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What to do when you aren’t 100% sure if your audience will like your new idea

how-to-test-your-product-idea

This is a reader question that I get a lot, in some shape or form.

Launching can be scary.

And out of all the scariest things you can think about while launching, this is by-far the most common fear…

“What if nobody buys my thing?”

Regardless of how confident you feel about your offer, this thought will probably still creep into your mind at some point. In fact if it doesn’t you need to let us all in on your secret!

The good news is that I’ve got an easy solution to help silence it a bit.

And a solution that actually makes it a lot easier to create your new product.

There are four ways you can make sure that people want + need what you’re going to be offering them.

 

1. Start with free

You can start by giving away a sample of your larger product for free.

For example: Death to Stock started their adventure by giving away free photo packs every month. Eventually, after they had a whole list of people who had signed up for the free ones, they decided to create a premium membership for the people who wanted more.

How to apply this to your business:

Step 1: Create an opt-in freebie that is directly related to your bigger product idea. Ask yourself: “what value can I give away first, at no cost to my community, in order to show them that I’m the real deal and can definitely help them?”. This could be an eBook, a 5-day email challenge, videos or something else.

Step 2: Promote it.

Step 3: Collect feedback. Once people are done with the free version of your offering, see if they’d be interested in giving you feedback on what else they need help with.

Step 4: Use their feedback + solve their problem. Take what they’ve told you and tell them how your bigger idea can give them major results.

 

2. Start small

When Elise and Scott from Hey, Sweet Pea decided to stop working 1-on-1 with clients and create more leveraged income streams that allowed them to live a more flexible life, they started with very small workshops. At first, these workshops only enrolled a few people at a time (they admitted to even having to cancel a couple of them because of low enrollments), but over the course of continuing to run them, they quickly started selling out each one.

Because these were such small workshops that were taught live, they were very little risk to launch. If not enough people enrolled, they cancelled that workshop and would launch it again later to try an get more enrollments.

These smaller workshops eventually morphed into their larger online course, My Own Irresistible Brand, which is now a huge success.

How to apply this to your business:

Step 1: Create a smaller version of your bigger idea. This could be in the form of a small eBook, small group workshops, 1-on-1 offering, or something else.

Step 2: Promote it to your existing audience and new audiences that are aligned with the product/service. You want to give it some effort so you can get a solid read on if this is something to pursue moving ahead.

Step 3: Collect feedback. If people purchase the smaller version of what you’re offering, collect feedback from them on what else you could help them do.

Step 4: Use their feedback + solve their problem. Take what they’ve told you and create your bigger idea that can give them even bigger results.

 

3. Run a beta version of your idea

Similar to starting small, you could also run a beta version of your bigger idea.

Running a beta version kinda takes the pressure off of making everything perfect and lets you create on the fly if you are so inclined. The members are aware they’re a part of the beta version and are there to consume the content and provide feedback so you can make the product even better. In exchange, they get a lower price on the content or an extra bonus.

This enables you to test your idea with a smaller group of people and tweak it based on their feedback. You also get some great testimonials to put on your sales page for social proof for when you’re ready to launch it to the world.

How to apply this to your business:

Step 1: Decide if you want to create the beta version of your content before you launch or after. If you create it before you launch, don’t worry about having it perfect. If you wait to create the content until after you launch, you are able to make sure people sign up before you put a lot of time into creating anything. You can also use the live beta group to give you suggestions and feedback as you’re creating the content.

Step 2: Launch it. Do what you can to fill up your beta so you can get lots of real-life feedback.

Step 3: Test + tweak. If people sign up for the beta version, there’s a good chance they’ll sign up for the larger program. Remember: most of your customers won’t sign up during the first round of your course, but they will sign up during the second, third or fourth once you have social proof and they see that the content is working for other people.

Step 4: Launch again.

 

4. Put up a landing page

Putting up a landing page to see who may be interested in what you’re creating is a great way to test your idea before you create or launch it.

Just because they opt-in doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll buy, but you do get direct access to people who can give you suggestions for what you’re going to create.

The way I did this for my Irresistible Sales Pages landing page was ask subscribers to fill out a 3 question survey for a chance to win a free spot in the course. To thank them, I also gave them everyone free exclusive tips for designing their own sales pages.

How to apply this to your business:

Step 1: Create a landing page for your idea.

Step 2: Promote it.

Step 3: Collect feedback. When people opt-in, use this opportunity to get inside their heads. Have them answer a specific question like “What is your #1 struggle when it comes to ________ (your topic)?” or ask them to fill out a short survey. I always try to follow the “give, give, get” rule so for every ask you make of them, make sure you’re giving double the amount in return.

Step 4: To create or not to create? If you’ve done your job promoting the landing page and still don’t have enough people who seem interested in your idea, it might be a good idea to scrap it. If you DO get enough people who seem interested, use their feedback and create your product!

 

What do you think?

Do you have any other ideas on how to test your idea before creating and launching?

Have you tried one of the above and have a success story? I’d love to hear it. Share it with us in the comments below!

 

P.S. I just updated the Digital Product Rolodex so you can now get the full PDF version AND online bookmark-able version. Sign up here to get it for free!
  • Kristine

    Can you say more about collecting feedback and using their feedback? Can you provide some examples of how you (or others) have done that? Thanks!

    • Amanda Genther

      New blog post idea, @disqus_y2x0Tlhede:disqus :)

  • I love these ideas Amanda! I’ll have to apply these to some of the new products I’m planning :)

    • Amanda Genther

      Awesome to hear, @noraconrad:disqus!

  • This is such a fantastic post Amanda. Seriously has been so so helpful and timely for me. I think you could make that one post a free opt-in pdf. Seriously valuable.
    Thank you!
    Alexandria

    • Amanda Genther

      Great to hear, @disqus_KjgFm3cO5B:disqus! Glad it’s helping.

      Are you referring to the 3 landing pages blog post? That one was a huge hit!

      • I’m referring to this post – about what to do if you’re not sure your clients will like your idea. It is awesome :)