How do you reach out to early users?

Christopher Chae
28 replies
Obviously, there's no silver bullet to acquiring early users. You must get into a daily grind of reaching out to friends, writing relevant articles, asking for 10 minutes from prospective users to ask questions, etc. But curious to learn from the Product Hunt community - how do YOU do it? :)


Mitch Gillogly
@chaeschris I'm in the process of getting early users now. It sounds like it's best just to get 5-10 solid users and get feedback and keep iterating on the product. And then try and reach out to more users. My startup is working on a plugin and web app that lets users see movie reviews provided by people in their social networks. When it's time to get more users, I'm probably going to stand outside theaters with an iPad, help people exiting the theaters create an account and post their first review and then put them in a raffle for a gift card that day. That sounds good in theory, don't know how it will work in practice.
Christopher Chae
@mitchgillogly Hey Mitch. thanks for sharing. Just checked StarGaze out - I like the idea. There's a big startup in Korea that's similar to what you're doing, called Check it out! Also love your "doing things that don't scale" idea (standing outside theaters with ipad). I wonder what's a good similar idea that I can execute on.
Like @mitchgillogly said, finding your first few users and ask them, a lot. Depending on your target audience and your followers on social media it should be relatively easy to get at least a foot in the door somewhere. Or otherwise friends always know someone who knows someone. Events/Meetups can also be helpful.
@chaeschris yes ... one more positive thing: most of the time you already get immediate feedback when they repeat your idea/assumption.
Gaurav Shrishrimal
@chaeschris Damn! We are in the same boat right now. As we are building we are trying to get initial users as well. Following things have worked for us - 1. Try and participate in any sort of meetups and just blast out your idea to any person you come across. 2. List your product on all the testing and showcase platforms such as Product Hunt, Beta List, Betapage etc. 3. Get active on Social Media and online 4. Participate on discussions(like I am doing here :P and maybe you will see our product soon :)) More than happy to brainstorm, reach out to me :)
Christopher Chae
@gaurav_shrishrimal hey Gaurav, thanks for sharing. Love your idea. Submitting on Beta List, Betapage.
agilan sivakumaran
@chaeschris @gaurav_shrishrimal Nice list, definitely helpful! Also in the same boat lol. :)
@chaeschris @gaurav_shrishrimal can you guys elaborate on platforms where I can post about my startup. Is there a comprehensive list of such platforms? Thanks.
Gaurav Shrishrimal
@chaeschris @giftvolo Just search for startup/product listing platforms. For me the best ones have been Product Hunt, Betapage, Betalist.
Mahesh Shrestha
@chaeschris @giftvolo add Steemhunt to the list, @gaurav_shrishrimal It's a decentralized alternative to Product Hunt and it does have quite a large userbase! Also, it's nice to look regularly at r/startups and similar subreddits!
Mario Arabov
hey @chaeschris there are plenty of slack groups and reddit channels for that. Apart from spamming each of my friends, I've relied a lot on these strategies. Also, go to startup events and talk to people like there is no tomorrow
Christopher Chae
@mario_arabov Hey Mario. That's good! I'm in a few slack groups myself, but do you know any community for startups?
Gaurav Shrishrimal
@mario_arabov @chaeschris It would be great if you can share some good slack groups please?
Mario Arabov
@chaeschris @gaurav_shrishrimal Hey guys, here you go: - Berlin based startups (helped a lot) - NYC based startups: - Lauch: - Reddit entrepreneur chat: https://redditentrepreneur.typef... - Factory berlin but works only if you are a member of the coworking space I've used those a couple of years ago so not sure if still valid, but try it out.
Michael Davis
I recently was referred to It is a very interesting system that Ryan has developed for reaching out to early users (website videos, YouTube videos, download of method, etc). As an entrepreneur, $2000 for his Masterclass is prohibitive, but he is very open with his techniques, methods, reasoning, examples, etc., so it should be very easy to follow his suggestions and do it myself. I like his technique very much, and it is clear that it will work better than my own methods. What impressed me most with Ryan's system is: the psychology of getting input from our future customers, extracting useful information about their problems, analyzing the info that comes back from them and shaping our products in response to what the customer wants. I think that we can all agree that knowing specifically what the customer wants to buy is our primary challenge & trying to sell the customer what we think they need is a loosing proposition! Let me know what you think, after looking at it.
Amy Giddon
Great ideas here and a few to add from my first 60 days of launching our mobile app Daily Haloha: 1) Personal outreach - I feel like I'm spamming my network, but people are busy and need to be asked several times, and in different channels (email, social, DM). 2) Specific asks of network - I've found that people like to be helpful but the more specific the ask the better. Instead of "can you share this post" or something similar try something super-specific, e.g. "I'm looking for an early tester in Australia can you refer someone to me?", "Do you have any friends that are yoga instructors with a blog?" People love to have the answer to a specific ask. 3) Facebook groups - it's been really productive for me to search for groups that reflect my target market and look for early testers and feedback in the groups (need to read the group rules of course) 4) If you're international, it's worth it to work hard to get some early international users. It gives a real sense of globalness and scale right away.
Christopher Chae
@amy_giddon1 that's awesome, Amy. We're in 3 different time zones/continents (America, Europe, and Asia), so I think we could make this our advantage to build intl' presence from the get go.
Andrew Pierno
I've gotten a bit of haterade for this but I sometimes open issues on people's github projects. We're trying to get people to sell access to github repos and docker containers.
Ousmane NDIAYE
Very interesting, thanks!
Sam Legge
I originally thought you meant, reaching out to early users to talk to them, but it seems you're more so focused on acquiring your first set of customers. Depending on B2C or 2B I'm sure theres many strategies. With a limited budget and time, I'd ask more importantly, how are you validating your product and customer fit vs. acquiring customers. If you don't understand if you're product is a fit for a specific type of person, you could be throwing money and time away trying to acquire a bunch of unhelpful users.
John Beadle
Jason Evanish's '95 Ways to find your first customers' is an older article, but still very relevant. It's got a lot of great ideas on how to find users/customers in the early days of a product:
Abel Joshua
@chaeschris I'm in the process of acquiring users for my startup, Cardium: A mobile solution that helps drug consumers to track and setup reminder for their medication and health related appointment in order to improve medication adherence. Before we launched, we setup a small blog on our website at to promote awareness and our pre-order channel. But, unfortunately, it didn't work as we planned. We are currently trying to utilize our small connection to pharmacists to reach out to drug consumers, hopefully this works. What are the other ways one should go about acquiring early users for their startup and convincing prospective users to listen and get to use the product?