By Maddie Wang
In this post, I'll share techniques I've used to go from 2 calls per week to over 15 calls per week at my startup Founders Cafe.
At Founders Cafe, we help startup founders get their first 5-10 paying customers in 2 months.
I'll show you how proper outreach and customer conversations can quickly validate your startup idea.
When I first started Founders Cafe, I wasn't getting nearly enough calls and meetings each week. After analyzing my approach, I realized there were 3 main reasons:
Early on, I made the mistake of spending too much time building my product and not enough time actually talking to potential users. Out of 40 hours each week, I was spending 30 hours coding new features and only 10 doing outreach. Once I flipped that ratio to 30 hours on outreach and 10 on product dev, my results changed dramatically.
Even when I did do outreach, my messaging was vague and overly salesy. I'd send long emails explaining every detail of my product and end with a weak call to action like "let me know if you want to chat!". This confusing approach led to low response rates.
I was only doing outreach on Reddit and a few founder Slack groups. While I got bites, these channels didn't allow me to reach enough of my target customers. I needed to find more scalable channels.
Once I fixed these 3 issues, my customer call volume increased 5x month over month.
Here are the tactics I used to scale up my outreach and get 25+ calls per week with potential customers.
Flipping my time allocation from 80% product development / 20% outreach to the opposite was game-changing. Outreach needs to be your top priority if you want to validate your product idea.
Each week, make a list of outreach channels and strategies to test, including:
Spend time every day reaching out in your chosen channels and tracking the results. Pay attention to which strategies are getting the best response rates.
You need to craft short, personalized messages that get opened and get responses.
Avoid giving your full elevator pitch or talking about yourself too much. Keep the focus on who you're reaching out to and how you can help them.
Some effective approaches:
‼️ The key is to spark their curiosity so they reply and move to a call. ‼️
Once you identify channels that are working, invest more time and money to scale them up.
For example, I had success posting in certain subreddits and Slack groups. I had my VA continue engaging in those communities so I could focus on testing new channels.
This allows you to scale what's working and always be testing new outreach avenues.
The best way to expand your outreach network quickly is by asking for introductions and referrals.
After every call, ask if they can connect you with anyone else relevant to your startup. People are usually happy to make warm introductions.
This snowball effect rapidly grows your outreach list and increases conversions.
Here are the key steps to implement your own successful outreach strategy:
Following this framework allows you to continually scale your outreach process over time.
Speaking directly with your target customers is the only way to truly validate your startup idea and get those critical first paying users.
By spending more time on the right outreach strategies, you can quickly get more inbound calls and meetings to move your startup forwards.
If you want hands-on help getting your first 5-10 paying customers in 2 months, join Founders Cafe today. I'll give you the outreach tactics and coaching you need to bring customers onboard and grow your business.
Let's talk soon!