I don’t know if I’m trying to shoehorn SaaS into this platform, but I have been quite inspired by nomadlist’s initial business model. He built a community for “digital nomads”, which was just a slack channel and forums at first. But free users had very limited access to the community, and you had to sign up for a single-tier membership to support the application. I think it was $70+/yr.
From what I understand, perhaps this only worked because, at the time, there weren’t many nomad communities online… I don’t know. But plenty of membership sites were around in the past. I guess the most important aspect is that you’re providing continued benefits to your members to warrant a paid membership.
Let’s say the niche was freelance programmers - would it be worth going down the avenue of building an exclusive paid-only community, while focusing on providing as many benefits as possible to members (tools, material, etc)?
On the other side, I’ve thought of just starting with some small informational products. Write a short ebook, build an email list, write something more comprehensive and sell to the list, get into conversations with potential customers about other ideas, and build out my platform from that feedback.
I figured after I while I could build a whole library of books, courses, videos, and could use that to warrant a paid membership - or I could build tools to allow others to create content and earn through platform fees. Along with that, I could develop simple tools relevant to my users and use that to further market the platform.
Would appreciate any insight. Since quitting my job 3 months ago and going back to freelancing (10 hours/wk), I’ve had a difficult time following through with my ideas despite the vast amount of free time I now have.