How to build (and Keep) Your First 100 Customers

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So you’ve got an excellent product that you think solves a significant issue in your selected niche. That’s great — but owning a successful startup isn’t nearly you. The true question is, how would you start getting others to identify this value and adopt your proposed solution?

Every young business faces the task of acquiring its first users, however before we dive into specific approaches for doing that, it’s vital that you remember who these first customers are and what they mean for your company.

Hardly any startups to enter the market fully-fleshed out with every feature working perfectly. Because of this, your initial launch isn’t usually the best time to attempt to drive massive growth, whether through paid ad campaigns, referral programs or other common growth hacks.

Related: Is Growth Hacking Right for Your Company?

Instead, look at these primary participants as your beta users. Actively solicit their feedback and use their suggestions to boost your product. After they see your responsiveness and the grade of the merchandise you’re offering, they’ll end up being the brand evangelists had a need to power another stage of growth.

Now, knowing that, listed below are three ideas for finding your first 100 “beta test” customers:

1. Look for your competitors’ press. If your startup takes a preexisting product concept and improves upon it, you have to be in a position to find media sources atlanta divorce attorneys industry which have covered your competitors’ solutions. Among the easiest ways to do that is to create Google Alerts for your competitors’ brands. Once you see their names pop-up in the media, get in touch with the same publications or reporters to pitch a tale about your brand-new solution.

Alternatively, if your product solves a totally new need that isn’t being addressed by the marketplace, you may not manage to “piggyback” on existing stories in this manner. Instead, you’ll have to have a broader approach and become more proactive about calling the sources that could be thinking about your solution. Consider using sites such as for example Twitter and LinkedIn to build relationships with the reporters you identify before pitching your story, rather than sending a cold inquiry.

2. Answer pain point questions. In the event that you don’t know very well what pain points your startup’s product solves, you’ve got much bigger problems than acquiring your first 100 customers! Usually do not pass “Go” , nor collect $200 — you’ve surely got to first figure out the precise problems you’re solving and how your product-market fit does this much better than all of your competitors.

Knowing your product’s target pain points, search for places online where folks are asking questions linked to these needs. If, for instance, your startup targets graphic artists, a niche site such as for example Designer News offers you the chance to respond right to posted news stories and questions — both demonstrating your authority and including mentions of your product where appropriate. Several YCombinator users also suggest Reddit as a robust spot to find these questions.

Related: three ways to take care of Early Adopters Like Royalty

You need to be careful never to spam. It’s much better to become trusted person in your community than to find yourself blacklisted for posting promotions at every opportunity.

3. Speak to people in your industry. Remember in the beginning of the article, when I mentioned how you should treat your first 100 users as more of a learning curve when compared to a revenue engine? This specific growth strategy highlights just how doing so can result in both product improvements and customer acquisition.

When you’re in the initial stages of your startup’s growth, among the best actions you can take is to attain out to people in your industry who are both highly-regarded and who may be potential users of your product later on. But when you touch base, don’t pitch your product. Instead, inform them that you’re creating a product within their industry and that you’d prefer to pick their brains in what their needs are and how they’re currently solving them.

You likely won’t get yourself a completely response rate (though, as Jason Cohen of WPEngine discovered, you can improve your odds significantly by offering to pay these experts for his or her time). No matter just how many interviews you get, utilize them for information gathering only and have permission to check out up whenever your product can meet their needs. If you’ve done your task and created the perfect solution with their pain points, you’ll get the chance to obtain these experts as early-stage users also to ultimately keep these things recommend your product with their followers and customers.

Once you’ve got your first 100 customers, responsiveness is key. Suggest to them how important they are to your company and just how much their feedback is valued and they’ll play a significant part in driving future growth for you personally.

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