8 Smart Tips To Land Your First Thousand Customers

June 21, 2015

10:00 pm

Landing the first thousand customers can be tough. It’s not your immediate guarantee for success; however, it’s an incredible way to get some real-world feedback that creates the basis for your business to grow. Here are 8 tips to help you reach your goal.

1.  Introduce a waiting list

This tip works particularly well with mobile apps and innovative online services. Gauge up the buzz and attract early adopters anxious to try something new. Offer incentives and special perks for users to sign up early, such as a free membership plan for a month or special discounts.

2. Attract the influencers

Engage with top online influencers in your niche with an established audience of readers who trust their recommendations. Reach out to the bloggers directly and offer them to test your product, host a giveaway, or review it for a fee. Remember, a good piece of sponsored content can drive traffic and sales for months after it has been published. If that’s an evergreen post – the ROI is huge! Small, highly-niche blogs with active audiences can drive the same amount of referrals as bigger websites with a more diversified audience.

3. Work with early adopters

You can list your online company for free at Beta List – the platform offering members early access to more than 100 new online startups every month. The main requirement to get listed is to be in pre-launch mode.
Create personal relationships with early adopters on the list, ask for their feedback, and listen to what they say. You will get a tremendous amount of unique product insights and general comments on how you could make your service even better.

4. Toy with suspense

Once you have generated certain buzz and traffic, mess a bit with people’s curiosity and build up suspense before the launch. Create a drip feed of information about your upcoming service and give away one bit of information at a time. The more you give away – the less anxious and excited the audience gets. Try to keep people intrigued without revealing too much about your concept, so that the audience won’t get bored.

5. Create valuable content

Content marketing is one of the most effective techniques these days to acquire new customers. Informative, trendy, and well-written guest posts can propel your website from 0 customers to 10.000 within just 9 months as Leo Widrich from BufferApp proved with his own experience.

“Infographics kept bringing traffic to us like clockwork,” – says Anand Srinivasan, CEO at LeadJoint, “You need a good, evergreen idea, preferably the one explaining a complicated concept or process in a simple visually appealing way or some lesser-known fun data to generate the first wave of interest. Outreach to bloggers asking them if they would like to have a look at your visual. That’s essential. Do ask them to share or post your infographic straight away. Afterwards, if they feel interested offer to write a unique 200 words intro to go along with the image. Chances of successful placement rise drastically.”

If your graphics are really good and unique, you can submit it to Business Insider and/or LifeHacker. If published, the amount of traffic and new customers is massive. Don’t skip social and share your visuals on Reddit and StumbleUpon to get even more exposure.

6. Team up with other businesses

Think of the companies that could up-sell your product or service. For instance, if you have created a new website analytics app or offer digital marketing services, team up with web designers or developers who could recommend you to their clients for a fee or offer them a cut from your profit. It’s a win-win offer few can resist.

7. Sponsor a local event

Think where your potential audience might gather and what activities they are interested in. For instance, if you are launching a new video editing software, reach out to YouTubers in your area and offer to co-host a meetup with them. Create a special landing page at your website, give away business cards, networking and mentioning special perks which you’ll offer to the event’s participants.

8. Network via Linkedin

There are numerous professional groups on Linkedin where you can share your product and ask for community feedback. Alternatively, reach out directly to folks who may be interested in your product with a short sweet message like “Hey, I know your company. You’ve been doing great stuff, especially I liked your recent project X. Yet, I know you have been struggling with acquiring new users/building new website etc. I know we could help you and I would love to visit with you one day.”

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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