Grow by helping someone else's audience

A lot of marketing advice revolves around having a large audience. But what if you don't have your own yet?

Publish Date
Sep 1, 2022
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What does Rubini Solutions do?

Mike Rubini runs his own company – Rubini Solutions. He builds and runs a number of different SaaS projects, some free and some paid (currently has 7 that currently make money and 3 that are free). A few of these are used as engineering side projects.
As a general process, Mike builds the projects, then has a small team run them. He reached $100k ARR on his own without any help. Now has a small team including a VA and a few sales people (although they are educated on everything, not just sales). He doesn’t have any developers managing the projects. Everyone is a contractor. He does all of the development himself to this day.
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👨‍👨‍👦‍👦 Target Audiences

The target is different depending on the market of the SaaS product, although there is some overlap with certain projects.

📈 How has it gone so far for ?

Mike just recently hit $20k MRR 🎉
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📝 How did Mike to it?

Mike uses 2 different processes to create his products:

  1. Take a feature that is non-essential, put the feature into a market where it could be a core product.
      • This is a repeatable process if you already have a core business. If you’re tempted to build a feature but it doesn't quite fit your product or business model , turn it into a side product (exactly how Tweet Hunter got to $20k MRR)
      • Do one thing and do it well, take out the non-essential features and move into a different market
      Example: Product called Cart - an eCommerce tool data on products, vendors, sales etc. Mike added a feature to analyze sales, but then took out the feature which was non-essential to the core product and pushed it to new market (investors and SEO people) in order to monetize.
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  1. Or the focus of this piece, use an existing audience - look at course creators, podcasters, etc.
      • Take the course (or consume the content), spin the wheel and see if there is a potential to build a SaaS behind one of it’s solutions or topics.
      • The course creators usually have a one-time fee, but would like to have recurring revenue which, Software can provide. They essentially do the marketing for you.
        • Ex. Dealflow - deal flows for microaquisitions. He aggregates deals from all marketplaces. The course creator instructing how to acquire a business endorses the tool.

How to create solutions for someone else’s audience

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  1. Find someone with an audience (podcaster, course creator, community, etc.)
      • Note who the audience is, what the goal of the content is, why the audience is there, etc.
  1. Start consuming their content to come up with ideas
      • Know yourself and what you are capable of creating
        • Don’t plan to build a technically complicated tool if you don’t know how.
      • Lean into what your expertise is
        • For example, Mike is a pro at data collection and aggregation, so creating these types of tools are a huge plus for him.
      • Look for things they are lacking a tool in (using spreadsheets and hack solutions for, or areas where people have a lot of questions)
      • Look for Mircodata - clues left behind by your competitors.
        • Go into competitor launches (Product Hunt, comments on ads, etc.), don’t pay attention to the founders, but how the target market is perceiving the launch. Rebuild what they aren’t doing
          • This gives you data on the product that there is already a demand for. It’s is what Mike did with Treendly
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  1. Once you have created the thing, reach out to the creator (or multiple creators in the space)
      • Ask them to feature your tool, in exchange for featuring their course or content in your tool.
      • Think about these people as business partners. Choose carefully, they may not have experience with SaaS.
        • NOTE: Mike always launches on Product Hunt, but just gives a boost. This is not a consistent growth channel.

🤨 Other ways to grow and make money off of side projects

  1. Have low priced self-serve SaaS model that you can monetize through a newsletter that you subscribe to.
      • Aim for something around $90/$100 per year. Always have a free plan.
      • Treendly is an example of this. It also has a really expensive monthly plan that just pushes people into the Yearly. It should be priced low enough that it’s an impulse buy so you get a lot of tis sales velocity. Every user is also a subscriber, and that’s how you monetize.
        • Mike does lots of cross-marketing between projects
  1. Create B2B high tickets SaaS like products - no trial, no free plans, no discounts.
      • Usually $500+ per month with an even higher ticket plan that’s POA.
        • Signal is an example of this - they categorize company signals (news, reports, etc.) to identify critical information behind company trajectories. Things like increasing headcount, investing in something, etc. Investors can then buy this data. It’s not self-serve, you need to speak with someone to buy the product. Direct sales, ads, etc.
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Follow Mike and his growth progress on Twitter!