14 steps for acquiring your startup's first customers:
1. Pay to interview people who've successfully grown a startup like yours. You can find them via LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

2. Ask them which 3 channels (ads, SEO, etc.) you should prioritize for acquiring customers.

3. Ask for examples of companies who run these channels well.
Some channels to ask about:

• PR
• Ads
• SEO
• Influencers
• Sponsorships
• Organic social
• Word-of-mouth
• In-depth content
• Referral incentives
• Product-led invites (think Slack, Zoom, Dropbox)
4. Reverse-engineer how those companies run their channels well:

A. Map each step the customer takes between the channel and becoming a happy customer.

B. Study what makes each step great: its pitch, its design, and its user experience.
Here's an example of steps.

• Someone sees your Facebook ad ← Channel
• They visit your page
• Enter their email
• Trial the product
• Pay for the product
• Stay engaged
• Refer more users

(Tools like Ahrefs + FB Ad Library show you competitors' ads and landing pages!)
When you're auditing another company's steps, look for moments that make you remark:

"Wow, I want more of this. I'm interested."

That's the magic you want for your startup.
5. Now recreate a low-res version of the funnel for your company.

This is your jumping off point to explore what works in your startup's context.

Everything is always context-dependent!
6. First, we need a team to build the elements needed for each step:

• Design
• Product
• Copywriting
• Engineering

Get a contractor, agency, or full-time hire—or do it yourself.

Again, this is where LinkedIn Sales Navigator helps you find experienced people.
7. Set up your analytics to measure conversion rates at each step.

I recommend using one of these tools:

• Amplitude
• Mixpanel
• Heap
8. Turn on your channel.

9. Note at which steps people drop-off the most.

Fix drop-off points before over-optimizing other steps.
10. How do you fix drop-off?

You test new:

• Offers + incentives
• Value propositions
• Product changes
• Target personas
• Pricing plans
• UX
11. Repeat the channel and step exercise for each of the channels the experts suggested you test first.
12. If a channel bombs, consider a new contractor or agency to *attack it from a different angle.*

Sometimes, you just need a new approach.

If the best of the best can't make a channel sustainable for you, move onto the next—and come back to this later.
13. Meanwhile, run experiments on working channels to increase their performance further:

• What would compel people even more?
• How can we remove more friction?
14. Over time, your goal is to build your private playbook of growth knowledge.

To do this, don't bury your head in the sand:

Continually consult others and reverse engineer what works in the wild.
Recap:

• Talk to people who've done it before.
• Audit competent competitors.
• Bring in new people when you get stuck.
• Eat mangoes AND bananas! WAHHH 😱😱😱
This thread is a superficial primer on acquisition.

There's far more to know about channel selection and testing.

My site has a handbook that goes deeper. It's free, of course.

P.S. I hope this "14 steps" format inspires memes 😂
Side note:

I used to delete my tweets for curation purposes.

But I've discovered that almost no one looks at old tweets on your timeline—so curation serves little purpose.

I will delete tweets less often going forward 😂

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