After creating your initial product, you need to think about your strategy of how to find initial users to validate your idea. This will vary greatly based on your industry of choice and what user segment you are targeting. However, today we will provide you a generic checklist which should be applicable and useful during this stage, independent of the target audience you are going after.
Feel free to print or copy this list for future reference. We will discuss each step in more details in the next section.
Create your own twitter page to promote your product. Search Twitter for threads about the issues you’re addressing. Reach out to people that are actively asking for a better solution.
Create a facebook page to promote your product.Search Facebook for relevant online communities and introduce your startup. Engage with other community members to see if they’re interested in the product. Facebook is a great resource for promoting to individual users and interacting with people on a personal level.
If you are targeting a professional audience or businesses, make sure to establish a presence on LinkedIn. Search fo relevant communities and introduce your startup and engage with users who might be interested in your product.
Join online communities such as reddit, quora, Youtube, Medium, or niche community discussion boards and look for conversations that revolve around your the problem your product aims to solve. Actively approach members who express personal experience with the problem and actively respond to communications. Start producing and sharing content about the user need and your solution.
Make a website (or social network page) to provide more information about your product. If you own a web domain, use the Google Search Console to get your website indexed.
Product Hunt is a website for promoting new products so list your product there. However know that there is a waiting period between signing up and before you can post content. Also plan and time your Product Hunt launch wisely for maximal benefit.
Try to get people to write about you and your product (for free). Do newsworthy stunts to get attention from the media and highlight the pain you’re trying to address.
Some domains have mega-influencers whose partnership would be enormously beneficial. Identify and seek out these people as ambassadors for your product. If possible, get them involved in the business and product development.
Go to the physical places where your customers hang out. When you know your target audience, it should be fairly easy to identify the type of activities they engage in and to go from there. If you are targeting students, visit a local university. If you are targeting music lovers, visit a festival.
Write real, personalized emails to people who you think need your product. Don’t automate it; write to your early leads like a human.
Pitch competitions are a great forcing function to polish your business idea. Also use this as an opportunity where you will be presented some hard questions and think about how to address those w.r.t. to your product.
Attend relevant local meetups and events to mingle with and pitch to potential customers. Find cheap ways to attend conferences.
Good luck finding your audience!
We know it is hard but you can do it.