Started my project about 1.5 months ago, and got my first paying customer today without any audience or following

Hey guys,

Sharing my experience of the last 1.5 months. I tried to do some TikTok marketing for one of my other SaaS product and noticed how painful it is to create TikTok videos of a computer screen. You need to crop and zoom and move the camera around and yuck, it is very unpleasant, especially for someone who is not very familiar with video editor software.

So to scratch that itch I started to develop an easy-to-use online video editor specializing in recording and creating TikTok videos: keyframes.studio

I spent about 150 hours for developing the MVP and posted on /r/EntrepreneurRideAlong and on ProductHunt without too much preparation. I figured PH will always let you post again in like 6 months so I didn't give too much thought to it. They got respectively 50 and 70 upvotes which is not very much but it was enough to get my first customer.

I am super excited, I would not say this idea is validated yet, but it is definitely a good sign that someone is willing to pay for this kind of service.

In the upcoming weeks I will try to focus only on marketing:

  • Create TikTok Videos
  • Answer relevant questions on Quora
  • Try to network on twitter
  • Find some relevant subreddits and post it there
  • Write helpful articles on site for SEO

I am also looking into paid advertisement, but I am still trying to figure out my target demographic so I will hold my horses just yet.

The stack for anyone interested:
Next.js as the main framework
Planetscale for db
Stripe for payment
Nodemailer for emails
ffmpeg for file conversions
All operations are done on the frontend, nothing is saved on the servers.

  1. 6

    @daniel_fulop, first of congratulations.

    As you mentioned Quora in your marketing plan - just a heads up in case you are not aware.

    On Quora if you are posting more than 2-3 answers continuously with links to your websites, those efforts would go waste. The reason is that Quora hide those answers - and funny part is that the person answering does not realize it. The reason is that those answers will be visible to you while you are logged on but not to anyone else.

    So, the best way to do it is by:

    1. Going slow
    2. After a couple of answers, write some answers without your links.
    3. Then do repeat the cycle.

    One more very important point is that Quora filters the questions that it finds as duplicates, and it puts Noindex tag on those questions. So, though the questions and answers are there, they are not indexed by Google. To check this, you can Google search the questions' exact URL and see if those are coming in the search, then they are indexed otherwise, they are not.

    I thought I would share this in case it helps you or anyone else.

    1. 2

      Oh wow, that is super useful and I was not aware of these points. Much appreciated.

      1. 1

        Yep, very sneaky :)

        You should use Medium.com on your list.

        There also the first hew articles need to be without links. Having some followers, comments and all - and then only they would take out noindex tag.

  2. 6

    I really like the approach. You saw potential, developed a MVP within a reasonable timeframe and put it in front of users as soon as it made sense. Congrats!

    Let me interpret "without too much preparation" positively: "without overthinking".

    People try to dismantle the whole process of creating innovations while most of it is unpredictable. Work, apply common sense and stuff will happen.

  3. 3

    Congratulations. That's a great milestone. Happy for you. I like to follow your progress. I am also almost in the same boat as you. I have developed an MVP. Now, looking for beta users. If you don't mind sharing, what is your plan for bringing more users?

    1. 3

      Thanks! Good question, I am in the process of figuring out out. Long term I want as much organic traffic as possible so for that I will look into content creation. Short-term I might rely on paid ads and watching 1000 growth hacking youtube videos to get inspiration. 😄

  4. 3

    Getting your first users is the hardest and longest part according to me. You have to try out different strategies, see what is working, find your users, and then convert them all while building the product. I know the drill man and huge congrats on getting your first user.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the advice, cheers!

  5. 2

    Congratulations..! It's a great milestone and happy for you

  6. 2

    Congratulations! this is very convenient for short videos.

  7. 2

    Congratulation! The fact that the computation is done on the frontend is very smart. No upload/download latency, no CPU costs for you. Also like your domain name ;-).

  8. 2

    Congrats on getting your first customer! That's always the hardest.

    One idea that comes to mind is to network with up-and-coming TikTok accounts and agencies producing many videos for TikTok.

    Think about who is helping people get started with TikTok - who can give you access to your target audience at scale?

    You won't get the biggest TikTokers or agencies to use your tool but some of the smaller (but growing) accounts will.

    If they start talking about your platform to their audience, you might get in front of the right people quickly.

    1. 2

      Yep I was actually playing around with the same idea. Good advice, thanks a lot!

      1. 1

        This strategy helped me get my freelance business off the ground in 2015. Good luck!

  9. 2

    Looks like a very useful product - I'll let you know how I go!

    1. 1

      Awesome, let me know!

  10. 2

    Looks like a useful piece of software, will give it a try.

  11. 2

    Congratulations Daniel on hitting this milestone! 🏆

  12. 2

    Congratulations, I know the feeling!

    This basically is a proof of concept for you and will keep you going. The thing about creating something, is that we must do many things at the same time.

    Creating the product..and creating the business around it too. That's why business people get paid. You are not just running a business, you are creating it at the same time too.

    If I could give one advice, pick a pace that you can sustain for long. Don't burn yourself.

    1. 1

      Thank you, that’s great advice!

  13. 2

    Congratulations buddy.

  14. 2

    Congratulations! I got my first customer through organic search after 6 months. Did you considered using any no-code tools so that you can save your time building and focus on customer acqusition?

  15. 2

    Well done! All the best for your journey!

  16. 2

    Congratulations. While doing so, is there anything that you learned and would do differently if you could turn back time?

    1. 1

      Honestly I think it is too early to tell, right now I would say I made the most out of the last 1.5 months. I learned a lot about video encodings and stuff, and I am pretty satisfied with how the product is gaining traction.

  17. 2

    150 hours for what is showing in the landing page is so amazing!!! 100x developer for sure. Congratz!

  18. 2

    Great job! it seems that once it catches up is up only my friend. All the best.

  19. 2

    This is amazing. congratulations. Your product looks brilliant too, what's it built in?

  20. 2

    Congrats! That's fantastic news.

  21. 2

    Congrats... this is a great product. Can also be used for Stories and Shorts !!

    1. 1

      Yes , exactly, anything that is 9:16 resolution. Should probably update the hero texts.

  22. 2

    Congrats! I actually was trying to find this product just yesterday!

  23. 2

    Congrats, More to come!

  24. 2

    Wow after I checked out your landing page I know how to use a mask in Figma!

    This is seems like a very interesting project. Are you on Twitter? Would love to be able to follow the progress!

    1. 1

      Haha, glad to help in any way I can!
      The product does have a twitter account actually:

  25. 2

    Very impressed that you could get it up and running so quickly

  26. 2

    Landing page looks really good, I'm quite jealous ahah. The application looks really useful, I thought about needing a similar application for making a video for my landing page.

    Seems viral marketing might be something that could work for you? Sponsor people that are making videos about building an audience?

    Anyway best of luck, seems like an awesome product!

  27. 2

    great idea. I have also really hated trying to use complex video editing software for what should be a simple task. ClipChamp is the closest and best thing ive used but it's still pretty janky

    excited to see where this goes, hesitant to upgrade to a subscription with the current feature set

    some feature suggestions:

    • Expand beyond TikTok resolution. Auto export to resolutions for twitter & ig would be awesome
    • basic editing such as adding text overlays, transitions between two clips
    • make it as fast as possible to render!

    great job with this though - I think youre onto something here

    1. 1

      Hey, thank you for checking, super valuable feedback and ideas!

  28. 1

    Congrats! Amazing for just 1.5 months! And it's nice to see that with just those a little over 100 likes you got your first customer. It really goes to show that what matters is not really the number but the genuine engagement and interest

  29. 1

    Nice job! This is a real problem. I wanted to record a video for social media on my Mac and found there wasn’t an easy way to get it in the right size. I was even thinking of building a tool but you’ve already done it!

  30. 1

    Congratulations. That's a great milestone you have done it in short period of time!

  31. 1

    your next feature should be to recreate BeReal style double-camera.
    Thank me later

  32. 1

    Awesome story. Super motivating!

  33. 1

    congrates! share with us your progress on the stuff that you are working on! Keen to know the results and your experience.

  34. 1

    You have a valid use case Daniel. I've myself thought about this problem so many times.

    Creating well done videos are hard for social media these days. Especially when you want to share videos of your screen.

    Congratulations on the 1st customer. You're onto something. Keep going.

  35. 1

    Amazing story! Quick question:

    If you could start all over again, would you do something differently? And what?

    1. 1


      Tough question, I ended up refactoring a lot of code to optimise the render quality, but that is how it is in every project. I think it is too early to say, but so far I would do pretty much everything the same.

  36. 1

    Same stack of my project (planny.co) 😂

  37. 1

    Sounds exciting, looking forward

  38. 1

    good job and good luck for the future

  39. 1

    Do you use some GA or any other services to messure traffic?

    1. 1

      Yep, plausible actually.

  40. 1

    That's awesome, Daniel. Congrats!

  41. 1

    Hey @daniel_fulop motivating, we are building voicebacks.com. Pls check it to collect user feedback.

  42. 1

    Congrats! Great milestone!

    Soudns like a great product.
    How much you charge if I may ask?

    1. 1

      Thank you!
      Still trying to figure things out, I ask for 12 dollars a month for watermark-free HD exports.

  43. 1

    Congratulations that is nice hint and I hope this can help

  44. 1

    That's a great idea. What's your tech stack?

    1. 2

      Next.js as the main framework
      Planetscale for db
      Stripe for payment
      Nodemailer for emails
      ffmpeg for file conversions

      1. 1

        Thank you for sharing. And where did you host? Vercel?

        1. 1

          Exactly, it is connected with the GitLab repository. And for auth I use next-auth.

  45. 1

    Can you share your website link?
    I would like to have a look.

  46. 1

    congratulations and interesting implementation too! I am surprised ffmpeg is usable on client side : - )

  47. 1

    I like the idea and congratulations on your first sale! I reckon just YOLO a few hundred bucks into paid advertising.

  48. 1

    where do you use ffmpeg? gotta have server for that

    1. 3

      With ffmpeg webassembly now you can run it in your browser.

      1. 1

        that's cool, how's the performance?

        1. 1

          Pretty good, I only use it for converting .webm to .mov. On my mac a 10 second long video gets converted in like 5 seconds, but I imagine it varies greatly between different machines.

          1. 1

            Ok, all the best

  49. 1

    Wow, congratulations. I'm really trying to find other ways to find my market that don't rely so heavily on social media. These platforms are becoming far too controlling, making them less enjoyable to use. So those are some hopeful strategies you've shared.

  50. 0

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