Being a solo-founder with a CS background and little to no marketing experience and no audience, getting my first few subscribers was definitely much harder than building the product itself.
I didn't know where to start, who to contact or even how to contact people that I thought could be interested in Messenger Marketing.
A recurring theme when I read early-stage startup stories is submitting your startup to startup directories and beta aggregators and there are many lists with dozens of those websites.
I went through many different lists and submitted Feedbeaver to 50+ websites, some of them didn't work at all while others helped me get my first 100 beta subscribers.
Designing your landing page
The first step is to have a decent looking landing page. You don't have to be a designer to do this and you don't even have to know how to code. You can use a service like Unbounce or Carrd to build a very good looking landing page.
I built mine from scratch using Vue.js and Tailwind CSS and that gave me some extra flexibility, but it definitely took a lot longer than just grabbing something off the self.
You should include a very clear call to action and make that consistent across the whole page.
Here's how Feedbeaver's landing page looks at the time of this writing. Definitely not the best-looking thing you've ever seen and definitely not the most optimized, but it's a start ?????
Preparing your submissions
You're going to spend some time submitting the same data to a bunch of different sites, so you might as well do some preparation work and get all your ducks in a row so you make your life easier in the next step.
Here's a list of things that most startup directories will ask you:
Link to your landing page
Elevator pitch - 1 to 2 sentences long
Longer pitch - 2 to 3 paragraphs long
Screenshot of your landing page
Social Media Links - Facebook and Twitter being the most asked
Tags/Categories your startup fits in
A video or a pitch deck is optional, but it should help make your submission stand out. We didn't have one and we did OK.
Let's get some traffic
Now you're ready to go ahead and submit your startup. If you want to submit your startup to as many places as you humanly can, here are a few lists I used with hundreds of sites you can use:
Compiled list of links from "Ask HN: Where can I post my startup to get beta users?"
Startup Directories by Startup Lister
100 Startup Directory To Submit Your Startup by Ninja Outreach
List of places to submit your Startup by Promote Hour
Note: Some of these websites will allow you to pay a small amount and they'll do a mass submission for you. I wouldn't recommend this to everyone, but if that's your style then just go ahead and save you some hours of painful work.
7 places that actually worked for us
If you want a hand-picked selection of the best places that actually worked for us this is the section of this article you are looking for.