Selling a Product: How to Get Your First Paid User

In the fast-paced world of digital entrepreneurship, acquiring your first paying customer can be a monumental milestone. Whether you’re launching a groundbreaking app, a cutting-edge software solution, or an innovative product, the journey to securing that inaugural paid user can be both exhilarating and challenging. In this article, we delve into actionable strategies and insights to guide you through this critical stage of your business journey.

So, …

You have developed your application. Now it’s time to take it to market (learn what to do before you’re ready to do that) and secure your first paid customers. In this article, we will guide you through practical strategies, industry examples, tools to help you successfully acquire those crucial initial customers. Let’s explore valuable resources and actionable steps to ensure a strong entry into the market.

Define Your Target Audience

To effectively market your application, start by clearly defining your target market. Consider factors such as demographics, user preferences, and pain points. For example, if your app is a project management tool, your target market might include small to medium-sized businesses in need of efficient task management solutions. So it is a step that should be taken into consideration at the planning stage. That is how you can show your target audience that your product is made exactly for them by specific UX/UI or by outlining the certain features of the platform.

Industry Example: Trello, a popular project management app, targets businesses of all sizes by offering a simple and intuitive platform.

Make an Irresistible Value Proposition

Develop a compelling value proposition that communicates how your application solves a specific problem or fulfills a need. Highlight unique features and benefits that differentiate your app from competitors. Create a concise and persuasive message that resonates with your target audience.

Industry Example: Dropbox positioned itself as a cloud storage solution by emphasizing the ease of file sharing and collaboration. Their value proposition focused on eliminating the hassle of manual backups and ensuring accessibility from any device.

Implement a Freemium Option

Consider offering a freemium option to attract a larger user base and convert them into paying customers. Provide a limited version of your app for free, with the option to upgrade to a premium version with additional features or enhanced functionality. This allows users to experience the value of your app before committing to a paid subscription.

Industry Example: Evernote/Notion, a note-taking app, offers a freemium model where users can access basic features for free, while premium features such as offline access and advanced search capabilities are available through a paid subscription.

Leverage App Store Optimization (ASO)

Optimize your app’s visibility in app stores by utilizing App Store Optimization (ASO) techniques. Research relevant keywords, craft compelling descriptions, and utilize appealing visuals to attract potential customers. Enhance your app’s discoverability by including relevant keywords in the title, description, and metadata.

Resources to Use: Tools like Sensor Tower, Mobile Action, or App Annie can provide insights on keyword rankings, competitor analysis, and optimization strategies.

Take Care of the Landing Page

Build a user-friendly website that effectively showcases your app’s features, benefits, and user testimonials. Clearly articulate the value your app brings to potential customers. Include screenshots, demo videos, and social proof to enhance credibility and engage visitors. Incorporate strong calls-to-action that prompt visitors to download, sign up for the freemium option, or purchase your app’s premium version.

Industry Example: Grammarly, an AI-powered writing assistant, offers a comprehensive website that showcases the app’s features, customer testimonials, and a seamless download process.

Implement Influencer Marketing

Partner with influencers or industry experts who align with your target market. Collaborate on sponsored content, guest blog posts, or social media campaigns to leverage their reach and influence. Engage influencers who can authentically endorse your app and provide valuable insights to their audience.

Industry Example: Calm, a meditation and sleep app, collaborated with renowned figures like LeBron James and Matthew McConaughey to promote their app, leveraging their brand credibility and expanding their user base.

Offer Limited-Time Promotions

Create a sense of urgency and incentivize potential customers by offering limited-time promotions or discounts. Time-bound offers encourage users to take action and can attract early adopters. Consider offering exclusive discounts to early customers or providing additional features for a limited period.

Industry Example: Adobe Creative Cloud offers discounted annual subscription plans to students, encouraging them to purchase while they are still in school and fostering long-term customer loyalty.

Leverage Social Media Advertising

Utilize social media platforms to reach your target audience effectively. Leverage the targeting capabilities of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to create tailored ad campaigns. Engage users with visually appealing content, customer success stories, and testimonials to generate interest and drive conversions.

Resources to Use: Facebook Ads Manager, LinkedIn Ads, and other social media advertising platforms provide robust targeting and analytics tools.

Implement a Customer Referral Program

Encourage your existing customers to refer others through a customer referral program. Incentivize referrals with rewards, discounts, or exclusive access to new features. Leverage the power of social networks and word-of-mouth marketing to expand your customer base.

Industry Example: Dropbox offered additional storage space to users who referred friends, resulting in a viral customer acquisition strategy that propelled their growth.

Engage in Content Marketing

Develop valuable and informative content to establish your app as an industry authority. Create blog posts, tutorials, case studies, or videos that address user pain points and provide actionable solutions. Share this content on your website, social media channels, and relevant industry forums to attract and engage potential customers.

Resources to Use: Tools like Buzzsumo, SEMrush, or Google Trends can help you identify popular topics and keywords within your industry.


Securing your first paid customers requires a well-executed marketing strategy tailored to your target market. Define your target audience, craft a compelling value proposition, and leverage resources like app store optimization, influencer marketing, and social media advertising. Engage potential customers through limited-time promotions, referral programs, content marketing, and the implementation of a freemium option. Remember to gather positive reviews and testimonials to build trust and credibility in the market. By implementing these strategies and learning from successful industry examples, you’ll be on your way to acquiring your first paid customers and establishing a strong foundation for future growth.


The analytical stage of software development at Fora Soft

At Fora Soft, the first person you will work with on your idea will be an analyst. As bringing your concept for a unique product to reality is typically one of the most difficult challenges for entrepreneurs, the company needs a professional team. First steps require an analyst who can lead you through all the challenges along the way. In this article, we will observe the value that analysts at Fora Soft bring to your project as well as the possible negative scenarios of missing a system analytic.

From Idea to MLP (Minimum Loveable Product)

Product development usually follows a process separated into stages or steps, through which a company conceives:

  •  product concept (idea generation) 
  •  researches (product validation ensures you’re creating a product people will pay for and that you won’t waste time, money, and effort on an idea that people don’t need)
  •  project planning
  •  prototypes
  •  designs
  •  development
  •  tests
  •  launch into the market
Product development process scheme

What if it seems that the idea is already sharpened? Why do I need the analytics process then?

According to Info Tech research, poor requirements are the reasons for 70% of unsuccessful software projects. This may lead to financial losses, wasted time and effort, and disillusionment (we will take a closer look at all the possible circumstances below). You may avoid these stumbling blocks and assure the adoption of best-practice approaches by working closely with an analyst at the outset of a project.

Possible outcomes of skipping the analysis stage

Let me showcase you the list of possible struggles you can face due to skipping the analytical stage of software development:


  • Inability to logically structure a development process
  • Postponement of a current release
  • Incapacity of long-term planning


  • Waste of development hours on functionality redesign
  • Radical change of initial estimation
  • Unrealistic time and costs estimation due to lack of requirements decomposition 


  • Team members may idle and be removed from the project due to lack of tasks at the current time period
  • The team doesn’t include the essential specialist as there were no special requirements gathered for the particular feature in the very beginning
  • Some tasks may require parallel development
  • Constant hole patching instead of building a clear coherent vision

Relationship damage

  • with the customer 
  • within the team


  • Customer and team have different product vision
  • Fragmented documentation 


  • Choice of more expensive functionality instead of simple and elegant solutions
  • Architectural limitations
  • Inconsistency or the requirements and logical holes

Preparation stage

So, as we have identified the significance of the analytical stage of software development, let’s dive into the details. 

First of all, we will review the initial requirements, understand your vision and product concept. As the next step, the analyst will provide research on: 

  • Target audience and their pains
  • Competitors
  • Best practises in the industry

That allows us to find unique selling points. A unique selling point describes your company’s distinct market position, getting to the heart of your offering: the value you provide and the problem you address. A good USP clearly articulates a distinct benefit – one that other competitors do not provide – that distinguishes you from the competition.

Requirement analysis

At the next stage of the analysts phase, we will start to design the system from requirement preparation. Requirements analysis is a vital procedure that determines the success of a system or software project. Functional and non-functional requirements are the two sorts of requirements.

Non-functional requirements: These are the quality limitations that the system must meet in accordance with the project contract. The priority or extent to which these aspects are incorporated varies depending on the project. Non-behavioral requirements are another name for them.

Functional Requirements: These are the requirements that the end user directly requests as basic system facilities. These are expressed or described as input to be delivered to the system, operation to be conducted, and expected output. In contrast to non-functional requirements, they are essentially the user-specified criteria that can be seen immediately in the finished product.

Functional requirements are carried out in the form of user stories, which are summaries of needs or queries created from the perspective of a particular product user. All stories will be divided into subsections – epics. The main goal after that is the maximum added value with minimal applied effort. It can be achieved by task prioritization. 


After a couple of iterations and clarifying the requirements, we will do the wireframe. 

Wireframe is a form of interactive prototype that has no user interface, no colors, fonts, or style – just functionality. Consider wireframes to be the skeleton of your product. They give you a good concept of where everything will end up by roughly shaping the final product. In a wireframe stage, it is easier and less expensive to evaluate and alter the structure of the essential pages. Iterating the wireframes to a final version will provide the client and design team confidence that the page/tab is meeting user needs while also achieving the primary business and project goals. Check the example via the link.

On this stage, the analyst reviews UX industry’s best practices as well as searches for a unique selling point. For mobile products, we are referring to Apple Human Interface Guidelines and Google Material Design. Guidelines were developed to expedite the process of resolving user pains. Guidelines for mobile apps specify navigation and interaction concepts, interface components and their styles, typography and iconography used, color palettes, and much more. Furthermore, as everything described in the guidelines is frequently already implemented as an element in the code, the developer does not need to spend time on creating it from scratch.

During these stages, business analysts will be consulting technicians, designers, marketers and other specialists to find the most suitable and elegant solutions.


Once the wireframe is entirely adhering to the user stories and you are satisfied with the requirements, we are going to the QA stage to ensure quality and consistency of the prototype.

  • Completeness. A set of requirements is regarded as complete if all of its basic pieces are represented and each component is completed with a logical end.
  • Unambiguity. Each component must be clearly and precisely stated, allowing for a distinct interpretation. The request should be legible and comprehensible.
  • Consistency. Requirements should not be in conflict with one another or wireframe.
  • Validity. Requirements should meet the expectations and needs of the final user.
  • Feasibility. The scenarios must be possible to implement.
  • Testability. We should be able to create economically feasible and simple-to-use tests for each need to indicate that the tested product meets the required functionality, performance, and current standards. This implies that each claim must be measured, and testing must be carried out under appropriate conditions.

Testing requirements is a proven way to avoid problems during the development stage. It is at this point that continuous testing begins in order to ensure the requisite quality of the created product and to avoid any business risks. It’s always better to find all hidden dangers on the analytical stage rather than during software development.

Concept design

Optionally, as a part of the analytical process, you may request concept design of the product. Conceptual design is an early stage of the design process in which we establish the broad outlines of something’s purpose and form.  It entails comprehending people’s needs and determining how to address them through products.  These are pictures that will demonstrate the concept’s “mood” and colors in further depth. 


Update logo, if you don’t have your own

Corporate identity elements: patterns, slides with a slogan that reflects the concept. The options and number of pictures will depend on the concept and product.

UI of the 1st-2nd main screens of the application/platform.

You can check the example via the link.

This is a final stage of the analytical process. After that you will have a full clear vision and be totally ready for the development process. As a next step, you will receive an estimation from our sales manager.


The better the team understands the big picture, the better the final product will be. It is crucial to have solid relationships and a deep level of understanding between the team and customer, and that is what an analyst can fully provide. The price and time estimates you will get from the development team are as precise as the requirements are. After the analytics, it’s possible to give an estimate with +- ~10% deviation. These will help to assure improved cost management, delivery, and meeting business goals. 

So if you feel like talking to our analysts and getting your wireframe, don’t hesitate to hit us up using the contact form.