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7 strategies to have a killer product launch
Since we’re doing our Product Hunt launch of Starter Story 2.0 today, I thought it’d be a good idea to focus on how to plan a successful launch there.
In case you've never heard of it, Product Hunt is a platform where to discover the best new products, usually tech-related (but not necessarily).
Every day dozens of products are submitted and the community votes their favorites, building a daily, weekly and monthly leaderboard. More votes will get you more visibility.
To give you an idea, last month they had 4.7M visitors. That's a lot of people.
A very valuable aspect of Product Hunt is that its community members are usually the kind of people willing to try new things and who love talking about new stuff they discovered.
As a founder, submitting your product there will give you an opportunity to get the word out, be discovered by some very influential people, and also get valuable feedback.
We dove deep into our database to find the strategies that our starters have used to successfully take advantage of Product Hunt’s reach (all of them can be applied to launch on any kind of platform):
#1. Do your homework
Going wild and skipping this step will almost 100% guarantee you a failed launch.
The first thing you should do is go over some products that were successful in the past and learn from them. You’ll probably be able to spot some similarities in the language, format, time published, etc.
The founders of this email tool with over 20K users studied the top-ranked products of the previous months. Their goal was to reverse engineer what other companies had done.
Another great strategy was to cold outreach to other founders and ask them for advice on doing a Product Hunt.
Bonus: The maker of this timer app that yields $66K/year in profit regrets not taking its launch seriously enough.
#2. Have some content ready
Writing a bunch of articles with use cases to provide more in-depth details on your product can work wonders.
Some flashy images or GIF animations that show your product in action will make you stand out.
Also, keep in mind that lots of bloggers and journalists are heavy Product Hunt users, so preparing a media kit is also a good idea (nothing fancy, a one-page google doc will do).
Working on this was one of the keys to the success of this $1.2M/year tech platform’s launch.
#3. Create explainer video
Depending on the type of product you have, an explainer video will help you greatly.
The attention span people will dedicate to your product is short. And they don’t want to spend it trying to figure out what is your product and what it does. Show them.
This $8K/month tool that makes better Youtube ad campaigns created a great explainer video and rebranded the website.
The reward? They got featured in the top 2 products of the day, getting some highlight spots for an entire day which brought them lots of new visitors and some nice partnerships.
#4. Leverage your existing users
For those companies who have already been able to create an email list, have a bunch of beta users, or grew a Twitter account, it’s important to let them know and ask them to support you.
If they use your product and they like it, why wouldn’t they?
This $360K/year Gmail plugin built up a brilliant email sequence for their existing user base. Most of the existing users not only supported them on Product Hunt, many even upgraded their accounts to a paid plan.
#5. Validate demand
Product Hunt can also help you validate if there’s a demand for what you’re selling. If your launch there is a complete flop, you may want to rethink some stuff.
In contrast, you can experience the same as this bootstrapped $72K/year acquisition marketplace, which found out that there was actually a demand for their product.
And not only that, it contributed immensely to seeding the marketplace with initial businesses and acquirers.
They ended up #2 Product of the Day and were finalists in Product Hunt’s annual “Golden Kitty Awards” in the fintech category.
Bonus: Here’s another founder who launched an MVP to test if there was a demand for his checkout tool. (Spoiler: There was. The first year did over $1M in transactions).
#6. Offer a discount
A common practice is to reward early adopters and supporters with a discount or special deal.
If you have a paid product and want people to become paying customers, it’d be a good idea to offer an incentive of some kind.
That’s one of the reasons why this $972K/year subscription-based graphic design service nailed its launch. They even wrote a post detailing how they did it.
#7. Be prepared to engage
Even if your product doesn’t end up at the top, you’ll probably get quite a few comments, replies, tweets, emails with proposals, etc.
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on those during the day, will help you achieve better results. Active posts get rewarded by the algorithm.
With just 262 upvotes, these $1M hungover recovery pills founders got their inbox flooded that day.
Ready to launch your business? Check this guide with 10 effective launch strategies to make it a success.
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(1) This gear head makes $36K/year doing what he loves [working 3 days per week only]. Making a living doing what you love while working just a couple of days per week sounds like a dream come true for most people. Reading this case study you can tell Joseph is one of those people.
(2) This college side hustle became a $6K/month business. Cons of starting a side gig while in college: it may distract you from studying. Pros: You have literally all the time in the world. You can go to class, work on essays, play sports, party, and start a small side gig.
Lots of founders took advantage of that situation to start their businesses and now they make a great living thanks to that decision: These students turned a college project into a multi-million dollar brand, or these two broke college students who built a $1M/year business.
Thanks for reading!
Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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Hey there! 👋 I'm David, and if you ever got an email from Starter Story, I probably wrote it. With a background in working with startups and writing, being part of this team is kind of a perfect fit for me.