What to do with early developer superfans

Tessa Kriesel
Tessa Kriesel
What to do with early developer superfans

Developer super fans are exactly what you need to scale your business, don't let these early customers slip through the cracks.

If you just released a new product, or you're an early stage startup, you may find yourself with a few developer super fans pretty early on. With platforms like Product Hunt, it's a lot easier now to get the attention of developers.

If you weren't seeking these super fans out, you may not know exactly how to best engage with and leverage them, and the task may even seem daunting to approach at first. While other startups would LOVE nothing more than to have an early audience of developers to leverage.

Developer super fans are exactly what you need to scale your business, don't let these early customers slip through the cracks.

Hint: If you haven't already, do a Product Hunt campaign launching your product. If this seems overwhelming, our team can help!

Insightful feedback

New developer customers will have feedback on the ease of use, overall functionality, time to onboard, and more. Developers want products that make their lives easier, not products that are overly complicated and cause more struggles in their day-to-day work.

Oftentimes asking for open feedback does not always result in the best response. Consider asking the following questions to obtain deeper feedback:

  • How long did it take you to sign-up and start benefiting from the product?
  • How was the sign-up process?
  • Was anything not clear to you throughout your onboarding process?
  • What can we do a better job of documenting?
  • What are your favorite features?
  • What are you least favorite features?
  • If this was your product, what would you do next?

Beta Testing

If possible, ask these developers to test product features before you release them. Give them access and detailed instructions for use and see what feedback they provide. I would recommend giving them a list of features to test and review to ensure they're aware of each new feature.

Obtaining the feedback of your users, before launch, is incredibly valuable and a very important step of a product launch. Watch for future content on how to nail product launches with developer audiences.

Leverage them to grow your audience

They like your product, they probably like your team at this point now too, so why not encourage positive behavior by giving them the opportunity to grow your audience further.

Approaching this conversation can be easy, when the super fan is openly excited about helping you. While other super fans may praise you from a distance but not engage as deeply as others. How you approach establishing this really depends on your product and the developers you're working with.

I strongly recommend you read our piece on Developer Personas to get a good idea of what your developer super fans might be motivated by, so you can reward them for their work accordingly.

Follow their social accounts, amplify their words if you agree, and encourage them to share more about your brand (as the opportunity seems right).

Create content on your behalf

The absolute best end result of developer super fans is when they begin contributing to developer advocacy type tasks, like creating blog posts, tutorials or code examples. Content is key with developers. If you can leverage your developer super fans to write content for you, your product will be thriving in no time, as long as you can market these content pieces well.

Echo their sentiment

If they share positive feedback about your company, echo their sentiment! Maybe it's a tweet or social post—retweet, share, screenshot & share, do whatever you have to do to bring more eyes to this content.

If they share feedback more privately or in niche developer communities, take a screenshot, or quote their words, and create your own social posts or website copy/content. You want to echo their sentiment so other developers feel like they should try it, as well as make your developer super fan feel like they are a valued extension of your team.

Give them the spotlight

Once you have worked with this developer in any of the situations mentioned above, you will begin to establish trust with this person. Once you are both feeling like you have a pretty solid relationship—ensuring you are giving back as much as they're delivering, it's time to give them additional opportunities to share their praises for your product.

There are a number of ideas here, and depending on the comfort level of the developer, they may be inclined to present publicly either at a conference or webinar style, or prefer to stay more developer focused and build a project that showcases the awesomeness of your product. Whatever the situation may be for your developer super fan, give them the spotlight, when they want it, so help grow your audience.

Make sure they're seeing the value

The value this developer super fan is providing to your business is truly priceless. Do your research, read our piece on developer personas, and make sure that you are providing them a value. Your developer super fans should always benefit more from their work than you, find a way to make this possible. What are they motivated by?

Developers trust other developers. Keep this in mind as you think about how to leverage your developer super fans.

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