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The initial launch bang has subsided and now what...?


#1

Hi all, thanks in advance for your advice.

I launched ux-app about 3 weeks ago and it seems to have gone well. I tweeted it to a designer I knew was a member of Product Hunt and he was happy to post the site. It ended up at about 3rd position for the day and drove tons of traffic (16k uniques over 3-4 days!). The producthunt community is really great. I got loads of positive feedback which was nice to hear after developing the product for so long.

I also posted to Reddit which got laods of positive feedback and ended up bringing in about 2-3k visits, not bad for a fairly niche product.

From all this traffic I got my first 3 paying customers which is great!

What would you suggest as being a good way to continue promoting the product? I’m reasonable active on forums and twitter. This brings in the occasional follower, retweet etc, but I’m not sure if this qualifies as a worthwhile business development strategy.

I’m open to the idea of partnering with someone who is more bsiness/marketing focused, although I’m not sure how to find people which might be interested.

It’s a niche product targeted at UX and Interaction designers. Similar to Balsamiq, Invision and UXPin which you might already be familiar with.

Thanks,
Eli


#2

It sounds like you need to find some marketing channels that offer repeatable and scalable traffic and customer acquisition. Here’s a couple things that came to mind:

  1. Content Marketing - This works especially well if you’re an expert in your field. You can write about and show people your skills. By solving problems for people in the UX field and providing value people will naturally want to support and share what you’re doing. You just have to develop a consistent voice and publishing schedule.

  2. PR - Getting press is a great way to get free promotion, but it’s not easy. You either have to spend a lot on a PR firm or learn how to do it yourself. You need to find out what bloggers/journalists/influencers would be interested in covering your app. And then figure out a way to reach out. It often helps if you can package your story and anything that would be newsworthy in easy to digest packages. The easier you make their job, the more likely they will be to publish it.

Check out Gabriel Weinberg’s book Traction for the details on the Bullseye Framework. It provides a systematic way of prioritizing and testing all 19 marketing channels.


#3

Awesome advice, thanks Riley. I’ll check out the book you recommended today.

Re your points.

  1. This is good advice. I’m in the process of writing up a number of articles about UX and how UX-app can solve problems. It’s a time consuming process and it’ll be interesting to see if it pays off.

  2. PR - After the successful PH day the editor of modev.com contacted me and asked to do an interview. This should be going live this coming week which is great. They’re keen to do a promotion of UX-App at their upcoming developer conference which is great. I’m keen to see how this goes as a promotional strategy. Definitely would be great to make more connections like this.

Thanks for your advice.
Eli


#4

Good stuff man!

So I’ve seen in my own business that probably my best channel has been direct sales. Get out there and start directly contacting the people who could actually pay for this and get on the phone with them. Works surprisingly well.

Not to say that you shouldn’t do the other things as well - content, pr, etc. But I’d say you may want this to be your bread and butter early on.

Saw this article yesterday which kind of talks about this same thing.


#5

Awesome link Kalen! Thanks for passing it on.


#6

Good advice!

Customer discovery and customer development are two lean startups principles that lay the groundwork for success. Steve Blank and Eric Ries wrote the books on these, so definitely check them out if you want to learn more.

And Jessica Livingston (who wrote that article) wrote a great book that’s just a compilation of interviews of successful startup founders. It’s focused on their early days and what gave them success in the beginning. Lots of awesome people in it.


#7

Congratulations on you first paying customers.

I don’t really have any specific advice since it all depends on your niche, which I have no expertise in.

What has worked for me in the past?

  1. A couple of pillar articles in my niche for Terminus, which I also optimized for SEO (onsite mostly). Google has brought quite a few visitors (and customers) to those.
  2. A drip email course with signup forms on Terminus blog keeps bringing in email subscribers. I spent a lot of effort making this course and it’s working out well. People like the course and few signup for Terminus.
  3. I can’t predict what’s going to work. So now I try to try everything and see how it goes.

The only advice I can give you is to keep going through the grind. There will be unexpected signups and you’ll be happy hoping it will continue. Then it will die down, you’ll have a dry spell, and you’ll doubt yourself.

Just keep going.

Puru