Hey, Indie Hackers.
A month ago, I launched my first mobile app. Now, it has grown to around 2,000 users. I want to share what has worked, and what hasn't so that you can learn from my mistakes.
There are a few strategies that have really helped me with user acquisition. The first is to try and provide value to the communities I share it with (like this). Sometimes it doesn't work out, but I have mostly found success. It may not sound obvious to try to help others to grow your product, but good deeds and intentions are usually reciprocated in some way. Even if they don't reciprocate, you still get the benefit of having helped someone, which is good in and of itself. Here is an example of me trying to provide value to others:
I tell them my mistake so that they don't make the same one. Not only do I help others, but I also received advice on how to improve my app! Trying to be helpful to the community has only been a positive for me, and I can't think of a downside.
The second strategy is an obvious one. Find the right communities to share your product because they're out there. For example, I have had a lot of success on Reddit:
Finally, I try and tell good stories about the process of building an app; it's something people want to hear if you tell it right. My biggest uptick in users is when my blog post, "I Made A Mobile App for my Significant Other (And She Won't Use It)" made the front page of HackerNews. Notice that I'm not directly promoting my app, just telling a good story.
Facebook ads. $50 spent, 3,000 impressions, 64 link clicks, and 1 download. Awful.
This is compared to twitter and reddit where I've likely amassed more than a million impressions without spending a single dollar. It does take a lot more work, but in my case it has worked so much better.
I hope you find this helpful. If you wanna stay up to date with me and my progress you can follow me on twitter