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I lost ONE year to start a project

One year ago, i wanted to be independent and leave my job. But COVID-19 made this project almost impossible. I wasn't sure that if i was going to keep my current job and everything was just uncertain.

Now, i feel that i'm ready physically and mentally to start something (because i have so many ideas), i think i have a good idea to start a new project.

My idea is:

  1. I will create a logo generator site: (something like turbologo, looka, logobly, etc)
  2. I will offer logos made by me and not only monochromatic logos. (I have some of them ready, 600 or more)
  3. I will offer personalized help to decide what logo you need.
  4. I will offer personalized DESIGN and not just the logos in the logo generator site.
  5. To start, I will try to compete with price and customer support with a direct chat with clients.
  6. We will offer 3 pricing packages, LIFETIME package too to start.

My main problem for me will be marketing because i have no experience on that but i'm willing to learn. And yes, i know that one of the keys to start a new project is execution and i feel confident about that :)

We are 3 designers but i'm the only one who can code and i have the logo generator at 25%.

You can follow me on twitter (i didn't post anything but i will)
https://twitter.com/MarlonMaquera

So, basically i want you to write the comments if my idea is good (YES) or not (NO).

  1. 11

    This is not what you wanted to hear but don't start with the idea. Not gonna say, start with a problem as its cliche enough.

    Start with the distribution. Who needs those logos, can you reach out to them. Can you convince them the offering is valuable. Can you become easy to find when they are in search. How long can you keep this going.

    Idea is good obviously, since you can easily list a bunch of brands who are doing it profitably. Yet, what will take to become one of those. How many years does it take them to be mainstream. Do you have that much time and patience to take your piece from the cake.

    I don't think underpricing or over supporting are solid unique selling points. Differentiating the product in another way may work better. You may offer, social templates for example, animated logos, or something else but unique for the product.

    If you are 3 designers not necessarily specialized in logo/branding. I'd suggest to research for another niche. Fiverr is a great place to validate demand and here is the all the data about it on https://problemize.io/productize-me

    There are more people releasing e-books on amazon kindle direct publishing platform. They need book covers.

    There are tons of people who starting streaming on platforms like twitch, they are looking for overlay designs.

    It's easier to pick an icon from iconfinder and pair it a with a good font from google. Here you have your logo. If you are a designer you can shoot for higher.

    1. 1

      "Start with the distribution" is something that you don't hear often and this is exactly the main problem i have. How to reach clients who need the logos, if i have to use cold emails or send cold messages on twitter or linkedin.

      As every business, one has to be patience to grow that business and if i want to become a serious entrepreneur, i have to get used to it.

      I was thinking that underpricing and over supporting could work just for early stage of the project (launching and promoting). I like your idea to offer social templates and more value, not just a logo.

      Thanks for the link, i was checking how someone can really earn a living on fiverr but i tried Fiverr last year and i created a gig and none contacted me for a logo or any other design, so i closed that gig and the whole account.(And yes, i tried to improve my offering)

      The book covers and overlay designs are good ideas but i was trying to focus on branding first.

      I see many logo generator sites with very simple monochromatic logos and that's what i don't want to offer. I would like to offer more complex logos with more colors and shapes.

      So, i want to create this logo generator because i want the clients to find the right logos for them but i don't want to design every logo each time.

      Thanks for your feedback. You really helped me to analyze my current situation as a design and developer. As i said before, i want to start doing something valuable with my skills and i'm starting talking with people about my ideas and my disadvantages.

  2. 1

    The book The Mom Test is great for learning if your idea is good. The premise is that we often ask the wrong questions about our ideas that lead to false positives. Asking if it’s a good idea is the wrong question, people usually say yes to spare feelings or because they think it sounds good but won’t use it in reality. Instead find someone you think is your target audience and ask them about their experiences and problems creating logos. You might find that they feel the market is saturated with these logo generators and they just use the first one that comes up. On the other hand, you might find that they’ve been googling for a logo generator that creates complex logos.

    And The Lean Startup is good for building an MVP. Since your idea is heavily based on execution, because you need to prove your logos are better, an mvp might be more important than customer questions. You need to see if people really like your logos better.

    I wish I read these both when I started.

    I think your biggest questions are
    Do people want another logo generator that’s better?
    If they do, how can you get your product in front of them?

    If people are googling “complex logo generator” then you’re on the right track. If not, you have to figure out if they are motivated enough to switch to your logo generator when an ad comes their way and where to present that ad.

    1. 1

      I need to read the "The mom test" and "The lean startup" books this week for sure. Basically, i need to talk with people (web devs for example) and ask them how to solve their problems better. I've been reading some negative comments from competitors and i learned what i can do better. For now i will do a MVP and ask for advice to potential clients. Thanks for you advice. Follow me on twitter, i will let you know when i launch my MVP.

  3. 1

    That's a good idea. My only recommendation is to start small - create an MVP so that you don't have to waste another year on polishing your product. There are various guides online like this one: https://topdevs.org/blog/mvp-development-guide. Any guide can help to make a clear roadmap on what exactly to do to avoid common mistakes in such a situation. Overall, you would speed up the app development with an MVP approach.

    1. 1

      I checked the link you sent and i liked it. I found that i didnt do all the steps. I will finish my MVP soon. Any advice about how to reach clients?

  4. 1

    If you are going to market it yourself I would suggest marketing it to web developers because they are going to need anywhere from 10-30 logos a year versus a single SMB that only needs one. Plan to have a white-label offering and go after the high volume consumers of logos - web devs. The message is this "webdevs, be able to say you offer logo design and farm it out to us on the backend so you are better able to be a one-stop-shop for an SMB client, lock them in tighter, look bigger, and don't leave money on the table." Then you are basically selling money.

    I would kill off your point #6 - don't sell a lifetime subscription to something like logo design.

    1. 1

      Tbf, I only make free logos for my projects, only if is successful I might contact a designer who would then redesign the whole website as well probably

      1. 1

        A free logo is also a fast and easy solution for many but i want to reach people who need a logo and want to see alternatives in shapes and colors. How do you think i should get my first 10 clients?

        1. 1

          Can you explain to me one more time, why would I choose you over a free or even cheap logo maker online?

          1. 1

            Logo generators have some advantages:

            1. You can find some ideas that you didn't have in mind.
            2. You can create a logo fast.

            You can choose a "free" logo if you're fast creating your own logo, but it's not going to be FREE unless you value your time cheaper than the value of the logo. Also, people with FREE logos are just simple shapes, which are more than enough for some people but not for others.

            So, in other words, you may not be one of our potential clients but i see why people prefer "free" or cheap logos and with my MVP i will try my best to reach and convince those people.

            1. 1

              So in other words you are unique, because your logos are more complex. Now ask yourself, do people search for complex logos? Nah, people just want a logo quick and cheap. If I want a more professional logo I would go to a design company who would then redesign probably everything.

              Try it yourself, what will people need to google to find you?

              1. 2

                "what will people need to google to find you?". I would start with a niche, something like "SaaS logo designs" (This is just an example, i didn't fully think about it)

                "do people search for complex logos?" Some of them, YES.

                "People just want a logo quick and cheap" I'm offering a quick logo too, and about the "cheap" part, i'm not sure how much "cheap" is to you or for others. Some people consider $50 cheap and i don't agree because it's not cheap for me.

                But i think i have to talk with more potential clients or with people who needs logos regularly to have a better perspective about what my MVP needs to have. (features).

                Thanks for your advice. I think you have some good points.

    2. 1

      I really like your idea about reaching web developers. The big question is: How do i reach them? Cold messaging? Posting my site to forums (sound like spamming). If it's cold messaging. Should i search on twitter and lindkein? If it's forums, FB groups?. As you can see, i'm lost about how to get clients.

      For #6, I think you have a good point. In the long run, i think it's a bad idea to offer lifetime subscriptions. I was just planning to do that for starting, offering like 20 lifetime subscriptions only to get some clients and some feedback.

      Do you think it's a good idea to offer yearly subscriptions?, I see other similar sites doing that.

      1. 1

        I would only charge by the logo and not the cheapest price, make your portfolio command a solid price. Web Devs are super easy to reach. Create a landing page for white-label logo development for your website and SEO the heck out of your site but I would cold email agencies with an email that had maybe three pictures of the best logos you have ever made. coupled with a white-label deal. I would also address it as both an upsell to their clients and a pain point. Here is the pain point: "Do your clients get a logo on their own without your input and then you are forced to style a website around their ugly baby?" - this is real - I, as a web dev, have had to use colors and fonts, etc. embedded in some ugly logos before I ever had a chance to steer a client to something better and it impacts the entire look and UX of the website - some times they are too rectangular, they are too detailed, homemade, etc. Once they are in the public eye they are like a tattoo - hard to get rid of later.

        1. 1

          Can you follow me on twitter? I would like to ask you more questions, as you mention, i should reach web devs and ask them about their needs and problems with logos. Besides that, you have some good ideas and that's why i would like to keep the conversation.

          1. 1

            Marlon, I added my email to my profile, email me any questions you have.

  5. 1

    It may have potential. Did you do some idea validation in group of app devs, game devs, or local businesses?

    1. 1

      Hi. I want to think that the idea is validated because i see other similar sites that have succeeded. But i need to finish my MVP to reach some clients and see if they are really interested in my offering. One of the problems i have is distribution because i dont have a social presence and i dont know where my potential clients are. I was thinking about cold messaging but that's an idea yet. How do you think i should reach my first 10 clients?

      1. 1

        You can try posting your mvp on product hunt, and certain reddit sites. Perhaps you can find people starting on new ideas her, and cold email them. Better yet, you could provide feedback on a landing page and offer your logo generation service.

  6. 1

    Hi Marlon,

    I think is nice that you want to build something.

    Why did you want this niche? I think there are a lot of solutions out there on this topic. the fact that you don’t have good skills in marketing could have a big impact in the success of the project. I’m not saying that you cannot do it, but why this project?

    Cheers

    1. 1

      Why this project?. That's a good question. First, this is something i can do and others are doing in Indiehackers (like logology or logobly). My skills in designing and programming are good enough to create a MVP and to offer clients good logos at a very good price. This project will be a learning experience because i have more ideas but i will be more confident if i have success first in just one.

      And i know there are a lot of other solutions like mine. So, how do you think i can compete with them?

      1. 1

        I really don’t know your clients so I don’t have something specific, but before trying to build something try to sell. Your mvp can be a simple form where the client mention the details for the dream logo, then the form goes in your inbox, make the logo, send it back and maybe generate a payment link. If you can find some clients I’m sure you can have a successful business with this. Is not about the idea, is more about the execution.

        Listen your clients and see what their interested in. Maybe you think that curve lines are the best, but the most of clients are asking for straight lines.

        You can try to teach your client for the good direction, but if they want something specific, better be there and offer that solution.

        1. 1

          Right now i don't have any client. I'm just starting from the idea and maybe a little more. I'm building the logo generator yet.

          I like the idea about the form. Normally, the clients would signup to a waitlist but your idea is much better.

          As a designer, i'm used to offer design options to clients and having a direct communication with them is key.

          I will let you know when the MVP is ready. Follow me on twitter or indiehackers pls :)

          1. 1

            Waiting your mvp 👌

  7. 1

    Also, some marketing techniques would be appreciated.

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