Last week I soft-launched uFeed beta. My goal was to reach 10 users and I succeeded. I'm going to share step by step how I went about it. As always, I'm writing this blog post in real-time. I just feel like a lot of the details get missed when you write in retrospec.
I don't plan too much. I try to keep it short and sweet. The one thing I always do is think about my goals. I don't do stuff just because that's the route. So why even launch my beta version?
- Usability and UI: A few of my friends are using the app and love it. But, I wanted to check that a stranger can sign-up and understand the experience without much context.
- Testimonials: Before charging for the product, I wanted to get testimonials on my landing page, and I didn't want to use my friends' (if you are one of my beta users, don't worry! The product will remain free for you).
That's it. You'll notice that demand validation was not a goal for my beta launch. Why?
Mainly because I already built the product. Even if there’s no demand, I'm still going to launch it. You may ask yourself, why did I build a product without validation? Because I wanted it for myself.
🗺️ The plan
As I said, I do not plan much. But, here's the nitty-gritty, just in case you are curious.
First thing, I opened a Google Doc and wrote the 5 channels I plan to launch on:
- Indie Hackers
- Twitter (I have ~50 followers)
- This blog's email list (around 50 people)
I decided to funnel engagement to Twitter. So even on Indie Hackers I asked users who are interested to comment on my Twitter thread. I did that to increase engagement on Twitter and add some friction so there's a small filter.
Then, I opened my doc of marketing copies for uFeed. This is where I save all my copy iterations. I organize it by type and have a few versions for each:
- Title: The product value in 5-7 words. What I'd use in a hero title on my landing page
- Tagline: How I explain the problem and the product in 1-2 sentences. This is what I'd use for a sub-hero title
- The story/problem: How uFeed came about and what problem I'm trying to solve
- How does it work: as it sounds
This is a very useful practice I recommend to everyone. Every time I describe my product - over Twitter, email, dm, post - I open this doc. If I write something new or modify, I dump it there so I can use it in the future. I can literally see how with every iteration my copy gets better.
Then, I simply wrote the content for each channel. I like to write it in one doc, so I can easily copy and paste.
All is left is to publish. Since everything is already set, when the time comes I just need to copy and paste. I usually press the button in the morning Pacific, so it's noon Eastern and evening Europe. That covers most time zones. Then I retweet later for Asia.
Finally, I try to reply promptly. But, if there's a comment that can wait (like a general congrats), I sometimes delay a few hours. That keeps my post alive longer.
Overall I reached 17 users. My initial goal was 10.
- Twitter - 5
- Indie Hackers - 4
- Bootstrapper's Tales subscribers - 3
- Reddit - at least 2
- The rest I'm not sure
- Always think about the goal. What are you trying to achieve? That affects the plan. For example, if I wanted to validate the idea, I needed to do more extensive outreach and charge for it. But since I just wanted some feedback and testimonials, 10 free users are enough
- Write your copies in a doc. Same for your posts and marketing attempts. It'll help you increase quality
- Be strategic about your post time and consider replying to some of your comments with a delay
- To better track the sources of your sign up check out this tweet
I hope you enjoyed this post! Please consider subscribing my newsletter to be notified on future posts
Also, if you are interested in joining uFeed beta, it's still open for now. I'm going to add a paywall soon, but my beta users will be able to keep enjoying it. Just reply to the thread below or DM me
I soft-launched uFeed beta and acquired 17 users:— Bootstrapper's Tales (@bs_tales) July 26, 2021
🐦 Twitter - 5
🚀 Indie Hackers - 4
✉️ Bootstrapper's Tales subscribers - 3
👽 Reddit > 2
❓I'm not sure - 3
I've wrote about my launch plan and execution in detailshttps://t.co/SMvEkdDjG4