How to use Product Hunt to Give your Startup a Boost

Every new startup needs just the right tools to get started, and Product Hunt may be just what you needed. This website lets everyone share products and discover new ones. Every day is a brand new list of products that are voted to the top by users into four categories: technology, games, books and podcasts. In the technology section you will find mobile apps, web apps, hardware products, among other similar products and in the games section you’ll find products for your PC, web and mobile apps. You can either submit your product or discover new products that can be your next vendor, or partner in a new venture. It’s very easy to use and will even send to your email a daily list of what’s hot and what’s featured in the products you are most interested in. Product Hunt is even available as an iOS app and on Google Chrome as an extension.

This community allows all product lovers to share their enthusiasm for finding out about the latest creations right off the press. Many sites like The Verge, TechCrunch and Business Insider recommend Product Hunt and call it a must-read site. It now has a team of over twenty designers, engineers and community managers including the founder Ryan Hoover. This organization is backed by many companies including Google Ventures, Y Combinator and a number of investment firms. This curated site has definitely broken through as a young startup in 2013 and grown into something your startup cannot only look up to, but also use for your own startup.

How can Product Hunt help your startup?

First of all, let’s analyze how it can actually help. The most obvious way is by publishing your product on their site and strategizing to get as much attention as possible to climb to the top of the ranks. Now, if you do really good you’ll be able to get featured, which is another way that it can help catapult your product in no time. When people look for new products they try to find something authentic, this will definitely get some voting action and comments. Be sure to share the love though by sharing other products and curating a collection.

AN URBAN GENERAL STORE_tools for communication in startups_don burns
Image courtesy of ENJOY Chicago at Flickr.com

How to get started?  (for startups and established companies)

Product Hunt is pretty similar to any supermarket or variety store. They analyze their top sales and put those up in front. Product Hunt lists their top products based on number of upvotes, especially those from high ranking users which have more weight than the rest, the time the product has been on the site, and some other top secret reasons, which is whispered to have something to do with comments. So how do you make sure that your product gets to the top of the list? For starters, get it right from even before you launch your product. Determine a goal for your product on the site, and with this objective in mind set up your strategy. Never lose focus of your goal. Once you’ve got that down, be sure to know how to post. To be able to post you have to be a very active Product Hunt user, and these users can post and comment on product pages. If you still can’t post yourself try reaching out to someone who can and have them post your product or even reach out to a top poster and ask them to post it for you.

These top rankers can even post directly to the featured page, so it’s worth a go. Now, you can actually post it yourself, but add an “exclusive offer” by filling out a form. With this your product will stand out by having a gold star and this can get more attention. Another important factor is timing. You have to know when to post so as to get the most attention possible. According to some studies the best day of the week to post is on Tuesdays and at around 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM PST. By posting too early you’ll miss all of the west coast or if it’s too late the east coast won’t get a chance to vote. Make sure your marketing content is ready for the challenge.

You should keep in mind things like taglines and media, introduction and story behind the product, Q&A, and a special welcome for new visitors from Product Hunt. Just like we mentioned before, everything has to be ready including your social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Once you’ve posted be sure to be active by sharing your content, encourage discussion around your product by maybe even setting up a meetup. Of course share your new posting on all of your social networks getting them involved. When doing this do not send the direct link, instead invite them to look you up on the Product Hunt site. Schedule all of your activities around the launch like twitter comments, Instagram shares and Facebook posts.

Finally, be sure to monitor your progress and this way know what else you can do to keep getting more upvotes and trying to make it to that front page.

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