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How I made 20 pre-sales with no audience

I just launched my new product Startup Without Code and received 20 pre-sales without an audience!

It was a great learning experience and the best part is, all the strategies I used are in Startup Without Code, kind of meta right? I wanted to share my experience with all of you so here it goes :)

ENGAGE WITH PEOPLE!

Did I say it loud enough for the people in the back?

But seriously, you need to build relationships and trust before selling to others. 3-4 weeks before launching on Twitter I started to engage more with like-minded makers as well as people who might be interested in the product I'm selling.

I used relevant hashtags and engaged with different communities.

If you're too shy to engage with others, start with the #buildinpublic hashtag. It's a seamless entry into a community that might lead to fruitful conversations.

WATCH OUT FOR THIS.

Something I learned from @farez was audience != customers. Although
engaging with like-minded people is encouraging, it doesn't mean they'll buy your product.

The communities we tend to hang around are people doing the same thing as us! You need to find your customers and their communities.

I found threads on Twitter where potential customers might hang out and if a well-known person in their circle tells their followers to share what they're working on, I'll give a pitch and drop my gumroad link.

If you don't talk to people about your product no one will know it exists, don't be too salesey though. Be helpful and add value to conversations whenever possible.

PROMOTE AS YOU BUILD.

Don't make the mistake of hiding in your basement for a year and then coming out with a product to sell. It doesn't work. You need to build in public and talk about the benefits and features of your product, create content that compliments your product, and engage with others. Did I say engage with others already?

It's a lot of legwork but it's worth it in the end. Not only will you sell your product, but you've built solid relationships along the way that can help you get unstuck and encourage you when you're feeling burnt out. You can also do the same for your new Twitter friends when the time comes. Helping and supporting others is fun!

All in all, the communities and alliances I've been apart of have had a major impact on my sales growth. My advice is, don't bother trying to be a one-person show, you might end up disappointed.

If you have any other pointers please share!

  1. 3

    that's amazing ! congrats ! I am learning so much from your posts : )

    1. 1

      I'm so happy to hear that, that's what I strive for ☺️

  2. 2

    So helpful as always! Rooting for you every day :)

  3. 2

    This is such good advice you just got an impulse sale haha! It’s exactly what I need to be reading at the moment as I’m about to get underway with an mvp of my project (artisnr.com) and not really sure which no-code tools to use on the back end. Hoping this might make my research a bit easier!

    1. 1

      Thank you so much for your support! I hope it helps you on your journey and if you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out 😊

  4. 2

    Congratulations are in order..

  5. 2

    Great result, congrats! Just wonder, why do you consider your 800+ followers as "no audience" ? ;-)

    1. 1

      Thank you and great question. In January I had about 670 followers almost all of them are developers because I gained them when I was learning how to code about a year ago. They are probably not interested in no-code because most work for companies as engineers.

      Come to February 2021, when I started tweeting about no code, I lost some followers but gained followers that were interested in my content.

      I entered a new community that use different hashtags then the ones in the coding community.

      I was able to rack up about 130 followers in a month by doing the things I suggested in this post.

      1. 1

        And what do you mean by "community"? Just people using a specific hashtag? Or something else?

        1. 1

          Yes people who use the same hashtags tend to congregate in the comment section of each other's posts.

      2. 1

        Cool, thanks!

        engaged with different communities

        Not sure, though, how you engaged with them, in practice? Commenting posts?

        1. 1

          Commenting under their posts and threads. Asking questions and sharing advice.

  6. 2

    Great ideas and execution. Congrats!

  7. 2

    Great post, thanks for sharing! Which is the "official" hashtag? #BuildingInPublic or #BuildInPublic 😆 Are you collecting additions to your recommended no-code tool list? I'm building pricewell.io (no-code pricing pages) and an inclusion in a list like yours would really help reach target customers.

    1. 1

      Haha yes you can use both but the one that is more often used is #buildinpublic. Thanks I'll include it!

  8. 2

    So true. And congrats! But one thing I've been wondering for a while is, do makers who build in public have a day job?

    I struggle really hard to split my free time between building and engaging/promoting/blogging/building in public, but there's simply not enough time to do it all, and most of the time the building part takes precedence.

    Besides, I'm also one of those who dislikes the marketing aspect, thus endlessly procrastinating on it.

    1. 4

      You just have to work with what you have.

      For me, I go through phases. E.g. at the moment I'm in build mode for the next release of my web app, but once that's launched I'll go into "traction mode" where I will work on getting more users, more marketing, etc.

      Marketing is at least 50% of building a business.

      1. 3

        You're right on! I heard someone say it should be 80% marketing, 20% dev.

        It sounded ridiculous to me at the time, but the more I launch to crickets, the more it resonates with me!

        1. 2

          Yeah, crickets aren't great customers.

          I guess once you've found a marketing channel that works really well, it could well become 80/20 once you start doubling down on it.

    2. 2

      I don't have a full time job so don't feel bad. Try to start with 3 tweets/day and make sure one of them is insightful and the other two you're interacting with people under the comment sections.

  9. 2

    Congratulations on your achievement so far and good luck!

    Did you engage on Twitter on your personal account or an account specifically for your product? I guess making deeper connections on a personal account is more natural than on a business account, but conversion to your product promotion is more discrete. What do you think?

    1. 1

      I used my personal twitter. People like to know that they're connecting with a friend. You can make a company Twitter after you've made all your connections and they know about your product. @5harath did this very well.

  10. 2

    Congratulations on the launch and pre-sale!

    And yes, you do need to be clear about what type of audience you're building, which is what I've learned from the comments in the "audience != customers" post.

    If you intention is to grow an audience that will buy from you, then you need to ensure that the content you share is relevant to their problems and needs. I've learned that you should demonstrate authority and build trust this way and eventually your audience CAN be your customers too.

    And you are correct - you need to go to where your audience is and engage relentlessly, by providing value. And not being shy to self-promote when the opportunity arises.

    1. 1

      Thank you! I completely agree. Providing value is key for receiving trust.

  11. 1

    Congrats!! I get that you personally may not have had an audience starting out BUT the No-Code community on Twitter is growing so fast that it's kind of easy to catch their attention and turn them into your audience.

    What would be your advice for people who are trying to build an audience in a not "trending" community? I'm currently working on a digital product and I'm #buildinginpublic on Twitter but because my key demographic are high school students applying to architecture school, there is no community for them yet so I'm speaking into a void here.

    1. 1

      You'd be surprised to find out that most of my customers aren't in the no code community. That's what you'll learn as you market your product, where your customers are coming from.

      I'm not experienced with marketing a product outside of Twitter, but I would say try to see where potential customers hang out. If it's not Twitter, than you need to try different channels. You can look into ambassador programs to get to your target audience is. college students.

  12. 2

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