Co founder at Pixelied
I’ve seen many indie product creators or team members work on their product/SaaS for months and after developing it, they mostly don’t know how to get their first beta testers.
Getting your first early users is probably one of the most daunting tasks for most people unless you have an experienced team or have done it before.
After working for 9 months on Pixelied, we were over the moon but reality hit us hard since we knew nothing on how to get our early users to use/test our platform.
At this stage, our only goal was to get specific feedback from our users and how Pixelied can help in their business. The reason for this was because we needed to know how our initial users would react to our design tool.
The feedback which we got from our first beta testers proved to be immensely helpful as it allowed us to see get feedback from a user’s perspective and what changes we had to do in order to make the app usable.
The first thing I did was post Pixelied on Indie hackers in order to get the initial traction.
I posted in the ‘Beta Testing’ community of IndieHackers. I would suggest to first contribute in different communities at least 2 weeks ahead before posting something about your startup.
You can even post in some other communities such as ‘Landing Page Feedback’ which would also allow you get some traffic from there.
Here’s the link to the post I made: https://www.indiehackers.com/post/need-beta-testers-for-our-design-tool-free-account-for-3-months-a24f6dd415
The next place where I posted about our platform was on Reddit. But I only posted on small subreddits related to SaaS, tech and startups, where promotion was allowed.
I used Delay for Reddit to find out what was the best time when most of the users were online.
Here are the Subreddits where I posted:
Now I went for Facebook groups that were active and related to what we were providing. The most success we got from was a Lifetime Deal group called Martech Wise. (Thank you Donald for allowing it 🤗).
The members of this group were quite receptive to our idea and gave a lot helpful ideas and feedback. Always ask group admins for permission before posting. (I learned it the hard way 😅)
Here are the groups where you can post: (It is a good idea to contribute in these groups and then approach an admin for posting your startup)
Product Hunt Groups:
I posted Pixelied on BetaList at the start of 1st June and little did I know that there was a waiting list of at least a month. But nonetheless, Pixelied was featured after a month and this is where we got most of our users. So make sure to post your startup at least before one month to avoid any issues.
Note: The key here in posting on these groups and sites is to be active in order to post something like this.
I haven't personally used these traffic channels but you can explore and they might bring extra traction and users for your startup.
Here is the list:
Also be sure to do some personal outreach via Linkedin, Twitter, and Instagram.
We also gave users a 3 month Pro access for Pixelied with all the features and updates. I’ve seen some startups give lifetime access or free access for a long period of time.
Lastly, it is important to get user feedback at the end of 2 weeks in order to identify the pain points, features to be included and how the software can be refined further to help in their businesses.
This feedback can be done using email and further shortlist the users who give very detailed feedback and ask them for a short Skype session where you further dive in to specifics.
We used Google Forms and Skype for conducting feedback for our platform.
Here is the survey which we used for collecting user feedback: https://forms.gle/sX3MMRhSpAcd9QPu7
There are surely thousand other ways you could get your beta testers but I just focused on a few channels which provided us with good results.
Here is the amount of traffic which we have been able to get from the above channels:
I would love to know which other methods have worked in getting the initial traction for your product 😉
Shameless Plug: If you’d like to create awesome designs in a few minutes, then try Pixelied! Its free to use 😊
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