How I found my first 50 users for my SaaS

Davide Matta
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Hello PH! I want to share my story of how did I get started building my userbase. A bit of context: I'm the founder of Upneko, a codeless crypto builder that lets you build and deploy your own currency. I'm a technical person and I always worked as a Software Engineer, so my marketing skills are surely not my best perk. I launched multiple products and I always failed on the marketing part, but this time it seems that I'm getting some traction. I focused less on the dev part and more on the marketing part. I finished the MVP one month ago and then I immediately started marketing my service. I tried different strategies, some were better than others. Let's start with what failed for me: - Optimize SEO early on ------------------------------ I lost a lot of time with SEO optimization, I wanted to make it perfect. Unfortunately, I got only 3 impressions and 1 click from organic traffic for the entire month. I think that SEO is still very important but not early on because you need to build a lot of backlinks to your website, and this takes a lot of time. If I went back in time I wouldn't focus on on-page SEO optimization as I did and I would focus on other strategies. - Cold Mailing / Press ------------------------------ I tried to reach out to ~50 news outlets about crypto, from small to big corporations. Never had anyone reply to me. Also, you'll need to build a social community before you start emailing or you'll end up marked as spam. - Twitter ------------------------------ I never found users on Twitter, but I found other people like me that were building a product. It wasn't good for acquiring users but a good tool for networking. - Google Ads/Facebook Ads ------------------------------ Unless you have a good initial budget, I think this is a waste of resources early on. It works until you stop pouring money and it doesn't help with the organic growth. Better to focus on other strategies first. Finally what worked: - Discord ------------------------------ I was surprised by how many users I found on Discord. ~80% of my users come from here. Discord is usually used by gamers to chat and talk while gaming, so not exactly my niche. But I found out that there are a lot of non-gaming communities, even crypto ones. So I created a Discord server for my service and I started looking for other servers that were focused on crypto. I talked with the owners to see if they were interested and if I could also talk about it on their server. Finally, I used tools like Disboard to increase organic traffic to my server. I also found a lot of users willing to beta test. Online Forums ------------------------------ ~15% of my users come from here. I searched for forums where I could find my niche and started talking with people, building connections. Sometimes I found that people had a problem that could be solved by using my service, so I suggested trying it out. Reddit ------------------------------ You have to find relevant subreddits and avoid self-promotion in most of them. I have found some users, but it's very hard to talk about your product without breaking any rules. If you are able to give value to readers with a post, for example by talking about your experiences, I think this could also be a great place to find users. Finally, if you want to check it out, this is my service: https://upneko.com/ That's it, I hope you found this post interesting, and thank you for reading!
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