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The first customer is the toughest one to land for any startup. Your "launch" doesn't guarantee paying customers. The most reliable channel is, therefore, your own network.
Individuals in your network are likely to be the most receptive to you. So, you can get actual conversations started. Hence, there is a high chance of converting them to your initial paying customers.
The additional benefit is that it solidifies the way your offering should be sold - which can help in your marketing messaging too.
Start reaching out to your network when you are in the final stages of readying your product/service. This allows you to shortlist people you can reach out to when you launch. On launching, personally reach out to each of them to understand how you can help them solve their problem.
Your personal network can't be used to scale your startup indefinitely. This is to get your initial pool of customers. As a result, you will get your first few testimonials (super critical!). In entirety, you should have effectively exhausted this channel in the first six months of starting to sell.
The steps involve finding relevant people in your network and then reaching out to them. We predominantly use LinkedIn for this.
The goal is to get a list of your connections. Then, shortlist those who work in companies that could be potential customers of your startup.
Here we start the process in the reverse fashion - identify companies that would be good potential customers and then try to find a connect in that company
Reaching out to them:
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