Boldly go where I've never gone before

jasonleow  •  9 Jun 2023   •    

I just bought my first Google Ads campaign. It’s a scary new channel to get into, and the complexity of it had always held me back. But I had a rush of inspiration yesterday, so quickly went and create an ad account and my first campaign. Sometimes, acting on inspiration is better.

As we’re speaking, it’s now live on Google, being shown to folks who are searching for “carrd”. And I’m already past the daily estimated budget. Hopefully it will stay within the monthly budget of $100.

What’s an interesting observation about myself to myself is how I’m now doing what I wouldn’t usually do when I just started indie hacking. I distinctly recall having such thoughts:

"Buying ads? That’s lame. Or even annoying. I hate ads myself, why do I want to inflict that on others?

That’s my thinking then. And after indie hacking seriously for a few years, I can say that’s pretty naive, definitely some form of youthful rebel idealism going on. Fact is, I’ve clicked on ads myself, when they are done well, timely and relevant. Those times I actually like the ads. I remember recently I clicked on an ad for reMarkable tablet. I wasn’t looking for it specifically even, but was curious and clicked on it. Now i feel like I want one.

So ads is not the problem. It’s just a tool. It’s a problem when bad actors overdo it, spam ads in your face when you least expect it. Like a knife – you can use it in the kitchen to prepare a delicious meal for your family, or use it for murder. Same tool, different actors, vastly different use. When it’s relevant and not done in a slimey, hardsell way, ads can be pretty useful.

Stepping back, I realised I’ve been trying many other things I wouldn’t have tried. Like newsletter sponsorships. I once tried Twitter ads for Lifelog too, Facebook ads for my Grant Hunt social good project. I’m also trying other channels and platforms, like setting up a new Tumblr page to try it out as a distribution channel for my Carrd plugins. Or creating an affiliate programme on Lemon Squeezy and Gumroad to try affiliate word of mouth. Stuff that I never saw myself doing last year.

So it this personal growth (as an entrepreneur)?