Table of Contents
- Tell us about your product and what inspired you to start it?
- How long did it take you to acquire your first 50 customers, and what was your growth strategy?
- Which technology stack are you using and what challenges and limitations does it pose?
- What are some of the most essential tools that you use for your business?
- What have been some of the biggest insights you've gained since starting your entrepreneurial journey?
- Your recommended books/podcasts/newsletters etc.:
Tell us about your product and what inspired you to start it?
I'm running MakerBox with Dan Kulkov (@DanKulkov), we're couplepreneurs (If this word exists hahaha).
We make products for Indie Entrepreneurs. The primary goal is to make marketing easy so that Makers can get their first customers!
Our story started with launching MakerBox Tools in May 2022. Dan and I worked in startups and wanted to make some side hustle. We brainstormed around 50 ideas: from e-books to SaaS. But as soon as we started to make something, we found out that tools are expensive. Very expensive. It's not a problem for a corporation or VC-backed startup. But it becomes a problem when you're a bootstrapper.
So, we decided to solve this problem and collected a list of 600 tools with great free plans. It was a successful launch, we got around $2K in 1 month. As a result, we decided to continue launching products for Indie Entrepreneurs. And to quit our jobs to be full-time Indie Entrepreneurs.
The next launch was MakerboxFrameworks - 50 marketing frameworks to Sharpen positioning, increase sales, and build an audience. So far, this is our most popular product. We launched in July and got from it $7K in 2 months.
We have 3 products now - MakerBox Tools, MakerBox Frameworks, and MakerBox Roasting. So, it's 1 product in a month. Our September product is MakerBox Marketing Workbook!
How long did it take you to acquire your first 50 customers, and what was your growth strategy?
We got the first 50 customers very fast. It took us 10 days to grow from 0 to 54 customers with no audience. At that time, Dan had around 300 Twitter followers, I didn't have Twitter at all.
The secret is simple. Make an early bird landing page -> show there a part of your product -> sell it cheaply -> distribute it everywhere.
We had only 5% ready product and a 1-page landing for the Early Bird option. And the price was very low because it was an early bird and we didn't have trust since it's the 1st product.
We posted discussions on Twitter, Reddit, Product Hint, and Polywork. We asked for feedback and posted on related topics a lot. The result was 50 customers in 10 days.
Which technology stack are you using and what challenges and limitations does it pose?
We use only NoCode tools.
- We have Typedream and Figma for creating landing pages.
- Our products are usually based on Notion (Frameworks, Workbook) and Airtable (Tools)- We use Gumroad to sell products.
- Ghost to run a blog.That's pretty much it.
All other tools are suplementary.Soon we're planning to switch from Typedream to Webflow as there're more opportunities to create stunning landing pages. Typedream is a perfect solution to begin with, but it's time to move further.
What are some of the most essential tools that you use for your business?
1. Grammarly. This tool is like air. It helps to write better, a must for all non-natives.
2. Tella helps to record videos (it's like Loom, but I like Tella more). We use it in MakerBox Audit and MakerBox Roasting.
3. Pika. I LOVE Pika. This is a screenshot tool that helps with Twitter posting. Images become more catchy and get more impressions.
What have been some of the biggest insights you've gained since starting your entrepreneurial journey?
Marketing is the king. But a lot of Indie Makers struggle with it because they have only a dev background.
The easiest way to start the marketing journey is to #buildinpublic. This is the first step to start telling about your product. And then come all Marketing Frameworks and Tactics!
Your recommended books/podcasts/newsletters etc.:
1. Newsletter - Weekly Dan. 10-minute tips to make you a better Maker https://dankulkov.substack.com/
2. Podcast - Zero to (point) One https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/zero-to-point-one/id1632983021