March 29, 2020

Really struggling to grow

Michael Aubry @storycreator

So bright-eyed and bushy-tailed I thought if I took my product experience and built a video editor there would be tremendous value in that.

The idea is to bring a video editor to the browser. I quit my job and after working 100 hour weeks for 8 months I have built what I think to be an innovative product https://storycreatorapp.com/

I have objectively studied competitors and think I have a solid tool. However, I am massively struggling to get users. I had my first customer last week, who just asked for a refund today :( - very sad.

It's tough putting your heart and soul into something to realize it just might have been a waste of time. Optimistically I know throughout this journey I have learned something. I am not sure if I should give up.

I built a timeline to separate myself and now I have seen a competitor copy my feature. They already had thousands of users and paying customers. My tool does everything theirs does but I have 0 customers. I've tried reaching out to some of their users but they basically tell me to fuck off.

It's a bit of a sob story I know. But at this point, I am just asking for help from wherever I can get it.

A few things I like to accomplish in this post is, one venting a bit, but two learning where my blindsides are and what I am doing wrong. I would love if someone checked out the product https://storycreatorapp.com/ it's completely free and let me know if I have built something shitty or not. Maybe I am delusional in thinking it's good.

What can I objectively do to improve and start getting some customers? I just read https://wavve.co/ is making $72k MRR. This product just takes an image and audio and makes a video. I have premium audio visualizers https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/storycreator.rendered/ck8ary0l11a4b0145odp06dic and subtitles within an elegant timeline. NOBODY has that. But I am still losing. I am definitely missing something.

I have loading bars with gradients. NOBODY has that feature. Guess what, in two months they will copy me and if I don't ask you lovely folks what I can do to turn it around they will copy and I will still be at 0.

So please as a solo founder, losing all my money and sanity what are some practical things I can do before I go under?

I would really appreciate some support. Would be happy to help you make some cool videos for free in return :)

  1. 30

    Hey Michael,

    I don't know what you've done on the marketing side (besides reaching out to your competitor's customers as you mentioned above), but your post seems to be very focused on product/features rather than marketing.

    I'm not your target customer so I can't say how the product stacks up to competitors, but to me it looks polished and useful. So I think you should stop thinking about features and spend 80-90% of your time on marketing.

    Maybe you've already tried these, but here are some suggestions:

    1. Direct outreach to customers (besides your competitor's). That's what Waave did:

    "Getting those first 10/100+ customers was really hard. We relied primarily on direct outreach via cold email and social media messaging to obtain those first customers. Taking the time to reach out directly to customers for a $7/month plan was painful but the insights we gained from those conversations was invaluable. We learned why customers purchased the product and that helped inform our content marketing strategy which started working after about 6 months." – https://www.failory.com/interview/wavve

    Your goal should be to understand your customer and why they are not buying your app, and trying to address your customers' objections in your product and/or marketing

    1. Do you have a social media presence? I don't see any social media links on your website. You should be using your own product heavily in all social media channels with appropriate hashtags. You should be retweeting and reposting examples of your customers' videos.

    2. Paid marketing. Have you tried ad campaigns on social media networks? Seems like a good fit there.

    3. Blogging. Start writing articles that your customers care about, e.g. how to create engagement/likes/$$$. And "oh by the way, here's how Story Creator can help." Your two blog posts on this are a decent start, but a long way off from being top-tier content that your customer will actually find useful.

    4. SEO. As you blog, focus on SEO on relevant keywords like "social media video apps" or "video tools for social media". Ahrefs currently has a great course on blogging and SEO which is temporarily free (due to the coronavirus): https://ahrefs.com/academy/blogging-for-business you should check it out.

    5. Better customer quotes. Your customer quotes are ok, but not super powerful. I don't sense any energy or enthusiasm in these quotes. I'd like to see something more like "Story creator is amazing! I've started making awesome videos on StoryCreator and my followers have increased 2x over the last 2 weeks! The app is a breeze to use – best investment ever." (Ok, maybe that's a little too much, but you get the point.)

    6. Case studies. See if you can get mini cases studies that explain a specific customer's problem, and how StarterStory helped them get more followers, views, engagement etc. Make it so there is no doubt that this tool is incredibly valuable.

    7. As others mentioned, pricing page is a must. Explain what a customer gets in free vs. pro. Right now, I can't tell whether your pro features are worth the upgrade.

    8. Reverse engineer the marketing strategies of successful companies. If your competitor is successful, see how they are marketing and learn from them. Learn from Waave and copy their strategies.

    9. Showcase videos of your customers' videos on your website. Real-life examples are better than made-up examples. (Also retweet/repost those.)

    10. A number of your pages look incomplete. I don't think you should publish pages until they are complete, it looks unprofessional.

    11. Discount codes are super helpful to get users to buy, especially for users who are on the fence.

    12. Email marketing. Create social media guides/PDF downloads or other things that your customers find valuable. Then give it away on your blog and other channels in exchange for an email address. Then email them discount codes or other incentives to upgrade to pro. Also can email them blog posts and useful content.

    13. Email automation. Create an email automation sequence that 1) welcomes your customers, 2) explains features and benefits of PRO, 3) provides a discount code to upgrade, 4) reminds customers to upgrade as the trial expires, 5) asks for feedback on why customers haven't upgraded a few days after trial expires

    14. Use discount codes (e.g. % off, or X free months) in your email marketing. Also hand out discount codes to blogs/podcasts/people who teach about how to do social marketing so they can give discount codes to their audience.

    15. Make upgrading to PRO self-serve. I should be able to sign up for PRO with a credit card, not have to call sales. Anytime I see "call sales" I interpret that as "it's going to be super expensive so I have to listen to a sales person try to persuade me why it's worth the price." Of course you can still provide a phone number/email if customers want to talk, but let them upgrade on their own if they want to.

    16. I don't know if you do this but make the free trial include PRO features that get taken away after the trial expires.

    17. Also, a common tactic is to include a watermark or something (#madeWithStoryCreatorApp) that gets removed with PRO. This will make the upgrade worthwhile for PRO users and free users will be marketing your product for you. For example, MailChimp has their logo in the footer of emails sent on their free tier.

    18. Referral program. Give discounts or free months to users that refer other users. I put this last because I think running a good referral program is hard and a lot of work.

    I don't know which of these you've already tried. But marketing is a journey. It will take a long time to get good at these things, so keep iterating on your marketing the same way you would iterate on your product.

    I get why Indiehackers in general prefer to focus on product/features than marketing. Building stuff is fun instant gratification. You code for a few hours or days and boom the feature is created. Marketing, by contrast, feels more like bumbling around in the dark, at least at the beginning. Feedback loops often take weeks, and there is a lot of trial and error. Reaching out to customers is uncomfortable. Each of the channels above (content marketing/SEO, paid marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, etc.) is its own field with a ton of stuff to learn and can be overwhelming. But in my opinion, marketing is just as important as the product and deserves the same level of effort, time and attention.

    Hope this helps, and good luck!

    1. 4

      I love all of this and you're right, these are amazing strategies. I am not allocating enough of my time on these strategies. I am just a product, product, product. I think its an insecurity issue and need to cut it ASAP if I am going to survive.

      I'm going to go over this list one by one and take action on every single one. Would you mind being an accountability friend? I'd love to reciprocate. Let me know if that works :)

      1. 4

        (Please take everything that I say here with a pinch of YMMV and IMHO)

        @stevenkkim Gave you some great advice and a lot of action points. I'm going to give you a a few points that I think you should put 100% of your effort into right now before moving on to anything else.

        #1

        Rework the main headline to highlight the benefit of your product (and target a market segment) rather than say "it's the best".

        To get this done properly you need to do what stevenkkim said in his first point. Speak to real users get them on zoom and demo your product show them what's possible and then see what they get excited about. Zone in on the market they are part of and how they feel it can help them. Then work out a great benefit driven headline based on that.

        Example: "Instantly & Painlessly Create Viral Videos For Instagram"

        #2 as Steven says: "10) Showcase videos of your customers' "

        To expand. Have a page with "/examples" it doesn't matter right now f they are customers examples or not. Right now you are so new people just need to see examples about what is possible.

        Add the "Examples" link to the top main nav of all marketing pages. This high priority because it is the only way people can see what is possible with zero friction.

        Add some of these to the home page instead of the screen shot of the editor. People will see the editor as soon as they are on the inside. It's more important to understand what's possible than to see the editor UI.

        Try to make these examples showcase the main benefits that you discovered by demoing your product to people when they got excited.

        #3

        Change the main button that says "Try for free" to "Login Instantly - No CC Required"

        We want to reduce the cognitive load about clicking that button. This way users will know there is a) no hassle to try it and, b) No charge to try it.

        #4

        When a new account is created pre-populate it with a few of the examples that were on the example page.

        The way it is now the user has to build up a video from scratch but it is well proven that a better on-boarding experience is to create instant gratification.

        OR If you have time, a neat trick you can do is to ask them for their name (and or other details), and pre populate a nice fully baked video that is personalized.

        #5

        Remove the guided popup tour and replace with screencast videos with a real person talking that show someone how to use your product. Make a simple popout menu with a list of things broken up into key things that people want to do. For example:

        • How to add audio
        • How to import a picture
        • Etc.

        The reason I say this is because guided popups are great for simple products but for something as deep as this there is a lot of nuance that you can get across with a spoken video that will really help people understand your product and stick around.

        #6

        Pricing page as people have mentioned. 2 plans. Free plan with X limit videos (see point below). Unlimited plan for $.

        #7

        When people instantly signup for the free account give them full access to all product features for X number of videos and then when they try to make X+1 show the upgrade with your CC.

        My gut feel is that they should be ale to create about 3-5 videos for free with no restriction and then it should kick in. This helps you avoid the whole 2 week trial thing and reduce the signup friction to zero.

        Sure, a few people will game the system and keep creating accounts but in my experience that will not be very many.

        -----

        The reasons I say all of this is:

        a) Give your product context and benefits for a specific market that you can then subsequently market to. Because, for example, it's much easy to find "instagram marketers" than it is "people who use video editors"

        b) Create a zero friction "test it out" journey to get as many people in as possible to see how great it is

        c) Create an instant gratification experience for those who do try it rather than a "blank page" overwhelm feeling.

        d) Give the user more value than they expect by offering unlimited capabilities for first 3-5 videos thus creating reciprocity

        e) IMHO This stuff is foundational and should probably come before a lot of the larger marketing efforts steve mentioned in order to keep people around and get them to convert.

        ------

        I hope all this helps. Again, take with a pinch of IMHO and YMMV!

      2. 3

        Sure, I'd be happy to keep you accountable. I just followed you and StoryCreator so I'll try to keep tabs on your progress.

        One suggestion – don't try to do everything on this list at once. Pick one thing or just a couple things. Some of the web page changes will be easy. But most of the other channels will take considerable effort over a long time to see results, and it would be better to do one marketing channel really well and make it a success rather than all of them superficially at the same time and get poor or no results in all of them. I can't remember who said it, but someone once said that all it takes is one successful marketing channel to make a business work.

        1. 3

          Here's another way to set your expectations – I see that your app is built with Next.js/React. Think about how long it took you to become proficient in Next.js. Maybe after a month or two of learning, you could build a basic app. After 3-6 months, your app is starting to look more professional. After a year, you finally start to feel confident and proficient.

          It's going to be a similar learning curve for some of these more involved marketing channels. So approach each channel with a similar mindset.

          I see a lot of people throw some ads onto the Google network, spend a couple hundred dollars, get poor results and declare that marketing doesn't work. Now it's true that PPC has gotten very saturated and competitive at this point and getting a positive ROI is hard (maybe the ad environment has changed with the coronavirus and impending economic slowdown, I don't know). But these people haven't optimized their ad text or images, or call-to-actions/offers, or landing page. They haven't done competitive research or keyword analysis. Point is, running an effective campaign is going to take a lot of work, and there's going to be a learning curve. Same for any other marketing channnel.

          Final bit of advice, try to pick a channel that you actually enjoy working with. For me, I like writing, so content marketing is a natural fit. I don't use social media, so that would be a tough channel for me to get into.

          1. 1

            I love this and will definitely keep it in mind along my journey. I took your advice and set up a pricing page https://storycreatorapp.com/pricing and added social media links in the footer.

            I spent all day reaching out to folks yesterday and made a thread on Reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/content_marketing/comments/ftxcgu/finding_users_for_a_content_creation_tool_i_made/.

            Going to keep pumping out content. Today I'll have a value giving post that I'll promote on IG and turn it into a blog post. I'll then reach out to users in my target market sending them a warm DM and having a conversation with them.

            1. 2

              Pricing page looks good. And looks like you got some great feedback and interaction in the Reddit post. Keep it up!

      3. 2

        Hi Michael, hope you're doing well.

        You asked me to help keep you accountable, so here I am.

        I saw in your posts that you've made some progress on product which is great.

        How are things going on the marketing side?

        1. 1

          I love it, man. You're a rockstar for showing up. So I got my first customer with direct outreach. A lot of my time has been spent on direct outreach. I am trying to come up with an efficient system, where I get high-quality leads and I am organized with who I reached out to and what the current status of the conversation is.

          I have my current customer telling other folks about it. So I am going to follow up with that this week and get names I can reach out to.

          I am targeting certain keywords after doing some research on uber suggest https://storycreatorapp.com/features/video-subtitles. I have 4 landing pages, I need to revisit them and beef up the content with more value giving content. I know SEO is a long process and wanted to get the ball rolling with first finding the KW and then getting the basic pages up.

          Added three new value giving posts on IG https://www.instagram.com/storycreatorapp/ and I am spending some time networking and commenting with other folks building relationships with people. Also updated my personal IG https://www.instagram.com/michaelaubry/

          I set up a free demo without any login https://storycreatorapp.com/demo

          Right now I am focused on this.

          • Direct outreach 10 targeted podcasters per day - I am following this article to get emails. It's effective but tedious. It's a very direct way to make things happen https://blog.lemlist.com/find-email-addresses/

          • Post three times per week - I failed with this. I only posted twice on IG I repurposed it on LinkedIn and created one Youtube video. Ideally, I had one more post and turned all three into a blog. I'll work on that this week.

          • Engaging with communities - It has been hard for me to measure how hard I am hitting this because I engage at various times and sometimes Ill leave several profound comments and it feels like I worked harder than I did. I would like to timebox this and hit a certain number. This goes well with the last step. The more high value and relevant my content are to the community people will find value and want more. I'd like to build a funnel and give away something free at the top of the funnel. Either a free video, a guide or something

          • Adding/Improving the product - I am not adding in the sense of features, but adding more animated text options. More visualizers for podcasters. I am improving little bugs, create as much stability as possible. Then with 10+ animated text 5+ visualizers, I can start to make templates.

          A really good piece of advice I got from the CMO of ahrefs was to create a video for some successful podcasters and add that to my feed as an example while also tagging them. So something I want to do is make Tim Ferris a podcast video that is beautiful - this will come with having sexy visualizers, more animated text options, etc. I'll post it to the feed and keep doing this 10+ times per week. The best ones I will convert into a template.

          Again thanks for checking in. Would love feedback.

          1. 1

            Michael, all of this sounds great to me. Congrats on your first customer, that's huge!

            I kinda like the ahrefs suggestion. It might work, it might not – obviously guys like Tim Ferris are super busy so they may not notice. But if they do, obviously that would be great.

            What does your direct outreach email look like? Here's an idea for you: when you reach out to podcasters, offer to make them a clip for free. Everyone loves free stuff, and it may help get your foot in the door.

            I don't know how effective your clips are for driving traffic, but if they are, then that's a no-brainer for a podcaster to let you make a clip for them. If it works, then you've demonstrated value for them. If not, then you'll at least be in contact with the podcaster and get some feedback on why the product isn't working for them.

            This doubles as a chance to get testamonials/social proof and also some more real-world examples.

            That's something important that's missing from your web page: real-world examples. As a customer, I want to really visualize what the end result would look like. So if I'm a podcaster, and I see other podcasters' video clips and I see testimonials that those clips are driving traffic/users/listeners, that's what'll get me excited.

            Like "See What Others Are Creating With Wavve" here https://wavve.co/

            To get some momentum, I think you need to start getting traction one customer at a time. Each customer builds credibility and social proof, which makes the next customer slightly easier to get.

            By the way, are podcasters your core market? It's not clear to me on your webpage whether you're targeting podcasters or whether they are just one of several groups you are targeting.

            If you are targeting podcasters, then you should probably put that in your headline. "Easily Create Videos and Grow Your Brand on Social Media" is very open-ended and vague.

            "Easily turn your podcasts into beautiful, shareable video clips that drive traffic through social media" is much more specific and direct.

            Keep up the great work!

            1. 2

              Just to put more emphasis here: I think social proof is super super important. Most founders think, "I need to show how my product works, then customers will get it." But most customers don't want to expend the brainpower required to evaluate how a product and guess whether it will produce the desired results for them. They want a shortcut. "Oh, all these podcasters use and love the product? They say it drives results for them? Then maybe I should check it out." Without the social proof, a lot of people don't even bother checking out the product in the first place.

              So from a marketing perspective, manually building that social proof is a #1 priority. Once you have that, everything else starts getting easier.

      4. 2

        I really resonate with your feelings. I also have the same struggle with focusing on the product a little too much, so I changed my profile to include "Channel channel channel" lol. Your product is rock-solid which is quite rare, you need to make a decision in your mind: ok the product is providing value, I proved myself. Now let's move on by solving the next problem.

        Two mindsets I'd like to share which helped me understand what I really need to do on the marketing side of things:

        1. The cost of marketing/acquiring users can actually be higher than the cost of building software. It may take $3 to acquire a user for each $1 spent on building the product. So set realistic expectations about the effort/resources required for marketing. Play a bigger game.
        2. You have to see succeeding in promoting your product an obligation of yours. By beating your competitors, especially the ones with bad quality, you can help your users so much more and make the world more efficient.

        Patience is a virtue and your product will be a hit. Believe us here lol.

        1. 1

          Yes, patience is definitely a virtue. Patient but urgent.

    2. 1

      This is super helpful @stevenkkim! 🙇‍♂️

  2. 10

    As others pointed out: I think you made a massive mistake with pricing. The product looks great, but there is no way I am going to contact you just to know how much it costs to upgrade for an online video editor. You should have a pricing page with monthly subscriptions imo.

    1. 2

      Plus 1 to this. The second page I always go to on a landing page like this is the 'Pricing' page. You can have the 'free' version or a free trial listed out. But a product like this doesn't warrant a 'contact us' for pricing. For the market you're targeting (I assume), they need a very frictionless process to start using your product and pay you if they like it.

    2. 1

      Cool. I was thinking I would spend time patching up the product and talking to users. I haven't really felt that I have solved a problem yet. Maybe I am thinking too big and should accept simple edits, subtitles, progress bars, etc, are enough of a problem.

      I plan to integrate Stripe ASAP and have a page. I'm thinking of keeping pricing simple at first.

      1. 3

        Maybe I am thinking too big and should accept simple edits, subtitles, progress bars, etc, are enough of a problem.

        I don't know about that because I am not part of the target market. The product looks great (good execution imo from the few minutes I spent exploring it) but I am not sure it solves enough of a problem (I am not part of the target market). I do see a clear issue with pricing though imo.

  3. 4

    Think you're a rockstar for having an idea, building it and seeing it through.

    That said you have some problems because you put the cart in front of the horse.

    Startups during the 80s were different in the sense that all they had was product risk. The hard thing was getting the damn thing made (whatever that thing was). If you did that, there would be customers period.

    Nowadays, unless your SpaceX or smth similar, you don't have product risk. Making a web app is eays. (Before anyone starts crying, easy doesn't mean easy, it means it's not a competitive advantage or an economic moat to be able to merely ship such a thing.)

    That means your biggest risk is market risk.

    I.e. We went from 'we know people want to buy this but can we build it?' to 'we know we can build this but do people want to buy?'.

    According to Andreessen's onion layer thesis, you remove risk layers one layer at a time, starting with the most important one, which in your case is 'Will people buy?'.

    So what you should have done in retrospect is to focus 100% of your efforts on making a few sales within a couple of days. If you could do that, then and only then, do you start building.

    But that's hindsight. You've learned a lesson that's incredibly hard to internalize so I def wouldn't beat myself up about it. I think it's pretty much unavoidable.

    Also,

    My tool does everything theirs does but I have 0 customers.

    Read this essay: https://www.younglingfeynman.com/essays/antinetworkeffects

    Okay now what?

    Focus solely on getting your first paying customers. You need to get momentum.

    I disagree with some of the suggestions giving you a million different marketing approaches for two reasons.

    1. You don't go and do long-term marketing strategies (like SEO) before you even have customers. Not saying it can't work but you're gambling. You're hope marketing. Doing all these things and hoping it'll pay off. Even in the best-case scenario, strategies like those take MONTHS or a year plus.

    2. When you try a million things, it's the best way to get overwhelmed and end up doing nothing. Behavioral science is very clear on this. (Fogg, 2009).

    How do you get your first paying customers?

    HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT!

    • You call all your friends and ask them if they want to pay you X for your web app. You call all the people in your phone, every single person on your contacts.

    • You DM all your friends on Facebook, on LinkedIn, and other platforms you have followers.

    • You ask everyone for a referral. If they say yes, you ask. If they say no, you ask. E.g. Okay since you're not interested in this web app, who's one person you think I should give a call that might be interested in online video editing?

    • You post in subreddits, on Hacker News, Product Hunt, Twitter, Facebook Groups and all that shit. This is a bit more reactive instead of proactive which is why it's the last step. But it's basically hey I made this, anyone wanna interested? Then you contact anyone who's interested immediately and try to close them.

    One final tip. You need customers, not profitability. So don't stress about the price just yet. Maybe after you have 5-10 customers. Because early feedback is so vital. The fact that you're struggling is because you're lacking that feedback. Three things specifically: 1. Who are your customers? 2. Where are they? 3. What's the problem you're solving for them?

    Good luck homey, you're on the right track. Don't give up. I'd even go so far as to say you didn't make a mistake. Failure is part of the process. You fail 99 times until you succeed onces. Just like trying to land your first backflip or smth. This journey of yours is the norm, not the exception. So just keep iterating and be persistent and you WILL figure it out. The reason why it's hard is because up until this point, school and sport gives you a roadmap that you need to execute well, if you fail you did smth wrong. You're now doing smth for which there's no clear roadmap (as in follow these exact steps and you'll get 100K MRR in exactly Y months).

    P.S. If you're scared to do any of these things, it's normal. That's why people are giving you tips like so email markting automation. It's just a way to hide from the things that really move the needle. You can't get rejected by wasting months on email marketing automation, but it hurts to call someone and basically get told to fuck off. If you can't get over your fear after two days, just hire someone or ask a friend to do it for you.)

    REFERENCES
    BJ Fogg. 2009. A behavior model for persuasive design. In Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Persuasive Technology (Persuasive ’09). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 40, 1–7. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/1541948.1541999

    1. 2

      I absolutely love this response and would love to chat more with you. You definitely know your stuff. After constant conversations with folks in the startup world. The advice I received the most is aligned with what you just shared.

      I have been doing a lot of outbound DMs. Hitting it hard, asking for referrals and setting up interviews. I recently added stripe and production payments are ready to go. During this time I have also been able to improve the product.

      I am excited for what's to come. It's been a hell of a ride. I'm going to be focusing on podcasters and helping them make videos like this https://s3.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/storycreator.rendered/ck8txnb8m0ixq0158jyct45z7?t=1586516289259

      Excited to make it happen baby!

      1. 1

        You got it chief! Sure no prob, if you wanna chat it's probably easiest to just grab my number off of younglingfeynman.com in the footer. [1]

        Yeah outbound is def solid! I also can't stress enough how important it is to get in front of people. I know corona has thrown a monkey wrench into the works but the second that's over go meet people. Don't buy into the whole 'Zoom etc.'stuff. There's no way around just meeting people face to face in your stage of development.

        The same way a comic does a shitload of comedy clubs before they have iterated their way towards a Netflix special set.

        Looks cool! Now go and find out if that's a real problem for podcasters! Try and get some money asap. And if they won't pay for this try to find out during your conversation what they would pay for.

        Good luck!

        P.S. If you're still struggling after a week or so, try onboarding a few folks for free just so you can get a feel for what they use and don't use the product for. That could give you a new market + hypothesis that you can then test.

        NOTES

        [1] Didn't list here cuz maybe against TOS? And also, spam etc.

  4. 4

    First of all the landing page and the product look STUNNING. Even if this dosen't work for you in the long run, ANY CTO would hire you as at least senior if not lead developer.

    For some reason it dosent work. Im using Firefox.

    After dropping in an image title and audio its previewing nothing, it just "plays" the image without audio or text.

    1. 1

      This is in Firefox? I need to do some testing there. I will make sure to fix that out. Thanks for the kind words :)

      1. 3

        Np. When i drag the cursor around it shows correctly. Audio works now btw, you should definetly not mute on default, that will cause a lot of confusion.

        1. 2

          Ahh I see, this is not the first time I have heard this feedback. Usually second or third time I wake up and realize the importance.

          My thinking was I didn't want to scare anyone or have them shock anyone around them. That thinking applies to consumer social media apps I guess. Where it's more mobile and they're around other folks.

          Would that improve your experience if mute didn't default?

  5. 4

    Let random visitors try the tool without signing up like Kapwing does.

    Don't give up. Looks like a really cool product.

    1. 3

      We did that with https://versoly.com/ and was able to 4x the amount of demos.

      Also the feedback by other IHs about showing pricing is great. 30%+ check our pricing page.

  6. 4
    1. You have a really great product. I really mean it because ive used camtasia before.
    2. I dont see your pricing. It would be helpful if i can see the price.
    3. Did you do a "Show HN" on hacker news? If yes, i suggest you do it.
    4. Do you know of kapwing.com? They have a similar product but they target the 'meme creators' segment. Their pricing used to be free with watermark and a few dollars if you want to remove watermark. See if you can target this segment.
    5. There are lots of people who create videos for 'TIKTOK'. I do not know what software they use stitch their videos together. How about branding yourself as 'Tiktok video maker'? You can have a low pricing for videos > 15 seconds.

    Thats all i can think of now. I'll keep track of your app.

    1. 4

      Yeah, I keep seeing this advice and trend with TikTok. Maybe it's just uncomfortable for me and I should do some more research. I think my issue is I haven't picked a specific niche and made an effort to go after them hard.

      I have heard of kapwing and keep having them compared. I think I have entered a competitive space and I am trying to figure out a way to differentiate.

      My biggest issue is resources. I am trying to solve HIGHLY technical issues and be a designer and marketer at the same time. I am not spending enough time on marketing though. If I would spend the amount of time I am on engineering on marketing I think I would make a serious impact.

      So maybe I need to figure out a way to wire my brain to be more marketing focused. Any advice on rewiring my brain?

      1. 6

        Tiktok is HUGE. As i see it, your product can already make videos for tiktok. It is just your mind block preventing you from seeing this and tapping this market. Just update your SEO taglines to 'Free Video Maker for TikTok'. You could have premium templates etc.

        For all videos, create a watermark like ...'Made with StoryCreator'. Now lets say a moderately popular tiktok user creates a video and uploads it. Atleast 10,000 people see that video. So that's 10,000 people ALSO seeing your brand name. Your marketing is done for you. I hope you get what i'm saying.

        1. 2

          I like the sound of this👍, moving into tiktoks orbit and niching for that audience

      2. 3

        One suggestion is to have marketing days and product days. Context switching is hard. And working on marketing when you'd rather do product is hard. So dedicate a full day when you have to do nothing but marketing. In your case, maybe start out doing only product on Monday, Wed, Fri, and only marketing on Tue and Thur. Or maybe spend 3 days per week on marketing.

        1. 1

          I love this. Any recommendations on where to learn marketing. I know some things and it's really about taking action so I don't want to distract myself but I would like to read something for 1 hour a day. Would love a recommendation :)

          1. 2

            Which marketing channel interests you most? (Eg social media, content marketing/seo, ppc, email etc.)

            1. 1

              I like designing and have seen a huge trend in these well designed informational carousel posts. I have made a few here https://www.instagram.com/storycreatorapp/ I need to be more consistent. I gotta create some structure as you said. Dedicated days to marketing and engineering.

              What I started doing was taking a feature from the app, or a problem in the space I am witnessing. Then I'll create a quick youtube video. The thumbnail for that video will set the initial theme for the Instagram post. From there I will turn it into a LinkedIn carousel post. Then a blog post.

              I just need to be more consistent with that approach and reach out directly to more folks.

              Would love constructive feedback on that approach.

              1. 2

                Great idea. Especially cross-posting into different social media channels. The key is to keep working on building your audience and maximizing reach. In addition to making content directly related to your product (e.g. tutorials, how-to, features), just make cool stuff that people want to share. I see you have a quotes section. Maybe some sort of inspirational quote of the day? I don't know, I'm not a social media guy so I'm just guessing. But just try stuff and see what works. Maybe try some paid advertising on Instagram to increase your reach.

                Last suggestion, maybe try making your last image in each set some sort of CTA – like "go to storycreatorapp.com/tutorial to learn more" or "go to storycreatorapp.com to try it out"

                Also probably good idea to use a URL shortener with UTM tags so you can track traffic and conversions in Google analytics from your various efforts.

                BTW, on one of your posts, some user has asked:
                "pravinraj5: May i know which app or software u using for this?" 😂

                Ok, I don't know why I spent so much time on Indiehackers today. Gotta get back to work! Good luck and we'll be in touch.

                1. 1

                  Very good. I agree - and I'd add that free users (if you're freemium; I can't tell because I can't find pricing) and also those on a free trial should be forced to work with:

                  • watermark on the entire video, start to finish
                  • last element of all videos by non-customers is five seconds of "made with storycreatorapp.com" and if possible, a clickable "make your own video for free"
      3. 1

        Hey Michael,
        I think you've created a really cool tool for video makers. I also think it's an interesting idea to try to focus on TikTok as it's a huge trend now. I would be happy to help you and I can connect you with an "influencer" on TikTok (235k). Shoot me a message if you want more info about it! 😉

  7. 3

    My first question would be, are the features you mention what your target market wants? Have you done the research before spending time crating your product? It's not always the full featured products that win. Sometimes, scaled back can be better for people who just want something simple.

    If it is something your target market wants that your competitors don't have, then there is something wrong with your marketing. What are you doing to market it? Who are you targeting? How are you positioning your product against competitors? What are your conversion rates? Are you getting people to try it but not convert to paying customers or not getting people to try it to begin with?

    1. 1

      @storycreator
      I was thinking about this too. There are quite a few video editing service sites. The pricing on most sites is similar. veed.io seems to be the closet to your site. Many competitors may not be a problem. When I was looking for a online project management site a few years back, I tried 20+ services before I decided on one:-)

      Why would someone use your site? What areyour competitive advantages? More features definitely can't be the most important competitive advantage.

      I am not your customer, so I can't able to see what your real competitive advantages are, unfortunately.

  8. 3

    Make the demo free like carrd.co does. It’s asking me to create an account. If someone does that, I immediately close the tab.

    Check out Kapwing. It shows me a working demo & I can immediately try it by clicking “Start Editing”.

    It sends me here → https://www.kapwing.com/studio/editor right away without having to create an account. Just copy that as is.

    💯on Pricing

    And finally NICHE DOWN.

    When you target everyone, you target no one. Go after TikTok. It’s the biggest thing right now & maybe no one (just guessing) has targeted it yet. You’ve got nothing to lose.

    Also, I guess your competitors are veed.io. They’ve done everything right & shared it all for free on their blog plus various other places online like https://saashacker.co/saas-seo-strategy/ & https://saasmarketer.io/bootstrapped-saas/. Read both of those.

    Ruthlessly copy them. Once you start copying them, you’ll have your own ideas to differentiate. Make pages like they did for every one of your features. Check out how they’re doing it→ https://www.veed.io/grow/

    The landing page can be as big as VEED’s is. Yours starts and ends without scrolling. Nothing wrong with that but you’ve got so many features.

    I’d suggest you to stop writing code & start writing blogs. Write 1 blog every day while simultaneously outreaching. Make sure the blogs are not full of fluff material. It should be no bullshit, straight to the point like every article on https://marketingexamples.com/

    Try long-tail keywords→https://marketingexamples.com/seo/dominate-long-tail-keywords to rank faster on Google.

    Try link building strategy → https://marketingexamples.com/seo/grubhub-link-building

    I’ll suggest just go to https://marketingexamples.com/ & click on the SEO tab & do it one-by-one. Do it for 3+ months to see the results.

    The only things you must focus on right now is redoing your landing page while incorporating all the feedback you’ve got here & writing blogs with what your tool does & pricing it appropriately.

    And I’ll say it again NICHE DOWN.

    It’s got huge potential. Wish you luck Michael 👍

  9. 3

    You need a community first. Lots of people create a product and then try to bring people to the product but it's actually those who build a community around an idea and then the product from that community which succeeds the best.

    I would suggest you invest some time in building a community. If you want a Bootcamp to make this happen to check out @8bit and his YEN community boot camps.

    It's not too late to build community and get people using your product. I would suggest finding a place where people who would find value in your product hang out and then get involved. don't go into the community trying to SELL your product but instead, go in there acting like someone who cares about video production and wants to see people create amazing videos.

    Best of luck to you!!!

    1. 2

      Yeah, I love this. I need guidance so thanks for sharing. Yeah, I think it's a matter of doing, I need to allocate time towards community building.

      What top three communities come to mind? The IG UX community is pretty big. My definition of a community is.

      • A site where folks have profiles and the ability to communicate.
      • This group of people has a specific topic and interest
      • There is daily activity

      My thoughts are I just need to pick one to engage with daily. Offer as much value as I can. For me, I think IG could be good. Here is what I have so far https://www.instagram.com/storycreatorapp/ I plan on posting more.

      One thing I want to do is talk to folks and learn what problems they face.

      1. 1

        Talking to people is key! Keep at it never stop talking :)

        Your bullet points on a community definition are great but don't limit yourself. You can make a community just about anywhere. Newsletters, twitter followers, Reddit threads, IndieHacker!!! All of these are communities, heck I have a community of 3 on my cell phone. It's me and two other guys and we just talk about anything and everything daily.

        Don't set out to DEFINE WHAT a community is.. Define HOW you will be part of or creating a community!

        Keep on moving forward!

    2. 1

      thanks for that shoutout friend! appreciate everything you're doing and i love being a part of your story!

  10. 3

    A lot of this "nearly giving up" bug going around lately... maybe it is being indirectly influenced by a world-shaking event? 🤔
    I don't believe in quitting, especially not now.
    Do you have a YouTube video showing you SaaS in action? If not, then I suggest that you use your creative skills to create a video and hope it goes viral.

    1. 2

      Viral marketing creates fast growth. I think if a company can do that then it's very effective, quite hard to do though. One viral strategy I have read about is how DropBox went viral. I've been reading "Traction" and found a good article on the 19 growth channels https://zapier.com/blog/acquire-customers/ - a good read.

      Viral marketing is definitely one of them.

      Yeah man, definitely not a quitter. I just felt bad for losing a customer and trying to figure out how I can turn it around. It's so amazing to have this community.

  11. 3

    This is probably not the most useful advice but your site is pretty laggy on my computer. Even after the full page has loaded scrolling is choppy, which can be an instant turn off for some people. Try to tweak the performance a bit.

    Otherwise the page and the product looks awesome, I really hope you'll have success with it!

    1. 2

      Interesting. Usually, I have a good experience. It does take up to 500mb in RAM so if your computer has tons of tabs open and is low on RAM then I can see this happening. The average chrome tab is 100mb-200mb of RAM pretty heavy.

      I am curious to know your specs. I will definitely try and get the memory usage down.

      1. 1

        I've got a Macbook Pro with 16gigs of RAM and I have about 10 tabs open although I have quite a few other apps open as well. And it was on Safari, I checked on Chrome and it was much better so maybe Safari is just crap. So maybe not a huge issue, but wanted to point it out.

  12. 3

    A quick one, but +1 on a pricing page! Having no idea how much a product will cost me is a huge deterrent to starting a trial.

    1. 1

      Makes sense. I guess my thinking was that if this was a pain killer and not a vitamin. Then folks would be reaching out asking.

      Maybe that train of thought is wrong and I should test what its like integrating stripe :)

  13. 2

    Hi Mike

    Video Production house founder and owner here. I love your product. I live and breathe this stuff every day and if you get your marketing right, you will be incredibly successful.

    I've seen you take some of the advice (there's some great advice here) but there are still major issues with your marketing and website. Having something that 'looks good' doesn't mean it'll sell and you're making identical mistakes that my customers (and I) resolved pretty early on.

    1. Messaging / positioning / branding. My customers would buy this in a heartbeat if they had the right message. These are SME corporates who do a lot of video work themselves but your messaging / positioning / branding is all over the place. It needs to talk directly to them.

    2. Customer testimonials. Who do you trust more, the company trying to sell it to you or the customer who's already bought the product? Video testimonials are proven methods of making sales. You have a video editing company! Easy!

    3. Your demo method doesn't work. This is a 'biggie' in my world and what you're doing has been tried, tested and there are better methods.

    This has incredible potential. I'd love to learn more about what you were thinking about because this is great. I mean, there are some elements that aren't great (e.g. putting the audio above the visual line is a big no-no) but otherwise it has major potential.

    Tldr; I work in this area and this is absolutely huge if you get your marketing right.

    1. 2

      This is awesome I am always learning. I'd love to have a 1:1 with you and learn how I can offer you value in any way. I think your experience might help push me in the right direction. Lets talk!

      1. 1

        Thanks for pinging me. Pinged you back and happy to chat. A lot of my business has died so have lots of time on my hands!

  14. 2

    Lots of good advice here already. You need to stop working on product and start working on marketing, cold outreach, and sales.

    The only thing I can add to all this good advice is that the above-the-fold needs to be error-free if you want to come across as professional and make a good first impression.

    1. "world's" not "worlds"
    2. "for" not "For"
    3. "less" not "Less"
    4. "days" not "Days"

    Furthermore:

    1. remove the periods from the end of the header and subheader.
    2. highlight the 'sign up' button not the 'log in' button.

    I, for one, consider slight oversights such as these as a clear signal to differentiate between a serious company/product versus random low-effort landing pages thrown up by the internet.

  15. 2

    Hi Michael,
    Let's start with the good - You are an AMAZING creator/builder. You get 11 out of 10 points for your coding/building/product skills.
    Now for the bad - The best product NEVER wins. the best-marketed product wins (if it's good enough). Yes, there are a few Cinderella stories out there, but do yourself a favor and don't fill out lottery tickets because your neighbor won a jet ski. ;-)
    The reason you keep going back to the product is that you are great at it. It gives you a feeling of self-worth. There are two solutions to your problem - Leave the product alone and market (validate) the hell out of your product, or find a partner who will let you work on the product while they do it.
    So much great advice has been given to you in this thread, so I'll just emphasize the old Yoda adage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5SNAluOj6U
    Hope this helps,
    Jonathan
    PS If you'd like some advice, I'm doing free 30-min consults now, feel free to book one. https://calendly.com/jonathanoron

  16. 2

    Your product is really cool! Keep pushing on the marketing side! 💪

  17. 2

    For about 1.5 years since we released our email marketing app, we also struggled with making money. It was about $300ish MRR. This was about 6 months ago.

    After we niche down to a tight target audience did we start seeing more revenue. We're at around 3k MRR. But it's not just about niching down, it's also about proactively doing direct sales outreach (even when others told us to fuck off too), and then because we've built such a solid product (albeit not very advanced product at this time) + providing customers with such great customer service -- that others start recommending us without an affiliate link.

    Features alone won't get you far. As you said competing apps have less features than you yet they're killing it. The reason is because they're already mature -- they've been in the industry for much longer than you. They've already built a customer base. They've already built a reputation. Don't compare someone else's page 100 to your page 3. Their page 3 could be worse than you.

    I like to think when going into a new business... that I won't be making a single cent in the first 2 years. Which is why I suggest to people not to quit their job until their business is making a PROFIT (not revenue) equal to their job income.

    I hope this helps.

    PS. Regarding people asking you to fuck off when cold approaching them, don't take it personally, and move on to the next prospect. Thus far we've approached tens of thousands of people and many have told us to fuck off too. But we kept at it.

  18. 2

    I know how it feels to see copycats with one or two tricks eat the market that should be your's, and I empathize with you. Several people have given great advice, I can give you a solid process for building a market in social as you soft-sell to them. That will follow some quick thoughts on the site:

    • Echoing what many had stated, get a pricing page up right quick.
    • https://storycreatorapp.com/templates: mouse-over the center of the page shows temples, but they are unnamed. What do they start me out with?
    • I wanted to do is make a video from still images, I used the upload feature. But then, how to add them to the video that's being made? Clicking on them, right-clicking, dragging them in - nothing works?

    Again, I'm echoing, but you need to give people a way to chat to you - and using a widget that not only suggests tutorials, but lets them search your tutorials. Intercom jacks you hard after the first year, so find something cheaper, maybe a lifetime deal from AppSumo? You will need something that is tied to your knowledge base of tutorials and also (as Intercom does) records search terms people use for which no tutorials are suggested. This will help you figure out what many people get stuck with.

    Several people have suggested building a market in social. I have been doing this for years - using social media to build an audience based on the content I share (from blogs, mainly), but then, advertising on the URLs. See my answer in https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-best-practices-to-generate-disruptive-marketing-content-for-a-B2B-startup (the anser from Saul - that's me), to see my entire process as well as the results. Once you get it going, it's like 10 minutes a week to keep going. What's more, you could use your videos as the ads. You would be showing your product to a great many people who click your Rite.ly URLs - while marketing your product.

    I hope this helps.

  19. 2

    I just created an account to say that you have created an awesome product. I won't talk about the business model or the marketing scheme, but I really like the product itself. Seems very intuitive, professional and useful. Keep up the good work. I do believe this will take off after a while!

  20. 2

    Were you able to get a response from the person who cancelled as to why they did?

  21. 2

    Start a podcast🎙️

    1. 1

      I love this and have been thinking about it.

      What would be some interesting topics? I feel like just talking about video content would get boring quickly. But maybe an entrepreneur podcast where the premise is storytelling and using video to grow your business.

      Let me brain storm this.

      1. 2
        1. Interview customers and let them talk about how the product has helped them.

        2. Product Updates

        3. Roundtable with some friends that are in a similar position to you

        4. Decide who you want your customer to be. New content creators? Advanced? Then make your content around them, the stuff doesn't have to be directly related to your product. Something like "How to optimize tags to get more organic views" for an episode.

        I run a podcasting community, if you want more advice stop by the forum in my bio. You'll get advice from more than me there!!👍

        1. 2

          That's awesome. When I was living out of my car in Mountain View my good buddy was living in San Jose and I would occasionally crash there. Good memories in San Jose. I miss those days.

          This is great feedback and I think podcasters would be a great customer actually. I am making some audio visualizers that stand out. With that combined with my advanced timeline, I think podcasters could now have a tool that helps them easily create stunning videos around their audio.

          I could really use some insights on how podcasters would like the workflow to be.

          I am thinking about building a wizard on top of the main product where it asks the users what industry they're in, then a step to upload assets (audio, images, etc), then a step to select from a template. I think that would be sick on top of the current editor.

          1. 1

            Cool, the forum is still pretty new. I created a podcast product category for people to post their products (because it's a podcast makers community) so if you want to post it there I can help you promote it.

  22. 2

    I read this blog about VEED like day ago and it's absolutely must read for you, I guess. I would just follow what they did to growth your product.

  23. 2

    Disclaimer just my opinion...

    With the headline:

    "The Worlds Best Video Editor For Content Creators."

    The problem with this (other than the missing apostrophe...) is anyone and everyone says they are the best. Instead is there a way you can talk to the main pain point your audience has with their video editor?

    "Join other social media professionals who have grown their business 200%
    in Less than 60 Days using video content."

    This statement assumes that the audience doesn't use video and you are enlightening them on how video is good for business. Check that this is the case - maybe they already use a tool and know they can grow their business, and they are at the next level of sophistication where they are now wanting to solve a specific video editing problem?

    If you are sticking with the 200% gain - it is again empty promises, you'd need to back that up I think with at least testimonials that explicitly say they grew, and ideally case studies. Also is your product necessary for the 200% gain? Or can I just use camstudio and youtube to do that? There needs to be a causal link shown between buying your product and making the gains, and also not buying your product -> missing out on the gains.

  24. 2

    I hope I can with my thoughts.
    -I need a price page.
    -I need to see some sample or premade videos on the landing page. ur app is about video yet there is none.
    -I want to see youtube tutorials on how to use your tool, start to end.
    -Partner with YouTuber's small and medium to talk/review your product with a healthy referral program, were they and their user both benefit.
    -Create the best video made using "story creator" of the day page (inspired by producthunt) and let people see and upvote them (this might need a bit of traffic but people who would want to have their video will bring the traffic, you just need a few people to kick start the process.)
    -Finally, use your product, why didn't u make a video build using "StoryCreator" instead of or along with writing this post.

  25. 2

    All the good people covered the main pain points, I think you already understood what you're missing. You need to act like schizophrenic with multiple identities :) Shut down the product designer side (as I see the product is already good to go) and power-on the marketer, start fighting.

    One thing I add though because I used to see tools like yours there; we used Buffer for social media publishing back at the agency and always loved their informative emails, they have a thing for promoting good social media tools with their customers, and they are lovely folks. I think you should get in touch with them. https://buffer.com/library

    Good luck.

    1. 2

      And while you are there, check out their great Pricing page; https://buffer.com/pricing/publish

      And note a side that you also need a chatbot with proper dialogues, giving information about the product and also the pricing, onboarding user through sign-up and payment.

  26. 2

    The presentation of the product looks great in comparison to other popular video tools out there (kudos to using my Scribbbles). But man, lack of upfront pricing will destroy you. Don't give up. Correct that and you'll be positioned 100x better than you are now.

  27. 2

    Hi Michael, you have done a good job, only it looks like a blank wall from outside. You need to sell the product from the sit.

    Take a good look at canva.com, and looka and http://veed.io/ and do exactly all they did on their website... show customer taste of whats inside. put enough info, pricing etc.

    also try to run a Freemium model as much as possible and let customer know from the site thats the case. meaning you get x features free limited to y, then up have to pay one-time or buy a subscription.

    just copy all they did and update your website. then run some google adwords and dont panic.

  28. 2

    I signed up and really had no idea how to create something that looked good. Do you have any data on where users drop off? My suggestion is to make users pick from a selection of really nice templates instead of starting them off with a blank canvas and make it really easy for users to quickly try out new templates. It's going to be way easier for people to tweak something that already looks good than to start from scratch.

    Like others have mentioned, get a pricing page up right away. I'm not going to invest time into creating something if I have no idea how much I'm going to end up paying.

  29. 2

    Hey Michael,

    I'm only really repeating some other comments here, but the product itself looks great to me. The only thing missing is a pricing page. I won't sign up to anything without knowing its cost.

    So now just focus on marketing it, and getting it in front of as many potential customers as possible. Perhaps adding Intercom or something would allow you to see why people are not signing up, as you'd learn the questions they have.

    1. 1

      Me as well. I never sign up for mysterious pricing products. Even though your product looks nice!

  30. 2

    I'll take a look.

    I ended up installing ShoCut (Linux) the other day because I found both YouTube and Kapwing lacking. My sister was kind enough to record a bunch of short sentences to voiceover tutorial videos. So, I wanted to add multiple audio segments to the video at various times. YouTube and Kapwing only allowed for adding 1 massive audio track to the entire video (they expect everyone to be adding a music soundtrack).

    I did a Google search for "video editing apps" to find ShoCut and, unfortunately yours did not come up. Although, there are no ads so that implies it might be a low-cost adWords campaign.

    I don't think I can offer any verified/validated growth advice as I have not grown either. I hope you stick with it and I'm in it with you.

  31. 2

    This is a good product and with all the suggested marketing techniques in the comment section, when you start executing them you will be able to see results.

    I would market this through social media websites 100% by creating content of what's currently trending, and keep doing that daily.

    On a different note - the all video template page doesn't load on my end, I am using Chrome.
    (https://storycreatorapp.com/templates)

    1. 1

      I deleted all the templates temporarily. As I expand the feature set I am changing the shape of a lot of data. So I need to get that backup.

      I am curious to know the types of videos people want.

      I am thinking about going on Reddit and offering to make free videos to learn what types of videos people want. In return for making it for free, I can turn it into a template.

  32. 2

    Your product is well-designed and built, I recommend that you start a blog and learn SEO and content marketing so people will actually find your product. Try ranking for keywords related to your product, like "how to make and edit a video in 2020". Also, feel free to email me: [email protected] and I can send you some great resources

    1. 1

      Thanks. Going to go through https://ahrefs.com/academy/blogging-for-business I definitely believe in SEO but from what I understand that can take up to 6 months just to start ranking. I think I just need a bit more patience. The problem is I keep focusing on cash flow and I need to focus on patience, empathetic imagination, and executing on the right things.

      1. 2

        Yes, I agree. It will help you a lot, also, backlinko.com/blog is a great place to learn and ahrefs.com/blog and neilpatel.com/blog and also nateliason.com/blog

        1. 1

          I've been following Neil. He has some great stuff. Definitely helped me realize I should be leveraging meta tags etc.

          He talks about the importance of high-quality content. I think that makes me feel like its a lot of work just for one blog. Most sites don't start ranking until 6 months or so. I guess I am just procrastinating on the SEO and just need to get dirty. I am waiting for the perfect system to fall on my lap, when I should just be trying things, failing, and learning. Three blog posts are not acceptable.

  33. 2

    Also here's another thing that might keep users from becoming paid users. If I don't see a price on the pro version and i have to contact your sales department, i immediately think the product is going to be like 500$ monthly.

    1. 1

      Got it. This makes a lot of sense. I was just trying to validate people would be willing to pay. It seems like at this point it's definitely worth investing time into building a stripe integration.

      I'll need to juggle that with marketing hardcore this month :)

  34. 2

    It's beautiful product. I agree with @amara that I'd want to know pricing.

    I'm in the market looking for something like this but it's casual use and I have too many subscriptions. So maybe not your ideal market but maybe I'd pay per export as an interesting pricing model. For instance say you had a free tier where you could export 3m videos but if you wanted to go beyond that you pay?

    I know beautiful.ai grew like crazy with something similar.

    In the past I've used screenflow, but with creators shifting to web (e.g., sketch to figma), I think you have a good shot here.

    1. 1

      Yeah, I think it's a matter of structuring it that way. I need to integrate Stripe and set up the logic to match something like this. Then just head down marketing.

      Again the problem is I LOVE engineering and get caught up with that too deep. Right now I have a powerful server I am building with an even more powerful rendering engine. I will be able to render pro-grade videos using premade assets.

      One thing I am working on is an audio visualizer.

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        you know if you love engineering and you're a solopreneur, i'd keep looking for opportunities for growth engineering. it's really hard to context switch between engineering and outbound marketing i believe (inbound and talking to users is easier). Maybe you have a generous free tier but they're all watermarked to your site (subtle watermarking so people are still willing to use and share videos). That sort of thing turns marketing challenge into an engineering one

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      Sounds interesting.