My first launch made $0. 10 days later I launched again and hit $3,700 MRR...

How I rode a 2-week rollercoaster of entrepreneurial emotions: The lows of panic, stress and anxiousness to the highs of "I got this!".

The backstory:

I recently launched CopyCheck, a productized service that will check and rewrite your emails. Those important emails you spend hours writing and wish you had a second set of eyes for? Or those emails that sit in your drafts because you're not ready to send? Send them to CopyCheck and we'll check and rewrite them.

I launched it on Friday 22nd of July on LinkedIn and sent it out to my network (some via email, some via Whatsapp and text message).

The following week I launched it on Twitter and started posting on LinkedIn. I also reached out to old clients.

The result after 10 days?

Lots of "high-fives!". "Go Jason!" "Can't wait to try this out".

The real result? 0 leads and 0 sales calls.

Some alarm bells started going off. :( I hit those lows. Anxiousness. Stress. A bit of panic.

Two conversations with old clients sparked something. They had no interest in having emails rewritten, but one asked if I could write some case studies for them and the other asked about website copy...

I also read @davoregyed's post on how he grew his Webflow freelance business from $0 to $8k MRR in 17 days. He mentioned that he read $100M Offers: How To Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No, which I picked up and devoured in half a day and came up with the second service, CopyCheck for Business.

I launched it a few days ago on LinkedIn. (Added it as an extra page on the current website. Nothing fancy.)

The result?

2 sales and 3 sales calls (booked for next week).

$0 to $3,700 MRR. I'm now ramen profitable and sleeping a WHOLE lot better. :)

My first goal with CopyCheck

My first goal is to hit $7,000 in MRR. Why? As a family, we want to move to Porto. (I currently live in South Africa). That's the number we have as the goal to pull the trigger and make the move.

Next steps

  • Continue posting daily on LinkedIn
  • Create "Use Cases" landing pages (CopyCheck for B2B SaaS, CopyCheck for Sales teams, CopyCheck for Web3 etc etc.)
  • Start doing LinkedIn and cold email outreach (10-20 emails + messages a day)
  • Create a blog and write an article a week
  • Find guest blogging opportunities

(Any other suggestions?)

My Biggest Learnings

Your network is only as strong as the problem you solve for them. I thought I'd EASILY land 10 clients for CopyCheck for Email with my network I'd built up over the past 10+ years. WRONG. Not a single bite.

Launch once, launch twice. Launch as many times as you want! Two of my sales calls are with people that said nice things about CopyCheck for email, but are genuinely interested in CopyCheck for Business.

Hope there are some lessons or takeaways in my story and happy to answer any questions.

  1. 2

    I was deeply lost in this post.
    Nothing can beat creativity and experimentation
    God speed

  2. 2

    Happy for Jason :)

  3. 2

    Ok, so your mistake was your messaging was wrong i.e. you were offereing paas for all copywriting needs however what clients heard was you will act as second pair of eyes for email? is that correct?

    Client list that you created in 10 years, what did you do for them copywriting blog/articles or emails?

    Regarding your current conversion is it from your existing network or you have landed new ones?

    1. 1

      So the mistake was the other way around. I launched with a "second pair of eyes for your email" and no one was interested, so broadened the service and created CopyCheck for Business that does all copywriting.

      My 10+-year-old network was built from various other businesses - but none in the copywriting space.

      Current conversions: 1 from my network and 1 from someone that has followed me on LinkedIn for a while (Someone I wasn't familiar with). So I guess you can say both are from my network.

      Thanks for asking the hard questions!

      1. 2

        I was just curious, i don't know how to write properly so that i don't come out as offending(may be i need your services too :-) ). Thanks for sharing.

  4. 2

    Howzit Jason,

    It's nice to see another South African here!

    Do you think that you'll pivot the entire site to B2B focus or keep the B2C element for SEO and to differentiate the packages?

    1. 2

      The CopyCheck for Email is actually a B2B play as well, but now that you've asked that, I probably need to refine the copy some more for it too!

    2. 1

      I was wondering the same thing

  5. 2

    Great insights Jason, thanks for sharing.

    Love the concept and excited for the next update!

  6. 1

    Congrats! What has been the hardest part of this journey?

    1. 1

      The emotional rollercoaster (which is still ongoing!).

      The first launch felt amazing. So many people congratulated me, but after a few days without any leads, I started getting anxious about if I'd built the right product.

      Even this morning. Woke up feeling pretty down and not sure what I was going to tackle first today and then saw my inbox filled with amazing Indiehacker comments!

      That gave me that little boost I needed and here's what I've done this morning already:

      • Published a LinkedIn post
      • Answered all the IH comments
      • Now off to start some LinkedIn Outreach!
    1. 1

      Ready when you are. :)

  7. 1

    @JasonBagley -- I loved your website! Looks beautiful.

    I'd like to share a few thoughts...

    1. Did you have any beta users who were ready to give your first product a shot? Typically if we ask for feedback or launch a product, people are nice enough to appreciate and say nice things. It's important to first find people who are ready to be beta users. These users can later become an exclusive group who get early access to features, discounts, and incentivized in different ways. I'm building something now, the moment I've something to show, I'll start looking for beta users, hope to find at least a dozen beta users while I build and launch the product with them. That way, I'll certainly have someone to use the product.
    2. MRR shouldn't be the only metric. A very important metric will be weekly/monthly active users and churn rate.
    3. Consider a free tier or a trial for people to experience the value and make it self-serve. This would reduce sign-up friction. You can always upsell to these people.
    4. A few thoughts on your next steps --
      4.1) Focus on quality vs quantity. For instance posting insightful content daily on LinkedIn may be tough. Same thing with cold emails and blog posts.
      4.2) You have a bunch of things in your next steps. These might spread you too thin. Focus on ritualizing and forming a habit with one activity at a time, for instance regular LI posts, then cold mails, then blog posts, something like that...

    Thanks! Wish you all the best :)

    1. 1

      Thanks for this feedback!

      1: I did have 2 beta users for CopyCheck for Email. That went really well, but because they were using it for free, it's difficult to sometimes get honest feedback on it and if they would really pay for it in the long run.

      2: Spot on. However I'm only 15 days into this, so my churn is a massive 0%! :) I'll definitely work on different metrics as the business grows, but for now, cash in the bank is king.

      3: Love this idea. Can you elaborate on what type of free trial you'd consider worthwhile?

      4: Great points here too. Posting daily to LinkedIn is pretty easy so far for me, so hoping to create a habit of that. I'm going to just focus on this and cold email outreach & LinkedIn outreach. To me, that's the quickest route to more sales. I can then start focusing on the longer-term items like blogging, guest posts, etc.

      Really appreciate the time you spent giving me feedback!

      1. 1

        You're most welcome @JasonBagley!

        On point 3 -- I do not know enough about your product but I think it can go something like this...

        1. Option 1 -- Forever free option. 1-2 copy checks a month or whatever is reasonable for you. You'll need to limit the number of such accounts signed up by a single business so as to avoid a bunch of people from same business signing up a free tier.
        2. Option 2 -- Fully featured trial subscription for a limited period (week/month).

        Idea is that users should experience the value for free before they give money. It's a big ticket for a month, so a free option will help many test the waters and convert.

        And for these two tiers, it'll be even better if they need not contact or setup time with you, they should be able to quickly sign up on their own and get going. For this you may need to put up a quick "how this works" video. This is often compelling than the textual explanation of how this works.

        On your unlimited plan, plan to have detailed T&C if you don't already have. It's highly likely big companies will have huge volume.


        1. 1

          These are great points @abhijit_annaldas. Appreciate all of your feedback and definitely a lot for me to consider.

  8. 1

    Do you use AI or a normal Human brain(bcz I have never seen an automated copy check which is remotely like real speech)
    Btw I couldn't see a live chat or doc system on your website. So is it bcz u haven't thought of software yet or you didn't like existing ones.

    1. 1

      No AI here. The checking and rewriting of the copy are all done by real humans (starting with myself at the moment).

      There could be a time in the future when we use AI for parts of the business, but that's a different type of business and business model. I haven't thought about it much to be honest.

  9. 1

    Thank you for sharing your story Jason!

    Love this business model. If you want a tip: Include Testimonials and/or Case Studies (Social Proof) - as well as Proof of work and your history / capability (Authority). It helps reduce the barrier for potential clients :)

    Keep us posted - I'm looking forward to see you progress. Hope you achieve your business goals, and move to Porto!

    1. 2

      Thanks @davoregyed. Great tip that! With the 2 clients, I'll give them another week or two of experiencing the service and then get them to give me testimonials.

      Same with the proof of work! Hadn't actually thought of that, so thanks for this!

      Yip, definitely keen to keep posting how things are going - and more importantly (for me that is) the move to Porto!

      1. 1

        Happy to help!

        When you are there, please share pictures :)

        1. 2

          I'll definitely do that! 🇵🇹

          We went on holiday to Portugal a few weeks ago and as much as we liked Lisbon, we fell in love with Porto and decided, that's where we want to move to in the next 12-18 months. Having a non-monetary goal like this does help with the motivation too.

          1. 1

            Totally. Freelance is a fantastic way to create the Lifestyle you want for yourself and beloved ones :)

  10. 1

    Was the book helpful? How? Congrats

    1. 2

      I took a bunch of notes from the book that helped me form the product offering. The offering and the guarantee are some of the things I took almost directly from the book.

      Not all of it was relevant, but it was such a quick read and only cost $0.99c that if I only got 1 tiny idea out of it, it was going to be worth it.

  11. 1

    This is such a cool story, just shows how unexpected the events can turn at each step of a journey :) Creativity and analysis wisely used together is a key to success.

  12. 1

    That was a fast pivot, copycheck for businesses and not just email

    1. 1

      Yip! I felt like I had to do something and the quick pivot has so far worked.

  13. 1

    Focus on your goals, dont take people seriously. One day you will achieve success.

  14. 1

    Nice work! Are you doing this all by yourself? If so, do you plan to scale it to other people once the load gets large enough? Or how are you planning to handle if it scales?

    1. 2

      I don't have all of it figured out. I'll definitely be hiring soon to handle the work so I can scale the business and focus more on sales & marketing.

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