Building in Public November 28, 2020

I launched my first Saas and made $73k in a week (Here's the story and numbers)

codenameAustin

Here's my story about my Saas launch including all the numbers.

Overview:
I launched a Saas company in the finance and stock market niche that is basically like Yahoo finance but simple and easy to use selling to prosumers. I already had a following on Instagram of 190k so this helped, but I brought on 800 news users in the first week which resulted in $74k in revenue.

Numbers (11/19 - 11/28):
Revenue - $74k total with $20k MRR and $300k ARR
Expenses - $7k (bc I brought on a developer to help during launch week which makes the expenses inflated by $4k)
Number of Users - 812
Breakdown by Plan - 22.5% yearly (costs $297), 77.5% monthly (costs $27)
Onboarding email open rate - 58%
Sent Summary - 750 bonjoros, 300 help desk requests, 50k emails (broadcasts)
Landing Page - 5k unique page views, 2k unique registration page views, 800 signups
Ads - $200 total spend, 3k people reached, 289 link clicks
MixPanel - Core featured used 41k times or 51 times per user which is awesome to me!

My Launch Plan:
I built an internal tool for a company I had that serviced clients in the finance and stock market niche. I created this tool to save me time since I realized I was doing the same thing over and over again. I used this software for about a month before I was screen sharing and some clients saw it and wanted it. When they said that, I realized that this could be an amazing stand alone product for stock market research given I add a lot more features but the core concept my current clients already liked. I made a quick screen recording of the internal tool (that was depressing to look at now honestly) and made a landing page that said pay me $67 to get access and beta test the software if it comes. I sold $3k worth of presales and started! Since I had an Instagram following already, I documented every step and new change as the software was being created! This helped me test what users needed, the best hooks and build a community who really wanted this software. My launch plan continued to focus around documenting every step and building a waitlist that was just a demo video and enter your email (which I was able to grow to 2500 emails). My launch plan was pretty simple: launch early to the people on the email list to test the software for major bugs, launch to the public later since I'll have testimonials from the first group then close cart and increase price. My plan was to close the cart in order to increase signs up and to force myself to focus on retention instead of worrying about acquisition. I also decided to increase price because MicroConf keeps saying to charge more and people kept saying this should cost more lol I also decided to not offer a free trial because I didn't have the time to deal with that.

What Happened:
I found the key pain points from the conversations I had with people and testing I did while I was documenting and promoting the product as I was building it. Those pain points and user conversations was crucial to the way I structured my sales page, emails, etc. I launched to the email list on November 20th and made $22k in the first day. The first 3 days were stressful because of an AWS outage, having to increase Heroku and Database size because I didn't expect that many users initially and more but by the time we launched to the public all major bugs had been addressed and fixed! On November 25th, we launched to the public and it went well with sales consistently coming in but I was and am posting stories every 2 hours to Instagram. I haven't finished launching yet, the deadline ends on November 30th at midnight using Deadline funnel so that I don't have to monitor the close date myself. Anyways, I answered over 500 emails, 300 help desk questions, 700 bonjoros and more during this whole launch week because it was important to me that I was able to hear the feedback from people that's why I hired temporary developer for the week instead of a help desk person. Basically, I finally got up on everything and have learned so much from personally answering all requests.

Where I'm Going:
I closed the software to increase sales and stop me from focusing on acquisition. I am going to take a month off before reopening it to the public again in order to focus on a single question: If these are the only users I will ever get, how do I ensure they never leave? This month is purely to work on the software, improve user interface and needed functionality, talk to customers and focus on churn reduction.

If you have any specific questions you want answered, just ask below! Here is the landing page https://demo.theimpeccableinvestor.com/software-vsl

Thank you Rob Walling from MicroConf and everyone who has MicroConf videos on YouTube because I watched those religiously as I was building this Saas and honestly would not have achieved the success I did without those videos.

  1. 13

    Not to be negative, but the website and the copy is extremely sketchy.

    1. 7

      Not to bash on OP, but this just screams scam. Tricking gullible people into thinking they will make millions if you buy their service

    2. 2

      Not the OP but very curious - why do you think so? It's very much like a long-form sell now (coz FOMO) website.

      1. 2

        I took a look at the copy of the website and video, and it read very similar to a stock market scam. Stock market is a zero sum game, why would someone give away their secret or developed software to others? if its so good it will act as a competitive advantage and the Trader can make lots of money no reason to give out your edge except to make money. Its very similar to make money online scams.

    3. 1

      I had fun reading through all the comments on this thread lol

      This software is designed for investors and long term swing traders. When day traders message me, I actually turn them away because it's not for them.

      As for the "secret sauce", it is using an algorithm that I developed based on numerous quant funds and a solid trend following system used for decades. I have backtested this algorithm and used it myself and with a small beta group for a little over a year before coming up with the idea and launching this software.

      It's not my intent to scam people because this is very much a long term game and I make sure people know that who message me before signing up. However, the statements made on the website are true: it helps you protect your portfolio, make more money and find good stocks. That's why I have a refund rate of .0001% because I deliver on that. However, I understand how the use of persuasion through a deadline and user testimonials can come off as sketchy but the deadline is real to, so I in good conscious am ok with this (not that it means much to anyone but I am Christian who takes integrity and honesty seriously)

    4. 1

      Yeah the pitch implies this is some kind of secret sauce software solution that will help you beat them market.

    5. 1

      yeah I felt the same way too....near 75k in revenue and with that design.????

      1. 1

        Don't think "good" design generates sales

        1. 1

          I agree...but you can spare few hundred to make your site look good...especially if ur making 75K...

      2. 1

        Revenue might be real ,Lots of suckers get fleeced online every day, not questioning the validity of the claim , Only questioning the kind of business the person is running

        1. 1

          yeah I thought so too...it's not really clear to me from the site what exactly it offers...

  2. 7

    So what's more profitable the SaaS or your trading?

    1. 2

      I bet it's the SaaS. When it's a trading related product, most probably it's a contrepreneur that makes money off gullible people by selling them the moon.

    2. 0

      I'm an investor which is long term so definitely the SAAS! No doubt about it, but my Saas is helping people and people are happy, so can it really be considered a con when I'm not using fake results to sell something that doesn't work? lol

      But short answer, Saas is more profitable

  3. 2

    I stopped reading at “I already had 190,000 Instagram followers”

    If you have that many followers to launch a product to then it’s almost impossible to not make that much money. That’s like what - less that 39c per follower?

    1. 1

      Correct, but the story behind how I did explains how I used the audience to build something irresistible. However, whatever you are pursuing the lesson here is start building an audience because it makes everything easier!

  4. 2

    This is an illuminating story but is not easy to replicate without a starting base of 190k Instagram followers 😊

    I did learn about a few tools for the first time:

    Good luck on your product.

    PS: the premise of the story checks out because I was able to locate an eponymous Instagram account theimpeccableinvestor with a ~190k followership (currently at 194k).

    1. 1

      Yup, that's my account! Those are great softwares that I recommended and I hope that people at least got the motivation to start building an audience and how important that is!

  5. 2

    I am really curious about growth on Instagram - how did you grow your audience there and how long did it take?

    1. 4

      I posted 3x every day including daily stories for 1 year and got to 180k

  6. 1

    Great write up!

    I think a lot of people will get hung up on your IG following, it is very easy for people to say "well that's easy for him because..." x , y & z.

    Ben Thompson of Stratechery often says that people say that of him. But he reminds people he started with only a few hundred Twitter followers.

    Well done!

    (Just one note is that your demo does come across very "car salesy" where as your IH write up above comes across super transparent. I'd buy from the IH person but not from the demo website person.)

  7. 1

    Are your instagram followers mainly under 25?

    1. 1

      My instagram audience is from 20 - 35

  8. 1

    The algorithm used by this software is modeled from the top hedge funds and commodity trading firms around the world! It has also been backtested and proven to generate returns!

    Prove it with numbers. What return did that algorithm get in the past years? What hedge funds and commodity trading firms use the same algorithm? (I doubt any, because all their trading algorithms are private intellectual property and they are not sharing them).

    Until you offer some more clarifications, I'll just go ahead and say this looks a lot of like the classic "1000% profits per year guaranteed" investment scams.

    1. 1

      That's very valid and I am actually working on putting a comprehensive report together; however, I don't promise any returns and tell people that straight up. I am not pushing penny stock day trading or options crap, I am targeting and building a software for investors and long term swing traders who know this is a long term game.

  9. 1

    Amazing work

    Could you be more specific about building your distribution channel?
    How did you grow your waitlist to 2.5K so quickly?

    1. 1

      Definitely!

      I recorded a screencast of my internal tool and explain how it worked, what it did, and how it saved me time. I took that recording put it on a web page that had a hook centered on the page called "The Impeccable Stock Software" then below it had a mockup image of what I hoped the site would eventually look like then below that had a button called "Watch The Demo Now".

      The "Demo Now" button would pop open a form to put in their email and name then it would redirect them to a page with the screencast. Once I had their email, I sent them updates on what I was building, the progress, what they would like, etc.

      That's how I built that channel and email lists.

      1. 1

        And how people got to the landing page?

        1. 1

          Roughly 4k with a 75% conversion to email because of the amount of curiosity I embedded in the landing page

          1. 1

            Im sorry butbthis is not why I asked

            I asked how did you drive initial traffic to the initial landing page woth your awesome conv rate?

            1. 2

              Instagram was my main traffic source

              1. 1

                only now I read the 190K followers.

                The story had to really end there :)

                How did you reach so many?

                1. 1

                  Very simple actually... Posted great content 3x a day taking no days off for a year lol

  10. 1

    Wow, you seem like a very organized and focused entrepreneur. Did you start businesses before and were they similar successes?

    1. 1

      I have done 5 businesses over the past 2 years. Only the last one having success and making money (passed 6 figures in a year).

      However, when I went to launch this SaaS I binged all of the MicroConf videos on YouTube and listened to IndieHackers podcast while combining with knowledge from the other businesses and am blessed to say this SaaS took off.

  11. 1

    Amazing conversion rate. I see you have your testimonials on discord. Is that one of your acquisition channels as well?

    1. 1

      I could be wrong but I'm guessing some self-selection is at play. Seems to me that they channeled true fans to a more focused community on a private Discord server out of 190k Instagram followers.

      1. 2

        He is 100% on point! Instagram is hard to reach everyone and build a true connection so I used Discord as a way to build a closer relationship with my audience which made the sale just that much easier

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