Growth September 28, 2020

How would you grow this?

Rosie Sherry @rosiesherry

This is an opportunity to get and give help in growing your indie hacker products.

Here's what you need to do:

  • Post a link to a project and provide a few words of what you have been doing to grow your product. It would be helpful to include challenges you've had and what has or hasn't worked.

  • Because this community is about giving back too, please comment on someone else's post with growth support and ideas.

Over to you!

  1. 3

    I am working on https://siteoly.com - Create websites from Google sheets.

    Challenge: Though Siteoly has lot of capabilities in terms of designs/functionality , I am not able to show the capabilities to full extent. I have been talking to my subscribers and taken a few suggestions. Improving the complete UI of app. Also I am planning to create more samples to show the capability of Siteoly.

    Other than that I am reading as much as I can to learn something new about growing this.

    Also published a medium post at https://medium.com/@upen946/why-i-built-sheet2site-alternative-4e1b96b5ef38

    Anything else I could do to grow better? Over to you all.

    1. 2

      There are lots of great no-code communities and directories. I would reach out to them, maybe ask for a review or to list your site. Some examples are https://www.makerpad.co and https://www.nocode.tech

      1. 1

        Hey!! Thankyou.

        I have been in touch with a few no-code communitites. Will check nocode.tech as well.

        But I think Makerpad charges to list sites.

    2. 2

      Nice site. There are people who absolutely love spreadsheets and work on them every single day.

      I would try and find these pockets and market to them. There will be sub groups within that would see value in having websites such as where some external customer needs to interact with a UI e.g intake forms for recruiters, real estate agents etc. The more non technical the better.

      I'd leverage facebook or google ads to target specific groups with a personalized message i.e. don't just say oh you can convert a google sheet to a website...say now you can have a beautiful UI to in take leads for this customer you work with etc.

      1. 1

        The more non technical the better.

        This makes complete sense.

        Not sure if I really want to get with FB and Google ads. I already have a few paying customers and a few people waiting for access. But, I got your point that I can leverage ads and target specific groups for a faster growth. Thankyou.

        1. 1

          Don't waste your money on FB ads. It's not effective for your type of business.

    3. 1

      Great product but how is this a sneak peek when you have added the whole thing??

      1. 1

        Hey Thankyou, there is lot to it. For example, we are launching with about 20+ readymade templates that you can see in actual app and alot of other things like caching, embedding on other sites etc.

        But you are correct, so removed the UI pic from here. Probably will save it for another post with new UI screens.

  2. 2

    I'm working on chooseyourplant.com. A worldwide community for houseplants lovers.

    I want to make this the "homepage" of everyone who loves plants:

    • Discover plants
    • Learn how to take care of plants thanks to the plant guides
    • See images and watch videotutorials from the community
    • See what shops are around you
    • Share people's stories of how they started growing plants

    And more!

  3. 2

    Hello all.

    I've built Radium.io to be the simplest way to add automated project management on top of GitHub.

    I've been handpicking users during the beta phase but I'd like to get more feedback now that it's battle tested.

    I'd like to make inroads in the open source community as I'm making the product free forever for them but I'm not sure what the best communities for sharing a product like this are?

    I'm currently building a "Tinder" feature to match open source contributors with issues they'd be interested in working on.

    Thanks for any suggestions!

    1. 2

      This looks like a great tool! I'm not super clear exactly where it fits in the project management spectrum. Is it a more advanced trello, something like Jira, or something else altogether. Also I think moving up the "who's this for" section might help some too. Just some unsolicited advice from someone who only now visited the website.

      As far as building community, have you thought about posting on Dev.to ? Lots of open-source people post on there regularly.

      1. 1

        Thanks @dgavey for that feedback! I will make it more clear what it can do. At this point it works almost like an AI project manager to keep you on task so that you don't have to waste time on things other than coding. It can take a github project board (and soon trello or jira backlogs) and allow you to tag and rank cards by their impact.

        It was built out of frustration with being assigned work as an engineer that was not aligned with organizational goals, Radium ensures that every feature is prioritized by impact whether building things solo or as a member of a large team. It has support for visualizing the teams and parts of your teams involved on a feature, coding against personal estimates, creating branches in GitHub repos automatically for a feature, and more! It's an opinionated, scientific method for building software.

        Thanks again for the tips, I will definitely post on dev.to!

        1. 2

          My pleasure hope it was helpful. I totally see what you're doing now after this comment. I think you should lead with your story!

          "It was built out of frustration with being assigned work as an engineer that was not aligned with organizational goals,"

          I think you start with something like that at the top it will help people see the value and explain the product more.

  4. 2

    I'm building a virtual watercooler for remote teams.

    To grow...

    • So far I've been blogging about all things to do with remote team culture building and effective communication.
    • I've kept an eye on twitter for any journalists looking to write about tools to help remote teams.
    • I've also been toying with the idea of LinkedIn ads but am on the fence.

    Challenges

    My comfort zone is definitely code so I guess the challenge I face is to tear myself away from the building bit and apply myself to sales and marketing. It's proving tricky to get the needle moving on this project and it's unclear if it's because:

    • I'm in my own echo-chamber of optimism
    • because I'm not effective in communicating the benefits
    • because the product idea / execution doesn't quite fit the market

    I'd love to hear some ideas / approaches to grow.

    1. 2

      Have you thought about reddit ads? I gave that ago last week for a product test and managed to get 156 clicks for $0.07 each. Maybe worth taking a look at as you can target threads that could work well with remote teams.

      1. 1

        They have not even crossed my mind. Good thinking!

    2. 2

      I am also in the same boat. Technically my product is almost ready. I need to kick me out of my comfort zone to do the remaining and get the word out.

      Do you approached remote team software companies for collaboration? You need to come out with an idea that will help them and eventually you to work together.

      1. 1

        I'm not sure that software engineers are the right target market for this, at least not to start with. I'm thinking about the most frequent suspects at the office watercooler - they tended to be marketing / sales, etc. But saying that there are remote teams that do marketing and sales and such so I could approach them.

        1. 1

          I was saying about dealing with remote team software making companies to give access to your virtual cooler as package with their remote team software product.

          1. 1

            Ah sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you meant like outsourced dev teams :)

            Right. So look to try bundle Chinwag with software used by remote teams. I'm not sure I know any off hand but will take a look.

  5. 1

    https://www.matchfluence.com
    Helping ecommerce stores discover microinfluencers for their marketing needs. The current MVP has a hashtag search which finds influencers that have posted with a given hashtag. Looking to get user feedback and iterate.

    I've been posting on forums, FB groups, paid ads and some content marketing.

    1. 1

      Interesting!

      Do you also have influencers from the Rental niche on the Matchfluence.com? I would be happy to explore the possibilities together with influencers of how can we spread the word out for Renetal.com.

      1. 1

        We do! I'd love to chat more with you, I'll send you an email.

        1. 1

          Sure, please reach out to me coderabsolute [at] gmail which is also in my profile.

  6. 1

    I've run a design consultancy for a few years (settlers.co). Grew it through cold emails. I prospect SaaS founders on LinkedIn, and reach out explaining how I can help them with their product.

    I've since switched up the value proposition to be a productized "Design Critique as a Service". Read Traffic Secrets by Russell Brunson, and going to be implementing inbound strategies to compliment the outbound strategies I've built over the years.

    This means:

    • Engaging more in communities where my customers exist
    • Paid ads targeting the audience of my Dream 100 customers (FB, Twitter, Google)
    • Building organic relationships with my Dream 100 customers to be featured on their blog/podcast
    • Creating more content for the mailing list I'm building
    • Creating growth tools (ie. Incubator list, SaaS design teardowns, landing page critiques, etc.)

    What else do you think I should be doing?

  7. 1

    I'm building a Nara Reading App, mainly targeting kids from 2-6 years old, who love to have their parents read book for, but sometimes their parents could not make it. All we need is to place the book in front of the phone camera, then the app will read.

    To grow...

    So far I've been posting about all new features, video, competitions on my Facebook personal page and the app fan page.

    I intended to launch on ProductHunt but I feel that it will fail since I do not have much followers to make it a hit.

    Challenges

    There are many reading apps on the market, however, my app does not need kids to look at the screen. That's my design goal. And I feel that is too new for parents nowadays.

    Furthermore, it is due to the audio book copyright, I have to collect fee as subscription after 7-day trial to pay royalty to author / publishers. It is a kind of obstacles for users to adopt my app. I did add a new feature to let users use the app for free as long as they record the voice themselves. Yet, I guess it is a bit burden on the user side and it needs some time to let users actually try it.

    That's it and I'd love to hear some ideas / approaches to grow. Thank you very much.

  8. 1

    My side project (with hopes for the future) is Dedolist.com. I am trying to bring the worlds data to one easy to use website and I have a long way to go.

    Challenge: Well, I've finally got the basics of the technical challenges down, now I need to grow the audience. This is very out of my league, but I'm up for the challenge! I think SEO is really important, but my Google presence is pitiful at maybe 3 google referrers per month. Any suggestions on how to best grow that?

  9. 1

    Currently working on https://moeminm.github.io/goodcode — haven't purchased a domain until I finish the React version of the website which should be done soon!

    My challenge is how do I go about acquiring new customers? Through some Reddit and HN posts, I was able to get a few sales but nothing major.

  10. 1

    My product is https://resumemaker.online/

    After being selected 1st product of the week on PH, growth up to this point was mostly by referrals and organic search. So far I've trying to maximize the SEO efforts and now I´m aiming to take a more intentional approach to marketing.

    I assume that offering a free download helped during these 2 years to keep the traffic up, but after introducing a paid version, the challenge is now to increase the traffic from USA and other first world countries, where most sales come from.

    1. 1

      That's cool. I intended to launch my product, a reading app for kids, on PH also but I'm afraid that it will not be a hit since I like have no friend and follower on PH. Do you have any advise?

      1. 1

        Well, I neither had followers on PH nor a big network online and it was my first launch. Resume related products seem to grab people´s attention so that mixed with a bit of luck made the trick in my case. If you´re not feeling confident, the advice I can give you then is to launch during the weekend, since there are less competitors it´s easier not to get buried below the "show more" thus there are high chances your product will be visible all/most of the day. Best of luck!

        1. 1

          Will try it. Thanks a lot.

  11. 1

    Hello, everyone. My project is called Designtack - https://www.designtack.com/

    To summarise, It helps to create social media marketing content in bulk from a single design!

    I have done a lot of marketing in the form of cold emailing, fb groups, social media, email list etc. but I only seem to get users who try it once and leave.

    I would love to know your thoughts on how can I find out WHY aren't users using it often or what's the cause of them leaving it after just using once.

  12. 1

    I am working on https://www.shipkore.com - Track Couriers in one unified interface and embed it everywhere.

    Challenge - Different Couriers are using different technologies to track so its hard to add new couriers. I have created a unified model to do that but work is monotonous and I needed more focus to put more couriers out in the wild.

    Currently, It is soft launch so there are many bugs and many pages are not working.

    1. 2

      Could you plug in a email capture tool so you can take a break from building and get people to sign up for a beta waiting list?

  13. 1

    I've been building http://qualified.ie/ - it's a niche job board for finance/accounting professionals in Ireland. Currently manually scraping jobs for supply.

    I've been driving traffic purely through instagram till now. Up to just about c.100 users a week. Thinking of sponsoring the local accounting society/doing paid ads to grow demand further.

    Would love to hear from anyone who has experience in building a niche job board :)

    1. 3

      I don't have experience but recently had a play with Linkedin targeted advertising. I set up my company page there a while back and Linkedin keep trying to give me $50 to promote a post my company made... might be worth a shot and targeting accountants?

      1. 1

        That's a nice idea. My knowledge of LinkedIn is somewhere between zero and the square root of diddledy squat but good opportunity to learn :) Thanks!

    2. 2

      have you looked at linked in by any chance? Organic reach on there is really good! You could connect with people who are relative to your area and then write posts on there. Due to organic reach you will probably do quite well without spending any money.

      Could be great for building a base, then scale up with paid ads? :)

      1. 1

        Definitely worth investigating. Thanks :)

    3. 2

      I've used https://quickbooks.intuit.com/uk/find-an-accountant/ to find accountants before. Quite an extensive list of people looking for work on there.

    4. 2

      Don't know how legal it is but accountants are typically part of societies (CPA, CFA etc) so you can probably find public listings of credentialed accountants and target via email?

      I'd also look at subreddits of these professions or do reddit advertising. It's powerful and underrated.

  14. 1

    Building join.coulf.com a private community for Indie Makers, Founders and Leaders. I'm trying to make our community different in every possible way.

    Except for a few posts I made to encourage signups to waitlist what I'm doing is mostly internal. Like growing resources, working on onboarding and so on. While I'm getting signups from where I post a challenge for me is not having a huge following on socials.

    1. 1

      Interesting name. What's the inspiration behind that name? How do you pronounce it?

      1. 2

        Thanks. You could (can) do it --> You coulf do it Like kholf. It's the community I'm building for indie product makers/founders and I felt the name resonated with it, gave it a second thought, and bought it.

        You broke the rules, you haven't posted your product for me to comment on lol

        1. 1

          I'm growing MastermindJam®, an accountability community for indie founders. I started it in March of 2015.

          MastermindJam is a founder community that specializes in helping online founders join small, private groups to get answers, accountability, and feedback. It lives on a custom-built community platform.

          1. 1

            Nice, I have joined the waitlist in the hopes of talking with fellow founders and your community members.

            1. 1

              I forgot to mention this earlier — and it may change your willingness to be on the waitlist — it's a paid community ($$$/year), not freemium. Still interested? 😬

  15. 1

    Visiwig.com

    I'm creating a marketplace for design assets. I'm in a catch 22 without any traffic, because vendors don't want to sell on a site that doesn't get any traffic / sales. I have reached out to a handful of vendors from other popular sites, but changed directions to get to a point vendors would be more likely to list their products. My main objective now has been to build a few products of my own, including a few freebies to build traffic. What would you do to attract and persuade vendors that I reach out to?

    1. 2

      I think it's the typical chicken and egg situation - no buyers because no sellers, no sellers because no buyers.

      Have you reached out to folks on Twitter who are looking for assets by using "advanced search tactics" (something maybe like scouring the timelines for these keywords https://twitter.com/search?q=help svg icons&src=typed_query&f=live)

      There are quite a few folks in our community who make these assets, have you tried reaching out to them directly - maybe the fact that you're both from the same community can be leveraged to get them to help you out by providing some assets to bulk up the catalogue on your site?

      1. 1

        I like this idea to use twitter this way, I will definitely give it a try. I have only reached out to a 10 vendors, none from IH, but that is also a great place to find some initial vendors. Thanks for the input!

    2. 1

      Launch a free or limited (png/jpg only) set on Product Hunt...these things always get lots of upvotes on there os you'll get a traffic boost. Then reel them in with a pro package.

    3. 1

      Like people always say the marketplace is one of the toughest models. I am sure you would have already known this. But once you stick to it and be with it for a few months/years, then the growth could be exponential. So, unlike normal saas, marketplace takes time but once it picks up, it grows much faster than a saas.

      Probably below things may help.

      • Building a few products of your own certainly helps and shows the site active
      • Probably talk to other vendors and offer a much higher share on each sale. For example, if you want to give 70% of each sale to vendors, may be for the early vendor adopters tell them they would get 90% of each sale. This will help them to decide quicker and try your platform.
      • Offering a free help to IHers occasionally when you have time can work wonders too. This community respects everyones work and time.

      You should see Mentorcruise growth story as well.

      1. 1

        Cost to contributors doesn't have to be fixed either. It could be fee free for the first x months, and then go to standard rates. Or first x sales are fee free.

  16. 0

    Okay, I guess I'll go first and then provide feedback to someone who post second:

    • I have been building my YouTube channel
      Almost 100 videos in! I have been looking at the Landing Page section here on Indiehackers and I try to cherry-pick the most interesting pages and I offer a review from my perspective.
      This is pretty epic, because I give my genuine feedback as a video where people get to see the genuine reaction to their copy, layout, call to actions, pricing, branding etc etc

    • To market my channel I have done only one tactic so far: I usually will respond to the comment asking for feedback on the community forum here with a link to my video, and provide context.

    • The biggest challenge is the fact that because I review videos as a response to a IH community post, only the person who posted is likely to be interested in watching the review, which is why I started live streaming multiple reviews at once - to try and get more eyes and ultimately more subscribers...

    • My questions to you are: what do you like and what do you not like about this initiative/youtube channel theme? do you think this kind of content is useful to you as a maker/founder/hacker?

    P.S. If you want to submit your site for review on my YouTube channel, here's a handy Netlify form to send it to me

    1. 2

      This is coming from someone who does watch YouTube...

      You are right that you are creating videos for one person. Your strategy to group reviews only increases your audience by how many targets you review... I suggest trying to frame your reviews to a wider audience by talking about general problems you see and how to fix it. Doesn't mean you have to stop your personal reviews, but instead sprinkle varying content like broader reviews, issues, and tips. This will also help your titles, instead of having mostly content like: "My review of the site <site-name.com>", you would have "3 common UX mistakes for Saas companies" or "fixing this hero screen increased signups". Then you can potentially include some excerpts of these past reviews.... especially if you do follow-ups. Your target audience is searching with words like UX, UI, hero screen, design, landing page, usability, etc... make sure you are pulling a variety of fitting keywords into your titles. Obviously don't force them.

      1. 1

        Thank you for the feedback!

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