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One Profile / Website Builder / Malaysia / $ 650 MRR

How I started a Webpage Builder SAAS Business - One Profile Story

Hello ! Who are you and what are you working on?

Hi there! My name is Yusuf and I'm from Malaysia. I'm currently working on One Profile, an elegant webpage builder where you can create your own modern personal page on the internet for free.

What motivated you to get started with? How did you come up with the idea?

Before I built One Profile, I tried looking for a beautiful, simple, and affordable webpage builder where I can create my own personal page. However, current solutions in the market are either very expensive, too complex, or the free version is too limited. Disappointed with what I found, I decided to create my own page.

One Profile is up to 90% cheaper, packed with practical features, and is more simple and beautiful. When people saw my page, they wanted it too and are willing to even pay for it. That was when I saw the potential.

Can you tell us the story of your business from idea to where you are now?

In 2019, I participated in Y Combinator Startup School, a free online course about building a startup. In that course, it was recommended for you to have a project to work on. At that time, I was building a website where users can showcase themselves and their startups, and also find co-founders. Essentially, each would have their own profile page.

A couple of weeks in, the website didn't get many hits partly because there aren't that many users. However, I got quite a number of feedback saying that the profile pages are very beautiful. Coincidentally, I was also looking to create a personal page but I couldn't find one that suits my needs. So, I thought maybe I could just pivot this project into a personal page platform instead.

After I finished my first version, I shared my personal page with a few friends and they loved it and some are even willing to pay a premium for advance features like custom domains, chat widgets, and Google Analytics integration. Since then, I've been refining One Profile until the end of February when I decided it was ready to launch on Product Hunt. That launch day was the main turning point of success.

What has been your biggest failure or struggle?

I'd say the biggest struggle I've faced - even until now - is getting users. I'm not an influential figure by any means, so it's hard to gain users by just tweeting or posting about my updates on social media — nobody will hear me. I had to go the extra mile and be active in communities like Indie Hackers, Reddit, and Product Hunt. Even then, the competition for attention is very fierce. There are days when you'll get the attention you wanted but most of the days, your post will just get drowned by others'. I believe this is one of the reasons why many who just started building gave up midway because they couldn't get the traction to validate their product, even if it might be a great idea. To survive this struggle, the key is to be resilient and to not give up.

And what has been your biggest achievement or success?

Getting One Profile to the front page of Product Hunt as the #1 Product of the Day!

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Sharing regular updates with users and in online communities like Indie Hackers and Reddit. Periodically posting about lessons and tips I've learned to grow a business. One of my tweets where I share tips for launching on Product Hunt gained quite a modest traction:

These kinds of activities bring in new streams of users and customers. The key is to try and be consistent with posting because when you're being quiet, everything else becomes quiet too...unless you've achieved product-market fit!

Describe the process of launching the business. *

This is roughly how I did for One Profile:

1. Built a good product that is largely usable, with strong attention to design.

2. Launched repeatedly in communities like Indie Hackers, Reddit, Facebook groups, and Twitter — not Product Hunt just yet.

3. Became an active community member, helped others a lot, gave out freebies

4. Built a passionate fan base of about 100+ people

5. Launched on Product Hunt

Did you use Betalist or PH or other Startup Launching Platform for Launching ? How was that experience ?

I launched One Profile on Product Hunt on the 23rd of February and managed to land as the #1 Product of the Day with > 700 upvotes. So, it was definitely a great experience!

Here are some notable stats:

😃 Users: from 200+ to 1500+ (ref: https://oneprofile.info)

🤑 Revenue: from $36 to $650 (ref: https://www.indiehackers.com/product/sekaijyuu + coffee donations from free users)

🤓 Website visits: from 100+ visits to 10,000+ visits (ref: https://simpleanalytics.com/oneprofile.info)

Following this success, I've curated a quick guide on how people can prepare and maximize their Product Hunt launch here:

What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?

I have adopted a subscription-based business model with a freemium plan. Freemium here means that I have both free and paid plans. The premium plan (or Unicorn Plan as I call it) is only $12 per year and includes advance features like linking your own custom domain.

I've been on the other side where I can't justify $8 per month or $144 per year plans for a single-pager. So, having a premium plan at this price point is not only very competitive but it also helps to convert more users to customers and it seems to work pretty well!

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome? What are your goals for the future?

One of the biggest challenges that I've faced and overcame was learning how to code. I picked up coding a bit late, circa 2017 after I graduated from college so the learning curve was a bit steep but I still managed to do it and produced projects like One Profile.

My goal is for One Profile to be ubiquitous, where everyone has their own personal page on the internet — a page where the focus is only on them and a page that is free from social metrics such as likes, shares, comments, followers, and followings.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Today was pretty good as One Profile has surpassed its previous record of number of payments per day. Visits on One Profile's website has also been steady, even post Product Hunt launch.

One Profile as a product is already perfect, almost flawless to setup. However, there are still a few nice to have features that I plan to implement soon. If this trend keeps going on, One Profile might be able to reach ubiquity very soon.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Building a business is not easy, especially for a nobody. I believe the one quality that a founder should possess is resilience. If not for the fact that I truly believe in the potential of my product, I would have quit when I did not make any money for the first 2 months. However, I remained resilient and focused. I continued to build relationships, be helpful in communities, shared what I’ve learned publicly, and built a great product. The culmination of all of my efforts was reflected in my recent launch on Product Hunt where One Profile was awarded the #1 Product of the Day with 700+ votes. My revenue and users quintupled, and I am making money every day. As happy as I am right now, I will not remain complacent but will keep on being resilient. I hope you do too!

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

  1. Domain: Porkbun.com
  2. Hosting: Render.com
  3. Assets: AWS S3, AWS Cloudfront
  4. Frontend: HTML, CSS, JS - Bulma.io CSS framework
  5. Backend: Ruby on Rails
  6. Email: Gsuite
  7. Transactional email: Postmarkapp.com, mailgun.com
  8. Blog: Ghost.org
  9. Payments: Stripe.com
  10. Productivity: Notion.so

Who’s your most inspirational CEO or founder?

Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Brian Chesky of Airbnb

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Paul Graham's essays

What’s your advice for fellow aspiring entrepreneur who are just starting out? 

Build something that you yourself want and love doing. In the end, you’re building a business to sustain your life and loved ones. You should at least be happy doing it.

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