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How Collato got #1 product of the day on Product Hunt | Catherine Norris, Collato
When is a product ‘ready’ for a PH launch?
You need a strong product position before picking a launch date. You really need to really understand :
Who your target audience is,
What your product positioning is,
What your messaging is going to be.
And have your branding ready to go.
We started working on that probably 4 months before we launched. And we ended up pushing the launch day a couple of times just to make sure we were fully ready.
How did you pick a launch date?
So we just picked the day that we felt like we had enough time to be fully prepared.
The week before we launched we found out that a competitor was going to be launching on the same day and they had a much bigger User base and community behind them, so we got scared.
They ended up not doing that well, but that was fine because CopyAI ended up launching that week and they overtook everyone so that gave us a better chance the next week.
So, don't be scared. You should feel confident if you've got your plan in place and stick with your launch date.
Ben: Looking into launch days, it looks like there are some interesting dynamics to each particular day to consider as well:
Picking the right hunter
Ben: You mentioned that it was actually importance of working with the right hunter. What's the relevance here?
We were hunted by Chris Messina who's a well-known hunter on Product Hunt with a huge following.
It's much better to get someone who has that clout, where they're trusted and the products that they hunt are successful. It adds that extra validation.
We broke preparation up to:
3 months out
Week of the launch
3 months out
So three months out, we really focused on getting our team on Product Hunt.
One thing that's important to remember is upvotes from new community members on Product Hunt don't count. They have a little red balloon next to their name. So they have to be active on Product Hunt for a while.
We actually turned it into a competition: who could get to 50 points the fastest or get the most followers in a month. There was a prize at the end (and I won!).
We also made sure that we had our date picked and our hunter.
2nd months out
At that point, we used an agency to create our explainer video.
This was not our first launch on Product Hunt. Collato's been around for a couple of years now, first as a visual collaboration platform for designers [and now an AI search tool for teams]. So we actually launched on Product Hunt, around the end of 2021, but it didn’t go as well as we hoped. For our first launch, we were just talking on video about our product. We weren't showing it’s full potential.
So it's really worthwhile to have an expertly made video showcasing your product.
The script was tough.
It was tough to get that precise messaging right and make sure that we were hitting exactly how we want to talk about Collato, how we want to showcase it, and which features we really want to highlight.
And it's very short at about 60 seconds.
We also started building our network. This is really important.
At that point, we were all active on Product Hunt and we really wanted to make sure that we were connecting with people there.
To be active on the community meant reaching users, following them on Product Hunt and connecting with them on LinkedIn.
People are really open to connecting with you, especially other makers and founders who are also going to be launching. You can offer each other mutual support.
Relevant: How to Create Engaging Product Explainer Videos That Convert (While Bootstrapping) | Justin Halsall
Ben: How did you even reach out in a way that people were engaged with?
If we follow each other on product hunt or they've been commenting on one of my discussion posts, I'd reach out to them and say something like:
Hey, I saw that we follow each other on Product Hunt, I'd love to connect with you so we can support each other in future launches.
That’s one of the keys to being successful in building a community on Product Hunt, is to create posts that people want to engage with.
What I found works really well are polls because they're really easy to respond to. They don't require people to spend 30 minutes writing an essay to reply.
One month to launch
Ben: So one month before, was there anything different on the preparation list?
Creating the coming soon page on Product Hunt.
Once we have that page, we send that out to people saying:
Hey, just so you know, Collato is launching in the next few weeks. We'd love it if you’d click notify me so you can be notified of our launch.
We also made sure to start building our brand awareness by creating matching banners and avatars for all of our team across different social media profiles.
We also became more active in social communities. There are a ton of different Slack communities, LinkedIn groups, subreddits, and other communities out there where you can post your launch. I think we were on around 20 to 25 different communities across different platforms.
Something I would have done differently is to be a lot more active in these other communities earlier. A lot of them require you to request to join a group and that can take weeks.
Relevant: Thive Index, Curated lists of the top online communities to join
This is the time to make sure all those little fine details are ready to go:
Make sure you have a tagline ready.
Your launch profile (a short description of your product). You want it to be really descriptive of what your product is in as few words as possible.
Maker’s comment, the first comment that's posted by one of the makers. It’s usually a couple of hundred words. It should be a good description of what your product is, how it should resonate with your target audience, what pain points is it solving, what's coming up for your product, what can people find out about it in the near future.
You can go to Time Travel on Product Hunt and see all of the launches from the last days of any month of any year. I would look through those and see which products were most successful and what their maker’s comments included.
All of your images, videos and logo is ready to go for your launch profile.
Actual launch day
Make sure you launch on time. 12:01 AM Pacific Standard Time is when it starts. You have 24 hours. So you don't want to be launching any later than that, ideally, because you want as much time as possible to gather upvotes.
Now reach out to your network. But don't ask for upvotes. So ask for support, ask for feedback, reviews, or maybe a comment.
Note which time zone people are in. Go to their LinkedIn profile, and check if they are based in Asia, Europe, in the States, etc. Start messaging people from the Eastern time zones because it's already later in the day for them and you want to catch them before they finish up work.
Check out Product Wars. It's a dashboard where you can see the products launching that day and how many upvotes they're.
Do not use spam or bots. On Product Wars, we'd see huge spikes in upvotes on some products, and then all of a sudden a couple of hours later it would drop, and they'd go from number 1 to number 7.
Once people see a product in the first few places on the day of the launch, they're more likely to click on it and get excited about it and give you that upvote.
Begin preparing for your Product Hunt launch at least 4 months in advance, starting with understanding your target audience, product positioning, messaging, and branding.
Pick a launch date that allows for full preparation and stick to it. Consider the dynamics of each launch day, and choose a day that is not already crowded with popular launches.
Work with a well-known and trusted hunter on Product Hunt. It looks like a hunter with a large following can provide additional validation for your product and increase your chances of success.
Break down your preparation into specific time frames, such as 3 months out, 1 month, the week of the launch, launch day, and post-launch. This approach can help you stay on track and focus on specific tasks during each stage of the launch process.
Focus on building your network at least 2 months before your launch. Connect with other makers and founders on Product Hunt and LinkedIn, and participate in relevant online communities to increase your visibility.
Create engaging posts, such as polls, to encourage community engagement and build interest in your product. Encourage your team to participate in the community and compete in challenges to motivate them.
Create a coming soon page on Product Hunt and notify people at least one month before your launch. This can help build excitement and generate interest in your product before it is released.
Ensure that all of your launch details, such as tagline, launch profile, maker's comment, images, videos, and logo, are ready to go before your launch. Check that your launch profile is descriptive and accurately represents your product.
Reach out to your network on launch day for support, feedback, and reviews. Do not ask for upvotes, and avoid using spam or bots. Target your outreach efforts to people in different time zones to maximize visibility and response rates.
Monitor your performance on Product Hunt using tools such as Product Wars. Avoid using any tactics that violate the platform's policies, such as using bots or engaging in vote manipulation.
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