How To Test Product & Service Ideas Faster (instruction and motivation)

how do you get over the administration and organizational hump of implementing faster when you want to test an idea and launch something? this is what it looks like for me in my own circumstance right now, how can you re-produce for your business situation?

this is an introspective look

unless you have no idea if your idea can sell, the first real problem for services and products is putting up a sales page to gauge REAL interest, regardless of what is built or isn’t. challenge your assumptions and test with a sales or pitch page as soon as possible, some sort of capture page. people so often miss this with their ideas. your thoughts on your idea are not important, others thoughts on your idea are important.

note: you should have a tingly feeling that you know existing users/clients already want this thing, and could pay for it. for the sake of jump starting action, if you haven’t done some preliminary google searching, and have ZERO current contacts/tribe to test with, that’s OK, you’ll just have to pay for some initial traffic after you have a sales page, or do some hunting with friends and colleagues for feedback.

what’s “in the way” of getting this sales page up?

  • the fake cloud of, there’s too much to do
  • the applications i think i need to have to get it done
  • the knowledge i don’t have
  • the procrastination
  • the coffee (don’t you always feel like, oh i’ll start this after i get another cup?)

what to do to get over it

have a short long conversation with yourself about how much you’re making excuses and get over the fact you haven’t done whatever else it is you think you need to do to validate your idea. it doesn’t matter, you don’t need those things, press on.

then…

  1. create wordpress page or use www.unbounce.com to create a page, the one that is going to be the sales page, then make it a bookmark. put bookmark on desktop or somewhere prominent.
  2. put big bold headers on page, some text, some images, make it a folder in your dropbox folder structure or similar to collect resources in.
  3. create a signup form for it, or if possible, a direct buy now button. use a wordpress plugin, or panda forms, or a newsletter sign up box. make it time sensitive, space limited, and offer an incentive because, after all, you’re just seeing if this thing is worth getting off the ground.
  4. shop it around, send it to your list, go on some forums, blast it out on Facebook, GET FEEDBACK, quantify interest and determine if it’s worth pursuing or re-working the salespage.

based on how easy it is to actually create, or deliver on the product, THEN start doing so, start implementing, building your blog posts around it, your supplemental content, you already have your first sales waiting in the basket, OR you know you can throw that idea in the trash and you still have a sense of accomplishment. both are wins.

from experience

i’ve done this with my now current business focus, wordpress backup and maintenance which has gone from idea, to over 15 sales in the last 2 weeks. it was a hidden landing page, up in a weeks time at the bet of $100 if i didn’t finish it with a friend (as posted on twitter). i put it out on forums, to current clients, and followers. now that it’s proved itself, i’m cleaning up the subscription process, marketing, talking more about it and so on. it has legs now, and that’s the point.

now it’s alive to play with, improve, automate, “become my one thing”, overwhelm me, line my pockets, talk about at parties, go stale, turn into something more….it doesn’t matter what it does right now, the point is it was tested quickly and can be learned from. experiences like these are so building, they carry forward. they open up the world of products built to improve your business for actual application instead of distraction, for random example, creating product art, with something like this … Box Shot King (affiliate link)

A tip after bantering back and forth with @claycollins this week. Once you do find an idea that works, and you master that product idea…commit to it, and focus on it to increase sales, and better business. Do the same with a conversion method and with a traffic source. You are not a Target super store, don’t appeal to everyone.

If it’s one thing I learn over and over in 2011, it’s to have one product (at least at a time), one audience (a particular one) convert them using one method, and get them from one traffic source. Start as focused as possible, and stay there until it’s unquestionable that changing will achieve your goals faster (must be measurable).

 

Merry Christmas! Keep hustling, always here to help and share!

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