Launching a SaaS is harder than building one
Last week I soft launched Sotent, the social media scheduling and publishing tool that I've been working on for the past few months. Incase you're wondering what 'soft launched' means, well I'm not sure, but I define it as launching your product to a small group of friends and connections and then gradually posting about it on other platforms. Not the traditional big launch day on ProductHunt. It's a different approach, but it works for me. I don't have the time to launch on one day. So many mini launches at different days and times works for me.
However, one thing I've learnt is that launching is so much harder than building something. I always thought learning to code was this incredibly difficult task, however now I'm pretty comfortable building something from the ground up it seems like a walk in the park compared to launching something. I want to discuss the 3 things that I've struggled with when launching a product and how I've learnt to overcome them or just cope with them.
Personally, this is the biggest one for me. Putting something out to the world that you've worked hard on is absolutely terrifying. Will people like it? Will they hate it? Will they hate it so much they they'll instantly try to DDoS attack it? Okay, the final one is a bit extreme but it's not impossible. In all seriousness that fear is something that has held me back with other projects and with Sotent it started to creep in. However, I overcame it with the launch of Sotent, how I did it related to how I launched. The slow and gradual 'soft' launch helped me here, it meant I didn't get bombarbed from ProductHunt, Reddit or IndieHackers all in one day. It meant I had time to take in feedback from users and learn from them. And overall, it just allowed my fear of launching to subside.
Right, I'm a developer with no skills in marketing at all. There are some great places to learn from like Marketing Examples by Harry Dry. And I've learnt a lot from resources like that but I just still don't have the confidence to say that my marketing would actually attract people to my product. But, I have continued to learn, I've focused on making Sotent the topic of conversation in my Tweets, not by just giving it the traditional "I've just launched this social media content tool. Sign up here!", I've focused on showing off Sotent and what it's capable of, this has actually helped me to attract users as they can clearly see what they're getting themselves in for when they sign up.
Launching a product isn't easy and requires a level of consistency. I now see why some business have teams just to post on social media, or update their marketing as it's a consuming task when you're doing it consistently.
But, I have found that by being consistent in my content about my launch and about my product it engages people. They don't want to see my rubbing my launch in their face, but they do like to engage with my latest update as they can see the progress. I've found that the easiest way to do this is to allocate time, whether it's half an hour, one hour or longer. Allocating some time in the day to plan some content about my product and the launch and then also using some of that time to interact with connections and the community is the best approach I've found.
Right, that's it. I'm done for this post. If like me, you are struggling to launch your product I hope this post provides you with some comfort that you are not alone, your fears and struggles are experienced by others and you can overcome the challenges you face.