Wilson Grows Senja to 450+MRR in 9 Months
Wilson Wilson is the founder of Senja - Turn testimonials into your most powerful marketing tool

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

Senja's a tool that makes collecting testimonials from your customers insanely easy, and makes using them to improve your conversion even easier.
I wanted to add social proof via a wall of love for an earlier project I worked on. I signed up for a popular tool to do that, but my pagespeed dropped by 40 points! In my head, I thought, "I can do better than this."
The popular tools used to collect and manage testimonials were either slow, expensive, or ugly. I wanted to do things in a more fun and exciting way than the competition, so I gave it a shot.
I started building it on January 2nd this year, and fast-forward 10 months later:
1. I've found a cofounder that is absolutely incredible and has helped me improve my product tremendously.
2. We've built a product that we're really proud of and feel happy sharing with the Indie Hacker community.

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

For about the first 5 months of Senja's life, we had only 2 customers on a lifetime deal. Other than posting on Twitter, I wasn't doing any actual marketing.
At the time, Senja was more like a hobby to me than an actual product.
But after my cofounder shared his vision with me and joined me, I went all in on Senja, and we started improving it and marketing it consistently. Since then, we've added 30 more customers in the last 4 months!
Writing about our journey on Twitter brought us most of our early users. As time went on, though, we started getting more and more customers from referrals and search!
We haven't posted on Product Hunt yet, but we plan to do so in the next few months.
Right now, we're focusing on create a product-led growth flywheel so that more and more users begin to advocate for us. We're also working hard to improve our SEO, as it's currently our highest converting traffic source

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

Our primary frontend technology is Svelte (powered by Sveltekit).
I absolutely love Svelte. Using Sveltekit has allowed me to build new features extremely quickly, but because it's still in beta, working with it has felt like a powerful double-edged sword sometimes.
I've had my fair share of headaches using it, and I've quite a few moments where I've felt like bashing my head into my keyboard.
But after working with it pretty much daily for a whole year, I've got used to its quirks, and I face these moments much less often :)

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

BrandBird is definitely my favourite tool. Our marketing is very social driven, so using BrandBird to produce beautiful graphics to spice up our posts has been essential.
Pirsch is our go-to analytics tool. It's absolutely stunning and has an incredible user experience.
Another interesting tool we use is Encharge which handles our email marketing automation. It's probably the most powerful and efficient email marketing tool out there.

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

Focusing on one thing has been absoltely crucial to our growth.
Senja's growth stagnated in the first 4-5 months after the launch because I kept trying to "diversify" and build a portfolio of small bets. As I mentioned earlier, I was treating Senja like another plaything instead of an actual business.
If I never gave it the time and attention it needed to grow, it would have died with the rest of my side projects. I'd never have broken out of the absolute zero.
Making a little progress every day does wonders in the long term.
Another thing I'm really happy I know now is just how important creating a good onboarding and UX is.
After Olly joined me as Senja's cofounder, we spent almost a month improving our onboarding. Here's exactly what we did: https://www.tella.tv/video/cl84i0glz00000gl797uscfhl/view
To summarize:
  • We made sure our users completed one primary action when they signed up, making our users experience value from the get-go. For us, this was creating their form.
  • We artificially reduced the time to magical moments with dummy data and automation.
  • We cut out the dead ends in our app. Giving our user something to do on each screen. For example, when they first visit the testimonials page, instead of having an empty state, they’re prompted to import their existing testimonials.
  • We improved the playfulness on our onboarding.
The Indie Bites podcast is definitely is a fantastic podcast that dishes out bite-sized lessons from other makers.
Make by Pieter Levels is the book that inspired me to get started with this all in the first place, so I'd definitely recommend it to people looking to get started with Indie Hacking!

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