Passing 500$ MRR with Sponsorgap

I started over a year ago with the work on Sponsorgap. It was profitable from the early beginning on and in the last months I passed 500$ MRR. It sounds like a success but to tell the truth, it is really hard work and often comes with some ups and a lot of downs. Here are some learning lessons for me so far and things that have worked for me:

  • Marketing:

Instead of just posting and sharing stuff, I also try to provide value and offer help with my posts. E.g. I regularly offer on Indiehackers, FB groups, or Reddit to send everyone a customized list with potential brands willing to buy ads or sponsorships in their industry niche.

  • Tech Stack:

Nothing new here but stick to what you already know or the tools you are familiar with. If you run a subscription service be very careful what tool you use for handling the SignUp/ Payment process as it could come with some restrictions.

  • Talk to your customers

That is maybe the most valuable lesson for me. From the beginning on, I tried to talk to everyone who was interested in Sponsorgap or who was already a customer. I offered to everyone to chat with me and I really had great calls with people letting me know what they like or didn't like and above all what exactly they were looking for.

  • Focus on one or two features

This was/is also a mistake I made at the beginning. While talking to different customers I noticed that I had two user personas with different needs. On the one hand, the creators looking for sponsors, and on the other hand brands looking to sponsor a creator. I started to add features for both sides which is not working at an early stage. So focus on one user persona and build one or two great features for them.

  • People copying your idea

This was really bothering me at the beginning, as people started to copy my idea, even some wording from my landing page. In the end, I decided to just ignore it as I think that they can't copy your creativity and vision of the product.

  • Life/Work balance

Ok, here I am failing miserable - not sure if there are a lot of people working on side-projects, having a full-time job, and having two kids...but I am one of these. The only thing which I can recommend here is to block a time slot where you exclusively work on your project. For me, that is mostly in the evening when everybody is sleeping.

  • Connect with other makers in your niche and build partnerships

The last thing which is really helping me also with the MRR is building partnerships with other makers in your niche. E.g. I teamed up with Pete Codes to offer a discount for his newsletter course on how to monetize your newsletter and with Andrew from Pigeon I am currently running a deal where you can get a one year access to his CRM and Sponsorgap

  1. 2

    Keep going! Magical things happen a year into a project. I've seen it happen on youtube, on twitter, in business and in side projects. The moment you post a milestone update of 1 year on this rock, a whole revolution around the sun. things just change. or happen. They just do. Your scars heal a bit. Your back straightens up and your head is held a bit higher.

    Hope our deal better work out well, it seems it's feeding 3 kids! Or at least funding some type of college fund ( mine's only 6 months old) I think the expenses scale up with age. but I wouldn't know, yet.

  2. 2

    Congrats on the milestone Toby. I'm a bit earlier in the journey with kojito.ai but can already relate to a lot of the challenges you've faced bot in terms of choosing a single niche/persona to focus on and balancing work on your side project with family and work. Keep it up!

    1. 1

      Thanks Filip! Also good luck with Kojito

  3. 2

    Congrats Tobi! This is a great achievement and a great show of perseverance when having two kids and a full-time job ✌️ Hope it only goes up from here!

    1. 1

      Thanks, Raz! I should add that I also not having a lot of sleep sometimes :-)

  4. 1

    Congrats on the 500$. Amazing milestone!

    Absolutely love the transparency and honesty. As someone who tries to run two SaaS while doing a full time Master's degree I can at least relate somehow to the work/life balance. So much respect that you still push through and find a time to work on it! Hard work pays off, as they say!

    "This was really bothering me at the beginning, as people started to copy my idea, even some wording from my landing page. In the end, I decided to just ignore it as I think that they can't copy your creativity and vision of the product." Oh yes... Happened 1:1 to me more than once as well. They even copied text-by-text from the landing page. While initially shocked and a bit pissed, I came to the same conclusion as you. It doesn't matter. They don't have your brain. Not your roadmap. Not your perseverance.

    The more people see that your business is profitable the more will try to copy you. Even says so in the bible! So just keep building and not focus too much on the others 🚀

  5. 1

    👏👏👏👏👏 keep up the great work !

    1. 1

      Thanks a lot Ruairí! Will do so :-)

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