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Jun 14th, 2021
Launching on Product Hunt — Climbing the Leaderboard
How we took the top 3 spot on Product Hunt multiple times and acquired hundreds of users with no marketing or sales budget.

We've launched on Product Hunt three times now, generating a significant portion of our user base. In our experience, it's a great way to gain traction before fleshing out a sales or marketing process, especially if you manage to grab enough upvotes. Here’s some quick no-BS tips that we picked up along the way to get your launch up the leaderboard:

Timing

There isn't an objectively best time to post, but you want to aim for some time after midnight PST, since that's when the daily leaderboard resets. If you're based in the east coast and would like to avoid staying up to 3 AM, Product Hunt allows you to schedule posts. One big caveat to watch out for is that Product Hunt also takes into account upvotes over time, so you may want to modify your launch time depending on when you expect the most upvotes to roll in.

Presentation

When creating visual material to attach to your post, focus on creating mock-ups that show off what it’s like to actually use your product. We ordered our 3 mock-ups to tell a story:

  1. What our customer would see normally.
  2. How our customer would start using our product.
  3. What our customer’s customers would see.

For example, a social network app launch could have mock-ups like so:

  1. Scrolling down the feed.
  2. Interacting with a post (e.g. “liking” it and writing a comment).
  3. Private messaging someone (or anything, really).

If you’re able to, make GIFs to show off the flow! All 3 of our mock-ups are GIFs that we made using Figma, but you can also screen record. Don’t forget to make your icon a GIF, too.

Advocates

Find some people who can advocate for your product! You can share a private draft of your post and have them comment a testimonial before you publish your post. That way, you’ll have positive sentiment as soon as the post goes live.

If possible, find reputable advocates. On top of asking friends/family for upvotes, don’t be afraid to ask your investors, current customers, and fellow founders for testimonials (return the favor, if possible). Having some recognizable names definitely boosts street cred! We were lucky to have Initialized Capital's Garry Tan "hunt" and promote our launches, which was instrumental in driving a significant amount of traffic to our launch.

Launch again... and again

Didn’t get #1 this time? You can launch again when you release a major feature! Our most recent launch is actually our third launch — we originally launched our core product 10 months ago. Examples of other companies relaunching include Ramp ($1.6B valuation) launching 3 times and Stripe launching even more frequently! It’s a great way to get more eyeballs on major features you’ve shipped, especially when potential customers are waiting on those specific features.

Thanks for reading, and we hope this helps! For further reading, you can check out Product Hunt's own Pro Tips page.

- The Cohere team

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