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Start-up tips: How to get those first 1,000 users

Last updated on: July 27, 2012 13:03 IST

Start-up tips: How to get those first 1,000 users

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Courtesy YourStory.in

Pallav Parikh shares crucial tips that will give your start-up an edge over the others.

You've got an idea for the next Big Thing? Awesome!

How are you going to get people to know about your existence? Not sure?

Here is a step-by-step process to a compelling marketing plan that will attract first 1,000 users to your service.

Why only 1,000?

It is because you would first want to get a manageable number of users whom you can learn from, monitor, and engage.

Before we get down to the marketing plan, you better believe that your product is a compelling solution to a problem that a lot of people want solved.

If that is not the case, marketing will ONLY help you fail faster.

The author has 10 years of professional experience intertwined with three attempts at starting up. He is an avid reader about the start-up space, especially in the Internet domain. His twitter handle is @pllv

Courtesy: YourStory.in

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Get yourself a domain name and a 'Coming Soon' page

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Get yourself a domain name.

It is okay if you don't love your domain name. You can always change it later. Don't let domain name slow you down.

Once you get your domain name, you should use sites such as unbounce (http://unbounce.com/), Launchrock (http://launchrock.com), etc to create an interesting 'coming soon' page.

You don't need a programming background to create this page.

Remember, 'coming soon' pages play an important role in converting a visitor to a user. So spend some time before you freeze on one.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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Set up social network accounts

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Set up a Twitter, Facebook and a LinkedIn profile.

Name of the account should match your company/domain name.

Link your social network accounts from your site and vice versa. Also, create profiles at other relevant places like crunchbase.com.


Photographs: Rediff Archives
Tags: Facebook

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Hyperlink your e-mail signature

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It might seem obvious but most people don't do this.

Add a link and value proposition to your e-mail signature.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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Start talking: Shout

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Tell/shout your friends, family, colleagues and everyone you know that you are on to something big.

Get in touch with them through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, face-to-face, personalised emails and obviously phone calls.

Your personal contacts will help you build early traction; don't be shy instead be persistent and irritating, if necessary. Get them to like your Facebook page, sign-up on your coming soon page, follow you on Twitter, etc.

Don't just mention about your start-up once or twice on social networks as information overload will ensure that your message gets lost.

Post the same message multiple times on the first day and during the entire first week.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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Start posting

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Make this a part of your routine.

There should not be a single hour or day when you don't post and there should not be a single medium where you don't post.

What to post?

Post your office pictures, employees' pictures, business card, relevant articles and obviously interesting videos and other usual stuff that you come across on the Internet every day.

By the way, you can't just post random stuff. Make a proper plan of what you need to post.

Your posts should be intriguing enough for people to get attracted.


Image: Image for representation purpose only
Photographs: Handout/Reuters
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Force actions

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Ensure that your employees, partners, friends and family also get in touch with their network to share about your start-up.

If you feel shy doing this, shut down your start-up right away because 'selling' is probably the only thing you will focus on in the first few months.

If you can't sell within your network, how will you sell it to strangers?

At the same time, do not make the sharing process difficult for your near ones otherwise they just won't do it. For instance, you can send them an e-mail draft talking about your start-up so that they can straight away forward it to their near ones.

To make it easier, if they are on Twitter, you may even send them a tweet, so that they can straight away retweet.


Image: Selling will be your prime responsibility in the first few months of starting up
Photographs: Rediff Archives
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