First promoter launches startups to success

published on 09 November 2023

The Power of a Startup's First Promoter

A startup's first vocal supporter can have an outsized impact on its growth trajectory. This first promoter plays a crucial role in helping startups gain initial traction by providing social proof, kickstarting word-of-mouth marketing, and shaping perceptions of the product's quality and value. Their authentic advocacy lends credibility that company claims alone often cannot achieve.

Understanding the Role of the First Promoter

The first promoter is defined as the first customer who actively and enthusiastically promotes a startup's product. By sharing their positive experience, they give social proof that the product delivers real value. This catalyzes word-of-mouth marketing as the first promoter's network starts discussing the product.

The first promoter also shapes perceptions of the product's quality and worth. Their advocacy demonstrates there are satisfied customers who find the product useful. People generally trust peer recommendations over company claims, so the first promoter's endorsement carries more weight. Their feedback offers social validation that boosts conversion rates.

Furthermore, the authenticity of the first promoter sets them apart from paid influencers or brand ambassadors. Their genuine excitement as a real user adds credibility to their referral. This lends more impact to their promotional activities.

Finding Your Startup's Ideal First Promoter

To identify potential first promoters, startups should look for early adopters who are passionate about the problem their product solves. Enthusiastic users want to share impactful solutions with their networks.

It helps to find customers already influential in the startup's niche or industry. Their existing audience gives them built-in reach for spreading word about the product. Active participation in relevant communities also expands their referral network.

For example, a SaaS startup could connect with power users in online entrepreneurship forums who are already sharing business software tips. Their established presence in those communities can amplify their advocacy.

Users who are excited to give feedback and endorsements demonstrate advocate potential. Their natural inclination to promote products they love helps amplify their reach. Startups can leverage existing networks and communities to connect with these vocal advocates.

Actively soliciting product feedback helps identify users with the interest to become first promoters. Respondents who give thoughtful suggestions while praising the product show promoter promise. Startups should nurture these relationships.

Strategies to Incentivize Your First Promoter

Providing exclusive early access to new features or content gives first promoters an advantage to sustain their advocacy. They can preview upcoming releases and tease the benefits to their audience. For example, a startup could allow first promoters to demo a new integration or template before public launch and create buzz.

Discounts, free products/trials, and subscription extensions are straightforward ways to reward promoters. These financial incentives help lower barriers to continued usage and endorsement. A startup could offer their first promoter a free year of service or exclusive promo code to share with their network.

Co-creating content like blogs, videos, or webinars allows promoters to showcase their expertise while expanding the startup’s reach. Featuring promoters prominently on the website and case studies spotlights the partnership. Startups could interview their first promoter for a blog or invite them to guest post.

Amplifying first promoters' own content and brands across the startup’s platforms fosters goodwill. This gives back and helps expand their audience in return. Startups can share their promoters' content through social media and email newsletters.

Nurturing Your Relationship with Your First Promoter

Treating first promoters like partners sustains the relationship beyond a typical customer interaction. Two-way communication and implementing their product suggestions strengthens the bond.

Soliciting ongoing feedback demonstrates a commitment to serving promoters’ needs first. Giving VIP treatment like priority support and faster response times helps make promoters feel valued. Startups could assign a dedicated account manager for direct access.

Collaborating on content creation and co-marketing campaigns unlocks new opportunities together. Facilitating introductions can expand promoters’ professional networks and exposure. For example, connecting promoters to influencers in overlapping niches for guest posting.

Leveraging Your First Promoter's Reach

Referral programs turn happy customers into brand advocates by rewarding them for referrals. First promoters with incentive to refer can become powerful growth drivers. Startups could offer $100 credit for every new user referred.

Collaborating on guest posts, social media takeovers, and AMAs leverages promoters’ established platforms. Repurposing and amplifying their social content expands reach. Startups can ask to reuse testimonials or reviews as website and ad copy.

Promoters equipped with assets and training on how to effectively share about the startup will organically integrate its promotion into their activities. Facilitating reviews and feature requests harnesses promoters' voices. For instance, providing logos, images, and messaging templates enables seamless promotion.

Best Practices for Startups to Find and Keep Their First Promoter

Here are some best practices startups can implement to identify, incentivize, and nurture relationships with their ideal first promoter to maximize their advocacy.

Qualities to Look for in a First Promoter

First and foremost, seek out users intrinsically motivated to share great products versus those needing external incentives. Passion fuels authenticity.

Target influencers in the startup's niche or industry with engaged followings. Existing reach and relevance expands promotional impact. Look for at least 10,000 followers.

Assess storytelling qualities through reviews and content shares. Strong narratives attract bigger audiences. Evaluate their review quality.

Evaluate overall content quality and follower engagement rates through likes, comments, and reposts. This gauges potential reach. Aim for above 5% engagement.

Look for influencers actively commenting and participating in relevant communities. Thought leadership draws followers. Seek those posting at least weekly.

First Promoter Perks and Incentives

Early access incentives give first promoters exclusive opportunities to engage their networks. Free trials and products remove cost barriers. Consider offering a free year of service.

Highlighting promoters on the startup’s website or marketing materials gives them prestige and validation. Co-creating content allows them to demonstrate expertise. Interview them for a blog.

Introducing promoters to key figures in the startup’s space can help expand their professional circles and opportunities. Make connections to overlapping influencers.

Relationship-Building with First Promoters

Regular communication beyond transactions fosters mutually beneficial relationships. Quickly implementing product feedback shows the startup values the promoter’s voice. Respond to suggestions within 48 hours.

Facilitating connections with the startup’s leadership team gives the promoter unique access to experts to grow their knowledge. Collaborating on co-marketing campaigns creates win-win opportunities. Set up a podcast interview with the founder.

Amplifying Your First Promoter's Reach

Leveraging affiliates and partnerships expands the first promoter's advocacy. Repurposing user generated content across the startup’s platforms amplifies their voice. Feature their testimonial in ads.

Providing assets like product images, logos, and messaging equips promoters to better integrate promotion in their activities. Offering training on how best to highlight the startup’s differentiators arms advocates with knowledge. Send an onboarding kit.

Referral programs incentivize promoters to activate their networks by rewarding referrals. This can become a powerful acquisition channel. Consider $100 credit per new user referred.

Key Takeaways for Leveraging Your First Promoter

  • A first promoter's authentic advocacy is crucial for startups to gain initial traction and validation. Their feedback starts word-of-mouth marketing.

  • Target enthusiastic early adopters who are already influential in the startup's niche. Their reach expands promotional impact. Look for 10k+ followers and existing community engagement.

  • Incentivize promoters with exclusive perks, free products, spotlighting their work and co-marketing opportunities. Give them early access and interview them on a blog.

  • Build an ongoing two-way partnership. Solicit regular feedback and act on suggestions within 48 hours. Provide VIP treatment like priority support.

  • Leverage promoters' reach by amplifying their content, facilitating partnerships and referrals, and equipping them with promotional assets. Repurpose UGC in ads.

  • Consider offering your first promoter incentives like a free year of service, $100 referral bonuses, introductions to key influencers, and co-marketing opportunities.


A startup's first vocal supporter can kickstart a viral growth cycle by providing social proof and catalyzing word-of-mouth marketing. By identifying and incentivizing the ideal first promoter with perks like exclusive content access and financial rewards, startups can leverage these advocates to build momentum for their product launch. A first promoter's authentic endorsement adds tremendous credibility that paid advertising often cannot achieve. Their feedback starts shaping public perception, while their network effects begin amplifying reach.

Startups who nurture long-term partnerships with first promoters beyond one-off campaigns gain loyal brand advocates who can become powerful catalysts for growth. Facilitating collaborations, referrals, and continuing to highlight first promoters on a brand's platforms creates mutual value. See how Unicorn Platform's intuitive landing page builder empowers first promoters to easily create pages to highlight startups they love.

Related posts

Read more

Built on Unicorn Platform