7 Ways to Get Your First 1000 Customers on Your Marketplace

In addition to operational challenges, startups face a double-edged sword when it comes to acquiring new customers: intense competition and limited resources.

Here are 7 effective ways of acquiring your initial customers to get the ball rolling.

  1. Understand your first 100 users
    Speak to each one of them personally and understand the positives and negatives of the user experience. Honest feedback from your initial users can help you understand the value and the challenges of your offering from a customer point of view.
  2. Track your marketing budget closely
    In today’s age of digital marketing and available analytics, calculating ROI on your marketing spend is simple. Monitor and analyze marketing campaigns against the objectives to know which channels and types of campaigns are helping you achieve your goals and which ones you should discard, thereby increasing the efficiency of limited resources.
  3. Do not neglect the strength of the personal network
    Spread the word of your offering amongst family, friends, and colleagues and request them to share the same in their network. Word of mouth is still a strong tool in acquiring new customers. Don’t be shy about asking for a favor – you will be amazed by the kindness and support shown by your friends and family in championing your new venture.
  4. Free trials & memberships for a certain period
    Motivate users to experience your service without obligation by offering free trials or limited-time waivers of any membership fees. Through this approach, users can first experience your service, find value and develop trust in your brand before willingly committing and paying for your service.
  5. Incentivize referrals
    Incentivizing with vouchers or free credits for referrals motivates your customers to sell your product/service.  This is an effective stimulus helping you increase your user base while rewarding your customers for the same.
  6. Content marketing
    Establish yourself as a bona fide expert in your business segment by providing informative and educational content to your customers and partners. Use keyword tools available online to understand which keywords are highly searched for and result in greater online engagement. Optimize your website for Google searches with appropriate Header tags, Meta tags titles and descriptions. This will help customers to start developing trust in your business through your content, making them more open to trying your product/service.
  7. Tweak website design
    Perform AB testing with certain calls-to-action or design changes and then analyze which versions work and appeal best to your audience. You might be surprised to see that a small call-to-action placement can have a huge impact on customer conversions.

Get in touch with me and let me know which of these initiatives worked for your business or share with me some innovative ways for startups to get a head start on building their customer bases!

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