Janel Loi's playbook for launching products

Published on
August 12th, 2021
Janel shared her tips on building a Twitter following, pricing your product, and more.
In November, Janel Loi launched Newsletter OS on Product Hunt, an all-in-one dashboard to help others launch and grow their newsletters. The launch generated traction, earning the product 802 upvotes and a wall of positive reactions from the community.

“I started writing a newsletter, BrainPint last year and tumbled into a newsletter rabbit hole,” she told us. That’s what initially led her to create Newsletter Operating System.

Janel is also the Program Manager at On Deck’s No-Code Fellowship. She hosted an AMA with the community earlier this month and we highlighted some of our favorite moments.

On tips for creators new to monetizing their work:

You don't have to be an expert!

"You don't have to be an expert but you need to be credible. People need to trust that they're going to learn something from you. How do you build credibility? By being an active member in the communities you're in, by writing stuff about the niche you're in, by generously sharing knowledge with others."

"I started a newsletter, started to discover no-code and eventually got in touch with @thisiskp_ who I ended up working with. He thought me everything I needed to know about Building in Public and playing positive-sum games. I decided to share what I learned with others too!"

Put love into your landing page

"Landing pages make and break your product - Nail your copy. Get social proof on board. If you need a primer to landing pages, check out OnePageLove.com or @robhope's Landing Page Hot Tips."
"You can do this very cheaply. Don't waste money on hiring fancy website builders - use no-code tools like Carrd, Dorik, Softr, or even Gumroad's native product page to do this."
"I got a few people who purchased [Newsletter OS] early to do beta-reads and framed their feedback on my landing page as social proof."

Price accordingly

"Don't be afraid to raise your prices - If you launch at a low price, that's ok. Don't be afraid that people are going to stop buying stuff from you if you raise your prices. Price can be a good signal for quality. I needed to remind myself about this a lot."

"[I] used laddered pricing (inspired by @stephsmith) where I started off lower and increased my prices as more people bought."

"Write copy and pull together a landing page / Gumroad page for a pre-order. Price low and ladder that pricing."

Tips for building a community on Twitter:

Start sharing (this goes hand-in-hand with credibility)

“How did I start [building a following on Twitter]? Honestly, just sharing what I learned, cool snippets from books I read, interesting finds from the Internet, thoughts and ideas. I engaged with people publicly, made friends in the DMs. All this stuff is life-changing. Highly recommend doing it if you haven't already started."

“[For Newsletter OS,] I wrote a super long thread on Twitter detailing the problem, how it solves the problem, and what the contents were. I included screenshots of the unfinished product.”

Know why you’re doing it

“Know your North Star, aka, your guiding "why" and stick to it. If you are clear about why you're doing something, it's harder to give up.”

“It's ok to feel writer's block. It's ok to feel that your content is going into the void, because anyone starting out will have these feelings. The important part is to look back at your North Star and work towards tiny habits and actions that help you achieve it.”

Find support

"Having a circle of close friends you can count on is so important. Find a group of others who have similar goals to you, and be accountable to each other, share tips, work through problems together."

“[I launched] on Product Hunt… one month after my pre-launch, when I already had a ton of customers who were actively using. They came to support me on my PH launch day and it gave me another huge boost. So grateful!”

On her playbook for launching products

  1. Be passionate about something and learn as much as you can about it.
  2. Build up your knowledge, create systems that work for yourself. Save the content that helped you learn in a database.
  3. Structure this neatly for your personal use.
  4. Be active, curious and engaged in the communities around your niche.
  5. Have an idea of what you want to create and think of a name for it, and a rough structure
  6. Write copy and pull together a landing page / Gumroad page for a pre-order. Price low and ladder that pricing. You can do this very cheaply. Don't waste money on hiring fancy website builders - use no-code tools like Carrd, Dorik, Softr or even Gumroad's native product page to do this.
  7. Post on social and wherever relevant. Collect pre-order $. That stuff serves as a forcing function and motivates you to create immense value when building your product
  8. Get beta readers / users for your product to check your products, point out errors, and make sure whatever you're writing is understandable.
  9. Launch on the social media network you're most comfortable with. Raise prices if necessary.
  10. Collect feedback. Build a wall of love. Shoutout.so is a good option!
  11. Launch on Product Hunt
  12. Ride the wave, share your lessons, help your customers, lift them up!
Published on
August 12th, 2021
Comments (8)
Jeremy Wilt
Adventurer | Designer | Idealist
This is incredible! Thanks for sharing your story and the amazing tips!
Share
Ondřej Valuštík
Co-Founder Meetback.io
Thanks for sharing! 🙏 @sarah_wright7
Fajar Siddiq
Serial Entrepreneur, Singapore
Thanks for sharing the tips! i shared with other makers. Great write up!
Mia Pham
Marketing Strategist @ EcomSolid
I'm actually so nervous to launch. Thank you for the advice! <3
John Jones
Avid product taster, tester, &trialler!
Just love the itemised suggestions, so easy to follow!
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