Why find customers before starting up? The answer is simple - to make sure you hit the ground running and have an engaged customer base beforehand. When you’re starting a business there’s enough to think about without twiddling your thumbs and waiting for customers to find you. Go to them instead!

Tiddall are an innovative fitness tech startup changing the way people will reach their fitness goals forever. Here they talk about how they found their first customers, and why it’s important. You can also read all about how they chose the right price point for their product.

Why we turned down an investor - Tiddal

Something I wish more businesses would do before they launch is to first ensure you have a waiting list of early adopters - the customers willing to try the product and give you awesome feedback from the word go. By acquiring early adopters onto a waiting list, you solve two problems:

1. You validate your product solution. You can be somewhat confident that you are on the right track and that you are building something valuable to the market. This is key. A lot of businesses rush into a business without any customer development - they get the idea and off they go. Sometimes the customer does not know they need it, or maybe it’s a totally new product.

Think of the iPhone. If Steve Jobs had asked us what we wanted, do you think we would have said the iPhone, or the iPad? You must have a clear problem that the product is going to solve by ensuring that the problem exists or will exist.  By doing so, you can start by acquiring your early adopters onto your mailing lists.

2. On your launch day, your website is not a ghost town. Make sure you start the marketing way before the product is built. Speak to your ideal customers and ask them to join the waiting list to try the product for a discounted price. If you are struggling to get people to join the list, it could be an early sign that your product needs further analysis and work. Get out of the building and talk to more of your ideal customers and really learn where the pain lies, and tweak things based on this. You would be surprise how much more you will learn from them than just sitting in the room and making random assumptions.

How we did it

With Tiddall we used Facebook ads to market to our ideal customer about our product and why it would help solve their pain points.  A simple video is all you need. We made a four minute video that cost us just £1500 and got us 5,000 emails of early adopters willing to give our product a try. It cost us £0.56p per email. We could have just stopped the ad when we reached 10,000 emails to save some money and we could have been pretty happy with the results, but the cost per email was so cheap we kept going.

Make sure the ad is linked to a squeeze page where you really outline the main benefits of your product. Do not talk about yourself. Just give the top five benefits of your product and why your product solves it better than what is already on the market. Tell them to join so they would be the very first users to try the product, either for free or at a discounted price. This ensures that, on your launch day, you have awesome potential users who then turn into customers if your product does what it says it will do.

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