Creating a reality TV program about the process of developing your business would be the next logical step in building in public. The Startup podcast from Gimlet Media is a fantastic illustration of this type of production. Similarly, Mid-day Snacks broadcasted a live program on Instagram centered on the company’s growth.
A tool that is easy to sell
To make it easier for property managers and landlords to advertise their properties on the five most popular rental websites, Zumper developed a software application. After two years, they controlled over 80% of all active rental listings in New York City and San Francisco.
Pointless and Awesome Geek Stuff
Kapwing, a video editing firm, developed the Firemap web app. Firemap is an interactive online program that uses satellite pictures to show the status of homes evacuated by wildfire. The app was hosted on their website and was published in various local media. As a consequence, the company’s Google rating improved significantly.
More than half a million views of Yarn’s movie clip search engine were generated by automated Twitter bots. Similarly, Mixpanel developed an automated script to monitor the social media activity of individuals writing about the issue they are trying to solve.
They were able to generate a large number of accounts by using this method.
The founders of Atlassian handed out 15–20 cases of beer with the company’s label during the JavaOne conference.
A Tiktok video
The creators of the new dating app Snack used Tiktok to get over 150,000 views for their video describing the product’s value proposition.
An Ambassador Program
Thanks to the ambassador program that Snackpass created, they were able to roll out on ten campuses and generate over $10 million in gross merchandise volume (GMV).
Before releasing their product, Ladder grew the number of people who got their email about remote work to the “tens of thousands.” Every one of their first 1,000 customers signed up after reading their email.
A lot of content
This presentation from Leadpages is a useful tool for developing original content. They went from 0 to 16,000 consumers in under a year using content marketing.
13. List company on
F6s is a great site to list your company if you’re looking for a high return on a minimal investment of time and energy. In addition, over 4 million entrepreneurs use F6s to gain discounts on software.
ThingTesting (for DTC)
Similar to how glassdoor serves the corporate world, ThingTesting serves the consumer market. Get early adopters (testers) & reviews for your brand by posting your product on the website.
Product Hunt’s website gets over 100,000 visits every day. After launching on product hunt, Loom attracted more than 3,000 users.
Capiche (for B2B)
Capiche is a user-driven marketplace for SaaS product pricing data and user feedback.
Capterra (for B2B)
Over 5 million people have used Capterra to find and compare business software. Capterra was the source through which I learned about customer.io.
The founders of Lambda School, Allbirds, and Peloton all raised their initial funding using the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
If you’re having trouble finding early adopters, try posting an ad on Betabound. Around 50,000 unique visitors each month is a decent amount of traffic.
14. Post On
Product discussion boards maintained by competitors (for B2B)
Zapier found their early adopters by searching product forums for people who wanted the feature they were making and by leaving a comment pointing people to the Zapier website.
On Indie Hackers, the teams behind Prospects, Virtual Mojito, and Dorik attracted their initial 100+ users.
Both Segment and Supabase were able to generate many potential customers after putting their initial minimum viable products (MVPs) on Hackernews and soliciting user input.
After demonstrating Discord in real-time in a gaming community, the company quickly gained traction.
Quora is a great place to identify early adopters, but answering questions on the platform takes time and requires little work. For example, with the help of Quora, Anand from CB insights was able to raise brand awareness for his business (without getting banned).
“In one month, we launched the website and went to other gaming Discord groups to tell them about this new site we built. We got a ton of traffic just from other Discord groups without spending anything on marketing.”
– Brian, Cofounder of E-Pal
Among the major social media sites, Linkedin is one of the last places to get significant organic reach. Wonsulting’s founders used Linkedin extensively in their efforts to establish the company.
By presenting in front of a New York tech meetup, DigitalOcean was able to attract its first 50 paying clients. Similarly, Github’s first user base was drawn through product demonstrations at Ruby on Rails user groups.
In its early days, both Etsy and Nike exhibited at trade exhibitions. At least twice a month, Etsy staffers hit the convention circuit in search of new vendors. Similarly, Nike debuted its sports shoes at the industry’s largest trade exhibition, the National Sporting Goods Association Show.
Client’s offices (for B2B)
Every day at 7 a.m., Bloomberg would stop by the Merril Lynch office to provide coffee (or tea) to the workers who were already there reading the paper. One of his first major corporate clients was Merrill Lynch.
At Techcrunch Disrupt, Trello made its debut and attracted its first paying clients. Over the next two days, they received over 130,000 unique visitors to their site.
Conferences (for B2B)
During SXSW, Kismet and Twitter found their initial audiences (South By South West).
16. Build a Personal Brand
The process of attracting followers is less challenging on an up-and-coming social media site than it is on more well-established ones. Here are some emerging app options for you to consider while expanding your user base.
Diamond App: A web3 Twitter
Popparazi: A friends-first photo-sharing app
Callin: A social podcasting app
Racket: If Tiktok were an audio company, it would be Racket
Discover, Engage, and Convert Customers Who Have a Strong Intent to Buy
As founders and entrepreneurs, we strongly desire our companies to succeed. While product development has been held up as the pinnacle of a successful business, there is much more to it. Your product’s early success will depend greatly on the challenges you’re trying to solve with it. But, of course, it’s impossible to do this without a group of people watching you.
Finding your first 5,000 consumers is no easy feat, but I learned that having an audience helps you do that. You must find your early adopters and keep them engaged long before launching your product. As a result of their intimate familiarity with the product’s value proposition, they may subsequently become your most ardent advocates.
Pay attention to the path your consumers follow as well. With customer journey mapping (CJM), you can see in one place how consumers interact with your product at each of the stages they use it. If you do this, you’ll be able to think ahead beyond your first 5,000 consumers and anticipate their needs and wants.