In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the 3 core steps of your validation process, along with the need to ensure you’re solving the right problem, at the right time, with the right solution.
Solving the right problem, at the right time, with the right solution
So now that we know our 3 pillars, and our 3 steps, how can we tie all this knowledge together and turn that into an actionable validation process? Here is what you need to do to work through the steps and motions of validating your new product or app idea.
Find ways to connect with your target audience to conduct market research
Once you’ve identified your target market, it’s time to connect with these people and start asking them questions. You want to ask them about their problems, and see if they feel your solution is the right solution for their existing problem. When soliciting feedback, ensure you’re asking people who truly fit your buyer persona. Don’t rely on advice from family and friends, as they’re going to be naturally biased toward a positive review.
But where do you start? If you have an existing business or audience, that’s your obvious answer. Even if they don’t perfectly match your new product idea, they are existing customers who trust you and will have major insight. You also have an existing line of communication with them, making it easy to reach out to conduct surveys and interviews.
But what happens when you are just starting out with no customers, and an idea that hasn’t been done before? When there’s no pre-defined market you can go after for your research, it’s time to get creative.
One way to find these people is through a landing page of your MVP.
This may sound overly simple, but the effectiveness of this tactic is huge — plus, it’s been proven to work for companies like Buffer and Dropbox.
The idea here is simple: slap up a landing page online to see if people are interested in using your app or new product. If you’re looking to gauge interest, there’s no easier way to do it than to just put it out there, show people how it works, and see if you get any traction.
Steps to building a landing page:
- Do it through something easy like Wordpress, Squarespace or LeadPages
- Do your keyword research to find out how people are searching for solutions and incorporate this into the domain you purchase as well
- Create content and copy that uses the keywords you know people are using to demonstrate you know what their problem is, and that you have a solution for it
- Include an opt-in to collect people’s email addresses
- Start posting your page out to your social media followers, email contacts, and ask your friends and family to do the same
It really can be that simple. And, if no one registers, it’s a clear indication that you’re missing the mark and need to reassess. Do not ignore this feedback. Rework and try this process again until you start getting traction.
But, if people start signing up for your newsletter and giving you their contact information on your first try, you are now officially building out your target audience. These people are raising their hands to show you they are interested in your solution and want more information.
But, don’t get too excited and stop there — interest does not equal purchase, so ensure you continue this process and start engaging with every single person who registers. Use this opportunity to conduct your own market research with people that have self-identified as your target market to seek out the product and idea validation you need.
Include your new audience in your MVP process, and use their feedback to help shape the final or beta version of your product. Nothing is more valuable than your ideal customers telling you exactly what they need out of your product.
In Part 3 of this series, we’re going to explore this idea further and provide some tips and suggestions on how to make the most of the opportunity to conduct research from those people who’ve identified themselves as early adopters of your idea.