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How to use Reddit as an Indie Hacker

As an indie hacker, we all struggle to validate our ideas, get our first users, and get some traffic. I played a lot with Reddit for the last few months, and I can tell you: it's a gold mine!
Reddit is super powerful: there are millions of users on the platform, each subreddit is very segmented by niche, and it's free to use!

We sometimes see it as an intimidating platform, but it's not that hard. Here is how I use it:

Validate your idea

The first step of your indie hacker journey is to validate your idea. You don't want to spend weeks building something nobody wants. But it can be hard to find your potential customers to validate your product idea.

With Reddit, you can do it easily. There are subreddits dedicated to Ideas' feedback. You can post your idea there and you will get some responses within 24hrs. The feedback can be pretty generic as the people in these subs are mostly entrepreneurs and not your potential customer.

To validate my product idea I prefer to post directly on the sub I want to target. Let's say you create a tool for developers then I'd post to /r/webdev. You don't need to have a working MVP, just make some screenshot (or a video) and ask for feedback. Or, even better show them a landing page with a pre-order button or an email form and wait for their reactions.
(For the idea validation step, don't be afraid to post on a big subreddit with hundreds of thousands of users, the more people see your idea the stronger your validation will be)

Within 24hrs you'll know if that idea is worth pushing! If you get positive feedback - or even pre-orders - you can build your MVP. If you're ignored or trashed, then find another way or get another idea!

Get your first users

Once your MVP is ready you need a bunch of beta testers to give you some feedback.
Reddit can also help you with that. But this time I'd go with a small subreddit, and a super targeted one. Let's say you created a no-code tool for startups, I'll try to get my early adopters from /r/nocode (3.7k members) instead of posting on /r/startups (517k members) for instance. It's a small subreddit, very niche. Then, once you have the first feedback you can iterate on it and post on some bigger subs.
The idea of "incremental launches" is to start small, build an audience, get some feedback, and grow step by step. Once the super-targeted subreddit loves your product you can start to post on big subreddit and get some traction.

PS: Small subreddit are super powerful if you choose them wisely. I got more than 400 visits in 48hrs from my last post on /r/nocode!

Get some traffic

Last step of the process: your MVP is ready, you need some traffic. And you want a lot of it!

The strategy here is to create some content around your product and share it with big subreddits. The secret is to provide as much value as you can. Share your secrets, how you grow your product, share your analytics, how much money you make, what did you learn during your journey, etc… It needs to be valuable and targeted to an audience.

Post your content to the biggest subreddits like /r/Entrepreneur, /r/Programming, or /r/Marketing and add a link to your product/blog at the end (Check the rules of the sub first, but most of them are ok with it)

If your content is well-targeted and brings some serious value you can get thousands of visitors in a day! And it's totally repeatable. As long as you can provide value you'll get some free traffic!

Do you want to know more or need some help getting your first users? DM me on twitter or check my dedicated product

  1. 3

    What I value about Reddit a lot is the fact that you don’t need to have a massive following to get noticed. Due to its anonymous nature, everybody is the same basically and there are no influencers and such.

    I consistently get more and better feedback on my Reddit posts than from my Twitter account.

  2. 1

    Awesome Ideas this will help me

  3. 1

    Thank you for sharing!

  4. 1

    Hi Xavier,

    While I do agree with the sentiment, reddit is a really tough nut to crack. At least for me :) A lot of redditors will be against you for "self promotion".

    Validating your idea will definitely work for some niches, but my take is that it's not for all products out there. It definitely was a match for you! I would really not give up just because some reddits don't like an idea. I would definitely try other places as well.

    Having said that, I continue to try to "make" it on reddit :)

    Best,
    John

    1. 1

      Pretty much depends on how big & targeted is the subreddit for your product. If you share an idea on Programming (3m users) and nobody notice then you have a problem.
      Either it's not the right users, or not the right value prop…

      1. 1

        I've shared on /r/VideoEditing, r/youtubers - and they instantly get removed by moderators.
        How can I promote my app (a video editor) while giving generic advice?

        1. 1

          What was the reason for removal? Some subs allow self-promo under certain conditions such as contributing member, useful for the target audience etc.

          You can find out stuff like this beforehand by DMing the mods instead of getting your posts removed or even banned.

          1. 2

            I don't remember exactly. I do know that the subreddits I posted to even ban links and all sorts of stuff. And at some point, I actually DMed the mods nicely asking them if I could post, only to get a reply saying "no" :D

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