A Simple Slack Bot Making $30,000 A Month

A Simple Slack Bot Making $30,000 A Month

Hello! Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your business?

Hello! I'm Stas, a tech entrepreneur with a background in software development and team management.

Born in the USSR, spent almost 20 years in New Zealand, living in Poland nowadays. I'm the founder of Karma, a peer engagement and recognition tool for Slack and Microsoft Teams.

My product is Karma, a chat tool for Slack that helps companies build stronger and happier teams by setting goals, tracking performance and rewarding excellence.

Our business aims to enhance team performance and morale through appreciation, feedback, and rewards. We're proud to have served over a million users to date, including teams from prominent companies like VMWare, Twitter, and Expedia.

How did you start this business? Take us through the process.

Before Karma, I was working in software development, managing teams and projects.

I recognized a gap in the market for a tool that could effectively encourage peer recognition and feedback, especially in remote work environments. The motivation behind Karma was to create a platform that not only enhanced team performance but also made work more enjoyable and rewarding.

Developing the first version of Karma was a journey. With my background in software, I led a small team to create the initial product. The development process took several months and involved a lot of testing and refining based on user feedback.

We invested around $50,000 to build the first version of Karma, a significant part of which was dedicated to ensuring it integrated seamlessly with Slack and Microsoft Teams.

The response we received upon launch was phenomenal and reinforced our belief that Karma addressed a vital need in the market.

How did you get your first initial customers?

Our journey to attract initial customers was a blend of personal networking and leveraging the power of digital platforms. We started by reaching out to our professional networks, showcasing our product, and explaining its value proposition. This approach played a significant role in gaining our first set of users.

Simultaneously, we focused on enhancing our visibility on the Slack and Microsoft Teams app directories. These platforms formed a crucial part of our organic reach strategy, given their extensive user base and the relevance of our product to their users.

Our big breakthrough, however, came when we established a partnership with Microsoft. This collaboration not only led to the development of the Karma bot for Microsoft Teams but also significantly boosted our visibility. Microsoft's funding and support played a pivotal role in expanding our user base and establishing our credibility in the market.

Alongside these efforts, customer engagement was at the heart of our strategy. We conducted over 800 demos, led by myself and my co-founder David. These demos gave us an opportunity to interact with potential users, understand their needs, and showcase how Karma could address those needs.

Furthermore, we made it a priority to provide instant on-site support, ensuring that any user queries or issues were promptly addressed. This approach helped us build strong relationships with our users and played a key role in retaining our initial customers.

Overall, our initial customer acquisition strategy was a combination of networking, digital visibility, strategic partnerships, and a strong focus on customer engagement and support.

Since launch, what are your marketing strategies or channels to get new customers?

Since our launch, we've utilized a range of marketing strategies to attract new customers.

While Product Hunt helped us gain initial exposure, we found the most success in our partnership with Microsoft, which significantly amplified our reach. We've also utilized platforms like Reddit and Hacker News for promotions.

Email marketing has been a crucial strategy for us, with sequences and flows designed to educate teams about Karma's features. We've also used Crisp for instant on-site support and customer engagement, which users have responded positively to.

Currently, we're focusing on refining our product based on customer feedback and exploring new features like Karma Rewards to enhance user experience and attract new customers.

Interested in more growth strategies?

Check out this extensive database of over 300+ growth strategies from various indie founders.

With this database, you would be able to find out stories of:

  • who got 100 paid users in just 1 day for his SaaS

  • who used a pricing strategy to hit almost $15,000 in sales for his digital product

  • who shared a step-by-step process to finding journalists and their email address in order to get free PR coverage for your business

  • who went from merely hundreds to over 200,000 monthly search impressions implementing just this one strategy

  • how this creator went from 0 to 2,500 email subscribers in just 30 days

  • who generated 6 figures from a digital product in just 2 weeks

How does your business make money?

Karma operates on a subscription-based business model. Teams can use full-featured Karma for free for 30 days. After that they can opt for a paid subscription to access full functionalities. The pricing is $2-3 per active user, catering to different team sizes and needs.

Our primary source of revenue comes from these subscriptions. We started with a modest $6/month per team subscription and have since revised our pricing model to better reflect the value we provide.

As for future plans, we're constantly exploring ways to add value to our product and may consider introducing new features that could expand our monetization options. However, our primary focus remains on delivering a high-quality service that improves team performance and culture.

Currently, Karma is generating around $744k annually, with a peak revenue of $64k when we signed a pilot project with one of our enterprise clients.

The cost of running the business includes expenses for hosting, various software subscriptions, and fees for payment processing. However, these costs are significantly offset by our revenue, making Karma a sustainable and growing business.

Before you go, what advice would you give to another who wants to start a business like yours?

Starting a business like Karma requires a deep understanding of team dynamics, a knack for recognizing market gaps, and a solid foundation in software development.

Here are a few pieces of advice I'd give to someone interested in this path:

  • 1. Identify a Need: Ensure your product fills a gap in the market. For Karma, we saw a need for a tool that facilitated peer recognition and feedback in remote teams.

  • 2. Customer Feedback is Key: Regularly gather user feedback and be prepared to adapt your product accordingly. This approach helped us evolve Karma into a tool that genuinely benefits our users.

  • 3. Stay the Course: Building a successful product requires time and patience. Keep track of your progress and stay focused on your ultimate goal.

  • 4. Embrace Transparency: Be honest in all aspects of your business, whether it's customer interactions or self-assessment. Transparency fosters trust and a positive company culture.

  • 5. Balance Work and Life: While running a business can be demanding, finding a balance between work and personal life is crucial. A well-balanced founder is more likely to lead a successful business.

Where can we go to lean more about you and your business?

To learn more about me and Karma, you can visit our website at https://karmabot.chat.

You can also stay updated with our latest developments by following us on Twitter at @karmabot_chat.

For more in-depth articles and insights, you can check out our page on IndieHackers at https://indiehackers.com/product/karmabot.

Feel free to reach out to us directly through our website or social media channels if you have any questions or would like to know more.

Other Content That Indie Hustlers Are Reading…