14
29 Comments

Looking for a SaaS mentor (💰 cash & equity)

I am looking for a business coach. If anyone in this group is a coach or knows someone who wants to mentor then I am looking for that person. I am self-funded and am technical. I've built https://storycreatorapp.com and believe there is serious potential here.

So far on my own, I have managed to make $16k since I started charging last April. The problem I am currently facing is my time is invested heavily in technical tasks to keep the app in the best possible condition as well as staying innovative. While I am a firm believer that is necessary, I am looking to game plan with someone weekly to make sure each week is as effective as possible for growth.

This person would call me out on my BS and work with me to create actionable game plans and call me out if I don't follow through.

Metrics

Customers: 89 total customers 20 monthly subscriptions $13.6k from lifetime deals $3k in total recurring revenue since April 2020. On average since I started charging in April I've been pulling in about $2k per month if you take the total divided by the number of months.

Issues

I am not doing a good job of gaining traction and not doing a good job of getting the app out there (marketing). I have had a few moments of glory, some spikes which brought the bulk of revenue but it's not consistent. The best drivers for me have been Product Hunt https://www.producthunt.com/posts/story-creator-2?utm_source=badge-top-post-badge&utm_medium=badge&utm_souce=badge-story-creator-2 and Hacker News, plus some Tweets that gained some interest.

Goals

I want to hit $10k MRR by December. I am doing $400 MRR with 20 customers, so this means I need to sell the product to 480 people in one month. This means about 16 sales per day. I could also raise my price to $25 per month and go after 380 customers which is about 12 per day.

  1. 5

    I am not that experienced to mentor, but I think you should ditch the Life time deals. Since Story Creator has not been around very long and the bulk of your revenue is obviously from the lifetime deals, you probably don't have or know the Lifetime Value (LTV) of your customers to justify offering a lifetime deal (or things like paid acquisition channels).

    Since your product is partially aimed at youtube and instagram influencers, I'd reach out to influencers as a sponsor, give them the pitch to pass along in videos, and see if they would be interested too. The best influencers typically also use the product they're pitching, so a partnership like this might be a good way to up-sell or even reach aspiring influencers.

    Just some thoughts, take with a grain of salt. lol

    1. 1

      Yeah I think this is great advice. I hate doing the lifetime deals. If I didn’t though, then I would have died as a company. Obviously I could have taken other paths, but to me the other paths would have meant stalling on the product which would have killed product momentum. I’m very happy with the product in general as a result.

      Influencer marketing is great. I’m looking for someone to hold me accountable and if I get beat up by rejection etc then a coach to talk me through it and to keep me focused.

      Not looking for someone to do the work but to talk with and coach me essentially like a sports team.

  2. 4

    You don't need a mentor. You're doing great. Just keep going. The only actionable game plan is to keep serving your customers, and getting good feedback from people that are actually paying you.

    Your goal of $10k MRR by December is not in your control. Your output is the only lever you have.

    Product hunt and HN are the wrong crowd to get traffic from. You need to produce content for video creators (mostly the YT / IG / FB crowd). Educate them on the product, and show off its value. Don't promote on Twitter. Twitter is for writing, not video marketing.

    Ditch the lifetime deals for sure.

    Awesome work so far, and awesome product. Just keep going!

  3. 3

    Hey Michael, I'm interested. A little about me: founder of a successful social media management platform (Exit #1), Founder of a website analytics company and influencer marketing (Exit #2), Founder of a LinkTree alternative (Exit #3) and currently have my 4th Saas launched a few months back.

    Im in the opposite position as you where I am very good at the business part, but don't have a technical side whatsoever and have bootstrapped all my platforms. I currently mentor a total of 8 companies (3 of them are SaaS, 2 are brick and morter, and 3 are service-based). Would love to chat and see if there's synergy. Feel free to shoot me your email address and we can chat more!

    1. 1

      Hey Tim, I can't seem to find your email anywhere.

      We're also building an early stage SaaS and some mentoring would help a lot.

      1. 1

        Howdy. Apologies, feel free to reach me at [email protected]. Look forward to chatting!

    2. 1

      Sweet, congratulations on such a great track record.

      I’d find some value in learning more. Do you have a Twitter?

      1. 1

        As a side note as well, im not looking for cash or equity. I mentor pro-bono.

      2. 1

        Hey Michael, no I do not have Twitter.

  4. 2

    I am not a business coach but I could help in a little way I can by helping you build a great partnership program and recruit affiliate partners. Mostly micro-influencers.

    I run growthchat.co and recently authored https://partnerhsipmarketing.xyz

    What I can help you with is to recruit micro-influencers on the popular social media platform and you can use our platform to manage them.

    If you don't have an affiliate program yet, we can set up one for you using growthchat.co and I will try to help you identify the most relevant affiliates for Story Creator. I know dozens of influencers that will jump on the deal when given 20% to 30% commission.

    If partnership marketing interests you, let's hop on a call and see how we can set it up. Here is my Calendly link, https://calendly.com/launchbeast/meeting

    1. 2

      I setup a call. This sounds interesting. To be blunt I will say there were a few red flags I noticed.

      On your homepage the recent signup avatars includes your face. That is a bit concerning to me, then you claim you have 4K influencers/affiliates in the network. Then I checked the Twitter and there was only 400 followers.

      I did check the LinkedIn and it seems like there is a bit of a following there.

      I love this concept and I know what it’s like to be in the early days of a start up. These are my bits of feedback that I hope offers value.

      Thanks for reaching out and I’m looking forward to chatting.

      1. 1

        Thanks for the feedback and for signing up.

        That card pulls the most recent people that have been activated and updated their profile pictures. I am a developer, I keep deleting my account and resigning up in production DB for testing purpose.

        You claim you have 4K influencers/affiliates in the network.

        If that is confusing, I may need to tweak that copy, what I mean is that we have 4k members. That includes anyone that signed up or subscribed to our newsletter in the past.

        LinkedIn has been so good to us than Twitter. More people have posted us and shared our product page. It is understandable because there are so many hungry founders, salespeople, and marketers.

        Even though people are doing business transactions on Twitter, it still feels more relaxing and looks like a place to cool off after daily struggle.

  5. 2

    We work with a good SaaS coach monthly. Contact me.

    1. 1

      Do you have a Twitter?

  6. 2

    Have you tried platforms like MentorPass and GrowthMentor?

    1. 1

      No, I'll take a look now. Thanks for letting me know. I have heard of MenorPass actually, I forgot about it. So thanks for reminding me :)

      1. 1

        This! I think you’d benefit a lot from a mentor but you need to find the right one and these platforms could really help. In your case you need someone with a marketing background so I’d check out GrowthMentor first.

  7. 1

    @storycreator Hi Michael, how much are you looking to invest in hiring a mentor.

  8. 1

    Ok I don't know if you have found someone but I can help you I'm pretty good at monetizing and optimizing earnings (I decided to help the other hackers ;) https://www.indiehackers.com/post/i-will-tell-you-how-to-monetize-your-project-1ac8d0e5d9). Yes I think you are technical and you don't see the many other possibilities your business offers, there are many other ways to make money with your product and most of all, you focus on the customers you don't have, but don't forget that it's always easier to make someone who already pays pay more than to make a new person pay. If you want good advice and a different vision of monetizing your business, don't hesitate to come and talk to me at [email protected] and I will find time to answer you :)

  9. 1

    Hey Michael, Story Creator DOES have massive potential -- it's like Canva but for videos! I could see it growing into a multi-million dollar company (or even larger if you get funding haha)

    Btw, have you considered joining peer groups to help brainstorm / dive deep into your strategy / top of mind challenges? Many times people utilize these in addition to coaches (or instead of).

    If so, we're currently curating small group sessions for founders like you over at https://hellofacet.com!

  10. 1

    Have you heard of ActionCoach? My coach has been essential to my businesses.

    Our software company just hit $25k MRR and we were shambles before. He helped us add structure, planning and order to the team and now we're doing the same jobs in half the time and office morale is way higher.

    They are worldwide, so there might be one near you?

  11. 1

    Drop me an email tom [at] emailoctopus.com – might be able to help.

  12. 1

    Michael, remembering my interview with you (milestonehackers) you had great work ethics and I thought the product was awesome. Instead of giving up equity, I would really try and commit to sharing your story more.

    I would think of ways this can be used on TikTok and youtube (reels). I would start concentrating on Youtube aggressively as they gear up to rival TikTok in the short video world.

    Use Twitter, not just to market the product but to add real value while speaking about it.
    Find where customers hangout, specifically customers who may not want to create short videos on their own. Think beyond software, try reaching out to restaurants who are hurting right now because of covid. Show them how easy your service is to use, to feature their best dishes, and how this relates to growth and visibility for them.

    This post may be all over the place but I'm writing while things come to mind.
    I wish you the best of luck!
    Paolo

  13. 1

    Hi Michael,

    I'm a consultant and I help founders of online businesses with the software side of things.
    I've had clients in the past in a similar situation as you describe. What worked great for them was to get help with the tech side of things, so they could focus on everything else. We worked closely together to figure out what the best next steps were in terms of development, but they would often chat with me about the business. While I'm in no way a business coach, they told me after that just bouncing the ideas off of someone was incredibly valuable.

    TLDR; Maybe it would be useful for you to offload the tech side instead?

    Depending on your stack and if that would interest you, I might help you. Check out my website for more information.

  14. 1

    No sure if it's what you're looking for but, take a look at getrhys.com.

    • I won't take cash or equity.
  15. 1

    Hi there! 👋🏼

    I would recommend joining the Microconf Connect Slack if you haven't already: https://microconf.com/microconf-connect -- and not giving up cash or equity to an advisor at this point.

    I'm sure there are good honest folks out there but it's a needle in haystack sort of thing.

    I admire what you've built so far and I've made it past your MRR goal a couple of times. Would gladly help in any way I can. I'm sure there are many others who would as well.

    1. 1

      Hey @futhey,

      I’ve heard about Microconf a lot especially on Twitter. I decided to join their Connect Slack on your recommendation.

      IYHO, what is perhaps the biggest benefit of being a member of that community? What should I expect?

      TIA

      1. 2

        It's just a good community of fairly established, self-funded startups & nice people. Less noise.

    2. 1

      Microconf connect is one of the best communities for bootstrapped founders.

      I always get great answers to my questions by smart folks :)

Trending on Indie Hackers
8 long years to overnight success - $10k in a week 29 comments Please stop using these terms incorrectly 🤦‍♂️ 15 comments Stylish but not communicating value prop? 10 comments [VIDEO] For anyone who's not tried Airtable 6 comments Mentally Dealing with Competition 4 comments We did an intense 12 week growth course and here's what we learnt 4 comments