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Short intro

Hey there ๐Ÿ‘‹ My name is Taras, I'm a founder at Calbot - a startup helping law and accounting firms schedule meetings. I've been building Calbot for around 2 years now and it's been a lot of fun! However, I've been missing a lot of dynamism from my work lately and so I figured I'd create my own, little, digital product and launch it on ProductHunt. This is the story so far, but I'm also planning to post on the day of the launch to report on how it's going!

I've never done a ProductHunt launch in my entire life before. But after speaking to makers like @ModernAfflatus who is making and launching 21 products in 2021 I knew I wanted to give it a go myself. It sounded very exciting and something that would add some of that buzz into my typical week.

The idea ๐Ÿ’ก

In my first year of launching Calbot, I had to do many customer interviews to figure out some of the true pain points lawyers and accountants were facing in their work. I also did some consulting gigs at the time where, again, I was doing a lot of customer interviews to help my clients learn more about what problem their startup was actually solving. During that time, I also learnt about the Autopsy report which found that most startups fail because there is no need for their tool/idea. I found it really rewarding to be a sort of "detective" searching for the real root of the problem and helping people avoid the heartbreak of their idea, not taking off after they've already built it.

As a result of all these interviews, I've accumulated a list of questions I used during these interviews. Luckily, the questions were broad enough to apply to any startup/indie project/app and so the idea of compiling all these questions into a massive Airtable naturally emerged. I initially wanted to create and sell just an Airtable sheet with categorised and filtered questions, but after speaking to a few makers on Twitter and searching through ProductHunt I've decided it's best to also create a Notion template for people to use.

In the Notion template, I decided to add tools and tips to prepare for interviews, ways of selecting the right questions, tracking contacts, interviews and activities to stay on top of the research and also an easy way to analyse conducted interviews based on the list of initially selected questions. The fundamental goal is to help people validate their idea in a structured way to avoid wasted time, resources and heartbreak.

So at the moment, the plan is to launch two separate packages. The first package will be an Airtable sheet whilst the second package will include both the Airtable and the Notion template.

If you want to check it out, here's a link to my Gumroad: https://gum.co/customerinterviewos

Preparing for launch ๐Ÿš€

I never realised how much goes into the ProductHunt launch, but thanks to @ModernAfflatus yet again, I was filled in very quickly.ย 

This is my plan for before the launch day:

- Use PreviewHunt to the max and prepare all graphics and descriptions for the launch

- Record a 1-minute video for the launch page

- Make an announcement on Twitter every day prior to the launch to remind my 130 followers of what I'm up to ๐Ÿ˜…

- Not launch on a Tuesday as, apparently, that is the busiest day

- Get hunted by @ModernAfflatus on the launch day

- Try to get 20-30 upvotes when I launch as quickly as possible

- Maintain short bursts of votes during the day by posting the communities I'm a part of

- Engage with every comment on all platforms where I will be promoting my launch

- I'm also using this tweet by @hrishiptweets as a guide

ย 

Is there anything else I can do to prepare? In either case, I'm looking forward to reporting later on on how my first ever ProductHunt launch goes!


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    Hey Taras,

    Looks like a great plan. Are you also planning to launch elsewhere, apart from PH that is?

    Also, I think the most important part about PH is to get featured on the homepage. If you stuck in the "newest" section, there's not much you can do.

    A popular hunter should help you do that. Some users have the power to hunt you on the homepage directly.

    I've also seen/read that the PH team manually moves the products from "newest" to "featured" many times. So itย also helps to reach out to the PH team (through chat) so that your product gets noticed generally.

    When are you planning to launch?

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      Thanks for the reply!

      I was thinking of just doing a ProductHunt launch for now and promoting it through forums and Twitter. Are there are any other places you'd recommend?

      Yeah, I heard that too about popular hunters! I asked @ModernAfflatus to hunt me and he's happy to do it. Do you also recommend chatting to PH team (what should I say?)?

      I was planning to do it today, but there was some work for Calbot I needed to do, so will probably do next Thursday. I wanted to share an update on Calbot here too since we launched on remote.tools last year :)

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        So there's BetaList & Betapage which are quite similar to PH. But the traffic spike isn't great.

        You can submit to these websites & other startup directories to just give your domain authority a bump.

        In terms of launch, other good channels are HN (Show HN) & Reddit (sub reddits like r/sideProject & r/InternetIsBeautiful). But their rules are quite strict, so you might need to spend some time contributing to the forum first.

        For PH, yes I feel chatting to the PH team before launch might help. There's no sure way of knowing it though. You can just ping them & ask for general feedback once you schedule your launch. And on launch day, if it doesn't get featured in an hour or so, you can ping them again asking if there's anything you could do to get it featured.

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          So much good stuff here! Thank you very much - will do these things before launch!

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      Thanks for sharing your detailed launch plan on PH. Very impressive! You have my support ๐Ÿ™Œ

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        Thank you! Will write an update post on the day on after the launch to recap everything ๐Ÿ˜Š

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        I look forward to supporting you in your Product Hunt Launch, and learning from your journey!! Thank you for sharing with us!!ย 

        Also where can I follow you on Twitter?!

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          Thank you @sammigeraciyee-1516! I'm @officialtaras on Twitter :)ย