July 2021: I have to learn marketing

  • Monthly Update

I’m a software developer. I want to learn how to create a business. This is my journey.

My purpose with is to learn how SaaS works. I was utterly surprised last month to get my first paying customers. It made me realize that my app provides value to somebody. It is a great feeling. I love the rush that comes with every new subscriber notification. It’s not so much because of the money. It’s because somebody, who I don’t know, is willing to pay money to use my app. This is a feeling my employment never gave me.

At the same time, I know that now there is no time for idleness. Stagetimer now has ten active customers. Way more than I could have imagined. Yet very little in the grand scheme of things. Especially considering that in July I only gained two new customers. Of course, I have explanations for this. Due to corona, there are almost no conferences or live events taking place. Also, it’s July, so people are taking a vacation. But I know that I can’t get away with these excuses. The only one I would be lying to is myself.

I know that I have to do marketing. As a developer adding features comes naturally to me, and I did a great deal of that during the last months. But as a founder, I have to learn marketing. My first foray into this foreign land was on the 1. of July when I sent out a very simple welcome email to all my new customers. It only contained three lines. One to introduce myself and express thankfulness. Another to ask two simple questions, “how did you come across the app, and how are you using it”. And the last to explain the reason behind the questions, mainly because of my insecurity for bothering people.

And yes, I wanted to know just that. How did people find my app? How are they using it? I cannot assume to know which problems my app is solving. I have to listen to those who spend money on it. For example, Dashcom uses it as I had envisioned it, letting his studio guests know when their time is up. Pat from, on the other hand, managed to get it working with a Raspberry Pi 7" touch screen. I love this use case! I don’t have experience with the professional audio-video production world, so I want to learn as much from my customers as possible.

Projecting it into the room (Dashcom)
On a Raspberry Pi (Pat, scissors for scale)

In retrospect, this month gave me a feeling for the customer. Who is he? How did he find me? Google seemed to be a prevalent answer. So naturally, Google will be my focus next month. I don’t necessarily want to be in first position in searches. But I want to be among the first ten. And when people see my search result they should have a solid idea of what does and where it excels.

And for that, I need to learn marketing and copywriting. I am also writing these monthly updates for this reason. To be able to put ideas into text and to make them easy to read. I’m still far away from that, but I’m taking my first steps.


Stagetimer €85 MMR