A couple of days ago we sent out an invite to our first waitlist member and a few hours later saw that they'd signed-up for a yearly subscription to our 'essential plan'.
This is our cheapest plan (Twitter audience management) and is only £12/$16/€14 per month with the 75% discount we're giving to waitlist members.
We are disproportionally stoked about this $200!
More invites going out...
Today we took a big step towards launching twitMate. We completed the integration of payments and subscription management.
I've used Stripe Elements on a couple of other projects and although it worked well it took a few weeks to implement. Also, when the SCA regulations curve ball was thrown last year it took another full week of work to update.
So this time I decided to keep things simple and try Stripe Checkout and the Customer Portal. I have to say I am impressed.
Sure, at times I had 10 tabs open over three screens trying to decipher the docs but overall it was a real time saver. In a few evenings of work I completed all aspects of payments:
I am holding off pushing to live mode until onboarding is completed but it's all there ready to go.
We are getting very close to launch - check out the development roadmap.
We have completed the dashboard - this is a big step along our development roadmap and it's nice to tick this one off: https://twitmate.com/blog/development-roadmap.php
Our users can now login to see how their Twitter audience is growing. They can also view, edit and delete their scheduled tweets.
This is a crucial part of twitMate's service - peace of mind seeing the posts before they go live and a really easy process for making changes.
The next step will be Stripe integration and payments. Watch this space...
Development of the twitMate demo page was a lot more work than I anticipated but I am happy that it is now live.
None of my other projects have a demo page and I have never built one for a client's website, so why did I build one this time?
...because of some helpful advice on Indie Hackers of course!
I asked @dqmonn for feedback on getting pre-launch sign-ups and his response was basically 'you need social proof'.
It sounded incredibly obvious after he said it. Of course someone needs to trust you before they will let you manage their Twitter account.
I figured one way to get social proof was to show-off a feed of real scheduled tweets through twitMate. I have a few beta testers already using the service including my own web development company, so this part was easy.
I also got thinking that to fully put people's mind at rest they'll want to see their own scheduled tweets before they go live - and they might want to edit them. But they'd need to understand that they can do this before they sign-up. An interactive demo would get the idea across very well.
So I build a sandbox where visitors can view real scheduled tweets from twitMate and edit or delete them in exactly the same way that they will be able to in the dashboard for their own tweets.
You can see it here: https://twitmate.com/twitter-management-service-demo.php
I must admit that I am quite happy with how this turned out... but it was more work that I first expected.
I tried to keep it simple but getting things simple is often more work behind the scenes:
displaying the correct currency when the user lands on the page for the first time (from the options of $, €, £) required geolocation
but geolocation is not always perfect so a selector to choose another currency
a cookie to store the currency so it doesn't need to be looked up every visit
options for quarterly and yearly billing
getting all this to look simple and work with good UX
The twitMate landing page is now live.
At the minute it's fairly simple - a single page that tells you what the service is with the option to sign up for pre-launch access.
I'm keen to get early adopters so I'm going to offer a large discount and pre-launch access to a limited number of customers on a first-come, first-served basis.
Invites will be sent in waitlist order as an incentive to get people to sign-up early.
After narrowing down the logo to a shortlist of 3 and getting some feedback on Makerlog and Producthunt I have finally settled on a logo for twitMate. Here it is in dark and light versions:
I also set the ball rolling on the Twitter account: https://twitter.com/twitmate
Being a Twitter service it is important to get going on this early. Having zero followers would not be the best advertisement for the service :)
So I am happy to be off the mark and to have gained a few followers on day 1.
Next up (without getting too meta): setup twitMate to manage the twitMate Twitter account.
For the last few months a draconian lockdown here in Scotland has made it really difficult to make progress on twitMate. My kids' school has been closed so we're homeschooling 2 kids full-time and I have less than an hour a day for all my work.
Despite this, I have completed the scripts and algorithms for auto Tweeting and Follower Management!
Yesterday, I set it running on Big Toe's Twitter page so you can see it in action.
I won't spend any time on this Twitter page manually from now on - twitMate will do it all for me.
As a starting point I have 765 followers.
I am hoping for gradual, sustainable follower growth along with daily tweets.
If you look back past yesterday in the feed you'll see that when I did Twitter manually I managed to Tweet about once every 3 months and saw no follower growth at all.
Twitter is a great marketing resource but can also be a pain point. Many people don't have the time, inclination or knowledge to use it well.
Over the past few months I've developed some in-house solutions to take away the pain for my own side-projects and for some client accounts that I run. This has been a hit.
So I have decided to develop it into it's own product. A Twitter management service / marketing service. Basically 'Twitter done for you'.
Choosing a name/domain was hard but I had plenty of help and feedback here. My initial ideas were just plain bad and Indie Hackers were honest enough to let me know.
This was a real eye opener which really highlighted the benefits of building in the open. Not just for exposure but for help with real decisions along the way.
So I'll be building this in the open and asking a lot more questions along the way.
Twitter is an amazing marketing resource but can also be pain point. twitMate provides the solution: a service to tweet for you and grow your audience, sustainably and organically.