Before launch
So now you understand the basics of how the platform works, but before we get into best practices around your actual product launch, there are some important things to know about how to make the most of the most of the community. We’ll dive into some myths around Product Hunt too.
This article covers:
Get familiar with the communityReady to launch?Setting goalsHunters: Do you need one?

Get familiar with the community

It’s a good idea to get familiar with Product Hunt and the community before posting. Newly created accounts will even need to wait 1 week before posting a product, so use this time to familiarize yourself and have fun. One week is just a minimum, too; we highly recommend joining the platform well ahead of your launch (three months or more) and building a presence in the community.
Get your free account by clicking the “Sign up” button at the top right of the page. Take some time to fill out a short description of yourself and add your website and Twitter links — this can help people (from potential partners to VCs) get in touch with you when you launch.
Invite your team and community to join Product Hunt too so they’re ready to engage with your launch when the day comes.

Ready to launch?

Ah, the age-old question — how do you know when your product is ready? The short answer is that it all depends on you, your product, and who you listen to. You will find no shortage of advice on the topic.
The “just f*cking ship it” camp
We have spoken to maker after maker who believes that marinating over every feature for too long is not the way to go. These makers recognize that they need feedback quickly to refine their product or even need to first validate that their idea is a good one. This strategy seems to be preferred by solo or lifestyle makers that don’t have a lot of time to waste or recognize that they tend to get too bogged down in building features people might not use.
Get feedback, then ship
We have also spoken to plenty of makers and teams that would prefer to have already refined their product a bit before putting it out to a larger audience. They likely have beta testing groups with their target audience. Those early users help provide feedback that the maker has acted on, so that when time comes to launch, the product is more attractive to that specific audience.
Example: Framer
That magic moment
We have also seen plenty of users make the most of a seat-of-your-pants launch. Real life is full of surprises — one excited user might share your product early or unexpectedly; maybe a cultural event or an unexpected media article creates the perfect storm. If you’ve got little to lose and the initial response looks good, it can be a great idea to jump on board. Don’t lose the opportunity to ride the tailwinds you’ve got, especially if distribution is one of your concerns.
Example: Notion
The bottom line is that when you launch largely depends on your goals, your product, and even your own strategic style. As for what time to launch — we’ll cover that too.

Setting goals

If you came across Product Hunt on the interwebs, you might know that a lot of people measure success by the number of upvotes they receive or the product’s position on the leaderboard.
There’s no doubt that “Product of the Day,” or the product at the top of the leaderboard on the day of launch, is an indication of a successful launch. Some pretty epic companies have achieved the status. But that’s far from the only way to measure success.
There are many reasons you may choose to launch on Product Hunt, and just as many goals and measures of success you can apply to your launch:
  • Leaderboard (any position, not just the top!): Join the ranks of notable products like Notion, Loom, and more.
  • Upvotes
  • Comments (messages from the community provide helpful feedback so you adjust things like your product features or positioning, or see if you have product-market fit)
  • New followers/community members (on Product Hunt or elsewhere)
  • Social media buzz
  • Getting ahead of the competition
  • Interest from investors
  • Website traffic
  • Product sales/leads, early adopters
  • Feedback and networking
  • Team (people have found companies they want to work for on Product Hunt, or discovered partners who became co-founders)
  • Brand recognition, visibility, and reach
  • Just getting it done! Launching is a milestone.
The most important point here: You should have measurable goals that you can work towards and evaluate your launch against. We recommend tying these goals to whatever your overall company/product goals are. Product of the Day is certainly an awesome goal to strive for and our foam fingers are at the ready. However, many products that do not achieve this rank have done very well, met their goals, and had undeniably successful Product Hunt launches.

Hunters: Do you need one?

“Do I need someone specific to hunt my product?” you ask.
The answer is quite simple: Nope. Hunting is just posting. A hunter can be anybody with a personal Product Hunt account. That can be you, your co-makers, or an enthusiastic user.
Myths around famous hunters
When Product Hunt first launched, only a few people were able to hunt products… and they hunted a LOT of great products. These early community members were instrumental in Product Hunt’s story; many still use the site today. We are super grateful to those early users for their sheer love of tech, products, and community building. As we grew, the community requested that we open up the ability to hunt to everyone. Now anyone with a personal account on Product Hunt can contribute products to the community.
Hunters on Product Hunt are product and tech enthusiasts at their core. You can be the hunter of your own product, and we actively encourage this to give you more control over your launch. We love hunters; we are hunters! Our advice to makers is not to let waiting for the ‘ideal’ hunter to post your product be a blocker to launching. This can become a distraction from working on the most important thing — building your product and growing a community around it.
As for self-hunting — you can feel confident that using a top hunter is no longer a barrier to success:
  • 79% of featured posts were by makers who self-hunted
  • 60% of #1 Product of the Day winners were self-hunted
Our aim is to empower makers, so if you’re in search of someone who can help you with your questions or need help navigating your launch, reach out! You can reach our global support team via the chat button on the bottom right of the website.
Paying hunters or promoters
There is no rule against using a hunter outside of your team, but paying people to hunt your product goes against our guidelines.
We obsess over making sure everyone enjoys a free, fair experience. People who ask for compensation for posting or pushing traffic to your launch have been known to use tactics that go against our policies, like using bots to spam the community or running giveaways for upvotes. That inauthentic behavior is easy to spot. Not only does that actually end up being a turn-off for those who genuinely want to engage with your product, it also hurts your product. Products caught breaking the rules will be unfeatured or removed and the makers associated with the product may be permanently banned from the site. Read more on this here.
What to focus on
Choose a hunter who really understands the benefits of your product, whether that's you, a co-maker, or a user who big-time loves your product. By doing so, you’re showing the community that you’re invested — not just in vanity metrics, but in what you’re building and the experience of your users. Garnering your first 100 true fans is far more critical for your product in the long term than false engagement for short-lived perceived gains.
Focus on authentic engagement. Set goals, prepare your launch content, read case studies, and let your community know your launch is coming.
Up Next
Preparing for launch