How To Get Your First 100 Customers


If you’ve visited our blog or received our Hints & Tips newsletter recently, you may have noticed that we’ve been talking a lot about the different ways small businesses can WOW! their customers.

A WOW! moment is an experience that leaves a lasting impression on your customers.

In some cases, a WOW moment will involve a well thought out marketing campaign designed to increase loyalty and boost repeat business. But many of these moments will also happen during the smaller interactions you have with customers — whether through a positive interaction with your staff, or a helpful tip they receive in your latest email newsletter.

How To Get Your First 100 Customers

To succeed in converting users to paying customers, there needs to be enough value in the free product for users. So much so that they love it and tell others about it. But there needs to be more value in it to persuade customers to upgrade. Find the first 100 customers for your startup. To get started pick one of the 29 methods listed above. Get Referrals from Existing Customers One of the easiest techniques for finding new prospects is to make use of your existing customer pool. Talk to your clients and see if they know of anyone who could also benefit from your services or expertise. If your blog is in a different niche like food or fashion, it may take you longer for your ads to pay off with your first $100 check. #2: Text Links The second way I made $100 at first was via. In Your First 100, you will be introduced to a system of ideas and questions to think about, ask yourself, and apply to your digital product–based business in 5 core areas so that you can turn first time visitors into repeat customers and loyal, raving fans. Here’s a comprehensive list of tactics you can use to get your first 100 customers: 1) Reach Out to Your Network A quick way to do some customer development is to reach out to your existing network and ask them specific questions about your product and market.

All of these WOW moments — no matter how big or how small — will play a critical role in building customer relationships, which can lead to repeat business and valuable word-of-mouth referrals for your business.

We wanted to find out how small businesses were providing unique and memorable experiences for their customers — so we asked “How do you WOW! your customers?”

We heard some great stories and received tons of helpful tips. To give you inspiration for creating your own WOW moment, we compiled a list of our favorite ideas:

“We offer a complete Administrative and Concierge service — whatever needs organizing, our answer’s YES!”

Christina Moore, Complete Organisation

Blowing them away with creative designs that bring their vision to life and take their brand to an entirely new level.”

Shannon Beth, {sb}Cre8tive

“Pictures, pictures, and pictures…We try to make our customers take a BITE out of their cell phones or computers. Making them laugh helps too!”

“Some things I do to WOW my customers are providing beautiful gift wrap free of charge (my gifts are works of art!), I allow them to pay their paintings over time, I will help them hang their artwork and allow them to take them home and see how they look — out on approval. I do everything I can to make it possible for them to have original paintings and pottery in their homes. When it comes down to it — it’s the service you provide that can make the difference in you and another artist.

Marsha Owens Clements, Marsha Clements Artist

“On days like Small Business Saturday we extend our hours — we open early and stay late — and give out promotional tote bags with incentives for people to come back into the store to do more shopping. It’s really fun for our customers, and us as well.”

Dawn Noble, La Provence

“Offer small tokens of appreciation for brand evangelists. For the fans that consistently engage on your social networks, reward them with special discounts and giveaways. For those regular customers, support charities that are near and dear to their hearts by donating event proceeds or a portion of sales from products or services. Feature customer stories on your digital content and with media. Often businesses lose sight of the fact that the personal stories of their customers can bring awareness to the culture of their business. Your product or service may have helped to bring joy to a customer’s life.”

Jennifer Smiga, inBLOOM Communications

“Never accepting that what we do now is good enough; always trying to bring the next big idea for our customer.”


Liam MacDonald, Gastropub No 29

“I use my Constant Contact newsletter to announce my monthly giveaways — prizes include free painting workshops, original paintings, instructional DVDs, and prints. After I announce the winners, I pick runners up to receive “extra” prizes, the response has been great!”

Nancy Medina, Nancy Medina Fine Art

“I celebrate my online customers in my Vintage Housewares & Home Decor Shop. For every 100th sale I reach in My Vintage Alcove on Etsy, I sell that item at 50% off. It is an exciting milestone for me and an exciting moment for that shopper. The experience creates a WOW moment for them, especially the new customer to my shop. I use Constant Contact to notify my current customers of that upcoming moment as an additional way to keep my business noticed. I also use Facebook to keep the numbers up-to-date. This exciting WOW moment is about to happen again in my shop!”

Michelle Nicholson, My Vintage Alcove

“The most important WOW is listening to the subtle comments people make in dealing with them. They will tell you what they are concerned about. Anything you can do and sometimes it is very small to make them feel like a VIP is important. My industry has a trade show that I can bring my clients to twice a year… Look for the opportunity to create a WOW moment each day and you will be on the right track to creating a legacy business. Business is hard enough that if you are not creating something to last beyond you, you are wasting your time.”

Matt Davidson, Logo Dynamics

How to get your first 100 customers make

“Sharing useful content.”

“We all know that first impressions are extremely important and you only get one shot at it. However, over the years I have found that the last impression is sometimes more meaningful and perhaps is longer lasting. When I collect or quiz a first time customer about the experience they’ve had, I’ve found that this statement, “Let me know if I can ever help you!” as they walk out leaves a forever impression and creates my WOW moment for my new customers…and old.”

Rick Mitchell, Art Academy Live

“What works for me, as a religious nonprofit, are stories. Stories capture attention especially if told in the first person. One needs to hear and see what you see and feel some of what you’re feeling in a given situation. Just news and facts are not attractive to readers. A picture and a story capture immediately people’s attention.”

Rick Evans, Maebenvio

“We do two things to differentiate MURCON from everyone else and provide a WOW! moment for prospects and customers. When presenting seminars we give everyone at the beginning of the presentation a bag of gourmet microwave extra butter popcorn with a printed label attached to it that says “Give your marketing a “POP” with Constant Contact Engagement Marketing Services”. Second, when a company becomes a customer, we add them to the MURCON VIP CLUB. The VIP CLUB gets a special newsletter each month with high value content that the other messages we send out do not contain. That’s WOW value!”

Tom Murphy, Murcon Internet Marketing

“I have a marketing firm and when I take on a new client, I’m given multiple logins for their website, social media, etc. I look to see when that client’s birthdays are and send them a birthday gift! I love it because they never expect it! :)”

Lindsay Higgins, Leave it to Lindsay

“We use the WOW the customer concept in customer service, how can we be different and better not cheaper. We receive email alerts from UPS when our products are delivered to our customers. Then we call each customer to alert them that their product is in the building and who signed for it, so if it is needed for production or a repair to production equipment they can handle it quickly. Sometimes items are signed for and they just sit on someone’s desk or on the delivery dock and the person or department that needs the item/s does not even know they are in the building. So WOW the customer and alert them that their item has arrived and where it is in the building, WOW.”

Rocco Panetta, Plastic Machinery & Parts

“Besides Constant Contact and other existing (and new) methods of social media connection with our customers (and potential customers), I like to also include a bit of old-fashioned customer service in our mix. I read trade magazines to keep up with what is happening in our industry and I will often see articles about our customers in these magazines. When I am done with the magazine I will tear out the articles, write a quick handwritten note, and drop the article into an envelope, hand-address it, and mail it to our customer. On more than one occasion, I have gotten a positive comment back from our customers about how much they enjoyed getting an extra copy of the article in the mail. This is something small, only takes a few minutes, but stands out to our customers. After all, a little fun “snail-mail” stands out in our tech-filled world. Besides, I view our customers as friends and love doing something nice for my friends!”

Shannon M. Kuhrt, M&M Wintergreens Inc.

“I go above and beyond to help my customers and put 100 percent into everything I do big or small. I love my work which shows through.”

Nicky Ratcliff, Virtually u

How to get your first 100 users

“We developed a business model and culture that supports and promotes product quality. It’s very common to hit the streets with a high quality product and before long, end up in a price war that leads to slashing prices followed by a necessary drop in quality to offset the decrease in revenue. Lesson here is to not underestimate a client’s capacity to pay a higher price for a quality product. If it is established that the competition produces marginal quality, why follow suit?”

Fabian Luna, The Lead Republic

Share your WOW! moment.

How do you WOW your customers? Let us know in the comments below!

How do you go from “no one on earth knows I exist” to “dozens of people I don’t know are now giving me a chunk of change on a monthly basis”? That’s the ultimate question, right? Because answering that is how you start a business. It’s a major milestone for anyone because it’s a hard one to get to. After that you start getting a bit of a snowball effect and it self-perpetuates.

However, generating a snowball effect is hard when there’s no snow.

So, let’s take a look at how Baremetrics(subscription analytics & insights) got its first 100 customers over the course of about 4 months.

How To Get Your First 100 Customers

What I didn’t do

Typical wisdom tells you that you need to build hype and generate buzz. Start a blog! Collect email addresses! Build a landing page and people magically drop in their email address! Have a private beta! Give out free accounts! Give out coupons! Invite influencers to try your product! Send out press releases!

I did (and have done) none of those things to grow Baremetrics.

Do some of those things work? Sure. They have the potential to work. You also have the potential to win the lottery.

I like better odds than the lottery, so I chose not to go those routes. Given most startups fail, conventional wisdom sounds like a pretty bad path to follow.

An unlikely, but in hindsight totally obvious, hero

So, what was the magic pill? How did I make it snow so I could start my proverbial snowball?

I’m going to tell you, but you’ve gotta promise to hang with me to see this through. The “why” is actually more important than the “what.”

My secret weapon, and source for the large majority of Baremetrics’ first customers, was Twitter.


I know. Weird. It’s even more weird considering Baremetrics has no free plan, no free trial and the average customer pays nearly $70/mo. Why on earth would 140-character blobs of text drive dozens of new customers to spend thousands of dollars in recurring charges?

Since launch, Baremetrics has been shared/mentioned literally thousands of times (rough estimate is around 4,000 tweets over the past 6 months). But why has that driven new customers and, more importantly, new revenue?!?!

Well, I think there’s an explanation. And lucky for you, it has nothing to do with the number of Twitter followers you or I have.

Twitter is the “what”…now, here’s the “why” (and it’s what you promised to hang with me for).

The key isn’t in the medium or the mode, but the solution

It’d be great if this was a simple “12 Steps to Make Twitter Print Money” post, but alas, that junk doesn’t exist in the real world.

Twitter was the medium, and the real mode was word-of-mouth. But what drove the word-of-mouth? Why have thousands of people felt compelled to share a business tool in a relatively small niche (SaaS businesses using Stripe)?

One word: pain.


Pain, on some level, plays a part in nearly every business decision you make. Seriously. Look at any B2B product that’s been built…ever. It’s almost always been birthed out of the need to get rid of a painful process.

The reason is, pain is inefficient. We avoid it at all costs. But in reality, that painful process is also usually pretty necessary to the health of the business.

Solving a major pain for any business means direct access to their pocket book.

How we specifically solved the pain problem

People were spending hours every week manually calculating these metrics in spreadsheets or they were wasting their time hacking together their own half-done solutions with the Stripe API and still not getting all that they wanted. But these metrics are critical to their business, so the instant a solution showed up that saved them hours of time, they jumped at it. And then told all of their entrepreneurial pals.

What made this particular solution conducive to sharing (and what grew our customer base completely by word-of-mouth) was the immediacy of the solution.

Baremetrics has no setup process. No settings to fiddle with. No code to integrate with your app. You click one button and you get a dashboard full of meaningful metrics(those are our actual metrics, FYI).

You don’t have to wait for events to roll in so you have data to calculate days or months later. You instantly gain insight in to your entire history with Stripe…insight that many of our customers have never seen before in any capacity.

That has an intense “wow” reaction.

do you use @Stripe? go get this, now: https://t.co/FQYR7PLlRj

— Kyle Bragger (@kylebragger) December 10, 2013

If you use Stripe to process payments and are exporting/crunching data in Excel, save your self loads of time and use http://t.co/gT1szEuLEr

— Steve Klein (@stevenklein) February 12, 2014

I’m very, very happy to be contributing to these numbers. @Baremetrics is one of the most useful tools I pay for. http://t.co/uF6Nwuhfmp

— Alex Hillman (@alexknowshtml) February 14, 2014

Signed @lamplighterapp up for @baremetrics. Wow. It would’ve taken hours to gather that data ourselves. Very cool. http://t.co/MYAIk6FtT7

— Ryan Masuga (@masuga) February 17, 2014

If you use Stripe, the only option is to also use @Baremetrics for understanding your payments and subscription data.

— Max Lynch (@maxlynch) March 17, 2014

Using Stripe? @Baremetrics is awesome. Instant insight. Knowing is half the battle https://t.co/6GnPtFkfOx

— Joel Hooks (@jhooks) April 15, 2014

Those are all Baremetrics customers who, with no prompting, posted about Baremetrics shortly after signing up.

So what does this mean for you?

Okay, okay. You’ve persevered through my soapbox about solving painful problems for businesses. But what does this mean for you? Is there something you can do today? Right now?

The quickest way to make this happen, that requires the least amount of work, is changing your messaging. The way you position your product.

Make it directly address the pain your potential customers are having and make the choice to use you so obvious, they can’t deny it. Because remember, when people have a huge pain solved, they talk about it. They want to help other people get rid of that pain.

A shift in your business

Long term, this is a core-business issue. If your product is just “nice to have,” you’ll perpetually struggle to get customers. And getting customers at any price-point higher than ~$20 will be borderline impossible.

At the core of your business, you need to do at least one of the following in a major way:

  • Save time
  • Save money
  • Create value (i.e. print money)

Baremetrics does all three. We save businesses the time of manually entering data in their spreadsheets, we save them money from having to develop their own solution and we create value by giving them financial insight in to their business that they didn’t have before.

The combination of doing all three is what’s a big win for us and why getting those first customers (at a “premium” price point) was relatively easy and done all via word-of-mouth.

Proving the pain

How did I know Baremetrics would solve a major pain? Or more applicably, how can you know if your product solves a major pain?

How To Get Your First 100 Customers

The most efficient way I’ve found is talking to real, live humans. Not blogging. Not tweeting. Not shooting a mass email out to a list asking what problem they want solved.

Have a real conversation, on the phone, to other people in the industry you’re in and figuring out what they hate about running their business. Figure out what they spend time doing that could be automated. Figure out what type of things they’d like to learn more about when it comes to their customers or their own business.

Then, you launch something as quick as humanly possible. Baremetrics was built in 8 days and the first $2,000 in monthly recurring revenue came from that.

You then iterate based on the feedback you get from paying customers. Can’t get anyone to pay? It’s possible you haven’t solved a legitimate pain. Money is the only validation at this stage.

Once you’ve got some paying customers, you can start iterating on the pain point and expand from there.

I scrapped the entire first version of Baremetrics and started over 2 months after I launched. The new version provided much more value and I was able to do build the “right” tool based on the feedback I received from paying customers.

Within a month of launching that next version, I doubled recurring revenue. Baremetrics solved an even bigger pain at that point.

For your business, maybe you’ve got a few paying customers. Maybe feedback overall is generally positive. But things are moving slow. What can you do?

You’ve got to get to the root of the pain. Maybe you’re partially solving their pain, so what can you do to fully solve it? If you’re automating something for them, maybe you haven’t completely automated it and so they’re using you to save a little bit of time when in reality you could be saving them a lot of time.

You have to dig. You have to get on the phone and talk to your customers (current and potential).

That’s the hard part and it’s why most businesses fail. They assume. Making assumptions about business pain is like a surgeon assuming which limb needs to be amputated. The wrong assumption will have a detrimental outcome.

What are you going to do today?

So put this to action. What are you going to do today to reduce pain for your customers? What can you change about your business in the long run to make “pain reduction” a core focus?

How To Get Your First 100 Customers Email

As usual, if you have any questions about this and how to do it for your business, please reach out (contact info below). I’m happy to help however I can.

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