In my previous blog, I explained all the steps the team went through before we created our landing page. Since our first idea validation round was very positive, it was time for us to get validation from people outside our network.
Thanks to our efforts, we managed to attract 1,000 unique visitors in a month and converted 10% of them into potential beta testers.
To be honest, this has been to most exciting and challenging phase so far. I had to start from a blank page with a major difficulty: to not disclose our real name and use an alias — Mister Hat.
Step 1: Define Personas
The first step was to identify potential buyers. From our research we identified two main personas we could easily target online:
- Business owners and managers convinced about the benefits of alignment
We initially restricted this to people who are publicly talking about OKR (Objective & Key Results). The main reason is that our solution aimed to support OKR initiative and this keyword is easy to isolate in a search.
- People, and ideally managers of teams, working remotely
This second persona was selected for the same reasons. The community of remote workers keeps increasing, and there’s a lot of online communities. So, it’s easy to target them.
Among these two profiles, I’ve particularly targeted tech-savvy people interested in testing new solutions. That’s why I’ve narrowed down the reach to startups/SME or tech/product profiles in larger organisations.
I also researched to better understand what would attract these people the most, and what kind of messages would have the most impact. I would summarize my findings in a few keywords: transparency, opinion, support, give, expertise, share, and fun.
This phase is crucial, and you should take a lot of time to read and observe before you begin marketing and growth activities. You definitely don’t want to waste time creating generic content which would end up generating very little traffic. You should also target less than three personas to make sure you can easily track which one drives better results.
Step 2: Channels, Account Setups and Engagement
Based on my research on personas, I was able to quickly identify the key social media platforms where I could find my targets. For efficiency, I decided to limit my activities to a few sites:
- Beta platforms / startup listings
There are plenty of places where to index a platform and get traffic from beta lovers. Some websites refer more than 1,000 of them. I only registered for a few. The most efficient platforms, so far, have been: Betalist, Betabound, Launchfeed, etc.
- Social media platforms
I, again, decided to focus on the two platforms where my personas would be the easiest to target, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Twitter was certainly the toughest, as people there are looking for real people vs. an alias to engage with and, on top of that, you must stand out of the crowd. Creating a new identity on Twitter requires a lot of work and engagement with the audience. But when well done, it really helps build a responsive audience, collect rapid feedback and drive qualitative traffic. Essentially, the goal on Twitter is to build your reputation, show your expertise and engage with market influence to benefit from their captive audience.
LinkedIn was a bit easier as I got the chance to recycle a company page from another dead project. I changed the description, ULR, name and visual aesthetic and tada! 🎉
Yet, that’s the easy part. It turns out that page content isn’t very prioritised by LinkedIn algorithms and I suspect this to be even worse when a page has been “sleeping” for a while. Generally speaking, the engagement rate on content on LinkedIn is quite low. On this platform, I didn’t create an account for Mister Hat, it wouldn’t make sense as aliases, and fake accounts are not very welcome by the community. Also, it would have been quite cumbersome to create a complete and attractive profile.
The last channel type I chose to focus on was the community. That’s indeed integral when it comes to targeting a certain persona, but it’s also the most time-consuming. Entering a community requires being accepted, to learn its code and to contribute a lot. Yet, that’s also where you can capture the most qualitative audience. As we’re big fans of the open startup community, we’ve decided to focus first on Makers related communities: ProductHunt, IndieHackers & Maker’s Kitchen.
My goals in these communities has been to engage with other great Makers to learn from them and support them in their own initiatives. Next, I focused on getting feedback on what we’re building and, consequently, built our brand awareness.
Step 3: Track and Optimise
Getting traffic is good, but being able to analyse it and then reproduce the magic is better.
In our first month, it was important for us to experiment and analyse what source provided the most high-quality of traffic. Our statement was simple, if we engage with the right audience and if they visit our website, we’ll immediately know if it’s worth coding.
Out of the first 1,000 visitors, we managed to convince 100 of them to register with our wait-list. 💪
Therefore, the second step is to deep dive into the analytics to know where the traffic is coming from, what they paid attention on the platform and were their actions before their registration. That’s where it got messy… :-/
In the middle of the month, we decided to shift from www.achieved.ai to www.getachieved.com, and we forgot to change a setting. Unfortunately, this caused us to miss a consequent amount of “event” in our goal tracking. Fortunately, this was something we were able to easily consolidate thanks to our contact list.
The second and bigger mistake we made was not being systematic in adding a source or a reference when we were referencing our website. Around 75% of our traffic comes from direct access to the website. This means that we were unable to know the source of 75% of our traffic. As a consequence, our optimisations for next month were very limited.
Since we’ve learned from this mistake, we’re much more systematic when it comes to traffic tracking. 😄
Even though getting 1,000 unique visitors with 0€ spent and only few hours of work is great, it is just the beginning. Our primary goal for the next few months is to keep increasing our exposure and build a significant user base to kickstart our beta. We will also improve our own practice to avoid untracked links, and we’ll keep testing other techniques.
As this blog was focused on the technique we used, the next one will probably focus on the tools behind them.
Please give a shoutout if you have any questions or feedback on what we do! :-)