How Beta List, Product Hunt, and Tech Crunch helped jump start our company.

 

We created hirable to connect the best available freelance developers with great companies. We built a targeted audience in just a few months with a marketing budget of zero. Here’s how:

start-where-you-are

It all began with an idea and a teaser page. We allowed users to register for a beta account while we continued to build our product. THIS WAS IMPERATIVE TO OUR FAST START. Sorry for yelling, but if you’re creating a product and want people to use it, give them an opportunity to check you out and register while they’re there. This way, your user base is growing while you work, and you can update the interested parties as you progress. The best part about this? When you launch you have a mailing list of people who are:

1. Interested
2. Willing to test your site
3. Not your Mom and Dad

 

Beta List
A one stop shop for people looking for the next big thing. Need beta testers? Look no further…

We wrote an article about this not too long ago, but it bears repeating. BetaList is AMAZING and the process of submitting your startup is a simple one. Your start-up should be in Beta (crazy right?), have a teaser page where people can signup for a mailing list (…this sounds familiar), and be willing to wait a decent amount of time, unless you want to pay to get featured.

So after 627 retweets and 31 favorites we can agree that this is a no-brainer? We also made it into the trending section of the homepage for the remaining week which continued to send a lot of traffic. Submit your beta’d website to Beta List. It’s really a win win.

Product Hunt
The Billboard Music Charts for Start-ups. Get featured for the day, hold on tight and ride the wave of massive exposure.

Here’s another great tool for getting your company out there. People are able to up and down vote companies that are posted to the site. We were fortunate to get featured and ranked pretty high for the day.

product-hunt

Featured 2/26/05 see it here

Their FAQ answers some of the questions you may have regarding posting and getting your company featured. They have a TON of companies submitting to them daily, but if you meet their guidelines and are featured, it can be a huge boost! Our traffic grew, and is still growing as a result.

Tech Crunch Radio
Product pitch to a panel of experts on air for some great critique and added exposure.

We can’t stress enough the importance of social media, but in this case specifically Twitter. We have been tweeting, following, and favoriting ever since our beta. It’s important to follow those you want visiting your site, or with experience in the field related to your business. In this case, we did both when we followed the host of Tech Crunch Radio and East Coast Editor John Biggs.

Now, we called. And called. And called. As I’m sure you can imagine, didn’t get through. But we did follow up with a tweet hoping it would spark some interest if they saw our site.

We were fortunate to start some dialogue from this and get our information to John. Shortly after, we were approached by a producer from the show and they gave us the rundown. We had 60 seconds to pitch our start-up, after which we would go through a two minute Q&A. We wanted to know what they would ask us so we did some homework. We even listened to previous winners on their Tech Crunch Radio Sound Cloud. Here’s an example of a pitch we listened to:

What we learned
With more failures than wins over the course of this time, we learned a few things. Here are some key takeaways:

Believe in your idea
Regardless of whether its great (or not) you need to believe in your idea in order to succeed at this process. With so many rejections to come it will only help keep you motivated and engaged.

Don’t take “no” for an answer
Of the hundreds of tech blogs and sites we reached out to, only a handful featured us. Fortunately for us they happen to be the most credible, so we decided to feature all three in this article.

“Fuck pride”- Marcellus Wallace
Peddling your company idea to the press is akin to going door to door in the rain, sleet and snow. Many will be slammed in your face but it’s important to keep on at it.

Time your announcements
If you have a big announcement, make sure you circulate your news with enough lead time prior to its release. We learned this the hard way with the staff at Venture Beat who twice expressed interest but due to timing, passed.

Be ready
Have your company bio and answers to important questions on hand at all times, memorize them even. Often you’ll be asked similar questions, have these ready and you’ll be able to respond before any leads go cold.

Ask questions
Perhaps the most important of all, and why we wrote this article. We still have a long road ahead of us, but we’re proud of our accomplishments to date. We only wish we had a few more pointers like this when we started out.

If you have any questions or would like more hints and tips on this process feel free to email us at info@wearehirable.com

Hirable Editors:

John White, Creative Director & Christian D’ Alessio, COO