Blog Founder StoriesWe smashed our $1,000 MRR goal - here are the lessons we learned

We smashed our $1,000 MRR goal - here are the lessons we learned

A year ago, we set a goal of reaching 1k MRR. Today, we have 35 active paying customers, are doing over 1.2k MRR, and growing faster than ever. πŸŽ‰

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Illustration for blog post about growing our SaaS to 1,000 MRR.

A year ago, we set a goal of reaching 1k MRR.

Today, we have 35 active paying customers, are doing over 1.2k MRR, and growing faster than ever. πŸŽ‰

Now, we can officially fund our monthly coffee costs with Featurebase. β˜•

Some cool stats for 2022 πŸ“ˆ

  • 5 237 posts created on feedback boards
  • 11 106 accounts created to post feedback
  • 824 organizations created
  • 36 359 upvotes to posts

Best marketing channels for us:

βœ…Word of mouth is underrated - Build a great product and offer outstanding customer service.

βœ… "Alternative to" marketing - Create alternative pages for your competitors and drive SEO traffic to them. Post your product on as well!

βœ… "Powered by" marketing - Our tool allows you to create public feedback boards and widgets to capture feedback. All boards have a small "Powered by Featurebase" button.

βœ… Integration marketing - We're featured on the Intercom, Atlassian, and Slack marketplace. I really recommend this since you make your product more useful while marketing at the same time. At the beginning of 2o23, we are looking to double down on this.

What hasn't worked:

❌ Cold emailing - Maybe we suck at it, but we have tried it over five times in different ways and have not gotten any results.

❌ Niching down - We have tried to niche down and market our tool for smaller industries, but that has not worked for many specific reasons.

❌ Blogging & Twitter - We struggle to stay consistent with posting content and hate competing for popular keywords with blog posts that basically say the same thing.

❌ Google ads - We have experimented with Google Ads, but the results haven't been great. We are currently working on improving this.

And 10+ other things...

We're starting to grow faster and faster organically, but I still feel like we haven't found a marketing channel that would consistently bring us tons of new customers.

Here are a few lessons we've learned πŸ‘‡

1. Product first, marketing second πŸ₯‡

In a competitive market, your product comes first and marketing second.

You've probably seen tons of memes about how small-brain founders only focus on building new features and completely ignore marketing.

So we followed the advice. When launching our MVP, we went ham on marketing and tried over 10 different marketing channels, and... none of them worked. 🫠

We almost quit back then since the general indie founder's advice is that if people don't care about your MVP after a few weeks, you should probably work on something else.

The problem was that our product sucked. Therefore, any marketing efforts were wasted because there were so many better options on the market.

In a competitive market, success is at least = 70% product X 30% marketing.

Therefore if you have a shitty product, you are essentially trying to multiply by 0.

In our case, we could draw a matching line between our MRR and how good our product is.

I wish we had doubled down on making our product amazing before wasting so much time on useless marketing efforts.

2. Pick one marketing channel and stick to it 🎯

Rather than finding the next shiny marketing channel that could magically 10x your MRR, just pick one that fits your target audience and master it.

Pierre from ScrapingBee made a great talk on this that you should definitely check out. πŸ‘ˆ

3. It's much safer to build in a validated market βœ…

If you're great at building products and design, then this is the way.

There are niches in big, proven markets that you could hop into. Pick a few features from a bloated tool and do it much better.

And remember that 99% of the time, it's a big red flag when you can't find existing competitors to "your new fantastic business idea."

Final thoughts

I hope you found something useful in this. However, take everything I shared as a data point and not a fact. Your experience might vary significantly based on the market you are in and hundreds of other factors.

Hah, I wish more founders added this disclaimer. πŸ˜…