$0-$11.5K In Revenue With A Test - How You Can Do The Same

Jelani Abdus-Salaam
January 24, 2021

In June I took a course on ideation with the founder of Udemy (a billion-dollar company) and the founder of The Hustle 9-figure company.

I had an idea and told them about it. They said if I wanted to pursue that idea that I could for sure make a full-time income...

I don't know why but those words intrigued me.

Not that I didn't believe in myself, but something about them egging me on to actually build this idea was satisfying.

So I went to work.

I started drafting what this idea could look like, how it would solve problems, and why anyone would want to buy this thing.

Instead of building it, I did something different...I worked backwards.

I made a landing page to see if there was actual interest.

(This is something I learned along time ago, to get sales/interest first before you have an actual product...It will save you money and time)

I brainstormed and came up with the name Cartfuel.

Job post

I went into different community forums and started posting my landing page and before you know it I had over 100 people signed up for a beta with no product.

Job post

I used Figma to design the UI myself after watching this YouTube Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMG6rQTgBsg

Here are the early versions of the UI:


Job post

Now that I had some interest it was time to build. I went to Upwork and found developers from Ukraine, India, Mexico, and Pakistan.

Sidenote: If you want to go this route of hiring developers from different countries I would recommend that you are very clear in what you are asking for. To do this I suggest Slack for daily communication and Loom for video explanations for EVERYTHING.

I was able to build an MVP and get it looking good enough, working well
enough, that people asked for more features, they wanted Cartfuel to do more and be more so I had to think about what I wanted to do.

I got a small investment from Family and Friends but it wasn't enough.

That is where AppSumo comes into play.

We knew that AppSumo could be a risky play because lifetime deals are not a sustainable business model, but we did it anyway haha (slightly because I wanted to fulfill my dream to be listed on there with my own software)

And, I am glad we did.

We launched on the AppSumo Marketplace (different from AppSumo main deals) in October and we had had 100s of conversations and so far made $11.5k in revenue. On a test.

Second side note: Here are some tips if you do decide to release your product on the marketplace:
  1. Make sure you have a support team in place. You will get a lot of questions and you want to make sure you respond to them in a timely fashion. A support team can be just you, or you can find a VA and have them do it. Regardless, you need to make sure you are handing the support questions. Bonus tip: use something like Tidio to handle support questions via LiveChat (they have a free plan)
  2. Have a marketing plan in place. In order to make the best out of the marketplace make sure that you have some type of marketing plan. For us, we use Facebook groups, Twitter, and community forums to find people who may be interested in our product. It worked great!
  3. Listen. Listen to the community. Listen to all feedback regardless if it's good or bad. Understand why they are saying what they are saying so that you can make your product better.
  1. Be kind. Not everyone is going to support you. You will find people who are just trolling or jealous. Be kind to them anyway and thank them for their feedback.
  2. Have a product roadmap. People want to support you but they also want to make sure what they are buying will continue to be worked on after the deal is done. It's very important to sumo-lings!

It was a win-win. We got revenue AND were able to talk to our customers on how to make Cartfuel better.

That $11.5k will now go to building new features, improving UX/UI, and making sure that the foundation of the application is so solid that our churn is next to nothing.

The point of this post is to say that sometimes our ideas need a little push. Share your ideas with others because you'll never know who will inspire you to take the next step in your life that changes it forever.

Then once you have that little push, create a plan, and then execute.

After all, ideas are nothing without execution.

Last Sidenote: Surround yourself with like-minded people. It will change your life.

Mind helping us out?

Part of the way we measure success is by seeing if our content is shareable. If you got value from this post, we'd appreciate a click to tweet or a click to share on LinkedIn.
By
Jelani Abdus-Salaam
Founder & CEO of Cartfuel, the software helping small and medium size business with their funnel and marketing strategy. Prior to Cartfuel, Jelani worked with one of the fastest growing startups, ClickFunnels, where he learned the ropes of marketing. In his spare time Jelani likes to make music, skateboard and kayak.
Jelani Abdus-Salaam
Founder & CEO at Cartfuel

Stay Connected

Join the 400 companies and small business owners looking to learn more about world-class marketing techniques.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.