This tagalong post is an update on my ventures to create a viable product. It elaborates on the first product that I'm going for.

As I’ve talked in a previous post of mine, I’m working on my first viable product idea.

And when I say working, I mean that I’m testing out if there is market interest to buy the product. But before I get there, let me elaborate on my approach.

What’s the idea again? πŸ€”

I decided that – instead of building a new technical product like an app or SaaS – I wanted to go for something that provides value that I could share more instantly. That takes me to knowledge.
So I decided to create an online video course to share the workflow and tools that I use to create content and share it. It is called the Lean Content Marketing course and in it, I’ll cover the basics of Content Marketing and how to apply it. The lean part is the easy and efficiΓ«nt workflow that I’ve been using for years now. A workflow that uses (free) tools and services to get things done faster and time-efficiΓ«nt.

Minimizing friction πŸ“‰

In order to validate the market interest for any idea, there are a couple of common ground rules that I’m preaching online, here on Shipharder.com, and that I’ll be applying on my quest to create my own viable products.

They aren’t really rocket science, but when applied correctly, they can save a lot of friction. With friction, I mean the amount of work it takes to get the product-under-development moving in the right direction.
The direction is to create a viable product out of it: one that provides value for others, and returns revenue towards me so I can keep working on it or expand my work on my own products.

These are the ground rules that help me to minimise friction:

  • Validate the idea before actually building it
  • Create a way to capture the contact information of people that are interested
  • Use the simplest way possible to create the necessary components (a landing page, email newsletter functionality, content that attracts interested people). This means something that makes it fast and easy to test out several versions of your means to market or visualize your idea
  • Only use means, tools, and concepts that you are familiar with to save on the amount of effort that is needed to get things done

These rules come down to the following approach and to some decisions that I’ve been making:

  • I created a simple but clear landing page (www.leancontent.marketing) using a cheap, easy and awesome online service to build static websites: www.carrd.co.
  • The mailing service that I use for the sign-ups and the email newsletter is the free tier of Mailchimp. I’ve used this several times and it is good enough to validate an idea.
  • I created an intro movie using some hardware from AliExpress (tripod, lightning, mics) and a custom made greenscreen. Nothing fancy but good enough to get a nice backdrop and professional look and feel

What’s the status? 🎚

I posted the intro on LinkedIn (my timeline and about 4 groups where I think my potential crowd is at), Facebook (timeline and groups here, too) and my personal Twitter accounts. I mention the landing page a couple of times.

The intro social media post didn’t get a lot of traction. Less than I hoped for. This can mean two things:

  • intro isn’t good enough (to little value/interest drawn from the accompanying text and title?) or…
  • I’m aiming at the wrong communities and/or for the wrong people

I have a couple of subscribers but not enough to start testing expectations vs pricing range. I also got some leads for interested professional parties that might be interested in my course concept (like educational institutes) so I’m going after those leads as well.

Next steps in my game plan:
I’m going create two or three pieces of content that provide real value and add more catching copy (text) to it.

Furtermore, I’m going to get the specifics on what persons are looking for my course. Finding out what kind of people in what kind of position and job will buy my Course.

Besides that, I’m going to set up a Facebook page so I can lead people on that network towards the FB page and point them towards my landing page. It will help me to pay for one or two focussed ads campaigns so I get more subscribers.

Rounding up 🏁

Enough to do, so I’ll leave it at that for now. As I’m working on my next steps and I will update y’all as soon as I’ve tried some stuff out.

Code Hard, Ship Harder ✌🏻

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Bringing you mindshaping content that helps you to build viable products & documenting my journeyΒ as I use the approach on this website for myself to build viable products.

About me

Edwin Klesman

from 1981 | husband | father of 3 | former (cross-platform) mobile developer | turned Tech Lead at a startup focussing on people & health (www.proteges.eu) | hooked on entrepreneurship, startups, product development, apps, SaaS

“Educate yourself while travelling” – Audible

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