How to launch your minimum viable product.
First we clarify your minimum viable product (MVP) is the working model or prototype of your product or service that can be used by people you invite/allow to access it. You’re not going for random strangers on the other side of the world yet.
Please DON’T SLEEP ON THE LAUNCH OF YOUR MVP if you want to be the MVP.
The biggest mistake you could make when launching your business is planning for launch day. Launch day isn’t a 24-hour cycle, its an attitude, it’s a season.
In this post we’re talking about how you can get that attitude in your business and build the muscles to flex for the foreseeable future.
Things you should have done already:
- Built your business foundation
- Run a pilot – concept, branding, logistics and customer service
- Designed the perfect revenue model
We’ve got a framework to help you run a stellar pilot that will set your MVP up for the WIN.
Once that’s done you’re in a good place to start thinking about how to launch your MVP.
THE KEY TO LAUNCHING
Understand that it’s a continuous effort to introduce and reintroduce your product or service to individuals until they become loyal to your brand.
You’re doing what it takes to approach the same group of people in different ways so that you find the most effective method to get them on your side.
This is the MVP so we’re not heading out into the wider world with newspapers and press, yet. We’ll work on that later. In the first year of your business, you should be focused on building your brand and your connection to your ideal customer.
You should be selling to friends, family, colleagues, neighbours, and other people in your primary or secondary social circle, but the focus here is to use them as a springboard to connect with the people that you really created this business for.
I spoke at an event a couple of weeks ago and I got a question that fits the subject. A woman lost her customers. What do you do when your family stop buying from you? You get a reality check.
Understand this. When your family and friends buy from you, it for one of two reasons, they like you or they like your product.
If its because they like you, they’ll eventually stop wasting their money on a product they hate. If its because they like your product, they might fit your ideal customer profile, and that’s a good thing.
If they like your product and you’ve done the work to match your product, packaging, revenue model etc. to your ideal customer, you’ve just found the springboard you need to help you launch your MVP.
So this is the answer I gave – look at your inner circle and find the people that fit the majority of your ideal profile characteristics. Then, sell directly to them.
Each time you launch your product you’re trying to get your business closer to the 1-year goal you set for it at the end of your pilot phase. Each launch should be better than the last, get you more customers than the last and solidify your brand more than the last.
If your business can logically handle an influx of 1200 customers over a 1-year period, every month you should be launching your business, renewing your strategies so that you’re getting closer and closer to achieving an average of 100 new customers each month.
Every month you run a new launch tactic you should be adding 100 people that fit your ideal customer profile that are ready to promote your business on your behalf without you pushing them to do it.
Here are SIX ways you can do that in the next 365 days.
ONE - COMMUNITY BOOSTING EVENTS
This is the easiest way to create that list. If you run one community boosting event every quarter, you’re creating buzz around your product, inviting your community on the journey of your service and encouraging them to take ownership of the trajectory of your business.
Make sure you’re creating a pathway throughout all of your events to take your IRL attendees and turning them into URL customers. Your business lives in digital AND physical space. Having your customers engaged and active in both arenas is super important for the actual and perceived power of your brand.
Your goal is to turn the people that attend your events, into ride or die fans – true guerrilla style early adopters.
TWO - REVAMP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
You need to know how to woo your ideal customer if you’re going to get them on your side and fighting for your business to succeed.
Every month, you should have a strategy for what you want to achieve on all your social media channels. Remember that every social media has its own flavour and audience. Respect the channel when you’re posting on it.
When you see how your ideal customers are reacting to what you’re posting, change it up and make it better. Every month should be a progression towards greatness. You need to be in the pocket of what your ideal customer is looking for.
THREE – RE-PACKAGE YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE
If something stays the same for too long, people start ignoring it. If you’re going to turn your customers into true guerrilla style early adopters, you have to keep their attention laser focused on your business at all times (without causing whiplash).
Change it up. Your ideal customer should still feel like your product or service is for them, it might just look at a different aspect of the person you know they are.
Change it up a little. Re-design your website homepage to make it more interesting. Change the way you describe your products if you need to. You’re not changing what you do or how you do it. You’re just changing the expression of it.
FOUR – INTRODUCE A NEW CHANNEL
There are more social media and new media channels out there than I can count and each of them have their audience. Have a look at what your audience is doing. Which channels do you need to add that you’re not utilising.
Reddit, is a scary place, but once you know how to make it work for your business, it is also a great way to get early adopter on board. Reddit users are always looking for the next big thing.
Quora is also great way to get people interested in what you do – especially if what you do is technical. Go answer a few questions and get some clients on the way.
Pinterest isn’t just for beauty bloggers – the biggest misconception of the social media age in my opinion. All you need is the right pin and the right pin influencer to catch it before your business blows up. Pinterest is great is you do anything design motivated – literally anything at all.
FIVE – GET IN WITH THE CULTURE
What topics are your ideal customers interested in discussing. If they’re into sports and you’re a financial consultant, write a blog post about the latest sport star dealing with tax issues. If they’re into Star Wars, write about the bad audience reviews for the Last Jedi are going to affect George Lucas’ pocket book.
You might be a purist, but don’t consider this watering down your content. It’s a great way to get your ideal customer interested in what you do, without making it a chore to get involved in what you’re about. If you organise the promotion of your product or service in 3 prongs (your sales pitch, their aspirations/hobbies and their background), you’re more likely to get them engaging with you.
SIX – GET YOURSELF A SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT
This is a great way to get your face an expertise in front of people who fit your ideal customer profile, without doing any of the work of actually hosting the event. Massive plus if you agree with the organisers before hand to get the email list of everyone that attended the event.
Send them a promo code or a free consultation and you’re on your way to converting them into serious early adopter guerrilla style customers.
The key thing to consider here is the communities and events your going to approach and the content you’re bringing to it. We have our build better masterclasses and those topics are based on work we’ve done with over 1200 individuals. We know what the pain pints are, so we know that the communities we approach to let us speak at their events are going to be interested in what we’ve got to offer.
Just like that you’ve got 6 different ways you can launch your business to a new group of people every month. The key to making it work and getting the engagement you need from your ideal customer is to keep tweaking it.
Remember you’re not changing the amount of water in the sea, you’re just changing the current of the wave. No big deal. Just a couple of tweaks here and there until you’re in a stellar place.
When you’ve created a stellar business, and you’ve got a group of people that are ready to do anything it takes to boost your business AND you’ve kept up the momentum for a year, THAT’S when you start talking about rocket launching. You’ve set up the base, now let’s kick it into high gear.
That’s all folks.