If you’re fortunate enough to have an audience that already from being active on social media or just being great at storytelling, kudos to you.
You’ve got people who care about your thoughts and will listen when you
If you’re reading this while your product is in development, get started NOW! Get online, get on LinkedIn, TikTok, Youtube, and start sharing knowledge bits on things you know that will make the lives of people better . Trust me, you know something, often people fall into the trap of “Obvious Knowledge,” where they think that other people “Obviously” know what they know, here’s some news for you - nothing could be further from the truth!
There will always be someone who knows less than you and you will always know less than someone else. It’s up to you to share that knowledge and eventually the audience that respects what you share and talks about will form around you!
On the topic of launching, there’s definitely no set way to launch your startup, AirBnB for example, kept launching their start-up until it eventually got traction, people hype launches too much . Do you remember when WhatsApp launched? Or go back and think of one of your favourite apps, do you remember when they launched? It’s highly unlikely that you do for most products.
Products are often discovered via friends and word of mouth, you stumble across them in some blog, or you end up seeing a very attractive ad, you click through, and install the product.
However, here’s 6 ways you can easily launch your startup with the expectation of good traction in no order:
1) Silent launch
Get your product a landing page with the right copy structure . Reach out to targeted customers via LinkedIn, Facebook, or other digital platforms; give your customers a very quick and succinct description of what the product does (follow the PASO strategy for example) .
This landing page can be simple and be built using tools like Instapage, Landem, Landingpage, Webflow, etc .
Have one simple CTA, where the customer can subscribe via an email address, and you can reach out to them when they do .
2) Friends and family launch
To begin with, make sure the product is actually aimed for them . Don’t build a startup banking solution and give it to your friends and family who have no idea about the problems faced by a startup .
Ask them to give you very honest and critical feedback . I’d almost go as far as avoiding any good feedback and just focus on what needs to be improved .
Make sure they actually use your product and aren’t giving you feedback to be nice to you .
3) Stranger launch
You’re launching directly to complete strangers who may use your product and give you feedback on your startup .
You can do this directly by going to roadshows, expos, malls, marketplaces, and booths where your customers will be .
Make sure when you do this launch, it’s in an environment with strangers who are aware that you are a start-up because then people will approach it with the mentality that they are the first user and set their expectations .
4) Online community launch
This approach if done well has changed the trajectory of many companies . Launching on platforms like HackerNews, ProductHunt, Reddit, Betalist, or other public platforms can have a lot of benefits because there’s the added advantage of community vitality .
With platforms like HackerNews and Reddit, you need to be cautious with the way you word your post, the title needs to be very eye-grabbing and it should not be a “Look at me” title, the post should offer value and insights to the reader. This way you’ve gained some trust and authority with the person reading your post before you link your product offering at the end of the post.
With ProductHunt and Betalist, people come there to discover new companies, so the messaging can be a little different from the other forums mentioned above.
5) Request access launch
We’ve kind of spoken about this kind of launch when we chatted about building virality into your startup. A great example is SuperHuman/Hotmail, where they created a great product and attached the “Sent via SuperHuman” on each email.
Then go further and incentivise distribution by offering customers bonuses like skipping the waiting line, or discounts for sharing your product with customers.
6) Pre-order campaign launch
Many successful companies that have been bought for 100s of millions have started this way . Look at MVMT, the millennial watch company; they started on Indiegogo with a Handycam recorded video .
They raised 300k in pre- orders that gave them tonnes of validation that there’s a market and used this initial traction to build a full-scale business .
Much like the Online community launch, your messaging and video content needs to be very compelling to get potential buyers to purchase your product, but also share it with the rest of the world .
7) Social Media/Blogger launch (a bonus)
Social media influencers work because they use familiarity . Branding is familiarity and with familiarity comes trust . The job of a social media influencer is to be a familiar trustworthy face that already has a strong communication pipeline with your audience; you need to leverage these people to distribute your product.
Reach out to every influencer or expert in your niche and tell them about your product.
Offer the product for free or ask under goodwill to share . You’ll get a few f-offs, but also a few will accept and that might be all you need to change the entire game and trajectory of your business .
Feel free to follow my journey as I build cenario.co:
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