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[MSM #10] Traction

Keanan Koppenhaver
Keanan Koppenhaver
Welcome back to another mid-month issue of Micro-SaaS monthly. This month, we’ve got a couple features from loyal readers as well as some discussion around how I’m experimenting with traction channels for Kanban WP, WP Pusher and Branch.

Before we dive in, I have just a couple things that I thought you, the readers, might like to know about.
Deal looking for investors
First, if anyone’s looking to invest in a Shopify app, a reader from this list is looking to put a deal together. In their own words…
“The deal size is $1.1M and [the investor] would have to cover 20% of the deal. App is currently doing $30K MRR. It has been live for 4 years and is currently operating with 50% profit margin approximately. Back in March 2020, They did $60K. They have a project manager, senior developer, mid developer, and 2 support staff. They are offering a senior developer and a support staff if I would like to have them. Right now, I’m buying code, brand, and customers.”
If this is something that sounds interesting to you, reach out to them directly on twitter @honeydreamss.
Readers also liked...
As a reader of this newsletter, there’s a good chance you’d also like another one of my very favorite newsletters, Alternative Assets. It’s a free newsletter that explores basically anything that can be considered an alternative investment, whether that’s fractional ownership of art, investing in music royalties, P2P lending, NFTs, private islands or even Micro-SaaS businesses. You can sign up to only hear about the categories you are interested in and there’s a ton of great information in there that I’ve really been enjoying.
Shoutout to Stefan and the whole team for putting out great content and being friends of Micro-SaaS Monthly.
And with that, let’s get into the meat of the newsletter.
If you read any sort of lean startup focused material or just hang out in the “digital product” space long enough, you’ll likely hear some mention of the book “Traction” by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares. The premise is essentially that there are various different marketing channels that you can use to get potential users exposed to your business and that you should test as many of them as possible, hone in on the ones that work, double down on those until they stop working as effectively and repeat the process from the beginning.
I’ll admit that I was originally resistant to the idea because I had some pretty firm ideas about how I wanted to market the various acquisitions. That was entirely a part of the strategy in acquiring them, in fact. If I didn’t have a strong idea about how I could grow the product I was looking at, I passed on it as an acquisition target. However, as I’ve been digging into the book, the authors encourage looking at every single channel and trying to brainstorm potential in every category and I’ve found it to be an interesting experience.
The obvious categories
If you’re curious as to all the traction channels they list in the book, you can find those here. However of the 19 channels detailed in the book, there were a few that I was already considering that don’t merit much more detail here in my opinion because they’re so often used as a marketing channel for software. These include Search Engine Marketing (basically ads on search results pages), Social & Display Ads (basically the same thing, but on Facebook et al), Search Engine Optimization (which I’m accomplishing by writing content), and Speaking Engagements (meetups and WordCamps, which I already planned to do plenty of).
However, there were a couple that really caused me to think outside the box and if your business needs a bit of a boost, I would highly recommend going through this exercise. One specific category that I found interesting to think about was…
Unconventional PR
This is one strategy I’ve actually been trying without having such a succinct name for it. In one of my mastermind groups, a friend of mine noted that most of the marketing stuff I was going after seemed like I was swinging for “home runs”. And I think the biggest reason for that is that the more reliable stuff I already have a plan for and so I’m discussing that less, but when I’m spending the admittedly limited funds I have available for marketing at the moment, I want to spend it in places that have the potential for outsized returns. I’ve actually already tried a couple things in this category, but haven’t seen a ton of traction yet. A couple of the things I’ve tried here:
I created a Wapuu specifically for WP Pusher and Branch and sponsored an NFT as part of the Web3 WP Wapuu minting! I’ve been in and around the crypto and web3 space for awhile now and this was something interesting that I used to kind of pair with the acquisition announcement. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been “minted” yet, but I was able to get a blog post and a backlink out of the deal and enjoyed the process.
Michelle Frechette - eternal optimist
Who wants to sponsor some content that I'm drooling to write? Namely: WordCamps are back in person in 2022: the good, the bad, the fearful
I’m sponsoring a piece of content! This is my first time doing something like this, but I’m really excited to be able to get back to WordCamps when it’s safe and welcoming events like that are something that I definitely want to be associated with and participate in. And what better way to be associated with that than by helping someone who knows a lot about WordCamps share her thoughts? This has yet to be published so the ROI on this one is still TBD!
And finally…
Keanan Koppenhaver
A slightly different type of #buildinpublic tweet.

But coming soon, a whole new way to "push-to-deploy". Can you see the resemblance?
You’ll have to click through to see the second picture that’s part of the tweet, but I’ve been kicking around the idea of building a physical version of the WP Pusher button that’s in the logo. The idea would be that it could sit on a table at a conference and have a website on a display behind it. When someone walked up and pressed the button, WP Pusher would initiate a code deploy and update that website live! Still working out some design tweaks and actually writing the code to make that work, but many thanks to my grandpa and my brother for helping this one along! Excited to see where this goes and I think it could be something that could generate a lot of buzz and be pretty memorable once in-person events start up again.
What else?
I hope this was a helpful deep dive and that you take a look into the various traction channels to maybe find something to inspire your business!
Are there any questions you have that I didn’t cover in this issue or is there something you wanted to ask about specifically? Just hit reply here, or if you’re more comfortable with Twitter, my DMs are always open @kkoppenhaver. I’d love to answer your questions in a future edition of Micro-SaaS Monthly, so let’s talk!
Until next time!
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Keanan Koppenhaver
Keanan Koppenhaver @kkoppenhaver

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