Building in Public January 23, 2021

First $1000 on a Side Project (+ tips)

Florian ARGAUD @IndependenceDev

I've reached a new goal! Make $1000 from a Side Project. 🥳

Took me ~2 months and 24 sales to reach this goal!

Here is a list of things I've learned building products for more than 1 year (Hope it can motivate and inspire you) :

  • Find a problem, not an idea
  • Don't spend too much money on your first side projects: you can even start with 0€, literally. Use Netlify or Glitch for example to host your product
  • Pre-sale your project ASAP. If you make ~5 pre-orders: Motivation++ and you validate your project
  • Go as fast as you can. 1 month is enough to test your project. Why? Because you'll get bored.
  • Avoid distractions, use https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/just-focus/gefaddaengbodpiobpbgblajdboalmgc on chrome/brave
  • SELL YOUR F*CKING PROJECT. Stop giving full access for free, it's stupid! Even $1. Free users are annoying, they want more for free, and if someday you make a paid tier, they won't understand and you'll get bad feedback.
  • Work on your personal brand ASAP
  • Run your own race. Stop comparing yourself with experienced Makers. Learn from them.
  • Ignore fake experts
  • Ignore bad comments
  • Learn something new every day
  • Start small
  • Use the tools/stack you know
  • Surround yourself with productive and smart people
  • Follow your instinct
  • Enjoy.
  1. 5

    Work on your personal brand ASAP

    Can you elaborate on why this is so important?

    1. 5

      The challenge is no longer not being able to find the information/product you need, but rather selecting the right ebook/course/SaaS from many possible options. In this great post by Cedric Chin he talks about the ways people determine what is true and make decisions:

      Correspondence — Does this author’s claims match up to my experiences? Can I come up with counter-examples or edge cases where the author’s ideas do not apply?
      Coherence — Has the author committed any logical fallacies? Does the argument flow coherently and logically from premises to conclusion?
      Consensus — Who else agrees with this argument? If this argument is on something scientific, is it arguing against a consensus, and if so do I trust that consensus?
      Pragmatic — Is the author believable? Can I come up with a test to see if the author’s argument works?
      

      By building a personal brand, you give people a lot more datapoints they can apply across these axes. e.g.

      • Doing what you say you will do
      • Making sense
      • Seeing other people take an interest in your work (e.g. on social media) / review your product (testimonials + reviews)

      This all leads to greater trust, which means people are more willing to take a risk with you (i.e. parting with their hard-earned cash).

      The good news is that personal branding is a big term and it's possible to start in small chunks. This diagram is useful:

      personal branding hierarchy

      I elaborate more in this post. It's not that great though, I'm getting quite tired of writing posts only to realise Cedric Chin has written a better one :)

      1. 1

        Outstanding! Thank you Christopher

    2. 1

      When you are a beginner (like me), it's easier to make your first sales when you build trust. ANd to build trust, you need to work on your personal brand.

      I've made 90% of my sales from people who follows me since 2020

      (This is my point of view)

  2. 2

    Genuinely helpful advice. Thanks Florian!

    1. 1

      You're welcome 🤜🤛

  3. 2

    You nailed it Florian! Congrats!

  4. 2

    Thanks for this list! Good tips!

  5. 2

    Congrats and great list btw :)

  6. 1

    So you mean a FREEMIUM model won't work for new startups?
    FREE with limited access, Premium with full access?

  7. 1

    "Free users are annoying, they want more for free" --> so true

  8. 1

    Hi! Great stuff. I tried watching the video on your homepage but it's not loading. Is it just me?

  9. 1

    Great post! I am feeling inspired now! I just got my second sale today for http://supercharge.dev/! But, there is so much more to do!

    Can you share more on how you marketed your product?

      1. 3

        This is so useful! Thank you so much!

  10. 1

    What's your project?

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