Marie Martens Shares Insights on Growing Tally to $25K in MRR

Marie Martens is the founder of Tally - The simplest way to create forms for free
 

Tell us about your product and what inspired you to start it?

As makers, we struggled with finding the right tool to create forms for our previous start-ups and jobs. Google Forms is very functional but doesn’t look great and other big players make you hit a paywall very fast and can be expensive for early-stage startups or indie makers. 
 
It is a very competitive space, but we felt like there was a place for a new type of form builder experience with a different business model. We wanted to make form building easy, beautiful, and free without limits
 

How long did it take you to acquire your first 50 customers, and what was your growth strategy?

We shared our MVP for the first time with friends and family in August 2020. Our MVP was a very basic version of the form builder, you could insert questions and that was it, you couldn't even publish a form. We didn't have a large network of our own, so we started sharing our first version of our form builder with the people closest to us.
 
After processing their feedback 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. Often without success, but those who did take the time to reply became part of our community of early users and ambassadors.
 

Which technology stack are you using and what challenges and limitations does it pose?

Tally is made with TypeScript, React, Next.js, Express, and runs on GCP's Cloud Run. We're still happy with the setup.
 

What are some of the most essential tools that you use for your business?

Notion for managing our processes and help center
Slack for customer support
Missive for email handling
Figma for design
Jitter to create animated videos
Stripe to handle payments
 

What have been some of the biggest insights you've gained since starting your entrepreneurial journey?

It's okay to say no. You can not satisfy everyone when you have a small bootstrapped team, but that's okay.
 
The art of persisting. Every day, I'm replying to emails, answering questions, writing help docs and Filip is coding and helping users out non-stop. Life as a bootstrapped founder sounds more glamorous than it is, but every dollar you make will make you insanely happy.
 
Don't be afraid to ask. Every problem you encounter has been solved by someone else before you. There's a great community supportive of Indie Hackers out there that wants to see you succeed and will help you out. So, just ask!
 
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