If you are an entrepreneur looking to connect with like-minded professionals, Indie Hackers may be a platform to look into. The website has been creating a buzz in the online community since its debut in 2016 and a subsequent acquisition by fin-tech company Stripe.
The interactive community sees a growing number of startup owners taking part in interviews, podcasts and the website’s forum.
How does it all work and why should you think of joining?
Read on to learn more about Indie Hackers and why you may want to join.
What is Indie Hackers?
Indie Hackers is an online community geared towards helping independent entrepreneurs remain profitable. It is a place where founders of profitable startups and owners of successful side projects get to share their stories.
At the same time, aspiring entrepreneurs have the opportunity to learn from the experiences shared. Emphasis is placed on “independent” entrepreneurs, which are those business owners earning revenue from customers rather than getting paid through an employer.
In addition, the website provides a forum setting where so-called “indie hackers” can share knowledge, explore ideas, and offer support.
Indie Hackers was founded by Courtland Allen in August 2016. Allen’s brother, Channing, joined the company soon after it was acquired by Stripe in April 2017.
Stripe is a fin-tech platform that helps small businesses collect payments for their products and services. The move was unexpected and a bit of a surprise to many since Indie Hackers was only a few months old. However, the website has seen exponential growth since being acquired.
To date, over 20,000 indie hackers have joined the community, with many working on new digital products and services and/or partnering up with others.
How to join Indie Hackers
There are not a lot of requirements for joining Indie Hackers. Once you are an independent entrepreneur who owns a successful business or side hustle, you can become a part of the community.
To join for free, you simply click on “sign up” on the website, choose a username, and create an account using your email and password. You can also use your Twitter or Facebook account to join the platform.
Membership on Indie Hackers gives you access to certain privileges right away. These include:
- The opportunity to connect with indie hackers who have added their online businesses
- The ability to talk about your own business ideas and assets and receive feedback from other users
- Top trending news items posted on the website highlighting interesting stories about entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial industry
- Newsletters that feature stories from other entrepreneurs on the platform
How to use Indie Hackers
The website offers established and newbie entrepreneurs a number of ways to make use of its best features.
Successful entrepreneurs are encouraged to tell their stories in a transparent and insightful way. Interviews are in typical Q&A and usually follow the format of each founder providing background details on themselves and their company, as well as revenue achievements and other relevant information. As Indie Hackers users, interviewees also get to place a link to their website, which is a way to promote their businesses. Readers are able to vote on interviews, which is similar to leaving a like on other platforms.
I was fortunate enough to have been featured in an Indie Hackers interview, which centered around my experience creating the Blogging Guide Newsletter:
Indie Hackers also makes it possible for impactful online entrepreneurs to share their stories via podcast. These podcasts are conducted and posted once per week, and feature authentic, raw conversations with business owners who have a success story to tell. Like the interviews, podcast participants get the chance to not only talk about their entrepreneurial journey and impart tips, but are also able to share business details, including website addresses and social media handles. Podcasts can also receive votes and comments from viewers.
The Meetups community is one of the many vibrant groups facilitating networking between entrepreneurs on Indie Hackers. It aims to help community members find other indie hackers in their area who share a mutual intention of learning from each other and maybe even working together. Meetups can be arranged to take place at specific physical addresses in popular cities around the world. However, with the COVID-19 breakout, remote meetups are now encouraged on the platform.
In order to host a meetup, you can set up an event using any event-hosting website or platform and post it on Indie Hackers. Users will be able to see the title of the event, as well as the date and the Indie Hackers profile of the host.
When you join Indie Hackers, you are able to be a part of various groups relating to your personal goals and preferences. Some of the popular groups on the platform include:
- Landing page feedback
- Ruby on Rails
- Medium Writing
- Solo Entrepreneurship
- No Code
- Newsletter Crew
- Product Launch
- Selling Online
- Forming a Company
Participate in the forum
Group members can participate in the vibrant Indie Hackers forum. A hotbed of user-generated content, the forum sees many users asking questions and getting answers. Everything, from questions about web design and social media to product documentation and SEO, are discussed on the site’s forum. Similarly to many Q&A platforms and forums, Indie Hackers users can upvote answers and leave comments which can also be upvoted. Naturally, content that gets upvoted the most tends to rise to the top, allowing users to find the best answers first.
These are little bits of advice, tips, and tricks that can be read in 30 seconds or less. They are posted daily by fellow indie hackers and can also be upvoted and commented on. The information shared as growth bites is intended to help others implement growth tactics that can help their business thrive.
Indie Hackers provides an online space for micro entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and people with side projects who want to learn, network, and expand their businesses. Its range of features and products make it an ideal platform for budding entrepreneurs looking to hear from like minds, share their own stories, and find content and people they can relate to.
Should you join Indie Hackers?
If you are a business founder wanting to share your journey and help others or have ambitions of owning your own business, this may just be the perfect platform for you.
Thanks for reading this article! Leave a comment below if you have any questions, and if you want to learn more about blogging, content marketing, and social media strategy, be sure to sign up for the Blogging Guide Newsletter!
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Casey Botticello is a partner at Black Edge Consulting. Black Edge Consulting is a strategic communications firm, specializing in online reputation management, digital marketing, and crisis management. Prior to founding Black Edge Consulting, he worked for BGR Group, a bipartisan lobbying and strategic communications firm.
Casey is the founder of the Cryptocurrency Alliance, a Super PAC dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain advocacy. He is a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania, where he received his B.A. in Urban Studies.