Long before we think about Super Bowl commercials and dominating Facebook feeds with the glory of our new product, we're going to stay laser focused on one thing: our First 100 customers.

100 customers may seem like a small number right now, and later on 100 customers will seem like nothing. But when we're just getting started, our First 100 customers should be treated like the most important people on the planet. They are our first born. Each and every one of them provides a massive amount of value because they know something we don't - whether they will ever give a damn about our product!

Starting a Conversation

When we're just getting started, we need conversations more than customers. Customers are useful when you have a refined marketing message that lots of people have validated with their hard-earned money. We just aren't there yet.

Right now we have what we think is the right message, but we need to start a conversation with our First 100 customers to find out if they agree. Once we've had some time with our First 100 we can then expand to our First 1,000 with a bit more confidence.

Therefore, all of our efforts will focus on starting a conversation with our customers. We're going to ask a ton of questions and listen very intently so that we can shape our message. Some of those questions might include:

  • Do our customers care about the problem we’re solving?
  • What might our solution be worth to them?
  • Does the name of our product even make sense?

As it happens, connecting to your customers’ problems by asking questions is one of the most effective marketing strategies there is, so while we're deliberately gathering intel in the short term, we're actually laying the groundwork for how we're going to find the most effective messaging for our customer acquisition efforts later. It's a 2 for 1 deal!

We're Not Selling (Yet)

The first stage of customer acquisition isn't about selling, and therefore the focus isn't about "how many people converted to paid customers?" Don’t worry, we'll definitely focus on that later, but it's not appropriate right now because we don't want to confuse "please buy something" with the questions that we're asking.

This will also help us craft a more authentic dialogue with our customers (yay trust!) because when we take the option of "selling them" out of the equation, we end up with marketing that feels more personable and authentic — which is what great messaging is all about.

Make Small Scale Mistakes

Not only are we figuring out exactly how customers respond to our product, we're figuring out how to best utilize our marketing channels. We're going to make a ton of mistakes - everyone does.

We're going to pull the dumb-ass move of sending a newsletter to all of our customers with in the subject line. We're going to burn through hundreds of dollars in paid marketing only to realize we've been sending people to the wrong landing page. The list goes on.

If we're going to make these rookie mistakes, let's do them on a small scale while we're still getting our feet under us.

The Goal

The combination of our efforts here will be what establishes our initial marketing foundation. We’ll actually use the same basic tactics not only for our First 100 customers, but well beyond that to our first million!

For now, however, we’re more focused on just establishing our marketing channels and starting to build a relationship with our audience. The first few months are about learning and testing so we know where to focus our time going forward.

By the time we finish, we’ll walk away with a much better understand of:

  1. How to leverage the key channels of getting our first customers to maximum effect.
  2. Who’s actually interested in our concept.
  3. How to take what we’ve learned from our early acquisition efforts and continue building upon it at scale.

So we’ve got plenty of work in front of us! Let’s dig in!

How to Build an Audience
  • Field test early messaging by leveraging our immediate social circle
  • Harness the power of repetition to get our messaging to sink in
  • Get others to share our content and help spread the word

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