March 11, 2019

What are the quick ways to get the first customer for niche / small problems?

As a solo founder, I am trying to work on problems as small as possible after failing many ideas, nowadays GSuite addons. Building MVPs is simple, but it's challenging to find real customers who may be interested. Some ways I've been thinking and trying.

  1. Customer discovery interviews. I've tried CD interviews for different ideas. Mostly respondents don't have the problem you're solving. And it's time-consuming to find and schedule interviews.
  2. SEO via blogging. It may take a long time to get organic traffic and the conversion to a customer.
  3. Niche community launch. Only a few feedback.
  4. Product Hunt launch. Haven't done it yet.

What are your strategies / suggestions to land the first customer as fast as possible?

Thanks.

#marketing #sales

  1. 3

    You mentioned you do interviews... find out your solving the wrong problem... that is a big problem.

    Flip that workflow around.

    Interview 10 of the same type of person. Ask them their problem. Ask how much they would pay to solve it. If you think you can solve their problem... Mock it up. Go back to them and tell them to press the purchase button.

    If they do. You have your first customer.

    If they dont, ask them why. Iterate the mockup.

    Repeat until they pay.

    Iterations should take between 1 and 7 days.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the suggestion. I discovered problems via reading forums. Problems are too small to cover audiences I can easily find and talk to. It seems a challenge for niche markets.

    2. 1

      Imho it's a very bad practice to ask people how much they would pay for a non-existing service and base your actions on their answers. People do not know how much a service is worth until they really use it.

      1. 1

        You're right. That's why I would over-index for action and speed. Ask and then put the button there for them to click. If they don't pay, ask why. Most will point out you can't build a product in a week. You can't. but you can build a feature. your payment systems should all be up and running. You should have a landing page and so to create a feature and test it to someone who asked for it.. not asking much.

  2. 1

    When we initially started with Draftss.com; we got our initial customers by launching ourselves on different communities. We launched ourselves on Reddit, IH, HackerNews where we got our initial customers. Thereon, we started engaging with the community by helping them with what they need using our expertise. We went ahead and created a new product; "Getfeedback" to help founders in identifying and resolving the problems in their landing pages. We believe that adding value to the community and helping others and being an integral part of the community where your target audience lies is the best go-to strategy at all times. Majority of our customers have come from these communities while the others have come from word of mouth from our past clients.

    1. 1

      Thank you. I saw those who engaged with the community. I agreed with you. It takes time to build the reputation, trust, and the audiences and make a sale.

  3. 1
    1. Have you tried doing research on a community and basing your pitch off of the common problems you're seeing? So for example on indie hackers if you saw everyone talking about landing pages you'd know there might be demand for a landing page builder.

    2. It sounds like you are about to try launching into an existing marketplace. This worked for me when I launched apps into the Google Play Store... but it really depends on niche you target and the competition you face.

    3. Some communities have VERY strong world views and dreams... think Digital Nomads, people in the Agile software world etc... I think it's easier to target people in communities with strong world views.

    Hope this helps.

    1. 1
      1. Yes, I got problems from forums, but not a common problem. People talk about different problems. That's a good point.

      2. Yes, I'm leveraging the existing marketplace so it mitigates the marketing effort.

      3. That's a good point. I will check it up.

      Thanks for the advice.

  4. 1

    This comment was deleted 5 months ago.