So what can we learn from Xavier taking on the challenge of shipping 6 products in 6 months? He provides insights into how and what he sees Makers making mistakes.
One of the key things I have learned from Xavier, besides the obvious of keep shipping is:
(1) That he first gave value by organizing and gathering information to save time for a specific niche. Later he launched a community around that. This among other things that Xavier is doing right is a key reason why I think it’s interesting to learn from his story.
(2) Does SEO for Twitter to grow his audience on twitter
(3) Mindshift needed to prioritize marketing first when building.
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your story and getting started with no-code.
Hi, my name is Xavier Coiffard. I started my career as a developer in 2008. I’ve been a freelancer, a Lead dev in a big company, and CTO in several startups during all these years.
A year ago, in September 2020, I decided to quit the startup I co-founded to become an IndieHacker.
I started my indie journey with a “6 products in 6 months” challenge.
I wanted to learn to ship products fast, to learn how to launch and how to build & fail fast. And no-code tools are perfect for that!
Even if I know how to code, I’m way faster with no-code! That way, I can ship MVP super quickly and validate my ideas with real customers.
2. Can you tell us about Userbooster.co. Can you share your story behind it and how did you go from idea to product?
UserBooster is a Notion template that helps you get your first users and build your launch strategy.
The idea came from a combination of 2 things:
I created a database of 400+ places where to post your startup a month before, and many of my customers were happy about it but didn’t know how to build the strategy to use them.
It was super inspired by Janel (@JanelSGM) and her NewsletterOS (a Notion template that helps you launch & grow your newsletter)
I created some pre-order on Gumroad and got 21 sales in a few days. That was a validation of a need for me, so I decided to create it.
It took me three weeks to build, and I launched it in March 2021. Since then, I have sold ~150 copies of it
3. Can you share your top 3 insights or things you discovered when building and launching this product?
(1) Pre-orders and super early validation are super important!
(2) You can make money with “simple” products. As a developer, that was a revelation. Just solve a particular problem with the most simple product you can imagine!
(3) 90% of the work is in marketing!
4. Can you share your experience building with this stack; any insights, advantages and disadvantages, things that surprised you, disappointed you for Notion:
I build all my landing pages with Carrd. It has amazing designs. It’s super easy to use and has everything you need to get you started.
I use Flurly as the payment processor. It replaced Gumroad in my no-code stack. The fees are lower, it allows you to redirect your customer to Stripe Checkout without silly popups and the founder, @JRthebuilder, is super responsive!
Notion is an incredible tool. It allowed to made UserBooster an interactive and actionable tool. There is still some lack tho, like user management and more precise sharing settings.
- You run a very helpful community called Marketing4Makers. Can you tell us about your community?
Marketing4Makers is an accountable group of makers that want to improve their marketing skills.
We’re almost 40 members now. We’re helping each other every day on topics like a landing-page copy, social media tactics, content marketing, etc.…
I really enjoy M4M, as it’s a private community, the members are pretty active, and it’s growing slowly so we can get to know each other.
6. In your community what are common concerns or questions that people have when marketing their products?
The top 3 concerns are:
- How to get my first users
- How to build an audience to get attention
- How to improve my landing page
7. What untapped marketing channels or strategies have you seen people miss?
I think the most untapped channels are communities!
A very few people use big players like Reddit or HackerNews to launch, and that’s a shame!
If you don’t have an audience, use these communities to get attention! That’s really the fasted way to get your first users (and that’s 100% free!)
8. Can you talk about new insights that you are seeing and what does Twitter like/hate?
I’ve been building an audience on Twitter for a year now, what worked for me was:
- Choose one topic and tweet ONLY about it.
- Stay consistent, push at least one tweet a day
- Follow all the micro-influencers in your niche and interact with them (be smart!)
- Engage a LOT with others
- Check the “Topics”, and try to include one in each of your tweets. Consider it as SEO for Twitter.
9. When I launched my first startup, I made this mistake as well:
How do we convince Makers from committing this mistake; that you must start with your story/marketing/audience/distribution first, THEN build your product?
That’s a tricky question! I think, first, we need a mind shift.
Marketing isn’t evil. It’s not about convincing people to buy your product (That’s what I thought). Marketing is about getting attention to your product/idea. Marketing is also getting in front of “real” people.
As makers, that’s what we need even at the idea stage! Waiting to build the “perfect” solution and talk about it only when it’s ready is the worst-case scenario.
Instead, talk about your idea, share it with others, ask them to follow you (or even to pre-order it). And never stop sharing. That way, you will create a product that really solves their problem!
Marketing from day 1 is the easiest way to make your product successful!
- Please provide what links to your project website, your twitter, where can people return the love? Where they can check out about you and your latest product launch:
You can find me on Twitter, where I build in public and share daily insights about startups and marketing: https://twitter.com/angezanetti
My Notion template to get your first users: userbooster.co
Marketing4Makers community: m4m.so
My SaaS, a CRM for Twitter DMs: pipesocial.io
Hi👋🏼, I'm Michael.
The maker of this site