Ditch your free plan

3% of users upgrade to paid plans. So If you have a $5/month plan, your average user is worth $0.15.

Hey, it’s Marc. Last week, my solopreneur journey hit an all-time high:

  • 5,000 readers on this newsletter (thank you)

  • 50,000 followers on 𝕏

  • $100,000 of revenue in 2.5 months for ShipFast

Most of the recent growth can be attributed to removing free plans. I was skeptical at first.

Estimated reading time: 3 min 23 sec

Building in public update

I sold my AI landing page generator (MakeLanding) for $35,000 🎉

It’s my 3rd startup sale this year.

I wrote about the process and how it could change your life.

“Grow first, monetize later”

Facebook, Spotify… All the startup success stories we’ve heard started in the same fashion: Get millions of users then make money.

But as solopreneurs who value freedom over unicorns. We won’t raise money and hire a team of growth hackers.

We operate with fewer resources and there’s a major downside.

Why the most successful solopreneurs don’t do free plans

140,000 visitors on my (recently sold) habit tracker made $6,000 in 1.5 years. Here’s the red pill:

3% of users upgrade to paid plans. So If you have a $5/month plan, your average user is worth $0.15.

If you need $3,000/month to sustain your lifestyle, you need 20,000 new users per month or 150,000 monthly visitors.

For a solopreneur who deals with everything from tax to bugs, this is an insane amount of work.

My friend Dan gave me the red pill in 2022. I wish I’d have taken it earlier. It’s not that bad.

Removing free plans is removing pain

As a developer, I struggled to ask for money. But here’s why I removed free plans from all my startups:

  1. Better users: Paid users are skin-in-the-game. They give you the right feedback you need to grow your startups.

  2. More motivation: There’s a magical thing about making money: it’s exciting and helps you focus on work.

  3. Sustainable: Free users won’t pay the rent. I lived with $1,000/month for 5 years and had to say no to dinners because I couldn’t afford them.

If you want to be profitable a solopreneur, consider ditching your free plan and adding a paywall to your startups.

Whenever you're ready, there are 5 ways I can help you:

  1. ShipFast: Ship startups in days, not weeks with the NextJS boilerplate loved by 1,500+ developers.

  2. LaunchViral: Grow your startup with viral launch videos.

  3. IndiePage: Showcase your startups and get more customers. Join 3,000+ solopreneurs!

  4. ByeDispute: Don't let a dispute get you banned from Stripe.

  5. ZenVoice: Stripe invoices without the fee

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