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What'd you do to get your first 100 users? (Lots of Helpful answers from Ask HN:)


#1

Saw this and thought everyone here might find some of the answers interesting.
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7248829

The one most applicable to what we are doing at Greenlight is “How WPEngine Got Early Users” (spoiler alert - LinkedIn)

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7249009

What’s your favorite method 1) either listed or 2) of your own experience.


#2

Good topic. My answer: I don’t know. And I suspect that goes for a lot of us.

A lot of stuff in business is a mystery. You can read “How to do X” guides all day, but sometimes it is a case of getting lucky. Doing the right thing at the right time, without any specific reason for why that worked. Cliched example: YouTube.


#3

I liked this reply. Alhough it sounds like common sense at first his follow up was a good way to get the content flywheel going.

Here’s a tactic that has worked for me so far

  1. Set up a blog on your domain
  2. write 20+ articles on industry-related topics (this alone will bring in some traffic)
  3. get a number of emails from prospective customers
  4. write a PERSONALIZED email to everyone on the list and ask if they are interested in an interview to be published on your blog. Offer a link from your blog as additional incentive
    My response rate so far was >80%

I suppose its an alternative to the often prescribed “stalking” targets on their blogs comments and twitter to warm them up for an interview request.

He did clarify that he targets long tail keywords with around 200 local searches and sometimes just writes about something he finds interesting about the domain.


#4

That is a good idea. I’ve thought about doing that, but profiling/interviewing my current customers instead. Most of my customers ARE NOT technical, so the link from the blog to their site wouldn’t be seen as valuable. However, being profiled is something they’d be motivated to do because either 1) they’d personally find it good for them 2) the company would find some small bit of value or 3) it just makes them feel good.

Hopefully after being profiled, they’d share it with a few of their connections and some traffic and users would follow. One of my customers told me a story about him winning a local award (40 under 40) and a few out of state clients and vendors found it because of the Google Alerts they have set up for the industry terms which showed up in his award interview. I suppose this would also work in a similar method.


#5

The HN comments are great. For some kind of products I would try to be featured in betali.st or producthunt.co