Posted by Julia Mar 25, 2012 Category: meetings // social entrepreneurism
On Thursday, March 15, we gathered at Cruzio for the last meetup before April’s TechRaising weekend. Developers and entrepreneurs, designers and marketing experts packed the conference room full to weigh in on a big topic: Attracting Early Adopters and Creating Buzz. The diversity of experience and talent in the room sparked an exciting conversation about what happens after a pitched project kicks off.
As we discussed at the February meetup, pitching your idea in a way that will draw the right kind
of people to your project is vital. The same goes for attracting early adopters; you can get the most out of your product’s testing stages by engaging the best early adopters for your needs.
First, what are early adopters and what purpose do they serve?
- Early adopters are not necessarily your first customers!
- Someone who will invest time, effort, emotion, (and possibly money) into your project
- Someone who will put up with your product’s growing pains (bugs, crashes, changes, new versions)
- Alpha and Beta testers who will give you feedback
- Your product testers and brand evangelists!
“Don’t create a product — create a movement.” -Jose Caballer
Who are your early adopters, specific to your needs?
Who else has the problem your product solves? Most likely, your product addresses an issue specific to your expertise and industry. Your colleagues and coworkers probably have the same problems and needs.
- Attract early adopters representative of the target audience of your product
“You can get exactly what you want, you just need to know what to ask for.”
You can seek out and choose your own early adopters. It may not be possible for every product, but targeting your own early adopters can be beneficial for an optimal testing phase. Get focused about what you want from your testers and whose input will be most valuable.
How do you find and attract those ideal adopters?
- Remember: this is your target audience, so know them and think like them!
- Where do they hang out, on and offline? What other apps do they love? What do they read? What are they interested in?
- Offer perks and rewards: free trial, exclusivity, swag, ability to give usable feedback, gamification, the cool factor of being a trendsetter
As soon as you can iterate your idea, you are ready for and need early adopters.
Your first testers are there to give you essential feedback to help your product become its best. It’s your personal and professional decision as to how much influence your early adopters on the development your product. The most vital question to ask them: Did your service solve the problem you were trying to solve? As suggestions flood in, filter the feedback appropriately and remain flexible in the way your project develops, willing to pivot in order to create a functioning manifestation of your original vision.
It’s also time to build buzz about your new business and get financial backers. Be bold. Make connections and talk to everyone. Share it everywhere — Facebook, blogs, Twitter feeds, your networking circle. Get heard by becoming a thought leader in your field. Promote your own blog and connect with the industry professionals you admire (even if they ignore you at first). Persistence proves passion. If you are passionate about your awesome new product, others will be excited, too.
Thanks to all involved in this productive roundtable. The enthusiasm for building great ideas got us incredibly pumped for April 20. Are you pumped, too? Get your tickets! Registration for TechRaising Spring 2012 is now open.
Now that you know how to promote a great tech idea, help us promote TechRaising 2012! Tell your friends, tell your co-workers, bring a team from your company, ask your idols to be mentors, or be a mentor yourself. Know of potential sponsors? We need them, too. And, of course, Facebook us, Tweet at us @TechRaising, blog about us.