- the SaaS bootstrapper
- How to scale for free
How to scale for free
Here’s what’s in store:
🎬️ Behind the scenes
➼ Good morning from Todelo, Spain.
➼ I’ve been doing a lot of outreach to get early users into SaaS Pulse to get some early feedback. I’ll write more about my process for this soon. Hint: it’s very simple.
💡 The best investment you can make in yourself today
Both are thorough but not too long. They're digestible and actionable, and from someone who has built a massive audience faster than almost anyone.
He just released the Creator MBA, and today is the last day to get it at a steep discount.
If you're just get started, spinning your wheels, or could use some extra ideas and inspiration, this is arguably the best investment you can make in yourself today.
Grab it now, because tomorrow the price jumps way up.
The best way to scale is for free.
Ways to do this include:
General word-of-mouth (usually from an amazing product)
I scaled my last business to $61k MRR with resellers.
To start, our affiliate program is open to anyone, and we made it very compelling - more aggressive than most, in that we offer 30% of all generated revenue for the life of the customer. Many programs limit the referrer payout to 12 months, which doesn’t seem fair.
An affiliate can take many forms, such as:
Existing customers who want to share our product with their friends or audience
Influencers / micro-influencers
These relationships can have various structures, but they're all essentially a form of affiliate, someone who spreads the word about your product for a cut.
With Aware, we've been having the most success with micro-influencers - those who have a decent-sized audience but not so big that they're inundated with offers all day long.
I find micro-influencers are the best because:
They’re easier to get through to
They’re less inundated with offers (so less competition for you)
They don’t insist on huge fees
You can create a good relationship while they're smaller, which hopefully lasts as they grow
Some ways we've negotiated with micro-influencers are:
Offer them an increased affiliate fee from our standard affiliate program
Offer them a reasonable fee for a social media post or promotion of some sort (while the title of this post is "How to scale for free", there are times when we opt to pay a modest fee).
A combination of both of the above
The benefit of paying them outright, is you get to keep 100% of any MRR they generate. The downside is that there's less incentive for them to make the most compelling post/offer they can.
Conversely, the benefit of an increased affiliate cut is there's no cost out of your pocket, but you'll be paying them a sizable cut of the revenue generated.
We have been experimenting with both, and while they don't all pan out, they're low-risk, and the potential is huge when they hit.
Here's the result of a single post from a recent partnership we made with Aware:
In fact, I often advise people just starting as a solopreneurs to try their hand at marketing an existing product, as it teaches you a lot with low risk and no up-front costs.
Or if you already have a product, here’s the challenge:
⛰️ Challenge of the week
Think about the platforms where your target audience hangs out
Find five people with small-medium sized audiences
Start building relationships with them and when it feels right, ask if they’d like to talk about a partnership
Let me know how it goes
I build businesses so that I can pick up my kids from school every day.
I can also leave an hour early to run there via the scenic route and look up at the sky for a bit.
Why do you do it?
— Mac Martine (@saasmakermac)
Jan 18, 2024
🙈 In case you missed it
People tearing down your success are often just disappointed in themselves.
— Justin Welsh (@thejustinwelsh)
Jan 18, 2024
I agree - this is probably the biggest thing founders try to skip, to their peril:
(From @callmehouck's newsletter)
— Mac Martine (@saasmakermac)
Jan 17, 2024
Would you be interested in a SaaS Bootstrapper community?
A place to engage with others, share and get feedback.
💁 When you’re ready, here’s how I can help
1:1 Coaching via chat: For just $99/mo you can connect with me privately in Discord and get help from me along the way, whether it’s about brainstorming ideas, figuring out if you’re on the right track, determining your next steps, going to market, or scaling. The price goes up by $50 for every 5 people that subscribe.
1:1 Clarity call: Wherever you are on your bootstrapping journey, chances are I've been there. I know the struggles and challenges and am here to help through a 1:1 clarity call.
Aware: If you’re looking to step up your audience-building game on LinkedIn, this is a great time to invest in your audience growth.
Tools and resources: A complete list of the tools and resources I use to run my business, and some books that have helped me along the way.
Last but not least, get a free product promotion: Refer this newsletter to 3 people, and I’ll mention your product in an upcoming newsletter to my thousands of readers.
The easiest way to do that?
Copy and paste your unique ‘share’ URL below, and post a nice tweet about this newsletter with that link. 😀
P.S. How did you like today's newsletter?
Have a great weekend!