Amir Khella, Unternehmer/Designer/Berater, beschäftigt sich mit Startups. Interessant finde ich seinen Ansatz, zuerst ein Publikum aufzubauen und dann erst ein Produkt zu bauen. Anbei sein Newsletter.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to launch your new product, and have people line up to buy it and pay you for all the time and effort you’ve invested upfront into creating it?
And wouldn’t it be amazing to have certainty and predictability that your product WILL succeed, before you even start creating it?
But we both know that reality is much different: most product launches fail, and many that succeed in launching and generating initial traction still end up failing later.
Why do you think that is?
Well, it turns out that many entrepreneurs are approaching this the wrong way: first they create a product, then they try to find customers for it.
So what if I told you that the best way is the exact opposite?
What if the best way to launch profitable products with certainty and predictability, is to first have an audience, then create a product for them?
Notice that I used the term «audience», and not «customers».
Your audience is simply a group of people who «can’t wait to hear from you» on a regular basis.
They are those people you’ve invested the time to build a strong relationship with, and to provide great value to, without asking for anything in return.
Your audience knows you, trusts you, and owes you.
They know you well enough to tell you about their daily lives and painful problems, hence giving you insights into what to create for them that they will most likely buy.
They trust you because you’ve consistently shown them that you have answers for their questions.
And they owe you because you’ve given them so much, and they feel almost obligated to compensate you for your time and effort, when you finally have a product to sell them.
Having that kind of audience is the best way to guarantee that you’re building the right product, and that you know that enough people will buy it when it’s ready.
And the best time to have that audience is long before you have any product ideas, or anything to sell them!
Why is that?
Because building that kind of audience takes time and patience.
It’s a long exercise in delaying gratification, in favor of your audience’s instant gratification, because you will be giving them so much value, and without getting paid for that work.
And that’s why most people don’t do it (or don’t do it right): because the more you invest in your audience, the higher your chances of success. And since most people want the magic pill of overnight success, they want to take too soon from their audience, before depositing enough value in their relationship bank.
So how do you go about building an audience?
Two words: AWESOME VALUABLE FREEBIES!
Wait! These were three words, right?
That’s because I just added VALUABLE, and wanted to emphasize it!
Your freebies can’t be just cool stuff that people glance at, download, never use, then move on. Your freebies need to be so valuable, that you should have been charging for them.
For example, take a look at our free UI kits for Apple Watch, Android Wear, and Twitter Bootstrap. It took a lot of time to create them, and we should have charged $25-$50 for each. Instead, we’re giving them away for free, and asking people to tweet to their friends to download them. That’s also why we add complimentary lifetime updates to every purchase (iOS 11 coming very soon!), when we should be charging recurring fees for those updates.
Over the past couple of years, those valuable freebies and complimentary updates generated more buzz and traffic than anything else we’ve done, and led to people using them, finding them valuable, getting results with them, and returning to purchase our paid templates and bundles.
And your freebies can be cheat sheets, video tutorials, webinars, code samples, how-to blog posts, WordPress themes, UI kits, or anything that your target audience can use to get instant results.
That leaves us with two important questions: where do you find your target audience? and how do you tell them about what you’ve created?
The answers for those questions might take several pages, so I’ll be brief and high level, and you can email me back to ask about any specific strategies or tactics.
The high level answer is: go where they usually hang out, and hang out with them!
Take the time to join conversations (online and offline), provide valuable insights and answers, and form a relationship with them.
And as you gain more rapport and trust with your audience, start inquiring about their pain points, share your valuable freebie with them, and invite them to join your mailing list to get even more value.
If you do it right, and if you’re being patient and generous enough, your audience will keep growing, and by the time you have a product to launch, you’ll have more than 1,000 people waiting to buy it.
So if you want to add certainty and predictability to your product launch, make this your mantra:
Audience first, then products. Give first, then ask.
To your success!
P.S. Next week, I’ll tell you why you need much less than 1,000 customers to launch a profitable product in one month