As you probably already know, one of the best ways to gain traffic and potential customers is to launch on Product Hunt. It’s the leading platform to discover new startups and tools. Its community is highly active and if you’re a hit on Product Hunt, you can expect a lot of new traffic and sign-ups. But, how do you launch on Product Hunt successfully?
☝️ First off: we weren’t that successful in terms of ranking on PH. We weren’t “product of the day” or “product of the week” unfortunately. But, we DO were successful in terms of new visitors, brand-awareness and, most importantly, new signups.
And with a couple of hundred upvotes, we didn’t do a bad job at all.
🚀 How to launch on Product Hunt?
Here are a couple of things that we did to prepare a good launch on Product Hunt.
Always launch at 12:00 AM San Francisco time. This is the area the majority of PH users and influencers live. So it’s a good thing to be present right at the start of a new day. You can calculate the time you’ll have to launch in your current timezone here.
Name, tagline, photos and videos 📸
When you launch, the first thing PH-ers (a.k.a. Product Hunters) will see is your name and your tagline. One of the most important things to think about is how you want to communicate your launch to the Product Hunt’s community. It needs to be authentic, non-spammy and non-promotional. But on the other hand, you need to stand out. In other words: tell them what benefit they can get from your product or service.
We did it like this:
Next, you’ll need to have some great photos (and a video) to show PH-ers how your product or service looks like. It’s recommended to upload at least 6 photos. Make them stand out and easy to read. Make sure visitors understand what this is all about. Adding a video will definitely upgrade your Product Hunt profile. You can make a simple but effective video for a few bucks on websites like Fiverr, etc. Animation videos are always doing a great job, the community loves them! It’s worth investing, and you can always use it for your own website too.
The description ✏️
When visitors look at your photos and they like it, they will scroll down to the description. Here, it’s very important to be clear about the product itself and the benefits it can give. Make it short and strong.
The first comment is yours 💬
Prepare your first comment. Tell the community about your motives and why you’ve built this Product. Don’t be spammy, just be authentic and honest.
📅 Clear your schedule for the day!
The MOST important thing you need to do on the day you launch is to clear your whole schedule. Be present. All day long. Because today… winter is coming.
You will need to divide your attention on multiple fronts: your Product Hunt profile, in the Product Hunt chat rooms, in your email client, on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I mean.. literally everywhere. Because if your Product Hunt launch is somewhat successful, winter will be there.
When you launch on Product Hunt, there will be a lot of people interested in your product. Not only from a “potential-client” kind of way, but also from people who just love to check out new products. And it can be very rewarding to talk to this kind of people. They can be ambassadors for your product and through them you can reach a larger audience.
This happened when Joey wanted to try out our product, just to review it.
So make sure you are able to answer all of the questions from potential customers asap!
And invite your current users to comment/review your product on PH too:
You will definitely need to be present the whole day. Trust me.
🤔 What we could have done better…
If you want to launch your startup or product on Product Hunt, it’s good to understand that it’s a community. A community that can be highly rewarding if you are authentic and willing to invest. The most important thing we did “wrong” was to focus too much on the amount of upvotes, right from the beginning. In order to boost the upvotes, we asked all of our current users and followers (mainly the followers from our founder @startupwithmike) to upvote. The result: we gain a lot of upvotes. As it turns out… too many.
Let me explain.
Because it’s a community, the upvotes of community members are highly effective. When you have too many upvotes from “new” Product Hunt users within a certain time frame, PH will devalue your listing. Which is a shame, because the upvotes you are getting from your users/friends/followers, are real. But for Product Hunt, the community, it’s not that relevant. And that’s somewhere understandable. Although they don’t share the metrics of their algorithm, it’s safe to say it works something like this:
So, you can have all the upvotes in the world. But as long as they’re all from new accounts, they won’t have much effect.
👉 This is what we would do differently next time
The best thing we can advise you is to really invest in the community upfront. It’s not your own launch that will make it successful. You’ll need the community!
Talk to users who are active Product Hunt community members. Ask them to try out your product upfront. If you can get them enthusiastic about your product, they are more likely to upvote and share it on the day you launch.
Contribute to the Product Hunt community by participating. Check ProductHunt.com on a daily basis and vote and comment on new startups you really like. Help people by answering their questions. In other words: join the community and make yourself known.
📈 Current metrics;
Paid users: 16
MRR: $ 255,-