I got #1 Product of the Day on Product Hunt with my own two hands, and here's how I did it:
I knew I had to launch Comonetize on Product Hunt, and I knew I had to make it into the day’s shortlist for the product to be featured on Product Hunt for good, so that it would come up on future relevant searches.
I kept procrastinating, because I was afraid to fail. I'm the sole founder of my company; I work alone; and I still have no media or advertisement budget. When I read blog posts of fellow founders about their own launch, it seems to me that they had prepared for it like they were gearing up for battle: they had the entire company invested in the launch.
I was very nervous, but I knew I had to do it.
I prepared for the launch by reading blogs and articles of founders who had made it to #1, and I tried to follow in their footsteps. I created the product page and a very detailed first comment. Everything was ready for the launch day.
Then I started looking for a hunter, but by the time he answered, we were already live. So, eventually I hunted my own product.
About two weeks before the launch, I asked all my friends and professional network to register to Product Hunt, so that when I do launch, it will be easy for them to vote and comment.
I created a broadcast group on WhatsApp and sent private messages.
I also drew up a list of relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups in Israel and global founders' groups that would support me during the crucial hours of the launch.
I composed an e-mail message to send to all our platform’s current users and a few social media posts that I would use throughout the launch day.
I scheduled the launch, using the Product Hunt launch tool, for 00:01 PT.
At the moment of the launch, I sent another message to the broadcast group I had created in advance, asking customers, friends, and colleagues for feedback on the product. Did I nudge them more than once? Yes, I did. Did I thank them once they had responded? I absolutely did.
Since I knew I was alone on this one, I braced myself for the showdown. I told my husband I'd see him the next day, kissed my kids goodbye, stocked up on food and beverages, and barricaded myself in the office until our win was secure.
I made sure I upvoted and replied to every comment, thanked the reviewers, answered questions about the product promptly, and kept on posting on social media throughout the day.
Since our product is really interesting and we made a great intro video, it got upvoted and received comments from the Product Hunt community—also from many people I had never met before—who complimented us and asked serious questions about the product.
Following the analytics, I saw a spike in traffic as well as a 500% increase in new users throughout the launch day.
I can't disregard a portion of pure luck as well, because no other major product was launched on this launch day. Had I launched the day before, I would have ended up in the fifth place.
So, it's not enough being a hard worker. You do need to have just a bit of luck on your side.
Don't be afraid to launch as sole founders. Prepare for it; use your network; be prepared to talk to every past user and every remote colleague. But remember—we’re talking about only 24 hours of laborious work, and you just might earn that winner's badge that makes it all worthwhile.