Growth July 15, 2020

How would you grow this?

Rosie Sherry @rosiesherry

Feeling stuck or challenged with growth?

That's what indie hackers are here for!

  1. Post your project
  2. Share what 'growth activities' you've tried doing
  3. Let us know what your biggest challenges are, or goals that you haven't achieved yet.

This effort only works if you help other indie hackers out too, so be sure to try your best to help someone else in this thread. 🙏

  1. 5
    1. Letterbase - privacy-friendly website messenger
    2. SEO, content marketing, social media, cold outreach
    3. Biggest challenge is getting customers!
    1. 1

      IMO, embedded chat on websites is a pretty crowded space so you need a strong differentiating factor to make a difference. From your landing page it looks like yours is privacy, but it took me three screens of scrolling to get to this gem "With Letterbase, you have full ownership and control of your data."

      That is huge. I don't think many (any?) of the others do that. It might help to spotlight that even more, and above the fold, to really show why you are different (read: better) than the others.

      1. 1

        Thanks for the feedback. It's interesting because I used to have that above the fold, but recently moved it. I'll probably move it back :)

    2. 1

      Do you have any alerts for Twitter, Reddit, Google if somebody is posting something related?

      I was looking for something like your product, but more like a chat with Telegram and not a form. And then I bounced on your page a few weeks ago.

      I'd look for customers, testimonials and other interaction with other privacy-friendly tools e.g. someone who has simple analytics might be interested in it.

      1. 2

        I haven't set up many alerts - do you know a good way to do that? I just have some basic Google alerts set up for my brand.

        I'm also thinking about adding support for chat through integrations with Telegram and Slack soon.

        Reaching out to customers who seem to care about privacy is something that I'm already trying to do, but it's a good suggestion that I'll try to double down on.

        1. 1
          1. Find out the keywords people use, when posting something or searching.
          2. Setup alerts for these keywords and add "-" filters etc to cut the noise of irrelevant things with advanced search operators.
          3. Go through posts once a day / week and react, where it makes sense.
          4. Make templates etc for your replies, automatic filters, improve keywords and improve other parts of the process, when you have enough data or it's taking too much time.

          But as this is b2b there might be other communities where people discuss such tools than Reddit. I'd try setting up alerts for any platform, where you find at least one relevant post. It's too much work otherwise to keep track.

          You can also do with google alerts site:<channel> <keywords> e.g. site:reddit.com privacy chat customers

  2. 3
    1. The Developer's Guide to Content Creation and The Developer's Guide to Book Publishing
    2. Word-of-mouth, organic traffic, being a featured guest on two podcasts, Product Hunt, newsletter, and now running some ads
    3. It's been five months since the Developer's Guide to Content Creation (DGTCC) launched and sales have slowed. I've optimized my pages for SEO and will have days when I make a few sales followed by slow periods in between. I'm trying to find ways to keep my audience engaged, reach new audiences also without tiring them out.

    For folks who have created digital products—how do you sustain interest?

    1. 1

      I think you'll find more engagement from building up your email list first and foremost. You have a good following on twitter and should be looking to at least match those numbers on an email list.

      Following that, it feels like retargeting ads and hyper-targeted demographic ads would be very effective. Good luck! They look like great content.

      1. 1

        Thank you, Davott! Both are great points; I'm definitely looking into retargeting ATM. Have you found success with a particular platform? My email service provider allows for retargeting on FB/IG/Google...I know it also varies by audience/niche.

  3. 2
    1. https://foodboxmate.com/ - Content marketing (Affiliate) review site focused on Australian food delivery services.
    2. Primarily SEO-driven, tried some social and some ads, posting helpful comments in related facebook groups.
    3. SEO is a slow, long game. However, I'm in a niche where it's incredibly difficult to get backlinks because there are very few other people tackling similar topics. I'm also struggling to find the 'hook' that would make people want to follow my content on social media.
    1. 1

      I really like the comparison articles! Those are perfect pieces of content marketing because you actually are giving away free value, while seamlessly linking your product's CTA.

      One thing I noticed is that all of the descriptions seem to be autogenerated. If you are writing the content for each manually you should customize those as well. For example, offering a small piece of insight could encourage a googler to click your link over the competition. Or explaining how/why you are qualified to offer the advice.

  4. 1
    1. Storks shipping https://www.storksshipping.com/- makeup subscription boxes for Australian customers
    2. Social media, lots of influencer marketing
    3. Getting more sales (avg 30 per month)!
  5. 1
    1. On The Shelf: Safer, smarter shopping for essential items using crowd-sourced data
    2. SEO, blogging, social media, cold outreach, featuring on podcasts, relevant Slack channels
    3. Building awareness of our product pre-launch without dumping $$$ into paid advertising. The value of our platform comes from users adding info, and we have a ton of plans post-launch to grow our user base (e.g., referral bonuses) but are struggling to come up with creative ways to grow pre-launch without spending a ton of money.
  6. 1
    1. https://comps.gg
    2. Ive posted it on my own social channels, reddit webdev
    3. I just want people to come and use the site! :-) - but I am a developer, so marketing isn't coming naturally to me.
  7. 1
    1. 📙 Writing a book Building Your Mouseless Development Environment
    2. Twitter, Indie Hackers 🥰, bringing readers from my blog, helping on dev.to.
    3. My goal right now is to have two hundreds sign up for my newsletter.

    🎉BONUS🎊

    1. I do 50% writing 50% marketing, but I think I'll go 90% marketing at one point :D
    2. In the future: I'll post more articles on dev.to / find a way to post on reddit without the "spammy" feeling / help more on twitter / writing short, valuable articles on the landing page itself for SEO traffic
  8. 1

    https://amicu.app - iOS app to improve social habits by using reminders to keep in touch.

    • I started writing and curating a bit of content at https://amicu.app/learn but I still have a lot to learn with SEO
    • Semi automated reddit keywords search works well. I need to work more on keywords at some point. I reply to relevant posts.
    • Twitter keyword search doesn't work. There's too many irrelevant tweets. I need to figure out how to better use the search to filter out noise.
    • Google Alerts for keywords. I just started. Can't tell much now.
    • App Store Optimization. I don't know much about it so far. But I get some growth from there.

    I want to find channels, where people actually have related problems or maybe even discuss this like on Reddit. I don't feel like posting my product into not targeted places like yet. I want to get more user feedback from bottom of the funnel people and channels.

  9. 1
    1. Buildfaster.co - HTML themes made easy as pie 🥧
    2. SEO, newsletter sending, email marketing, Hackernews
    3. I am trying to reach $150/mo on average with my sales. I am struggling with getting customers organically though.
    1. 1

      If they are easy enough to use for non coders you could show up at local businesses without website or with a bad one. Or to those who have at least one developer / freelancer. Not sure if it works, but I heard this on one IH podcast. They reached out locally and offline.

      1. 1

        I’ve tried that a bit but I’m willing to do more. Thanks for the tip :)

    2. 1

      Some ideas that you can make:

      • A figma plugin with mockups for e-commerce startups (you can launch it on Product Hunt too) and see how the organic leads come back to your original page.
      • A website design guide for X companies. Showcase what they need to have on their landing page. Promote this content on twitter/fb ads and get qualified leads that will be ready to buy themes at the end
      1. 2

        Thanks! Great feedback. I will try these out in the coming weeks :)

        1. 1

          let me know if you need help!

          1. 1

            Yeah sure: do you know of any companies/freelancers in need of websites/templates?

            1. 1

              Uhm off the top of my head, I do not - but will reach out if someone is asking!

              1. 1

                Thanks :)

  10. 1

    Working on Jooseph, curated library for discovering best articles, videos and more to learn new skills on programming, design and entrepreneurship.

    We have concept of collections where you can curate a list as a learning path, newsletter etc.

    • I have curated and shared a lot of lists on related subs and forums
    • I'm reaching manually to the potential users which can curate collections to grow their audience. As a content they would share with their users ( actually we're invite only platform right now, so you can still read collections but if you don't get invite you need to join the waitlist)
    • We have created a newsletter out of 7 weekly most popular articles, videos etc. on the platform.
    • I have tried and still trying Blogging

    Since we need a content (curated lists or single content) added by users in the platform, we don't know how we can reach that critical mass of creators in the platform. It has been hard to growth for last couple of weeks

    1. 2

      Looks like a cool service! Kind of like Netflix, Twitter, and YouTube combined.

      On your site it says there are over 600 individuals in front of me to get into the site? Is this accurate?

      1. 1

        Thanks for kind words Grego, It's right now invite only platform. It's like a an online library where you can collect your favorite articles, videos etc. and make it discoverable for everybody through collections.

        Waiting users and unaccepted fake emails are around that many people, but to be honest that's not exactly true. It's the total number of users who are not verified by us until now.

        1. 2

          Ok, I see.

    2. 1

      "In order the protect our community 492 user, we grow our in a more secure way."

      This copy sounds a bit strange to me. Maybe it can be simpler?

      1. 2

        True that and I realized we made typo there :/ thanks :)

    3. 1

      What are you doing to reward users for sharing collections? Do they get some kind of status, points or public acknowledgement?
      Are you reminding users that they have invites left to send out?

      Is the waitlist serving its purpose, or do you think you would get more users in by opening it up?

      1. 1

        Hmm, after these questions I don't think waitlist is serving its purpose. Do you have any suggestions or further reads for this?

        What type of reward did you get for sharing your content on other platforms?

  11. 1

    I'm working on growing the audience of my iPhone app, X-Wing AI. The app turns a two-player board game, X-Wing, into a solo or cooperative experience.

    I'm getting solid traction in a private Facebook group dedicated to playing the game solo. I get tons of reactions and comments and a fair amount of traffic that converts to downloads and subscriptions.

    But reaching out to the more general community of the game has mixed results. Reddit gets upvotes but barely any clicks, the game's dedicated forum sees practically no responses, and there doesn't seem to be a Facebook group dedicated to the game (and not a specific region).

    My primary goal is to find another few audiences to post to that gave the same level of engagement as the Facebook group.

    1. 2

      Could you ask those people about where they hang out online outside of that facebook group, you might find places where you can find other people like them ?

      1. 2

        That's a great idea. I already have a few Messenger conversations open with beta testers and could ask them directly. Thanks!

    2. 1

      Without your app people had to play this with someone else right? So you should put in some incentive for word of mouth referrals. Then they might be likelier to share it with their playing friends.

      And yes like nofunnyman said you want to ask everyone about, where they talk to other players, how they found the game etc. You can also give an incentive for a survey or some feedback mechanism. If you ask enough users they should tell you all the channels.

      1. 2

        A referral program always felt "off" for a game that is encouraging solo play. Like, what's the benefit to the referrer? But now that I have a paid subscription I can offer a free month or similar!

        1. 1

          I politely disagree.

          I have a couple of board games that I play with friends, where I first discovered app versions of the game. If the app was good I recommended it and my friends have been happy about it. And I was happy I recommended something useful.

          Exactly offer a free month or discount. For a completely free product I'd suggest at least encouraging people (in a non-spammy way) and making sharing easier.

          1. 1

            I always felt like if you are playing the game / using the app alone then why would you share it. But you bring up a great point: not sharing the app to play together but so your friend knows about how awesome it is. Thanks for the insight!

            1. 1

              Exactly. Sometimes you can't meetup, but want to play. Or you want to practice a bit on your own.

  12. 1

    Good idea Rosie! With Enter Network I'm launching several mastermind groups (or peer support groups) for entrepreneurs.

    I'm currently doing one-on-one outreach to entrepreneurs within Enter Network (who are in our newsletter or Slack channel) and to those outside of it (such as Indie Hackers here or people I meet on Twitter). Plus, I use our newsletter (250 readers or so), Slack channel and social media accounts.

    I do see some traction, and if I reach out to people directly, people are interested (and some eventually sign up). However, it still seems to go rather slow.

    I guess my question is - how do you (or I in this case) determine the best channel for sales and growth? With a relatively small online reach, it's difficult to determine whether the success of one channel is actually significant, or merely accidental.

    1. 2

      I see nothing wrong with manually reaching out to potential customers! That's the easiest way to reach someone and you can gain a lot of insight in a 1:1 conversation. I might not scale, but that's fine. For now.

      If you focus on landing quality leads and gathering as much feedback as possible it will be easier to create marketing and sales copy. You will already know what your best customers need and how they talk about your project.

      1. 2

        Thanks for all the feedback, people! Good points on gathering feedback, asking for referrals (I do try to do that, and I've seen some referrals come in so far), and that it's fine to do things that don't scale.

        I'll make sure to start updating the Enter Network page here on IndieHackers more frequently, and let you know how it goes.

      2. 2

        Airbnb founders were knocking door by door to get their first clients. Do things that don't scale at the beginning - 100% agree.

      3. 2

        100% percent agree, you can build a better experience this way and scale it later.

        Also since you know them personally you can ask them whether they have a friend that can benefit from it or not? Having referrals this way can help you to create a referral program for later

    2. 1

      Hi @jochemg, this is pretty cool! I'm actually working on something a little bit similar haha. Is yours based in the Netherlands and in person?

      Mine is more US based since I'm over here. :)

      1. 1

        Hey @cckevin, cool - I'm curious how it's going for you. My groups are either based in the Netherlands or online — and when online it's mostly European entrepreneurs joining because otherwise the time difference would become too much of an issue.

        Let's have a chat soon, curious to hear about your experience.

        1. 1

          Same, we're mostly North American bc of the time zone difference haha. How to best reach you for a chat?

          1. 1

            Twitter? My DMs are open.

    3. 1

      Narrowing down of channels is essential for the growth of the product because it allows you to put your energy in places where it might be fruitful. I feel like reaching out to your customers manually makes a lot of sense in the earlier phase, but you could be more efficient with your time. There are a lot of tools that help you to reach a wider community, where you could narrow down the target audience.
      One tool that I would recommend you highly is https://sparktoro.com/. It allows you to know exactly what your target audience is watching, reading, and who they are following. However, you could also put your focus on increasing your newsletter subscriptions. It will help you reach a wider audience much quickly