Discover more from Ben There Building That
How BLUF Got 1k Users From Launching On Reddit
The story of how BLUF got their first 1,000 users
Hey, I’m Ben! I write weekly about how to grow products and companies. I go deep on growth strategies, how to build products users love, and what actionable lessons can be learned from what best-in-class companies are doing and industry experts are saying.
Happy Tuesday, I hope your week is off to a great start!
You have heard me talk about my friend Viviano Cantu's product BLUF before, but today I want to share his experience launching BLUF on Reddit with you. Viviano used Reddit as his primary launching point and was able to leverage it to get over a thousand users (mostly free but some paid as well). This week’s post is going to look a little different - I’m going to let Viviano tell you about his experience in his own words.
I recently launched my project on Reddit and got some good results that I'd thought I'd share here! I had two separate campaigns, and I learned a ton from both of them, so here are the highlights:
I tried a scrappy and quick post. The goal was to get a pulse on whether I have something interesting, and to collect feedback. I made a basic 30s screen recording showcasing my product and posted it in the afternoon. I posted in r/SideProject and positioned the post as "I made this ..." instead of portraying it like an official company so that users would be more forgiving if the product had bugs or issues, and I figured this would help with feedback.
The results were decent, after 48hrs:
32 installs (0.3%)
So lessons learned from that post:
The side project positioning was definitely the right choice, Reddit was super positive and more forgiving of things that were rough around the edges.
The video was also the right choice, I have a product that's difficult to explain so demonstrating it on video definitely helped, except I don't think the unedited screen recording did it justice.
Timing of the post matters. My post got some legs but it quickly dropped off and didn't pick up steam.
Taking the lessons from the first post, I spent some time addressing some of the feedback. But importantly, I also worked on a new video. I invested in fancy screen recording software to make a really good video that could show multiple use cases, I sped it up and cut out loading times to make it look professional.
This time, I also made sure to post at 6-8am EST. This is generally a great time to post on Reddit since Europe is awake and the US is just waking up. The hope is that the Europeans can upvote your post enough to make it go semi-viral. Then, when the east coast is waking up, they can really get your post to become popular. This definitely works! These posts had a steady climb of views and didn't peak until the 10th-12th hour after posting, whereas my first post that was posted mid-day peaked after it's 2nd hour.
I also cross posted to different subreddits with the hopes that at least one of them would go viral. I researched similar startup posts that went viral on Reddit to see what their strategy was. And there is definitely some survivor bias here, but I found most of them posted to a large subreddit and crossposted to smaller ones. I picked r/ChatGPT because those members would easily understand my product, and crossposted to r/OpenAI and r/artificial which were similar. That said, I would recommend finding a subreddit that is related to your product and your target market browses daily. And read the rules! Not all subreddits allow self-promotion.
The results from these three posts were much better, after 48hrs:
828 installs (1%)
I was very happy with this outcome, and importantly, I got a lot of good data from it. For instance, the 2nd campaign had a higher rate of installations per impression than the first (0.3% vs 1%). This is likely because the edited video was more convincing than the first, but it can also be because the people that browse r/ChatGPT already have the problem that my product solves.
In summary, here are the key takeaways:
A little preparation goes a long way.
Investing in a quality video can make all the difference, especially if your product needs a lot of education
When you post is just as important as what you post!
Post where your target market will be. An view is not as valuable if that person doesn't need your product
I hope this helps you in your own startup journey. Good luck and happy hacking! 💪
Thanks for reading. I hope you found this helpful! I know I did and that I'll be using this information for my own personal launches. See you on Friday!
If you enjoyed this article, consider giving it a like, share, and if you haven’t, subscribe for free to get more insights on how to build strong businesses around products that users love.