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How We Launched the #1 Book Ever on Product Hunt

How We Launched the #1 Book Ever on Product Hunt

Product Hunt is where MVPs and startups go to die or thrive.

Which one are you?

If you launch successfully on Product Hunt, you can get thousands of subscribers and customers.

If done wrong, you’ll realize you never had a product people wanted or took the time to build an audience.

We did it the right way when launching THE BAMF BIBLE which led to over 4,000 new subscribers and thirty high-quality leads for my agency – all within nine days.

Before reading on, ask yourself:

“Should I launch on Product Hunt?”

If you check off these requirements, then yes:

  1. You have a product targeted at early adopter market in the tech startup scene
  2. You have a product people are willing to pay for
  3. You’re not pitching a pure enterprise product
  4. You have consistent value once they opt-in
  5. You have an audience ready to engage

THE BAMF BIBLE is a book with 25+ growth hacking from 2017. It fits the early adopter demographic because growth hacking implies you have a secret sauce to grow startups. Moreover, people expressed over and again that they’d be willing to pay us for the book. And, most importantly, we had #4 and #5 covered.

This is where most Product Hunt launches fail.

They gather thousands of subscribers.

Then what?

They get a generic thank-you email, then there’s no follow-up.

If you don’t have email or Messenger blast that consistently provides value every week – don’t launch.

Otherwise, you’ll lose the people who visit your website and opt-in. Most people who launch on Product Hunt do this – that’s why most fail even with a thousand plus upvotes on their product. Ouch.

You can’t guarantee upvotes either.

You need momentum and that comes from a community who will engage with your launch.

“I launched my super awesome AI-driven GIF creator on Product Hunt. I’m guaranteed to go viral.” – Said no one ever.

You need to post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and send out email and Messenger blasts. If you’re not active on social or run an engaged subscriber list, then your chances of success are almost zero.

You can always spam many Facebook Groups and Facebook friends, then ask people to promote you for free, but this will make you look like an asshole and you won’t get results 🙂

Rather than rely on bad marketing, let’s rely on what works – systems with proven results.

I’ll take you step-by-step of how to create an audience, have a successful launch, and take care of your subscribers afterward:

Step 1: Assemble a Team & Create Trust

One of the main factors that contributed to my book’s success was the people involved. I had many high-level entrepreneurs, marketers, and founders who contributed. As a result, upon release, they’d share it with their communities.

Who’s involved in the making of your product?

Whether it’s beta testers or a huge community, ensure they’re the right people for when you launch. You don’t want them pretending to love what you do, then dropping out right before the finish line.

To highlight our contributors, we gave them a dedicated section at the beginning (NOT THE END) of our book. We wanted them to know we genuinely cared about their contribution. Then we used that page as one of the first pictures on Product Hunt.

Did it work?

Each one of them shared.

Plus, it better reflected the vision of those who wanted to engage – a product that represents the Badass Marketers & Founders’ community.

The second half is I needed people to trust that this would be an epic book of growth hacks. People don’t have a reason to upvote unless you’ve given them tons of value beforehand. Imagine you’re on Product Hunt and never heard of Badass Marketers & Founders. Would you upvote the book right away?

Of course not.

You haven’t even read it.

And we can’t expect people to upvote the book a month later once they’ve finished reading.

We needed people who trusted the value we were providing, so they’d upvote us before reading. This was a critical piece to our success.

By publishing growth hacks over the previous year, we had built that trust. It takes time – there’s no way around it.

Step 2: Collect Emails & Subscribers

I took a different approach than many Product Hunt launches. Rather than building my email list beforehand, I built my Messenger list.

Why?

A small two-hundred person sample size on Messenger gave me ridiculously-awesome results:

An eight-times higher click-through rate and three-times higher open rate than email.

Looking at the data, my 1,000-person Messenger list before launch engaged as powerfully as a 10,000-person email list. To build my Messenger list, I used ManyChat because they have many landing page features that enable me to catch subscribers.

Not ready to jump one hundred percent into using Messenger, I promoted both my email and Messenger list. First, I promoted my Messenger list on my email list. This got me an initial several hundred subscribers.

Then I turned the home page of my website into a Messenger opt-in. I also created a Messenger opt-in specifically for my Quora following.

Within a month, I had seven hundred subscribers.

Next stop: LinkedIn.

For four months, I’d been publishing many engaging statuses on LinkedIn to build a following. Then I began to promote my upcoming book with teasers. For instance, I took a screenshot of possible book covers and posted it on LinkedIn asking which one they liked the most.

I kept a low barrier to entry and made sure my audience knew I valued their opinion. All they had to do was type  “1,” “2,” or “3.”

As predicted, the post took off.

I ended up not using any of these covers, but I did get several hundred subscribers interested in keeping up with the launch. (A huge thank-you to Patrick Lyver for the final book cover).

Then I promoted my Messenger list in my Facebook Group by giving away viral LinkedIn outlines. This gave me three-hundred-and-fifty Messenger subscribers. A nice jolt to get my list above a thousand people.

I felt confident the launch would go well if I continued collecting subscribers.

The problem: I didn’t have much time left.

I needed to create the hype train.

Step 3: Start the Hype-Train Announcements

The book had been planned for a year, but I wanted the extra push to finish it. I also wanted to gauge the demand for the book.

After the announcement, it was clear people wanted it – and they wanted it now. Many were excited to pay for it and didn’t realize I was releasing it for free.

I got a lot of engagement on the announcement because I’d been documenting my growth hacks online for an entire year while connecting to people in the industry. People knew, liked, and trusted me. If you don’t have an engaged audience, there are still ways to get around it. I’ll explain later.

Many times I had talked about publishing a growth hacking book, but it never happened. Growth hacks get outdated fast. I had enormous pressure to keep the book current which meant replacing thirty-page chapters with up-to-date growth hacks. A four-month writing process turned into an entire year.

Step 4: Find a Hunter

Having an invested Hunter will help drive more engagement.

If you’re new to Product Hunt, know that Hunter is someone who uploads your product to the site with images, a link to your website, and tags the Makers (creators of the product). Once he hits publish, the product is officially live.

Jack Smith, one of the top hunters on Product Hunt, had been a part of my community for awhile. As a result, he had an incentive to spread the launch via word-of-mouth or sharing online. I’m not sure how much of a difference this made, but anyone who has a loyal startup following and loves what you do will help make a dent in engagement.

When I reached out to ask him if he would hunt our book, he gave the okay. We did change the date several times, but he stuck with us. Thanks, Jack!

Step 5: Oil the Hype Train with Pre-Announcements

The day before the launch, I wanted everyone to know when the launch would go live.

We didn’t have the book entirely finished. It took us until 7 a.m. in the morning – an hour before launch.

Still, we decided to go all in and put pressure on ourselves to perform. With that said, it’s better to launch right after midnight because you only get one day on the front page. At midnight – every night – the front page of Product Hunt refreshes with new launches. By waiting until 8 a.m. to post, we lost eight hours of being live on the front page.

The good news: We still kicked ass.

We had the first pre-announcement in our Facebook Group. We tagged all the book contributors and I used a live stream to make sure I hit as many people in my community as possible with the message.

Ten minutes later, I announced it on my Facebook profile. This drove an insane amount of engagement.

And, of course, I posted on LinkedIn to keep the hype wheels moving.

Then came the Messenger blast which had a glaring typo (see if you can find it):

“Hey [First Name],

Tomorrow @ 8 a.m. PT we’re launching our free eBook on Product Hunt with 25+ growth hacking case studies from the best marketers and founders.

It took us an entire year to create!

Please share share the book upon its release. We’ll notify you via Messenger. Let’s make the world a better place for marketers and founders.”

The message received a 95.2% open rate!

In total, thousands of people knew about the launch. We were ready for takeoff.

Step 6: Build out a Funnel

I have this labeled as step six because we didn’t build the funnel until after the pre-announcements.

Not the best idea, but it worked.

At around 1 a.m., we finished the GIF for the preview image.

BAMF - Josh

This preview image needed to stand out – hence why we created a GIF (thanks for the tip, Gilles De Clerck). We also included the benefit in the GIF, “25+ Growth Hacks You Can Use Today.” This helped us catch people’s attention to drive them to our Product Hunt landing page.

We did have to select a few categories for the book. I didn’t have any bright ideas, so I copied what other similar successful campaigns did. No point in reinventing the wheel.

The first step included writing the copy for the pinned post. I had no idea what to write, so I asked myself: “What’s the opposite of my book?” Well, it’s Hacking Growth by Morgan Brown and Sean Ellis.

I saw Morgan’s pinned post for their launch and wrote something similar while focusing on everything they wanted to stay away from.

He writes, “It’s not a recipe book of hacks…”

I write, “This is the complete recipe book of growth hacks…”

Here’s where I took the risk: I directed the “GET IT” button to a landing page where people could get the book by subscribing to my Messenger list. I made sure to include Product Hunt in the headline copy, so people visiting felt extra special.

I also focused on the benefits in the sub headline, added a few testimonials by influencers, and a clear call to action. This page was A/B tested with other campaigns, so we had confidence in it. The result: 36% conversion rate.

Using Messenger led to two huge unforeseen benefits:

1. We didn’t get fake email addresses.

Product Hunt is notoriously known for people plugging in fake email addresses to get free offers. By using Messenger, they couldn’t use a work around. They had to subscribe.

2. We had free PR

People thought our use of Messenger was innovative, so they shared the landing page in many relevant communities online. This led to a huge influx of subscribers.

Once they opted-in to get THE BAMF BIBLE, we sent them this message via Messenger:

“Hey [First Name]!

Thank you for requesting THE BAMF BIBLE.

Here you go: [insert book link]

In the meantime, feel free to join our startup community of over 15,000 marketers & founders: https://www.facebook.com/groups/growthmarketers/

P.S. If you ever want to unsubscribe just type “stop.'”

This is what a new request to join our community looks like:

We had over one thousand people request access to my Facebook Group over a period of nine days since the launch. Even if they unsubscribe from Messenger, they’ll still see us in their Facebook notifications and Facebook feed every time we post in the group.

The best part: I require their LinkedIn URL to gain access.

I have my assistant add all the high-level professionals who request access to my LinkedIn network. This way they’ll see my updates there. In a few steps, they went from Product Hunt to become fully entrenched in my marketing ecosystem.

We’re not looking to market to everyone – only the people who want to play ball where we play ball – Facebook. If they don’t want to connect further on Facebook, then we don’t mind them jumping out of the group or subscriber list. You don’t need everyone to be a part of your community – only enough people to make it worthwhile investing in.

Step 7: Launch it

Launch day is rather easy compared to creating the product.

We had one goal in mine and it wasn’t upvotes.

We wanted comments.

Comments stir people’s attention, and people who comment will likely upvote. By switching the call-to-action, we found this to be a huge driver of our campaign’s success. Within all our copy, we had a call-to-action to comment in exchange for a bonus growth hack.

Here are all the announcements we made the day of our launch:

We posted on my Facebook profile with a link directly to the Product Hunt BAMF BIBLE page:

Then we posted on LinkedIn using a link in the first comment to improve click-through rates:

And lastly, in our Facebook Group:

The icing on the cake was sending out a blast to our Messenger and email list subscribers.

Email:

Subject: A little help

“Hey there,

Have you ever wanted to write a book?

Most of us do.

We don’t because it’s painful.

After I wrote my first book about Facebook marketing, I swore I’d never do it again.

It felt like dragging my fingers through gravel.

But it also opened up one of the best opportunities in my life – a head of growth position in San Francisco.

Out of my labor of love to help others, I did it one more time.

After getting zero sleep last night, we officially launched THE BAMF BIBLE on Product Hunt.

It took us over a year to create with contributions from the top marketers and founders in the world.

It includes 25+ growth hacking case studies across every major traction channel.

All these growth hacks still work today!

Go here to grab your free copy in seconds:https://www.producthunt.com/posts/the-bamf-bible

If you comment with feedback on our Product Hunt page, then we’ll DM you a surprise growth hack tomorrow 🙂

I appreciate all your help.

Cheers,

Josh”

Looking at the stats, the push from this email paled in comparison to the Messenger blast. Here’s the copy from the Messenger message:

“Hey [First Name]

We’re live on Product Hunt 🙂

We stayed up all night perfecting THE BAMF BIBLE with 25+ growth hacks.

Here it is: https://www.producthunt.com/search?q=bamf+bible

If you comment on our Product Hunt page with feedback, we’ll toss you a surprise growth hack tomorrow 😉

Just respond to this message with “done” after you comment.”

Results: 94% open rate

Click-through rate: Unkown

ManyChat only measures the click-through if you include a button.

We didn’t.

After we sent the message, we realized our mistake of not using a Bitly link. Still, we’ve seen on average a 46% click-through rate, so we know this sent a ton of traffic.

The results from the call-to-actions for comments?

224 comments.

No other book launched on Product Hunt has received more than 100 comments. We crushed our competition by stirring the pot with conversation rather than upvotes. We crushed our competition by stirring the pot with conversation rather than upvotes. 

Step 8: Avoid Fuck-Ups Unless They Help You

Finishing the book the night before has its downsides.

All of the links broke during the export process. That night, I had to spend several hours manually replacing them. Then I followed up with a message the next day to calm everyone down. It also happened to be the perfect opportunity to send people the extra growth hack to reward those who commented:

“Hey [First Name]

Thank you for your support on Product Hunt.

The original book we gave out had many broken links – a problem during the exporting process.

Here’s the updated version with working links: http://bit.ly/2w9IUbw

Plus!!! An extra growth hack because you guys engaged with the campaign: http://growth.chat/hack

Any questions? Hit reply – I’ll answer :)”

Step 9: Celebrate to Create FOMO

A day later, we began celebrating to create FOMO.

If people missed out, this would be their second opportunity to jump on board.

I posted a celebration status on my Facebook profile linking directly to the Product Hunt page. This drove a wave of traffic from people who didn’t take the campaign seriously.

Notice how I mentioned we got featured in Product Hunt’s newsletter?

This was key to driving another hundred to two hundred upvotes from their audience. It also gave the book a huge amount of validation.

Getting featured in the newsletter only happens if you drive enough engagement on the first day to where they deem you’re worthy.

We continued to ride the momentum with a tactic post in the Facebook Group. This helped drive more traffic, but we made a mistake by not including a link directly to the Product Hunt page.

You can see the entire post here (have to be in the Facebook Group):

Because we were strapped on time, we didn’t post a celebration status on LinkedIn. Another mistake.

If you write the copy ahead of time, then you won’t run into the same problems 🙂

Step 10: Drive them Back to Product Hunt

It’s bigger and better!

Over the coming weekend, we made updates to the book based on reader feedback. We announced a new version via a Messenger blast that sent people back to the Product Hunt page. We also included a brand new guide on growth hacking LinkedIn.

The plan: Drive more upvotes and comments.

It worked.

This is the message copy:

“Hey [First Name],

Big update. We recently wrote a growth hacking guide on how I went from 1.5K followers to 26K followers on LinkedIn in 4 months.

You can read it here: http://bit.ly/2xt1es

We also updated the BAMF BIBLE on Product Hunt with a new version (feel free to leave us feedback).

The old link now re-directs to the new one as of an hour ago: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/the-bamf-bible” 

Nurture Your New Leads with Bomb Content

If your campaign performs as well as mine, then you’ll have 4,000+ more Messenger subscribers.

Don’t let them sit there.

Provide value!

Learn Something About Good Networking + Bonus Info

Learn Something About Good Networking + Bonus Info

Value Driven

You can meet hundreds of thousands of people, but without purpose, you’ll make nothing of it. This is where you need to improve your networking!

Ensure you can answer these questions before moving forward:

  1. What value do I want to provide to people?
  2. How do I want to provide this value (i.e. podcasting, writing, shooting video, consulting)?
  3. What does my life look like when I’m on top of the world?

Get the Basics Down

I’m here to teach you tactics and systems to help amplify the social skills you already have. If you don’t have social skills for online etiquette and in-person networking, then please go through these resources:

  1. 23 Body Language Tricks that Make Your Instantly Likable
  2. 27 Body Language Tricks to be Instantly Likeable
  3. How to Win Friends & Influence People
  4. Talk Like Ted
  5. Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success
  6. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Eveyone to Take Action

Create Standards

What do want your network to comprise of?

Answer these questions to help you figure it out:

1. What habits and routines should they have?

2.The income level that they should have?

3.The type of industries should they be working in?

4. Social activities should they take part in?

5. The type of friends should they have?

6. Their past accomplishments?

7. What social platform should they be most active on?

8. Where do they live?

Design a Networking Avatar

This is how I describe my avatar:

1. Head of growth, founder, or a top marketer at a marketing software or education company with less than two hundred employees located in San Francisco. Ideally, they should be making over six figures.

2. Enjoy nature, walking, coffee, reading, writing, and hustling on weekends.

3. They appreciate people who write in-depth blog posts.

4. Regularly eat healthily and exercise.

5. They are purpose driven to help others.

7. Also, they are very active on Facebook.

Note: As your network grows, your avatar should narrow, not expand.

Optimize Social Profiles

What emotional triggers do you see for my target audience?

1.Picture of San Francisco

2.Marketing and analytical experience

3.Lives in the same city

4.Knows influencers

5.Keeps in touch with his family

6. Socially validated by follower count

Healthy-looking with a strong, positive personality
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Find Relevant Conferences with Facebook Groups

These two conferences have Facebook Groups with people who are my target avatar to network with.

Why conferences?

They do the vetting for you. This growth marketing conference (pictured on the right) wants to attract people who can pay $1,000/ticket, leads growth at their company, and live in San Francisco.

Perfect for connecting to my avatar.

Bamf Networking Bonus Info Article Image

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Here are two easy ways to find relevant Facebook Groups:
  1. Download a tool called Mass Planner $9.95/mo
    • Purchase the Contact Module.
    • Connect your Facebook account.
  • Use the Group Finder feature to quickly discover relevant Facebook Groups.
  1. Outsource the process of finding these conference Facebook Groups via Upwork. It should cost around $20 to get a list of forty conferences. Not bad 🙂

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Create Value

Before we go any further, here’s the thing: If you can’t produce value on Facebook or the primary social channel you’re connecting to people on, then no one will care for you.

You need to provide high-level value whether that’s long-form writing, videos, or great photography.

More specifically, you need to focus on increasing your know, like, and trust factor. The higher this factor, the better connection you have with people.

You’ll need to post something worth of value, at least, every other day.

To write better Facebook statuses, blog posts, and video scripts, I suggest diving into a few of these copywriting resources: http://kopywritingkourse.com/copywriting-courses-books-review/

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Copywriting = ability to write 450-word statuses that people actually read.

Extract Your New Network

Once you’re in a Facebook Group tied to a conference, you want to plug-in the group’s URL using the Contact module of Mass Planner.

After you click Extract Members, this tool will automatically extract everyone’s Facebook profile URLs and send them to the tab, Use Members.

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Automate Your Messages

In the Use Members tab, select the first checkboxes. Then, click the Send button.

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Input Settings & Write the Follow-Up Message

In the next tab, Friend Requests, copy the settings I have in place.

In the text box at the bottom, you want to have a message similar to this one:

“Hey [first name],

I noticed you’re in [Name of Facebook Group]. Also, I wanted to connect because we have similar interests.

I happen to [credibility associated with their interests]

Are you working on any [relevant characteristic] projects?

An example:

“Hey John,

I noticed you’re in the Growth Marketing Facebook Group. I wanted to connect because we have similar interests.

Also, I happen to run the largest marketing community in San Francisco.

Are you working on any marketing projects?”

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Send Messages

Under the tab, Send Messages, copy my settings and press Start Sending Messages.

Keep in mind, you will have to reply to people once they follow-up with you.

As long as you approach the person with the idea of adding value, then you’ll help increase your know, like, and trust factor.

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Why Facebook?

Facebook is the fastest platform to develop your know, like, and trust factor.

People decided to do business with you based on many factors. They want to see your track record of success, what you do for fun, how you manage your personal brand, whether you’re purpose driven, family oriented, and genuinely care about people. 

No other social platform can tell them this information as fast.

Other HUGE benefits:

You can reach hundreds of thousands of people through creating high-level content. When you have a large community, it’s easy to invite them to events and your own Facebook Groups.

You can quickly be seen as a leader in your niche.

Bonus Automation 🙂

In Mass Planner, you can automatically wish all your friends Happy Birthday.

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Produce Value Your Audience Cares About

My audience cares about value related to self-development, marketing, and entrepreneurship. I provide this value by writing blog posts about influencers, interviewing them live, and regularly holding get-togethers. Why is this important?

You’re helping people. And, when I ask for help, I receive it. Relationships are only powerful if you nurture them.

Bamf Networking Bonus Info Article Image ⇐ Blog Post Video Interview & Event ⇒Bamf Networking Bonus Info Article Image

Use Tools to Keep Track of People

It’s not always easy. If you’re throwing weekly events and are short on cash, then find a sponsor.

Also, create email templates for reaching out, then use a CRM tool like Mixmax to schedule meetings easily and track your interactions with potential sponsors, speakers, and influencers.

And, yes, you can use a spreadsheet to keep track of people, too. Until you’re making enough money to afford a full-time VA, it’s probably too much.

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MixMax in action!

Create a Word-of-Mouth Network

  1. You need to drive people to your personal site
    • Place a Facebook Pixel on your site (Working with WordPress? Use this plugin)
  • Populate it with a logo strip and relevant testimonials (example)

2. Create a video ad to retarget those who visit your website (video ad directions)

    • The video should be inspirational, entertaining, or informative
    • You’re not directly selling with a call-to-action. You’re just staying relevant
  • Why video? It’s the least expensive way to put content in front of people

3. Alternate among four videos. I average 3 – 4 cents per a view when showing a video to an audience who has visited my website. Here’s an example of a high-level professional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh02X-4bhC0

Here’s an example of Facebook’s reach, views, and cost:

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How to Send People to Your Website (for cheap)

    1. Write blog posts and post them on Facebook
  1. Sign-up for a free trial of LinkedIn Sales Navigator and pay for an Email Hunter account. Put your avatar search criteria into LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
  2. Pay a virtual assistant to use Email Hunter to collect the emails of upwards to 7,000 people who fit your avatar. Sign-up for a Google Apps account so that you can send close to 2,000 emails/day from Gmail.
  3. Verify the collected emails using Email Hunter. You should now have around 3K deliverable emails. Send three hundred at a time using MixMax’s sequence feature. Ensure to include a follow-up email.

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Offer Value

Here’s an inside look into my MixMax account.

My first email offers to write a blog post or conduct a video interview with them. Ensure you point to credibility as to why you would conduct an interview. Also, explain how you can leverage your audience for lots of engagement.

Notice how I have three links in my emails go straight to my website. If I have 3K deliverable emails with a fifty-percent click-through rate, then I can generate a retargeting audience of 1,500 hyper-targeted people.

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Avoid Writing Countless Blog Posts

If your prospects respond to confirm the blog-post interview, send them to a form with ten questions that generates much of the content I need to write for an interview. Since many don’t want to put in work, they’ll avoid filling out the form. It’s fine with me because I now have them on my Facebook remarketing list.

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If they fill out the form extremely well, I interview them because it’s great content for my audience. If they don’t, I simply ask them if I can use the content for an eBook. So, if I ever need to create an eBook, it will take me less than a day. Here’s an example title: “What I Learned from Interviewing 100 Growth Marketers”

Facebook Groups on Steroids

Josh Fechter – [email protected]

Leading

  1. Post every day
  2. Variable rewards
  3. Outsource content
  4. Strict rules
  5. Develop thought leadership

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Basics

  1. First comment

Encourage people to introduce themselves to the Facebook Group. They should mention their passions and professional interests. To ease the process, send them a direct personal message of encouragement.

  1. Small win

I recommend giving something of value away from that new members can immediately use. A good example is an REI discount for a local hiking group. Also, posting pictures from group get-togethers on social media does wonder for your Facebook Group and fan page engagement.

  1. Get personal

A Facebook community has higher participation if people get to know each other on a more personal level. To facilitate this, you need to take the first step in opening up to give others the courage to step out of their comfort zone, too.

If you don’t lead the conversation in your Facebook Group, then no one will.

Content

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What works well?

Giveaways: Facebook Live Video Fireside Chats

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Software

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Conduct Facebook Fireside Chats using BlueJeans software

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Analyze the metrics of your Facebook Group using Grytics

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How to Grow Your Facebook Group

  1. Cold emailing scraped lists with great copy
  2. Quora

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How to create an excellent Facebook ad that gets featured in Inc.:

1. Pull psychological triggers (city, marketing words (i.e. exclusive, secret))

2. Be controversial

In this ad, our target customer is a tech bro living in San Francisco. By taking a counterintuitive approach, I created a viral ad.

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Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation

Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation

Why Growth Hack Twitter?

A little background:

I created a hyper-local marketing Twitter machine. It helped me create the fastest growing Meetup in San Francisco (1,500 members in 5 months!).

The benefit:

1. Ensure many people attend your events

2. Grow your Twitter following

3. Meet thousands of people

4. Generate hundreds of new leads

5. Meet like-minded business professionals

Automating Reach Out

Your journey begins in Audiense, one of the best discovery tools for Twitter. Simply click on Target, then Discover new Twitter users.

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Using Audiense’s discovery tool, you want to plug-in the relevant city and bio keyword of your target prospect.

Next, you want to ensure they are active on Twitter. To do this, you set the Time Since Last Tweet to 1 month. To weed out spammers, set the Tweets per Day to 25 or less.

Also, select Person, Only public profiles, and the language English (far right screenshot). These settings will ensure you interact with quality and active prospects.

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Getting Over the Hurdle

From here, click on All Criteria. It will give you the option to export all of these members into an XLSX file.

BAMF Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation Article Image

Automating Reach Out

You want to upload the XLSX file into a Google Sheet. Create two new columns titled Link and Twitter. For Twitter, plug-in the regular Twitter URL. Under Link, you want to combine the username and Twitter URL.

Use the formula “=concat” to combine the columns. To easily fill out the entire column, double-click on the bottom left-hand corner of the cell.

BAMF Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation Article Image

On the right-hand side is what the columns look like entirely filled out. Next, you want to copy three of the columns into a new spreadsheet (name, Link, username). They must have these column titles.

The last column is called source. You can put anything here. It’s important to do this; otherwise, you can’t upload the data into Mass Planner.Finally, export the new spreadsheet into a CSV file.

BAMF Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation Article Image

Mass Planner

Mass Planner costs $10/month. It will automate your entire Twitter profile. The first step is to connect your Twitter profile, then click on Mention.

Here, you click on Import Members. You want to select the new CSV file you downloaded. From here, you want to fill in a message in Send Mentions To Campaigns. This message will go out to possibly thousands of people.

I try to make the mentions hyper-relevant by including two emotional trigger points – city and job industry. Ensure to use spin syntax to change the message, so it’s not identical for everyone. I suggest five variations.

Click Remove selected members from the list after clicking SEND. This will prevent Twitter users from receiving two of the same mentions. Next, select a Campaign (I’ll show you how to create one in the following slides). Then, click Send to Campaign.

BAMF Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation Article Image

Automating Reach Out

A great strategy is to include well-branded links (I use the software Rebrandly). For example, in the message on the bottom, my link contain the phrase “sfsalesmeetup.”

This looks less spammy than a regular Bitly link. More importantly, I have a retargeting Facebook pixel in it (image on the right). If people don’t commit when they click through (i.e. register for the event, opt-in to the landing page), I can still target them with ads on Facebook. The link tracking and retargeting software on the right is called ClickMeter.

BAMF Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation Article Image                BAMF Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation Article Image

To create a campaign, you first need to create a destination list. So, click Add Destination List. In short, you’re choosing where you want the mentions to be published.

BAMF Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation Article Image

After you click Add Destination List, you’ll see the different walls you can publish on parallel to the number of social profiles you’ve connected. In this case, you want to connect to the Twitter account where you have the desired settings. Check the appropriate profile and wall to publish on.

Here you want to click Add Campaign. Once you add a campaign, it will then show up when you select a campaign to use for mentions.

BAMF Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation Article Image

From here, you want to click When to Publish. Ideally, you don’t want to publish more than thirty similar mentions/day to stay under the radar.

You can also create several fake accounts or use friend/employee accounts to send many hundreds of mentions/day. I like to send the Tweets at specific times that fit well with my audience. Don’t forget to check Publish a Post List item on all selected destinations.

BAMF Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation Article Image

Don’t select Re-Add published posts to the end of the Post List. If you do this, then you’ll be sending the same mentions 2X to people.

BAMF Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation Article Image

BAMF Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation Article Image

Using More Than One Account

If you’re running more than three Twitter accounts, then use proxies, so Twitter doesn’t catch you. I get my proxies here at http://vip.squidproxies.com. Here’s an example of a proxy set-up in Mass Planner.

BAMF Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation Article Image

An excellent strategy is to get each account to like each other’s mentions. This will dramatically increase the click-through rate of each mention since it now has social validation.

Feel free to copy the settings on the right for nurtured accounts. Then, click Sources → next slide.

BAMF Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation Article Image

To ensure the accounts are favoriting mentions from your other accounts, put in the right keywords such as “San Francisco Meetup” or “San Francisco Sales Meetup.”

If you have four or five Twitter accounts, you can send over 50 mentions/day with high social validation. How cool is that? Make sure to schedule content (10- 15 pieces) throughout each day to avoid looking like a spammer 🙂

BAMF Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation Article Image

Find Emails

Go to twitter, find a target’s username and use allmytweets.net to put their tweets into text format and cmd+f for email. Now outsource a list of usernames. BOOM!

BAMF Implementing Twitter Marketing Automation Article Image

The Secret Growth Hack to Building an Affiliate Marketing Program

The Secret Growth Hack to Building an Affiliate Marketing Program

Credit: Hailey Friedman, Growth Marketing Manager & Blogger at GrowthMarketingPro.com

I had an epiphany about life that led me to the secret growth hack that grew our affiliate marketing program 9X year over year.

First off, what’s an affiliate marketing program?

For those who don’t know, building an affiliate marketing program means building partnerships with bloggers and influencers in your space that have an online audience and paying them per lead they send to your site.

Often, you both sign an agreement at a set cost per conversion on your site. The partnership is mutually beneficial in that they benefit by monetizing traffic to their site, and you benefit by having an influencer vouch for your product and send qualified traffic to your site.

Affiliate marketing traffic is “friendly” traffic

Bloggers who have a loyal following, have readers who return to their site time and time again. These readers have established trust with the blog and content they find there.

Therefore, when a blogger writes about your company and can recommend it to their readers in a genuine way, that blogger is sending a “warm lead” to your site. This is someone who’s already been primed, pre-qualified by learning a bit about your site and is interested enough to click through to learn more.

Why do affiliate marketing relationships matter?

An affiliate marketing lead is comparable in quality to the type of lead you’d get from a referral program – when a current customer refers a friend.

To give you an idea of how strong affiliate leads are, here’s a snapshot of my Google Analytics page showing that affiliate leads signup at a conversion rate that is more than 4.4X the average site visitor.

The Secret Growth Hack to Building an Affiliate Marketing Program Growth Marketing

When I joined RealtyShares in 2015 as the second marketing hire and 20th employee at the company, among the many things on my plate, I was tasked with building an affiliate program from the ground up.

The first thing I did was research and create a list of all the FinTech/investing bloggers in our space and reach out to them via email to invite them to join our affiliate program…

The Secret Growth Hack to Building an Affiliate Marketing Program Growth Marketing

I sent out 50 emails and got 12 responses. All of which did not think the partnership would be a fit or were not interested at this time. That effort produced zero affiliate partnerships.

It wasn’t until I was working on a side project of mine, when I unlocked the secret to building affiliate relationships.

How I discovered the secret to building affiliate relationships

www.topfivecityguide.com is a blog where I aggregated survey responses from hundreds of New Yorkers and San Franciscans about their absolute favorite restaurants in various categories. Each week I’d post a new blog post based off the data I collected “Top Five Brunch Spots in NYC”, “Top Five Burgers in NYC”, “Top Five Coffee Spots in NYC”.

The Secret Growth Hack to Building an Affiliate Marketing Program Growth Marketing

Each time I wrote something I also posted about it on Facebook and Twitter, tagging every restaurant or company that was mentioned in the blog post.

To my surprise, these renowned restaurants and food brands were extremely flattered by the mention and over 50% of them “liked”, “re-posted” and “shared” my tweets…

The Secret Growth Hack to Building an Affiliate Marketing Program Growth Marketing

The Secret Growth Hack to Building an Affiliate Marketing Program Growth Marketing

The Secret Growth Hack to Building an Affiliate Marketing Program Growth Marketing

The Secret Growth Hack to Building an Affiliate Marketing Program Growth Marketing

The Secret Growth Hack to Building an Affiliate Marketing Program Growth Marketing

It was at this point that I came to a realization about life that helped to drive my growth marketing career forward.

People love being recognized.

I took this concept and ran with it at RealtyShares. I put together content: “Top 60 Real Estate Investing Blogs,” “Top 76 Alternative Investing Blogs,” “Top 75 Real Estate Blogs,” “Top 14 Personal Finance Blog” and many more. As many categories as I could possibly think of that related to FinTech or the Real Estate industry. All together we ended up mentioning over 373 different blogs, podcasts, books and influencers within these “Top” lists that we posted to the RealtyShares blog.

Next, I reached out to every single person that was mentioned in one of our blog posts, taking a slightly different approach than the first time I reached out via email- I didn’t mention our affiliate program at all.

The Secret Growth Hack to Building an Affiliate Marketing Program Growth Marketing

Here’s the response I got this time around…

The Secret Growth Hack to Building an Affiliate Marketing Program Growth Marketing

The Secret Growth Hack to Building an Affiliate Marketing Program Growth Marketing

By first giving recognition to the blogger for their fantastic content, I was able to “warm up” the relationship, and therefore Joe and the rest of the bloggers I spoke to were far more open to learning about our affiliate program.

Not to mention all the shares and backlinks we gained when these 373 influencers shared our post with their followers.

Out of the 373 influencers we emailed, 66 of them ended up signing up for our affiliate program. That’s an 18% conversion rate!

By utilizing this strategy alone, I was able to grow our affiliate program 9X year over year.

Not only did affiliate traffic grow exponentially- but the quality of the leads proved to be among the strongest relative to other channels like SEM, Native and Paid Social.

Meaning that signups that came from our affiliate program, became investors at a higher rate and invested more dollars on our platform than signups from other channels.

How do I track my affiliate marketing program?

If you’re looking for a tool to manage & track your affiliate marketing partners and the commissions that they’re each earning, I use Ambassador, which is referral marketing software and it’s awesome. The Ambassador platform makes it easy for affiliates to sign up, access their unique tracking link and monitor their clicks, conversions and commission. You can even pay your affiliates through the platform.

How did I find out about Ambassador? Well, first I used them to build out our referral program at RealtyShares which scaled 10X within 45 days of implementing Ambassador. Enough said. I implemented it on the affiliate marketing side as soon as I saw those results.

The Secret Growth Hack to Building an Affiliate Marketing Program Growth Marketing

However, if you find Ambassador is out of your price range- look into Omnistar. Omnistar’s tool will also let you track an affiliate program quickly and easily and it’s a fraction of the cost.

Omnistar costs ~$40/month rather than $1,000/month like Ambassador. This is the first platform we used to get the referral program off the ground and it worked wonders; however, there were a couple of feature limitations that led us to to our ultimate switch to Ambassador.

So I have affiliate partners- now what?

Once someone agrees to be an affiliate partner, send them a link to sign up for your affiliate program. This link should take them to a sign-up page that explains how your affiliate program works.

For example, “When you sign up as an affiliate, you’ll get a unique link that you can use any time you refer to our company. When someone clicks on your link and signs up or makes a purchase, we’ll pay you $X in commission.”

Every affiliate marketing partner should have their own unique tracking link. That way, whenever they write about your product, they can link to your site and get credit for every click or sale.

If you use a tracking platform like Ambassador, your affiliates can log in and monitor their performance in terms of clicks, conversions and the commissions that they’re earning.

How do you get affiliates to write about your product?

It’s one thing to convince someone to sign up as an affiliate.

You: “Hey, do you want to make money for writing about my product on your blog?”

Them: “Uh, yeah.”

It’s another thing to convince them to sit down, and take the time to create content that will drive affiliate conversions. Your product is likely not the only product that they’ve signed up to promote.

You: “Hey, so I noticed you signed up to be an affiliate, but I’m not seeing any traffic from your site yet…”

Them: “Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to, but I just haven’t had the time to get around to writing new content”

How do you encourage your new affiliates to take the time to write about your product? How can you get your new partners to prioritize producing and promoting your content ahead of their other partnerships?

Provide affiliates with the tools they need to be successful

This includes:

  1. Pre-written blog posts
  2. Best practices around creative (what works for your company when you write about your product?)
  3. Examples of high converting headlines
  4. Important data points around your company
  5. Press pieces that mention your company
  6. Examples of blog posts from successful affiliates
  7. Set up a kick-off call where you can brainstorm ideas together

Incentivize your affiliate marketing partners

Say it’s a month or two later and you’re still not seeing them send traffic to your site, how do you motivate them to get started?

I’ll tell you how- you pay them!

Money talks.

Check it out…

You: “Hey, so you know how I told you earlier that I’d pay you $40 per conversion? Well, if you send over your first few conversions before the end of the month, you can lock in a special rate $60 per conversion for good.”

Them: “Oh shit, sweet deal. I’m going to get on writing your content ASAP!”

Reward affiliate partners that send strong leads

Before going ahead and offering more money per a conversion, you’ll have to make sure that the numbers work in favor for your company’s ROI.

That might mean that you start newer affiliates at a lower pricing tier and promote them to higher priced tiers once you determine that they send you quality traffic.

It’s okay to pay different affiliates different base commissions per a conversion.

Sucky Affiliate: “Hey, can you bump up my base commission rate?”

You: “Uh, no. None of the leads you are sending me are actually converting. They’re low quality and I can hardly afford to pay you what I’m paying you. In fact, I’m considering terminating our partnership if I don’t see an improvement in lead quality before the end of the month.

Awesome Affiliate: “Hey, can you bump up my base commission rate?”

You: “Yes- the leads you are sending me are awesome and spending a lot of money our product. I can bump up your commission rate by $X.”

Stay top of mind with your affiliate marketing partners

Once you’ve gotten your affiliate partners to “activate” or make their first few referrals that convert on your site, stay on top of their mind so that they’re motivated to pump out content with your company’s name on it.

There are a few ways you can do this.

  1. Email drip campaign: Enter your affiliate’s emails into an automated email drip campaign that sends them an email every week with data and nuggets of information that they can use in their content.
  2. Press: Send your affiliates any articles or press mentions about your company. They can share this with their audience or integrate the news into their own content.
  3. Build relationships– Follow your affiliates on Twitter. Connect on Linkedin. Join Facebook groups and engage in their communities. Integrate yourself into their world and bring value when you can by sharing articles they might be interested in and liking their content.
  4. Host events: Invite your affiliate partners to company events or offer to host a meetup at your office. If you can provide value to your affiliate marketing partners, they will want to return the favor.

Conclusion

People love to be recognized.

  1. Identify influencers you want to partner with.
  2. Create a “top list” blog post that recognizes them for high quality content.
  3. Email them to let them know you think they’re awesome and they’ve been featured.
  4. Pitch your affiliate marketing program.
  5. Manage your affiliate program through Ambassador ($1,000/month) or Omnistar ($40/month)
  6. Set your affiliates up for success and motivate them to get started
  7. Stay top of mind with your affiliate partners

If you carefully track your affiliate marketing traffic, you’ll soon discover that it can be an incredibly valuable source of leads.

At RealtyShares, affiliate traffic has become a huge part of our funnel and this traffic converts to sign ups at a massive rate compared to other traffic sources.

Affiliate traffic is too valuable to ignore!

The great thing about an affiliate program is that it’s relatively inexpensive. Rather than paying per click or per impression like you do on Google Adwords or Facebook, you only pay for actual signups on your site. No money wasted!

If you’re looking for high quality traffic growth, an Affiliate program is an excellent place to start.

BAMF BIBLE

BAMF BIBLE

Hey Facebook friends,

Yesterday, we took a major step towards achieving our mission of empowering 1 million founders.

We launched “THE BAMF BIBLE: 25+ Growth Hacks from 2017” which quickly became one of the top 10 most upvoted books in the history of ProductHunt!

It’s the largest, most actionable, growth-hacking book ever created with 328 pages of case studies, guides, and badass creative+technical strategies that cover every major traction channel and are guaranteed to give you sales and marketing superpowers.

The book itself is a testament to the power of our community with more than 50% of the content being crowdsourced contributions from members of our group, including growth legends such as my co-founder, Josh FechterHailey FriedmanJuan Felipe CamposGilles DC, and many more.

With hundreds of unpublished guides still in our reserves and new contributions being shared in our group every day, this is clearly just the beginning of THE BAMF BIBLE!

Topics included:
– Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Quora, Cold Email, YouTube, Events, Twitter, Affiliates & Referrals, ProductHunt, Backlinks, Direct Mail, Virtual Assistants, Software Hacking, Content Hacking, and Tools!

Please go here to grab your free copy: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/the-bamf-bible

If you up-vote and comment with feedback on our Product Hunt page, then we’ll send you a surprise growth hack.

Thank you for all the support 

BOOM! ????????

Want to join our community of 15,000+ Badass Marketers and Founders (BAMF)? It’s free, just apply here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/growthmarketers/

The Product Hunt Guide to Success

The Product Hunt Guide to Success

This playbook will hand you actionable tactics, tips, tricks and hacks to get you on top of Product Hunt — Silicon Valley’s favorite little playground.

Side effects may include ⚠️

  • severe traffic spikes on your websites ????.
  • a sh!tload of new followers on social media ????.
  • getting featured in tech media like TechCrunch or TheNextWeb.
  • fresh product ideas ????.
  • new business relationships.
  • a meowntain of new customers ????.
  • money raining down on you from nowhere ????.

BAMF The Product Hunt Guide to Success Article Image

This won’t work if you have a shitty product.

Good thing Product Hunt will tell you why your product is shitty, so you can make it into a good one.

This won’t work if you’re not willing to put in the work.

This guide is long for a reason. Launching your product on Product Hunt is a one-time opportunity that can turn out pivotal for your business. You’ll only get one shot at this and I will tell you exactly what you need to do to make the most out of it. This is me giving you a head start. It’s up to you to hit it out of the park.

I’ve included TL;DRs (Too Long; Didn’t Read) at the end of every section so you can get a quick recap before you move on.

WTF is Product Hunt? ????

If you’ve never heard of Product Hunt, I’m gonna guess you’ve been exploring Mars in search of alternative fuels. In that case: could you slip me Elon’s number real quick? ???? Don’t worry about the Product Hunt thing, I got you covered ????.

Product Hunt is the little baby of Ryan Hoover. Ryan is one of those guys that just friggin’ loves everything that’s new and cool. Not just for fun. For Ryan, new products are an opportunity to learn and, most of all, a way of connecting with like-minded people.

Back in 2013, Ryan was looking for a one-stop-shop to discover the hottest new tech products. As he didn’t find anything, he did the entrepreneurial thing and started it himself. In its cute early days as an MVP, Product Hunt was a mailing list, build on this one question:

What cool products are you using?

It’s a question we all ask and it turned out to be one hell of a community builder. Within two weeks, Ryan’s little mailing list had 170 subscribers devouring discoveries from 30 hand-picked contributors, consisting of startup founders, VCs, and prominent bloggers. Ryan was on to something.

Ryan Hoover, founder of Product Hunt

Today, Product Hunt is Silicon Valley’s favourite little playground. A tightly-knit community of like-minded geeks who bond over anything hot ???? and the new ✨. Not just tech, but also books, podcasts and games — you name it. The site kind of works like reddit, with users posting products and the community making or breaking them with comments and upvotes.

More upvotes will get your product higher on Product Hunt’s frontpage, getting you some solid street cred with a community packed with early adopters, curious investors and avid entrepreneurs. It is the ultimate startup launchpad ????.

TL;DR

  • Product Hunt was founded by Ryan Hoover.
  • as a one-stop-shop to discover the coolest new products.
  • it’s a tightly-knit community of early adopters, investors, and entrepreneurs.

OK… And why should I care again? 

Ever heard of the Product Adoption Curve?

It’s one of those gazillion frameworks they show you in marketing class you then instantly forget about.

I did anyway.

BAMF The Product Hunt Guide to Success Article Image

The reason you should care is that you want people to start using your product.

You want this because, well, everyone building a product wants this.

To get there, you need to understand how a new product finds its way in the market and makes its way to new users.

The Product Adoption Curve is something all new kids on the block have to go through. Facebook, Slack, Uber and DVDs (still ring a bell?) — heck, even underwear at some point must have gone through it (hope those do ring a bell?). Some go faster, some go slower. Others just die along the way because they fail to understand how it works.

The people you need to get on board first are innovators.

Why?

Because these are the ones willing to take your product for a spin when it’s still a baby. They‘re okay with it still shitting the bed from time to time ????. They look beyond the bugs and spartan features to see if your product deserves to exist. They’ll share their findings with the world and, if they like what they see, may even end up promoting your product.

BAMF The Product Hunt Guide to Success Article Image

Innovators will get you across the chasm, which is the big wide gap sitting between you and your target masses. Or push you in. Whatever happens, you’ll be smarter than you were yesterday. It’s make or break. Sink or swim.

This is how Facebook, Uber and Slack became big fellas. Think about it. All three started out targeting a small group of users and ended up leading their markets. Facebook grew from popular-hungry Harvard, Uber from open-minded San Francisco and Slack from tech-savvy companies wanting to beta-test.

Innovators are like the first pin on a bowling alley. Knock it down and the other pins will fall along.

Now for the good part.

???? Product Hunt is one big club of innovators and early adopters.

It’s a rocketship waiting to take your product to the stars ✨.

If you want to launch a tech product or service, launch it on Product Hunt.

Oh, did I mention Product Hunt was acquired by AngelList back in december? You know, the world’s biggest network of angel investors ????. Doesn’t hurt to get into their attention space.

TL;DR

  • Product Hunt is packed with innovators and early adopters.
  • these are the people you want to take a look at your product.
  • they’ll give you invaluable feedback.
  • and are likely to use and promote your product if they like it.
  • oh, PH is also owned by the world’s largest network of angel investors.

YOLO: You Only Launch Once

Your product can be posted once. Once. You get one shot at getting this right. Make it count.

Look. If you had one shot. One opportunity.
To seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment.
Would you capture it? Or just let it slip?
(Eminem — Lose Yourself)

I’m your man on the inside. I’ve been to the Product Hunt. I’ve seen things. I survived and I thrived. And now I’m here to help you do the same and better.

BAMF The Product Hunt Guide to Success Article Image

Do you remember when Luke Skywalker and his rebels had one shot at destroying the Death Star?

This is exactly like that. With the difference that Product Hunt doesn’t do sequels like Star Wars does. You don’t get to destroy the Death Star twice like Luke did.

Does this make me your Master Yoda? Yes, exactly what it means, that is.

BAMF The Product Hunt Guide to Success Article Image

Now, Product Hunt doesn’t do sequels. But it does do spin-offs. You can in fact launch a new feature of your product if it’s cool enough to be marketed on its own and provides real value to the early adopters. In the end, it all comes down to how you sell it (as always).

A full-blown launch of your product is more complicated. You can’t launch your product twice unless its essence is so new and/or improved that it can be considered a new product. Think of it as a reboot of a franchise.

A second shot at destroying the Death Star you might get after all, young Jedi.

TL;DR

  • you only have one shot at lauching on Product Hunt (sort of).
  • do or do not — there is no try.
  • I am Yoda.

Play #1: Get in the tribe. Act as if you belong ????

Know your audience.

Before you even think of launching on Product Hunt, you should first experience first-hand what it is all about. What makes these early adopters tick?

Sign up, immerse yourself and play ball. Dive in headfirst. Get to know the ins and outs of the community by becoming part of it.

BAMF The Product Hunt Guide to Success Article Image

Let’s cover some basics first:
  • The Daily Hunt ????
    Product Hunt’s frontpage showcases products according to the number of upvotes they got (and more — there’s a secret algorithm). The product that ends on top at the end of the day is the winner. At 12am PST the page refreshes and the hunt starts all over again.
  • Upvotes ????
    Upvotes are Product Hunt’s equivalent of Facebook’s likes. If you like a product, you can vote it up and push it up the page. The more votes, the higher on the page it will end up at the end of the day.
  • Hunters ????️
    Hunters are members with special rights to hunt products and post them on Product Hunt. Their special powers were given by them by other hunters, making them the chosen ones of the community.
  • Makers ????‍????
    These are the members who created the product.

Once you got the basics figured out, have your curiosity take the lead. Lurk around, check out similar products to yours and learn about their launch strategies. Spy on titles, taglines, logos, screenshots, comments and general wording. Steal with your eyes ????.

BAMF The Product Hunt Guide to Success Article Image

TL;DR

  • immerse yourself in the PH — community.

 

  • get to know the basics: upvotes, hunters and makers.
  • lurk around & steal with your eyes.

 

Play #2: Hunt down your Hunter

No Hunter = No Product Hunt Launch. You already got that.

There’s hunters and there’s hunters. What you want is one of the uberhunters. These are the top of the pack. The crème de la crème. The chosen ones among the chosen ones.

Things to take into account to finding the Frodo that will take your One Product To Rule Them All all the way up the Product Hunt mountain:

  • Numbers of followers ????.
  • When a Hunter submits a product, all of his/her followers will be notified. The more followers, the more visibility, the more likely you are to get shot to the top of the page.
  • History of successful posts.
  • So you know he has game.
  • Affinity with your type of product.
  • So you know he gets why your product is awesome.
  • (we’re going to assume yours is, in fact, awesome).

Having a good hunter on your side is like being in pole position on the starting grid of a Formula 1 race. Your chances of finishing first are significantly higher ????.

Nail your pitch ????

You choosing a hunter doesn’t mean the hunter chooses you. You may be madly in love with your product, your hunter probably isn’t (yet). It’s up to you to make him/her fall for it.

Top hunters get pitched multiple times a day. Don’t waste their time. Make sure yours is on point.

Pitching is an art: it takes time to perfect.

Good thing you’ve been doing it ever since you got started with your idea, right?

Still, I guess it doesn’t hurt to refresh your memory with these 6 golden pointers from top hunter Bram Kanstein ✌️:

  • First and foremost: show enthusiasm and make your pitch personal!
  • Tell about the problem you’re solving ????
  • Be voilà ???? show your solution
  • Show early results if you have them ????
  • Why are you the man/woman/team that’s going to take this to the moon? ????
  • How can the person you pitch to help you? Asking for specific feedback is also good. It’s difficult to help when your question is simply: “what do you think?”

These are from Bram’s killer article 5 ways not to pitch your product — a must-read if you’re looking to get your pitch right.

Bram is not just any hunter, he is the hunter who launched the #1 most upvoted product of all time on Product Hunt.

This product, Startup Stash — a carefully curated directory of startup tools and resources — also happened to be his own product.

Bram was #1 on my list to hunt Salesflare and reading through his articles was part of my strategy to get through to him.

Rules like this don’t mean you can’t get creative with your pitch. My idea to hook him was to pitch Salesflare in the exact ways Bram tells you not to in his article. Something like this:

Hi Bram,
You’ll be amazed by this. We built the Uber of Sales! It’s a unique CRM that is going to change the way sales is being done. We’ve been working our asses off for more than 2 years but now our baby has finally been born. Everyone we showed it to loved it! It’s going to be yuge!

This was just to get his attention.

I believe in standing out.

I also tend to do the opposite of what people tell me to. I would have gone on and pitched Salesflare the right way after.

Thing is I never needed to.

You see, Bram had just pinned this on his Twitter wall:

BAMF The Product Hunt Guide to Success Article Image

I guess he was kind of sick of emails like the one I was going to send him.

Tweets are something else. We decided to just send him our video.

(This one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LD3XkOtCpFk)

He went for it! ????

Remember to show your solution and be voilà? ????

Well, nothing is more voilà than a video.

We had a video in the making for about 2 months and it was one of the crucial factors in deciding when to go full-in on our Product Hunt Launch. Not only does it help you pitch to hunters — it’s also kind of a must for your Product Hunt page once you actually get hunted.

TL;DR

  • score yourself a top hunter.
  • he/she will give you a head-start in your race to the top.
  • look for (1) numbers of followers (2) history of successful posts (3) affinity with your product.
  • nail your pitch.
  • get your product a video.

3. Cook up your Product Hunt Starter Pack ????‍????

Now that you’ve found yourself an experienced general, it’s time to gear up for battle.

Essentials to prepare:
Name of the product ????

Pretty straightforward. But you can still make a difference here. We made it Salesflare CRM to make sure people could easily find us when searching for a CRM on Product Hunt afterward.

Correct website URL (+App/Play Store URLs) ????

Throw them all in there. If you don’t have a website yet, you can just create a landing page with general information on your product and a download link if possible.

Tagline ☝️

Catchy and clear. We went for Intelligent sales CRM for startups who thrive on technology. Sales CRM to clearly define our position within the CRM space, intelligent as our main differentiator and startups who thrive on technology to indicate who we built it for. Resist the urge to be overly creative here, you don’t want to confuse people.

Logo

Sure, you can just put your logo. But this won’t exactly get you points with the Product Hunt cool kids. Make it move. Like Jagger. We had a Salesflare Product Hunt cat pop up in our logo and combined this with some conceptual animations. It doesn’t have to the next Star Wars movie, just make it move.

People are attracted by moving things. Especially when they’re quickly scanning a front page filled with all kinds of stuff.

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Salesflare’s Product Hunt logo

 

Maker Product Hunt Profile URLs ????‍????

Make sure team members considered to be makers of the product are all on Product Hunt prior to the launch so your Hunter can list everyone as Makers. This is not just to make you look good. Being listed as a Maker will get you commenting rights, crucial for engaging in conversation with the community.

 

Video/Screenshots


Your chance to be voilà. Don’t just stop at the video (yes, it autoplays) — your screenshots should be equally engaging. We put up animated GIFs showcasing different Salesflare features. You don’t have to put GIFs. I’ve seen great Product Hunt pages with static screenshots. Thing is GIFs just provide more value because… well, because they move and people love stuff that moves.

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Prepare your intro comment ????

It’s up to you to kick off the conversation on your product once it’s live. You don’t want to be putting something together in a rush at the very last minute, so make sure you write something beforehand you can just copy-paste when the time is right. Start off with why you built the product and lay out some of its core functionalities.

Specify what kind of feedback you’re looking for. Mention the special promotion you have in store for the community (more on that later) and don’t forget to give your hunter a shootout for hunting you.

This was ours:

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Tags ????

Make your product easy to find by adding relevant tags. Some examples of tags we chose for Salesflare include tech, sales, customer communication, chrome extension and web. Don’t worry if you don’t get them right from the start, you can make changes afterwards. Product Hunt does closely watch these tags and may remove them they don’t agree. Feel free to chat with them if you think they made a mistake. We had a few tags removed and then put back again after we explained why we thought they were relevant for Salesflare.

 

Launch date of the hunt ????

As a rule of thumb, Product Hunt’s busiest days of the week range from Tuesday until Thursday (I guess early adopters in California party from Friday till Sunday and then die on Monday — fair enough). Busy means more competition, but busy also means more people to upvote, try your product and leave you with valuable feedback. Ending up on top may be very exciting, quantity of users getting in touch with you is probably more valuable for your business on the long-term.

Tuesday is arguably better than Wednesday because you’ll have 24 hours more to be upvoted and make it into Product Hunt’s weekly digest. With all this in mind, we chose Tuesday and took about one and a half week to prepare our launch as soon as we got the green light from our hunter. You could easily do with less, but gathering support pre-launch while continuing to attend to every-day business stuff is no walk in the park. You don’t want to skip any of your shuteye time prior to your launch either— it’ll get kind of crazy once you’re live.

 

Launch time of the hunt ????

A new hunt is launched every day at 12am PST. People typically say to post immediately after midnight, but this is probably not the best way to go. Product Hunt’s secret algorithm is said to penalize age in ranking products, so you’re probably better off waiting a few hours as the US’ awakening comes closer.

This is if you’re confident your own network can help you get initial traction in the first hours, so you’ll be pretty high as soon as first New York and then San Francisco crawls out of bed. For Salesflare we initially proposed to be posted around midnight to our hunter but he said he found posting around 3–4am PST (12–1am local time here in Antwerp) to be the most effective. This gives you enough time to push yourself up in the first hour and be right where you should be as Product Hunt’s core members start checking their smartphones hanging over their morning coffees.

 

Once you’re done, send everything over to your hunter in a nice email, well in time before D-Day.

Use a Google Drive folder to share your screenshots and other media so you can still make last-minute changes if needed.

We sent a Google Calendar Invite to set date and time to avoid any confusion for everyone involved.

TL;DR

  • prepare essentials for your launch.

 

  • name — clear & easy searchable.
  • tagline — catch & clear.
  • logo — make it move.
  • video — just have a video.
  • screenshots — make them stand out (by making them move).
  • prepare your intro comment — why, what, thank hunter, promotion.
  • set a day — (1) somewhere between Tuesday and Thursday (2) take your time to prepare.
  • set a time —(1) after midnight PST (2) before the US wakes up.
  • hand everything to your hunter, on a silver platter.

 

4. Gather your fans

The secret formula to a successful Product Hunt launch is made up of two things:

  • a great product (duh).
  • initial traction.

Both things you can control. If your product is not great, stop reading now and come back once it is. Don’t worry too much about some features not being entirely on point yet. Remember, these are early adopters — they’re okay with your product still being an infant and will happily help you find and kill early bugs as long as they see some real value.

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You may have the greatest product the world has ever seen— if people don’t have it in front of them, they won’t upvote it. Don’t make yourself any illusions: even early adopters won’t scroll endlessly to find your product. It has to be right there as soon as the site or app loads.

Slap ‘m in the face with it.

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This means you’ll need a fair amount of upvotes as soon as Product Hunt rush hour kicks in.

Having a top hunter on your side will get you a long way already, but remember that battles are won by soldiers, not by generals.

Now, you cannot just ask all of your friends and family to upvote you. Product Hunt was built to make it easy to discover the world’s greatest new products, not to force-feed your own stuff to whoever.

It is precisely this that makes Product Hunt so great at showcasing the best things out there. Not only should you respect that, Product Hunt’s algorithm will also increasingly push down your product if too many votes from brand new accounts come rolling in.

So, what can you do? Here’s a few ideas:

1) Find your friends on Product Hunt ????

Chances are you already have some friends on Product Hunt. Product Hunt syncs the people you follow on Twitter so your first move should be to check who of them could be willing to show some support and notify them of your upcoming launch.

2) Ask your other friends anyway ????

You’d be surprised how many people know about Product Hunt without having an account. Maybe they’ve been peeking from time to time without really getting into upvoting. Or maybe they know about it but didn’t take the time to take a proper look yet. Your launch may very well be the perfect occasion for these people to sign up.

I know it says friends but what I really mean is network: friends, family, customers, business contacts, your dog,… Anyone you have a direct line with. We went through our contact lists and started asking people we thought of as early adopters if they had a Product Hunt account. If they did, we told them about our launch. If they didn’t, we told them about the community and how awesome it is. If it’s their jam, they’ll make an account and you have them onboard. If it’s not, you’ll leave them be.

While Product Hunt is not just a marketing channel for you to exploit, you can still tell people about it. In fact, Product Hunt needs this kind of visibility to keep on growing. Many of my friends have been active users since we introduced them to the community. Just make sure to do so ahead of your launch and not the day itself.

3) Make a Google Sheet and follow up ????

Now you’ll have tens or even hundreds of people lined up to support your launch and it’s your responsibility to make sure they come through. Keep track of the people you contacted so you can effectively follow up on the big day. Include name, channel (Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter,…) and status (did they vote already?).

4) Get on the radar of people who upvoted similar products ????

Hunt down people who upvoted products similar to yours and make sure they know you.

You can actually scrape upvoters of products posted on PH by using this little tool. Just put in the URL of the product and your Developer Token (head over to API Dashboard under your Product Hunt profile to get this) and you’ll get the Twitter handles of all the upvoters for that given products.

There’s tons of things you can do with this. For starters, you can follow them on both Product Hunt and Twitter. You can also tweet them or even target them with emails or Facebook Ads (you’ll need to do some data enriching first though).

5) Look for social gatekeepers

Give special attention to people with a lot of followers and try to get them to share your Product Hunt launch with their network.

6) Chat is king ????

The magical word at this stage is chatting. Remember you need these people to commit twice: you need them to sign up beforehand and you need them to upvote you on the big day.

This is why a channel like email will be far less effective here: it doesn’t allow for a direct, engaging dialogue.

Sure, you can send an email a week beforehand and another one on launch day but you’ll have zero control over people really making accounts and being active on Product Hunt prior to your launch. This may negatively affect your page ranking. We chose not to take that chance.

You can think of Product Hunt’s frontpage as a Google Search Results page — only the top gets clicked and visibility goes downhill fast as you go down the page. It’s like a snowball effect — make sure you have a big ball already once the heavy snow starts falling down. If your product really is great, the community will take over and make sure you stay on top.

We did all the chatting manually. That means asking them three-four days up front if they were willing to give us a vote and telling them about Product Hunt in the process. If they said yes, we would add them to the Google Sheet and follow up with them on Launch Day.

If only we would have had Josh’s tool to automate Facebook Messages that day…

BONUS: Thunderclap — it⚡????

Don’t know what Thunderclap is?

Thunderclap is a platform you can use to create social media campaigns built on the strength of your network. You’ll basically have your friends and followers support a purpose of your choosing by means of Facebook or Twitter posts. Write up a message, set a date and invite your friends.

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As soon as the campaign starts (once you’re live on PH) — tweets or Facebook status updates will go out from all the people who joined your campaign. At the same time. Needless to say, this will seriously amplify your reach.

I’m going to be straight with you guys here: we didn’t do Thunderclap.

Why not? We forgot. We just forgot.

TL;DR

  • great product + initial traction = great success on PH.
  • find friends on PH.
  • ask your other friends if they’re on PH — if they’re not, tell them about it ask if they want to be.
  • create a Google Sheet for follow-up.
  • scrape upvoters of similar products on PH => target.
  • find yourself some influencers.
  • chat with everyone you know to tell them about your PH launch.
  • set up a Thunderclap campaign.
  • !! don’t forget to set up a Thunderclap campaign (like we did).

5. Butter up the community ????

Make the Product Hunters feel special.

Why?

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We’ve been over this.

Because they’re innovators and because you need their help to cross the chasm.

Besides, as you are in the early stages of your product, their feedback will be invaluable. The more, the merrier.

It’s common courtesy to offer Product Hunt members special deals. If done right, Product Hunt will be a gift that keeps on giving. It’s only right you give something back. For Salesflare, we gave the club 3 users for the price of 1 — 3FOR1MEOW.

TL;DR

  • make the Product Hunters feel special and loved.
  • by giving them an supercalifragilistic deal.

6. Become a cat person ????

In case you haven’t noticed: Product Hunt loves cats.

One day Product Hunt fan Jesse Thomas offered to design a t-shirt. The Glasshole Kitty was one of the ideas he sent in. The Product Hunt team liked it so much they ordered a bunch of t-shirts and stickers and started sending them to early community members. These, in turn, would share their Kitty gifts on social media, sparking the idea of the Kitty mascotte.

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While Product Hunt never really changed their logo, the kitty is everywhere. It’s big in social media posts and has been adapted to launch several Product Hunt projects like books, podcasts and their Snapchat account.

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So if you’re looking to get that meowntain of upvotes from the community, you’ll better put turn into a crazy cat lady for the day.

TL;DR

  • Product Hunt likes cats.
  • for some reason.

7. Dress up your website for the big day????

Your Product Hunt launch is a day of celebration so it’s only right your website looks all nice and pretty for the occasion, don’t you think?

It’s also a great chance to once again highlight that special Product Hunt deal you prepared for your fans. Shine bright like a diamond! ????

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You can use IntroBar (yes, it’s free) to put up a nice-looking welcome bar on top of your website when people click through via your PH-link (this will end in /?ref=product hunt).

Here’s what Salesflare’s website looked like on her big day.

TL;DR

  • make your website shine for its big day.