What are some unique and interesting tactics B2B (enterprise/SaaS) startups do (or have done) to gain its first 1000 customers? Originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
I have helped 3 B2B companies (2 B2B SaaS) grow from 0 to 50k+ unique visitors in 3-6 months. Currently helping a B2B SaaS to reach 1k+ paid customers with a growth rate of 50% MoM. Some of the ideas which I implemented in early stage to gain early traction:
Featuring Industry Influencers:
Find who are the industry influencers and reach out to them for an interview.
For example if you are a security startup, reach out to all 50 web security experts and ask for a 30mins – 1 hour skype call.
But make sure you provide value to their time by linking back to them + social sharing.
First step is to get connected with influencers.
Once you have connection with influencer, you can approach them to promote your product.
Communities (Quora, Reddit)
Probably one of the underrated channels for B2B companies.
Find the communities where your ideal audience hang out and start engaging with relevant content.
For example, if you are a web development outsourcing company,
- Quora: Go ahead and answer all the Quora questions in web development, IT Outsourcing, and all the technologies you specialise (node.js, react).
- Find other communities similar Quora where entrepreneurs hangout (Example: ycombinator, reddit, designerdepot)
- Finding relevant Facebook, LinkedIn groups and start sharing content. (Pro tip: Please engage with the community before posting your links, don’t just spam the groups)
- Finding relevant google communities and engaging with relevant content.
Leverage Other People’s Audience:
Once you have the persona of your ideal customer, find out where they hang out online.
Is there any common application he would be using? or is he/she checkout this particular blog?
Go approach the website owners for a guest blog or paid promotion to their subscribers.
Remarketing can get tons of signups.
Start with AdWords or AdRoll.
Go with freemium plan which would attract lot of users.
You will be amazed on how this can work
- Bing Ads – Whenever somebody searches your competitor on bing you can show your ad. Say all the better features, demo, site links.
- Google Ads (AdWords) – whenever somebody searches your competitor you can show your ad.
Here is a screenshot on how FreshDesk is taking advantage of the same:
Build some good easy to use tools for your ideal customers.
Find the podcast hosts who are in the same industry and ask them to interview you or sponsor the podcast.
Co-Promote Webinars, Infographics
Partner up with other companies and conduct webinars or infographics.
Good Old Tactics (Which Still Works)
- Facebook ads
- Content Marketing
- Out bound reach
It all comes down to finding the user personas and tapping one at a time.