Building and launching a new product is never easy. However, there are many online SaaS communities where founders exchange ideas, obtain feedback and learn from one another.
In this article, Churnkey has compiled some of the most active and welcoming SaaS communities where you can connect and interact with other like minded individuals, build your network and get customers at the same time.
#1. Product Hunt (PH)
What Do You Need To Know?
Product Hunt is a community-based website filled with passionate tech-users and techpreneurs. The community can jump start products through votes and reviews, and it is also a platform for users to find new great online tools to use. Product Hunt, if used properly, can be an effective way to launch a new product in a crowded market.
Who Is Product Hunt Great For?
This is a great platform for discovering new online tools… and launching them! Many users consist of people in tech, making it an ideal platform to launch your new features. This platform is great for:
- Techpreneurs preparing for product launch.
- Makers and marketers to get in touch with first real users.
- Innovators can obtain feedback on their products through community reviews.
- Startups since Product Hunt is free (cost-effective)
- Sharing product details
How To Use Product Hunt?
Pre-launch build-up on product hunt:
In this phase, the emphasis is on building up support for your launch within the Product Hunt community. These are some actionable steps you need to take to gain support on Product Hunt:
#1. Prepare & research – Before going public, you need to ensure everything works. Here are some things to check:
- Product is ready to be tested.
- Supporting materials such as FAQ content are available.
- Social media profiles are up and running.
- Some aspects of your product are free.
- You have a dedicated Product Hunt page on your website.
#2. Get listed as a maker and look for influential product hunters.
Learn everything you can about the platform and the ecosystem. Be active and:
- Discover new tools that you may be interested in.
- Browse the website to see what pages look like.
- Stay updated with what people are talking about.
- Learn how makers respond to user comments and reviews.
#3. Create FAQ articles, tutorial videos, etc. explaining your product.
A highly visual website may not be able to convey enough information, but here’s what you can do:
- Prepare articles relating to your product and have them accessible on your website.
- Create a press release for visitors wanting more information about your launch. This does not necessarily need to be sent to the press. Sometimes, journalists can discover your product through Product Hunt.
- Prepare an FAQ page on common questions received concerning your product.
- Teach people what your product is good for, how it can help them, etc.
#4. Get your team to create product hunt accounts.
Teach your team and get them up to speed about PH. Inform them about the benefits and what you require from them post-launch.
#5. Find hunters.
Reach out to influential PH users and request for them to “hunt” your product. An endorsement from them could potentially boost your launch.
Product Hunt Algorithm Tips
- The best time to launch your product is around midnight, SF time, when PH resets their homepage listings.
- You want to have your hunter submit to PH on the day of your launch, right around midnight UTC-8 (roughly around 9am GMT+1 for mainland Europeans).
- This is right after the daily PH cycle refreshes (their servers run on PST time) and it allows you as long a window as possible to get a good ranking for the day. 24 hours of votes is a lot better than 12 hours of votes.
#1. Be responsive.
People who like your product will upvote it on PH, some will leave comments, questions, suggestions or even congratulate you. Don’t be surprised to receive negative comments. They will help you understand how you can improve your product. What’s important is how you respond to those comments:
- Give details.
- Answer questions.
- Avoid being defensive.
#2. Send out emails, newsletters, social media posts, etc.
If you have an existing community or list of potential clients, announce your product launch on PH. Consistently send out email newsletters to your community on with valuable information such as:
- New product information.
- Tips on how to optimize using your product.
- Show them how your product can solve problems identified.
#1. Thank people who helped and contributed.
Thank your community for their votes, comments and input. Let them know their contribution was important and helpful to you. Make sure to thank your hunters too for their support.
#2. Analyze your launch performance.
Benchmark the actual numbers against the goals you set out in the beginning. Analyze metrics such as:
- PH newly acquired customers
- Web traffic
- Social media mentions
- New users and conversions.
#2. Indie Hackers
What Do You Need To Know?
Indie Hackers is an online community geared towards helping independent entrepreneurs remain profitable. It is a place where founders of profitable start-ups and owners of successful side projects get to share their stories. The website has a forum where users can share knowledge, explore ideas, and offer support.
Who Is This Platform Great for?
- Online entrepreneurs looking to connect with like-minded people.
- Aspiring entrepreneurs looking to learn from experiences shared.
How To Use Indie Hackers?
#1. As a comprehensive community platform for online entrepreneurs.
- Social platform to connect with like-minded individuals/entrepreneurs.
- Community lead blog where people can freely contribute and share ideas to you.
- Update your community on technical and financial progress.
#2. Build in public. Share your journey as a SaaS founder, including your mistakes, revenue trajectory, and other personal insights
#3. Create original content (e.g. interviews and podcasts)
#4. Take part in and host meetups and events.
#5. Gain access to various groups relating to your personal goals and preferences.
#6. Gain advice, tips and tricks on how to grow your business.
What Do You Need To Know?
Reddit is a website known for social news aggregation, web content rating, discussion and livestream content. It is also a popular community platform where users create threads to start discussions. Many small communities called subreddits exist to bring people and their interests together.
Who Is Reddit Great For?
- People looking to grow their business.
- Gaining insight into how users view/feedback on your product.
- Attracting new customers due to the huge pool of potential customers.
- Monitoring keywords related to your brand.
- Providing official answers/responses to redditors.
- Ensuring followers stay in the loop (Provide a calendar of events at the sidebar on your sub-reddit)
- Creating a community and expanding your network.
Best Subreddits For SaaS Founders To Join
- /r/entrepreneur. Head over to the beginner’s guide to find out more about how to make use of Reddit as an entrepreneur.
- Other niches relevant to your SaaS
- You can also make your own subreddit or on a topic you can own.
There are many opportunities for SaaS companies to engage their users on Reddit. If you’d like to learn more, here’s an informative article on how some companies are using Reddit as a marketing platform.
#4. Facebook Communities
What Do You Need To Know?
Facebook community pages are surprisingly becoming increasingly common, and a lot of them get high engagement.
Who are Facebook Communities Great For?
- Business owners
- People looking to build a community surrounding a common topic.
- Start-ups and entrepreneurs (no cost involved)
- People targeting organic growth and reach on Facebook.
Best Facebook Groups For SaaS Founders
- SaaS Growth Hacks
- SaaS Mantra
- SaaStr Annual
- Badass Marketers and Founders
#5. Various Slack Groups
Replacing IRC chats of yesteryear, many SaaS-related communities have congregated around Slack as their platform of choice. There are many high-quality Slack groups that you should be part of as a SaaS founder.
Here are some popular Slack Groups with a SaaS focus:
- Demand Curve
- Online Geniuses
- SaaS Alliance
- SaaS Founder
Don’t Neglect Your Existing Customers
There you have it. These communities are perfect places to not only get new clients, but network with fellow founders and entrepreneurs who can give you valuable tips on how to successfully build your SaaS product.
Growing a community and expanding your presence on social networks is important to attract new customers. However, there should not be an overfocus on obtaining new users and end up neglecting customer retention of your existing user base.
Churnkey helps SaaS founders retain more customers through better offboarding. We help founders collect cancellation insights and save customers with personalized deals. Founders no longer need to worry about creating an offboarding process from scratch, allowing them to focus more resources on other processes.