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68 Comments

I launched 12 companies from $0 to $2MM ARR. Let me answer your launch questions. AMA!

I've launched a dozen startups to over $2 million in ARR, including some companies you maybe have heard of like GOG.com, Unito.io, Kontakt.io; I am an expert in launching startups by helping them nail positioning & prove market demand with quantitative data (https://crowdtamers.com/build-test-a-million-💲-arr-acquisition-funnel-in-9-weeks/). I've taught and mentored a few hundred early stage startups through StartupHub in Europe and Founder Institute in North America and MENA. I love helping early stage startups get up off the ground and am on a mission to help 1,000 startups reach $1,000,000 in revenue in the next 7 years (https://crowdtamers.com/the-why-of-crowdtamers/).

AMA about your launching your project--ideally before you've even finished building it.


EDIT - Thanks so much! #1 community post for the day in both comments & votes! That's about a wrap on this thread; I'll check in again at least once a day over the next week or so, but I'm not gonna haunt the page, refreshing constantly to see if there's a new question to answer.

I hope y'all found it useful, and you can always feel free to hit me up @trevorlongino on Twitter if you have any questions.

  1. 5

    I have a few ideas that I'm building landing pages for. Yay/nay? Is there a good way to know if an idea is worth building a landing page for before I do so?

    1. 5

      Building a landing page is a pretty cheap way to discover interest. Validation comes pretty quickly as you see if people will click on ads / sign up for your beta. If not, don't bother building the final product.

      I'm a big fan of launching a landing page as the first test before building.

    2. 1

      The launching landing page is not enough. What matter most is what is your pitch and what type of problem you are solving!

      Since you are in the validation stage, I would advise you to sell an info product rather than create a new product!

      1. 1

        What do you mean by an info product?

  2. 3

    I just launched PipeSocial.io as a private beta, targeting twitter power user.
    What do you think of the private beta mode? How you'd kickstart this kind of product?

    1. 4

      Hey, Xavier!

      I know you on Twitter, too. :) I like the idea of what you're creating, although I do think there's some room to improve how you're messaging and talking about Pipesocial on the homepage. I took 3 minutes to do a quick teardown of Pipesocial and what I might recommend you do to position in a way that invites more signups https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heCofKMyDa0

      Beyond that, the usual method I'd tackle is to try some positioning tests on Twitter (obviously) where you pay to display ads to generate a top of funnel test campaign to see what kind of engagement and interaction you can get with different messaging and different ways of targeting an audience. Do you have more success targeting the founder persona on Twitter? A content creator? A salesperson? Targeting each with an ad that has a clear value prop and just seeing the click through rate (CTR) of those impressions will tell you a lot about who you might actually be building for but you don't know.

      You could also try the steps I outline here for "Build your worst enemy" but just do them for Pipesocial (https://crowdtamers.com/build-your-worst-enemy-testing-an-already-launched-product/) as you're not so far along on your journey that you need to build a mock enemy to test your positioning against.

      Hope this answered your question. Feel free to hit me up if you have any follow up. :)

      1. 2

        Thanks for the detailed video feedback, super useful! 😍

        I'll try to refine my "worst" enemy, i think the positioning is key with this product!

        Thanks again

  3. 2

    Not a question, but... I love your CrowdTamers "why" and just want to put myself and one of my co-founders on your radar as possible future resources. I specialize in naming and verbal identity, and she's a phenomenal brand strategist. We both love the startup space and the early days in a company. (Totally understand that when a startup is just getting off the ground, the name/brand is NOT the most important thing, but it definitely starts to matter once they're trying to grow!) We're building our own startup, too, but happy to side hustle and help other founders while doing stuff we love.

    1. 1

      Cool! I'd love to catch up and learn more about you and what you're up to. Hit me up if you'd like to chat: https://savvycal.com/crowdtamers .

  4. 2

    I devoted everything to build a personal WhatsApp CRM for sales (cooby.co) and now I found it's so hard to find salespeople (ideally field sales agents, insurance agents and direct sales) to try out our product. Any tips on getting first batch of users in this vertical?

    1. 1

      Great getting to talk to you today, Wen. Good luck on your next steps!

  5. 2

    Awesome to know that you are behind Kontakt.io. I've been trying to get into the beacon space over the last few years seeing as I am in Poland which seems to be the go-to place for beacons companies these days.

    1. 2

      The industry never quite got as big as they were saying it would, but it does okay and Kontakt.io--after a few rough times--remains a leader in the space.

      1. 1

        It sure is a leader in the space! I have a feeling that beacons will have somewhat of a resurgence as QR codes have recently.

  6. 2

    Just read all the questions/answers and some really great insights.

    Especially around not wasting time and figuring out if a startup will work or not.

    1. 1

      Great to hear. Thanks for the feedback!

  7. 2

    I have been working on a no-code/low-code platform designed specifically for front-end engineers. It's not available to public yet, but I'd like to demo it to potential users to gather some initial feedback.

    How can I go about finding users who are willing to provide feedback over a Zoom call? I posted on Reddit as well as here (https://www.indiehackers.com/post/feedback-request-for-no-code-low-code-platform-built-for-developers-front-end-engineers-545af34e96) with no luck.

    Thanks for doing this btw.

    1. 1

      I'm happy to do a call. Book when it's convenient: https://savvycal.com/crowdtamers

      1. 2

        Great, really appreciate it! Just scheduled our call. Looking forward to it.

  8. 2

    In your opinion, which companies are doing the best job of building in public ahead of their product's launch?

    1. 3

      Blake Emal is a fantastic example of someone building in public--and the copy.ai crew in general. Also a lot of respect for @benbarbersmith, @joywithjasvideo, @meetkevon, and (for a random wildcard) @ujjwal_sukheja.

      There are tonnes of great builders on Twitter. It's a fantastic place to find a tribe to build along with.

  9. 2

    I jumped the gun and started reading your blog! really impressed so far.

    1. 1

      Thanks! It's not widely-read but I do try to make it valuable.

  10. 2

    Before you put up a landing page to test a proposed solution to a problem, you need to pick a problem to try and solve for people.

    Have you seen a systematic method for searching a market / problem space to discover opportunities?

    1. 1

      Ideas are pretty cheap. Coming up with something that scratches your own itch is the classic one. If you want ideas from an external source, I keep referring people to something like this (https://www.reddit.com/r/SideProject/comments/mc1yju/750_saas_startup_ideas_for_you_that_work/)

      I'm in no way affiliated with Amas, I just think it's a cool list.

      In my case, the products I'm developing at the moment are all either market tested or me scratching my own itch.

  11. 2

    Is there a piece of advice you'd give indie hackers that hasn't been said before?

    1. 2

      Don't trade 6 months of your life for something you can learn for $1k in ad tests. Think of the two reasons that startups die: https://crowdtamers.com/the-wolf-and-the-rat-trading-money-for-time-in-new-startups/ and choose your own adventure to maximize your chances of success.

      1. 3

        Wow,
        https://crowdtamers.com/the-wolf-and-the-rat-trading-money-for-time-in-new-startups/
        This writing is so straight and intuitive. Wish I had found something like this when I was trying to force myself on a project that wasn't working but eating my time and money.
        "Startups need to fail fast, and one of the best ways to fail is to understand what works and what doesn’t. " My favorite.

  12. 2

    I just launched NFT HUNT ( https://nfthunt.softr.app/ ) Been good at the beginning now things are slowing down, How do i build a community around it?(more of a cult)
    How do i get users to comment?
    Thanks a lot!

    1. 1

      Your homepage is pretty brutal for onboarding:

      https://imgur.com/a/6HB0YUJ

      With no prompt for what you do or why I should sign up, you're gonna have a really high number of people who bounce off your page.

      I'd make a little gentler an onboarding into why someone wants to use NFT HUNT before asking for the signup.

      Then you can use tools like intro,js to onboard people once they sign up and get 'em to make a comment as part of their first user session.

      Hope that helps. :)

      1. 1

        Ok thanks for the tips

  13. 2

    Do you have any steps in figuring out your positioning that seems to work well for SaaS companies?

    1. 2

      As it happens, I do: https://crowdtamers.com/your-brand-sucks-if-you-dont-do-these-5-things/

      Let me know if there's any questions about it. :)

  14. 2

    Hey Trevor,
    appreciate this. As my side project I am building Kairo - getkairo.com - a tracking dashboard. It is not officially launched, that is planned in a month, but I have posted to various sites where it received a great feedback and being on top of the lists just to test the waters.

    Now, great feedback is great, but, there were little sign ups to try it out (compared to upvotes and feedback). There are already a number of paying customers, which is great and I didn't expect it (it is a new project).

    My question is, I took an approach where the users can try it out, without logging in (but the data won't be saved, so no reports and limited set of features), then there is 7 days trial. Do you think this is a worthy approach for the launch or should I just drop the free no-login version and have just trial and extend it to 30 days for example? Or do something different on the free page ( there is a form now to follow the progress which has seen some conversions).

    Thank you 🙏

    1. 2

      So I've been doing marketing for startups for 15 years and I'm still wrong about these kinds of questions roughly 70% of the time.

      The best way to find out what works is to implement each.

      "That's a lot of coding!" I hear you say. Sure, if you actually coded it.

      But if you just offer people either:

      1. Playground
      2. Free tier

      And then change what you tell them they're allowed to do with it, you can test messaging and "trial duration" without updating a line of code. What you care about is what gets you top of funnel conversions into your app. If you tell people that they aren't going to get something, but they actually do get it (like your 7 day trial is actually 21 days) no one is gonna be mad.

      For my money I'd embed the playground feature in the homepage (think of how Slack has a "preview" on their hompage) rather than behind a button. I would not do a free tier but rather do a free 7 day trial. In my past experience, trial length didn't matter--most conversions took place within 3 days after trial's end no matter how long it was.

      That said, test. Test, test, test. That's the only way to know for sure.

  15. 2

    How many ideas have you run through the validation process and killed off?

    1. 1

      A few hundred, in workshops. I murder dreams. :P

      Just me for myself? About 2 dozen.

  16. 2

    Hi. Do you believe in blogging as a long run way to reach customers? If not, what other SEO strategies do you use?

    1. 1

      Content can deliver tremendous value over time. I don't like to use it first, as it takes a while to work. But I find that it delivers tremendous value over months and years.

      To give an example, my blog at CrowdTamers is 2 years old and only just in the last month or so do I start to get leads from it regularly.

      1. 2

        One last question, how much traffic (in percentage) is coming from your blog?

        So, before the last month, you didn't get enough traffic or almost zero?

        1. 1

          I get a few hundred visits a month. It's not nothing, it's just that you need to reach a certain quantity of visits and posts before you start to find the right people regularly.

  17. 2

    Hey Trevor, would you be interested in joining to a startup with a really great potential, as a partner?
    I'm talking about Howitzer.

    Thanks!

    1. 1

      Hey, @nklvlk!

      I appreciate the outreach. Unless you're looking to have me join in my capacity as an agency, I'm not looking to leave behind the company I've founded at the moment.

      Let me know more about what you're looking for, I might know someone who's a good fit.

      1. 1

        Thanks Trevor!
        I wrote you an email :)

  18. 2

    Have you ever thought of productising this validation process?

    1. 1

      I'm writing a book about this exact thing. :)

  19. 2

    I read this and I'm wondering if this sequence works even for developer-focused SaaS products?

    https://crowdtamers.com/build-test-a-million-💲-arr-acquisition-funnel-in-9-weeks/

    1. 2

      I've had it work for https://mayadata.io, which is as developer focused as you can get.

      1. 2

        Thanks. I booked your calendar for a 20 min tomorrow.

        I have also sent you an email with Notion link complete with landing page, budget, what I have tried and some questions about your previous work.

  20. 2

    Hey Trevor!

    I'm currently working on https://www.namy.ai

    It's in a decent state but there's tons of improvements I want to do (specifically in the algorithm side of things, to suggest better domain names).

    What do you recommend me do? Continue building and launch later? Launch now? Have a series of staggered launches where i gather feedback and get validation?

    What would your strategy be for namy.ai?

    1. 3

      ABL - Always Be Launching :)...I find that founders who launch often, gather feedback, and iterate are more successful than those who wait for some big arbitrary date! Cheers

    2. 2

      The title of the book I'm working on is Launch Today. So that probably tells you what you need to know. :D

      https://crowdtamers.com/launch-your-thing-today/

      Launch now and see if there's interest. You can spend years building a great tool only to find that no one wants it.

      So be ruthless about launching as fast and as often as you can. The market will tell you what it wants, and then you can build that. Much easier to find a market than to build one. :)

  21. 2

    @CrowdTamers Thanks for sharing! Super valuable. It seems this process relies heavily on ads. How do you think about customer discovery calls with regards to your process? Are they useful, say as an ER0 to inform your ER1?

    1. 3

      I have used customer calls a lot. I've found they have 2 weaknesses:

      1. The skill of the person on the phone makes a tremendous difference in terms of commitment from a lead.
      2. You can easily collect a few thousand data points with ads. You will have to hustle like hell to collect a few dozen on the phone.

      Most teams I work with are product-heavy teams where the developer needs help with validation. I haven't met many developers who are happy to cold call people. :D

      1. 2

        Totally makes sense on both your points. Thanks for the input!

        Even a couple thousand dollars might be out of budget for early indie hackers (likely less proven than the companies you work with).

        In those situations I think it makes sense to start "scrappy" and go with discovery calls at the beginning and THEN into the process you've outlined.

        That way you've got a bit of a better idea around key feature differentiators, ideal customer personas, & positioning without spending anything but sweat equity.

        Awesome stuff, looking forward to implementing some of your teachings/process!

        1. 3

          I agree even $1k / $2k can be out of budget for some hackers.

          In my past experience, you can usually find a few hundred a month if you get ruthless with your budget. Back when I made $46k a year as a copywriter I was able to save for 3 months and run a few small ads for the side business I had then.

          That's how I discovered that I was not really prepared to handle a big influx of clients into my PR agency. So I scaled it up by hiring 3 people and then promptly ran it into the ground because I didn't know what I was doing. :P

          Some lessons come harder than others.

  22. 1

    What about those who have already wasted time building something without a business model? I built a cryptocurrency research application (https://moonfactory.com) a while back and it gained a decent amount of initial interest which motivated me to continue..

    I've struggled greatly in building premium features onto the application in a cost effective way (the blockchain is a major PITA in terms of activity, data and 3rd party services/support/costs).

    It was originally for researching gems but then the market crashed (as I knew it eventually would), usage dropped off and now I've pivoted to the trading side of things. The plan is to introduce subscriptions.. but the costs to power the features for those subscriptions are too costly. It's a painful catch 22.

    I already have half of something and a small userbase. Crypto has a lot of great opportunities.. it's difficult to throw the towel in without testing subscriptions. I even had an investor give me $20k (for nothing) to support dev. I think I'm just overwhelmed and anxious as I have no clue how I'm going to make money from it and when I should cut my losses and move onto something else.

  23. 1

    Hi @CrowdTamers,
    We've recently launched a platform centered around peer to peer lending of DIY kit, (with a geographic focus on London), AlienRent.com. Pre launch we had set up a landing page and run some ads on FB and Instagram, which went quite well. We collected about 150 email addresses over a month, so took this as we had a market fit. After a few months of building we launched again. 4 of the original landing page signups created accounts on the platform, and we've begun running ads again, however this time around seems to be completely cold, no new signups.
    Do you know what might be behind this apparent mismatch in demand?

    1. 2

      Were both times round the same landing page? Sounds like your offer changed and your signups reflect that. Those 4 of the 150 are warm in the sense that they came form an email signup. It's far harder to convert a cold prospect into an account.

      Also, I went through your registration process and it's far too cumbersome. It's really important to make it as frictionless as possible. Your multi-step form with "Next" along with no idea of how many steps to take will lose you a lot of potential users. Treat it as if you are losing a percentage of users with every field you add. I'd scrap the multi-step, try social registration with maximum a few fields for normal email/pass registration, then only ask for other important info if/when a user tries to do something which requires it (such as rent/hire equipment).

      Looks like a decent idea, good luck with it!

      1. 1

        that's really helpful feedback, thanks for taking the time and going through our signup, we're definitely going to incorporate it :)
        The initial landing page was essentially just a site explaining the idea, a way of collecting emails, and doing a questionnaire if you felt like it. Our new page is the actual functioning MVP.
        Thanks again!

  24. 1

    I am working on Group Leads - https://groupleads.net

    I would love to have your feedback.

  25. 1

    I am deeply impressed by your mission. What inspired you to quit CMO position to devote life towards helping startups such way?

    1. 2

      Kids.

      They force a change in perspective, man. I didn't want to tell my 3 kids, when I was 70, that I made a couple of other people rich and that's what I was good at.

  26. 1

    Hi Trevor,

    Two weeks ago I've launched as public beta an alternative to Twitter analytics, without the hassle of complicated navigation. https://TwitterStats.app

    I've launched on ProductHunt and got 25 votes and a stunning 67 new users on the launch day - https://www.producthunt.com/posts/twitterstats , from there the users growth was 1 or 2 / day.
    I also build in public on Twitter - https://twitter.com/AlexMano12 - where I share lessons learned and weekly reports.

    What would you recommend to take as next steps ?

    Thank you.
    Alex

    1. 1

      I don't see a very clear differentiation between what you do and what Twitter has baked in natively. I also don't really know who your analytics are for.

      "Twitter Analytics with superpowers." is all well and good, but it looks like you're providing all of the same stats that Twitter gives me at first glance. (I will confess I am not a Twitter analytics junkie but I did just look at my Twitter stats this morning before coming to IH)

      I would recommend you find a more concrete value prop--insights that help you grow your Twitter reach, or top ways to engage with your followers or some other thing--and who it's for. Business owners? Content creators? People with Twitter Super Follows?

      Nail both of those and you'll be well on your way. :)

      1. 2

        Wow. Thank you for the frank advice. I'm doing all by my own and it's not obvious what I'm doing wrong. Thank you again for your time. I really appreciate it.

        Measures I understood I have to take:

        1. A clear difference between TwitterStats and Twitter analytics
        2. A more meaningful landing page, benefits of TwitterStats vs Twitter analytics
        3. The solution is intended for both, companies and users, I have to make this clear for both of them. Again, the difference between TwitterStats and Twitter analytics plus how brands can benefit of the product, how users can benefit of the product.

        Thank you again. I will let you know how it goes, I'm following you on Twitter.
        Alex

  27. 1

    The myth, the man, the legend...

  28. 1

    Hi Trevor,
    1 year ago, during the pandemic, I build this product as Side Project: https://sheetpages.com .
    Some people started using the application, but there where too bug and I was too busy with my real job, so I shut down the product, leaving up only the landing page.
    In the last year, without working on it, I have collected about 200 emails ( 10% of users who visit the site).
    Now I am wondering if it makes sense to quit my job and focus on this project even if I have not generated any income.
    How do you act in these conditions?
    When does it make sense to work on a product?
    Does it make sense to take the plunge before having a profit?

    1. 2

      I would generally avoid making a jump when there's no profit.

      I'll admit I'm impressed that your page converts at 10%; it's quite sparse. I would try to develop this as a side project for the next few months and see if you can't drive more than 2k visits a year to the site while keeping a good signup retention.

      There's no need to quit your fulltime gig just now as this is not a product whose time to market is crucial. Go slow and steady and you'll be ready to make the jump when your business is ready or when you simply can't think of anything other than your product. :)

      1. 1

        Thanks Trevor.
        Very Helpful :)

  29. 1

    Hey! We are currently building Basch.ml, a synthetic media platform to help create videos in Minutes without Any Video Skill. We are currently in the Development stage. We have about 250+ people on the waiting list. We are thinking about launching soon. Really confused right now. Any advice?

    1. 1

      Woah, that tech is super cool and a little bit scary!

      Happy to hop on a call to talk about what you're confronting right now: https://savvycal.com/crowdtamers .

  30. 1

    If you had to start from scratch (0$, 0 users), what would be your TLDR action plan be?

    1. 1

      I'm actually going to do that exact thing twice for the book I'm working on right now. It all starts with a landing page, a few ads, and a $1k budget. And then I see what gets traction from there; if there's interest, I build it. :)

  31. 1

    Please critique my landing page: https://languagetools.anki.study/awesometts-plus
    the audience are users of an addon to the flashcard software Anki. And the sign up is to unlock a premium feature.

    I have not yet gone to A/B testing, but it feels like that's the next step for me, as I get some organic traffic from having a promotion link inside the addon.

    1. 1

      I'll take a look and record a video soon. Short version of feedback:

      1. Your popup fires way too fast
      2. Your CTA is kind of hard to find, because the page design is very cluttered
      3. You're almost 100% feature oriented instead of benefit oriented. Why do I want the best TTS voices? Learn to speak like a native with high quality TTS voices? Find a better way to talk about what you sell.
      4. I am never a fan of asking your visitor to choose a plan out of the gate. If there's no free trial, I'd recommend simple pricing that's just usage based and one plan. That usually increases conversion rate (although, of course, test. :P )

      Hope it helps!

      1. 2

        Thank you so much, I look forward to your video. I love such feedback.
        As you guessed, I'm looking to increase conversions. I have a feeling technical users like my product and sign up easily (they have told me so). But I'd like to reach a wider audience.

  32. 1

    Amazing portfolio there mate, I've booked in a session

    Would love to get your feedback on https://smartwriter.ai

    Taking on a niche problem that 100,000s of founders face which is effective cold outreach

    We've automated the whole schebang with AI so you just drop in your prospect URL and click send

    1. 2

      Interesting, I'll record a video on it as soon as I can. In short: Good value prop. Clear functionality. Good social proof. Page runs a bit long and I don't feel like it's addressed to a specific persona. I would test some better targeting / messaging.

      That said, I might just sign up and try it out myself. :)

      1. 1

        Agreed on persona, right now early days so seeing who's the best, but we've got a wide array of them

        Set up a call with you nonetheless for tomorrow too :)

    2. 1

      I don't understand your product.

      Does it only generate personalized outreach copies or you also have email sending, tracking, and follow-up features?

  33. 1

    What marketing strategies did you use and which were most successful?

    1. 1

      I make a lot of use of paid ads to learn what the market wants and content marketing to generate demand. I've also found event marketing works quite well in any year that is not 2020 or 2021. ;)

  34. 1

    I am lost between working one idea against another.

    Idea A has already been live with its phase I launched for about 2 years now. But i stopped working on it for about a year now. Two things to consider, monetization is hard and takes quite some time to build up as its a publishing platform with adsense for the time being. And the other thing is that working on phase II requires some time to refactor what was done and impelement the new features. But the roadmap is clearer here.

    Idea B is just an idea with barely 5% of the code written less than a year ago. This one requires a bit less work to launch and the monetization is through subscriptions as its a SaaS. One more thing is that this idea came out of necessity and something i would really like to use.

    What do you think is the best route to go?

    1. 1

      My answer to this is always going to be : let the data decide. I'd take a week and build the best landing page you can build for both products. Put a few hundred dollars into two different top of funnel test campaigns on Facebook (https://crowdtamers.com/building-a-top-of-funnel-test-campaign-on-facebook/) and see which project generates more click traffic and more conversions for your ad spend. Then you'll know with quantitative data which will be easier for you to launch and succeed with. :)

  35. 1

    I'm close to finishing https://cinematicstudio.app -- a video editor focused on simplicity + speed.

    I'd love to know about turning trial users into customers (I get around 25-30 users/day via google ads). Thanks!

    1. 2

      You need to do three things:

      1. Keep yourself top of mind. If they signed up, they want the tool. You don't have it, but you have to at least keep them thinking about you so you don't leave their heads entirely before you launch.
      2. Build a list with a clear purpose. Maybe you're building your own influencer platform. Maybe you're becoming an embedded entrepeneur (https://embeddedentrepreneur.com/). But build yourself this list with a reason behind them other than your product launch
      3. Build a list 5x - 9x larger than you want your launch user base to be. expect that somewhere between 7% - 20% of your list members will actually convert. Get all of the data you can you to continue to market to them beyond just their email address. Multichannel launch campaigns will always outperform single channel ones.
      1. 1

        Thanks!

        1. I've already sort of pre-launched. So long story short, the app is available for purchase. I do plan to do an HN launch mid next month.

        2a. I've put the Embedded Entrepreneur book onto my "to buy" books
        2b. "Build a list with a clear purpose" I am not sure I understand this

        1. You mean build a list of people to market to? And find them in any channel possible?
        1. 2

          Belatedly, but yeah. Your pre-launch list should be people who you think will buy the product once you launch. So when you post about your software, make sure it's in communities where you think you'll have a shot at closing sales, not just places like PH where you find a lot of folks who just like shiny new stuff.

          Ideally, your ads should have tracking info (look up UTM tracking on Google) so you know what people care about what topics. And you can segment your lists based on that.

          1. 1

            Thanks!

            About posting: I certainly need to think about that. As a side note, I've tried reddit quite a few times, and failed like a boss. I will need to think again about where to post :)

            Also, I'll look into tracking info!

  36. 1

    What is your advice for the CEO that knows nothing about marketing?

    1. 2

      Learn. :)

      The resources out there are incredible. Read 3 - 4 books and you'll have enough to start.

      Obviously Awesome by April Dunford
      Embedded Entrepeneur by Arvid Kahl
      Hyper Growth by David Cancel
      Product-Led Onbaording by Ramli John and Wes Bush

      Are probably a good start for the theory of how to do it, and then you'll want to read a number of tactical blogs about how to create Facebook ads or whatever to fulfill the execution side of your strategy.

  37. 1

    Working on a side-project, Overmind Wiki. A self-organizing notepad for team knowledge. Very simple attempt at a landing so far.

    It's awesome that you're doing this AMA. You seem to focus very heavily on ads as a testing mechanism (due to speed/cost). What do you think of the "Minimum Viable Mockup" approach, pre-selling people based on mockups?

    1. 3

      I have no issue with pre-"selling" on a mockup, but I would note that I wouldn't take any actual money. I generally try to get people on board with signing up for beta access or just "sign up for free trial" and then tell them after they give you their email address that your beta is full.

      I've actually got a client right now who's collecting signups for a product that they've yet to even hire the developer for.

      We've already gone through and failed 2 ideas and have provisionally approved the third. Spending $8k to invalidate 2 ideas and validate one (when you wrap in all costs associated including CrowdTamers' fee) is a hell of a lot cheaper than hiring a dev and a UX designer and laboring for 2 - 4 months before you find out if the product will interest someone.

  38. 1

    Hi @CrowdTamers, How should i get companies to commit to being customers for an app that isn't built yet ?

    I built a prototype and a landing page (searchegg.io) for an idea i wanted to validate, and want to get at least 10 customers before i build it out, but i can't charge them for an app that isn't already built . what should i do ?

    1. 1

      I'd collect beta list signups. Figure 100 beta signups are going to be somewhere between 10 - 30 trials. If your product works well, you need to acquire ~300 beta signups before you start building.

      If you can't get 300 signups in 90 days, what you're doing isn't going to work. Find a new approach, a new target market, or a new product and try again.

      1. 1

        thanks for the advice,

        Should i state that the product is in beta or not built in the landing page ? or tell them on the first email. delaying telling them would show idea validation, but it might be a little annoying to them.

        1. 2

          I tend to not tell until the signup. Here's an example of how I've done it in the past: https://www.notion.so/Unito-io-and-Ottoplan-product-validation-99bcad75f9784b958293717108393ee5

  39. 1

    What is the exact process you follow to FIND and EVALUATE an idea for profitable business?

    A long & detailed reply would be more than welcome. Thanks in advance.

    PS - Any thoughts around creating a business around "Content Curation especially for entrepreneurs/Sales/Marketing/Branding/Content Marketing & Social Media Marketing professionals?

    1. 1

      So business ideas are actually pretty easy, as I mention in another comment above.

      "Coming up with something that scratches your own itch is the classic one. If you
      want ideas from an external source, I keep referring people to something like this
      (https://www.reddit.com/r/SideProject/comments/mc1yju/750_saas_startup_ideas_for_you_that_work/)"

      If you find an idea that has a few dozen threads talking about it or a few hundred upvotes on twitter or IH or wherever you're validating your idea, it's worth investigating further.

      Ideally, come up with 3 - 5 ideas you might like to work on for 3 - 7 years. Test each of them out to see which one has the best market fit. Do that for 90 - 180 days and see if you can't get to where you're ramen profitable. If you can cover your bills in 6 months, then it's time to quit your day job and YOLO into your new business. :)

      There are a lot of resources here in IH and in Reddit and Twitter on ideas to launch with. If you're struggling to find an idea that you want to build, check and see if what you're actually struggling with is a worry that anything you build might not succeed.

      I'll give you another number to help you understand success and failure: I've gotten 12 companies to $2MM+ in ARR. I've also worked with more that 50 companies who didn't make it there. More of them earlier in my career than later, but 12 successes like that take 50+ failures. If failure paralyzes you, the IH lifestyle will be hard.

      Find an idea. Practically any of the ideas on that list of 750 above will do. Build a landing page for it and launch.

      Fail.

      Embrace the suck.

      Pick another idea. Build a landing page. Launch again.

      Fail.

      And keep trying. Until one day you realize that

      1. You're not afraid of failure and
      2. You've actually, somehow, ended up a success after all.
      1. 1

        Do you restart the 6-month countdown after pivoting?

        1. 1

          If it's a substantial pivot, yeah.

          Like, new business model, new persona, new product.

          But at that point it's a whole new business in any case. You just decided not to change the name. :P

  40. 1

    @CrowdTamers would **LOVE ** to hear your feedback on Median.

    Company was founded in 2017 I bought it in 2020 and we/I am really struggling with the message. I think it could be huge but we are just under $100k at the moment.

    1. 1

      I'll add you to my list for an actual audit in the next few days, but the highlights I see are

      1. I don't understand, as the H1 describes, how screen share turns customers into raving fans. A better headline might be something like "Improve customer satisfaction 83%" or "Spend 82% less time on support tickets" so that you're making a concrete benefit from the feature. Then, the subhead can mention "Instant, no-install screen sharing makes your onboarding & customer support extraordinary!" or the like.
      2. I'd wager moving social proof up higher would help a lot.
      3. Also, some very strong proof about the quality of your security

      Your content is very heavily about co-browsing, which I would guess is not a term anyone searches for. So your content itself needs work to help people find you & understand what you're doing.

  41. 1

    I'm trying to make learning to code fun. Any advice? ZappyCode.com

    1. 1

      Learning code is hard.

      If you're going to get someone to actually adopt coding as a practice, you need to think about why they want to learn to code and assure them that you will help them unlock that need.

      I would want some kind of headline like, "Write your first program in 52 minutes. And have fun doing it!" and then provide some concrete examples of

      1. How someone can learn code & have fun
      2. Social proof of someone else who has learned code from you and can talk about how much they loved it.

      Overall, your page is quite light on reasons to believe that you teach code well or that you make it fun. A very personable welcome video that takes someone from opening their IDE to a first "Hello World" might do well as the first video here.

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