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42 Comments

I build an awesome white-label product but I don't know who could need it.

A couple of months ago I saw on a forum a small website builder that was doing 10 000$/month with a product that had some issues and bugs. And since I am a web developer I thought I could create a better product.

3 months later... I launched Antfolio . I believe I solve some of the issues that other competitors have, even though they were super tough and difficult (Now I know why they were not fixing them)

Demo video (in case you are curious): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtRTag1ugJI

Problem #1

I don't know how to sell ( I naively thought that building a better product will be enough to earn as much as he does )

Solution#1

Let businesses use my product as a white label and offer it to their clients as if it was a feature of theirs. Some businesses are doing it such as NameCheap offering a website builder to their clients when they buy a domain to set it up and start running asap. They do it to upsell their users and lock them on their website, which makes a lot of sense.

Problem #2

What other types of businesses need a white label website builder?

Of course, I can not go to NameCheap or any other startup of this size without a battle-tested product. I need to partner up with smaller business right now in order to polish my product and show the big startups that my product works

My Question:

Who do you think may need a white label website builder?

( you can create a landing page, portfolio, ideas validations, whatever you can imagine... )

  1. 8

    Feels a little "cart-before-the-horse." Likely worth taking a quick pause to do some proper customer discovery/validation work to find a value prop that will drive your new product, rather than one you have to push at people. Would recommend checking out this Indie Hackers post on finding the right problem for a customer segment.

    1. 2

      You are absolutely right! We did the exact opposite of it. I read the post and it is super interesting and useful. I was aware of: 'first the clients, then the product'. But it is the first I read it with such useful details.

      But I think we are still in time to start doing this approach.
      Choose the right niche and reach to the right clients

  2. 5

    You have a great sense of design, and you can obviously put together a landing page. I think you should try the following for a month or two.

    1. Create a "I will build your landing page" gig on Fiverr
    2. Create the landing page with the free version of Antfolio, keep the "Made with Antfolio"
    3. Upsell your Fiverr clients to the $10/mo plan

    Either you get free marketing or you get that sweet MRR. You also dogfood your own app and discover bugs and potential improvements.

    It could fail, but given your unique skillset I'd give it a try. Then when (if?) things start snowballing you can stop doing the Fiverr gigs. :)

    1. 2

      I have to say, that is genius! Totally agree. Of course, it is not scalable at all but for getting the first sweet 1$ or first users, it is a great idea. 🙌

      1. 1

        Exactly. Good luck on executing! :)

      2. 1

        You can write an article to teach freelancer web designers to use your site to get jobs done easily and cheaply. You get SEO and possible customers.

  3. 5

    Wow, I've made multiple page editors, and none of them compare to what you've made. That looks awesome!

    I think white labeling is a great option.

    Some other misc thoughts:

    • If you can import HTML pages/templates, white labeling it for theme designers might be an easier sell.
    • If you want to go it alone, you could build something like a single page editor for free, then upsell on a site builder.

    You could probably take a few hours an brainstorm/research a lot of niches - stuff like type of company (ecom, saas, content, etc), specific niches (what they sell, who they sell to, etc), and probably break it up a million different ways.

    Then the hard part: cold outreach to gauge interest and find people to sell to.

    1. 3

      Thank you so much for the feedback Andrew! It really means a lot 😊

      Could you elaborate on the "HTML pages" idea? looks pretty interesting but I didn't fully understand it :)

      Also, what is the difference between a page editor and a site builder?

      "First, find the problem you solve/clients --> then build the product". I did the opposite thing of what you are supposed to do. But luckily the product I built can focus on many different niches, as you said.

      The cold email is something that I needed to do it anyways. But the good thing about white labels is that I cold email other SaaS and businesses, so each successful cold email is not just one more user it means a lot of new users 🤙

      I was hoping someone here could give me some idea of who to target and start brainstorming from there 🙂

      1. 1

        HTML Pages:
        I think with site owners, having "starter templates" is way easier than a blank page. I couldn't tell if you use absolute positioning or something, or only handle a subset of HTML. For this, I meant: if you can import HTML, try people designing starter HTML templates - they may want a white-label editor that imports their template and makes it available to their customers.

        Page vs Site:
        Technically the same thing, but logically not as much: You know what a page is, but a site is much more. It's a collection of multiple pages, it might have the same components on each page (headers, footers, etc). It might have a few different types of content (landing, pricing, blog, etc). A site editor could have more management tools (manage templates, manage data, etc).

        Note: Definitely not suggesting you go off and build a bunch of site features. That's for you and your users to decide :-D

  4. 3

    We can offer this for some of our clients as Fluffzy product studio. Right now we're using Webflow mostly for landing pages.

    But I'm concerned about the customisability and Antfolio's power. Still you can reach out small teams like us. We have team of 3 developers and 2 designers.

    So don't be afraid of doing things that don't scale, you can try to agencies like us. And you can find them at https://clutch.co/ , https://dribble.com etc.

    1. 1

      Sounds great! Awesome feedback 🙌

      What are you missing from Antfolio so you and your team could use it?
      (We develop really fast 😉)

      Thanks for the resources too. Clutch seems like a goldmine 🤟

  5. 3

    White labelling doesn't compound: for every customer you get you will need to make as much effort getting the next one than you did for the first one.

    This is why company invest so much in brands. If you have a brand, the more people use it the more it will be recognized and the more client you will get. The first users are hard to have but it will only get easier.

    My 2 cents: spend more time on marketing than you did on building the product, talk to your users and make your first $ while incrementally increasing your user base.

    1. 1

      Why can't I do both? The problem with target single customers and building a brand is that when you have 0 customers it a pain in the ass. For each cold email (if it a successful cold email) you will get only one more user and it might not even be a paying user. On the other hand, targeting other businesses, a successful cold email means a lot of users, and the business will pay for them.

      I understand the value of the brand but for the first step of growing the SaaS, I think the white label has so many advantages. And with the revenue, I can start building the brand. 😊. What do you think?

      Of course, I will continue marketing for individual users as you mention on your 2 cents, but white labels could be a great boost :)

      1. 1

        I believe these are two different type of customers with two different type of needs.

        As you said, selling to one customer is already hard in itself so imagine selling to two type of customers.

        I would suggest targeting only one type of customers, but before you go into more coding make sure you talk to the people who want your product as is and especially the one who want to pay for it !

  6. 3

    I think you have to double down on the templates to get some traction. You only have 5, and the best looking ones, once you preview them, they are actually not that impressive. They are just color blocks put in the page, and there are some slight ui bugs (eg. misaligned icons).

    But once you get some high quality templates going, it will be just a matter of reaching interested people.

    1. 1

      Thank you so much for the feedback! 😊 We are aware of these problems. But we wanted to take a taste of real feedback and what potential clients think of it. If we have to wait until the product is perfect we would have spent months perfecting something that maybe no one will ever see or want.

      Our thinking is: If someone complains about it we will fix it. If not it may not be so important. Because there so many things to improve. I understand that it gives a bad impression as a first user but we are in a super early stage.

      We will keep improving, a week ago the user couldn't even select a custom image, they had to enter an URL of an online image 😂

      But yes! Definitely we need to build more quality templates with some awe-effect. This is really good feedback :)

      "If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late." - Reid Hoffman

  7. 3

    Duuuuuude, this a great product. I'm already thinking of some cool use cases for this. Whats the best way to get in touch @bender_dev

    1. 1

      Thanks for the feedback :)

      Funny story! I saw your follow on Twitter and thought: "A partnership with Pod Wizard could be amazing ". I didn't realize you were coming from indiehackers :)

      Twitter is good. --> bender_dev

  8. 3

    That is a really nice product! Congrats!
    I think some good business type for this will be marketing startups that do:

    • form creation
    • newsletter subscription
    • marketing campaigns
      .....
      All this users need landing pages to show their product.

    There hast to be more, but I can no think of them right now. ( will get back to you once I do )

    1. 1

      Thanks for the feedback! It really means a lot :)

      Those are fantastic ideas. Do you know any example of a small business from the ones you mentioned?

  9. 2

    Finish polishing your product and go to platforms like Appsumo (you can go on their Marketplace) or reach to private LTD FB groups (there's a ton - pm me if you need some - I can recommend you and get in touch with its moderators); it will help you to get hundreds (if not thousands) of early-adopters. Be prepared of the feedbacks and avoid outages on your side.
    Your product has a lot of potential, I'm sure it will be welcomed on the LTD communities (I can smell it since I belong to several of them).

    1. 1

      Amazing feedback! Thanks 🙌

      This idea is super interesting for us since we don't have any experience with LTD nor FB, I would love to discuss it furthermore with you.

      Here is my Twitter @bender_dev . Please send me a PM (since I can't find your Twitter on your profile). We could even discuss a referral program for you in case you are interested or just discuss some of these groups, it would have so much value for us. 💪

      Yes! We are on it. We are currently working at full speed to polish the product and we will also do some stress tests mocking a huge amount of traffic to avoid outages.

      1. 1

        Just pmed you on Twitter. Plese check.
        Also people in the ltd fb group were asking about things like: hostings (does it host on your server?), use cases (only for one page websites?)

        1. 1

          I will check it now. A long day of work. We do host everything on our server and our current use case is a one-page website. Although if a medium business is willing to use our white level we could consider implementing multi-page on the builder.

  10. 2

    I love it! Congrats :)
    Can u tell about the technologies that u used to create this?

    1. 1

      thanks :)

      Nothing special. Nextjs, chakra-ui (styling), drag and drop library and for hosting vercel and aws.

  11. 2

    The recent trend towards carrd pages and IG link pages etc… could be a good angle to attack- it’s not the white label approach you’ve talked about, but they’re for sure hitting up right now.

    1. 1

      We will absolutely attack that angle. Although it is always super difficult to convince a user to change platforms. And carrd right now is super trendy, kind of hard to still clients from him.

      But we will still try it anyways :)

  12. 2

    Optimize the site output (not your website, the ones that your customers build) for:

    • Mobile
    • Speed
    • Performance
      ....and you'll be super super super rich (assuming you'll put in some marketing effort)

    I did check out your product a few days ago on Twitter, do DM me that website comparison post when you complete it

    1. 1

      thank you for the feedback! 😊🤟Actually, the Speed and Performance for paying users (that have their own domain) is super fast!

      We are currently working on this feature but the DNS, domains, and these things are a pain in the ass but in some of the tests we made we were scared of how fast it was.

      And for the no-paying user is also really good, when I test it I remember scoring higher than 95 on all the templates. We still need to do some work around the images tho.

      And about the mobile feature we consider it super important as well, we already have an automatic phone version but it is still not really good.

      But we have some plans in the mind of building the mobile version 100% automatic that the user won't need to make it unless they want. We just need some time to do it since there are so many maths and algorithms involved in it. But it is 100% possible, one of the good things about building the whole website builder from scratch is that we have the whole power of changing anything.

      Absolutely I will send it to you, hopefully, this weekend. Thank you for being patient. We have so many moving parts right now 🤠

  13. 2

    There is a strong no-code community on Twitter, Facebook, Product Hunt and Indie Hackers. Start with them with a lifetime deal offer. You can also launch on AppSumo or similar platform. You will be able to quickly onboard first 100-1000 customers this way. From that point, start talking, analysing, listening and building. You will get to market-product fit in no times.

    1. 1

      Sounds good! This is totally what we have in mind. But we want to perfect the product and have it 100% ready, fulfilling all the needs a user might have, before posting it on serious platforms such as producthunt. So we don't lose potential clients because the product is not 100% finish yet.

  14. 2

    The youtube video is too loud (!) and too fast (I generally find videos too slow, but this really is too fast). The demo you have on the landing page itself is a much better speed and more clearly shows how the tool works. So I would use that as the demo video also, with some quieter less frantic music.

    As I look at the landing page, it's not clear to me what the difference is between a "website" and a "portfolio". I think of a portfolio as a website for someone trying to sell themselves (show what they've made/done), so it makes me think this tool is going to be restricted to a certain type of website that may not be what I need. I think it would be okay to have the name AntFolio and talk about it as a general website builder. But the problem is that landing page sometimes calls it a website and sometimes calls it a portfolio.

    In terms of finding customers, can you just go on forums for Wix and other no-code builders and suggest people look at your tool instead? If it's cheaper and just as good for the needs of certain users, they will look at it. But if it costs the same as Wix and isn't as polished, it seems like a hard sell.

    1. 1

      Yes! You are absolutely right. I also hate slow demo videos but I think went too far. And the music is a good point, I tried to match the speed with the music style... so two mistakes in one 😂

      Thanks for pointing that out. At first, we did not have all the functionality for a landing page (only for portfolio) but recently we added them and we have mixed of both on the landing page, which, I agree is a mess and confusing.

      It is a good idea to go to other website builder forums and comment on them. I will totally try that.

      About the pricing... It is something that we gave given a lot of thought and we don't want to compete on price. Since in most people's minds Cheaper === bad and We don't think that our builder is bad, maybe it does not have all the functionality that Wix has (of course) but it has other advantages (eg : simplicity )

      I am a web developer and even I got intimidated the first time I used Wix. That many functionalities come at the cost of complexity and for the users that don't need them, It is just a huge downside.

      1. 1

        I haven't personally used Wix, so I can't comment on whether it's overwhelming. You do use the word "simpler" in lots of places, but toward the bottom you imply that simpler == no-code. But then I immediately think of Wix and other no-code pagemakers. So I don't know what's the best thing, but maybe consider explicitly mentioning the contrast with Wix. Like if you had testimonials saying, "I tried Wix and after three hours I gave up and did what I needed with AntFolio in five minutes." Or something like that, if that's what you think your real USP is.

  15. 2

    I agree with the others, it looks really good and pretty easy to use. Now, what would it differentiate yours from Brizy for example?

    And another thing "Antfolio helps indiviual and startups of all sizes build better portfolios." I feel like using such broad terms could be counter productive, at least the beginning, if you have the budget to advertise to a wide audience like wix does for example, then using such terms would be fine.

    Have you thought about maybe niching down to a certain type of user and then expanding from there?

    Either way, pretty impressive work, wish you all the best.

  16. 2

    Maybe a small idea, but could you pitch it to real estate brokerages? I think its pretty common to see all kinds of realtors who all work for the same brokerage, like Remax, but their websites are all pretty much one-off, stand-alone, unique sites, aside from the Remax logo. What if you could spin it as a way for all the realtors to present a consistent image to clients by setting up a template site, and each realtor can either update it with their specifics, or have someone do it for them without re-creating the whole site? There may be some other franchise-like business models out there with a similar goal where corporate dictates certain branding requirements to operators. Car dealerships? Financial services seem to do this well already.

    1. 1

      That is a great great idea. Targeting bigger brokers may be a bit tricky since they already have their websites and all.

      But individuals real state brokers, that it is a completely different thing. They could benefit a lot of using a quick website builder for selling houses. We could add so much value for them to improve engagement and conversion for them.

      Great idea :)

  17. 2

    That looks sweet! This might be a dumb idea, but why don’t you market it as an “easy to use landing page builder” (larger market) and put it on AppSumo?

    1. 1

      Thanks! :) It is not a dumb idea.

      I wanted to solve the issues and have some running users to test that everything works smoothly before appsumo or producthunt.

      And actually, I was thinking of creating multiple landing pages offering different services even though it is the same builder, like one for landing pages, another for proposals, another for portfolios.

  18. 1

    What are your unique selling points/competitive advantages? Why should customers choose you? What problems are you solving that other sites are not? I am not able to tell on your site.

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