Stage: Soft Launch + Get Early Adopters | Progress: 0%

Stage: Soft Launch + Get Early Adopters

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In this section:

1. We will give you many great options to get early adopters for your product. Early adopters are the single most important element to the success of your startup. Early adopters are creatures that will stay with your service forever, grow with you, and give you suggestions to improve your service.

2. After you complete this section, you will get early adopters - but beware that once you start getting users, they will discover bugs and request new features that you need to build quickly. Make sure you are ready for exposure, and that you have the bandwidth to build and fix.

Crossing the Chasm (Must Learn)

Crossing the Chasm

There are 5 types of customers for you. Not including the innovator, which is basically you, we have the early adopters, the early majority, the late majority, and the laggards. The Early adopters are ones are dying for your solution, because they the ones w/ the biggest pain. Then after that are the early majority, which are the people that will use your service when there is credibility to your service. After that are the late majority, which are a group of people that need even more convincing than the prior group. At last we have the laggards, which are the people that are finally using smartphones, because they can no longer buy anymore landline phones.

Crossing the Chasm

The chasm is the gap between the early adopters and the early majority. A successful company is able to break through the chasm from only have early adopters, to having it apply to the early majority. However, the important thing to realize is that startups try to target the early majority, which they will never get to if they don't get the early adopters first. The reason is because the early majority are ones that will only use something when there is a wide adaptation of the product. Therefore, early adopters are ones that will use your product early on, and really help you get the initial feedback and credibility that you need to cross the chasm.

What this means for you is that you should always build your startup's solution and features to target the early adopters first. And to break through the chasm, you need to continue to refine your solution and build merit so that it also becomes attractive the early majority. The successul companies are the ones that are able to cross the chasm, and vice versa. Therefore, the goal of all startups, at this point, is to focus on crossing the chasm, and keep growing, tweaking, to get to where we all want to be.

Now that you're done... 15 Minutes
Important Action

Use Facebook and tell at least 50 friends to try out your service, and like your own status update so that their friends can see it too.

Reddit Startups Section 5 Minutes
Important Action

Go to and submit a link to your startup.

Reddit is a social news sharing platform that can easily bring you 100+ users on the day of your submission. The title of your submission should be the benefit that your service can bring to the customers.

We've confirmed that if you add "Show Reddit:" in front of your post, people will be more willing to test out your service.

StartitUp's Example: "Show Reddit: Build your startup and get funding in 60 days."

You have to put yourselves in your customers' shoes and think what they would care about the most - what is their motivation? what do they want to get done? Most headlines don't convert because they are thinking from their own point of view. After your submission, you will get feedback. While not all of them are constructive, be polite to reply to them and thank them for their help (regardless if they are helpful or not). The Reddit community appreciates entrepreneurs who are willing to learn.

Read: Get a link on the front page of Reddit


Copy and paste the link URL of your submission.

Hacker News 5 Minutes
Important Action

Go to Hacker News and submit your link.

Hacker News is THE destination for web entrepreneurs. The environment is considered to be very tech-geeky, and the general popular is quite bright.

The list of submitted news that you see on their first page are all voted by users. There is also a "new" tab page with all the new submissions. 99% of all the submissions do not make it to the front page.

Also like Reddit, you want to start your link's title with "Show HN: " So your title would be something like "Show HN: Start and build your startup in 60 days". This will just get you more feedback and early adopters.

To be able to get on the front page, you will need:

1. A great headline - put yourself in your customers' shoes and imagine what would excite them the most. What resonates with what they motivates them?

2. Obviously, a good service - Even if you can get them to visit your site, they won't vote on your story if they don't think it's a good one.

3. The right timing (when there are not that many submissions, but a lot of readers/voters) - check here to see when is a good timing to submit: - The graph you want to see is the pickup ratio.

4. Good friends to help you upvote - Do not try to unvote from different accounts. Hacker News tracks where you are (IP), and discounts any duplicate votes made from the same area network.


Copy and paste the link URL of your submission.

Google Adwords 30 Minutes

Spend $10-$30/day on Google Adwords for a couple of days just to get early adopters.

Google Adwords is an advertising service that delivers advertisements corrseponding to the keywords that users search for. For example, if a lot of user searches for "how to start a startup", it would make sense for StartitUp to use "start a startup" or "how to start a startup" as a targeting keyword. You can use the keywords you have found before, and see which ones are not very heavily targeted by other competitors (which means to cheaper cost per click).

In short, you will want to use Google Keywords and discover keywords:

1. that a lot of people are searching for - local searches/global searches.

2. that have "Competition" as "Low"

3. has low CPC (cost per click)

Remember to group different category of keywords into different groups, as the total CTR (click through rate) of a group of keywords will affect the cost per click. The reason is because Google likes to see that your ads are relevant, and their users are finding your ads useful. Therefore, the more effective your ads are, they will charge you less, because it helps them too. Vice versa, if they do not perform well, they will charge you more, or penalize you more, for creating ads that are not relevant.

While this is not necessary, it does help you get some spare users to test out your service. Google Adwords is a very difficult discipline to master if you have not learned about it. A good place to start would be here:

A good advertisement header is just like your UVP. The sub-header should have other benefits and a call-to-action, like:

Header: Learn to be like Mark Zuckerberg

Sub-header: Build a successful startup in 30 days. Get your free trial now!

Also see how to write a great adwords ad:

Other Advertising Networks 30 Minutes

You can try other advertising channels as below:

LinkedIn Ads - If you are building a B2B company, then Linkedin would be a good place to advertise.

Facebook Ads - Best for targeting a specific demographics. Growing quite popular these days, and known to be very efficient.

Bing & Yahoo Ads - Not as good as Google Ads, but a lot cheaper. Many companies have found them to be an economical substitute. 

Other Early Adopter Tools 30 Minutes

The websites below are websites dedicated to help you get early adopters. Check them out!

Also read:

Pitch to a publication 15 Minutes

Write an email to a publication/blog that has the same target audience as your startup.

One of the best ways to get a load of early adopters early is to get covered by a publication. Some publications will cover your story for you, while others will allow you to post as a guest author. Both types are awesome.

If you have a good controversial blog topic that you have written about or want to write about, do tip these publications to see if they want to pick it up. Again, a good place to search for popular bloggers blogging about your topic, use Technorati.

Also, if they have already covered your competition, it's more likely they'd be willing to post about your startup because it makes sense as a follow up entry.

Look at some of the pitching examples here:

See 2 cold-emailed pitches that got onto TechCrunch:

Comment on Blogs 15 Minutes
Important Action

Find blogs that talk about the same topic as that of your startup's and post comments that link back to your startup, helping your potential customers find their way to you.

Remember to avoid spamming. Readers will easily see through your spam and will not visit your website. Make sure your service does provide something of value to the audience related to the article you are commenting on.

Good ways to find blogs is to use Technorati, or is to use the Google operator "blog:keyword" to find blogs that are of interest.

Stage: Learn About Yo...