[dropcap type=”1″]A[/dropcap] few years ago when I was starting up, I had amazing ideas that I thought were gonna make me hundreds of millions of dollars.
Most of them failed to generate anything whatsoever.
A painful lesson I learned after those failures was that if no one has ever done something like that, don’t do it.
However, there are exceptions to this.
Let’s say if you got a new innovative design for sleeping masks.
That will work, why?
Because sleeping masks are already selling and you got something unique about yours that would help you stand out.
But when it comes to “inventing” something, that could be a tricky move.
The point it, when you’re starting up, try to go with something tested and proven.
Which means: People are looking for it and have that problem for which you’re offering a solution
AND ARE WILLING TO PAY FOR IT.
Which leads us into:
STEP 1: THE DATA MINING MAD SCIENTIST METHOD
It’s super simple. (I know It’s super simple. (I know it’s a weird bullet point lol)
Now you may not wanna start with google as you can use research tool to gather similar data for keywords etc.
- A. Look at what exactly your target audience is searching for, what is it they are typing and who is bidding for those keywords.
- B. Call the people who are bidding, asking about their products.
Use SEMrush to gather data about this. You can start with a trial version. You can also use Google keyword tool for this.
Now, make a list of all your competitors and run their sites on Similarweb (the free version).
See where they are getting their referral traffic from, what are those sites? Who is the target audience of those sites?
Now make the list of your main competitors and the sites sending traffic to them. Then run it via Quantcast to get a profile on their audience.
LOOK FOR PATTERNS!
Now that you have your audience and some interest groups, it’s time to create a two-step landing page. You can use unbounce for that.
Step 1 should be “Enter your phone and email to proceed to step 2”
And Step 2 should be: A sales page for your competitor’s product. It should be something cheap, not high ticket.
Put your affiliate link on it, so you can get paid as well in this process and track the sales.
Now, the target audiences you’ll be using in your Facebook and google ad campaigns are the ones you compiled using the strategy mentioned above.
Which platform to choose for your audience validation test:
- Adwords -> if they are actively searching for it. (like, typing stuff on google)
- Facebook -> If they are NOT actively searching for it, but the problem is valid in the market and you can hit their pain points using headlines, video etc
- Yahoo/Bing Ads -> Old people
- Twitter -> If the audience is young (facebook alternative)
- Email drops -> if your thing is super highly targeted towards a specific group (though I usually reserve this step for later)
Let’s say you’re using Facebook, and you should, it’s super simple to start with…
IMPORTANT EDIT: My Traffic and lead gen chief told me: “with adwords, landing page and affiliate link can get people and their domains banned permanently. Adwords doesn’t like affiliates. They have a ton of extra compliance guidelines for affiliates. This 2 step landing page would most likely get rejected on their platform. Google doesn’t allow gateway, bridge way or any kind of intermediary pages with low-quality content…”
RECOMMENDATION: Stick to facebook for this test.
Now, if you’re using Facebook, start with CPC cause Facebook doesn’t have much data to do proper CPM optimization for your ad or offer.
Your image is extremely important and your ad should be a question and must be congruent with your landing page.
READ THEIR TERMS OF SERVICE BEFORE YOU PLACE ORDER FOR YOUR ADS!
You should start getting some clicks to your landing page.
See how many people are opting in and how many are buying.
STEP 2: THE INTERROGATION METHOD
Remember you captured their contact into in the two-step landing page?
Now we will use that to talk to a few of your ideal prospect!
Those who bought the product, send them the following email:
Subj: Hey Name
Thanks for buying _______!
Listen I’m doing some research on _______. It’s my next project.
Here is the idea I have about __________ and it solves __________ by doing ________.
It’s been really stressful as I’m obsessed with this for quite some time working with a lot of guesswork and just googling things out.
If you could hop on call or reply and help me out by answering a few questions I would be extremely grateful!
P.S. – I promise I won’t pitch you anything 🙂
This is the magic email, it works really well, at least for me.
However, if you can find someway to shorten it a bit, then do that cause last thing we wanna sell is a long email.
Now when you get a few responses, ask them specifics about their problem, how they solve it right now etc.
So let’s recap
- We have narrowed down the audience
- Validated the market using step 1
- Interviewed the best possible candidate to nail down their problem
Now the next step is EXTREMELY CRITICAL
And this step, could prevent you from burning out later on.
Okay so check this out:
1. How do you know if your idea for a SaaS app or any product would be scalable?
See, just because you got the first two steps validated, doesn’t mean you will succeed in the long run.
You may end up needing some funds or capital which you might have to raise and we know that is extremely hard.
You wanna make sure that your solution is something you can bootstrap.
We at Zielix Incubator show businesses how to bootstrap using a weird sales process but it works given that all the steps mentioned in this guide are properly executed.
2. Is your solution B2B or B2C?
Both will require separate exercises.
Thankfully I got a formula for the b2b audience. Which is used by eFounders. It’s a little bit complex, but it will make sense if you brainstorm on it a bit.
And for B2C???
I’ll give it to you for free in a moment.
STEP 3: ATTEST THE ASCENSION
Now here, you really wanna make sure that you can grow this idea into a stable business.
What are the characteristics of a stable business?
Multiple sources of leads – let’s say you’re getting 70% of your leads from Facebook, what if they shut you down? or they changed their terms? You’re almost out of business.
=> A stable business has multiple sources of leads.
=> High-value USP – You’ll end up in all sorts of trouble without proper positioning
=> Growth potential – this will determine if you’re scalable or not
=> Margins – if your margins are tight, you won’t be able to afford buying targeted ads, and without them, the business will struggle.
So how do you attest that your idea can lead itself into a stable business?
There are a lot of factors involved, however, I’ve tried my best to simplify this whole thing and put together a kit which you can have for free by clicking here.
In this kit, you’ll get 3 exercises, these exercises will help you:
- Generate A USP And Validate Your Idea
- Generate a Pitch You Can Use To Find Partners Or Investors
- A Special Formula For B2B Idea Validation
- What To Do After Your Idea Has Been Validated