Community Building February 27, 2020

How do you get customers if you're not part of any community?


So, like the title says.
I would like to build products that can be useful to others, and to help others you need to learn what they struggle with, but lets say I already have a problem in mind that a group of people tend to have, how do i go about making a product for them and get them to use it when i have no way of communicating with them without coming off as spam?
for example, I've been working on a service for podcast creators - till my recent fu$kup: - and the way i was going to market it was that i'd finish the service completely first and have it all setup, then reach out to podcasters one by one through email or twitter.
Now that i'm building it again from scratch, what would be the best way of doing it right this time.
1- Do it the same way and finish the product first.
2a - Reach out to podcasters now and see if they'd be interested in such product.
2b - Create a landing page first and then send it to podcasters.
3- Create a landing page, post it on product hunt to gather interest, finish product and then contact podcasters.
Any suggestions are appreciated and i'd love to hear what you think.

  1. 9

    The most important thing in building a product is making sure it actually solves a problem.

    One way I learn about difficulties in my market is to openly ask for feedback. Being honest about why you are asking Instead of pitching your product (or even mentioning it!) often works best.

    For example, instead of joining a new Facebook group and asking people for feedback on your product... instead post a message saying you are new and would love to talk to a few people about their experiences [doing X]. From there, ask questions and LISTEN. You want them talking about their problems and not offering solutions.

    These five questions help me focus the conversation:

    1. What is the hardest part of [your hypothesis]?
    2. Tell me about the last time you encountered that problem...
    3. Why was that hard?
    4. What, if anything, have you done to try and solve this problem?
    5. What don't you love about the solutions you've tried?

    The goal is to get them pouring out to you about what is wrong and all the issues they face. Then, you can decide what to build and how to market it because you already know the REAL issues you are solving.

    I hope that helps! A lot of these ideas come from Startup School's video on how to talk to users:

    1. 2
  2. 5

    My suggestion aligns with @joemasilotti - you should first validate that there's a problem; not validate your solution (that comes later, and you only want to validate with your target customer segment who experiences the pain point you're solving for -- not random audiences through PH or Betalist, etc. unless you're looking for UI feedback). Having a conversation with a few podcasters would probably point you in the right direction. I'd add couple more questions to Joe's list below: "Do you know of other podcasters I should talk to?" and "Where or how do you hear of podcast resources/info/tips/etc.?" (gives you some early indication of where podcasters "hang out" to get their tips/info or if it's through word-of-mouth, etc. so, you can understand how to maximize initial outreach and marketing). It's fairly easy to reach podcasters. You could subscribe to a podcast syndicate and contact them.

    1. 2

      I love the tip of asking "Where or how do you hear of podcast resources/info/tips/etc.?" Great advice!

  3. 3

    I would add to everything that Joe said, and also say that once you get an MVP up (or maybe even a little before), go back to 1 or 2 of the people that gave you the most constructive feedback and let them test drive it for you. This way you can make tweaks to it before doing a wider release.

  4. 3

    I think you should go like

    1. Start creating a very basic MVP of your product.
    2. Create a landing page along with a video with intro or brief about your product.
    3. Post it on product hunt just to gather interest.
    4. But don't forget to work on your product alongside.
    5. On your landing page put a share details page so podcasters can contact you and submit their details, only if they are interested.

    I hope this gonna help you to better pitch the creators.

  5. 1

    Hey, I just commented on your other Plotcast post, and then stumbled on this post. We should chat more.

    I had this exact same issue when I was working on my first SaaS project (Clipps) and it actually led to me putting that on pause for a bit while I work on building a community of potential users first. So now I've created a Slack community (CasterCommunity) for podcasters to network, share resources, and discuss what tools they're using. I would love for you to be a part of it and potentially help me get it going. Email me if you're interested in discussing more!