How to get your first 100 customers

By Puja Parekh, Espark-Viridian, India

You believe you have a great product that solves a pain point of your niche, but the focus is all about going beyond and finding the users for your product.
These early adopters are your beta users. They actively solicit and conclude their feedbacks and use their suggestions to improve your product. Once they see your active responsiveness and the quality of the product you’re offering, they’ll become the brand evangelists who will push the product to the next stage of growth.

Know thy customers

Divide your target audience in small pockets of customers, understand what they like to do, how they do it and target them at places where they are most likely to be found. You need to be specific. Make sure your brand aligns with your potential customers. Get creative with your approach and get to the point early.

Online Presence

Create a strong online presence for the brand and the product. Create a website with a strong and clear value proposition, create relevant social media pages and link them to the website.

Talk about it Everywhere

Use your first network of friends, family and acquaintances, identify the influencers among them and start spreading the word. Have a small pitch ready for the product, one that helps introduce it proudly and convince the network about the value proposition that you offer. Also remember that when you talk to people in your network it is critical that you ask them to introduce you to people in their network who might be interested in your product. Build a network that confides in your product and who are good at talking to people and ask them to spread the word about your product.

Good Blogging

Blogging need not always be professional but good content is a long-term investment for your startup. You don’t have to be a professional writer, blogs that are honest and transparent are very popular. Make sure that you optimize the blog reach to the potential customers, invite guests bloggers as well write for other related blogs to build relationships within the community and be different in a way that your product stands out.

Prepare early

When it’s launch time, make it BIG. Make the announcement and promote it. Get people excited about the fact that a new business is opening and is the problem solver.

Free Trial / Freemium

The free trial or freemium models are used to attract users initially and then convert users who want to use premium features into paying customers. They help create a large user group and eventually drive traffic and virality, it is a potent marketing tools and less expensive than traditional sales teams or ad campaigns.

Make the first experience awesome and ask for referrals

Once you get the customer onboard, go the extra mile for each customer and make them feel right at home using your product as these are the people who will define the future customers of your company. One customer who really loves the product can bring you more customers by word of mouth, leading to organic growth. Having said that, don’t be shy about asking for referrals. After all, your business is on the line!

Finally..

After giving the awesome first experience, ask them to refer at least 2 people to your business, and you’ll soon have multiple paying customers. How you make sure they bring their friends in is up to you and your creativity. Good luck!

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