Holy moly it's been a long journey to get here. Perhaps it was longer than what would be ideal but persistence is key. It's never a good idea to compare. Obviously I could have done things better from the beginning but the mistakes I made were critical teachings.
My product is an online video editing app built to make subtitles for videos auto-generated, podcasts to video easy, and editing videos with text/animated text easy.
It required serious discomfort to get here. So to all other Indie Hackers, I hope this can inspire you. Realize it will be uncomfortable and if you're primarily an engineer like me, then you will have to get out of your comfort zone and learn sales/marketing.
I am excited and would love to share more about how I finally made it happen. Let me know if you have any specific questions. I would love to answer them.
This was by far the hardest thing I've ever done.
Over the past 8 months, it has been intense. To sustain myself I was working with a client, helping them build an awesome meal planning tool for those on the Keto diet. Balancing that project (which has 3,000 users currently) and building a freaking video editor, while raising two puppies is a hard thing.
I have been listening to books and podcasts nonstop. The one word that sums up my experience and what I have learned is PERSISTENCE.
If you're struggling, then good, it's part of it. You're inches away from hitting the next level.
My tool has been very challenging to build. An online video editor has complexities that I was able to overcome by sheer force and patience. A lot of math, and I failed math in High School lol. So a lot of learning math along the way.
You're here because you are also an Indie Hacker. So I will say it is definitely a rollercoaster. If you're feeling that, then good. Stay grounded.
The momentum that lead up to getting this customer started when I put the code down for a little and went outside the house. I went to a Product Hunt meetup here in San Diego and that is where I found the customer. So you have to get out of your house and out of your text editor. It won't happen overnight though.
Due to the circumstances, it is hard to go out of the house - fair. However, now there are people banding together creating communities and most people are online available for a chat. Online or offline, you have to ENGAGE. Again it takes time, be patient and urgent.
You can check out the product I crafted with my bare hands right here -> https://storycreatorapp.com/
I would LOVE your feedback and to connect/chat. We're all in this together.
I wrote more about it on my site https://storycreatorapp.com/blog/the-journey-towards-the-first-customer
It's been a journey for the past 7 months. I am almost there. I met a digital marketer at a Product Hunt meetup here in San Diego. I am working with him on a few back and forths.
I am learning I need to be better at sales and should have closed this deal. However, I am trying to learn as much as I can from this. As long as I close him then things will be ok. Next time I need to be better at closing faster. As the product matures I think that will be easier.
If you're interested in reading more. I talk about the different phases of the product. Before the prototype, the prototype, the technology phase, the process, and finally positioning myself to talk to users and get close to having a paying user.
Check it out and let me know what you think!
It's hard to measure how much time on each platform I spend, but anytime I am on social media I make sure to share what I am working on. The lesson is to talk about your product in non-intrusive ways as much as possible. This number could 10x if I can increase my influence on these platforms. Consistency is key, even though I haven't engaged with social media as much as I could.
Patience and persistence. Many late nights and lots of coffee. I have built things that never get launched. The product isn't even finished. I have still opened it up to the public to gain some interest and feedback. My advice would be to not worry about it being perfect. Worry about exchanging value for others time and gain some feedback along the way. While staying as true to your initial vision as possible.
Over the past year, I have thoroughly enjoyed telling my story via Instagram. Also, have been enjoying hearing others stories as it gives me ideas and insights. Telling stories is a powerful way to share your brand.