How Airbnb, Reddit, Groupon and others got their first users

This is a really interesting post if you’re an entrepreneur (or want to be one). I’ve added the key take aways below, but read the full post to get the actual cases.

Takeaways

The whole point of this is to look at what successful startups did, and see if we can apply it to our own marketing. Some key points to consider:

  • Try making a video to explain your service, if text isn’t doing it justice. And if you do, make sure to target the community you’ll be sharing to.
  • The best way to make your new community not look like a ghost town is to fill it up yourself. Whether you take the reddit approach of fake users or go with Quora’s team of active members depends on what kind of community it is. Having fake users on Quora, an important aspect of which is credentials for every user, wouldn’t have worked.
  • Is there already an existing user base on another service that you can tap into? Try taking Airbnb’s approach and seeing if you can get some of them onto your website. When doing this, it’s important to note that what you’re offering should be better in some way.
  • Local is key in a lot of these stories. It’s much easier and cheaper to focus on one subset of people than trying to get them all.

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