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A hand curated directory of tools for makers to work on their dream projects.
1. Product Strategy: Unexpected benefit of launching on Product hunt. Remember this when you think about your launch/launch page.
When I was doing some Maker interviews for my upcoming project The Lean Side Project I stumbled across how some of my most enthusiastic fans of Side Project Stack found it.
It was not obvious to me, because I never looked that hard into my metrics. But it turns out the Product Hunt was a really good acquisition channel for new users. These users also weren't just a casual fan. They really loved my product. How could this be if my product had launched over a year ago on Product Hunt?
What had not been obvious to me was that many more people than I realized used the search feature through Product Hunt's website. And my product was consistently top of the search list. Because I had in the subtitle a description of no-code, people clicked through.
I say all this to say, you should think of this before you launch on Product Hunt. My second 2.0 launch I created a custom page using a subfolder domain: sideprojectstack.com/get-stackd-product-hunt-launch. The reason this matters, is you don't know the future of your product and how much the landing page may change. You do not want to box yourself in because users who come through Product Hunt will be expecting the same experience as you had on launch day. You'll want to capture these leads. So, the best way to do that is to not use your main landing page as the link from on Product Hunt. I learned this the second time.
2. Product Strategy: Why build another hand curated directory? Sharath knows something intuitively about people. People love directories. The funny thing about directories is haters will gripe, oh its another directory. But launching a directory is one of the best ways to get subscribers and users without having any credibility. Because you've done the job of curating something for them, and because people often forget the last time they saw a curated list, people are always looking for these types of products.
Further, it's now easier than ever to create these. I'd recommend using tools like Pory.io or Softr.io. Both should be having the ability for membership's. Which is key because now you can gate some content. I've started to see many Makers provide free content and then gate the more valuable content. It's a good way to get validation, get revenue going, get users and along your way of launching side projects.
3. Product Strategy: "Made by Maker" - At the bottom of this page is a link labeled "Made by an Indie Maker". It links to Sharath's twitter. I think that this is very important and so underutilized tactic. People love buying from other people. More so than a company or a brand. If people see you and your story, they will begin to develop a liking to what you do and want to support your work. This is a great way to get early momentum and traction and spread word of mouth for your project.
I'd go a step further than what Sharath is doing. There is a good example of creating this on Sheet2site.com. Take a look at the bottom left hand corner. You'll see a "Made by" Maker tag.
In the guide The Lean Side Project, I write about how to best do this. There is a big difference between how you leverage yourself in a side project as a solo Maker vs launching a startup. My prediction is that because it is such a noisy world in the ecosystem today, more startups will start differently. Instead of as a startup, they'll start smaller as an Indie bootstrapped side project, leverage their building in the public, leverage being a Maker and get their first 1000 customers. Instead of going to get funding before they get their first 1000 customers.
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