I raised $10k for my SaaS with Life-time Deal (LTD)

published on 10 August 2023

This article has a video version. Watch it on YouTube here πŸ‘€ It has memes!

What if I say you can quit your desk job and go full-time with your own startup? What if I say there's a way to pay your bills without becoming a slave of investors or getting a risky loan? In this video, you will learn how I managed to get an instant $10k cash injection for my SaaS without selling any stocks, without making a legal entity, without any risks, and without having rich parents.

And now I'm not offering you to sell drugs. We'll talk about SaaS Lifetime Deals.

Traditional ways of funding

But first, let's briefly cover the three traditional ways of fundraising. First in the list venture capital. Rich guys with money who want you to help them to make even more money.

So why VC isn't cool? There are reasons for that. First, they will want you to make a legal entity to sign a contract, but why spend time and cash on incorporation before validating your idea? It's stupid. Next, finding an investor is a full-time job. It'll take you from three to 12 months of your life.

Do you have so much time?

Trust me, I spent 10K euros on a paperwork for a top European accelerator and I won. They offered me 150,000€ for 10% contract, but I declined it because the terms turned out to be enslaving

Next FFF β€” Friends, family, Fools. If you don't have rich parents or a kid of Bill Gates on your friends list, forget about this option.

Fools. Fools are rich people who can sponsor you without any strict responsibility. VC will get you to sign 10 papers and piss you off with their due diligence, a fool will just send you money because you are a cool guy. Do you know such fools? No.

So stop dreaming and let's focus on real things.

Clients the most effective, the only right way to fund your startup. But there is a problem. It's hard to make sales, especially at the beginning. If you are already making sales, you don't need this video, you would better spend time on, you know, making the sales. Having clients as the only investors sounds cool, but rarely works.

LTD

Okay, so let's be a realist. You don't expect money from vc, F, F, F or clients, but you still need some cash to say your boss, goodbye and focus on your own venture. Consider running a tiny Life-Time Deal (LTD) campaign. It's a relatively easy way to get a cash injection. I did that when I was starting my SaaS this way.

I raised 10K from 50 persons. My plan was to build a SaaS while burning the money I got from selling these licenses. And when I am out of the funds, the SaaS must be at least ramen and profitable. It worked smoothly. Let's see how I did this in details.

You want to promise people to build a SaaS, they give you cash today and use your SaaS.

Later. It's a win-win situation. You get funding to make your startup, they get a lifetime access to your SaaS. While your future clients will have to pay a monthly fee, these early buyers will only pay once

they put a bet on you. It's risky, but if you deliver what you promised they will benefit a lot.

Imagine paying $200 once instead of $90 every month. This is exactly what the buyers of my lifetime deal offer are feeling now. So design a sexy offer. Here is an example of what I did. I offered 50 lifetime deal licenses, $180 each. The owners of this license were promised to have an unlimited amount of websites, whereas regular clients of my landing page builder have to pay $150/m for having 100 websites.

Why just 50 licenses? I could easily sell 100 and even more and earn four times more money. But I consciously limited the amount of licenses. Why? Because I did the calculations and it turned out this amount of funds would be just enough for me. Having those calculations and the reasonable limit also helped me to build the trust.

I gave them an opportunity to acquire something unique, but they had to trust me and support me with their money.

Having a sweet offer isn't enough. You need to sell yourself too. Why? You promise people something in the future, so they must be sure you can actually deliver To do that. Show off your background. When I was selling my lifetime deal, I presented a couple of successful HTML and WordPress themes. I made people saw my works.

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image-kph7u

And it was easy for them to verify my expertise and remove their concerns. If you don't have really want experience, try to pay more attention on your education or relevant connections if you have nothing. Well there is still a way an MVP Yes, make a solid MVP, which will have 5% of the future features.

In my case, I presented an MVP of my website builder. It took me 160 hours to build it.

My story of making the MVP: https://isora.me/from-idea-to-mvp-in-160-hours/

The MVP was nothing special, but it was working smoothly. Somebody even made a real website with that. If you show them a working MVP people will trust you. It'll turn you from a ShutterBox into a maker and dramatically increase your chances.

Having MVP background and a sexy offer is 90% of their success, but you can easily boost it even more. Proof the potential buyers that you will deliver that.

Why you are making all this, why you're here. If people understand your passion, they will naturally be more willing to support you. In my case, I was selling the idea that all the existing website builders are complicated, and I believe that making web pages must be easy and joyful. I really do think so. My mission resonates many hearts and it helps to move forward.

So we are ready to promote your offer now. First, make a webpage with all the details. Make it hosted on your own domain name. If you publish it on free subdomain, on Notion or Google Doc, it'll make it look less reputable.

Add a progress bar to indicate how many licenses are left for sale. It'll make the feeling of fear, of missing opportunity and increase the sales. A detailed roadmap will also play a big role. Make them think that you know where exactly you are going and what are the product milestones.

Promoting

Now let's bring some eyeballs here. Here is what I did first. I sent the page to my network friends, people who have worked with me, people who have hired me as a freelancer, the followers, and I instantly sold two copies, 400 bucks. Not too much, you might say, but now that's a lot. The first dollar you earn on your tool is the most valuable.

It gives you wings because it validates the whole thing . If you made two sales, you know that you can make 22 sales or 100 sales. The distance between zero and one is much more bigger than between one and 100.

Okay, 2 is done. Now time to move next.

I launched my SaaS on Product Hunt. I added the homepage as a product URL, not the deal page.

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Instead, I put the link to the offer. In the first comment, I won't pay much attention about launching our Product Hunt. Now I have an entire playlist on my channel.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2DGUPI6dxrZbcg5voRYXa9bPQn5_Xq5k

You can watch it if you want.

This way product hunters have bought another 23 licenses and I am at 50% now. Oh, that's a half.

But how do I sell the rest 25 licenses? Nothing but a pure luck helped me. I was approached by the founder of a Facebook group that highlights LTD deals such as mine.

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I couldn't even think about this, but there is a market of such deals and there are plenty of Facebook groups that are hunting for them.

I was offered to post my deal there, and so I did. Publishing on this group didn't only help me to sell the rest of the licenses. I also met amazing folks there. First, the founder of the group. He still supports me after five years. He publishes my product, hand launches in his group so his audience can support me.

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The people who bought the licenses turned out to be the most loyal users I ever had. I still keep in contact with many of them, and they also support me and my project.

Playbook

So guys, here's the playbook. There is a niche of Facebook groups who are hunting for lifetime deals. Find some of them and connect with the owners.

Pitch them your deal page and ask their feedback on it. Then gently ask if they would find it relevant to have your offer posted on their Facebook group. If you do all this, you'll be able to raise funds and still own the entire company. You'll also get a huge motivational boost because you took money from people and promised them to deliver.

No one will put pressure on you, but you will feel the pressure. Trust me.

AppSumo?

Those of you who have some experience may ask me, what about AppSumo? Well, you can go to AppSumo, but. It's a far more serious campaign at it demands much more careful preparation. By the way, I did a successful AppSumo launch and you learn about this, my experience in a future article here.

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But for now, all you need to know about AppSumo is that it's something big. You don't need that serious campaign. A quick injection of $10k to $30k would be more than enough for a small startup, and AppSumo is an overkill for that.

Good luck!

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