Finding early adopters for your new business


Very few people are willing to risk their hard earned money with a new business. One study showed that it takes the average person 2 years to trust a brand.

When you start out with a new concept, the majority of people will not take the risk.

But early adopters are different, they make up roughly 13% of consumers and are people who don’t mind taking risks for something new. It’s not so much the person that’s an early adopter as it is a specific openness to an interest. For example someone who is tech geek may be the first person to download a new app but when it comes to fitness that same person may be the last to jump on board.

In his book Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey Moore maps out the adoption lifecycle of technology. And categories people into innovator, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. The big idea in this book is to start your business by focussing on innovators and early adopters before crossing the chasm into early majority.

Early adopters are people who:

  1. Have been actively looking for ways to implement a solution.
  2. Have put together parts of a solution.
  3. Have the money to spend on a solution

Look at these and ask yourself, what are your early adopters doing now to reach their goals? Which of these behaviours are observable?

Now create a list of all the behaviours and define where you would find these early adopters. Where do they hang out online and offline? Then create a small experiment and assess if you’ve found enough evidence of early adopter behaviour.

Once you’ve determined your tribe of early adopters get to know them. See what they desire, fear, like and dislike.

Listen to the words they use. The early adopter may want “state-of-the-art” where the early majority may like “industry standard.

Once you’ve found your early adopters give them what they want and grow from there.


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