Oi Mate πŸ‘‹

We're a couple of mates building products we care about, with people we care about, for people we care about.

Get our Learnings πŸ‘‡ or work with us

πŸŽ‰

Our own products πŸ› 

50% of our time is spent building and shipping our own products that are based on problems we have ourselves. πŸ‘‡

Building

😌

Calm Business OS

All-in-one toolkit to create and run a highly documented, highly automated, highly sellable business that lets you focus on high leverage tasks or whatever you enjoy.

Create more leverage
$175 MRRGrowing

πŸ“

YouTube Transcripts

Cheap, SEO Optimized Transcripts for your YouTube with one click.

Get YouTube Transcripts
Growing

πŸ›

Best Stoic Quotes

Get inspired by the best stoic quotes and philosophers like Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus and others.

Explore the Best Stoic Quotes
Validating

πŸ“

Swiftbrief

Content Brief generation engine that helps you scale your content marketing efforts.

Save time delegating content

Scalable agency products πŸ› 

The other 50% of our time is spent building and shipping products that are based on problems our friends have. πŸ‘‡

$50 MRRGrowing

🀝

Relationyst

A super simple CR(S)M prioritizing relationships and your customers personality

We partnered up with an insurance agency veteran and are creating a SaaS for her internal process based on word and Microsoft Outlook TODOs.

Build stronger relationships
Testing

🦷

TBD

Interactive orthodontic treatment recommendations and diagnosis app to standardize treatments.

For this product were working with a leading german orthodontist and are creating a SaaS for an internal diagnosis process based on PDFs and one-off decisions.

It's a secret 🀫

Wanna know more about our process?

Click here

Our Journey

34

Going market first 😱

Published on 11/10/2022

We've flipped our product first approach on it's head.

After launching a landingpage for our Hackathon project we've decided to take a step back and focus less on a specific product and more on finding a critical problem in a market that we care about.

We've started creating free Notion templates that help people build scalable processes on the shoulders of giants to find out more about what people struggle with when it comes to documenting, delegating and automating their online businesses.

33

Stefan reached 2000 Twitter Followers πŸ’―

Published on 10/27/2022

8 months ago, Stefan started embedding himself into the Indie Hackers Twitter community.

The goal is to build up an audience that can be used as a launch pad to validate new ideas and launch new product to enable even faster feedback cycles.

He also enjoys making friends on there.

He now hit 2000 followers after 8 months of showing up daily.

Check out his profile here.

32

Kicked off new Project ✨

Published on 8/24/2022

We met for a hackathon weekend in Hanover, as that's somewhere in the middle between where Stefan (Amsterdam) lives and the other team members (Berlin)

The goal was to scope out the deliverable for the very first product, to test the waters with a new project.

We want to help people get their documentation and processes under control and enable Solopreneurs and Indie Hackers to run their business more efficiently and sell them at a premium (if they want to πŸ€”).

Delegating and Automating require well-thought-out processes that are usually developed over time.

Start with a minimum viable process, make it better and scale the shit out of it so to speak.

While we work on the product, we're also compiling a bunch of best practice templates for Notion that help people make their own processes better.

This will be our first PH launch. πŸš€

Here' a picture from the Hackathon 😬

31

Inching closer to $200 MRR 🐌

Published on 8/2/2022

July was tough in terms of churn, but we got another unlimited plan subscriber last minute.

We're now sitting at around $175 MRR and are seeing some growth despite not putting in a lot of time into the project at the moment.

30

Stefan reached 1250 Twitter Followers πŸ’―

Published on 7/11/2022

4 months ago, Stefan started embedding himself into the Indie Hackers Twitter community.

The goal is to build up an audience that can be used as a launch pad to validate new ideas and launch new product to enable even faster feedback cycles.

He also enjoys making friends on there.

He now hit 1250 followers after 4 months of showing up daily.

Check out his profile here.

29

First Paying Customer for Agency Product πŸ‘€

Published on 6/29/2022

We've successfully acquired our first paying customer for our niche CRM.

For the last 2 months we've been iterating based on dogfooding feedback and are now starting our outreach efforts to pre-vetted warm contacts.

This means that we now have "proven" that we've been able to build something that people are willing to pay for within the 4 months of starting the project.

The next step is finding a niche to double down on.

28

We got our first $100 MRR πŸ“ˆ

Published on 5/15/2022

YouTube Transcripts, our little tool to add SEO optimized transcripts to YouTube videos with one click, has reached $100 MRR.

We're working on scaling our SEO efforts and a bunch of features to increase transcript quality with minimal user effort.

27

First Agency Product is on πŸ”₯

Published on 5/1/2022

The CRM that we rolled out for internal testing is nearing the end of the first phase and will be rolled out to the first external user in the coming week.

Our internal testing team has completely replaced their existing workflow of word docs and outlooks tasks with our tool and created more than 300 customers that they now manage through it.

26

Shipped first Agency Product πŸš€

Published on 4/17/2022

We've shipped our first agency product, a super simple CRM that helps build deep relationships with you customers.

The insurance agency veteran we partnered up with and her team of 3 in total will be testing it for the next 2 weeks to iron out bugs and make it a smooth tool for their workflow.

After that we will onboard the first external team, also an insurance agency.

From there, we will try 4-5 different niches and see who can get the most value out of what we have build so far and gains the most out of an even more specific solution.

You can find more info about our process here.

25

Started Automating Cold Outreach

Published on 4/13/2022

One month ago we started cold outreach for YouTube Transcripts.

This was the first time we actually did cold outreach and sales, we tried to get away with SEO and other types of marketing but in the early days you just have to do this.

And it has been a revelation.

We've learned:

  • What people's anxieties are
  • What benefit they see in the product (for some it's growth but others it's accessibility)
  • What alternatives people use to solve the same problem (JTBD)
  • What niches within the YouTuber community respond well to our offer

The downside is that it takes a lot of time to manually source and write all those emails and especially follow ups.

So now that we've started hearing mostly the same things and solved most of the pain points that people had with the offer we started automating.

We source one custom line per prospect by hand and pipe them into a tool that helps running sequences automatically.

This should give us:

  • Better scale
  • Better measurability
  • A/B test potential
  • Peace of mind 😱


An added benefit is that we can continually improve this process and will run it for all other projects going forward with the same setup.

Talking about compound effects am i right? :p

24

Started cold outreach for YouTube Transcripts

Published on 3/14/2022

We started cold outreach for our little tool to add SEO optimized transcripts to YouTube videos with one click.

We get in a trickle of traffic via SEO but it's not super targeted.

We've learned the hard way that we have to reach to people by hand.

We don't like to do this and we have relied on marketing instead of sales so far but deep down we know it's something we can't get around.

The goal is to:

  • Find the right segment for outreach
  • See what emails generate responses
  • Slowly prepare automation and set up email sequences.

As long as you believe the person on the other side can truly benefit from you what to offer and you target well it's really not that bad after all 🌞

23

First subscriber for YouTube Transcripts πŸ€‘

Published on 2/14/2022

We had our first subscriber for YouTube Transcripts, our little tool to add SEO optimized transcripts to YouTube videos with one click.

And that only 3 days after launching subscriptions with Stripe. πŸ™

Next stop: $500MRR πŸš€

22

We're changing our product approach 😱

Published on 2/14/2022

What?

Our goal has always been to grow product revenue.

This is simply to remove the linear relationship between input and output.

Meaning products have the potential to deliver better returns on your time spent than simple working per hour.

But this is a double edged sword because you input and output are not connected.

This means you can work a month without seeing any return.

We decided to go 50/50 on agency and product work to fund the growth of our products and sustain ourselves in the meantime.

Our agency however also builds products, but instead of establishing ourselves as authorities in specific niches (which takes a lot of time), we partner up with them instead.

We work at a reduced hourly rate and build a scalable product that solves one of their most pressing problems, then scale it to more people in the same niche.

They act as a marketing catalyst + authority and we build and run the solution as a joint venture while receiving a rev share.

Win-win

Why?

It's a shortcut to what we've been doing ourselves already, researching problems and validating solutions.

Building up authority, making sure people know what the hell we're talking about.

These problems are already validated and super niche, which is what we specialize in, we "just" have to make sure the market is big enough and we can find the right solution.

We know that Distribution > Product and we're putting out money where our mouth is πŸ’ͺ

21

Stefan is going all-in πŸ’ͺ

Published on 1/31/2022

What?

Our first mate (Stefan) is going all-in on this little company.

Why?

We want to build some momentum and the only way for us to truly focus.

After building up both traffic and a pipeline of future projects it's time to take the plunge.

Ain't nothing to it but to do it πŸ’ͺ


20

Launched BestStoicQuotes on PH πŸš€

Published on 1/1/2022

What?

We launched our small side-project that lists a bunch of stoic quotes and some personal reflections on them.

Why?

We use Stoicism as a basis for our decision-making within Niche Mates to bootstrap niche Products and we're determined to make it a bit easier to pick up by looking at ancient quotes in a new light.

Here's a link to the PH post, any love/feedback is appreciated. πŸ™

19

Published YouTube Transcripts 2.0 in Chrome Store

Published on 12/2/2021

What

We just published the 2.0 of our niche product to transcribe your YouTube videos to the Chrome Web Store.

You can now transcribe your videos directly from YouTube Studio instead of having to remember to use our service, we simply insert a button next to where you usually add subtitles to your video already anyway.

This changed a flow from:

  • Remember to go to our website
  • Click around 5-6 times
  • Visit 2 different websites (YouTube and ours)

to just:

  • One-click in YouTube studio

And the "trigger" for the action being right where you expect it is "unbeatable" as the friction is super low.

Why?

We did this for 2 main reasons:

In short:

Retention and carving out our USP

Long story πŸ‘‡

  • Make it super easy for recurring customers to get their job done efficiently (we have a handful of customers that come back multiple times per week, despite our old solution being super clunky)
  • We're a niche solution that's just for YouTube videos, this allows us to build a feature set that's tightly integrated with YouTube and now having to worry about being a general-purpose transcription product (there's a bunch of those already), this enables us to stand out between other competitors that are casting a wider net and is one of the main advantages of niching down.

Learnings

Building Chrome extensions is a bi*ch, especially interacting between the different parts of the app that run either within the context of the website you're trying to add elements to (Content script) or the main UI elements of your app (Popup).

Now we had close to zero experience building a chrome extension before and I'd definitely either be sure to: Know what I'm doing or be very certain that the extra effort is worth it. As a comparison it took us:

  • 1 day to build the initial MVP on Web
  • 2-3 months (part-time) to build out the chrome extension

Now granted a lot of the time was also spent integrating Google login and YouTube API but those were known time-drags (deep integrations are usually costly in terms of time) we definitely underestimated the amount of work that goes into the extension itself.

Next steps

  • Launch 2.0 on Product Hunt
  • Link building outreach (SEO)
  • Content creation (SEO)
  • Cash-out
  • Bro down

Plugs

If you use YouTube as a channel for building your audience, feel free to check out the extension in the Chrome Web Store or click the next link if you're unsure why you should be adding transcripts

18

Revamped Blog

Published on 11/30/2021

What?

We thought our blog for our YouTube Transcript product could use a revamp and some more internal links as this has been an area we have neglected so far.

I also took some time and wrote another article that compares different methods how to get a transcript for a YouTube video in case you want to save some money or want to get the transcript of a video that's not yours.

Why?

  • Increase the internal linking profile strength
  • We needed some more content for google
  • For SEO one of our first goals is to rank the first page for YouTube transcripts and we're on our way there. (Currently avg. 20) but we need all the help we can get :p

17

About to launch YouTube Transcripts 2.0

Published on 11/8/2021

What

We build a chrome extension that lets you transcribe your YouTube videos without ever leaving YouTube Studio.

It's a much smoother experience than our 1.0 that was cobbled together in a weekend hack but it did take a considerable amount of effort, especially because we haven't made a chrome extension before.

Why?

We have customers for our Web version that lets you transcribe YouTube videos online and good retention but 0.1 is lacking a solid USP over other solutions out there.

By solely focusing on YouTube we can build a much better flow that directly integrates with YouTube Studio and puts one of the most important parts for our Retention, the "Trigger" to transcribe a video, right where it needs to be.

What's next?

  • Set some launch goals
  • Launch on PH
  • Link building outreach
  • Content generation

Let me know if you're interested in taking it for a test drive, otherwise, I'll keep you posted how that goes πŸ˜›πŸ‘

You can also check out our latest blog posts on how to rank a video fast and three different ways to transcribe YouTube videos

16

Entered next Stage with YouTube Transcripts πŸš€

Published on 9/30/2021

What?

Doubling down on our YouTube Transcripts product.

Why?

We have 4 Stages of a Product that we try to stick to when building and launching and those are:

  • Launch (Day 0-Day 30) -> Launch and Ads + build some backlinks, write articles, begin SEO efforts, fix bugs
  • Growth (Day 30-Day 90) -> Continue Link building and SEO, Outreach + Marketing
  • Improve & Automate (Day 90-Day 180) -> Improve the product, automate where possible
  • Growth 2.0 (Day 180-Day x) -> Grow and let the product run more or less on autopilot

We have goals for each of those stages in terms of either: Audience (Traffic, Email List) or Revenue that we want to hit, and only if we do or feel confident that we will with a bit more work, we will continue

Our Transcript tool for YouTube has now entered the Automation stage, we have a couple of core customers that use the tool very frequently even tho in the current state it's a lot of work.

Our first goal is to make it as easy as possible for them (save their payment method, auto-populate forms), etc. to use it and we're also working on a much more streamlined solution in form of a chrome extension so that the whole flow gets reduced from around 1-2 minutes per video to 1 click 🀯

We will relaunch the extension on PH and will continue some more serious outreach after that because we don't have a strong enough USP as of right now.

I'll keep you posted if that hypothesis checks out. πŸ€™

15

Launched 3rd Acquisition Tool for YouTuberHacks

Published on 8/22/2021

What?

A tool to submit a link to any public video and see: Title, Keywords, Description with highlighted keywords, and more stats at a glance.

Why?

When looking for inspiration you can use this to analyze what other people in your niche are trying to rank for, how they optimize their SEO, and what Keyword density they have.

Next steps

After this we want to look at the numbers a bit, so we're gonna put this project on hold and wait for some stats.

So far recurring usage has been looking a bit bleak and we've lost our content lead for this project and are not super interested in this specific niche/audience anymore but we already had this tool developed and thought we should launch it nonetheless πŸš€

We think it would be a waste not to 🚒

14

Launched Best Stoic Quotes

Published on 8/15/2021

What?

We launched a site to get inspiring stoic quotes and segmented them into different categories to help you easily find stoic quotes for a specific use case.

Why?

At Niche Mates we all practice Stoicism and made it the core of our company manifesto, yet we feel that getting started with Stoicism can be tough. We also haven’t found a good collection of quotes that are easy to navigate by category or the exact thing you might be struggling with, so we made our own πŸ’ͺ😁

Long term play

This is the first product we want to build in this niche and we're building them because

  • We care
  • We want to make stoicism more accessible by creating more free content
  • We have plans for monetizable premium products that make this a sustainable niche to be in for us

You?

We’d love for you to submit your favorite quotes to our collection of Best Stoic Quotes ❀️

13

Migrated our Landing Page to Next.js

Published on 7/30/2021

What?

Migrated our Landing Page to Next.js

Why?

Mostly for SEO reasons but also because we've migrated our Stack away from the stack that we used to have on this page.

We plan on putting more content on this page in form of a blog and a collection of all our learnings during our Journey (similar to the milestones on IH) and put backlinks for our other products because as of now this is our page with the strongest domain rating that should boost our other products as well.

To read the full scoop check here.

12

Launching the first tool πŸ› 

Published on 7/25/2021

What?

We're launching the first Acquisition Stage product for our latest project and its purpose is to identify niches that are blowing up on YouTube called "Niche Reports".

We're laying out Google Search Volume, Popular Creators, some of their videos, and most used keywords to give some inspiration if someone wants to dig deeper into that trend.

We started with 6 reports to gauge interest and will send it out to our now around 130 subscribers for this product.

Why?

One of us (Matt) has started his own YouTube channel by doing exactly what we're doing here. Identified a trend on google search that hasn't had a lot of videos on YouTube yet and he used that to grow it to 10k subs in a couple of months, 3k of that came with the 2nd video.

We want to see if people find this information valuable and want to inspire a more data-driven approach for people to find topics for their videos.

Goals

  • 10% CTR -> 100% success
  • 1 shared trend report -> 0% success 😩

11

Mo Mates, Less Problems

Published on 7/14/2021

What?

Two more of our long-term mates have joined the company and are adding more resources to our Journey of building profitable niches businesses.

Why?

Each of them will take over the research/content lead of a new niche we will be exploring and their unique personal backgrounds.

New Niches we're exploring

Personal Skills

  • Finance
  • Data Science/Machine Learning

Learnings

  • I've spent some time setting up our company notion and created operation manuals before they joined and it helped a great deal to get them started
  • Our style of work (async) is still not super common and they needed some help to get started but do enjoy the contrast to their own main work.

10

Reflected on YouTuber Hacks Launch

Published on 7/12/2021

What?

We launched Youtuber Hacks to our Ship Audience and our existing E-Mail list from YouTube Transcripts that has signed up to receive updates about new tools.

We also pushed out the first of many videos about what Youtuber Hacks is about that we've embedded on the page and that you can also find here

Launch Goals

  • 200 YouTube Views
  • 20 YouTube Subs
  • 10 new Newsletter subs
  • 10% Email CTR

Actual Results

  • 70 YouTube Views (35%)
  • 12 YouTube subs `(60%)`
  • 8 Newsletter Subs `(80%)`
  • 8.2% Email CTR `(82%)`

Learnings

  • Hitting 0 of our goals sucks but also shows that we have ways to go in terms of setting better goals and doing more to reach them.
  • Looking at the lowest success `%` we can see that we were a bit too naive about how hard it is in this niche to get views, if you watch the video you will see that we usually operate in Niches that don't have as much supply as the one we're in right now (How to grow on YouTube) and we will have to do more to cut through the noise even if we have a solid USP with the startup angle IMO.
  • From Ship, we learned that people are interested in this stuff and we have good motivation to keep going and filming more videos (for more memez 😏)

Next steps

  • Launch Niche Reports (Google Search Trend inspired reports of things that people can make videos about that don't have a lot of supply to rake in views fast πŸš€)
  • Launch more Acquisition Stage products 🚒

9

Launching YouTuberHacks MVP

Published on 7/8/2021

What?

Launching the bare minimum with a landing page that explains our unique angle to growing on YouTube, a newsletter sign-up, and our first video.

For each of the stages of growth (Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue) we plan to build or have already build tools like for transcripts but instead of waiting to build them all out, we have newsletter sign-ups on every tool so that we can measure which tool makes the most sense to build.

We have planned out the first 3 tools because we don't expect to hit a critical mass in feedback for a while, which are all in the Acquisition space as we want to focus on people that are just getting started or need help getting impressions for their videos.

Those will be:

1. Niche Reports (Which niches have a lot of search traffic but not a lot of videos) -> Supply / Demand

2. Transcripts (We already have this one)

3. Video Analyzer (Get Title, Description, Keywords) of any public video to understand what people in your niche are trying to rank for.

Why?

  • We picked this Niche because Matt runs his own channel and has basically done all the research already that we're making accessible.
  • We care about this Niche and Matt likes to make videos for the memes 😁
  • It's a niche where we can believably establish ourselves as an authority and provide free content and tools that will make people want to buy from us eventually (Reciprocation)
  • We already have built a tool in this space and this is a way to build cheap acquisition for that product that's actually paid
  • There's actually a good CPM on these kinds of videos so even if all else fails we can just keep making videos and will hopefully make some $$$

Monetization Strategy

  • Premium/Paid tools
  • Ads on YouTube
  • Ads on Free Tools

Goals D0-D30

- 100 Newsletter subscribers -> 130%

- 150 YouTube subs -> 8% success πŸ™ƒ

Resources

The approach we're taking in this is a bit of an audience-building approach similar to what you can read about in the Embedded Entrepreneur and the marketing strategy is inspired by the 1 Page Marketing Plan. (Not affiliated with either 😁)

Go check these out if any of the above makes sense to you.

8

Put YouTuberHacks on Ship

Published on 7/3/2021

What?

We're working on a new product that breaks down how to grow on YouTube in a data driven way and we added it on Product Hunt Ship to start collecting emails

Why?

We want to build up a list to launch to once we drop the first video that we're working on right now and that should go up during next week

At the same time we're validating if it makes sense to keep using Ship because it's not that cheap 😡

Goals (Before we added the product)

  • 1 Sub per day
  • 10% CTR on launch email

Current stats

  • 5 Subs per day (will go down over time as the product goes down in the upcoming list)

7

Jumping down the YouTube Rabbit Hole

Published on 6/16/2021

What?

We’re working on free content to break down how to grow on YouTube in a data driven way and how to apply learnings from growing Tech Startups to YouTube.

We’ll start with a YouTube channel and will, if we get some traction, follow up with a product and newsletter.

Why?

Our first YouTube product has been somewhat successful but acquisition ain't cheap so we want to build up an email list that will help us launch new products quicker and to send out stack ranking surveys to work on the right products.

6

Shift focus to building the company as a product

Published on 7/1/2021

What?

After reading E-Myth Revisited, we decided to see the company itself as a product instead of just an organizational vehicle for pumping out products.

Why?

Distribution is the hardest part.
Small businesses need to leverage systems and aim to establish themselves as authorities in specific niches.

They can take a first step in that direction through providing free (valuable) content to increase their chances of being successful.

5

Launch second project from Hackathon

Published on 5/30/2021

What?

Feeling stuck on Notifire, integrations take a lot of time and work, so we decide to do a Hackathon, launch something quick to build momentum and regain motivation.

So we decide to build a service for cheap, accurate transcription for YouTube video SEO

Whose Idea?

Matt runs a Niche Youtube channel and has the problem of not being able to get transcriptions for his videos that are both reliable and cheap.

Why?

75% of Gen Z and Millennials say β€œbeing a YouTuber” is their preferred career. 75% 😱

It’s a big market, and it’s growing. Makes sense to sell shovels during a gold rush, right? Well, that’s not why we built it.
We were scratching our itch (sorry for the beaten-to-death metaphor). We’ve got a YouTube channel for selling another product and we’d seen first hand how much transcriptions can do for SEO.

And the auto-generated ones a) don’t count for SEO b) suck.

Learnings

  • This seems to be a good niche but we're competing with other providers solely on price and this is a bad place to be in
  • We shift our mindset to build multiple products in the same niche to establish ourselves as authorities in those niches instead of shifting around all the ti
  • We double down on acquisition, free content and free tools to drive content to this website

4

Churchill starts ranking first page

Published on 5/1/2021

What?

Churchill starts ranking first page for a bunch of keywords, Clicks go from 2 to 100 per month (Hockey stick buiz here we come 😁)

Learnings

  • SEO takes a lot of time
  • We need to optimize our stack for SEO, we switch from CRA to next.js
  • Running a business with only one channel is still risky 😡
  • SEO's growth curve is not linear, the first page gets 90% of traffic and until you're there you won't see any results so it's a long wait, especially if Link building ops are rare.

3

Second Project "Notifire" starts

Published on 10/1/2020

What?

Desktop app to have all your notifications on one place

Whose idea?

Stefan hates getting notifications from work and side projects in one view and constantly gets distracted by FOMO

Why?

Notifications are overwhelming and a time drain. We've made a tool to unify all of them across your work tools to get to notification inbox zero with a couple clicks when YOU want to not when you see the notification badge

Learnings

  • We did a shit job validating this beforehand
  • It dragged out way too long before we launched it
  • We didn't take a step back to reflect on what we were doing
  • We didn't figure out distribution before starting this
  • More in depth learnings in this article on Indie Hackers

2

First Project "Churchill" launches

Published on 8/1/2020

What?

Simple, transparent service to leave the Swedish church with a free option to replace a bunch of scam services that already exist.

Whose idea?

Matt notices that Friends are talking about this a lot but nobody really knows how to do it

Why?

Church makes it hard to leave, there are scammy services out there that just send invoices without you even consenting to a purchase etc.

Learnings

  • People also think we’re a scam so we have to do a lot to build trust
  • Running ads is not profitable, however SEO is a good opportunity
  • Transactional business sucks
  • We only have one channel because it's something people don't generally like to talk about

1

3 Mates become the Niche Mates

Published on 6/30/2020

We're 3 long time mates that bring a diverse skillset from our Tech Startup backgrounds.

We all used to work in consumer apps and are now trying to take the learnings from Startup / VC world to apply them building sustainable businesses that solve problems we care about in niches that are close to our ❀️