I've analyzed all 487 Indie Hackers interviews and identified 34 acquisition channels that work consistently for founders. See Zero to Users for more details. Today, I'll be reviewing Product Hunt, a website which helped 78 different Indie Hackers founders get new users.
Product Hunt was launched in September 2013, and founders have had success with it ever since. Take Doorbell ($3k/mo), a tool for collecting customer feedback:
In 2014, near the end of September, Doorbell was randomly submitted to ProductHunt. That alone is quite the rollercoaster of an experience, but since then things have really started growing!
Product Hunt can be also useful for smaller side projects to give them an initial boost. This was the case with jQuery Card ($200/mo), a simple directory of jQuery plugins:
I owe a lot of the success of the launch to Product Hunt. It was featured in January 2016, and was at the number one spot on the day of launch.
Stay informed about the latest acquisition channels:
Product Hunt is a "product launch" website. Many people associate "launching" something with promoting it after you've just built it, without having pre-existing audience. Surprisingly, I've found that some of the most successful Product Hunt launches were those where the founder already had a pre-existing audience and used it to promote their launch. Some even did "pre-launches" before their "official" launch.
One such product was 1k Projects ($600+/mo), a marketplace to buy and sell side projects. Othmane, the founder, first pre-launched on Reddit and Indie Hackers:
At first, there were no projects on sale. To attract the first sellers I decided to do a pre-launch on IH and Reddit's /r/sideproject...
In a just few hours, over 20 sellers signed up, more than half added their projects for sale, and about 100 people signed up for the newsletter to be notified of new projects. More sellers and buyers would sign up over the coming day, and the post ended up at the top of the weekly list on both IH and Reddit.
He then used that audience to successfully launch on Product Hunt:
The next day, I had enough feedback, newsletter subscribers, and projects on sale to launch on Product Hunt. I woke up at 7:00 am GMT so that I could submit early.
I emailed everyone on both my personal list and 1Kproject's list about the launch on Product Hunt and shared on Twitter, as well. 1Kprojects ended up getting the #1 product of the day with over 1000 upvotes, and ended up at #3 product of the week.
Don't dismiss Product Hunt if your target audience isn't there. The platform can be a great way of getting press. Hello Weather ($4k/mo) is a weather-forecasting mobile app, and they've seen this firsthand:
To our surprise, the app received some attention on Product Hunt, and then got positive reviews in AppAdvice and Macworld. That sent some nice traffic spikes our way. We quickly amassed a few thousand downloads, which gave us a bit of motivation to continue working on it.
Journalists monitor popular websites for ideas to write about. And one of those sites is Product Hunt.
Talk to you next week!