Growth May 9, 2020

Launching is tough… how do you do it well?

Hide Shidara @hshidara

I made an MVP and tried launching on a tech-based facebook group and was immediately rejected for spam. So I just sucked it up and launched on Product Hunt: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/leadgen-io. I think in the future I need a better understanding of marketing strategies to launch properly.

How do you launch your products?

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    Ideally you want to have a good idea of whether your launch will go well before you launch.

    First, you should almost always be finding your first users by forging one-on-one connections with people, rather than by mass sharing. Do sales. Send cold emails, reach out to old acquaintances, respond to individuals on forums, schedule calls. You need to be having tons of individual conversations, trying to convince people to use what you're building, and learning from from their responses.

    What excites people? Build more of that into your product, and talk about it on your landing page. What worries them or turns them off? Address that on your landing page, too. What groups respond the best? Tailor your product and marketing copy to them, and ignore the other groups. Also find out where they hang out online, and make that the channel you're going to launch in. By the time it's time to launch, you should already have happy customers.

    Second, if you're going to share on a particular channel (HN, FB group, PH, IH, etc.), then you should take the time to become an organic contributing member of that channel, to fully understand its culture, and to figure out what people there find helpful and useful. One of the primary issues is that most people don't want to invest the time to do this, and instead make drive-by self-promotional posts with minimal effort invested beyond the bare minimum. Of course if you do it that way, you can't compete with the people who are putting in the work.

    But more broadly, it's the wrong mindset to have as a founder. By default we all think in terms of, "What do I want, and how do I get it as fast as possible?" That's fine for solo activities, but it doesn't work if you want support or cooperation from others, which is obviously what you want if you're trying to build a business, because you need customers. You need to make a deliberate effort to switch your mindset to, "What do other people want, and how do I get it to them in the way they prefer?" Then you just need to trust that doing that effectively and repeatedly will actually end up helping you. And doing that requires lots of talking to customers and researching them, otherwise you'll only have mediocre guesses about what they want and how they want it.

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      Thank you for the response, I've definitely read this advice before but it hits differently after I failed in my launch. I'm going to use this feedback before I launch again.

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    Update: The post was approved after some small tweaks and some users have been using the product. 200+ page views in 5 hours, excites me quite a bit. However, page views mean nothing, my real metric is MRR on my products so while this was quite fun, feedback by @csallen still holds and I'm going to back up and focus on talking to customers before I launch anything else.