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We’re on Part 2 of a seven-part series on how to validate, create, market, and launch a product.
Today’s episode is focused on validation. You want to make a product, but what good is it if no one buys? Not that good.
You may assume that if you make a product you want, there’s other people who will want it too. This is possible. But you’re still guessing. You’re still hoping.
Validating Your Product Idea
I personally don’t like to invest months of my time on guesses and hope. I’d rather spend the bulk of my time up front validating an idea and making sure people are interested before I invest a ton of time creating the product.
What About Pre-Orders?
Let me first start by saying that the only way you can be absolutely certain that someone will buy your product is to have a payment from them.
People telling you they’ll buy your product is one thing, but you don’t really know until you ask them to pull out their credit card.
Pre-orders are one way to do this. After you’ve told someone about your product and they act interested, simply say that you can take their payment right now in advance and see how they respond.
Typically, that’s where they’ll balk. They were never really serious. This is the problem with simply asking people if they’ll buy something. The response is far from a guarantee.
Asking Without Asking
You can guess at what people will buy and you can make something you want and hope others want it too, but I prefer to source the idea straight from the mouth of the customer.
What you can’t do is simply ask people point blank, “What product will you buy?” This will never work. They have to be the ones to tell you of their own volition. How in the world do you get people to do this? That’s where lead magnets come in.
What’s a Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is a free gift you give people in exchange for them signing up for your email list.
In Parts 5 and 6 of this series, we’ll be talking more about the importance of getting people on your email list, but for now, the main reason is because you want to open up the conversation.
Of course, for your product launch to be sustainable, you’re probably going to need a sizable amount of sales (unless you’re selling a very high-ticket item). This means you essentially need to have dozens, if not hundreds, of conversations. That’s very difficult to do one at a time, but there’s a way to automate this.
I’m going to tell you about the magic question that solves and automates this for you in just a second but first, let’s talk about what an effective lead magnet looks like.
Defining an Effective Lead Magnet
Don’t get overwhelmed when thinking about creating a lead magnet. This doesn’t have to be anything crazy, it just needs to be relevant. It can be as simple as a targeted resource or guide. Some examples of lead magnets I’ve created:
- 7 Value-Discovering Questions to Ask Your Client
- 3 of My Best Recordings on Marketing
- 10-Step Introductory Lettering Guide
- 30-Day Email Course
A lead magnet can be very simple. It can be as basic as taking something you’ve written in a blog post before and turning it into a PDF. It can be a list of resources or a software guide. It can be an email course or a curated list of links.
The most important thing about a lead magnet is that it’s relevant. Your lead magnet absolutely cannot be unrelated to the product you’re launching. That’s the only requirement.
The Lead Magnet Defines the Prospect
Something else that’s very important to keep in mind is that lead magnet you use is going to attract a certain kind of person. You want to be mindful of this when you are creating your resource.
Who is this product for? The lead magnet should be the first step of the buyer’s journey. You’re basically giving them the first step for free.
By making sure the lead magnet is related to your product, you know that the people who sign up are qualified prospects. This will improve your conversion rates when it comes time to launch.
The Magic “Struggle” Question
I mentioned earlier that I’d share the magic question that will automate the validation process for you. When someone signs up to your email list and receives their lead magnet, in this same email, you also want to ask them one question:
What is your biggest struggle when it comes to [X]?
So when someone signs up to your email list, you deliver on your promised lead magnet, but you also ask this question.
This is where the magic happens. You’re going to start getting responses. You’re going to start getting a ton of responses.
You’ll amass this archive of questions from people writing you with their biggest struggles. This is where you source your material from. What you create should be in direct response to these questions.
People are telling you exactly what their most pressing problems are. You just have to dig into these responses and find the common themes.
What things are the greatest number of people struggling with? What is the most common problem? That is your starting point. You now know that you’re solving an actual problem real people have.
Next to swiping someone’s credit card and taking a payment, this is one of the very best methods of validation you can get.
Create Content in Response to the Struggles
Later in Part 5 of this series, we’ll be talking about creating content that markets your launch. These responses help you validate your product idea, but they also tell you exactly what to write about.
When each of your articles and videos are written in response to these questions people have sent in, they are going to feel like you’re reading their mind with your content.
This makes them feel heard and understood, which increases their confidence that your product will address their concerns and solve their problem. When you have a product that solves a real problem for people who are confident in your ability to deliver, people will pay for it.