We get asked this question more often that you’d imagine, since we work with so many first-time founders. Over the years, we’ve noticed certain strategies to work more than others, and this post below is a running log of what we have seen work. Hope this helps you in getting your first 100!
And if you have seen success with other ways, help out your fellow founders and email in a tip at firstname.lastname@example.org
The purchase decision is typically influenced by: reviews, barriers to trial, user experience of the product pre- and post-purchase, influencer opinion, and availability of the product, among some other factors.
Regardless of whether people are searching for your exactly your product/service or not, they are considering the above factors.
To get in front of these customers:
- Find out where are people searching / buying the competitors. List your product on those platforms. Amazon, Wayfair, Etsy, Newegg. These are some seller-driven platfoms/marketplaces where you can list your product.
- Crowdfunding campaign – these are often used as an engine to pre-sale your product. Create a compelling case for your product and list on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo etc.
- Online communities – Find communities of people passionate about a product / service like yours, or even discussing the problem you’re solving – find subreddits (reddit.com) and start engaging there. These can be subreddits of your product’s topic, of giving stuff away for free, of similar products, of worse products, of competitors – these are all fair game
- Offline communities – Find meetup groups of people who are engaging in topics related to your product/solution or even about the problem that your product is solving. (meetup.com)
- If you cannot find these communities, that’s great opportunity to CREATE them. and start establishing yourself and your product as the thought-leader in the space
- Look up reviews / articles of your competitors. Ask those journalists to review yours, explain to them how yours is different/better. Post in the comments section of those articles. People go read those, they will stumble upon you as well.
- Look at Youtube videos about the problem you’re solving and look into the comments thread + post there. Those are people who likely had that problem and came to see the video about it.
- If you have a large number of SKUs / product types, list them with Google Merchant Center, this allows people searching for that exact product, to find it in Google results itself
- Here a strategy we recommend: Think about a typical day in your customer’s life. What do they do, where do they go, how do they get there etc, and write down each touch point throughout their day. These are the places you can use, in order to get in front of your customers.
- If your product and your comparables are bought / sold outdoors, of course you’ll go to stores where customers are buying these. However, you can also try stores vertically and horizontally across from your product. For example, stores that sell products that ‘work well’ with yours, use yours etc.
We’ll keep adding to this list as we realize of more strategies that work.
If you have tried something that has given you success, email them over to be included on this list! we’re at email@example.com