Most startups go about building their product and then start to look for beta users. You spend a year or sometimes more to perfect the product with design and only to find out that no one wants it. This is like throwing a party without any invitation. You don’t want to be like “who wants this thing?”.
Here’s a different approach to building a startup. You should start to get beta users well before building your product. In other words, build your audience first before you build your product. It’s called Reverse Engineering. But how exactly do you build the audience well before building your product? Here we go:
Start with a pre-launch landing page well before you build your product.
In my first startup, we used this tactic to get early sign ups. You write a blurb about your product and the value prop with a call to action. Integrate the sign up with Mailjet or Mailchimp and get those emails rolling. Once you get the emails, you can start updating your audience with monthly updates on where you are with the startup. Share your stories and progress.
Start with a blog to post interesting content for your audience.
Blogging is a long-term strategy and requires consistency. This means blogging once or twice per week at least. Many successful startups started as a simple blog to share content with their audience.
Start a newsletter.
Some startups started as a newsletter. FoundersBeta itself started as a simple newsletter to help startups find cofounders or beta users. There many more examples including Product Hunt and Angel List.
Give your users something interesting. Some of scale. Something of value.
Plug into startup communities Online and Offline.
Online startup communities are a great way for you to get support, share inspiration, and take your startup to the next level. Additionally, you should also get active by going out to relevant meetups, but not all meetups! Start building those connections and connect with other founders. That is where the best advice comes from, not from other people who never done it.
Submit your startup to online directories and publications.
You can post your startup on our platform if you’re looking to get beta users here. Additionally, you can submit your startup to get featured on our Startup Magazine. There are also other startup directories you can submit your startup including:
Connect with influencers early on via meetups, startup competitions, or online.
To connect with influencers add value first. Reach out at events or online and offer something of value and you can always ask for mentors or advisors. But add value first before asking for help. Startup competitions are also a great way to connect with influencers.
Fire up your personal brand.
This seems counter intuitive but your personal brand should be separate from your startup. You should start building your personal site and sharing relevant content.
Help other startups and ask for help later.
You see a startup in need in the community? Reach out and help when you can and later ask their help. Founder peer to peer support is the best way to go about this.
Do you have a strategies to find beta users for your startup? Let me know below.
About the Author:
Eric is a startup founder with a wealth of expertise and experience in startups, building high-performing teams, and product development. Having won three volunteer awards for his contribution, he believes in the power of entrepreneurship to create opportunities for all. He is a top ranked tennis player with relentless drive to always reach to the next level. He is always up for a conversation about business, marketing, and tennis. Connect here.