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How to publish the project on Product Hunt and get 1400+ votes: mssg.me story

In the life of each startup there is a moment when it’s ready to be published on Product Hunt. Why it’s worth publishing your project on this site, and why is it important to do this? Let us work this out with the help of our example. The story of the project eloquently shows its successful promotion.

The main task of publishing a project on PH is to get qualitative feedback in order to understand better as to what’s on the next. It’s difficult but not insurmountable challenge.

In spite of the efforts of those, who solve this task locally, make a test run, analyze the data and draw conclusions based on a small sample, it was important for us to get a really competent opinion of the market representatives. For this reason, we entered Product Hunt.

By the way, at the time of project publication on PH, we have already had about 10 thousand registrations. It is quite good for a small and highly specialized start-up like mssg.me, which is a service that combines core messengers on one page).

How does it all begin? Everything started with planning. We did not come to this point spontaneously. We knew that this tool is working and decided to gain the maximum benefit. We chose the date of publication and started work.

Many wrote about PH. It was also possible to read about it even on Spark. But there is always something missing in these stories. They miss something important and special. We’ll try to fix it.

Looking ahead, I will say that it was all worth it. In the course of our small campaign it was possible to achieve the following results:

  • 1200+ votes;
  • over 100 comments from users of the service;
  • 10,000+ new users;
  • 1 offer from a venture fund.

It is impossible to predict the success of the project. But we are ready to share valuable recommendations, following which you can increase your chances to succeed. I’ll tell you about them today.

Entry into the Product Hunt – 10 specific steps

Step 1. Prepare your accounts on Product Hunt

You can create an account on PH only if you have an account on Facebook, Twitter, and AngelList.
You will be able to leave comments only after you vote for 10 projects of other participants.

PH has a special ranking system for projects and the significance of each participant’s vote is different. Users, who are registered on the service for a long time and those, who are more active, have more significant votes.

Situations, when a project with fewer votes has the higher ranking than those with more votes, are possible. Do not be surprised, Ryan Hoover, a creator of PH, has foreseen everything.

We strongly advise to register all project participants in advance, visit PH website every day, learn projects, wade hip-deep into the discussions. In general, join a friendly community. And that’s usually how it starts…

Step 2. Find a hunter

Hunter is the person who should publish your project on ProductHunt. This is a big man in the industry, busy and well-known in the community. There is no other way to publish your project, so you have to find such a person.

Initially, we thought that it would be incredibly difficult and take a lot of time, we would have to look for some intricate ways to interest the hunter with our service. It turned out much easier!

Hunters are sympathetic, friendly and quite ordinary people, who can be found here.

We made a newsletter for the TOP-20 and received a positive response from most of them. They were ready to publish our project on PH.

Through conversation, we found out that some of the hunters had all the dates booked for a couple of weeks ahead, but we found the right day in the schedule of Kevin William David, the first hunter on the list.

We wanted to post our project on Tuesday or Wednesday. It is considered the best time for publishing the project on PH according to most marketers and PR specialists. But our hunter said that in his opinion, it’s better to post a project on Saturday. Nothing in between.

We were in shock! No one advises publishing on Saturday. It is a day off and no one cares about PH. But there must be a reason that he is the number 1 hunter in the world. So, we blindly trusted his recommendations and agreed the date and time of publication on Saturday at 11 am.

As we chose the hunter and the date, it remained to prepare all the necessary information about our project.

Step 3. Preparation of the project for publication

You need to prepare the following information so that the hunter could publish your project:

1. Project Avatar

I strongly recommend using not a static image, but a GIF animation. This will really make your project stand out from the rest.

2. Short description

It could be your slogan if it briefly describes the essence of your project in one phrase. We had: “Easiest way to gather all your messengers with one link”.

3. Category

Enter the project publishing mode to pre-select the category in which your project will be posted. If your project appears in the top of the day, you will have an opportunity to be chosen for a weekly sample of the best projects in this category. By the way, we got into this sample. Even PH tweeted our project! And you’ll be there, just follow the instructions!

4. Project Presentation

Projects are shown as slides here. Each of them could be like a video, an image or a GIF-animation. It is advisable to choose the first slide as an animation or a video so that the user immediately understands what you are offering.

5. Project Description

Previously, it was not possible to describe the project when it was published. So, it was assumed that after the publication of the project by the hunter, the founder of the project should immediately leave the first comment with a detailed description and gratitude to the hunter for publishing the project.

We have seen cases when the founder of the project run out of time to do this and the first comment was made by another user.

Now everything is much easier. When publishing a project there is a field for its extended description, where you can describe what is your project about with the help of a couple of sentences. Also, don’t forget to thank the hunter.

4. Prepare your website

Product Hunt Community likes when project founders treat qualitatively and all the details are well thought-out when it comes to preparation of project publication.

Your website is not an exception, so we strongly recommend you to create this kind of die:

All users of your website will be aware that you are on Product Hunt. But it is impossible to post a direct link to your project as it can turn into unpleasant consequences. According to the idea of PH, users should want to vote for your project themselves, so any promotion should be accompanied by the instructions on how to do it: go to PH’s main page, find your project, click on the link and then press “upvote”.

A little more about the details: you can work hard and redesign some elements of the website according to PH theme. For example, we have changed completely the first screen and made a special animation.

5. Your social networks

A wide range of fans, who are ready to support your project, is a key to success on Product Hunt. After all, once your project is published, you will need to get the first votes ASAP. It will allow you to get in the TOP of the day.

Prepare a list of startups in advance and become their member. Please note that some of these groups are private, and your application can be considered for a couple of days.

Design your pages in social networks in such a way that they correspond to the theme of ProductHunt. It will give a positive effect.

Here’s what our Facebook page looked like on the day of project launching:

6. Projected FAQ

If your project is interesting for the community, be prepared for the fact that users will ask you the same questions about future development, new features, access to new markets and so on.

Therefore, you can answer all questions in advance, record them and then do not waste time and just provide ready answers. On this day you will be so busy that such preparations will save you much time.

7. A template of a Thank you Messages

You will receive many comments like “Great!”, “Like it!” and so on.
Even such messages should not be left without an answer. So, write a couple of ready-made responses like “Thank you so much for your support”, “I really appreciate it”, “Please let me know if you have any questions regarding our service.”

8. Publications in media

This idea came to us with a delay, but I can not share it with you. Listen carefully because it’s brilliant!

If you really believe in the success of your project and want to gain the most benefits from the publication, you have an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

In general, prepare a list of media resources in which you would like to have a publication. Some of them will be chargeable, some not. Coordinate the date of publication so that it coincides with the date of launching your project on PH.

You will have a unique opportunity to convert leads not only to users of your service but also those who will vote for you on PH. You’ll get double profit.

9. Schedule of the day

On this day, be sure to write down all the actions in minute detail.

All participants of the project should understand clearly when the post will be added on Facebook, and when on Twitter, as well as when your article will be published on ain.ua and when on vc.ru.

This approach makes all processes more systematized. When you receive tonnes of messages and emails, there is a big chance to forget to do something. And if there is a schedule and the person who follows it, it’s quite easier to stay organized.

10. Prepare yourself for a sleepless night

You will have two stages of activity: the first is European and the second is American. I can not say that I slept at that night because there was a lot of work. We constantly received messages and feedbacks and tried to respond promptly to all comments.

It was insanely cool and interesting. It is an unforgettable experience which, without exception, every startup owner should get.

If you have any questions, follow the link and I will be happy to answer them!

Follow our instructions and you will also be lucky! Good luck!

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