From MVP to first paying customers… where do we go next?

Hi fellows. My name is Stan, I'm a Ui-designer and co-founder of MetaSurvey. We are a bunch of fellows from Russia, building a minimalist and simple Tinder-style survey creator — to reduce churn.

This is our story from a 2-day hackathon to a PH launch & first paying users!

In October 2019 IndieHackers SPb community launched a 48 hours hackathon in St-Petersburg, Russia. And after 40+ ideas were killed, we came up with MetaSurvey. In the next few days we`ve launched an alpha MVP, and even a web survey builder — raw and unfinished yet. But we were super encouraged!

We have launched a fresh & clean landing page https://getmetasurvey.com with the help of @alexanderisora and his Unicorn Platform, which demonstrated the product features. Also, we started to post on IH, PH, Twitter to drive the attention of the community.

And we began to see the early results, the first 100 early users!

Through 2 months we were polishing the product: from Ui-Ux and brand identity to security (like adding CloudFlare, etc.) and payments. And finally launched MetaSurvey on Product Hunt, and got product #2 of the day!

Also we did user support: Telegram support chat, IH and PH comments, Chatra.
In February 2020 we got first paying customers. I remember this amazing feeling: you levitate, you feel inspired and energized to do more, to improve and develop your product endlessly...

At the moment, we`ve got around 500+ user registered, and 3 paying.

A few months passed after the PH launch, we still got new users, although the growth became less intense. We still made community and milestone posts on IH and PH, and developed a product to a medium level.

In March 2020 we have finally started to do CustDev via Zoom and Telegram and search for potential customers and our market. We`ve disrupted several markets and found one with medium "pains" — GameDev.

This is our 6 month trip on the product. Today we got up to 1000 free and 4 paying users and simply stuck, where to get new paying customers?

Dear hackers, if you've had a similar story in the past —please share, how did you overcome this period?

  1. 6

    Looks like you are getting good traction on getting people to become users. But now you need to work on the next stage of the funnel. How do you get users to become paying users. First, I would start with the 4 paying ones you already have. Arrange a call and get some feedback from them, how are they using it, what more do they want to see, and what was it that got them to switch from free to paying. What was their need that moved them between the two.

    Then I would start contacting all your 1000 free users. Starting with those actively using the platform. And you do the same thing. But instead of asking them what moved them to paid, you want to ask why they haven't moved to paid yet. What is in their way. Is their a feature they need that would move them to paid? Is it too expensive? What do they need to prove with your platform to pay? And understand where they are and what you can do to get them into a paid customer. Once you work on this and figure it out the main reasons, you can build it into the software so that you get paying people without the need to talk to them.

    1. 1

      Hi, Grendorf

      Thanks for your reply!
      Did you have situation, if some people want to get different individual features? How you resolve prioritizing of this features for the next version?

      1. 2

        One way is to prioritize the most asked for feature. Sometimes you go for the feature the enterprise company wants since they will pay 10-100x everyone else. It is really going to depend on what you get.

        If you think you have some knowledge of the industry, I would build for an industry target. Like you mentioned game developers, you may prioritize their features with the idea of just taking that niche. You could also prioritize by difficulty of feature. Knock out the easy ones to get more paying customers faster. It really depends on the answers and who you can talk to.

  2. 4

    Worth reading and asking details how @AndreyAzimov removed his free plan and revenues went 3x https://twitter.com/AndreyAzimov/status/1201090999298117632

    1. 1

      ^^^ do this ^^^

      remove your free. see what happens. You can always add it back.

    2. 1

      Thanks for idea mate. By the way, what is the name of Andrey`s discussed product?

  3. 3

    I’m one of the founders of the project. Cool if you give your feedback.
    Stan, great article👍

  4. 2

    Talk to users.
    you have 1,000. if you talk to one a day for 25 minutes. it should take you 3 years. Keep detailed notes. do the mom test.
    Ask them about their problems and what they are solving.

    Worst case scenario you find that you found 1000 ppl that will pay for something else. You have a good fast team. go build that and get 1,000 paying users up front.

    1. 1

      Good advice! Last days I begin to hear about products with a great customer support and solid back offices on chat 24/7. So with the user communication.

      I think we underestimated cusdev and user communications greatly!

  5. 2

    Hi, Stan

    1. Define your target audience precisely as possible
    2. Eliminate the biggest its "pain"
    3. Check that your product fixes the "pain" (also you could use it as a use case for landing page)
    4. Eliminate the persons from the target audience who fixed the "pain"
    5. Ask them to validate your product to fix the "pain" and get feedback
    6. Analyze feedback
  6. 2

    Hi, Stan. Ask your current users, how they use your product and what results they get. It will help you understand, what value your product brings to users. So you could build a really good communication with new visitors on your landing page.

    Don't forget to ask, what they need more in your product to become a paying user. And what your 4 paying users pay for.

    1. 1

      Hi, thermenvox

      Thanks for your reply!
      Do the audience like or feel irritated to receive email with some questions about service?
      Maybe you have some tricks to ask the audience?

      1. 2

        Guys, you product is about questions :) I don't think email will really irritate hard, users can just ignore it.

        You don't need tricks, just be honest. Your product is for users, and your job is make the product better for them. And you need to know better your users, it will help you make them happy. Just say it.

        Add to emails photo and name one of you guys, so your communication will be more personal.

        Don't ask what would do your users, ask about their past, what they did, why they did it, what they get, was it great for them or not.

    2. 1

      Thanks for feedback mate! We definitely will focus more on getting feedback from paying and MAU/DAU users.

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