From 0 to 200 users
It has taken 8 weeks to go from 0 to 200 users, and as of writing this post we are at 237.
It took 6 weeks to get the first 50 users and 6 days to get the next 50. Well it took just 3 more days to double that again to get to 200. We were recently seeing conversions of up to 40 users a day, that seemed impossible a couple months ago, we were feeling pretty good to say the least.
Then some reality. For the last 4 days we've had 0 conversions. You think the conversions will just keep coming, but they don't. The momentum you build needs to be continually fed and nurtured with more content, more links, more promotion.
It's one of many lessons we've learned along the way, here are some more.
Your immediate network of friends/colleagues/acquaintances are your first 10 users. These are people who care about you, not your product per se, but they will support you and sign-up regardless. Their feedback is valuable at this stage but they may not be your exact market, so take it with a grain of salt, albeit appreciatively.
Sharing insights wherever you can is a good way to engage people with your product. Sign-ups from posts where we have been open and genuine about where we are at and what we are doing have done well in conversions and have provided the most valuable and useful feedback.
People telling others about you gives the best conversion, be it newsletters or blogs. Everyone is an influencer to someone. You don't need to find someone with millions of instagram followers to get a lot of people to check out your product. A recommendation from a person's newsletter with 5K subscribers gave us the highest conversion rates (~25%). They are like mini influencers (minfluencers if you will), they may as well be a Kardashian at this embryonic stage of a startup.
We've used this initial period to optimise our conversion process, we hope that this leads to greater conversion rates as our traffic increases.
Reddit traffic, or just generalised traffic who don't know your product until they land on your page, is very difficult to convert. There is no intermediary to explain your product or to recommend it to them. The traffic is nice but the lack of conversion is disheartening.