Establishing and Running a SaaS startup is a buzz conversation you will hear across the coffee shops, it seems to have made people crazy rich in a rather small timeframe.
But then again, it’s in no way a safe route, a safe route towards entrepreneurship or business is imitating what has already worked in your inner circle with maybe your peers.
A Digital Marketing Agency, for example, it’s in no way a novel business model that would have a hard time finding customers. It’s been around for years and it’s considerably safe that’s why you will see a new Digital Agency being established every now and then.
But a SaaS Startup on the other hand is quite tricky.
In more than 90% of cases, your SaaS Startup is a new idea in the market. Maybe you are trying to solve a problem that your target customers don’t even realize that they have.
Or maybe they turn a blind eye to it.
The challenge with a SaaS (software as a service) product is to generate the demand.
And it is difficult because you are not trying to generate demand for a product that already has a market like toothpaste for example.
You want to create demand for the product that no one has heard of, in fact, you’re inventing the need for the problem to be solved.
HubSpot for example is a SaaS CRM product that helps businesses align their sales and marketing functions, generate, nurture and convert their leads.
The SaaS startup that you are planning might be fundamentally new.
Here are some growth strategies that might help you
1. Communities are an awesome place to begin
The industry or subordinating for which you have created your SaaS product may already have communities online, you just have to get there, connect with people, and pitch your product.
Here I am not recommending to spam the communities, there are subtle ways to go about this.
You can find some really awesome communities on platforms like Facebook, Reddit, Indiehackers, Discord, and more.
It helps if you have been active in these communities for the industries that these communities represented.
Leveraging the art of storytelling you can hook the community to at least heed to your product, understand the problem it solves.
The important thing here is to not outright sell your product. Remember you are not an e-commerce business. You’re an early-stage SaaS startup that is still looking for target customers. The goal here is to get people to take your product for a free trial spin.
2. Referrals are a holy grail for novel products
If you are creating a SaaS product that already has exact alternatives in the market, then it hardly constitutes a new hot product in the market.
But if your SaaS Product is fundamentally new that stirs up the conversation in pilot mode then the thing that you are gonna need to drive the sales is referrals.
PayPal, Dropbox, WeChat among many others have done it and observed phenomenal results. In fact, many growth hackers have admitted that it was this thing that got their client’s SaaS startup off the ground in the first place.
You need to incentivize the referrals. Think of people referring to your product as your brand ambassadors. And once they see the monetary outcome to it, they will promote your product as if it’s their own.
3. Build your tool such that it is compatible with other subordinating platforms
This is an amazing growth hack to get your product visibility where your target audience lies.
And I can prove it with some examples.
Instagram is used mostly by millennials and generations younger than them who would want to flaunt their playlist this made a perfect niche audience for Spotify.
Spotify songs can be shared on Instagram stories, users viewing the story can tap on Spotify and finish listening to the song on Spotify. A perfect collaboration between Spotify and Instagram.
Coming to online business tool.
A lot of people leverage Zapier and IFTT to automate certain tasks. Your digital tool should have Zapier integration so that your niche audience can discover your product on Zapier and moreover use it to build some amazing zaps.
4. Collaborate with an industry influencer
Yes, you read that right. Even SaaS products can have influencers that can help you tap a very specific audience.
Take Surfer SEO Tool, for example, Surfer Collaborated with Mathew Woodward who shines in the SEO Industry.
Mathew Woodward took their On-Page SEO tool for a spin for a client site and developed an amazing case study that tilted heads all across the industry and that did make quite a buzz.
If that wasn’t enough, Surfer hosted a webinar that was hosted and led by Mathew Woodward which saw great participation among the target audience.