How Gummy Search reached $80k ARR by using its own product
Gummy Search helps you find people on Reddit who are looking for your solution.
What does Gummy Search do?
Gummy Search allows you to find, organize and search communities on Reddit, which in turn lets you find customers on the platform. You can ideate startups, validate products, inspire content and find sales leads. All for targeted niche communities.
Fed originally built it as a personal tool for marketing his own product. Before Gummy Search, he was working on another community tool. He wanted a way to get some traction before SEO and content kicked in. So he wrote some scripts to find subreddit groups for founders. This was the v0 of Gummy Search.
👨👨👦👦 Who is Gummy Search’s target audience?
Originally Fed built Gummy Search for indie hackers and early stage founders. In the early days, these were the people willing to convert into paid customers. Over the past few years, however, he’s gotten more traction with agencies, venture capital studios and even in-house workers.
📈 How has 2022 gone for Gummy Search?
This year, Gummy Search will do $80k in revenue. It just crossed the 5k user mark.
📝 How has Gummy Search grown so far?
Gummy Search is itself a growth tool. So to state the obvious, he has used the social listening features of his own product to spread the word on Reddit. This was the original intent after all! He spends 10 minutes each day to find conversations to join.
Fed is also big on product-led growth with a foot in the door strategy. If you can get people using your product at a small, inconsequential stage, you can easily scale this into a functioning monetization model. The key is to sure the first step is self serve to make it easy to get the foot in the door.
How did he use his own product for growth?
One of biggest use cases is finding people in online communities who are already talking about topics you could jump into as an expert. For example, if he is looking to pitch his product to startup founders in communities, he can setup keywords to track like “research tool” or “audience research” in founder communities.
From their he expands keywords related to desired outcomes. Sticking with the example of startup founders, “find my first customers” or “validate my solution” are also basically certain to be relevant to his product.
On Reddit, however, people don’t love you chiming in to pitch your product (even if it is a genuinely valuable scenario such as this). So he often sends a link to a free trial or a blogpost that directly answers their questions. It’s a win-win-win. The person gets a solution, Fed gets a customers and the community finds out about a new resource.
If you’re trying this for yourself, post things as comments. A well posted comment can get you 50 new customers!
You should also of course look at the subreddit groups. Posting your own product is all dependent on the community, their norms and rules, and your own context of posting. Some communities will let you self-promote all you want! Others will let it by IF highly relevant. Some don’t allow links at all.
Anti-self promotion subreddits can still work, but you might have to write the whole post that people appreciate, then add another comment to your comment with a link to the blog if they want to “learn more”. Responding to people’s posts in comments also very rarely sees negative reaction (so long as it answers someone’s question). Just be there for the right reasons!
You’ll be fine as long as you:
Read the post
Understand what they are asking
Make sure the link is to “learn more” (not to get the answer itself)
Other things that helped with growth
Building in public on Twitter
Fed doesn’t have anything revolutionary to say here. He just engages, asks people for advice and shares his own experiences and results. If you do that while building something genuinely interesting, people are likely to follow along.
He also gets a lot of attention from Indie Hackers and other tech platforms.
Launching a lifetime deal
This is actually where a lot of Fed’s recent traction came from in the past year. The idea came from a churned customer. When someone canceled, Fed asked them why. They said that they loved the tool but didn’t need it every month. If there was a lifetime deal, that would be something they would use.
So, he made a deal where you could get lifetime access for 10x the monthly subscription price at the time. He let the email list know they could do the same thing. To his surprise, this got picked up in a lot of “lifetime deal communities” (which is apparently a thing). Basically groups of people that hunt out “lifetime deals” on products to snag.
He got over a 10x jump in revenue, brining in $50k in just two months. Grant it, this is not MRR, because of the lifetime deal. But a lot of it are from sales he would not have gotten without the deal. So he thinks of it almost as a pre-seed round of revenue, and great validation. He also got a lot of new information and exposure.
If you’re interested in offering a lifetime deal, seek out those communities on Facebook, along with specific Reddit communities. There’s a whole culture behind people who hunt them out. Fed started joining these communities himself and even did a webinar demo. People looking for these deals have a higher risk tolerance. They are early adopters. A lot of them run agencies, so if they get a good deal on a lifetime offer it can be a huge deal. Sure the company could go under, but overall it’s a net positive.
Fed let his deal last for 2 months before stopping it. It’s all about the hype, and that’s why it’s great to do early on. You can always relaunch a couple of time.