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20 May 2021

How to launch on Product Hunt, a detailed Guide

Product Hunt is probably the most knowledgeable and visited website in the startup ecosystem. All founders, entrepreneurs, VC keep an eye on it to see what are the new trends.

So, having a product that hits the first page of PH will bring you thousands of visits, some attention from all over the world, and even some PR.

Product Hunt is THE place to get your early traction.

When to launch on PH

The bad news about Product hunt is: you only have one shot. You can’t post the same product twice, except if you made some major upgrade. So you better get a good launch!

That’s why I don’t advise you to launch fast on PH. My advice here is to wait until you get your first feedback and a small audience.

Build Followers

First, build an audience (use the other acquisition channel on this dashboard to do it). You will need a couple of hundreds of upvotes to hit the front page, so grow a mailing list of at least 500+ followers (or any other sort of audience, like Twitter).

If you start from scratch, I highly recommend using the “Ship” feature of ProductHunt. Creating a following base directly on PH is much more actionable when you launch!

In the meantime, start some conversation in the Discussion section of PH. As always, try to bring value to your topic. It should give you some followers as well.

Connect all your social media to PH. That way, all your Twitter, FB friends will see your PH profile and will follow you!

Build a good product

That sounds obvious, but if you want to get all these upvotes, you better have a good product!

  • Iterate on your product as much as you can. Use the feedback you got from your early users to build the “perfect” product.
  • Work on the UI/UX. You’ll be spawned in a list with plenty of other projects. You better stand out!
  • Create some growth/retention strategy. You will have tons of visits during the launch day. Be sure to have a way to transform all this traffic into conversion.
  • You’ll receive a massive spike of traffic on launch day, so be prepared!
  • Get some testimonials/social proof before launch. That will help for conversion!

How to post

Timing

Hours

Product Hunt launches are all about timing! The homepage is reset every day at 12 am PST.

So schedule your post just after 12 am PST, that way, you’ll have 24hrs of exposure. It’s also a good way to get some traction before the big guys from Silicon Valley!

When scheduling your post, set the time zone to PST. Product Hunt does not adjust for different time zones.

1.2 Days

If you want maximum exposure and traffic, you should launch on Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday. They also are the most competitive days - launch there only if you’re fully prepared!

Tip: use weekends for your small projects, you’ll get less traffic, but your chance to be ranked are better

Catchy listing

1.1 Title

This one is the easier. Just use the name of your product, no emojis

1.2 Logo & tagline

The logo is a 240x240 image, and that’s what attracts the visitors! Use a high-contrast logo to stand out easily. Don’t overthink it. Use Canva and make a simple one.

The GIF is not really a thing nowadays, as they don’t auto-play.

The tagline is also essential. Create several versions. Pick the more impactful

1.3 Slides or Video

Two mission here:

  • Tell the world your product’s purpose
  • Show your product and convince visitors that they want to know more (and upvote/comment)

You should really spend some time on the slide, not really on the design (again, use Canva), but on the content. Explain what problem you’re solving and how it will help your customers be faster/cheaper/…

If you’re comfortable with video, do it, I really think it worth it. Loom is probably the best way to go here. Create a short screencast to show your solution

1.4 Maker’s comment

Your first comment as a maker is super important. It should contain

  • What’s the problem you’re solving
  • How you’re solving it
  • Who can benefit from it

Here are two very good examples:

Try to add something that leads to engagement on your comment, like a question. The more comment you’ll get, the more product hunt will promote you.

1.5 Discount (optional)

It’s not mandatory, but the ProductHunt community appreciates it when you create a special discount for the launch.

I personally created a 20% discount during 48hrs after the launch.

Be hunted

It was super important in the first days of PH to be “hunted” by a super famous member of PH. It’s not really the case anymore. But having a “Hunter” will help you increase your reach. All his followers will receive an email about your product! (And he also can share your work on his social media)

You’ll have some extra exposure!

Check the Hunters leaderboard below and try to be hunted by the most followed one!

Launch Day

The first hours are crucial. The US is still sleeping. That’s when you need to stand out quickly!

GOAL: hit the homepage asap

To do that, you’ll need as many upvotes/comments as you can in the first 3-4 hours!

  • Contact all your UE/Asian-based contacts and share your launch!
  • Post on FB groups, Slack channels, etc
  • Post on @indiehackers

Interact as much as you can!

Answer to EVERY comment on product hunt and on every platform you posted on, every DM you have as fast as you can. Start discussions! I got 80+ comments on UserBooster launch, which clearly helped me to rank faster.

Don’t be spammy!

People will support you when you launch, don’t spam people asking for upvotes. Don’t ask people to create new accounts, or your product can be banned! Try to get some real engagement instead, answer questions, start conversations.

If you’re not on the homepage after an hour (despite having more upvotes/comments than your competitors), contact the PH team on Twitter!

It happened to me, UserBooster was stuck in the “New” section. I messaged ProductHunt and they fixed the issue within 10 minutes!

After the Launch

A launch on product Hunt will bring you some traffic for at least a week after the D-Day! You’ll receive some comments on your page, some questions on social media, a lot of new connections as well - and maybe some PR requests.

Don’t forget to answer them!

And use this launch to grow your audience and reputation online!

  • Share your experience/insights/results with your audience
  • Look for PH collections website, ask for an update
  • Put a nice PH badge on your website

Bonus point: the PH newsletters

If you’re ranked enough, your product will be in the Daily and weekly newsletter. Each newsletter brought me 1000+ visitors!

Conclusion

Now you know everything about launching on Product Hunt. I used these techniques to launch my products , that’s I managed to be ranked in the top products on the day!

I hope you the best for your launches! If you have any questions or suggestions, I’d be happy to talk to you about Product Hunt, your launch, or anything else. Just feel free to reach out to me on Twitter: @angezanetti

This guide is an extract of UserBooster, a Notion Dashboard that helps you build your launch strategy


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