Leave a comment
Get the GH Bookmarklet

Ask GH

  • ET

    Everette Taylor

    about 4 years ago #

    Short Answer: Sean Ellis

    We were lucky to have someone like @Sean who had already built a great reputation within the industry through his earlier work at Dropbox, Eventbrite, LogMeIn and others + his own blog (http://www.startup-marketing.com) in which he had amassed a nice following. This allowed him to build a pretty solid amount of followers on social media platforms like Twitter.

    We reached 500 users just from Sean publicizing the website on Twitter and word of mouth. It took us 18 days to reach 500 active users on the site. But those who were there from the beginning know that we did a pretty soft launch of the site originally.

    • HA

      Hannah Alvarez

      about 4 years ago #

      What's a startup to do if they don't have Sean at the helm?

      • VV

        Visakan Veerasamy

        about 4 years ago #

        I have an answer that might seem silly but I strongly believe in it: if you don't have a Sean Ellis, you build one.

        The founders of Quora were early Facebook employees, which gave them experience, high status friends, etc. Xianhang Zhang wrote about this beautifully with an essay titled 'Disregard Ideas, Acquire Assets'.

      • DL

        Dylan La Com

        about 4 years ago #

        What also helped was our case studies. We spent a lot of time writing and distributing these and they drove a lot of traffic from social media and other sites.

        By the 18th, we had published 2 case studies, @everette wrote one on Square, and @sean on Belly. We kept up a good cadence on these for the first few months and had a few that even made the HN homepage.

        • ET

          Everette Taylor

          about 4 years ago #

          Speaking of content, efforts made by our team along with early adopters like @anujadhiya @nichole @lincolnmurphy @conrey @caseya and others in the beginning to submit high quality content went a longggg way.

          • AA

            Anuj Adhiya

            about 4 years ago #

            Thanks for the shoutout @everette.

            To your point, having @sean was clearly an "unfair advantage".
            That is why to me, the more interesting question is - what did GH do to retain it's users?
            The work the GH team put in to make this space valuable enough to the point where it became a habit for many, is a case study in it's own right for others thinking of building their own communities.

            • SE

              Sean Ellis

              about 4 years ago #

              I agree that the "habit" part is extremely important for a community. I think the potential for a community to become a habit is largely based on the need it is fulfilling. A large part of our premise for launching GH was that growth hackers and marketers need daily inspiration in their jobs (we needed it anyway).

              I learned the lesson of the importance of habits the painful way when my team launched CatchFree in 2011. We were able to attract lots of visitors, but repeat visit rates averaged two months. This meant that most people never came back because they forgot about the site. When people were on the site they said they loved it. But the need we were fulfilling (find free apps for specific needs) only occurred a few times per year.

        • SE

          Sean Ellis

          about 4 years ago #

          Agree, the growth studies were part of our plan from day one to help us get traction. And they have proven to be really important.

      • ET

        Everette Taylor

        about 4 years ago #

        Haven't had to worry about that problem for a while now @hannahkalvarez =)

    • JS

      Jordan Skole

      about 4 years ago #

      Interesting. Diving deeper, what types of communication would @sean and the early team employ? Passive "oh btw, I have this over here" or more aggressive "hey @friend, I think you will really like this."

      Was twitter the preferred medium for invitation? Were any emails sent?

      Did anybody internally pre-seed conversations before everyone started sharing the site? I imagine you would have to, when did you know that you had enough pre-content?

      Finally, what was the cadence of posts of the early team? Was it explicitly defined? Or was that a measure of "if there is value they'll share"?

      • SE

        Sean Ellis

        about 4 years ago #
        Just used advanced Twitter search to find my first Tweet about GrowthHackers back on September 30th 2013. Here it is:
        • AA

          Anuj Adhiya

          about 4 years ago #

          I remember this tweet!
          So glad I clicked on that link...easily one of the top 5 smartest things I did in the last 12 months....

      • SE

        Sean Ellis

        about 4 years ago #

        We did some pre-seeding of content and conversations, but it was pretty light. If I recall correctly we didn't start sending out emails for a few months. Initially we shared content on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. But an early survey showed that the majority of visitors used Twitter to finding useful marketing related articles, so since that survey we've focused the majority of our social efforts on Twitter. But email has also become an important retention channel. Our top day each weekly is the day we send out the Weekly GH email.

  • SA

    shira abel

    about 4 years ago #

    Wasn't GH Sean's idea to bring more targeted traffic to Qualaroo?

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      about 4 years ago #

      Part of our goal was definitely to use Qualaroo on GH so we could "demo" it and hopefully generate some additional trials. But we also thought there was a void in the market for a site like GH.

      Hard to say for sure, but I'm pretty sure I would have launched GH even if Qualaroo didn't exist.

  • JH

    Jean-Nicholas Hould

    about 4 years ago #

    I created Bootstrappers.io a site similar to Hacker News and Growth Hackers. I got my first 500 users by ranking on Hackers News on my launch day. I got 300 additional users by blogging about how I built Bootstrappers.io. So far, in my different side projects, getting to 500 "users" (people who register for your site), is not very hard. The challenge is sustaining growth.

Join over 70,000 growth pros from companies like Uber, Pinterest & Twitter

Get Weekly Top Posts
High five! You’re in.
SHARE
18
18