How to Use Reddit for Collecting, Validating, and Launching Startup Ideas

Ways of using Reddit to find and validate business ideas. Concepts of startup that you can launch via Reddit

If you’re searching for innovative startup ideas, it would be wise to look for them on Reddit. Besides, this platform can serve as a great place to launch and promote your business.

Using Reddit to find business ideas

To create a sustainable business, you need to detect a problem that meets the following criteria.

  • The potential product is going to launch in a growing market.
  • You have enough expertise and resources to offer a solution.
  • People are ready to pay for your solution.

Reddit is a perfect place for detecting consumers’ pain points that you can rely on to launch an innovative startup. Not all problems can be solved and not all of them are worth solving. To discover on Reddit startup ideas with the biggest potential, you may rely on these three methods.

Themed subreddits

When looking for business ideas, you should target subreddits with a large and active audience. To detect them, use the Subreddit Stats tool. It reveals the threads with the fastest growth per fixed time period as well as the discussions with the highest number of posts and comments. If you’re interested in particular keywords, this tool will show you how frequently they were used every year or every month, starting with 2007. If the popularity of your niche keywords has been on the rise, it hints at the increasing demand for your business concept.

Also, when planning a B2B startup, find Reddit communities where local entrepreneurs share their experiences. Read people’s success and failure stories. Which mistakes did they make? What should you do to avoid these mistakes? Which practices can you borrow from them? At which problems did they help you look from a new angle?

Negative product reviews

If consumers rate a product poorly, it means two things: 

  • There is a lot of room for improvement.
  • Customers need this product (otherwise, they wouldn’t have bought it).

Negative reviews tend to be very detailed. For entrepreneurs, it’s a chance to obtain valuable information at no cost.

For instance, Reddit users can discuss a nail coating that is supposed to make any nail polish look like gel and last for at least seven days. Yet in fact, this product might only work with selected brands and types of nail polish. Besides, its price might be too high. If you know how to improve the formula of this coating, you can come up with a powerful rival to it. 

Moreover, this way you’ll know where to find your first customers. Consider offering your product to the authors of negative reviews for free and ask them to impartially review it for you, without sharing this information online. If they’re happy with the product, they can become its online ambassadors.

Surveys and customer development interviews

Reddit is indispensable for conducting surveys and customer development interviews. Users of this platform are sociable and ready to interact with businesses. You can promptly detect individuals with the interests and expertise that you require. Most of them clearly understand which goals brands pursue when organizing surveys and try to be as helpful as they can. 

How to validate business hypotheses on Reddit

The term “validation” means that you make sure there is a market niche and enough consumer demand for your product. The easiest and the most reliable way of getting to know people’s opinions is to talk to your potential clients. Here is how you can organize the interaction with your first batch of customers while relying on Reddit.

Build a basic landing page

Even if you have never done it before, you’ll be able to design a visually appealing landing page in a free website constructor. No coding or design skills are required. Just pick a template from the collection inside the constructor and customize it. 

Don’t focus too much on style, logo, and branding right now — instead, make sure the copy is compelling. For instance, the AIDA copywriting method has proved its efficiency for all industries. Concentrate most of your efforts on CTAs because your goal is to pre-sell a limited amount of your product. 

Think about pricing

Set the price for the early-bird version of your product. For the psychological comfort of your audience, it should be lower than $100. Inform the visitors that soon, the price will go up, but don’t let them know any exact numbers because your plans might change.

Craft the Reddit posts

Analyze the subreddits where your target audience is the most active. Check the most popular posts there and try to imitate their style. As you share the posts that promote your product, they should fit into the discussion organically. 

Each subreddit has its individual policy for posting content, so make sure to read its rules before publishing anything. Fine-tune your posts for each group instead of copying and pasting the same information everywhere. 

Before you share the link to the product, strive to provide value for the community. Share your advice and expertise with others. 

The best place to post the link is not in the main post but in a comment. If posts don’t work or get deleted, invest in paid Reddit ads. Place them in the same threads where you shared your posts.

Get feedback from the community

The first type of subreddits you need to focus on is the communities of your potential clients. The second type is business discussions. You need to get to know what consumers and your fellow entrepreneurs think of your product.

Analyze your results

Once you’ve ticked all four boxes, it’s time to analyze the outcome of your efforts. Ask yourself:

  • Did you manage to make a large audience interested in your product?
  • How many pre-sales did you make?
  • What did you learn from the community about your product?
  • What have you discovered about the problem that you are trying to solve?

If you realize there is enough demand for your product, feel free to launch it. Otherwise, think of an alternative idea or ways of improving your already existing one.

Using Reddit as a promotion channel 

In this part of the article, we’ll talk about how you can use Reddit’s functionality and community to launch a sustainable business.

Blogging

If you run a blog, this scheme will drive traffic to your articles and posts.

  1. Join discussions that are relevant to your blog’s topic.
  2. Prove that you’re an expert in the field and can share valuable knowledge.
  3. When people start trusting you, post links to your blog in your comments.

The higher the traffic of your blog, the more money you’ll make on ads.

Running an online store

If you sell products online, you can use Reddit as a source of traffic for your website. It makes sense to post direct links to your products only if people openly say that they’d like to buy a similar item. 

To avoid being pushy, you can share your expertise in running an ecommerce website and only then share the link to your store. You may tell the members of business communities how you developed your store, which problems you faced, and how you overcame them. 

Feel free to share case studies from your personal experience that are related to marketing, design, discounts, delivery, and managing the inventory.

Auction selling

Apart from a conventional store, an auctioning website can generate sustainable profit for you. When promoting it on Reddit, you should try to monetize people’s excitement. You can use the same tactics as described above.

Stock and Forex trading

On Reddit, traders exchange opinions, experiences, and recommendations with each other. If you are a professional trader, you can join their discussions and spread knowledge, all while you promote your trading courses or an expert blog. 

But if you are a newcomer and still learning, Reddit will help you acquire new skills before you enter trading as a full-on market player.

Creating visuals

There are communities where graphic artists can post their portfolios and announcements about opening commissions. Commissions can be ordered by other professionals, such as business owners or representatives of GameDev companies, as well as common users. For instance, users might pay an artist to draw a portrait of their pet or a fanart of their favorite movie character.

Artists can also create custom visuals for posts of other Reddit members. For example, moderators might want their subreddit to stand out, so they pay for header and background design. Finally, creative professionals can mingle with entrepreneurs in business communities to expand their network and, hopefully, get new customers.

Matchmaking services

Help people who are looking for love find their better halves. Reddit users might make spontaneous posts on various threads, saying they’re dreaming of finding a soulmate. Collect such posts and recommend suitable candidates to your clients. Plus, you can proactively create posts saying that a client of yours is looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend with specific characteristics. 

Private recruiting

Reddit is a great place for looking for jobs and the right professionals for job offers. Consider acting as a middleman between companies and private users. Start a database to match professionals with their potential employers.

Besides, you can help Redditers compose compelling resumes that will boost their odds of landing well-paid jobs. 

Business plan writing

Entrepreneurs need business plans to convince investors to support them. However, not all founders can compose compelling documents. They will provide you with facts and numbers, and your task will be to package this data nicely.

Crowdsourcing

The market value of the crowdfunding industry exceeds $12 billion and is expected to double by 2027. Even though there are around 1,500 crowdfunding organizations in the US alone, there should be enough room for your project. 

The process of raising funds is largely built on trust. To try your hand at this business, you should create a proactive and reliable community, surrounding yourself with people who are eager to support each other. You’ll help entrepreneurs spread the word about their project among those individuals who’ll be likely to fund them.

If you’d like to crowdsource your own product, create a Reddit community for it and generate hype over its release.

Affiliate marketing

This is how it works:

  1. Join affiliate programs of brands that you’d love to promote.
  2. Let them generate unique affiliate links for you.
  3. Post these links wherever it’s appropriate, including Reddit.
  4. Brands will pay cash for every lead or customer that you brought.

The biggest mistake that a novice entrepreneur would make is to start placing links randomly on Reddit. That would be considered spam. Post links only in those communities where people know and respect you. Make sure your content is relevant to the discussion — for instance, share links to online stores that sell fitness equipment in threads that are dedicated to sports.

A close alternative to affiliate programs is pay-per-click marketing. Your task will consist in sharing links in relevant subreddits. But this time, you’ll get income from Pay Per Click networks for bringing each new user.

Copywriting

There are thousands of business owners and marketers on Reddit. They need good sales copies for their products — and you can do it for them. Clients who have already used your services can recommend you to their colleagues on Reddit. Also, there are subreddits where you can post your portfolio and start collecting commissions.

A separate niche of copywriting is press release services. The mission of a press release is to announce an upcoming event or sum up something that has just taken place. It’s a powerful tool for boosting brand awareness and solidifying the brand’s reputation.

Ghostwriting

Bloggers, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and top managers often want to release their autobiographies. But they don’t know how to get started, which information to include in the book, and how to structure it. Consider becoming a ghostwriter for such people. Remember: the ghostwriting fees should be higher than what you can earn from publishing your own book.

Book reviewing

Apart from writing books, you can also review the ones that someone else wrote. You might think that since clients will be paying money to you, your reviews should be largely positive. However, it would be reasonable to mention shortcomings of each book to be objective. 

To promote your services, join book reader subreddits and post your reviews there.  Try to be engaging and inspiring: if you can make a person buy a book after reading your review, customers will find your work extremely valuable.

Social media management

On Reddit, you can post strategies for promoting corporate and personal brands on various platforms, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. To succeed with this startup idea, it’s important to keep up with the ever-changing industry trends. You’ll need to continuously get new knowledge, complete courses, and attend webinars.

Also, you can act as an advisor for entrepreneurs who are just getting started to promote their businesses on Reddit. They might want someone to explain how ads work and what they can do to reach Reddit Premium users who don’t see them. 

SEO consultant

Your target audience will be bloggers and website owners. They’re always looking for ways of improving their positions in search engine rankings. A good way of finding customers is by posting useful posts and case studies in thematic subreddits. Once you establish yourself in this niche, you’ll never run out of clients. 

Survey consultant

Business owners might not know how to find users with the right demographics on Reddit. Your mission is to organize the process efficiently. On Reddit, people are always enthusiastic about sharing their opinions, so you won’t probably need to incentivize them.

Also, sometimes entrepreneurs simply don’t know how to compile surveys or conduct CustDev interviews. After mingling with business founders on certain subreddits, offer them your services in private messages — but make sure that you’ve built mutual trust in advance.

Business idea consultant

Entrepreneurs come to Reddit to investigate people’s pain points and offer solutions to them. To help them save time and effort, you can:

  1. Browse Reddit’s premium startup ideas
  2. Put down viable concepts and systematize them
  3. Offer entrepreneurs lists of ideas that match their expertise

Some individuals might be looking for startups to invest in. It would be great if you could not only compile a list of companies that require financial support but also put down their terms of investor relations.

Product creation

Make one step further from collecting other people’s ideas — you can implement them yourself instead of letting someone build a top-notch product. By following the first two steps in the previous paragraph, you will be able to identify the ideas that generate the highest demand. As the products are ready, use Reddit’s sponsored adverts and banner links to inform the community about their existence.

Niche research services

When entrepreneurs want to invest in a business or launch it, they need exhaustive information about the niche of their choice. You’ll help them get the necessary data, including the latest industry signals.

Selling used items 

The first approach to this business idea is fairly simple:

  1. Buy used items cheaply
  2. Find new owners for them on Reddit
  3. Resell these items at a profit

The second approach is to act as a middleman, putting vendors in touch with clients.

Selling arts and crafts

Reddit is a superb platform for selling handmade goods, such as jewelry, flower pots, home decorations, or knitted accessories. People avoid buying such items from mass-market shops because they want their objects to be unique.

Group buying services

Some vendors provide lucrative discounts to group buyers. On Reddit, you can form groups of consumers to place a large order and reduce the product’s price. You may get your commission either from the vendor, or your customers, or both.

Selling online courses

On Reddit, it’s easy to find an audience for nearly any type of online courses, be it fitness, foreign languages, or playing musical instruments. To get started, you’ll need to prove that you’re a true professional in this sphere. Apart from diplomas, licenses, and certificates, it would be great to show your recommendations and positive comments from your previous customers.

Advisor services 

You may specialize in any area where you have proficiency, be it credits, travel, or sales and marketing. Your clients will be asking you questions and you’ll need to answer them. Compared to online courses, your goal here is not to share all your knowledge with your customers. Instead, you only need to fix their pain points that will be defined during your session. 

Lead generation services

If you have lead lists for certain goods or services, you can sell them to other businesses. Plus, you may generate new leads using various tools and platforms. Reddit has many business communities where you can find new contacts and, hopefully, bring in customers.

By the way, if you want to learn more about leadgen business, check this article — we asked our team member to share her invaluable expertise. 

Services for locals

Reddit will help you find clients for offline services in your area — to do that, just publish a promo post on a subreddit of your city. This way, you can find customers for massage therapy, beauty services, hair styling, fitness coaching, babysitting, cleaning, repair, etc. 

Programming services

If you’re a freelancer programmer, let Reddit users know that you can create mobile apps, plugins, and custom software. As always, use thematic communities (i.e. startup subreddits) to find your potential customers. Be ready to show your portfolio.

Web design

Again, Reddit is full of professionals who build their presence online and need to stand out from the crowd. If you are a web designer, post your portfolio on an appropriate subreddit and make it clear that you’re open for new orders. 

Apart from company owners, ecommerce websites, and bloggers, marketers can become a large segment of your customers.

Website appraisal services

Use Reddit to find entrepreneurs who want to know if their website funnel is as efficient as it can get. Website owners and bloggers will appreciate it if you tell them whether they need to improve any of these elements:

  • Code
  • SEO components
  • Text content and visuals
  • Checkout process
  • Mobile pages
  • Design and branding
  • Product range
  • UI/UX

Create a template that you’ll use to assess all websites, regardless of their niche and level of complexity. Develop a scale that you’ll apply to each page of the website. Share checklists with your clients so that they understand step-by-step what they need to upgrade.

Building a membership website

The term “membership” means that people are required to purchase a subscription to access your website’s content. This content should be highly valuable for consumers. For instance, it can be exclusive analytics from a certain industry that you update twice per month. 

Establish yourself as an industry expert on Reddit. Drive traffic to your website but don’t leave Reddit completely even when you begin to make a substantial profit on the subscription. Use this social platform to systematically remind people about yourself and expand your audience. 

Final thoughts

The business concepts that we listed in this article can come in handy for people who have expertise in such diverse niches as marketing, IT, massage, copywriting, Forex trading, and many others. These startup ideas help Reddit users launch profitable companies and minimize their customer acquisition spend.

This social platform is a great place for discovering customer pain points, coming up with solutions to solve them, and validating these products. Once you’ve launched a business, you can promote it on Reddit and target potential consumers.

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