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My entire marketing strategy (+ December 2021 updates)

Tony Dinh
Tony Dinh
Hello everyone! This is Tony 👋

Hello Hacker News! For context, this post is the latest issue of my monthly newsletter where I share the progress building BlackMagic.so & DevUtils.app. Check my previous issues to see more details about the products and my journey. Cheers!
First of all, happy new year! 🎆
I wish you and all of your loved one’s health and happiness in the new year!
This month’s issue is late because I was on vacation 🥳
I did not take a break after I quit my full-time job in September.
In December, I reached 3K MRR with Black Magic.
I finally have the confidence to take things a bit slowly, take care more of myself, and go on this vacation I really need.
So what happened in December? In this issue, I’ll write about:
  • Magic Sidebar’s launch stats
  • My entire marketing strategy for the launch
  • What’s next in 2022
Let’s get to it! 😄
🚀 Magic Sidebar is launched!
After 2 months of beta testing and waiting for Apple to approve the iOS app, I finally launched the latest product of Black Magic: Magic Sidebar on Product Hunt! 🥳
Tony Dinh 🎯
WE MADE IT!

🥇 #1 Product of the day (for the whole day)
❤️ 1,038 votes
💬 330 comments
✍️ 29 reviews
🌐 25,946 website visits
👥 431 new users (trial)
💳 4 new paid users

I'll report back in 14 days to see how many % convert!

Thank you, EVERYONE! I'm so HAPPY!!! ❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/XGWeTWGFAu
With the overwhelming support from you all. We have reached:
🥇 #1 Product of the Day
🥈 #2 Product of the Week
🥈 #2 Product of the Month
Thank you, everyone!
Super grateful to have your support! ❤️
Super grateful to have your support! ❤️
📈 Launch Stats
As of now, ~17 days after the launch, here are the stats.
Before launch:
  • 👥 1,660 active users
  • 🤝 248 paid users
  • 💵 $2,164 MRR
Launch day (16th Dec → 17th Dec):
  • 👥 2,091 active users (431 new trials sign up)
  • 🤝 252 paid users
  • 💵 $2,228 MRR
17 days after launch (now):
  • 👥 2,845 active users
  • 🤝 292 paid users
  • 💵 $3,141 MRR
I wish Paddle give me a better charts so I can zoom in around the launch period 😅
I wish Paddle give me a better charts so I can zoom in around the launch period 😅
As you may notice, a huge chunk of customers come some time after the launch. That’s because I have 14-day trials, and people usually take time to assess if Black Magic is worth the purchase.
I ran the numbers for those who signed up for trials within the launch day to see how many converted after 14 days.
The conversion rate is 3.2%, which is a good conversion rate according to people on my Twitter 😄
Tony Dinh 🎯
So today is the end of the 14 days trial from the Black Magic's launch.

14 people out of 431 new sign-ups I have from the launch subscribed to a paid plan.

That's ~3.2% conversion rate.

This is ok, I think 🤔
I’m more than happy to declare that this is a successful launch! It’s also my best launch ever on Product Hunt! 😸
🎡 My entire marketing strategy
Let’s just get right into it: Here is how I do marketing and all things that contributed to the success of this launch.
1. The background
Before the launch. Even before the beta program. Even further than that. I built an audience on Twitter. From this tweet, you can see that I had 13.9K followers when I started the beta program 2 months ago.
Tony Dinh 🎯
A completely new Twitter Web experience! ✨

Coming out soon....... https://t.co/s4BvwbtcKx
That’s not a small audience at all, and the success of the beta program and the launch are heavily affected by the existing audience I have.
That’s what you should do, even if you don’t have any product at the moment: building an audience.
(I plan to write about my journey building an audience on Twitter at some point, this issue is already too long! – Stay tuned! 😊)
2. The free users
I have ~6,500 free users before the beta program. Most are people who use the other fun features of Black Magic like Profile Progress Bar, Real-time banner, etc.
After 2 months of beta program, the total free users was ~9,800.
Free users require a lot of resources to serve (server cost, support, etc.), but there are a lot of potentials to convert a lot of people to paid customers.
The launch announcement also helps to gather more attention/support, which is extremely valuable!
So, if possible, you should offer some free features or free tiers of your product!
3. Offer free beta & build in public
It almost feels wrong to consider this as marketing, but it actually helped me a lot during the 2 months of running the beta program!
The beta was not actually “free”, it was an invite-only beta. I ask people to reply to my tweets to get an invitation.
So you could say I traded the beta memberships for some Twitter engagements, which translates to more visibility to the product, which translates to marketing!
Here is an example:
Tony Dinh 🎯
Magic Sidebar now can also help you:

– Get tweet inspirations for your next tweet!
– Identify your best time to tweet
– Bookmark your favorite people to keep in touch with them

Reply "👋" below for an invite code! 😄 https://t.co/q3arkKkSCD
This was not the only “marketing” tweet. In fact, I have a long list of 20+ tweets like this in a super long thread here. Each one shows off a feature and typically gets about 100 likes.
With this strategy, I was able to recruit a lot of beta users, gain visibility for the product even without a proper marketing landing page.
4. Things to do during the launch day
Product Hunt gives me 24 hours to do whatever I can to get as much attention to the launch as possible. Here is what I did:
As you can see, that was a lot of content and activities for a 1-person army. I took a few days before the launch to prepare all the content needed.
It was unfortunate that there was a very popular Web3 product the week I launched, so I lost the #1 weekly and monthly spot. But I’m very happy nonetheless and wouldn’t change a thing if I were doing it again.
#2 is good enough for me! 😄
Can you copy this marketing strategy?
Probably.
I don’t see anything I do here that cannot be copied by others, so I think you can totally do it.
One thing that will definitely help is to have a good product and have a reach the product’s target audience. In my case, I have an audience on Twitter, and I build a product for Twitter. It’s a perfect match.
Good luck!
🥰 So, what's next for Black Magic?
My target for 2022 is to grow Black Magic to $10K MRR.
However, I will take things a bit more slowly now that I have reached profitable and have good recurring revenue.
To be honest, during the launch and the last 2 months running the beta for Magic Sidebar, I was a bit burned out. I enjoyed it, but there is no way I can continue working at that rate for a long time 😂
As they said, entrepreneurship is a marathon.
🎆 What's next for me in 2022?
BlackMagic.so is not my only product. I’m also developing DevUtils.app.
I’m a bit ashamed for not releasing a new update for it for the last 2 months 😅
In 2022, here are my priorities:
  • New updates for DevUtils every 2 months or so.
  • New features/improvements for Black Magic every week (it’s easier to iterate more frequent for web app/SaaS).
  • Doing marketing in between.
  • Tweeting and sharing on my Twitter and this newsletter.
  • Chilling
I have a long list of items in my backlog for both products and I don’t think I will ever run out of things to do for both of them!
Stay tuned for a new update for DevUtils in January! 🥳
❤️ That's all for now!
I hope you learned a thing or two!
If you like what you read here, please share it with your friends. I will greatly appreciate it!
Until next time! 👊
Tony
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Tony Dinh
Tony Dinh @tdinh_me

Monthly updates about my indie hacking journey, what I have built and learned.

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