5 Helpful Pre-Launch Resources for Online Startups Generating buzz for your company in the beginning is a make-or-break task.
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Many startups have failed over the years, and a horrible product or service isn't always to blame -- it's often because nobody knew the product or service existed. Attracting users early on, either during the pre-launch beta or on the actual launch date is great for two things: feedback and revenue.
While creating an early buzz and attracting a user base can be difficult, there are many tools that can help, including the five listed below.
1. Beta List
Want to build a list of people eager to become customers when your startup launches? Want to build this list for free? Then you need to check out Beta List -- the platform that gives their members early access to more than 100 new online startups every month.
Related: How to Acquire Customers Without a Marketing Budget (Infographic)
Getting your startup featured on Beta List is free, but there is one requirement -- you must be in pre-launch mode. Startups that have previously opened to the public are not eligible. Make sure that you plan in advance, as it can take several weeks for submissions to get reviewed.
One of the most difficult tasks a startup faces is generating good PR during launch. The same team that's behind Beta List created Submit.co -- a comprehensive directory for startups to turn to when seeking media exposure.
There is no fluff or advertisements on the website, and you don't have to sign up to access the information. It's a helpful directory that lists as much contact information as possible for every media outlet relevant to online startups. (They also welcome edits to the directory in case you have information to contribute.)
Creating a PR outreach campaign takes time and it's a lot of hard work -- Submit.co is a great resource that will help you identify multiple outreach targets. Just don't make these stupid press outreach mistakes.
3. Product Hunt
Product Hunt is a website that is becoming more popular by the day. Ryan Hoover launched Product Hunt in 2013 as an email list that consisted of individuals who were early adapters and interested in discussing the newest online businesses. It has since transformed into one of the most influential websites for online entrepreneurs.
Every day Product Hunt lists the newest mobile apps, software-as-a-service projects and websites for the community to discuss and vote on. It's the place to be seen if you are an online entrepreneur looking to gain exposure in front of tech journalists and startup enthusiasts. Anyone can register to vote and discover the daily hunts -- but only select members can submit new hunts and comment.
This privilege is granted when someone from the community sends you an invite.
Related: Follow This 5-Step Process to Create Your Own Free Press
Reddit is an online community that can provide you with an abundance of exposure, as long as you play by its rules. You do not want to use Reddit as an advertising platform -- you will receive an extremely hard welcome if the community members sense that you are trying to sell something.
However, if you post something useful and interesting without asking the community for something in return you will receive plenty of natural exposure. Check out this guide to learn all of the ins and outs of using Reddit correctly.
5. Muck Rack
Imagine if you were able to find relevant journalists by searching for specific keywords and receive notifications when journalists tweet out content that matches your search terms. Muck Rack does this and a whole lot more.
It's a very popular platform that PR agencies and internal marketing departments use to build relationships with media outlets. Pitching directly through the Muck Rack platform ensures that your pitch is read rather than being sent to the trash. While the previous four resources listed are all free, Muck Rack is a paid service. Some startups might find the price too rich in the beginning, but it does offer a demo to see if the platform is a good fit for you. It's an excellent tool if your budget allows for it.
If you are launching a startup, connect with me on Twitter -- I always love to hear about what other entrepreneurs are creating.
Do you have any resources to add that can help promote early startup growth? If so, please add yours to the list in the comments section below.
Related: The Secret to Winning Customers and Growing Your Business