July 10, 2020

What do you need help with right now?

Rosie Sherry @rosiesherry

At the beginning of every month indie hackers share their monthly goals with each other. Now let's discuss the challenges we're all facing to reach those goals!

  • What do you need help with?
  • What help/advice/service can you offer others?

Please reply to someone else and help them out — especially if you've requested help yourself!

  1. 2

    I need help figuring out a revenue model for a platform i built to remote monitor loved ones for covid-like symptoms: https://meports.com/
    it's not medical grade, but it provides people assurance /w "alerts" on biometric deviations.

    1. 1

      What have you thought about doing so far?

      Some thoughts:

      • what do similar services charge?
      • do you have any users, or potential users that you could talk to?
      • how about just trialling out some prices that you feel are competitive and fair?
  2. 2

    Not help so much as I'd love different folks' perspectives: What's the ideal mix between "Doing / Building" versus the effort of "Building in public"?

    Concrete example: I'm writing a book about how to start / grow a freelance business, called The 50 Laws of Freelancing.

    Obviously, writing is a lot of work. I'm actually ok on that. However, now we get to building in public. It's 1) A decent marketing tactic but more importantly it's 2) A way to build community, get feedback, and ultimately ship a better product based on that feedback and community.

    So the way I see it, it's critical to producing a high quality book - of the same importance to writing it. But I don't know that it should be the same time commitment as writing it. Thoughts?

    1. 4

      Personally, I don't think it should require the same time commitment as writing if you're doing it correctly. A quick share on social media channels should take you minutes if you're doing it correctly and writing your book should take hours (per day, not overall 😆).

      My favorite strategy is at the end of the day/week/month, however often you want really, to go ahead and repurpose content from your book as a social media post. There's specific formats for each platform but you can use the same underlying content without issue. This serves to massively multiply your reach with a minimum amount of work.

      For example: make an infographic about each freelancing law and post that. Since you already know the law the infographic shouldn't take too long and you don't need to spend time thinking about content - it exists already. Along with the infographic you can write how you just finished your chapter on that topic and ask people for additional advice/suggestions/stories/tips that you could then maybe integrate into the book. There's nothing like concrete examples to get people excited.

      If you have any questions about specifics hit me up by email, I advise people on these kinds of things all the time.

      1. 1

        Oh I really like this tactic - thank you so much! Really appreciate you taking the time.

        Do you have a favourite infographic creation tool that you use?

        1. 2

          No problem, always happy to help.

          TL;DR: Start with Canva!

          And honestly, I use everything from Figma to Affinity Designer to Canva - it really depends on your skill level.

          These days it's probably even easy enough to go to either App Store and download a tool which will let you plug in text and make it pretty.

          1. 1

            Awesome. Thank you :)

    2. 2

      I'm also working on my book and trying to do it in public. Doing it in 2 parts: 1st, sharing Google docs links with people to help me editing, and so far this has been so helpful and saved me a lot of time and helped with the 2nd part which is sharing parts of the book as blog posts to get more feedback.
      Just yesterday I shared a post on HackerNews and made it to the first page

      1. 1

        Interesting community approach to editing! Thanks for sharing + sharing your awesome Hackernews success story :)

    3. 1

      Nowadays you have to spend too much time building your community than building your product. Everyone is looking for people's attention. It would be much easier to sell your product if you already had a community. Engaging more in relevant communities would be a good idea.

      1. 2

        Feel you on this! Thanks for the tip :)

  3. 1

    I would love some tips on how to write effective sales emails!

    1. 1

      There is a broad range of possibilities and approaches vary depending upon:

      • Are you selling to business or consumer?
      • Are you selling low priced good or service that is consumed/purchased frequently?
      • Are you selling a high cost good or service that is purchases infrequently?
      • Are you selling to the user or to a proxy (e.g. selling children's toy to parent)?
      1. 1

        I'm working on a privacy-focused customer support tool called Letterbase, so I'm asking specifically for B2B SaaS. I'm targeting smaller companies right now, so I'm selling directly to the user.

        I'm mostly emailing companies in the privacy niche that already use an existing customer support tool or do not currently use one (e.g. they use solely email).

        1. 1

          So you are cold emailing to business selling an inexpensive subscription to a service that enables private emails. Seems like you are selling against

          • mailto: links
          • basic webforms
          • intercomm (perhaps, you reference them but your price point and feature set would argue against anyone deciding "which one" between letterbase and intercomm

          What are the advantages you offer your buyer?

          • Fast - claim is 5-10X but not clear they can tell
          • easy to install, but you present a code snippet.
          • sends email (matches functionality of mailto and basic webform)
          • privacy friendly (not clear who this is important to).

          I would ask your customers some "why did they buy" questions.

          • How would you explain to another entrepreneur why you selected us?
          • What, if anything, have your customers noticed about using Letterbase?
          • What could we add to Letterbase to make it more useful?
          • What problems have you had?

          One enhancement suggestion I had: send a copy of the form input as email to sender so they have a copy.

          I think there is room for innovation in customer communication but I am not clear why your customers are adopting your product. If it's clear to you I would include their statements / testimonials / case studies in your outreach emails.

          1. 1

            Thanks Sean, this is helpful. Your analysis is pretty spot on in terms of the competitors and advantages, and those questions would be useful to ask to my customers.

            As for your enhancement suggestion, as I mentioned in my email response to you, it's something that I'm considering building in the future. Not super high on my priority list right now though as I don't think it should be a blocker for any potential customers.

            Anyway, thanks for taking the time to look at my website, I appreciate it!

  4. 1

    I launched my first Saas, Designtack, a week ago. I received okayish response as from all the initial users, I received a good amount of feedback regarding what are the things that can be improved.
    So, after 10 days I published an update to my product and sent the emails to all the users I have so far.

    The thing I need help with is:- What now? I have been doing social media promotion, email marketing, community posting. What should be the thing of focus now? is there something I am missing out on?

    What I can help you with:- Testing your product, giving feedback from the psychological perspective, just let me know :)

    1. 5

      Hey! I took a look at your website, and have one main thought: reducing cognitive load.

      If you're not familiar, "cognitive load" is a fancy way of saying "how much do people need to think before taking action"

      In your case, I recommend communicating in language that your target customers use. For instance, you use "designs" and "remixes" as features - but what are those? Is a design a single post? Is a remix you posting my tweet to linkedIn? Am I way off here?

      I like the cheeky/sassy "still confused?" cta at the bottom, but at that price point I don't really want to talk to someone.. I want to know if I'm purchasing it on the spot.

      The second piece of advice is to talk in benefit form. "Creating bulk content from your design" is fine, but does that mean "Design once, publish everywhere" or something else?

      I think you get closest to the heart of it about half way down, when your copy said "Created for Twitter? We'll make it for Facebook, LinkedIn and more!" -- that to me is a clearer explanation of what you do: you refactor my content to be optimized for different social channels so I don't have to duplicate effort. That makes it more clear what I'd be paying for.

      I hope that helps / makes sense! And congrats on building and launching - huge achievement in and of itself.

      1. 3

        What a feedback, amazing.

      2. 1

        While I attempted to make use of simple words which i thought explains the gist of it, Your perspective on this made me rethink.

        As to summarise, I need to test between various writing copy like headlines which reduces the friction of understanding and taking action, right?

        Thank you so much, @StefanAllDay. I appreciate it that.

        1. 2

          Definitely test. But more specifically: if you have the opportunity to hear / listen / read to your customers exact words, use those. The technique is called "mirroring"

          Basically, make sure they understand your actual value. Then use the word they use - chances are if your first customer uses those words, your second, third, tenth, and fiftieth might also use those words.

          Then - for sure, test a few variations.

          1. 1

            Got it. I will do some analysis and try it out. Thanks!

    2. 2

      Congrats on developing Designtack. Logo doesn't look very modern. You could design something really simple in Canva or artboard.studio. You could also add an explainer video. Answer to your what now question: It takes time! Keep improving and keep engaging with your customers and be active in related communities.

      1. 1

        Thanks, @rishisiva. I have an explainer video, in the beginning of the page. Were you able to notice it or not? 🤔

        A lot of feedback I have been getting around logo! I guess, it's time..

        1. 1

          Ah.. I missed that one. It was a gif. May be just show the Youtube video?

          1. 1

            It's an actual video but however, the controls aren't enabled. There is a link right below for youtube. Anyway, Thank you for the feedback :)