Published on March 5, 2021 in Developing Products Customers Love.
Once you've come upon an idea for your business, a product, or a service, the next step is to do very fast, light-weight testing.
Here are links and resources mentioned in today's video. Enjoy!
I'm very timid about product development. Our natural response after we come upon a "magical big idea" is to get all excited and really go after it. But we have to hold back for just a bit. We've gotta validate our idea as best we can. We've got to confirm, using any methods available to us, that our idea has merit. Once we've done that, THEN we can really let loose and develop it into a market ready product or service.
So at first, I really want to go slowly and thoroughly and validate my idea before I go too far with it. I'm very, very cautious...like a skittish cat.
First of course, you've gotta know who your target audience is specifically. Is it people who hate their day jobs who are thinking of starting an online business? Is it people who've already decided to start? Is it people who have started and are struggling to grow?
The next thing I'd do is find out if there are any existing products or services that target this audience. What are they offering? What's their pricing like? What sub-markets is are existing products ignoring? And, how can existing products be improved upon?
Your research will begin helping you to validate that your idea actually has legs...and it helps you begin developing your product, too. Next, get creative. See if you can actually attract some attention for your idea. In The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss uses the example of using ads to attract traffic to landing pages and sign up pages. That's still a valid method, although you'll have to spend some money to do this.
Or how about this: Write an article or a series of articles that targets your audience that you can rank for that solves a pain for them. So say something like, "10 Easy Business Ideas That'll Set You Free From The 9-5 Grind" or "I Felt Stuck In My 9-5 Grind...Until I Built A Business Around This Simple Idea"
Post the article in relevant forums and subreddits; email it out to your list. Stick an opt-in form at the bottom of the article to collect email addresses -- this allows you to measure interest. Are people engaging? Are you getting good traffic and opt-ins? Or are you getting crickets?
Beware of false validation. Someone saying, "Yeah that sounds interesting" is no good. The only way to truly validate is either 1) They give you their email address, 2) They give you permission to follow up with them ("Tell me when your product's ready!"), or best of all 3) They give you money in advance in the form of a pre-sale.
So again, what we want to do before we go too far is to validate our idea as best we can. And if we're getting green lights, then and only then do we move on to building something that's market ready.