Almost every startup needs a group of early adopters. Whether your startup develops applications, offers a new platform or builds entirely new technology, the first group of customers is essential to getting started. Typically, your first customers will chart the course for success or failure in your startup. To get early adopters to start using your product or service, try these five ways to attract early adopters.

Define your ideal early adopter

As an entrepreneur, you should have a solid understanding of your target audience. Next, you will have to envision the ideal early adopter. In contrast to your target market, the early adopter may have additional resources to try new technology. Of course, they might be actively seeking the latest and most innovative technology available. Or, they might be influencers in your new industry who like to share their experiences. Depending on your startup services, make a list of the ideal characteristics of early adopters.

Go where your early adopters are

Many startups instantly start posting on social media, hoping to find beta testers or initial customers which can work. According to the Founder of Boat Planet, “Facebook Groups are a great resource to connect with people who are passionate about your industry.” You can ask questions and connect with individuals directly in the group or at group meetups. Often times, these direct connections with customers in your industry can lead to early adoption rates to get your startup going.

Release a free version of your product

In some capacity, offer a free trial, product or service to attract early adopters. The freemium model works especially well for SaaS, platform or marketplaces that are not 100% completed products. In effect, you are not asking your early customers to pay anything until they are confident that they absolutely need your startup’s services. Moreover, the try before you buy approach will build trust among customers and help spread the word about your new startup. If possible, cave out something free in your product or service offerings for faster adoption rates.

Communicate the startup’s immense value

Individuals, professionals or not, are busy. Unless you communicate a compelling reason to start using your products right now, most people will put off the trial for later on. Your marketing message must clearly resonate with your early adopters. You must offer reasons like making money, saving time or removing pain so that potential customers buy your products now, not later. If you can overcome the noise by communicating a real value, your startup will attract many more early adopters.

Seek feedback and share your success

Next, when you get some early adopters, let them help you attract more. Make your process transparent and interactive. When your initial customers know that you value their opinions, they are more likely to share your startup services with other customers. Here, your startup wins by learning valuable product feedback. Secondly, you have the opportunity to engage your customers and ask them to share your startup success with other potential customers.

These are quick ways to attract early adopters. It all starts with knowing your ideal first customers and finding where they are. Offer them something free or give them a truly compelling reason to make the jump to your startup. Putting your startup in the right places, you will be able to get early adopters who offer feedback and share your company with other early adopters too.

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