Starting to feel out my chosen market

The opportunity for Indie Hackers is growing right now. More and more people are trying to build businesses online. More and more people are happy to try out new software. More and more people expect to use software while working and to pay for it. I truly believe one simply has to pick a market and do a decent job, not even great, or amazing, just good and they can make a living wage.

Think about it, I am not trying to start a company of 15 people. I don’t need to manage a payroll of 15+ people. Assuming that I was paying 15 people on average £2,000 a month that’s £30,000 a month. £360,000 a year. Thats before the office, desks, computers, software… I would be happy with £30,000 a year from my next project LOL …I wouldn’t stop there but it would be an amazing start or benchmark to hit.

Let’s look at some numbers – to hit £30,000 a year for something I could charge £29 for a month – I would need 86 users throughout the year. If it was an ebook, I would need to sell 1,034. Now there is obviously a cost per acquisition but, these numbers are obviously achievable.

Going back to look at where I am with my project for getting there. I currently have a few app ideas that I like and want to build:

  1. Digital Downloads Cart, which I am thinking of calling “Soobu”
  2. The AirBnB for ads platform

…there are others, but the main issue here is that these are not monthly subscription businesses. They are businesses that rely on the customer making sales so I can in turn make a percentage from the sale. While I know there is a lot of demand for these businesses, it also means it will be hard to get decent unit economics from paid traffic. I would have to rely on content and referrals. While I don’t think this would be impossible, it’s ideal. I want to have as many options as possible.

I will have a look through some of the other ideas I have…

  • SMS blaster – send out SMS rather than just email
  • Simple Dojo – this could be monthly but I haven’t figured out what to do about video hosting
  • Excel course for accountants…

None of these ideas are in the right vein. I will go look at the funnel of one of my personas to see what they are currently doing…

Looking at Cici the “Six Figure Chick”…

She has an Instagram profile, which she updates daily. This is where new followers find her, and where she keeps her community engaged until they are ready to buy from her.

She keeps people engaged with a mixture of Inspirational content and advice on building personal brands and businesses on Instagram.

While at first glance it would seem like there is nothing original here, she is one of the best people in the game as far as I can tell. Her delivery is rough around the edges, but she is VERY consistent and knows her market inside out. She’s built an amazing business and should be commended for it.

Back to her funnel – The link in her bio leads to a landing page with links in it…

The design of this page is very simple, clean and, to the point. It’s simply buttons with text on them, pretty much what I was trying to achieve with

When you click on the links they all lead to a page selling everything from free ebooks to $1,000+ consulting packages…

When you sit back and think about it, it’s classic internet marketing: “Buy my ebook on how I got rich selling ebooks” LOL, but it works.

While I have never used or even looked at SamCart in the past, it looks like a solid, feature rich platform…

Interestingly, you pay monthly for this platform…

This is good to know, while it would take me some time before I am able to compete from a features perspective, it means the market may not be against paying monthly for platforms like this. Having said that, I wouldn’t know what to do about transaction fees. I would have to pay these myself. While they could be rolled into the monthly fee, I think that would be a risky play.

It just occurred to me that it might be worth making a membership site, so form people pay to have access to your entire volt. Or maybe they pay to get access to the information, which is kinda in the site so there can always be ads to other things right by the content. You can add ads to ebooks as I have done lots of times in the past, but they will be out of date shortly if not handled well. I could potentially do a video on how I went about building ebooks.

Back to looking at the funnel…

Looking at Cici’s SamCart landing pages, it looks like you’re buying ebooks

Doing a quick search to see if many instagram accounts are linking to SamCart pages…

Only 413 results. This suggests that I am looking at this in the wrong place.

I will check twitter and then see if I can search

…again, not much with twitter…

Not much here for now, but back to looking at Cici’s funnel…

When you go to her site, interestingly the home page is the collection of links as seen above but, there are other pages…

She’s got…

  • A blog
  • Earn with Cici, leads to the page with links
  • About, is her story
  • Contact page

Very simple site, most of her efforts are on Instagram so, not sure she’d need much else. Interestingly, she (and I have seen this on many other sites) has a page where she talks about tools she uses on a regular basis…

This post allows me to see what tools she uses and what she likes about them. It also has comments from some of her followers. This means I can see what some of them are interested in and what their likes and dislikes are.

I can go through this to work out what she’s using and look for subscription based tools. Knowing that this is one of the common behaviours in this market makes it much easier to look for ideas. It also means I might be able to reach out to these creators to see if they would be interested in creating a review for sharing with their followers. This can be a really powerful way to grow, especially when linked to an affiliate or referral program.

I’ve got to take a break for now as I have to make something to eat and sort out some stuff before the day is over, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Using landing page inspiration sites to identify demand

One of the best ways to source ideas for products you might want to build is to look at website insporation sites. When you think about it, these are catalogs of apps that are already out there in the wild. While you can’t get indicators of how much revenue the products are making there are some tell tail signs to look for, but for now here are some sites you can use to look for ideas for products you might want to build…


Leveraging review websites to identify demand

Review websites are great because they show you want people find useful and what improvements might help to separate you from your competitors in the market…

The process has the advantage of proving that people have typically used the product before reviewing it.

SaaS Products


If you are thinking about doing an information product, book stores can be great…


How to find your market on Instagram

Let’s say you know roughly who you are talking to or are looking around for groups of people who might be interested in your service, you can probably find people on Instagram. Instagram has x million users and is part of Facebook. It has the advantage that once you are confident your users are on there, that you can use Google Ads to get in front of them.

This is not going to make sense unless you have read about identifying demand.

The current niche that I am researching is… digital entrepreneurs who are not developers. I am trying to find groups of these people, so I can see what they are working on, what they comment and hopefully what their frustrations are. My aim is to build a SaaS platform for them that meets my project criteria(link).

So, how to find people who might fit the persona…

  • #tags
  • Influencer Accounts: Followers
  • Influencer Accounts: Comments

What I am looking for…

  • Any evidence of tools currently in use and being paid for
  • Any requests for help
  • Any posts offering help that get particularly high engagement

Where it will be…

  • Comments under “what are you struggling with…”
  • Links in the bio’s this tells me what they are promoting
  • Content posted

How to record it

Crack open a spreadsheet or Notion


There are obviously lots of other places to connect with people but IG is a great place to start

How to use Twitter to understand and monitor your target market

  • Problem: keeping track of what is going on in your market and getting a feel for what they care about
  • Benefits: Using this solution will mean the people you want to follow are not drowned out
  • Solution: Leverage twitter lists
  • You want a list for
    • Each persona
    • Competitors
    • Wider EcoSystem
    • People who make engaging content: so you have an endless source of ideas
  • As you come across people who might fit your customer persona add them