Sep 16, 2023
As you may have learned from our social media, on August 25th, we became the number 1 product of the day at our first launch with buildwiththeta on Product Hunt. (By the way, the third in our startup founders' life).
This article is to tell you all about our moves. What to do and what not to do, and especially to debunk some myths, perhaps! 👀
Here are 11 points + a bonus:
1/11 🕸️ Network
Connect with as many people as possible through your primary social media channels, especially LinkedIn and Twitter. You'll find people who are more interested and probably have been on Product Hunt for a while. Initially, these could be your primary channels, but not the only ones.
Also, look for the top 500 makers and top 100 hunters lists so you can find their social profiles, connect, and start telling your story.
2/11 ⏰ Timing
The first hours of the launch are the most crucial. Make sure to reach the first position within 5 hours of the launch! This can create a real gap between you and your competitors. In our case, we immediately took the first position and tried to push it as much as possible to maintain it.
3/11 🚨 Report to Product Hunt (if necessary)
After being in the first place for 5 hours, something strange happened. We became second. The first place was occupied by a product that wasn't even in the top 5 in the hours before or perhaps wasn't visible, reaching almost double the number of our upvotes in less than half an hour. We reported this anomaly to Product Hunt via email and chatbot. They promptly investigated and removed that product.
4/11 📱 Social Distribution
Distribution through various channels, including WhatsApp groups, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Telegram, and other platforms, should be well-done and consistent. We created customized text for direct messages, presentation posts, update posts, and follow-ups. This way, we optimized our time by copying and pasting while maintaining the same storytelling.
If it's your first launch, explore various channels at least 2 months before. If you're already on your second or third launch, start at least a week ahead (you already know that channel, so warming up the audience will be enough).
Advice: If you're writing to friends or people you consider important, send personalized messages, or at least write a dedicated introduction to that person. In this case, copying and pasting might come across as rushed and cold.
Here's a brief recap of our social media activity (but don't be scared, there are also some automations):
+600 private messages between LinkedIn and Twitter,
+30 posts in Product Hunt groups worldwide,
+10 groups between Telegram and WhatsApp, 1 live on TikTok,
+20 posts during the 24 hours of the launch,
+20 hours actively in front of the computer, answering +160 comments, reposting, and contacting other people.
5/11 🔜 Teaser and Scheduling
The Teaser page is a must! We created it about 10 days before, but if you already have some material, I would do it a month before to accumulate followers for the launch. I noticed some friction and limitations in the UX of the teaser, but I recommend doing it with custom images and immediately sending the link to your contacts to activate "notify me" and receive the notification on the launch day.
Even if it's your first launch, to avoid last-minute anxiety and problems, I would schedule the launch. Don't worry; it will always be 100% editable.
6/11 ✅ Audience and Product Hunt User Quality
A large audience, mainly consisting of Product Hunt members? You might have a slight advantage. We've heard this theory several times and maybe even experienced it during previous launches with the old product. We think it's pointless to register people on the spot to get upvotes; it doesn't help. Each user has a weight, and an upvote from a newly registered user is not worth as much as one from a user with a lot of karma.
In our two previous launches, despite having more upvotes at times, we didn't climb the rankings because many of the votes came from users who had recently joined Product Hunt.
7/11 ✏️ Creativity
Give space and importance to creativity. For your logo, a .gif is better than a static image (although I noticed that Product Hunt says the opposite during the Teaser and Scheduling phase).
How to do it?
Create a GIF with logo animation, but remember to include at least 1 frame at the beginning with your logo/icon still. During the launch, especially for those viewing your products from a computer, hovering over your logo will trigger the animation. It will certainly catch more attention.
And the product gallery?
Well-designed, appealing, and clear graphics will undoubtedly give a good impression to those discovering you and therefore more attention.
8/11 ❓ The Question. When to Launch?
What is the best day for the launch? According to the standard, choose Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for a larger audience.
Choose Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday if you want to secure a spot in the top three.
However, despite this, there are sometimes significantly higher numbers on weekends than on days with more audience.
Do you want to reach the first place for the week? In this case, the standard says to publish on Monday because it's the official start of the Product Hunt week. However, we can also contradict this. We believe it's the product that speaks in this case.
After reaching the #1 product of the day on August 25th, we also reached:
#1 Design tool of the week
#3 Developers tool of the week
#4 Design tool of the month
But, please, be aware that everything we've written cannot be scientifically proven. It's all based on our launch experiences (the last one with Theta buildwiththeta.com).
9/11 👉🏻 Second or More Launches? Then It Will Go Better.
Who can know? Rumor has it that it does. We haven't noticed this.
10/11 🦸♂️ Hunter
Is it really important to have one? Product Hunt says no.
But we believe it's important, depending on who you choose. If it's a hunter who can mobilize large interested masses or has a very solid and active network, it makes sense. Otherwise, no.
The day before the launch, after scheduling and adding the team as makers and our CMO as a hunter and maker, we chatted with Rohan, who volunteered as a hunter. If you want to know more about Rohan and his support groups, contact him here 👉 Rohan
How did we add the hunter after scheduling? We asked Product Hunt in the chat to add the hunter, sending Rohan's username and the product link. Super fast support, in just a few hours.
11/11 📅 Preparation Days
How many days do you need to prepare for the launch?
In our case, being already on PH and having an old network, we did it in a month.
Are you launching for the first time? Perhaps 2 months in advance.
Want a great launch? At least 1 month
In a hurry? At least 15 days.
The Product Hunt launch is a real marathon. It requires attention and dedication. You only have 24 hours to make your product known to the world.
Create a good "maker comment," the first thing users will see at the launch. Empathetic, clear, with bullet points, and a call to action.
Always respond to comments, and if you find a comment interesting, valuable, or fun, reward it.
Our launch lasted 20 hours, and we allowed ourselves only 4 hours of sleep.
During those hours of sleep, we preferred to keep the audience warm with scheduled posts on Meta and with scheduled direct messages through an automation program on Twitter.
In conclusion, your support and feedback are necessary for other launchers and builders. This way, you will also gain their trust and, why not, support for your future launches.
Product Hunt is a beautiful community, like a plant, it must be treated well and nurtured every day.
In short, create your network within Product Hunt, participate actively. And if you're new? As mentioned earlier, prepare for the launch at least 2 months in advance, and during those two months, in addition to preparing the launch material, start making yourself seen, start interacting, get known, and create discussions.
Do you have other questions? Connect with our CMO on LinkedIn (Gianluca) ✨
A special thanks to Rohan, the Invincible product hunting groups, and our Italian friends for their support during our launch. Here's the link to our product if you want to support it further and leave a review.
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