How do I find customers for my SaaS?

I think we need to stop trying to find customers for our products and start building solutions our customers are already searching for.

There's a big difference between asking "How do I find customers for my product?" and "Who’s already searching for a product like mine?"

Some businesses have to really grind to sell anything. They're shouting from the street corner: "please come and buy something from me!"

But other businesses don't have to try to convince people. People are already actively seeking what they have to sell. They open their store's doors, and there's a line of people waiting to buy.

Marketing your product is a lot easier when you build something people are already looking for:

  • How do I get notified in Slack every time I get a new Stripe payment? "Try Zapier!"
  • How can my customers record a video for me? "Have you seen ZipMessage?"
  • What's the best podcast hosting service? "You should use Transistor."

When you build something that has existing demand, folks will come to you. You don't have to work as hard to find customers. They've already decided to buy; they're just figuring out who to buy it from!

But if you build something with weak demand, you'll have to do a lot of work just to get people to take a look at it.

A hack for evaluating customer demand

One hack for figuring out if there's demand is to ask: "are people already searching for a solution on Google?"


If you need something, where do you go first? You use a search engine; whether it's Google, Amazon, YouTube, or the App Store. If people aren't searching for it, they probably don't want it.

There are a few tools you can use to determine search volume for different terms:

You can also watch my video tutorial on researching keywords.

Let the market pull you 

In my hometown, Ratio Coffee sells homemade donuts every Friday. They cost $5 (five times more than a donut at Tim Hortons). But most Fridays, the lineup outside of Ratio looks like this:

Andrew, the owner, doesn't have to go door to door asking people to buy his donuts. People show up because it's something they already want.

Make something that people will line up for. (I explain how in this article).

Hope this helps you on your journey,
Justin Jackson
@mijustin

This article was originally published on February 28th, 2020. It's been updated since then.

Published on May 21st, 2021
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