After 18 months, it's time to focus. It's time to push away all the other side-projects and focus on Better Sheets. In actuality I had planned to do this starting October 1st. And I did do it. Just now getting around to posting on Indiehackers.
The Main Distraction was a SaaS I acquired in March. The secondary distraction was becoming a Dad, also in March.
Without going into details, that SaaS is now sold. I may go into those details somewhere else on IndieHacker. But not here and not now. And I'm enjoying the Dad life, but not the Maker life.
For the past 6 months it's been incredibly hard to sit down and know what to work on at any given moment. Because that moment could be shattered by a scream, a wail, a nap cut short. The anxiety, alone, has been a deep work killer.
To repair this, I've decided to focus on one thing.
2021's original goal: Focus & Clarity
now my 2021 goa: Focus & Commit
Now it's time to focus on Better Sheets, as a Job. Yes I'm committing to one thing.
Here are four things that now with focus are blossoming.
More Videos: Already putting out more videos for members.
Better Site: I'm completely rebuilding the members space for Better Sheets. Going the way of my own custom build after exploring other options in the past year+. I've looked at LMS's, I've looked at & tried Outseta, Memberspace, custom HTML/CSS/JS.
As far as my own journey in the indiehacker "profession" it's time to create for myself, by myself. Ruby on Rails it is! This focus on building with code renews my overall focus of not just "making money" but "making wealth"
"A programmer can sit down in front of a computer and create wealth. A good piece of software is, in itself, a valuable thing."
More Emails: Members have already seen in the first 2 weeks of October way more emails to them, about sheets, for them. Excited about offering more email help in the next few months as I tighten up lifecycle emails. Emails may be sent to members as they complete certain videos. Considering pushing this feature off to next year to focus on the core curriculum instead.
More Sales: I've unbundled a lot of the templates, scripts, and videos into smaller products. I had already been doing this little by little and then AppSumo has created a Black Friday Fund to get more products on to their marketplace.
Since AppSumo has been so good for me at acquiring new customers I've made these products available there. I think they'll reach more people than the main "Better Sheets" can and be more specific to some people's needs. And hopefully, fingers crossed, they convert to Members after they get a taste of what's inside.
This means that my marketing doesn't have one flavor. It's not "here's free and here's paid" like I started with in April 2020.
Now 18 months into running Better Sheets there's a lot of ways to consume videos, lots of tiers, and lots of solutions for people to buy and use right away before becoming members.
As of now there's templates to post on twitter like 100 Twitter Templates and 100 Twitter Starters. These have a SaaS flavor to them. Similar to HypeFury, Zlappo, TweetHunter, etc.
I made Dark Habits: a bad habits tracker that helps break vices you have. inspired by ZeroPercent.club which helped me stay sober now for almost 2 years.
There's videos on YouTube for free.
There are free sheets like 100 Business Ideas to Make With Google Sheets and Gumroad.
There are guides like How to Sell Google Sheets For Fun and Profit
Excited for the next few months at what happens and how much this new found focus actually brings about positive change for Better Sheets Members.
New feature of OnlySheets expands the possibilities infinitely.
Now, OnlySheets can give access to Google Drive folders. That means you can bundle together multiple google sheets into one folder and restrict the access to only purchases via Gumroad.
It's been a requested feature so I'm excited about the possibilities.
and a sweet extra milestone. I've surpassed $1k in sales of OnlySheets in 2021.
Great milestone for a simple little script I made because I needed it.
OnlySheets is being used by
Generated over $12k in July via Better Sheets memberships and products.
Over $8k in sales on AppSumo (Between 10 and 30% of that goes to Appsumo)
This is due to App Sumo Day a 72 hour event that drew over $1k in sales each day for 3 straight days. Amazing!
Over $5k generated selling Make Bank Bundle. a Bundle of newsletter courses. Of which Better Letters was a part of.
Two thirds of that will be paid out to the other partners in that bundle.
We only ran the bundle promotion for 1 week, on purpose.
Focus will shift from getting new customers to making the experience better once you're a customer.
I'm taking a few weeks off of marketing to focus on coding more and launching a new site with customer requests.
Customers consistently ask for
I'd like to stretch this out until the end of September but we'll see how the sales go without my intentional focus.
The business intention is that I move Better Sheets membership sales off of gumroad and into my own stripe. Leaving individual products available for purchase via Gumroad.
I need to be able to email customers who want product updates only vs tips/tricks vs marketing. It seems that many people opt out of gumroad emails wholly. Hopefully I can give each customer the ability to turn off some and not all email notifications as they choose.
There is also one nagging issue for me. I have over 200 videos I've made individual for customers one on one. These are not part of the 160+ videos all members get. So in reality there are well over 300, maybe over 400 videos that I'd like to be able to put somewhere other than loom.
So I'll be working on hosting these, and serving these in different ways. Perhaps there's a setting a user can have to notify me if they allow their 1-on-1 videos to be made available for other members.
Also there's no way for a user to report to me any issues about a video. They can leave a loom comment or email me. But no quick buttons to report anything or ask without being public.
Exciting milestone passed for any creator.
The Better Sheets YouTube channel passed 1,000 subscribers. I got the nifty gif from youTube via email. "It's Bananas!" Those who know, will know what I'm talking about.
A couple more milestones passed this week
Spending my time making new youtube videos to really break free from the bland tutorial mold.
I wrote about the youtube ideas in an Indiehacker's post: My YouTube Channel Sucks
Already working on 4 of the video Ideas I presented there.
Excited to work on YouTube!
This update is in the vein of charging more and adding more products.
Trying to find a way to increase the total revenue possible from each sale of an all access membership without increasing the price but rather adding more value.
I'm looking at increasing the price later this year but for now I wanted to add value and charge for it.
One common thing that happens is that I get an email asking for help. The help I give is a loom video. we go back and forth a bit and then figure it out. or not. Yes sometimes I help someone realize that it's impossible to do something without custom scripting. And that's helpful because then they can budget for it without having to google 2 hours a day for the answer that doesn't exist.
I decided to add a 30 minute booked call.
Had to move my life around a little from async all the time to actually having office hours.
I think this will be helpful to myself because for 4 hours per day 4 days a week I'm going to be in google sheets mode. Even if a call isn't booked I'll probably work on the business in some way during that time.
Having an office set up has also helped me put this new product into place. I didn't have steady wifi for a bit and didn't have a steady desk/workspace set up to rely on. Now I do.
Filed an update to my starter story submission from a year ago. This update is featured on the front page today.
Basically the update is that
Better Sheets, and specifically me, the founder, is featured in a Noah Kagan video.
He featured 5 side hustles you can do to get an extra $1,000 a month.
If any indiehackers are looking for projects, I think you could use this video as great inspiration to create a side hustle, but I think there's a bigger play. you can create the next side hustle platform. Choose one, go make a side hustle and then make it so that those who choose the path have software to help.
I sell Google Sheets and Google Sheet tutorials.
It's been quite a year and change for everyone.
After 14 months I've generated a grand total of $56,410.24
I wrote about it here
Gonna write more in depth.
But right now it looks like 92% of that comes from memberships on Appsumo, Gumroad and BetterSheets.co
And then 8% via digital goods sold on gumroad.
Ask any question you'd like. I'll write more.
Everyone starts their new project, new idea, in a google sheet. Makes a roadmap or a to do list. I've built epic programs that have run TV stations in google sheets. I built everything from a personal CRM to Biz Models.