Get Your First Paying Customer Today

First paying customer

You don’t need to be popular, have a big audience or be an expert to sell your products.

All you need is a product (some) people want and a relentless attitude towards figuring out how to clone these people fast enough.

Crazy, right?

Launching your product is probably just about 20% of the job. The remaining 80% is promoting it to the right people.

But how do you find that very first customer, that will help you get the momentum?

What You Will Learn:

Today you will learn:

  • What four circles will help you get the first paying customer;
  • How to get your potential customer to say YES.. or NO;
  • How to earn money by giving your product away for free;
  • And why money is not the most important outcome of your first sale.

These Four Circles Will Help You Get Your First Customer

Rob Walling talks about the importance of concentric circle marketing. Essentially, it means that you have four different “circles” you can market to. That’s x4 more chances to find your first customer!

The first circle is everyone from your personal network. You can market your product and get early feedback from people you personally know. You should really do this before you contact anyone else, as these people will be most easily acknowledge who are and will rarely ignore you.

The second circle is all your followers and fans. Your audience. This circle consists of people who are also fairly familiar with you and your work and who you can reach to directly. If you have been consistently providing them with high value in the past, these people will listen to what you have to say.

The third circle is your personal network’s followers and fans. Their audience. Ask them to promote your product, if you both think that their audience will benefit from exposure to your offer. Remember to be nice to your friends and don’t pressure them into doing something they don’t want.

The fourth circle is cold traffic. These are the people you don’t know and who don’t know you. They won’t feel more compelled to purchase your product because you are the creator, simply because they don’t know who you are. Advertising, social media mentions, traffic from forums or blog comments – these are all examples of potentially cold traffic.

Selling to cold traffic right away is hard, so you should settle for a smaller win – getting their email address. Once you do, it will be so much easier for you to …

Get A YES Or NO Out Of Them

It’s easy to write a cold email to 50 potential customers and cross that task out from your to-do list. Problem is, that rarely does the trick. Usually you have to write them one, two or sometimes three more emails, just to get some kind of reply.

This doesn’t mean that you have to send the same email 4 times or spam them. No. You have to aim to provide them with maximum value every time they receive your email.

More often than not this means giving away more free stuff. But not necessarily. You can get some “points” by sending their way an article you think has tips that will help them achieve their goals (like this article, for example).

The hard part is to pitch your product, while remaining professional even during your 3rd follow-up email. Here’s the exact email HubSpot suggests you use (as the last link in your chain of follow ups):

Hi %name%, per my message %yesterday%

I wanted to reach out to you one last time. I have suggestions on how %your site can work harder for you%. If I don’t hear back from you, I’ll assume timing isn’t right.

My information is below should you have any questions.

Stay awesome!

%YourName%

There’s An Easier Way: The Social Discount Way

One other option is to set up a 100% social discount for your product, effectively selling it for a Twitter share. This way, you’ll get more exposure for your products AND grow your audience by collecting the downloader’s email address.

Sooner or later, there’ll be this one person who doesn’t want to share your product on Twitter. Either it’s not really something he wants to share with his audience OR simply because he doesn’t have a Twitter account.

And some people just want to support the creator, if the free product looks really good. Either way, don’t assume that it’s something that has no chance of happening. As surprising as it might sound, your first paying customer might come from a free product.

Over to You

The most important thing that you will get out of your first customer is not money, it’s feedback. You’ll know if your product is solid and if your pitch, product description and presentation are adequate.

So don’t hold back and give you promotional efforts your best shot. Just like you did when you created the product.

Did you find any of these tips useful? How did you find your first customer? Let me know in the comments section below.

Thank you for reading!
Yuri Burchenya

Yuri is Marketing Lead at Sellfy. He's focused on growth, CRO, copywriting and inbound. You can reach Yuri on Twitter.

Load comments
  • Excellent post as always Jurij! I would add that alternatively to making that sale in one visit, you could deliver a very specific lead magnet that matches the needs of your audience in exchange for their email address. Then, you can build a list and market to them over time. This way, even if they purchase once, you can encourage repeat purchases. It’s not a direct path to a paying customer, but it is lucrative.

    • Thanks, Michael.

      I think getting an email won’t prove that there’s underlying demand for your product. Only paying customers can prove that demand for your product exists. To be 100% sure, I would say that you need not one, but at least 3 sales (one sale can be a fluke).

      But getting that email address is definitely a step in the right direction, and can help to market the product in the future.