Growth September 25, 2020

How you reach the first 10 customers for a SaaS?

Paolo De Giglio @paolo_degiglio

Hi I'm Paolo the founder of Satiurn, we have a good product and we have some local customers but we don't really know how to scale and find other customers here on the web. The service is a business management platform where you can manage all the things related to small and medium businesses.

How did you manage to reach the first 10 paying customers? Paid advertising? Blogging? Related free tools?

  1. 9

    Your product looks nice, as far as I can tell from the website. But you have a clear problem: I don't see who EXACTLY this is for. Is it for agencies? For freelancers?

    You can't solve every problem for everyone. Start solving some painful problem for a specific group. You probably already have done this, so think about what you're actually solving and for whom this is a real pain point (maye your current customers can also give you a hint). Then find these people in communities, cold email, Linkedin, twitter - wherever they hang out. But start with actually focussing.

    It looks like you really built something nice here, but PLEASE start focussing on a specific segment and talk about how you can help actually solve THEIR problems - otherwise you'll go nowhere - and it pains me to see this :)

    Happy to help more if this isn't clear.

    Best
    JR

    1. 1

      We are thinking to add use cases inside the landing page these could help in your opinion?

      1. 3

        This advice is gold.
        You may have a product that can help all businesses. But that is not how to start off. Focus on helping one specific type of business that does X. Call them, get them on board, then move to the next that does that same thing. Build all your marketing and information around industry X. Own that market. Once you own that market and have figured out their problems, and tailored the solution to their real wants, needs, pains do you move to another market.

        This recommendation is rarely followed but it's SUPER HARD to market and sell to everyone. You don't need that much business anyway. Even if you get 10% of a very niche industry, it can still create you a HUGE business.

      2. 2

        Yap, that's a good first step. But I'd take it further and ONLY focus your entire homepage on one target audience, and then talk in the headline TO that primary audience.

  2. 5

    Let me share what worked for me. Maybe some of these relevant to you.

    I've a product called Remote Leaf, which helps people during their remote job search. Here is what I've done

    • Setup a search column in Tweetdeck for "looking for remote job" and I've pinged all those people who said that they are looking for a job. In your case, try to find a pain point that your product solves and pitch it with your product
    • Find the tech reddit forums and released the free version of my curated lists.. it helped to reach bugger audience. Atleast people get to know that this product exists and solves their problem.

    That's how i've landed the first 10 customers and then 100 customers :)
    Just my 0.1 cents.

    1. 1

      Remote leaf looks very interesting! What's the value prop here? Are these job leads different to what one would find if subscribed to a free job newsletter?

      1. 1

        Yeah, let me try to summarize a few

        • Imagine the number of emails you get when you subscribe to 40 free jobs newsletter
        • How much time it takes each day to go through all of those emails and find the relevant ones. Some of them will not accept candidates from the country where you live, some of them don't hire from your timezone, some of them looking for a diff skill set.
        • Also you have to do this on a daily basis when you are doing an active job search
        • We do everything for you, that's the value proposition here I would say.

        Let me know if you have any questions.

    2. 1

      Hey @abinaya
      I agree with your approach. Especially with your twitter search.
      Have you thought about extending this to other social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or even Quora and Hacker News?

      I'm currently working on a tool that does exactly this for you (based on your search criteria). Would love to hear you opinion on this -> https://audiebox.com/

      1. 1

        The reason I choose Twitter & Reddit because I was active on them. I tried LinkedIn and I just can't do everything. So kinda trying Twitter and Reddit at this point. Will be revisiting the other sites in the future.

        Audiebox looks interesting, specifically the Airtable integration. Bookmarked and revisit the tool later.

    1. 1

      I already know your story, congratulations for the sprint

  3. 2

    I imagine you've got the local customers through manual onboarding? I think to grow, you can work on the website's value prop. I'm sure you have a unique great product. But as I glanced through the website for 5s, I wasn't clear how the product is differentiated other than cute. For comparison,

    The top copy says: "The business management platform built right for you".
    The one from Remote Leaf says: "Hand-picked remote jobs delivered
    straight to your inbox." Their's seems more straightforward and unique to me.

    So maybe you can spend sometime on your copy or even hiring a freelance copywriter. I think that step can help you scale with ads.

    1. 1

      You are probably right

  4. 2

    To get your first ten paying customers, you need at least 100 prospects to know your brand and the services your offer. It would be best to create awareness about your brand on social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. LinkedIn is appropriate for B2B or SaaS business. After that, work on SEO for your website, run Google Ads, run outbound email marketing campaigns, and get quality leads. If you have the money, you should collect your target audience's database and do email campaigns. Make sure you only reach to the decision makers of companies who can but your product.

  5. 2

    Show me a video of how Satiurn works/looks like instead of that illustration on the landing page, and I'm one small step closer to signing up for a trial.

    1. 1

      We are working for a video, now we have only a working demo here

      1. 2

        Nice demo, thanks and bookmarked. That's the problem with CTA buttons (or me, probably), I don't read what's on them :). Maybe you could use the space the illustration takes up and make [WE HAVE A DEMO] clearer?

        1. 1

          Okay dont'you worry for any questions feel free to ask me

  6. 2

    Get ready for the rollercoaster. It's a very long, difficult process with many ups and downs. If you read stories from successful IHs, and with successful I mean even getting to $1k MRR, many say the same thing: perseverance is key. Sure, the idea needs to be valid but if you pick a product of which you know it can make money (something that the market already validated) then just put in a lot of hard work. The founders of Bannerbear, Ghost come to mind but I've read this from others as well.
    Lastly, check out this post from BareMetrics: https://twitter.com/Baremetrics/status/1306258750915960849?s=20. Super insightful to see how long it takes. On average, it takes 292 days to get to $833 MRR. That was eye opening for me. Even more so if you think about the fact that this average is for business that made it to that point in the first place.

  7. 1

    With 1% conversion rate,
    You need to get at least 1000 signups to get 10 customers.

    Improve your top of the funnel, optimize the 1% along the way..

  8. 1

    Hi Paola - DM me and I can share how we found our first ten and then built up a pipeline of over 150 leads.

    Cheers - Ali
    [email protected]

  9. 1

    A simple answer - Product Hunt launch

    1. 1

      We know it but we want to be perfect for it.

      1. 3

        Personally, I wouldn't wait until the product is perfect. I'd rather share what I have and then after some major updates shared the "2.0" version :)

        1. 2

          I agree. The product is already really good and now you need to start getting new users to prove the product. Then, when you develop new features, you can post again on PH.

          Good luck and really good looking product

      2. 1

        Don't let perfect be the enemy of good! Err on the side of launching early and maybe launching often. That way you would get feedback much sooner and you can figure out if this idea is viable or not.

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