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:
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!
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!
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!