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How To Get Your First 100 Customers for Your SaaS Product

Intro Summary

In this video i'm talking about how to get your first 100 customers for your sas product i'm going to be offering up actionable strategies and tactics on how you can get this done i'm rob walling i'm a startup founder with multiple exits author of three books about building startups and an investor in more than 100 companies when most people think about building a product they think about how can i build the product and then market it later how can i build something and then go find people who have this need and that's the opposite way to go about it if i were launching a product today i would say finding your first hundred customers starts way before you write that first line of code the first thing you should do is look.

Look for Advantages

For advantages that you have and you do this when you're choosing the idea before you write a line of code before you choose the idea before you validate the idea you think about do i have an audience in any space that i could build a product for or do i have a network in any space a bunch of people who know me who i could call in to help do webinars to co-promote to work that network to sell your product now if you don't have an audience in a particular space i'm a believer that if you're building a sas product you don't need an audience because there are a bunch of traffic channels we're going to talk about later that work without an audience and the process of building an audience is actually quite time consuming if you're going to sell info products if you're going to sell courses sure having an audience is the way to go because people buy info products and courses from people they know like and trust however building and selling a sas product most people that i know who do it they don't have an audience when they start and in fact they don't really build an audience as they're selling it if you have an audience great if you don't i would not invest the time to build an audience before launching a sas product.

Build a Network

Now second on the network whether you have one or not building a network that knows who you are and respects you as an entrepreneur it's a big one and that's something that i would start building so whether you go to whether you go to microconf connect which is our slack community whether you go to the dynamite circle there's so many online entrepreneur communities that i would be involved in if i didn't have any connections today and i wanted to start building a network of other like-minded founders. So if you find you have one of those two advantages i would consider building a product in a way that can serve those spaces and if you don't then this is where being a first-time entrepreneur is challenging because you don't have a network and you don't have an audience and you just have to plunge in and start marketing before you start coding that's the thing i want you to take away from this video is if you think that you're going to go into a basement or you're going to hire some developers spend six to 12 months building out a product and then go try to market it you're thinking about it.

Landing Page

Backwards because marketing and driving interest or having conversations with folks when you're looking at mock-ups of a sas app it helps you validate whether or not there is need for this product. So i'm a firm believer in having a landing page way before you start writing a line of code i've done this with multiple sas apps i've done this with a book done this with a conference i've done this with a startup accelerator all were landing pages before we had anything to speak of and what i was trying to do was to validate whether there was interest or whether there was a need and the way that you do this is you set up this landing page where you're going to capture emails and you're going to offer someone either updates on the launch or you offer them you know something to opt in but you basically say this is what we're building if you're interested in this and you're interested in the value that it provides in your email and we'l.

Customer Development

Be in touch and what this does is allows you to build that email launch list which not only provides some validation that people are interested in the value that you're talking about but it allows you to do what's called customer development which is to have conversations as you have an idea about where this product should go you get 100 people 500 people on that list you can email 50 of them and you can say this is what i'm thinking of building these are the mock-ups does this solve what the problem that i think it solves does this provide value for you would you pay thirty dollars fifty dollars a hundred dollars a month for this product and it allows you to start getting that validation that maybe people are interested to do this you have to talk about your idea a lot. And you have to talk about your idea before it's done so with the last sas app that i built i got 1 people to tell me yes i would pay for this before we broke ground and wrote a line of code your mileage may vary on this. But i was talking about my idea in public before we had code written my take on this is very few people if any are going to steal your idea because ideas just they don't tend to be worth that much it's so much more about execution i would recommend going on social media podcasts if you can asking people for advice and you're trying to get product direction. But you're also trying to build up that interest list so the day you launch is an amazing day of revenue that it's not that you launch. And then you look for your first customer it's that you launch to 10 20 or 30 customers from day one because that provides that motivation and a little bit of revenue for you to keep going so let's say you followed this.


Advice and you do have early interested customers you build the product you get some people into early access and they're using it. And you think it's time to launch this thing so the first thing that i would do is launch to my email list and that is where you give them a heads up two weeks in advance you're kind of teasing the product you're saying hey these are the mock-ups this is what it looks like these are some screenshots here's a little cool video of what this product does and usually you give some type of launch motivation whether that's free onboarding free migration from a prior tool maybe you give a discount although that's not necessarily my favorite way of doing it. But you let your email list know that they are getting something exclusive for having been on the email list and followed your journey and the idea is that email launch list gets you your first 10 20 50 customers and.


Work out the kinks you fix the bugs that they encounter maybe you build a few features that people are requesting but you're basically getting prepared to launch to the world and this is what i call scratching and clawing i think paul graham said it better when he said do things that don't scale because launching to the world is often a one-time event and there's a lot of things that you can do in the short term that will get you customers it gets you to that first 100 customer mark that won't take you to 500 or a thousand customers so these are things like launching on product hunt launching on hacker news doing a reddit launch going to q a sites like quora and stack exchange i've seen an entrepreneur build a sas app to 35 000 a month so that's 35k of mrr almost solely using quora and stack exchange maybe you do an appsumo.

Product Hunt Launch

Deal maybe go on a podcast tour these are all things that if you are good at them and you focus the time and you go out and learn how to do them so product hunt launch for example if you go to microconf search for product hunt you'l find that we have an entire 30 minute video on how to do a product launch and it is an interview and a talk from derek reimer who did this with savvycal and he had great success launching on product on and again you're doing things that don't scale to get to that point of well at least i'm default to live at least i have 5k or 10k a month in mrr because often that is a really difficult point to get to it's the point that you get to where you can quit your day job at this point i want.


To raise i think a common mistake that a lot of first-time entrepreneurs make and it's under-pricing their product and it's thinking that if i only charge five dollars per customer i'm gonna get a lot more customers the problem is you get a hundred customers five dollars a month you're only making 500 a month and that's not enough to do much with what if i charged a hundred dollars a month what could i build that's worth a hundred dollars a month then by the time you get to that 100 customer mark you have 10k in mrr and that allows you to in most places in the world quit that day job your price point dictates a lot more than you realize early on in your product and so if you have five dollars a month versus 500 a month you can barely do anything you can do some quora and reddit and some content and seo but you can't afford to do pay-per-click ads versus if you have a price point of 100 or 500 a month you can afford to do a whole swath of marketing approaches if you've followed the advice i've given you so far you may already be at 100 customers. But if you're not then you have to start thinking about how do i build a marketing flywheel how do i find usually one marketing approach that can get me to that 100 customer mark and usually this is done through experimentation you look at the most common b2b sas marketing approaches and you pick which one you think is most likely to work.


And whether that marketing approaches or what i call the pillar b2b sas marketing approaches you pick one of these usually it's seo or content or cold outreach partnerships integrations or pay-per-click ads and those are the most common ones that i see people building into flywheels through all this keep in mind there's a lot of experimentation and a lot of maybe going with your founder gut to get to the point where you have a hundred customers it's harder than a lot of people make it out to be online and in fact aside from building something people want and driving traffic to it and putting in all the hard work there's one more thing that you're gonna need to retain customers i'l get to that in a minute. But if you've enjoyed this video if you got value out of it i'd love it if you'd hit that like button and subscribe to our channel we have tons of videos like this coming out whether it's pointed tactical advice like this video live streams conference talks we are putting out several videos per month all about the topic of building and growing successful sas products in terms of the one more.

Retain Customers

Thing you'l need to retain customers i want to say that finding a hundred customers is hard retaining them is the real challenge because if you drive 10 new customers a month but you churn 10 customers a month you'l be flat it doesn't matter if you find 100 customers if you cannot retain them because building a product that people want and are willing to pay for month after month it's much harder than you think and while marketing is a challenge just getting to that point where you have a product that people don't churn out of can take six months 12 months 18 months so there's no formula there's no direct map to getting from zero to 100 customers and retaining them but hopefully the ideas strategies and tactics that i've presented in this video will help get you there you.

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