How a tiny badge led to dozens of sales and hundreds of new followers

Oh boy, am I glad that I trusted my gut feeling.

You probably know the type of badge I’m talking about. It’s tiny, lives in the lower-right corner of the screen and says something like “by Jakob Greenfeld”.

But not too many indie makers seem to be using it. I hesitated myself. It makes the fact that the project is an indie project immediately obvious. Hence the project will be perceived as less professional. Also it possibly distracts customers and might annoy some of them.

So there are lots of reasons why you shouldn’t include a badge and not really many objective ones why you should.

Nevertheless, I decided to include one on all of my pages. The main reason was that I instantly like a page more if it has such a badge (and not some annoying chat widget or whatever.) It shows me directly that I’m a looking at a project by a fellow indie maker. I really think of the badge as some kind of membership card for the indie maker club.

Okay, enough of this. You’re probably not here to hear about my sentimental feelings.

So let’s get back to the main story.

Now what happened is that yesterday I’m getting lots of new followers even though I didn’t write a single tweet. Also I’m getting lots of Gumroad notifications.

“You have a new subscriber for Gum Spy”, “You have a new subscriber for Gum Spy”, “You have a new subscriber for Gum Spy”….

Cool, but strange. Something must be happening but I have no idea what.

Then I get a DM from Trevor McKendrick (Chief of Staff @ Lambda School).

Apparently, Sam Parr and Shaan Puri talked about me on their podcast. The show has hundreds of thousands of listeners. I’m just a guy with 600 Twitter followers who launched his first paid product 4 weeks ago. This is insane.

In the episode, Shaan mentions that he discovered my stuff because of a tiny badge in the lower-right corner on the Gum Spy landing page.

Without the badge, my site would’ve been just another faceless project. But thanks to the badge, Shaan was quickly able to see that I’m a “build in public type of guy”, that I’m currently doing a Bootstrap MBA learning experiment, that I recently launched similar projects. And this is why he decided to give me a shoutout on the show.

You probably thought the title of this post is clickbait. It’s not.

I really made dozens of sales (still counting) and got hundreds of new Twitter followers and newsletter subscribers only thanks to the tiny badge.

So what’s the takeaway? Use a “made by” badge on your sites, obviously.

And no worries, I’m not trying to sell you some “made by” badge service. The code for the badge I’m using is freely available (thanks Pieter!) and is so simple that really anyone can use it.

Written on November 26, 2020
P.S. I'm now on Twitter too if you'd like to follow my adventures. Alternatively you can enter your email address below and I will send you occasionally a short email whenever I publish something new.