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Ask HN: How did you find your first 10 customers for your startup?
40 points by going_to_800 on Mar 8, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 21 comments

Twitter. If you are solving a real pain point, there will likely be people complaining about it on twitter. Search for those phrases and offer to solve their problem. I got my first couple hundred users this way. Then it grew organically from there.

Awesome, thanks. This could also be used to find what pains people have.

Any suggestion of how to find that? Using keywords like "how can I" ?

It's hard to say without knowing you problem/solution. Perhaps search for your competitor and scan for complaints. My app helps podcasters record their skype/hangouts calls so i search "podcast record skype" or variants of that and look for people complaining about the quality.

Another thing you can try is searching for the hashtags of conferences in your industry.

Thanks, you gave me an idea to search for tech recruiters(one of the target market) with hashtags

Do you have any tips how to engage with them?

How do you see them using it? I know a couple of a Tech recruiters and I'm happy to email them on your behalf if I can understand the use case.

Hey, thanks for the offer.

They can include the link to the chat page in job posting, articles, careers page, email etc, like "Apply via Chat"

A few benefits are: - low barrier to get in touch, right when the candidates are the most interested - faster than email and more comfortable than phone calls(especially for tech guys) - no more filling of long application forms - gives a good impression and stands out from the competition

I think you're onto something here but don't realise quite how useful what you have can be in the right hands, with the right pitch.

Push the mobile side of things, right now every recruitment site has a brick wall where the CV upload is mandatory but every iPhone user cannot upload a file - you're solving that problem and then some.

My product is similar to HootSuite, Buffr etc. but by focusing on a Niche (Real Estate) I'm seeing promising traction. By focusing you're going to find it easier to reach potential customers and your product development will be cut down too.

Are you in the UK? I'd love to meet for a beer and discuss, I think this could be huge.

FYI applypage.io is available.

If anyone reading this is interested in this product please email me (in my profile) - as this will be ready very soon after chatting with the OP.

That's a really great point.

Unfortunately I'm not from UK, I'm from eastern Europe.

We can chat using the tool if you like :)

I'm aware that I owe you an email reply OP, sorry I have been busy and have stopped cold emailing customers.

Right now, I'm selling to retail / real estate (http://www.retailwizard.co.uk / http://www.propertywizard.io) so to get customers I literally go to their workplace & ask them for 5 minutes of their time. I did try emailing as you know, but I have found going to speak to to them face-to-face to be more effective for my niche.

Obviously email works for other sectors, something I'm looking to explore again in the future.

I think that's a great tip.

For your product, would it apply for Canadian retailers/real estate companies as well?

Given that I was focused on real estate with my previous startup, I could help you make the connections in Canada.

It works worldwide, the only reason I'm concentrating on the UK at the moment is because of my high touch sales process. I'd love to chat more (email in my profile) and I'd appreciate any connections you can make. I'd also be happy to pay you a referral fee.

Sure. I'll ping you through email later today.

I didn't get an email, just wanted to make sure I didn't miss it?

Thanks for asking a very relevant question.

Another tip I can share is going to meetups of your target customer and building relationships.

We're building something that's fairly overlapping (i.e. landing pages, etc. ) but we're more focused on the marketing automation piece. Good luck!

It really depends on your product. Is it an app? SaaS?

Have you validated yet?

Kinda validated, but I need to hit the 10 customers mark.

My product is a SaaS, outbound live chat for lead generation teams.

Quite a busy space that.

What pain points does your platform offer that others dont?

Higher engagement(it's a landing page dedicated to chat), lead generation during conversation(it has a form builder) and you can include the chat link in emails or other websites.

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