Coner Murphy

Published on 8 Jan 2023 | 4 Minute Read

#66 - 5️⃣ Lessons From My First Product Hunt Launch

This week was a big one! Not only because it was the first week of 2023 and it was full of planning, ambition...

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#66 - 5️⃣ Lessons From My First Product Hunt Launch

Hey Friends 👋

This week was a big one! Not only because it was the first week of 2023 and it was full of planning, ambition, and motivation but because Harken, my Spotify SaaS, launched on Product Hunt for the world to see and use! 🚀

Overall launching it on Product Hunt and the day itself was a bit of a rollercoaster and full of emotions but we finished the day with 79 upvotes and the 10th most upvoted product of the day. Not too bad for a first-time launch I'd say.

So, for this week's edition, I thought I'd share 5 lessons I learned from the experience of launching a product on Product Hunt for the first time.

Let's go!

1: The Launch Is a Part of the Marketing Process, Not the Start

At first, calling your launch day a part of the marketing process and not the start of it seems a bit weird because after all, you're launching your product, aren't you, so surely that's day one?

Yes, launch day is the first-day people can sign up, use your product and pay you. But, it shouldn't be the first-day people hear of it.

Before your Product Hunt launch day, you should be hyping up the product as well as building interest and awareness around the product. This way when launch day comes people already are aware of the product and you have a base of people to upvote the launch and get it ranking higher.

For me and Harken, this took the form of using Twitter and the indie-hacker/build-in-public community that thrives there. Whenever I was working on the product, adding features, or fixing bugs I'd share a tweet and try to build interest in Harken so when launch day came people would be willing to help the launch and upvote/share it.

2: Be Available to Fix Issues and Solve Problems

Something I didn't expect and wasn't quite prepared for was the questions/support requests that came in on launch day. Luckily, I was around to fix them straight away to keep users having a good experience. So, for any launches on Product Hunt, I'd recommend scheduling them on a day when you can be at your computer ready to jump on any issues that may arise.

3: Don't Rush It

Almost as a follow from the last point but don't rush your launch day. I chose to launch Harken on Friday because I was keen to launch it and get it out there for people to use and to appease the indie-hacker logic of "don't strive for perfection, just launch and start getting feedback".

But, truth be told I probably could've done with a week or two more to finish beta testing with more users. It turns out I had 2 pretty major issues that didn't surface during the small beta testing phase but did surface on launch day once a wider user base started using it.

Given extra time in the beta testing phase with more people, I'm sure these issues could've been found and resolved before launch day leading to a smoother experience overall.

4: It's Not the Be End and End All

Some people put a big emphasis on Product Hunt and the rank they achieve at the end of the day to the point it becomes an obsession. Now, I'd be lying if I said I didn't put any emphasis on these at all because there was some but ultimately, I'm happy with my ranking of 10 on the day.

Now, while it would be amazing to get the top spot on the day, it isn't the end of the world if you don't get it. Because as mentioned in the first point, the Product Hunt launch is just a part of the process, it helps build hype and interest in the product, but it doesn't determine if your product will be a success or not.

There are some products out there that are now making 6+ figures/year and didn't get the top spot, and some didn't even get in the top five. So, just because your product didn't win the day on Product Hunt, doesn't mean it won't be a success.

5: Enjoy It!

The final lesson I have for you is to just enjoy the launch day and what comes with it. You've put in all the hard work to get your product to this point and now it's time to share it with the world and let them have a go with it. So, make sure to do it with a smile on your face and be proud of what you've achieved!

Closing Thoughts

Building and launching Harken over the last few months has been one hell of a rollercoaster and it's been a great experience to share with everyone along the way. I hope you find the lessons I've shared helpful and if you're building a product you want to launch on Product Hunt I wish you the best of luck and success with it. I'd also love to hear about what you're building so make sure to hit reply and let me know. 💌

And, as always, thank you for reading.

Until next time.

Coner x

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