April 8, 2019

Paying for front end help

Toby @VirArborem

I think I'm in a classic indie hacker conundrum: I've built something that works great for me, but I'm struggling to communicate it's awesomeness to others. I don't think that bringing on a cofounder is the right choice, but I'm not sure how to go about getting help with the front-end/communication side of things.

Has anyone dealt with this before? Have there been terrible expriences with contractors for hire from afar? Does anyone have someone to recommend?

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    Can you make a screencast of you using your product? For something like this, actually seeing the workflow is huge.

    I've been using OBS to record screencasts and Shotcut to edit them. Both are totally free, open source and cross-platform. I'll email you some more stuff.

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      My email is in my profile. I'd appreciate it!

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    Hi Toby. Fellow edtech guy here. I tried to sign up from my mobile phone. The mobile phone part was fine. Good work! [small bug when I entered passwords that didn't match. whatever. ]

    But I feel you are a bit too close to your product to see it how others will see it. Really all I wanted to know right away is what it does for me. But it took so long to even see one of the worksheets I gave up. It was about the point I had to write definitions for cat and dog and alligator that I gave up. I tried skimming through the 10 minute video to get to the worksheet but I did not see it.

    I think you need to show me your product in 10-30 seconds. Seriously. "its your teaching assistant, feed in the words, it makes printable worksheets that track how often your students reviewed each word. Take a look" And have a zippy explainer video that shows the words going in and coming out on worksheets over time intervals. 30s max.

    Hopefully also have a demo account I can login with and see words and sheets without creating my own account.

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      Hey, Poodllguy, thanks for the tips. The demo account is a great idea. I'll make that available in the next iteration.

      I've got a lot of feedback that the process is too long and disambiguation too frustrating.

      And shorter videos seems to be a common thread, as well.

      I hope you won't mind if I come back to you when I've made the next revisitions.

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    Your pricing page is not great. It looks like you're justifying asking them for money. I'd rename that page to 'Purchase', just list the price, and a 'Buy now' button. You don't need to justify charging them etc.

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      I appreciate that. I'll update that in the next facelift (or earlier, with a minor update).

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          It's a lot to process, but thank you!

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    What have you built? Also, what about your app inspires this concern that the user experience needs to be improved?

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      I have a fully-functioning vocab review worksheet generator (too many words!) that I use daily in my teaching.

      My concern is inspired by the fact that people who I try to talk into trying it never reach the stage of actually using it. I've tried adding a "guided tour" after the signup process that walks the user through setting up a sandbox group, but that hasn't seemed to work.

      The most common feedback is that it's a lot to take in. I think the advantage of it as a product is that nothing like it exists. The disadvantage, I'm learning, is that people don't know what to think, because they've never seen anything like it.

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    Does it have revenue? If so, then yes spending some money even for a few contractors can greatly improve your site.

    I Personally have paid copywriters in the $100 to $200 range for a landing page rewrite or a survey rewrite.

    I've also paid $100 to a guy to fix CSS issues that I couldn't figure out how to do.

    If you have no revenue, then you can consult with friends who have done work in the fields you need help with. No need to bring on a co-founder right away. Get to know them, see if you work together well and decide later if you'd like to offer them a co-founder. Some of your friends might just want to help.

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      Something I should have asked in my first reply is: how did you find the people who helped you?

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        Copywriters were people I found on Craigslist first and hit up if I have a paid project I really need help on.
        CSS guy was a fellow digital nomad who answered a post on a Facebook Group I'm in.

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          Thanks! That gives me a place to start looking, at least.

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      It has no revenue, but I don't have friends with the skills I need. I manage to do the minimum in design (using Bootstrap and the django template system) but it's clearly confusing my potential users.

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        What skills do you need?
        Everyone learns in different ways: Have tried producing walk throughs in each of these formats?

        • Written
        • Audio (to be played while using it)
        • Video (with your face and screengrabs)
        • 1 on 1 (by skype or google hangout)

        if it's solving a real problem, then a user will use it no matter how confusing the UI is.

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          To be honest, I haven't. It's a good idea to have different formats. There are some small tweaks I'd like to make to the interface, and then I'll get to making them with screengrabs.

          Can you point me to a site that you think implemented the audio walkthrough well?

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            No idea who does audio only. Just thought of it because you'll want someone using it while "hearing" a tutorial. Perhaps just make the video so that someone can listen to it only.

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              Thats a good idea. I'll experiment with ways of doing that.

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