Self Care November 17, 2020

Posting about revenue, is it beneficial?

Paolo @Paolo

Something I've noticed is the need to post revenue often here and in other places. But giving this some more thought, is it really necessary? I totally understand the excitement, the pat on the back, the vindication of the struggle, and now to say "I've made it" and the hard work finally paying off.

But I often think about the other side. The side of folks who are not making it, or are still struggling to achieve $1. Do these revenue posts contribute anything to them? Is it received in a positive way, or does it reinforce the constant failure when we are not hitting certain revenue numbers? I'm not trying to take anything away from folks who are doing well, in fact, the opposite, kudos to you and your success.

But I think from a mental health standpoint, posting these types of posts can be construed in a negative light. They could reinforce negative thoughts or outcomes like "my business isn't good enough, or I'm not good enough", etc. Is it just me? Does anyone else have these thoughts/feelings? How can we include value rather than just I crossed this revenue number this month?

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    The real question shouldn't be is the post negative or positive. It should be why do some readers see a post of someone else succeeding as negative. Mindset is a powerful thing and the post doesn't control a reader's mindset, the reader does. If you read a post about others success and see "it's possible" great, you are doing mindset right. If you read a post about others success and it depresses you then you need to study and practice the right mindset. There are going to much more challenging things in building a business then reading someone else's success posts and without the right mindset you will have a very hard time overcoming those other challenges.

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      Definitely agree with your point here. However, it doesn't address the question of after seeing multiple updates in terms of revenue progress, especially after a certain milestone or ceiling, what value does that hold? What are you learning from a post that indicates MRR of 5k, 10k, 15k, 20k 25k, and beyond? Surely, there may be some insights or strategies that are used along the way which are beneficial to share but can that be said for each increase in revenue?

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        I think you miss the point of this type of post. It is a celebration, not a strategy. If you want strategy that can either occur in the comments where the OP can expand or in a different post where someone posts asking questions about say content marketing or whatever. These type of posts are a celebration after a lot of hard work. As a community at Indie Hacker we should support each other's wins. Not look at it as a negative. IMO, great communities are built on positivity.

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          I agree it's a celebration, but I think it's also a strategy. Doesn't posting X revenue translate to authority on whatever the product or service is and being on top of the indie hackers forum create more traffic ultimately leading to some conversions? I am playing devil's advocate here. What do you think, could that statement be true for some?

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    For me I think revenue is a helpful tool in following advice. Someone who is doing 50k MRR is going to have a whole different set of problems and thoughts then someone at $1k MRR.

    These distinctions are important because different stages require drastically different approaches. The founder at $50k is going to be all about team building, and leading others. Where the founder at $1k will be doing all the tasks him/herself. I find it very useful to follow founders who are double your current size, public revenue makes this easy.

    Although I do wish the revenue wasn’t so detailed. Or we had an option to turn off the line chart, and the exact MRR. I had to pull the revenue off of my main project because it was sharing more info then I was comfortable with.

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    I think the revenue thing can be problematic. I noticed that you are required to include some sort of revenue as one of the steps on this site when you add a new product. (Correct me if I'm wrong if it's not required, but it's one of the items on the list of to-dos.) My app has been in the store for just two weeks, so I entered how much I made so far on it, but I know if it turns out I don't make any more money, is anyone going to ask me to update that revenue? I tend to be skeptical now about the revenues listed for products since I have no idea how people are computing it or how frequently they're updating it.

    And you're right that for folks who aren't making any revenue, they may be turned off from sharing, and so in the end you may be biased to just see success stories here and make comparisons.

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      Exactly, I mean I understand the accomplishments, but as I stated, posting revenue numbers incrementally without any other substance just comes off as empty for me. A missed opportunity to share some valuable approach that worked or maybe even approaches that failed but lead to a pivot. For example, I changed my landing page which converted into x amount of signup/dollars. Or, I implemented this feature which wasn't received well, so I did this, which lead to that.

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      I think that thread hits the issue right on its head! Thanks for sharing that, I agree with your thoughts on it

      I think it could this effect could be mitigated a bit if the New Milestone prompt suggested that we provide an "Actionable Advice" takeaway for each accomplishment

      This is exactly the thing that should be included when posting about revenue.

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    I can see the pros and cons of both sides of the argument.

    For the negative side, I've been on the side where something I built didn't take off and it felt demoralizing to see articles like "How we went from $0 to $1M in 3 weeks"-type of thing.

    On the pro side, it may offer motivation/hope to those who are on the sidelines and haven't begun their journey yet.

    I debated posting something like "Got my first customer!" or "I've hit X MRR" when I launched earlier this month, but decided against it and wanted to focus on my business. I don't think I have anything to add to the conversation that hasn't already been said. As well, there's already a lot of knowledge on IH that could be accessed by searching anyway -- and the path to making money online follows a somewhat formulaic approach.

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      For the negative side, I've been on the side where something I built didn't take off and it felt demoralizing to see articles like "How we went from $0 to $1M in 3 weeks"-type of thing.

      Yes, this is the thing I was referencing by impacting some negatively. I can see both sides of the coin also. Just wanted to have a discussion about it, which the IH community has done without casting this type of post with hate comments which is awesome.

      Goodluck with your business!

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    I think that it's a great source of motivation, if you follow founders at different stages of their journey. Don't just follow the 'big guns' who make 20k MRR, but also follow people who are at the beginning of their journey, and people who share their failures.

    I personally share my numbers on Twitter, and I've made $70 from my product so far ! I follow people who have made close to 1000$, other who have made 100 000$ in a week... It's all about balance I think.

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      First, congrats on your milestone, that's awesome. Out of curiosity, why do you share your numbers? What's the motivational factor behind doing that?

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        Thanks :) In a year or two, after I 10x or 20x this number, I want to be able to come back to those tweets and remember how far I come, and most importantly, I want other people to be able to go back to this, and remember that Rome wasn't build in a day, and there are NO overnight successes.

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    I struggle to make a dollar on side projects! But these posts with revenues for things that I could probably build give me hope.

    I find the same is true of salaries. I thought I was getting paid alright, but once I heard people's salaries, it reset my expectations, so by the time I got to my next job I got what felt fair.

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      Cool, it's definitely good to see other salaries to ensure you are getting paid fairly.

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    I wish we they weren't so effective

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    As long as it does not come across ignorant. I am okay with it.
    I benefit alot when I read those posts. It let's me know it's possible, especially when a post has a back story/context or if I have been following someone's journey. I have tried to create a bunch of products in the past, most never made even $1, but I still enjoy and learn when I read those posts. It's great to hear someone celebrating amounts I feel are within reach to me as opposed to a Bill Gates story of millions of dollars.

    When there is context you can pick up a few pointers.. Like someone would say I gained 30% revenue after changing this or that a bit.

    There are people who roll out 5 different products a year and there are those who find it difficult finishing 1 product. We can't expect the 5-product people to not talk about their milestones incase it reinforce negative thoughts to the 1-product people. I think one needs to learn how to deal with fear of missing out #FOMO and we must spend time reevaluating strategies if one does not work out.

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      As long as it does not come across ignorant. I am okay with it.
      I benefit alot when I read those posts. It let's me know it's possible, especially when a post has a back story/context or if I have been following someone's journey. I have tried to create a bunch of products in the past, most never made even $1, but I still enjoy and learn when I read those posts. It's great to hear someone celebrating amounts I feel are within reach to me as opposed to a Bill Gates story of millions of dollars.

      Glad to hear you are looking at it from a positive lens. I'm interested, however, in how many view it in the opposite light. Curious is all.

      When there is context you can pick up a few pointers.. Like someone would say I gained 30% revenue after changing this or that a bit.

      I think adding information like tactics or strategies used to gain subscribers or reduce churn is important. At least that is something that can be replicated or at least thought further about.

      There are people who roll out 5 different products a year and there are those who find it difficult finishing 1 product. We can't expect the 5-product people to not talk about their milestones incase it reinforce negative thoughts to the 1-product people. I think one needs to learn how to deal with fear of missing out #FOMO and we must spend time reevaluating strategies if one does not work out.

      That's true about the various comments on milestones, but at what point does the reported revenue become meaningless? For example, I can say the 4th product I made $100 revenue this month. Great. Then follow that up with 1,000, 10,000 20,000, etc. At what point does reporting your income become not necessary or meaningful anymore? Wouldn't a post about increasing my revenue because of this or reduced churn because of that be more effective and help the community more, verses I made X this month?

      Just thinking out loud and I think it's important to debate these kinds of things so thanks for commenting on this post.

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