This is a true story, without advertising nuances or word games, this time we want to share our naked process.
Why? We find it valuable, and personally, I did not find a story that was natural, all had the dye that we already know, publish a blog post after reaching the top of products to retake the public.
GETitOUT was born from a complex concept to define for those who are not related to marketing, committed to empower entrepreneurs and small businesses, we designed a step by step strategy that will help them to found and build their marketing from scratch, a process that you can repeat infinite times to validate your idea and strategies.
We tried several methods to get closer to our audience, we first launched Product Hunt with an “outcome” approach, explaining that the whole process would lead you to create materials like websites and emails quickly for your business (which is true), but it didn’t get a great reception because people still thought it was tedious.
Whenever they talk about a process or a strategy, it sounds boring and heavy, that’s why we launched in Pitchground, an offer that addressed a similar concept, but with content addition, generating websites and texts automatically sounds flashy, but we are not going to tell you lies, the tricks are not done by themselves, and we need a little input from you to show you the magic, people usually don’t like to be told that it is automatic without having to make an effort, but that’s the way it was.
We had a good reception, at least 150+ users and a community of 180 dedicated entrepreneurs, but we wanted to prove our concept even more. So we decided to launch only one part of the process, a crucial, important, indispensable part, a part that goes unnoticed, but needs attention, is the “Personas” part.
Our strategy is still in place, but “Personas” is the basis of this and any strategy, and we wanted to show it to the world, as I mentioned before, it is difficult to explain a concept when you are not familiar with it, the “Personas” approach is a general term we all know, friendlier and closer.
Simply with the idea of “Empathizing”, my personal way of explaining it is that you need to know the Persona you are addressing in any context, from when you ask a girl out, from when you make friends at the studio, from when you have a family reunion… How can you socialize with them if you don’t know what they like, what they do, what they are like, what you can talk to them about and what you can’t?
From these simple, everyday examples, to the complexities such as knowing who your buyer persona is to sell your service, knowing who your user is to develop your product, knowing who you are designing for or who you are writing to.
With all this we arrived at the base of GETitOUT, one step ahead, everyone will be responsible for opening the door to the next steps of the process, but with this first step, we took a giant leap… And so, this is how we arrived at Product Hunt…
On Monday, October 24, 2022, launch day, we got the #1 spot in Product Hunt. We closed the day with 640 upvotes and 167 comments, the next day we reached 710 upvotes and gradually continues to grow, so far 750 upvotes and 208 comments.
We didn’t make it to the top 5 products of the week, but we were added to 36 Product Hunt collections, our badge shows that we are the #1 product of the month in SAAS, the #2 product of the week in Marketing and the #2 product of the week in Artificial Intelligence. Sounds like a resounding success!!!
Even better is the feedback and contacts we got. About 15 video calls scheduled with honest comments, advice and doubts, about 20 email messages and 40 new contacts on our personal LinkedIn, messages from investors, experts, affiliates and potential users, all validating our concept, and that moment, we call it HAPPINESS.
The comments we got were of great value to verify that we are not the only ones who believe in “Personas”, marketers gave it a thumbs up, businessmen wanted meetings with their entire team for an educational and internal training format, entrepreneurs who want to venture into marketing are trying it out, professionals from other environments such as designers and copywriters saw it as useful to optimize their daily work, marketing consultants and product designers saw it as potential for their processes.
The results, beyond the first place, were worth gold for all the comments that gave us ideas, contacts, improvements and advice. Although it was not an easy road…
We started thinking about launching from July 2022, we knew Product Hunt is an excellent medium for SAAS, plus a brilliant boost if we had public reception, but clearly we were scared.
You have to know that there is no magic formula to succeed in Product Hunt, the variables and possibilities of failure are so uncertain, that there will be no blog post that will give you an exact answer, and that is what made us take more work than we should. Our story is just an experience, it is not the total truth or the best example to follow, it is just an honest account that we wanted to share.
With all the desire and willingness to be a top product, we researched at least 50 blog posts, those that tell their story, give you a step by step or give you a checklist, we searched in forums and groups to get more honest and real advice, we personally asked hunters or makers for their experience, but we still had doubts.
After all, we made our own checklist with a mix of everything we found, we set a goal of 2 months to launch and do everything we needed to do to be victorious. Over 7 pages of documentation and a long to-do list gave us the confidence that we should be on the right track, but I think the vast majority of it was not that necessary.
In the meantime, the biggest doubts and our decisions were:
In development, we have many pending issues.
What should we improve first?
Being a SaaS we have technical challenges to improve or solve, but the most important thing for any platform is that the first minutes experience is the best possible, and that’s what we focused on.
We have an extensive list of ideas to implement, but we needed to improve our onboarding, to make it faster and easier, and to make it more intuitive and “automatic”, and that is what we are proud of.
We are a small team, in marketing we are only 2 people.
Do we need someone else?
As in any team, we thought it would be necessary to add more members, you always want to cover more thinking that it will help you on your way to success, but we came to a simpler conclusion, we tried to maintain a balance of efficient work, more results in less time, and so we continue.
We had seen Product Hunt Ship, but I didn’t know about this.
Will it work for us? Do we need to pay for a plan?
After a lot of research, I had doubts about Ship, we bought a plan in which it was not very clear what it would bring us.
We noticed that it is an excellent tool to test ideas beforehand, but you must keep in mind that it will reach enough spam accounts that subscribe for mutual help or to earn points, and not to test your idea.
It is not possible to schedule or link your pitch with this upcoming page, but you will still have the possibility to send mass messages to your subscribers in the form of an email and as a public debate. Take advantage of it!
You will also get a complete report of your growth and subscriber list, you will be able to export it and manage your data, also keep in mind that both Product Hunt users and non-users will be able to subscribe.
In all of these it is recommended to build a strong community, but will we reach them with the time we have left? How do we summon them?
The biggest tip is to build a community, but in our experience it is a difficult job that spends a lot of time and details, we managed to make some progress but lacked reach.
We concluded that it would be better to focus on the heads that manage large communities, groups and open forums, reach out to those who already manage large communities to help us and collaborate.
Product Hunt’s logarithm is enigmatic.
Will we really need support from a recognized Hunter?
This is a question we will never be able to answer, personally we did not collaborate with any hunter even though we investigated, we were afraid of what would happen, in return, we were really active in Product Hunt to try to get points and followers.
I won’t be able to say if this really helped, but if we got to the first place without a hunter, it is surely possible.
We are not frequent users of social networks.
Should we take it up again?
Social networks are really an important point in marketing, even so we must prioritize between 1 or 2 networks in which we can be strong, they should not always be all the media, you must reach where your audience is.
We have a great concept, but it has so many outstanding features.
What are we going to communicate? What will we prioritize?
It’s an important job and a vital tip, create a brief with the relevant information you will handle at launch, so all your messaging will be aligned with the same thread.
In our case, there are some great features, but we chose only one clear benefit and three outstanding features, it’s a good number to summarize your product (trying GETitOUT’s strategy/process you will find this trick) If you give too much information, it will get lost, users focus on few details, try to stand out with one.
For example, our benefit is “Build Persona Fast” and our 3 highlights features are: AI texts, Browser Extension and Workspaces, all different and focused to fulfill the benefit, speed.
We are literally naked with these confessions, but we are still filled with curiosity. Have you had something similar happen to you? Answer us at email@example.com, we’d love to hear more real experiences.
Now, let’s start with the typical phases of the launch from our point of view, with the reality that characterizes us.
With everything decided, we started work at the end of August, with a new member in the team that would support us in marketing issues, putting all the previous ideas in order in a final planning.
For the development all the deadlines and activities were more than clear, focusing on improving the first experience and optimizing parts that would be crucial later, we aimed to leave the final version ready 2 weeks before to test everything necessary and be completely sure of its operation. On the other hand, in marketing, it was the strongest work…
We knew that we had to prepare pages within our website that would help provide clear information, such as the Demo, the features or the Pricing page, meanwhile, start from day one and with the greatest efforts to create community (the biggest tip of the internet). There we realized that it would not be an easy task, weeks passed and our attempts on Reddit, Quora, Product Hunt, Facebook or LinkedIn were not noticeable, we changed the strategy to contact directly, some others responded, but the percentage was very low compared to the time and effort spent.
Time flew by, literally, a month had already passed and our activities had been trying to generate content in blog post and social networks, we started with the production of a video that had all the required information and we barely made progress with a few pages.
Only while time was running out we realized that it was not enough, we still had to improve the series of onboarding emails that would be sent to the user after registration, plan the content grid for networks after the launch, get the necessary assets ready and of course, the video in question.
With feedback and advice from an expert in Product Hunt, we managed to simplify our message, we were still trying to explain everything at the same time, with this we advanced in the simplest, texts, images, tagline.
We reduced the video to a short version that we could show on the Launch Page and kept looking for community that we practically didn’t find to a great extent, we only got 180 subscribers on our Upcoming Page and we knew that several would be empty, plus some imported by other means such as ads.
Still having a to-do list and days away from the launch, our newest member of the marketing team leaves us… He leaves us at a moment’s notice. Anyway, we are left with 2 people in charge of marketing and under all the expectation, trying to finish as much as possible and ready for the big day…
We launched on October 24, 2022, we chose Monday with all the expectations, according to our research it was a perfect day with a good influx of users, first day of the week to push the rest of the days, usual for small paid products with free options and not as much competition as there is on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
We started with the GTM-5 time zone, 2 hours after the Pacific Time that normally governs Product Hunt, with all the launch scheduled and without one on board, we were just anxious for the moment to arrive. The attentive founder from 5 a.m. was already answering comments, the adrenaline invades us!
We are a remote team, but this time we met in a coworking to enjoy the launch together, being there we started by ordering a coffee and answering comments, the most important and valuable advice.
The upvotes are not only the essential, they are the comments, and with this the best we could implement was to ask for feedback from these, always starting a conversation, not closing comments with dry “thank you” phrases, we must go further.
Asking for their use case gave us ideas and opened doors to things we were missing, surely not everyone will answer your questions but if there are dedicated people who do it with love, while the number of comments grows, grows the feedback that gives you value, and grow contacts between them, see their profile, add connections, this gives a step to a small community really interested and open.
Meanwhile we spent the day looking for more support, remembering those previously contacted, posting on social networks to have visibility, sharing with loyal users to spread us in their networks, a favor of great value, but this community is the one that is really worth, is a group that even if it is small is there to support you, because they really believe in you and your concept, that is one of the most valuable things we could observe and recognize.
The day continued and we did not stop from the laptop, it was time for lunch and only one of us was left in charge, while the others brought sandwiches to pass the time, a quick meal and continue with the whole fortress.
During the morning we were following the other products, we had a small advantage with the rest, we were still fighting to keep the first place.
At the moment that a product rose precipitously 2 positions, we noticed that its advance graphs were strange, surely you have seen them, they are at the bottom of the launch page, if the curves change abruptly and are not of continuous growth, there is something strange there, if you notice a large and momentary increase of upvotes, there is something fishy.
With this in mind, we asked Product Hunt, in a friendly way, if this was normal, we saw upvotes appearing and disappearing, going up and down every now and then, that’s how the advisors committed to review it, a couple of hours later we realized that they were no longer in the Product Hunt list, they had been banned.
It is important to remember that you should NEVER cheat in Product Hunt, good practice is vital and the first step to success with some morale.
In the midst of it all, we beat a product that was going pretty strong in their numbers, the funny thing, they had an external investment of $60M+, we thought it would have a bigger reach. We’re not sure what happened, but for a small company of 5 people, it was really an accomplishment to see our idea go far.
Details like having the support of customers who really love you, seeing comments that make you grow, having coffee with your colleagues enjoying a possible triumph or overcoming another product of great investment, these are the details that fill your soul, that beyond a success, give you a smile, give you a reason to share a beer, leave you thinking about the future and wanting to continue.
After everyone went home, we continued until the end of the day, and with the official news of being the #1, we could rest, just for that day…
In the following days we reviewed daily statistics and metrics, both marketing and user experience. In the meantime we noticed details that we had overlooked, alerts or small tutorials that were missing to make the path even easier.
During the first 3 days we closed with 320 subscribers, 213 came from the associated landing page in Product Hunt and 168 started their free trial in the app.
Coming from countries such as the United States and India for the most part, even so, we have been surprised by the variety we found, new locations such as France, Belgium, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Colombia, among others, were a surprise to our eyes.
We obtained 2,082 visits to our homepage according to Google Analytics and the most visited pages were related to the product, pricing and landing page, key pages that you should also take into account when launching.
We have at least 160 comments left to review in detail, we continue to contact people and do meet demos to better explain the full potential. We now maintain a philosophy of marketing efforts with a broader scope that can be done in less time.
On the marketing side we plan to create collaborative content and produce short explanatory videos that encourage the use of some features, we plan to encourage valuable content from our side always focusing on keywords to improve our SEO, we plan to add detailed pages that explain the product by use case (essential), finally we want to encourage reviews and monitor our competition.
On the development side, we continue to keep our eyes open for sudden bugs and sporadic improvements, we are optimizing load times for speed, pushing small visual improvements, further simplifying the initial onboarding process, tightening security and most importantly, we are working with all our efforts to improve the AI models.
We continue to move forward…
Thank you for reading us, we know that this blog post is something different than usual, we are sharing our personal experience from the most human side and not only technical, we hope this is of value and offer you, an inspiration, a reflection, an encouragement when you feel that only happens to you, because surely you are not the only one.
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