I was listening to two founders on Twitter Spaces talking about both ends of the spectrum when it came charging for their Saas. One wanted to charge (and they are), the other one didn't care about it so much (for now). Then a discussion about the founder of carrd.co came up and how he focused on creating a long time value initially and charged later, affordably.
Here's the AMA carrd founder had a week or so ago on IndieHackers.
I could so relate to these founders' conundrum.
With my previous product (Claritask.com) I started charging right away and this was because of two reasons:
- I needed the money and desperately wanted to get out of the grind of consulting for clients.
- I was following the "advice" of many to charge right away, because "clients who pay have skin in the game and can provide the best feedback".
Looking back, I don't really agree with any of those reasons, because, as a reply to my pointers above —
- Whatever you're feeling, your users will feel it to. If you're desperate for money, your users will see that coming out of your pores and run away.
- The advice to "charge right away" works in certain contexts. Especially when you have a huge following that can potentially respond well to your product.
Charging early may have alienated potential users. Users who would have otherwise taken a chance with my product and would have helped me make it better. Something I could have then confidently charged for.
Thinking back, having had that paywall upfront might have been a big turn off for users, especially since I didn't have a huge following in the industry I was trying to serve.
My new approach
With my new product (blogstatic.io) I am taking a new approach. Since I am not so much in a rush to generate revenue, I want to make a product that really resonates with the blogger and initially (at least while in Alpha phase) remove any barriers from anyone wanting to try and use the product.
I want to create value and genuinely help the user.
My advise at this point is:
- Postpone charging if you can afford it and focus on creating value first.
- Genuinely help the user achieve their goal.
- Remove their frustrations and anxieties.
- Once your product is starting to resonate with a specific crowd, start introducing a pricing structure that is a no-brainer to pay for the user.
With this approach, you're creating value with your product offering, as well as with your pricing structure.
A winning situation for the person you are trying to serve.