22
50 Comments

I have been promoting a product for 4 months with no success. What could I be doing wrong?

Hey There,

I am currently promoting a certain product, OLITT Website Builder - a product that is in it's beta stage - and it seems I am not doing some things right.

I joined the growth hacking team to promote a new product in January 2021. I was pretty confident I will be able to increase the number of users and grow the website traffic by the end of that month but unfortunately, that didn't happen. I figured February would be the month I achieved my set targets but that didn't happen as well.

It's now April and I am still not able to grow users and website traffic to my desired number.

I use the following tools:-

  1. Facebook Groups - I share different content to relevant groups on Facebook daily.
  2. Twitter and Instagram - I post daily and use relevant hashtags.
  3. LinkedIn - I post daily, engage users and share videos on my product.
  4. Quora - I answer relevant questions and ask questions as well.
  5. I check out my competitor's profiles and copy ideas from them, try to avoid mistakes I notice and basically keep tabs on them.

OLITT has great features that other website builders lack. Especially its simplicity and favourable prices.

I focus on its features and benefits but the users are not growing at a fast rate.

What could be the problem?

  1. 9

    This is my opinon and only my opinion:

    You're competing against giants (Webflow, Wix, Squarespace, and Elementor). If you're ever going to succeed, you're going to need to further differentiate yourself from them. At the moment, at least as far as your website indicates, all of those tools have you beat when it comes to features, and likely overall experience due to the maturity of their products, and the resources at their disposal.

    What I'm getting at is, just being another website builder isn't enough. You need to come at it from a different angle, or target a specific niche and conform your product according their needs. DO👏SOMETHING👏DIFFERENT.

    I read in one of your comments that one of your big focuses is on reducing the cost to sustain a website. You mention hosting, domains, security tickets, etc. All of these items are extremely inexpensive and usually fall at the bottom of the list in terms of costs associated with running a business. I'm not sure that alone is going to do it for you, though it's certainly a nice plus.

    Don't take the bait and do what many in this thread are telling you to do which is launch on Product Hunt. It would be a big mistake and a lost opportunity. Your messaging, landing page, and overall market positioning needs to be refinded to optimize and maximize the eventual PH launch. Otherwise, you'll experience the same negative results many here face, and they wonder why.

    I took my design business to $60K MRR not by trying to discover the magic bullet or the shortest way to the top, but by focusing all my efforts around making my service better, and better, and better. That's what you should do here, taking into account the things I mentioned above. And if it's any assurance, most of us have found ourselves in this exact place. What separates those who have succeeded from those who have failed at this stage is what you do now.

    1. 3

      +1 to this. You need to work on your positioning before trying to drive traffic that wouldn't convert. Definitely not easy because you're in a really tough category and it's impossible to compete on features or price.

      1. 1

        @andreboso Alright, I will work on this too. Thanks.

      2. 1

        Carrd differentiates itself by focusing on 1-page websites. It is also extremely cheap compared to SquareSpace and other more well-known companies. ( I woudn't compete on price though.)

        Maybe you could focus on one industry.

        For example, some businesses cater to restaurants.

        1. Spotmenus.com
        2. QRmenucreator.com
        3. Get.ChowNow.com

        Get well known in that industry and then start branching out. Be sure to target people with money, so they can actually pay for your service!

        1. 1

          @goodpointdustin
          Alright, let me review our missions and target audience as well.
          Thanks.

    2. 1

      @brettwill1025
      Very insightful and I respect your honesty. I will put this into practice. I do agree with the strategy of making the service better and focusing on the now.

      Thank you very much.

  2. 4

    Try to start with the problem that you're solving and for whom.

    It's very difficult to make the dogs eat dog food they don't like.

    How can you test that? Look at your organic growth. If people are recommending it to their friends, you're on the right track. If not, you have a solution in search of a product.

    I would try to resist the urge to use fancy marketing gimmicks in search of that magic bullet that will 180 this problem. Instead, go more upstream.

    Do more ethnographic research. Do more customer discovery. Do more customer development. Figure out what problems users truly have. How can you fix those?

    Then and only then should you use mainstream marketing to throw fuel on the fire.

    1. 2

      @RjYoungling
      Thanks for this recommendation. Let me try it out. I never really though of it this way, so many thanks.

      1. 2

        I agree with RJ - starting with the problem is key. We ran with a value prop for 7 months with minimal traction even though it was based on 100+ interviews. In the end we ran a survey where we got our top 2 target customer segments to stack rank the problems they face and the one we were claiming to solve ranked dead last as least important.

        After that, we just realigned our problem, messaging and value prop on our website and onboarding to the "most important" problems from our stack ranking survey and traction shot up. We barely even changed anything in our actual product.

        Here's the IndieHackers post I wrote explaining how we did the stack ranking, as it's probably really relevant for you from the sounds of things: The Idea Validation Method Stripe Uses for Building New Products. Hope that helps.

        1. 1

          Thanks for sharing this @danielkyne Let me look into it and I will give you an update. Thanks again.

  3. 2

    Haven't you tried paid acquisition channels?

    1. 2

      @jrbayguade Not yet. We were putting that on hold but are considering it in the future.

      1. 1

        Why not? That's the very first thing I would try.

  4. 2

    Has anyone mentioned referrals yet?

    You can take inspiration from carrd.co and build your own referral system. (I would use it)

    I think there's still an opportunity for a modern open source website builder; especially if your code is in JavaScript/NodeJS

    I think you can also take a hint from bannerbear and build an API for your product. (for example: allow people to publish new pages whenever they publish a tweet)

    lastly, I'd take a hint from carrd.co and allow users to try your website builder without the need to sign up. (force them to create an account when they are ready to publish their site)

    1. 1

      @fastur

      We do have a referral program that offers a 20% commission. We do not have a separate system for that but I will suggest this.
      I will also look into bannerbear and creating accounts once they are ready to publish there site.

      Thank you very much

  5. 2

    I'd be very harsh in roasting it for myself - often we try to protect the products we build. That's a natural instinct, but it isn't very productive.

    Seeing the website - I could easily tell you right off the bat - what do you bring to the table that's better than let's say Carrd for instance? Because if there is something, it's not standing out.

    You've also got much more advanced editors like Webflow or Elementor so you're on a very crowded niche. After you find your differentiator, you'll need to see if it's something people actually need. For instance, I'm thinking of site builders, right? I've been using https://www.ycode.com/ because it uses React and has a better data structure than Webflow.
    This is all very difficult of course, but the key is persistence and learning how to pivot. And the most difficult part of it all, starting an insightful conversation with potential users.

    1. 2

      @SteLofo

      I think criticism is good for a product. It's okay to not hold back any opinions and suggestions you may have.
      For OLITT, our main goal is reducing the cost of web development. That means we have free features like connecting custom domains, free web-hosting, free SSL Certificates and Free DNS Management. OLITT is also simple to use.

      I will look into upgrading and adding more unique and sophisticated features.

      Thanks for your comment.

      1. 1

        That sounds great - reducing the cost and hassle of web dev is definitely a thing that you can sell.

        Instead of adding new features, I'd personally concentrate on being sure the current ones are sold properly! Also, don't be afraid to make it look different than other platforms out there. And sound different, right now it feels like it uses that 'default' language that's being used for most websites out there. Look at Carrd https://carrd.co/ - they are very good in this niche (I didn't pay attention to them for a long time, but recently used them and they're doing it right)

        I see you've got niched templates - maybe a good strategy would be to go outside the design/dev/indiehackers circles, straight to people who need websites. If you can show a construction company with an ugly website how easy they can make it you've already got a customer.

        Anyway, hope this helps!

        1. 1

          @SteLofo

          This is great. Let me implement this and keep track of the growth from these suggestions.

          Again, many thanks for the suggestions and motivation.

    2. 1

      Why 'using react' is a thing you care about in no-code builder?

    3. 1

      Good luck btw! Hang in there, always ask for help, and enjoy the process!

      1. 1

        Thank you. Everyone here has been helpful and its motivating. Thanks.

  6. 2

    Maybe submit to sites like Product Hunt, BetaList, etc.?

    1. 1

      Hi @jeffsvicarovich

      I already have. I shared on those platforms and even received reviews.

      1. 2

        I just searched and found your company on BetaList.

        However, for Product Hunt, I only saw it listed as a "user," not a "product." Maybe I missed something?

        Sites likes spreadtheworld.net made by @xavier might be helpful.

        1. 1

          @jeffsvicarovich Alright, thanks. Le t me correct it in Product Hunt and check out spreadtheworld.net

            1. 1

              Thanks for your comment too @xavier

          1. 1

            OK great Yvette. Also, I'm not sure what you're doing with SEO, but maybe people like @ab80 can help with that.

            1. 1

              Alright, noted. Again, many thanks.

  7. 1

    So there's a whole team of growth out there? What other members of that team are doing?

    1. 1

      @flouroux
      We are working together. Everyone has their own section and we are always coming up with new ways to promote the product. As we focus on improving the quality of the product, we are trying to find ways to keep the audience engaged. This is wear we fail, terribly

      1. 1

        So you are responsible for social media posting & engaging. What other members of growth team are focused on? I'm curious because don't know much about growth teams, we usually just had 'a marketing guy'

        1. 1

          @flouroux
          Some people are focused on blogs and video tutorials while others are focused on communities and forums.

  8. 1

    Try giving away your product for FREE

    People love free,

    In the process of giveaway you'll get the 10x Users for each unit of product you give away ( Remember ? Everyone loves Free )

    You can ask people to tweet, share in the process of giving away.

    Not sure how to do it ?

    Wish monk is such free giveaway platform, that lets you manage your giveaway campaign for free.

    Give it a try now https://wishmonk.co

    1. 2

      @shivamv
      Thank you for this suggestion. Let me check wishmonk out and give it a try

  9. 1

    Who is your ICP?
    Have you interviewed them?
    What problems do they have that you can solve?
    What other resources are out there that solve this problem?
    Can you niche down to 1 big problem and then rule that category till you expand further?

    1. 1

      @prateekrmathur

      Thanks for the questions. Let me look into them in-depth and I will get back to you with an update.

  10. 1

    Your product seems excellent! problem is positioning.
    Try to position this as landing page builder (If you want make it s a separate product with different name, you can just make some little changes to the CSS)

    1. 1

      @sreekanth850
      Alright, another great suggestion.
      Let me work on this too. Thank you very much.

      1. 1

        Most of the lansding page builders are very basic in their functionality. If you can position it with following features it may works great

        1. Forms
        2. Popups
          Most of them out lacking this. But before proceeding create a landing page and validate the idea
        1. 1

          @sreekanth850 Alright, let me work on this too. Thanks.

          1. 1

            Tried to signup but i failed multiple time. Google auth is not working and email signup is not getting confirmation email!

            1. 1

              @sreekanth850
              Sorry about that. I am not getting any errors on my side but If your browser has ad blockers, kindly disable them then try again.

              If that isn't the case, you can join our live chat on the bottom left and we can assist you.

  11. 1

    Is your audience receptive about your communication on these media and how much do people engage with you and your posts?
    If you didn't share OLITT on Product Hunt, I'd advise you to do so as it's a great platform to increase the visibility of the product itself

    1. 1

      @BibHack

      Some of the content get likes and re-shares. I am currently trying to focus on the posts that get the most out engagement and see how I can be consistent.

      Let me rectify the profile on Product Hunt. Thank you.

  12. 1

    I find that it often comes down to messaging and how your audience is relating to that messaging on your landing page and on the distribution channels you are using.

    If you get to know your audience a little bit better you might be able to reduce the amount of postings you do in the different distribution channels and double-down on the one that's working.

    For me, I know there's close to zero interaction from any post we do on Facebook, so we don't focus on that any more. It's a waste of time. But, we know that people find us with more clear intent so that means focusing on SEO and Twitter.

    1. 1

      @jssk6 Alright, we also noticed that when it came to FaceBook. Thanks. Let me focus on what works and change my approach.

  13. 1

    If lack of traffic, maybe rethink distribution and the copies of your posts.

    If lack of conversion, maybe landing page and its copies can be improved.

    These two lines took up the entire first screen:
    "Build websites you're proud of | Olitt is a free drag-and-drop website builder that hands you the tools you need to succeed online."

    But it's not telling the visitors your differentiator.

    Probably try to address a specific problem/feature in that really valuable piece of property.

    I noticed you have Payment integration. So, maybe turn this into an idea validation tool? Something like

    • "validate your idea before building it"
    • "collect prepayment to test genuine interest from your users"
    • "will your users put their money where their mouth is"

    You know, stuff like these.

    1. 1

      @supjohn

      Let me look into this and see how I can implement your suggestions. Thank you very much.

Trending on Indie Hackers
Looking for your next business idea? 💡 I just launched Daily Domain Ideas on Product Hunt! 🎉 23 comments 10 Free Illustration resources for indie hackers. 11 comments One of the best guides that I come across for SEO 11 comments Dev of 1 built a $4.2M ARR dealership system. AMA. 9 comments How Stripe operates like a civilization 7 comments Page 404. Why do we give a F$%k about details in design of our products? 5 comments