17 min read

The First 100 Users Playbook

The First 100 Users Playbook

You are not the hero of your startup (Your user is!)

Getting paying customers for a product is tough.

Building something worth paying for comes down to solving burning problems for users.

And going out and spreading word about the solution you built.

This playbook is about the various strategies you can use to get the first 100 paying customers for your startup.

But before we begin, it’s good to know that every strategy discussed here ultimately boils down to a simple piece of advice from investor Paul Graham:

“Do things that don’t scale.”

There are common patterns that keep coming back when we study the success of solo founders and Indie Hackers.

They all deploy the same strategies when doing things that don’t scale.

This playbook is a collection of all of these strategies with examples that you can learn from and apply to your own startup journey.

By definition, the term “solo founder” means a single person starting a business. But this playbook can also be applied to small scrappy teams of 2 or 3 founders.

Before we begin, there are a few pre-requisites you need to be aware of, these strategies can work only when your startup is already pas the “raw idea” phase.

🏁 Pre-requisites

  • You have some sort of MVP and initial set of users(5-10)
  • You know “what” the product is, core set of features, what problems you’re solving.
  • You know your competition
  • There is a minimal user interface of the actual product.
  • It’s clear who the product is NOT for. People can self select out of your product when they look at your landing page.

⭐ About the Landing Page

  • Have a Landing page 😅 (build it on Carrd or ConvertKit if you don’t want to code it just yet)
  • Highlight the benefits and features.
  • Have a way to collect email signups and/or payments. (At least waitlist emails, if nothing else)
  • Some screenshots, videos, GIFs, early Testimonials of the product.
  • Persuasive and clear copy.

If you need help in any of these aspects, I highly recommend checking out the first 3 steps of The Solo Founder Playbook.

The 6 strategies discussed in this playbook are:

  • Direct Sales 🗣️
  • Personal Branding 😎
  • Product Listing Platforms 📃
  • QnA Content Marketing ✍️
  • Side Project Marketing ⚒️
  • Pay Per Click Ads 💰

Each strategy is discussed with specific examples and case studies.

Now let’s go 👇

Direct Sales

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