Are you writing into the void on Twitter?
Quality threads come from quality tweets. Quality tweets come from quality comments. These tips can help you level up your comment game to increase Twitter growth!
Are you considering crowdfunding to help grow your business? Below, founders weigh in on crowdfunding and viable alternatives.
Founders Jon Yongfook, Nathan Barry, and Pieter Levels all found success when they raised their prices. Check out their stories, and consider a pricing hike for your own product.
Want to share something with over 95,000 indie hackers? Submit a section for us to include in a future newsletter. —Channing
📱 Twitter Growth Tips That Change the Game
by Denis Shatalin
Looking to grow your audience? Here's how I gained 2.2K Twitter followers in four months, and you can too!
Threads work when there’s an audience of at least 100 people. Quality threads come from quality tweets. Quality tweets come from quality comments.
Here’s the approach that helped me the most:
- Leave 20 comments every day: When you have a small account, there's no sense in writing killer threads. 20 views won't make them go viral. At this stage, focus on commenting on your target accounts. Hang out with people one or two levels above you. Drop some comments on pages with 300-5K followers, up to pages with 20K-60K followers.
- Send 10 DMs every day: You need engagement on your profile. Engagement comes from having good relationships with other like-minded Twitter users.
- Write four tweets a day: Two of these tweets should be for growth, one for authenticity, and one for authority. Growth tweets are those that provide good ideas about your niche topic. Authenticity tweets are about your uniqueness: Share what you do in life, share your story, or share what you stand for. Authority tweets are case studies, testimonials, and other forms of proof. Scheduling tweets helps! Try Feedhive or Tweet Hunter.
- Create one great thread every week: Start practicing once you've hit ~250 followers. Spend 80% of your time on the hook. Test different hooks by sending them to your friends. I built relationships and sent one great thread to 10 people, then a couple of accounts with 50K+ followers retweeted it. After that, 400 other people retweeted it. That's how I went from 800 to 1.8K followers in 24 hours.
- Understand your final goals, values, and ideas: Pick 10 topics that you want to speak about. Tweet them until you hit 10K followers, then cut down to three topics that work best. Experiment with your style, but stick to your principles.
- Find your why: Having a strong "why" helps with consistency.
Remember that growing your Twitter account doesn't necessarily mean growing your startup. If your end goal is to grow your product, close the first 20 customers via 1:1 chats as soon as possible. You don't need any followers to do it; you just need to approach people in the right way. I regularly help with user acquisition for early-stage SaaS products, so don't hesitate to reach out.
You want to build a positive relationship with every person who follows you. Check people's profiles and ask something that sparks your attention. Do this in a way that kickstarts a conversation.
You can ask what inspired someone to build something, how long they've been at it, and other things about the trajectory of their business.
Set aside 45 minutes each day to schedule tweets, and another 45 minutes to drop 20 comments. Doing this in two 45 minute sessions works best for focus. Turn on notifications for larger accounts so that you see their tweets right away, and you can comment and show up first. This will help you to grow more quickly.
- Put your real photo in your profile picture.
- Change your bio to make it more concise.
- Include one memorable thing about you in your bio.
- Share more about what you're currently working on and your future goals, as opposed to sharing your past. It's not LinkedIn!
- Challenge yourself to post 20 great comments every day for four weeks, and check out your growth!
What are your tips for growing on Twitter? Share in the comments below!
Discuss this story.
📰 In the News
from the Volv newsletter by Priyanka Vazirani
🤑 NFT lending is growing into a big business despite the crypto crash.
🏛 Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover may change stock market rules.
🤯 Half a million UK small businesses may go bust within weeks.
👔 TikTok is debating what to wear for a Zoom interview.
🌳 No one is actually buying celebrity weed.
Check out Volv for more 9-second news digests.
🤘 Advice for Crowdfunding Founders
by Kirill Tereshchenko
My cofounder and I have been building MetaSurvey, a service for swipe surveys, for two years now. I'm looking into crowdfunding and accelerator programs to take things to the next level.
I began to explore possible channels for funding for indie startups. We dumped the idea of finding a VC because we want to have freedom of action. I am considering crowdfunding and accelerators. Crowdfunding seems to be the most attractive because, for those who donate now for our growth, we will be able to provide lifetime access to our product, allow them to have a big voice in feature requests, and invite them to our private chat. Accelerators also seem attractive because, in addition to investments, we will be able to join a community of like-minded people, gain new knowledge, and develop together with other founders.
I tried to list my product on AppSumo, but didn't complete it. I learned that audiences sometimes have strange behavior: They will purchase a subscription, use a product, then ask for a refund later. So, I left that alone.
I discovered the crowdfunding platform Mirror from an article here on Indie Hackers, and I like that it was made on a blockchain system. Also, Courtland Allen penned a helpful post on accelerators, and I liked two from the post: Calmfund and TinySeed. I also intend to consider YCombinator.
Any advice for me?
Offering part ownership to users
Liz Heinberg currently has income coming in from freelancing, but is also on the hunt for money to support the business until she has enough users:
I'm in a similar situation and mindset as you are regarding VC. Fairmint may be another avenue to consider. I recently came across it, and am intrigued by it. From Fairmint's website:
Fairmint helps founders tokenize their equity, allowing their community to invest time or money in exchange for ownership.
I love the idea of our users effectively being part owners of the business. I understand that this is also something that's well suited to Web3. The downside is that Fairmint is pretty expensive.
Funding from customers
Alexander Isora recommends considering engaging your customers as your source of funding:
Working on a full-time basis, perhaps you will be able to grow that MRR enough to sustain the business until you can leverage your customer base.
Scale back expenses
Dusan believes that examining personal expenses could help:
As an alternative to crowdfunding and accelerators, I would say just get used to living with bare minimums. Try to make your savings last as long as possible. In the end, your cash burn rate will be make or break. It doesn't matter if your revenue is $100 MRR or $100M ARR, you should not be spending more than earning.
Have you gone the crowdfunding route? Let's chat below!
Discuss this story.
👥 10M Users, Zero Funding
by Aytekin Tank
Clarity requires preparation.
Whenever you write anything, a document, report, presentation, or even an important email, draft it and set it aside. Come back and read it later. Cut extra words, make it shorter, and get to the point faster. Clarity not only eliminates confusion, but it conveys confidence and momentum.
Discuss this story.
📈 3 Indie Hackers Who Found Success by Raising Prices
from the Listen Up! IH newsletter by Ayush Chaturvedi
Price is one of the most important aspects of any business. Most indie hackers are terrified of increasing their prices. They worry that they'll scare away customers, or that they won't be able to "get away" with charging more.
But the truth is, pricing too low can actually be more harmful than helpful. It can make your product look inferior, or attract the wrong kind of users. It’s best to start small and raise prices as you get validation.
Let’s look at three solo founders who found success with premium pricing!
Jon Yongfook made the mistake of charging $9 per month for Bannerbear when he first got started. But it was hard to reach significant revenue at such a low price point. He realized that he would have to convince hundreds of people to buy the product to even reach ramen profitability.
So, once he had some users and validation, Jon raised the prices to $49 a month. He also focused on a niche audience: Marketers and designers who want to produce images and videos for social media and ads on a regular basis.
Bannerbear automates the mundane part of their jobs, so they don’t mind paying a higher price. Currently, its price ranges from $49-$299 per month, and the company has hit $36K MRR with 450 paying users.
Jon’s sights are set on the $1M ARR goal. You can check out the complete story of Jon’s success, and listen to him on the Indie Hackers Podcast here.
Pieter Levels started Nomad List as a community of digital nomads. He launched on Slack for free, and had 1K people sign up very quickly.
But when spammers started infiltrating the community, Pieter began charging a $5 fee. He kept raising the price to filter out the spammers, which improved the quality of the community and made it worth paying for.
Today, the Nomad List community has a $100 lifetime cost, and it has 65K+ members. Check out more from Pieter on the Indie Hackers Podcast here, and in his second episode here.
Email marketing is a crowded domain, with new competitors cropping up every week. It’s hard to beat the competition in terms of features or pricing. That’s why Nathan Barry built ConvertKit to be an aspirational product.
He wants to beat the competition in terms of quality. ConvertKit has built a great user experience by focusing only on creators, not enterprises.
Mailchimp, the largest player in the space, is focused on enterprise customers. Mailchimp’s lowest plan starts at $10 per month. ConvertKit’s lowest plan starts at $29 per month.
Nathan believes that, when you’re going for the best quality, you shouldn’t worry about being a little expensive. According to its open startups page, ConvertKit hit $2.5M MRR and boasts 40K customers.
Those are great numbers for a bootstrapped SaaS business!
Listen to Nathan on the Indie Hackers Podcast here.
When you're starting out, it can feel strange to charge high prices. But once you have some validation, your best bet is to go niche and charge a premium for your product.
Even if you acquire just a few customers, your revenue goals will be met more quickly!
Discuss this story, or subscribe to Listen Up! IH for more.
🐦 The Tweetmaster's Pick
by Tweetmaster Flex
I post the tweets indie hackers share the most. Here's today's pick:
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Special thanks to Jay Avery for editing this issue, to Gabriella Federico for the illustrations, and to Denis Shatalin, Priyanka Vazirani, Kirill Tereshchenko, Aytekin Tank, and Ayush Chaturvedi for contributing posts. —Channing