While we have featured extremely profitable creators like Janel Loi, Dru Riley and Jack Butcher on our site, this issue is dedicated to our readers who are looking to make their first $100 internet dollars. We are featuring Noah Bragg of Potion, who has managed to make $100 MRR within 3.5 months after starting on the project.
Let's dive in!
🗓 November 30 2020: Noah announces that he will be building a new project! Such announcements help with accountability (you don't want to become that person who talks and never builds) and also with garnering interest for your products as well. The latter is especially true for creators who already have an audience.
In this case, Noah already has an audience from his previous product, Supportman. As such, he was able to take the opportunity to clarify the status of Supportman and reiterates that he will be focused on showing the building process as opposed to just showing off.
🗓 December 1 2020: Doubling the followers in the last 24 hours. While it is not a wise strategy to wait for such events to occur, we can see that building in public is a practice that has asymmetric returns- perhaps you have to spend a little extra time putting out extra content, but the potential upside of getting noticed/teaching others makes it all worth it.
Learning and building in public. I think Noah does a really good job in these short videos- he shares his thought process on how he arrived at the idea for Potion, while also sharing his learning process behind building a business (doing customer validation later etc). I have been fascinated with the idea of learning in public recently- we may learn best from the person one step ahead of us, as opposed to those who already are at the very top of their field. I strongly recommend spending 2 minutes to watch how Noah shares his thinking- it's concise, clear and effective.
🗓 December 15 2020: Adding a waitlist page! One of the key characteristics of people whom I have featured on Their Timeline is their strong action bias- 2 weeks after announcing the new project, Noah has built enough of Potion to launch a waitlist page using well, Potion. 😂
I really like the idea of creators being the number 1 user of their own product- this allows them to better clarify the needs of the audience, while also establishing the credibility of the product. Noah did not have to wait for his first official customer to provide feedback and proof that the product works- he filled in the gap himself.
🗓 January 8 2021: It's not all roses. Noah talks about how he had to rewrite all of the code for authentication. Too often building in public becomes flexing in public, so I really like how Noah reminds us that building is hard. Know that you are not alone if you are facing your own indie hacker's block. ☺️
🗓 January 9 2021: Building credibility via curation. Noah launches a curation newsletter that focuses on Notion tips and tricks.
Many budding entrepreneurs often face the issue of gaining credibility and traction for their product.
Noah's approach of becoming a curator is great for multiple reasons:
- He gains credibility as an expert in Notion. By association, potential customers will view Potion more favorably as it was created by a 'Notion expert'.
- He raises more awareness for Potion. We have seen other creators leveraging on existing audiences of individuals (e.g. Jack Butcher), but Noah brings another angle to this tool by leveraging on the existing audience of a product.
- He keeps himself updated with the tools of Notion and how the audience responds to those tools. He can observe the trends occurring in the Notion community and decide what to build for Potion.
Seeing the number of sign-ups further validate the growth of Notion, and Noah has more confidence to build on top of it.
💰 January 19 2021: 7 weeks into first announcing Potion, Noah got his first paying customer! It's important to validate early into building to know whether there is an actual demand for your product. The best way to do so is to find paying customers.
🗓 January 20 2021: Building awareness. Getting on other podcasts helps with exposure, and this is a common theme that we have seen. If you have not guested on any other platform, perhaps now is the time to put this issue down, find 3 platforms you can create value for and reach out to them!
💰 January 23 2021: Second paying customer! It is too easy to see the success stories of customers gushing in and feel defeated if we are not getting similar results. Noah's honesty of how the second customer came 4 days after the first illustrates that success can come in drips too.
🗓 February 16 2021: Launching Early Access for Potion! Noah has managed to do so within 11 weeks of starting work on Potion while working at another full-time job and having a baby. It's a good reminder that we can get things done if we are focused and consistent. Think systems, not motivation.
Noah also stressed that it is important for him to focus on marketing with the early access launch. Part of the challenge of being a solo entrepreneur is juggling building and selling. Clearly dividing your projects into phases helps with this, or you can alternate between building and selling each week like what Jon Yongfook does.
💰 February 26 2021: Potion has $12 MRR! It has been 5 weeks since Potion got their first paying customer.
💰 February 27 2021: Social approval works really well, even when you are just starting out. Potion's MRR more than doubled within a day, quite possibly from Noah's Twitter audience.
💰 March 5 2021: Organic growth is truly the holy grail of all businesses. Unfortunately, the only way to achieve this is to hold yourself to the highest standard and give your customers the best experience that they can receive. It may be hard to get an accurate gauge of your own product when you are deep into the woods creating them. Thus, set aside time for reflection every week, and think how things can be better.
💰 March 8 2021: Potion reaches $100 MRR!
I don't think there was one exact thing that Noah did to bring Potion to $100 MRR; instead, he has done a variety of things including:
- Building custom free portfolio for someone on Twitter
- Email marketing to waitlist and previous free tier
- Sharing on Hacker News
This concludes today's time capsule on Noah Bragg! We are excited to see how he develops as an indie hacker, and will be following along for his journey!
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Keep building! 🔨