amount of exposures. However, from those few the signup rate ended up being about 6% ( for the free plan ). Further details revealed that most of the folks who signed up were college kids... so in other words wrong demographic. We are thinking of restarting the campaign again but need a better mechanism to target the right kind of audience.... that is tough to do :("

    Question/comments pertaining to your quoted comment:

    1. $30 a day. Let's call it $900 a month. You need around $2000 - $3000 a month, for a few months for the machine to learn properly. Obviously I don't know the keywords, locations, schedule, bidding strategy, etc, but you are right in that you did have a small amount of exposure, both in impressions, and top of page share. Yet you still got a 6% conversion rate for the free plan. That's not bad at all. However as they were the not the desired target, so what was the conversion rate for the desired target?

    2. Why were the sign-ups, the college kids, the wrong demographic? Because they are not businesses, because they have no money, why were they the wrong demographic? Was it explored if this segment was willing to pay money, or was it dismissed quite quickly as the wrong segment?

    3. "...better mechanism to target the right kind of audience". If you have not already done so, go to your ad campaign, click on Audiences, click on Edit Audience Segment, make sure Observation is selected, then select most of the audience segments. Don't be too strict on which audiences are cut-out bar the painfully obvious ones like Dating Services, and things like that. Make sure collaboration and conferencing tools are definitely in.

    Even if you do that, you are still going to have issues of targeting the right audience, and that is partly to do with Google Ads, search - buyer intent. Let's say you were targeting keywords with the right buyer intent, so indicative of looking to purchase or try out right now. Is this the right buyer intent for you? Well, it's the closest you will get with G-Ads on this because it is an intent based system. However, take into account the keywords within the market, and the maturity of the market, who are you targeting?

    You are targeting people that in no way shape or form are ready for you. They are not ready for you, and you are certainly not ready for them. There is no intent that helps segregate early adopters from the rest of the market. Therefore you will target the right people way too soon for you, so in actuality, the wrong people. You should only be targeting early adopters. When you do use G-Ads in this scenario, you will get piss-poor conversion rates. That may or may not be acceptable to you. To me, it is not acceptable, and not only for this reason, but for others I will bring up later on.

    Other questions/comments:

    1. Who did you make your startup for? Don't say every business, cos you didn't, and if you did you were wrong at this moment in time to do so. I see the copy "Tools Every Business Needs" which is why I say that. You attempt to feed everyone, you nourish no one. You attempt to appeal to all, you appeal to none. Go into detail for the question for who did you make your startup for. No disrespect intended, but I don't think you have defined your early adopters properly. And that is who you are going after.

    2. Are you after businesses, or are you after people who work together? Yes business members work together, but B2B is difficult. The bigger the business, the more stakeholders are involved in the decision making process.

    3. Take into account your price model. Your sales model will be no-touch self-service. It will be, and has to be due to the amount you charge, in order to keep CAC low, Payback period as short as possible, CAC : CLTV and an appropriate ratio. But you can embrace this model too soon. And in your case you have certainly done so way too soon. Unfortunately I see a lot of founders do this: looking to jump on the automation, and the efficiency, but you do those things when you have acceptable signal to noise ratio. At your stage, you have noise, and any signal, needs to be picked up not by machines, but by your eyes and ears.

    Your competitors have defined various things within the market that have been accepted by the customers and users within the market. That means that not only does your pricing need to be within what is deemed acceptable parameters, but the extrapolation of your pricing in regards to an acquisition model also have to be deemed acceptable. This is a ridiculously complicated and stupid way of me saying your acquisition model should be product-led growth, and that you are not targeting businesses, but rather end-users.

    1. You have many things you need to learn, not saying this in some arrogant pompous way, but merely as a fact that has to be accepted by any new founder. Don't take paths, don't implement tactics that diminish what you learn, that create a gap between you and those you are trying to sell to.

    For this reason, you don't do too much marketing at your stage, and you absolutely do not engage in top-of-the-funnel marketing, where everyman and his dog is. No marketing. Sales. Learn to sell. In person or as close to in person as possible. Selling is an interactive process between personalities, and right now, the personality on your side of the business has to be you. You need to learn how to sell to your early adopters. Once you are able to close some sales, you then put what you said and did onto your website, cos your website should be your fist attempt at some degree of automation, an attempt at removing a bottle-neck, which is the sales-founder.

    Furthermore, what point TOFU stuff when your funnel leaks like it as urinary incontinence?

    What stage of the funnel are early adopters (EA)? They are problem aware, they are solution aware, they are not your product aware. They are mid-funnel. You don't need TOFU when your EA segment is MOFU. Define your early adopters properly, go to them, sell to them, hold their hand, give them the red-carpet, the peeled grapes and the wine, and get them onboarded. What you did to get them through the other stages of the funnel is what you use to then fill out the funnel.

    1. Take into account that your market is established. Major players, seriously funded players, comparable players at your stage, and a stage ahead. Learn from them, what did they do to gain initial traction. Granted times may have changed, and some of what they did may no longer be applicable, some may even be illegal now, but even so, learn from them. There is no need at your stage to devise methods, tactics and strategies that have not been used. There is a time for innovative strategies et al, but is it when you have little money, little resources, little knowledge, no funnel, questionable onboarding, usage - events - actions not tracked properly? Last two I made up, not gone though your onboarding, and obviously don't know what logs you are keeping.

    I know you'll get people saying you don't know until you try, and that it may be some undiscovered channel or method that was used incorrectly, or that the starts were not aligned for those who tried before you. But, at your stage, low hanging fruit, tried and tested with your own little twist if need be.

    1. Competitors, and how you stand in relation to them, coupled with early adopters. Let's start with early adopters. There are two main types, one type is the well-connected niche influencer type, the other isn't. Go after the ones that not. Influencer-types and the numbers they bring can wait. What they share though is a desire for new benefits, greater advantages, sharper edge. Some of them are not fulfilled by current solutions and/or have issues with them. They are complaining in various places, they are vocal in various places. Go to those places. Could be your standard Reddit, FB groups, etc, etc, could be niche-specific, could be their own industry specific, could be competitor forums, etc. An interesting thing to note about EA's is they are willing to pay more than the rest of the market for a new unproven solution that gives them an edge.

    One thing to take into account about the influencer EA's, part of their social credibility, and how they see themselves is based on them being in the know. They may well be here today gone tomorrow. Of course they can be useful due to the numbers they bring, but when you have so much to learn, what point churning so many? Target a small group of EA's, see how they and you do. If acceptable, and you have learned many things, filled funnel, etc, etc, pick more of them, a bigger group of them.

    Competitors in regards to this, and positioning means that you can't get away with blase cliched copy, lacking detail, lacking insight, by the numbers stuff. EA's appreciate detail, appreciate insight, they want to know that you see things like they do, even better if you see more than they do. They will want to look under the hood, so give it to them, fill out your funnel.

    If EA's have a specific recurring set of issues, objections, reservations, etc, with your competitors, then that is where you position yourself. If EA's have specific unmet goals, unmet needs, unmet desires, then that is where you position yourself. If EA's use specific terms, words, phrases, indicative of culture, personality, etc, then you use them to aid in positioning yourself. You plant your flag in part based on them, and in part based on you, but you plant it hard, narrow, and deep.

    By the very act of positioning tightly, you can no longer be for every business, and you certainly can't have an objective of "get the world to get to know you".

    Ok, work to do, thought I would drop into IH seeing as I don't come here often, and comment even less often.

    Cheers, Ace.

    PS. This is just for the record. I know some of the things I said here are very similar to an article I wrote but never published. When I do publish it, I was not self-plagiarizing, but rather self-quoting.

    1. 2

      First time commenting on Indie Hacker. I had to because this is the most useful and comprehensive reply I have ever read. Wow! I am in the process of building my product and your reply contains a lot of gems I will use. Thank you!

      1. 1

        Hello @allenakinkunle, nice one mate, much appreciated. I see your other questions, so permit me to reply in here as well. Sales-book for first-time founders. I don't know many sales-books, in fact I am struggling to think of even one. There are some books which I would recommend though, old ones, will get back to you.

    2. 2

      What an absolutely ridiculous amount of value to be contained in one comment! If you are thinking of writing an article, I assume you have a blog or Twitter etc. I could follow?

      1. 1

        Thanks mate, appreciated. Regarding blog and Twitter. Twitter I don't use, limited time so just squatting. Blog, currently being updated. However I shall follow you as well, so, when it goes live, I will not forget to let you know.

    3. 2

      WOW, this is quite a comment @AceK!! Thank you! If I were hiring someone to promote the product you would be hired on the spot! Anyway, thank you for everything you wrote!

      1. 1

        @lindamiles you're welcome. Good luck.

    4. 1

      What sales books would you recommend for a first-time founder?

  4. 3

    I've been spending $5 a day on Adwords for nearly a year. True I'm not getting a flood of users in from those users but what I am getting is a continual trickle of users that I can learn from to improve my funnel. At first I was paying tons per conversion but I improved the messaging and streamlined the signup flow so now my conversion rates are much nicer. Even once they signup there's retention to worry about and those easy new users are what I use to test new features and learn from. If paid ads aren't working then just increasing the audience might not be the issue. You should try to learn why are they not signing up? Why are they not converting? Why are they leaving so soon and not coming back? Take steps to answer and resolve those questions and things will improve.

  5. 3

    Given you wrote that you sent out 100k spam e-mails (and blame it on your provider), I expected a very low effort product.

    The product actually looks good, though. You just need to challenge your thinking on customer acquisition and stop with shady practices.

    1. 2

      Please do not assume that the 100K emails were spam. They came from another website I had run a few years back, so the emails were legit. The provider unfortunately ( not mailchimp ) was a bit shady and willing to send the email at low cost. The fact that 60+K emails were unopened tells me that they ended up in the spam folder! I would have assumed that sending out a marketing email would at least land in peoples' inbox.

      I was not trying to do anything shady! Sorry you felt that way.

      1. 3

        If 30k emails bounced, that's exactly why the remainder weren't receiving the response expected and you'll have completely killed any domain reputation you would have had.

        You'll need to bin that list (depending on company structure it's questionable whether you even had permission to contact those users in the first place) and begin growing a list again. Send in small volumes and use double opt-in to collect those emails.

      2. 2

        Did you have people's permission to tell them about other products you are about to lunch? Most people use customer data left and right, so I am sorry if everything was clean on your side and I misjudge that.

        Sending 100k at once is very risky business, just because most emails will belong to just a few providers (Google), so they will just see your campaign as spam.

        I would split the emails several ways, and even then send them over few days (not at once). And most critically send them from a clean warm up IP address with all the right email records set.

        1. 1

          @strzibnyj you are making a really good point! The reply email contained the word “newsletter” and perhaps that was one of the reasons for the spam folder 😞

      3. 1

        Did you sent the full 100k at once? Was it an email address you've been using to send emails to that list in any kind of volume?

        Sending any significant quantity of email from a new address or significantly changing send volume (especially with the same email) will trigger spam filters.

        Look up "email warmup" to see some strategies for large volume cold emailing.

  6. 3

    First of all, you've got a decent product. Congratulations on that.

    Briefly went through your app, and what can work best for you is partnerships. Identify your competitors and see if they are offering any connector/plugin in some app ecosystem. B2B outbound sales will always be difficult, try to make the process inbound and focus on making the product perfect. You have to be present at places where your target customer is facing problems.

    Let me know if you need to discuss further. I helped define a similar strategy for a big b2b saas, and it worked for them.

    *you already crossed the biggest hurdle, getting a decent product out. from now onwards, time will play its role. no matter how hard you try, how many resources you put in, it will take patience. so move ahead with the right frame of mind.

    1. 1

      Wow! Thank you for your candid and warm comment! It gives me a lot to think about.

  7. 3

    Note: my apps are for investment research and specific to iOS.
    The following is working for me:
    Advertising on AppStore directly (Apple gives a $100 credit).
    Posting in specific subreddits (in my case investment forums).
    Posting in specific FB forums (investment forums in my case).

    Sure you will be banned from some forums, but I get a lot of traffic and sign ups when I post a comment in a popular discussion with link to my app.

    1. 1

      Thank you @ultrajet! Possibly posting in the subreddits might yield something. The app is primarily designed for b2b, which in certain instances seems harder to find the right channels to post.

    1. 1

      Your app looks interesting!

  8. 2

    Try LinkedIn Ads, your target audience is mostly there. Make a test with the free ad credit (you can claim it from here: https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/cx/17/04/dynamic-ads-ads-promo). Good luck!

  9. 2

    I can’t get passed the spinning wheel at the beginning. Perhaps you want to do something about it with CDN + SSR before further advertising.

    1. 1

      Did you see the spinner on the landing page?

      1. 1

        Yea, basically stuck at the spinner and can’t get to the landing page. So it’s a spinner “before” the landing page rather than “on” it.

        For the context, I am on iOS 12 safari.

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          I will check it out! Could you try Chrome of FF please :)

          1. 2

            Mac OS 10.13.6:
            Safari - spinning wheel, can't get to the landing page
            Chrome - Works
            FF - Works

            Mac OS 11.3.1:
            Safari - Works

            Be careful when using mp4 as a video, it can cause very high CPU %, may need to test other video codec.

            As for the concept, I like it. It's similar to trello but got some selling points there that trello doesn't have,

            The concept of user vs. participants can lead to confusions. Does a participant need an (paid/free) account to participate as well?

            I like that websocket tutorial on your blog, easy to follow. Perhaps a copy of this post and similar posts on Medium with a link back to your blog would help raising more awareness of your product.

            1. 2

              No, we allow unlimited external attendees/participants ( non company personal )

              Company staff is referred to as Users and those are the ones the company would have to pay for

  10. 1

    @td_evans @Riseagainst @AceK @allenakinkunle @UmungoBungo @strzibnyj @onomojo @justin_c @orliesaurus @NickFreiling @ultrajet @aainaharbor @keenforms @tinyprojects @shockwave @Ashwin K @epatt6 @OusmaneNdiaye @RicArthur @alok @ugurkilci @BlackZulu @tanmayratnaparkhe @MarketingBaba

    Thank you all for your suggestions/ comments! We listened and improved the site drastically! Today we launched a new site design! Loading time is now super fast! Please check it out and let me know your thoughts :)
    https://cogency.io

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      It looks REALLY GOOD!

    2. 1

      I would still add a video/demo of the tool, I was on a call with a friend and we couldn't figure out whether the sketch tool is "collaborative" in real time or no!

      And what about a 7 day trial?

      Either way, good job so far! Glad you've launched again!

      1. 1

        we did have a free plan ( up to 5 licenses ) but b/c we are about to be listed on AppSummo we had to disable the free plan and add a "lifetime plan" instead.

        On a separate note, could you tell me what happened when you used the sketch and why you believe it was not behaving in a collab fashion?

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          We didn't use it we were looking at the website and couldn't figure it out

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            gotcha...well to answer your question.. Sketch is collaborative in real-time!

    3. 1

      This landing page is effing amazing.

  11. 1

    Hi Linda! I totally love your product - looks like you sorted out the earlier landing page issues, great job. I would echo the earlier comment on driving word of mouth on LinkedIn. I would probably also recommend working on your "why I built this" story and bringing more of your personality to your product - I'm interested in learning more about you and your journey!

    I'm happy to share your app on Twitter. Also, quick suggestion - instead of a free tier, I recommend charging everyone, but offering a free trial period, like 30 days. Meeting time limits are obnoxious IME and I think a free trial would get more people to dip their toes in. I'm planning on signing up and giving it a look :)

  12. 1

    Is it Fully functional? It is really needed in market. I can imagine how much effort you would have put into this. Improve your website design

    1. 1

      @alok Yes this is fully functional. Try it out! Please elaborate on what market you are referring to. Also what exactly you think needs improvement?

  13. 1

    The best suggestion I can make is find a list of startup directories and start submitting to them. They are usually free, although some of them accept payment to prioritize your submissions.

    Here's a short list of directories you can use;

    Submit Juice - https://www.submitjuice.com/directories - this site publishes all the sites that are worth considering. SubmitJuice makes money by submitting it for you. It costs nothing to submit yourself.

    This article - https://startupdevkit.com/top-high-traffic-startup-directories-to-promote-your-startup/
    It has has the usual suspects like ProductHunt and Betalist. FYI this article was working 2 days ago but right now it appears to be under maintenance.

    This article - https://aeroleads.com/blog/startup-directories/
    It has similar websites.

    This is the best place to start. Good luck!

    1. 1

      Thank you! I will give it a shot.

  14. 1

    Spend time understanding who your users are as a start.

    • How big are the businesses
    • What other products do they use
    • What they do for a living
  15. 1

    Build your own bone community with the help of social media and SEO.

  16. 1

    One hack is jumping onto comments on Hacker News. It's a fantastically cheap way to bring a ton of traffic to your website for free.

    If you see a thread that is in anyway related to your product, leave a thoughtful comment and try to tie it in with a link to your website. I posted a few comments last week and got 1000+ website visits for free.

    Here's a daily blog post I made about it when I discovered this. It shows you the comment that I posted to achieve those numbers: https://daily.tinyprojects.dev/3

    1. 2

      Hmm never thought of leaving comments there/on news sites. Thanks for sharing the tip

  17. 1

    Every single advice on this thread so far is right here's a summary of what everyone said:

    • Improve your landing page and create diff pages to target diff audiences
    • There are free ways to market your app, it just takes more time and work than paying a 3rd party service for distribution (ads, emails etc) but it will pay off!
    • You have to improve your on-page game, you're hitting performance issues
    • Talk to your potential customers more to figure out they why's (& read the mom test book)
    1. 1

      @orliesaurus What is the "mom test book"?

      1. 1

        The mom test, by Rob Fitzpatrick , great book, recommend

  18. 1

    Congratulations @lindamiles. Getting a product out is such a big achievement which the market doesn't seem to appreciate. :/

    I checked out your website. My two cents on your marketing approach:

    1. Landing pages need to be better

    Position yourself against your competitors and what advantages you offer.

    Even personalised support is a huge incentive for users to sign-up

    1. Longer Sales Copy

    Go in detail explaining features you offer. Give testimonials and social proof.

    1. Prefer organic marketing until you get 10 customers than paid.

    I advise Reddit, Facebook groups, slack channels and LinkedIn networks to get those initial 10 customers who can give you much-needed motivation to refine the product more.

    Also, Once you will land customers, you will be needing to educate them about the product. Hence, Work on email automations and priority support.

    My best wishes,
    Vivek

    1. 1

      @MarketingBaba Wow those are really good thoughts. Much of that as you correctly pointed out is not yet there. I think the next couple of weeks will be super busy getting some of those suggestions implemented!

      Thank you, Sir!

  19. 1

    Have you considered SEO? We went from 0 to 100k monthly visitors in 6 months and currently generate around 1000 signups through our blog: https://www.flowrite.com/blog/seo-content-strategy

    1. 1

      @samulipehkonen Not sure SEO was the only thing that propellered your growth. You seem to have a really solid setup overall. Really impressive landing pages and an excellent case study. Will certainly borrow a few of your growth tactics for my own projects :)

    2. 1

      Thank you! The article is fantastic and I am going to pay attention to the details!

  20. 1

    @lindamiles First of all congratulations for launching your app (and not gave up despite difficulties 😅).

    I won't answer your question in purpose because I would draw your attention on something else. Acquisition is a big deal, for sure, but have you considered that you might have a problem in retention ?

    I'm telling this because you mention that you did not succeed to convert with google ads campains, sounds strange to me. Was the traffic significant ?

    You probably familiar with the AARRR framework, the Activation/Retention steps are very important because without decent retention rates, acquisition will never be profitable. Maybe you could try to generate at least some conversions (even with low budget campaigns) before to look for other acquisition channels.

    Wish you the best 🚀

    1. 1

      @OusmaneNdiaye Thank you! The thing with google ads is that our campaign ran on a $30/day budget meaning we only got a very small amount of exposures. However, from those few the signup rate ended up being about 6% ( for the free plan ). Further details revealed that most of the folks who signed up were college kids... so in other words wrong demographic. We are thinking of restarting the campaign again but need a better mechanism to target the right kind of audience.... that is tough to do :(

  21. 1

    Hey @lindamiles

    Before you pivot or any product changes occur you should try the fundamentals below - and the best thing is they don't cost a penny. Just a little time and elbow grease :)

    1. Engage in communities (FB, Reddit, Slack etc) and offer value e.g advice, join in discussions
    2. Get your products into submission directories (theres a lot. Many won't publish your listing for months in an attempt to get you to pay. Its worth taking the free option).
    3. Piggyback the exposure marketplaces give (e.g. AppSumo, SaaSMantra etc. - With AS it doesn't have to be a LTD can be a year gig. NB their Black Friday deal is coming up. Thats worth doing )
    4. Guest Blog on sites where your target audience read article or congregate.
    1. 1

      @RicArthur Thank you Sir for the suggestions!
      I am definitely going to be posting on those channels. I started a twitter channel (https://twitter.com/cogencyvideo) a few months back but had not been posting on it regularly.. which I think was a mistake so for about a week I have been posting at least one post/day !

      1. 1

        Hey @lindamiles, No problem!

        Different channels require different approaches. Its great to post regularly to Twitter but you've got ensure its useful otherwise its like talking to a brick wall. I'll follow you on Twitter and DM you my swipefile of examples how other successful indiemakers post in the communities. It should be able to help you.

  22. 1

    Hi, congrats on the product.

    1. Make a list of people/orgs using competitor product and reach out to them.
    2. Try and get listed on Hubspot apps, Slack apps, etc.

    The suggestions provided by @tanmayratnaparkhe are solid.

  23. 1
    1. Reaching out to people I know. Asking for referrals from then and repeating the process.
    2. Launch on ProductHunt. Please Plan it well. Our first launch was a disaster.
    3. Launch a deal on AppSumo. You will get a lot of early adopters. Just make sure you don't overcommit in the deal terms and promote a lot in various FB groups.
    4. Be active on communities in Reddit, FB. Message people after striking a conversation with them.
    5. Try to keep building in public on Twitter, Linkedin. I know it's hard- does not come naturally to me either.
    6. Try writing 2 blogs a week. Target absolute bottom of the funnel keywords - lesser competition and better lead quality.

    These are a few things I am trying and do seem to be working out slowly.

    1. 1

      @tanmayratnaparkhe Thank you for the kind thoughts! I have seem AppSumo or got even approached by them at one point but wrote them off as just another service trying to get me to pay. I will give them another look.. thank you!

      1. 1

        Glad you found them useful. Let me know if you need any help in AppSumo. I had run a deal on PitchGround and now planning to launch on AppSumo next week. Can share my notes for sure :)

  24. 1

    My first customers were all people that I knew, or who knew people that I knew. I literally emailed almost everyone I had ever worked with. In my case, this was enough to get word-of-mouth going.

    Have you done that? Your app seems applicable to a LOT of people.

    1. 2

      Yes when I started I only had a video module and everyone seemed to be comparing the app to zoom. But now many features later I do not want to spam the same folks … even though it might get their interest

      1. 2

        It wouldn’t hurt I think. If you don’t spam them they wouldn’t pay you for sure, if you spam them they may have a chance of paying you.

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