Growth January 12, 2020

Getting Your First 100 Users

Andrew Garber @Garberchov

One of the biggest hoops a startup has to jump through is getting your first 100 users. Share how you got there to give other people to inspiration/ideas on what they should do!

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    The first 10 users absolutely come from your network. If you don't know people that your product helps, then go to networking events and build a solid relationship with them (before even asking for feedback on your product). You literally want to know what their biggest problem is.

    If you answer is - like mine used to be for my previous company - that they have a big problem that I am solving, but they are too busy / are unaware of it, etc then you have a problem. We had people writing love letters to us about our product, but most people - even in my network - had a lot of excuses as to why they did not use our product.

    Once you get those solid 10 users - then talk to them and understand how the product is making a difference for them. Use those insights to reach out to more people and - in a nonscalable way - get the next 10 people. I would keep doing the same, making things gradually more scalable, till I got the 100 people, along with an incredible amount of insight into your users and how the product helps them.

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    One of the biggest hoops a startup has to jump through is getting your first 100 users.

    No. That is a 2010's era truth.

    These days getting the first 100 is nothing; the world is full of indie-app-friendly channels like PH/HN/Reddit/FB, plus general fetishism towards apps/SaaS. Ooh, I need to shit, can you recommend me a SaaS for taking a shit?

    The hard part is retaining your 100 users, converting them to champions and finding sustainable growth to 1000 and 10000 and beyond.

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      app-friendly FB channels? Do tell.

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        FB and Reddit for domain-specific stuff - not general new-app promo like PH and HN). So if you make an app for changing diapers, then find FB groups and Reddit subs for new moms/dads.

        Plus depending on group/sub you may need to tone down your approach from a blatant fly-by-shooter promo to participating and talking about your stuff where applicable.

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          Ah. Yeah, that's basically one of the approaches I'm taking with my app. It's a recipe organizer so I'm participating in cooking related FB groups. Not really being promotey at this point.

          My FB cover image is an ad for my app with a CTA. So, if someone hovers over my photo they'll see it.

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    Talking about it in front of people. We all know 100 people I think. If not, it's fairly easy and fun to think up ways we can meet 100 people. I think forget about the "100 users" language. Set a goal of talking about this said startup to 100 people in a meaningful way.

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    The north star metric for my passion project Zlides is number of downloads.

    I spent 2 weeks to build up the brand, landing page, and other marketing automation processes. I allocated 1 hour per day to grow from 0 to 100 downloads in 4 weeks (Aug 2019) without any paid ads.

    This is what I did for a daily and weekly routine.

    • Instagram content: every 2 days
    • Pinterest: 30 targeted pin per week
    • Quora contribution: 3 answers per week
    • Direct emails to niche community: 10 per week
    • and some other small fix + listings

    Instagram is my major referral source so far. It's very important to measure your traffic and set up a goal for referral sources. @Garberchov