Early adopter is a concept within the sociological model of Technology Adoption Curve that aims to describe how prone different segments of the population are towards embracing a new technology. It helps us to understand that when we introduce new technology to the market, for every technology there will only be a subsegment of that population that will be inclined to test it, while others will wait for technology to mature.
Early adopter is an archetypical early customer of a product or a technology. We consider them to be comfortable with a level of risk that new technology inevitably introduces, while still paying the premium price for it, because their overall curiosity and passion for novelty in the technological space is the key driver for their purchasing decision. As such, early adopters are considered thought leaders in their field. They are influential in their space and active on social where they create reviews and voice their opinion.
Early adopters are very important for early-stage companies because they are the ones that get to test and improve a product before it is released and available to the large masses, but also attract new users by recommending the product. Their feedback is valuable as it allows a company to develop and implement the necessary changes before they reach a wider audience.
There are many ways in which you can find and attract early adopters. Just make sure that you define your ideal early adopter first as it will bring clarity into who it is you are looking for.
Direct connections, social media influencers, networking sites are a good place to start.
The most effective discovery channel is customer interviews. Customer interviews are a great way to find out whether there is a big enough problem your product is trying to solve or if the solution to the product already exists and the early adopter is already successfully using it.
To attract your early adopters, offer them a free trial as the try-before-you-buy approach will help you build trust and spread the word about your company.