- MyFocusSpace Team
Introduction to Product Hunt
Lately, we have be contacted by a lot of people to ask for advices, to congratulate us after our launch on Product Hunt. I can't express how grateful I am for all the support and help we've got before, during and after the launch. So, our team decided to write the following 3 articles to share our experience with MyFocusSpace launch on Product Hunt.
Enjoy! I hope it will help some of you out there. 💙
What is Product Hunt?
Product Hunt is an American website to share and discover new products. It was founded by Ryan Hoover in November 2013. Users submit products, which are listed in a linear format by day. The site includes a comments system and a voting system similar to Hacker News or Reddit. Accordingly to Similar Web, Product Hunt has 5 million visitors per month.
Every day, new products are introduced that are rated by the community with an upvote. This results in a daily ranking of the best products. Of course the higher you are voted, the more attention you get, which at the same time means more website visitors, signups, or app downloads.
Definitions to know on Product Hunt
Similar to Reddit, there are karma points that you can collect. For active people, there is a bronze symbol from 100 points (like mine, in the picture below), from 500 points the silver symbol, and from 1000+ points the golden symbol. Everyone who has launched a product on Product Hunt and is, therefore, a Maker, also has a green "M" as an indicator. The more karma points you have, the more valuable your votes are.
Source: Vio's Product Hunt profile
Our Launch Results
These are the results that we have achieved with our launch. Of course, this should not be about flexing with the results. Rather, the results serve as proof of what is possible within a short period of time and that well-prepared product launch can have a positive impact on all your metrics.
1537 page views
Source: MyFocusSpace Google Analytics Account*
135 sign ups and still counting every day
We got to be upvoted by the top hunters Ryan Hoover, Kevin William David, SF Ali, Robleh Jama.
Source: UpVote Bell Twitter Account*
Months before the Launch - Planning
Step 1 - Connect and interact with people who already launched on Product Hunt
- The first person that we talked to was Maxim Mamoyco, who launched Mental Mirror, all by himself. Below you find my notes from our call with Maxim.
Source: Vio's Notes*
- Then Vio joined *the Lunadio discord channel where she attended a webinar with Michael Sieb where she had the opportunity to learn from Michael's experience on launching 9 products. He also wrote an article about his learning when launching Type Studio on Product Hunt, which can be found - here.
- Being active in the Lunadio community, we had a chance to meet Ali Rashidy -the creator of an amazing knowledge base which every start-up should have acces to - you can find it at notionstartup.com Below you can find a screenshot of one template that Ali has created specially designed for the Product Hunt Launches.
Source: Ali's Rashidy Product Hunt Launch Checklist*
- The third person we spoke to was Alex Circei, the founder of Waydev which got to be the #1 Product of the Day in 2019. He also wrote an article about the launch which can be found - here.
Step 2 - Decide when you want to launch
Tip: Decide and stick to the date you decided to launch.
After connecting with other people who have launched on Product Hunt as well and you made a plan on launching your own product, it's time for the preparation.
Make a checklist with all the information you need for the submission.
Source: Ali's tempalte on notionstartup.com
The product submission itself looks like this
Source: MyFocusSpace post on Product Hunt
Links to your product landing page & App download pages - https://www.myfocusspace.com/
Name of the product
Simply the name of the product (max. 40 characters) - Example: MyFocusSpace
Your product's short description (max. 60 characters) - Example: Accountability on-demand for remote workers.
Recommended size: 240x240 JPG, PNG, GIF. Max size: 2MB - We used the below GIF
Prepare 2-5 images to showcase your product. The resolution of your images should be 1270 x 760.
Showcase your product with a video (Optional) it must be uploaded on YouTube. - https://youtu.be/7J_rveFcdnY
Your product description (max 260 characters) - Example: MyFocusSpace, a virtual co-working space changes the way we work remotely. You can find an accountability buddy to work with at any time, anywhere, on-demand.
Promo code for PH community
The Product Hunt community loves being appreciated for being early adopters, so a 20% discount throughout the day on the paid version can bring a lot of traffic. - We gave a 1 month free.
You can now add your company’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Medium, and AngelList profiles to your post! They’ll show up right on the sidebar, and if you have any open job listings on AngelList add those as well. 😉🚀 - We used the following Medium Articles
Our Twitter account - https://twitter.com/MyFocusSpace1
Find a hunter
If you just "hunt"/post a product to product hunt yourself from your own account, it goes into a moderation queue. At this point, a product hunt moderator needs to approve the post in order for it to appear on the homepage. Sometimes this happens within minutes, sometimes in 24 hours and sometimes never at all.
A "power user" of product hunt can post products and have them instantly go live on the homepage.
Here is the link to top hunters that are out there:
Advantages of launching with a hunter
- additional trust
- the product is featured directly on the front-page**
Disadvantages of launching with a hunter
- the initial boost is not as it used to be*
- time-consuming to find the right one
- some of the big hunters also have a fee
- In the past, all the hunter's followers received an email notification that a new product was being launched, but not anymore.
** "Since a lot of products are published throughout the day, each product starts in the "NEWEST" section, which is reached from the home page, but of course, is much less visited than the home page itself. So you have to manage to get enough relevance to be listed on the home page and the limited spots." Michael Sieb explained in his article.
Our hunter was Robleh Jama.
Tip: Whenever you contact your hunter, make a presentation video where you present your product. We found this approach the best one. See our example here.
Alternatively, many people just submit their own products themselves nowadays and my current understanding is that if you pay (or utilize the free trial) of Product Hunt's Ship offering, which allows you to schedule a time to post.
Then, I believe that using this method lets you skip the moderation queue and have your post go instantly live on the homepage, so just using PH Ship may be the simplest solution. You would likely want to make your post soon after midnight PST, as this is the time at which the PH daily leaderboard resets. Product Hunt also made their scheduling functionality free for all users - so it may not be necessary to pay for the Ship product.
You can use this tool to plan out engaging comments and how your screenshots etc will look: https://previewhunt.com - the activity in the comments is also one of the factors that affect Product Hunt's ranking.
Be active on Product Hunt
*Source: MyFocusSpace Analytics*
Make a research of what communities you can engage with and be active on them before your launch
- Slack Groups
- Discord Groups
- Facebook GroupsProduct Hunt Exchange Community
- Indie Groups
- Reddit groups
Tip: DM members of these groups who you engaged with and ask for support and feedback. Never ask for upvotes.
Launch day is the day of execution. We found this to be the easiest and simplest approach because every minute matters within those 24 hours. To be honest, I really loved Ali's approach of splitting the launching day within 3 boosts, so I used his template and adapted it accordingly to our plan. You can get his template - here.
Source: Ali's Rashidy templates at notionstartups.com
MyFocusSpace launching plan
The most important thing is to make sure that you get enough upvotes in the first hours to reach first place in the best case.
*Source: MyFocusSpace Launch Day - Forecasts powered by Akkio*
Here's what happened during our launching day. What is striking is that Burner Page got an outstanding initial boost and held its position throughout the entire day. That's why it is so important to mobilize your community and supporters, especially for the first hours. Make sure that there are not hundreds at once. The Product Hunt algorithm detects when you try to game the system, so don't try to trick it.
What does the first hours mean?
I am going to quote Michel Sieb, the Growth Hacker for Type Studio, here.
"Since the Product Hunt servers are located in the PST time zone (GMT-8), a new day starts exactly at 12:00 am PST. So your product should go live right at the beginning of the day to take the whole 24h with you and get to the top as fast as possible. For security reasons, you should schedule the submission for 12:01 am so that no mistakes happen with the conversion of the servers to a new day."
Ask for Feedback and Keep an Eye on the Comments
Tip: Comments are also a ranking factor, so make sure that by this point you are connected with people with valuable accounts (people who have a lot of karma points), as their feedback and comments are more valuable than those of new members.
Spread the word about your launch
Add the Badge on your website
If you hit the front page and you are one of the top 5 product you will be able to change this badge with the new one. In our case, we changed it with "#2 Product of the Day" Badge.
Source: The first email sent to MyFocusSpace early subscribers
- Share your progress on social media, with a strong reason to support you.
- Share a valuable insight about your launch, traffic gained, new customers won, anything that can be valuable or worth being celebrated.
- Retweet/share PH tweet about your product if they tweeted/posted about it
- Share your progress one more time, this time focus on your goal (being #1 of the day).
- Check for any unanswered comments on your launch.
Product Hunt Newsletter
"Product Hunt has a newsletter that reaches an extremely large audience. There are two different newsletters. One that is sent every weekday and one that summarizes the weekend. If you make it into the top 10 of the day, you are in the newsletter the next day and can look forward to some more upvotes because many prefer to read the newsletter than to search daily on Product Hunt for cool products." Michael Sieb says in his article.
Indeed we've got +120 upvotes after the launch. You can find the newsletter - here.
Lately, I have been asked by different entrepreneurs if I have any advice about launching on Product Hunt, so I decided to dedicare this conclusion to them and sum up my learning and my recommendations.
- Be truthful interested in connecting with people, you have no idea how supportive we are to each other, when we care.
- Launching on PH is a ride, so be open to spend a few months preparing for it. On the other side of the coin, remember "If You're Not a Bit Embarrassed By The First Version Of Your Product, You’ve Launched Too Late", so don't be a perfectionist.
- First hours are deadly important, so make sure you get a lot of qualitative traffic during those hours, but don't try to faint the Product Hunt algorithm.
- DM approach worked the best for us, but don't spam people. Spread the word about your product in the communities you engaged before the launch. This will help you with at least higher conversion rate.
- Take advantage of all 24h of launch. Even if this means you won't sleep that night, so what? The reward of seeing your product in the top of the products of the day is worth the effort.
- And finally, keep being active on PH, upvote, comment, and discuss. Increasing your audience will help you in the future. Don't forget this is not a sprint, it's marathon.
If you have any questions or suggestions, I'd be happy to talk to you about Product Hunt, your launch, or anything else I've mentioned here. Just feel free to send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I wish you a happy launch day!😻
Read good articles - Resources
- Article by Michael Sieb - https://typestudio.co/blog/product-hunt-learnings/
- Article by Gene Maryushenko - https://www.indiehackers.com/post/6-116-from-my-product-launch-no-audience-here-is-how-full-breakdown-8a00ba7992
- Ali Rashidy - https://www.notionstartup.com/
- Alex Circei - https://hackernoon.com/how-to-get-in-top-5-products-on-product-hunt-and-get-in-their-newsletter-2a2ac20e471f
- Product Hunt - https://blog.producthunt.com/how-to-launch-on-product-hunt-7c1843e06399