A Step-By-Step Approach If I Would Start a Bootstrapped SaaS Startup Today

I know how hard it is to market a startup with no budget.

I’ve bootstrapped a startup from 0 to 7 figures…

Let me walk you through the steps I’d take if I had to do it again (with an example):

1/ Start with the underserved problem.

We should use a fictitious example to understand how I’d approach it.

CRM for Tiktok creators.

Problem: There is no way to stay engaged with fans. I’ll build a CRM to stay in touch with fans and connect all other complementary tools.

2/ Investing in the brand from day one.

Product differentiation in SaaS is going away.

Emotional attachment and trust will lead.

I would obviously start a TikTok account and focus on the creators’ challenges.

Basically, use content marketing to build the brand.

3/ Double-down on ONE social media channel.

Tiktok is my obvious choice.

Many folks struggle because they don’t focus on one social media.

Content about creators challenges with their businesses & my product e.g. How to convert the followers to subscribers to super fans?

4/ Building an audience with my newsletter.

Social media audiences are rented & email is owned.

I will focus on one 3–2–1 format on my topic.

3 viral videos to inspire, 2 ideas to launch & 1 music trend to use in your next video.

Actionable content is the key to winning.

5/ Starting with a specific niche.

If you are speaking to everybody, you are speaking to nobody.

Target creators between 10K-100K followers in the beauty category.

Based on the Tiktok creator marketplace, I’ll only focus on TikTok creators in beauty & fashion.

6/ Cold outreach for product validation.

Since there is no search volume for the product.

I will reach out to 10–20 creators. I’ll pay them $100 for their time.

And ask a bunch of questions if they have similar problems.

Example 👇

7/ Website that resonates with my audience.

I’ll buy a domain that is super obvious (although, I might change it later)

I’ll build a landing page based on the problems I have observed.

Share that landing page with TikTok creators who have similar problems.

8/ Validation = Paid early access only.

Once the product is validated I have a huge list.

Paid validation is the only way to know if the problem is huge enough.

Now, I have some money to build and hire a developer.

9/ Virality trick: Invite-only referral program(the Clubhouse way).

It caters toward the vanity/ego/clout of the person making the referral.

Social capital has a higher incentive than dollar capital.

With this, I’ll make sure the product gets into the right hands as well.

10/ Start SEO early (it’s a free distribution channel).

I will ask creators questions and validate them with SEO.

I will answer them for SEO but also distribute them in my newsletter.

11/ Launch with creators to get viral.

Creators will share their videos on how the product helps them(influencer marketing) and then I will create a leaderboard.

The top 10 most viewed video creators will have 0.1–0.5% advisory shares. This leads to continuous promotion.

12/ Partnership to unlock the next steps.

CRMs usually complement other tools.

I will build a partnership after the launch & keep copromoting to the same audience.

Then I have content marketing, SEO, influencer marketing, and partnership figured out to scale later.

Lastly, I have made a lot of assumptions here but you can see what I did. But channels & approaches are similar that you can take away.

Build an audience before launching.

Most founders don’t think this way.

That’s the lesson.

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