How did you get your first paying customers?
Shared by elias@guineapig.app · 22d ago · 8 comments

We just launched our updated product and website (https://www.guineapig.app) after having a few friendly teams try out our first version for free. Now we need to find our first paying customers.

How did you get your first paying customers? Through your network or cold calling? Did you go for a narrow target market or did you talk to anyone who would take your call?

Appreciate any and all stories and tips!

louis · 18d ago

Hey Elias, the site looks great. I´m not sure if it´s relevant but we found our first customers by getting into communities (I mean, Slack channels) where people had the problem that we were solving, and then engaging in conversations with those people until magically someone bought.

One thing that just occurred to me: could you partner with companies that are already doing similar things to sell your solution whitelabeled? e.g. https://unmind.com/?locale=en.

Good luck!

elias@guineapig.app · 18d ago

Hey Louis,
I think what you've done is a really great way to do it actually. Will definitely try it out. Yeah, partnerships are also super interesting for us. There are a lot of companies that use insurance companies and health solutions providers that we'll be looking into partner with to get distribution. Thanks a ton!

Outside of friends and family, Reddit as well as a tech park's assistance to share their booth at PAX South where we also got a list of free signups on top. We learned that way that the cost of doing conventions REALLY isnt worth it in most cases unless you have mainstream press lined up for coverage. My cofounder told me the staggering amounts Razer spent at places like Gamescon and how little they got back in return but they chalked that expense up to the cost of maintaining their brand profile. Nice if you can afford it I suppose.

elias@guineapig.app · 18d ago

Very interesting to hear about the conventions, will take note of that going forward. Thanks for sharing!

manojranaweera · 20d ago

We only have two paying customers at https://skilledup.life - waiting for the first employee to come on board as I don't have time to do justice. First customer: I approach a founder I build a relationship on a forum like this. Second, came out of nowhere.

As a sound strategy, marketing (and sales) ought to be targeted at consumers or customers identified through a customer persona exercise. However, you should be able to accept anyone who is willing to pay. Just be careful in building stuff not in alignment with the target customer, unless of course, you don't actually know what you are doing, i.e. you are experimenting.

Your product is not for me, so not going to try. Wish you all the best.

elias@guineapig.app · 18d ago

Thanks for sharing and for the well-wishes!

channaranatunga · 21d ago

Hi Elias, Congrats on your soft launch with friends and family.

For us, both our close network and cold calling worked.

But, we believe it is important to focus on a narrow market. It helped us improve our sales motion; this was important as the next set of feature request were common across the board.

I hope this helps.

- Channa

elias@guineapig.app · 18d ago

Very helpful, thanks for sharing, Channa! :)