Presented by Submit Your Story Back

John Mardlin, Bitcoin Deals

How I got my first 3 customers and the steps for you to do the same.

John Mardlin

Bitcoin Deals

In April 2013, I was visiting San Francisco when everyone was going bitcoin crazy. I could see that people were really enthusiastic about this new "magic internet money", and that they got really excited about new businesses accepting Bitcoin.

My idea was to start the first "Bitcoin only group buying" service, yes, kind of like App Sumo for bitcoiners. Having seen how crazy Bitcoin users are about getting new places to spend bitcoin, it seemed like this could quickly open the door for lots of new companies to accept bitcoin.

I'm not great at coding, but it was easy enough to buy a nice landing page theme, and put up a one page website outlining my value proposition.

I then posted my site where I knew the true believers were: reddit.com/r/bitcoin. Reddit is amazing for finding really targeted customer segments BTW.

I had about 50 people sign up for my mailing list that day, and after posting a few more blog posts on Reddit, I was up to 150.

After having all these people waiting for something to buy, I approached a company that made t-shirts with bitcoin designs and slogans (what up Shirtoshi!). They were into it, since I already had a bunch of people that were interested.

So I created a really simple sales page for the t-shirts, and added a checkout button. For Bitcoin, you can use Coinbase or Bitpay, they make it really easy, and the fees are really low.

T-shirts were the perfect first deal, since it appealed directly to my audience, and it was affordable, so that lots of people could participate and have a good experience. We sold 91 shirts that day, and I got $2 from each one.

That gave me enough validation to keep going, since then, some deals have been better than others, but I learn as I go, and slowly but surely, more customers sign up everyday.

The Tip

To whet your beak

Go for the true believers for your first customers. If they're not into it, no one will be. Then build from there.

Want all the tips?

We've put together a PDF for you to download with the lessons learned by everyone featured on this site.

Produced by

Start a Business

We'll teach you how

We created software to help you get your first dollar and beyond.

Learn More