Content writing, SEO and organic marketing is our bread and butter. So we practiced what we preach. SEO optimized our website, constantly posted quality content (job post) and blog articles, launched on Product Hunt and several other websites. We also started a newsletter and social media automation from the very beginning as another way to distribute all of our content. LinkedIn was in particular very successful to us.
We didn't start with sales or ads, we are not experienced with this. Instead we focused on a long-term consistent organic growth. And bit by bit first customers came.
By building it in public and sharing all the learnings on Twitter.
Thanks to the product niche, it's Twitter+Audience, by simply building in public on Twitter, a lot of target users know about the product and pay for it.
By building in public on Twitter.
I built the MVP in a weekend, shared it on Twitter and got some tractions. A few weeks later, someone mentioned KTool on Hacker News and I got my first sale.
First through our own network and then by launching on Product Hunt
Build in Public on Twitter. I started sharing my journey from $0 MRR on Twitter and it quite resonated. In fact, I started out with 300 followers and since I have "launched" HelpKit on Twitter I gained ~1000 followers. The first two sales were actually made as a pre-order to see if someone would be willing to pay money for the product without the product even existing. I had the pre-order running for two weeks and honestly hoped to have more than 2 pre-orders but the feedback of both was so encouraging that I knew I am onto something.
We found our first customers from making posts on websites like IndieHackers, Reddit. Many cold emails were involved as well.
Sites like Betalist and Product Hunt were also really good.
Because Cloakist supports a wide variety of platforms, the initial outreach was to target users of these platforms and offer Cloakist as a solution to host their page at a custom domain.
A few "mini-apps" were created that targeted specific platforms, like Notion, Trello, and Typeform. These were quite successful with customers coming from engagement on Reddit and other product specific forums.
I made this free version available online and posted it on Reddit. Though the first version was very bare I got good responses. Seems like I found a pain-point. So I added some simple premium features and limited the use of the free version. When the payment integration was done I posted it on Twitter. That very day I got my first customer. I had about 200 followers then.
When I first launched my site, I posted on Product Hunt. It unexpectedly was product #4 of the day and got shared across many web design related websites and groups. At the time my site wasn't even monetized, but since it got a warm reception, I decided to add premium content. After listing on the website, sales started to trickle in slowly. I probably made a few hundred in the first 6 months.
We started with cold outreach to creators, Indie Hackers, and startup founders, who might be interested in our product. We scanned Product Hunt and Twitter and made lists of hundreds of prospects and started doing cold outreach, asking for their feedback.
I began by sharing demos of Browserflow on Twitter and people reached out about different use cases they had.
By building in public on Twitter.
He found us on Product Hunt if I remember correctly. We first launched in beta and then did a full launch later on.
I built the MVP in a few days, and shared my progress on twitter along the way. When I had something “usable”, I made it available to people. I shared it on twitter, on Notion-related Facebook groups and on Reddit.
My biggest channels are Twitter, Product Hunt, and Google, in that order. I followed the build in public methodology on Twitter, just tweeting about my progress and journey, which worked well. And then I launched on Product Hunt which got me ~350 signups. Only a small number of those have converted to paid customers so far so I'm trying to learn more about the people who are willing to pay for it and what they want.
Finding customers is a bit of an art form! There are a few different ingredients that I’ve used to help me get clients through the door. Here they are:
- Embed yourself in the community you are targeting, understand the problems that they are facing, familiarise yourself with terminology etc
- Don’t always be selling! Share insights and experiences and show your value in different ways
- Pick your platform. I use Twitter and it’s been an amazing place for meeting people and understanding different communities! So far I’ve decided to stick to one social platform as I don’t want to commit to too many platforms and not do them justice.
A lot of hustling, trial and error, but I got my first 100 customers (mostly free tiers) by visiting forums such as Reddit or Quora, answering SQL-related questions, and organically mentioning http://sqlpad.io if I see there is a fit.
So after over two months of marketing and improving the product, I finally got my first paid customer.
When I received the automated email receipt, it was beyond exhilarating.
Reddit and Facebook groups. The Notion subreddit has today 185k members and the Notion Made Simple group on Facebook 57k. I started participating in both communities, answering questions, asking questions, sharing the progress I was making and all the cool things you could do with Notion2Sheets.
It is super important to not spam, you need to be a valuable member and find the right way of sharing.