The Growth Summit panel on B2C Customer Acquisition during Techweek Chicago 2017 yielded some very useful insights for anyone trying to grow a company. In his first question to the panel, moderator Jeff Cantalupo, CEO & Founder of Listen Ventures, threw out this fun and actionable question: “how did you get your first 100 customers?”
Here are some responses from the panel:
- Mark Lawrence, CEO & Founder of SpotHero, used printed flyers to advertise his parking business. “When Techstars asked us how we were going to scale customer acquisition, I said, ‘more flyers, duh.'”
- Michael Lavitola, CEO & Co-Founder of Foxtrot took to social media – his beer and wine delivery app was a perfect match for Barstool Sports’ Twitter audience. One tweet from them “doubled the size” of his business.
- Sonali Lamba, Co-Founder of Brideside, remembers her Saturdays at wedding expos and trade shows, where she went to talk to customers and obtain lists of brides-to-be whom she would then individually call on Sundays with her co-founder.
- And finally, Ross Gordon, CEO & Founder of CatchCo, a subscription service for fishers, took the most direct approach – he approached fishers on piers, struck up a friendly conversation, and tried to get them interested in his product on the spot.
So there you have it – between print marketing, social media, trade shows, and approaching potential customers in person, you’ve got four tried and true strategies for hacking early stage customer acquisition from some of Chicago’s top startups. Check out the clip above to get more of their secrets!