What's the most creative way of getting your first set of power users for beta testing?

Chan Koh
18 replies
I'm trying to see what clever ways people here have tried to get their first set of users for their product. Immediate network is an obvious choice but beyond that, what creative ways have people found success when getting their first set of power users?

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EdTech startup tryinternship.com
Indeed, it is very important question, I have similar challenges at earlier product development stage like where to find focus group to answer custdev questionnaire.
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Building Clapup.me
I was also thinking about the same. But I think it depends on your target groups.
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building in open-source: Leapp
Find Tech influencers that are interested in your project! Spread it on social, Reddit, and other communities
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@andrea_cavagna I was able to get some good feedback from joining a discord server. Got reprimanded for sharing my product outright but was able to pm a member by contributing to discussion. I think there's promise in using reddit communities.
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building in open-source: Leapp
@kchanhee To me reddit is the most difficult platform to interact with people
@andrea_cavagna Interesting. Will you elaborate?
I have become a firm believer in finding your audience before you build the product it allows you to not only build the features that matter but also attract users when the MVP is ready and even better validate the appetite for the product you are making or test the market for it and test the urgency of demand to solve the problem we think is worth addressing. The important question is how does one find this audience to test the idea and excite them to preorder and motivate them to test our beta. The answer is by using our gut instinct and existing data to hypothesize about where we would find the audience and how they would react to our offer. Then "PREtotying" to engage with them. e.g. if we were to test a market for a POS that allows accurate costing and real-time inventory tracking. We would hypothesis 20% of the retailers at the Sunrise Mall Massapeqa NY will share their email address for updates when offered the POS at 30 USD per month price point. You could physically visit the mall to test your idea and engage with your potential customers. If you keep the interested subscribers posted about the journey of your development, you would be able to create a community that is rooting for you and is willing to test your beta. You could also leverage online resources to make this engagement. A possible avenue could be a google/facebook add with some mockups and an invitation to preorder or leaving an email address for notifications. It could be an engagement on a discord channel or a specialized linked group. Or a showcase at an existing e-commerce platform or an announcement at a meetup. (this depends on the product, the problem you are trying to solve, the audience you want to solve it for, and what's accessible to you). The method that I personally prefer for finding the audience is that instead of jumping into experimentation for product development at the beginning, one should start with offering a service that already has demand in the market. Through that engagement, one has the opportunity to not only bootstrap the product development but also test the idea with a committed audience you have a rapport with and that already trusts you with their business. I apologise if my writing isn't clear and my if my prescriptions still feel vague. I am available for a one on one discussion if you are interested in bouncing ideas or need me to explain them in more detail.
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@kashifgilani that sounds interesting. Would definitely be interested in talking more!
Building Icereach.com
There is a new wave of people building products in public. I read about it on IndieHackers at the beginning of September and decided to give it a try. I started building a Micro-SaaS in 30 days and give daily tweet updates on my progress along with the hashtag #buildinpublic. Currently on day 24, already launched a demo app with the waitlist and have 6 days to the official launch 😬 My results of building in public: - 24 days - Demo and waitlist live - 3 early customers - 21 emails on the waitlist - 300+ new followers on twitter (started from no twitter activity & 0 engaged following) As you can see I can only recommend trying it out 🤹 Good luck!
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CTO / Founder / Advisor, EphronTech LLC
@mhlavacka Great Matt! Congrats for the launch.
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Building Icereach.com
@antonjprakash Thanks Anton!
@mhlavacka wow awesome! Congrats on your journey! Not sure this is fits my needs at the moment but definitely worth exploring for future product releases.
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Building https://www.jsonapi.co/
@mhlavacka Congratulations man !! Looking forward to use your product
20 yrs experience helping startups grow.
@mhlavacka is right on. A few more thoughts below. Get as many email addresses as you can and create a community. Try different email capture methods. Set goals of subscribers per week. Try lead magnets, ebooks, email courses, newsletters to capture emails. 1. Participate in Facebook groups, Reddit, and other niche communities that service your market 2. Reverse engineer your competitor's plan with these tools: - See traffic sources: @SimilarWeb - See email templates &flows: @mailcharts - See ad designs w/ FB Transparency Tools - See ad spend: @spyfu 3. Search the Competition: Look at up your competitors in G2 (the other similar services). See what customers are saying about your competitors - the good and bad. Use that to make a better mousetrap. Create content that addresses common issues they bring up and post it in a blog for example. 4. Create a waitlist with a twist - separate tire-kickers from serious buyers. IF you really want to separate the tire kickers from the serious customers, ask prospects to pay a small fee to jump ahead of the waitlist. Charge something small - $1 for example. You'll quickly find out who really wants the product vs people just kicking the tires. 5. Be Personal: When you onboard your first customers, handwrite a note, share a personalization video message or email. Use a service like SendSpart to create personalized videos so you stand out. 6. Use Quora: Figure out what the most questions on quora are related to your 'your product category' and address them on your blog: Step 1. Use SEMrush, Hrefs, Ubersuggest Step 2. Go to “Organic Search” — “Positions”. Step 3. Input quora.com into the search field. Step 4. Scroll down to “Organic search positions” and add 3 filters: a.) Include + Keyword + Containing + YOUR_KEYWORD b.) Include + Pos. + Less than + 10 c.) Include + Volume + Greater than + 100 Step 5. Hit “Apply” Step 6. Scroll down to the keywords. Step 7. There you’ll find a list of keywords where Quora is ranked on page #1 of Google. Step 8. Open each URL and a valuable answer with a link to your website. Step 9. Your answer is instantly on page #1 7. Take advantage of the thank you (confirmation page) after someone signs up. upsell invite to a webinar, link to most popular blog posts, ask for a social follow, ask for a social share. 8. Create an ebook/lead magnets by repurposing your best (insert your business category) tips - if you have enough content do it by each custom niche. ie. "25 Productivity Hacks for College Students." Better if the content is evergreen. 9. Partner up. Find complimentary blogs/newsletters where you can cross-promote 10. Subscribe to HARO and respond to reporter's requests. https://www.helpareporter.com/ 11. Add 'click-to-tweet' to each article so readers can easily share your content with their readers. 12. Guest post on other blogs, find a relevant podcast to get interviewed by. 13. Add a sign-up URL to your email signature, LI profile, Facebook - anywhere you have a social profile Ok, more than just a few! The coffee kicked in. Hope that was helpful. -Bill Fixmygrowth.com
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@mhlavacka @similarweb @mailcharts @spyfu @billflitter This is awesome. I'll take a more closer look here.
Building https://www.jsonapi.co/
This comment can be treat as a bible for every launch.
PM by profession, developer by hobby.
I started hubbleform.com with some users in mind first, but I kept looking for some alternate TG for the MVP level product. (ps..the product is low cost alternate for typeform, free for eary users) I started with direct searching question on online communities like quora, reddit and twitter. I found out that there were users who wants to pay for a single form and not for the whole yearly subscription. I talked to some people via DMs and fount out many of them were MBA students who were using typeform before it was paid and were searching constantly for cheaper alternatives. (they have become my early power users) And this was done before writing a single line of code... So, key take away is to leverage the online communities and try to connect with the users posting their issues with a current product. Thanks Happy hacking... :) Advait Founder - hubbleform.com Follow me (if you want) - https://twitter.com/hubbleform
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Working on @get_recipecart
Sit (outdoors) in front of coffee shop— friendly ask anyone entering to beta-test and say you'll buy them a coffee or hand them $5. Reddit community or app-based communities— but it is hard to not get downvoted for promo- you have to be authentic in your approach.
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