I love the internet, it's given me freedom, a living, and some amazing, if oddball, friends. But it's is only just getting to the point where it's helping us to LISTEN and not just broadcast all day long.
And the businesses that are doing that, are the ones that are winning.
In all the writing I've seen about optimising online campaigns, I don't think I've ever seen anyone writing about the thing that really matters in the early stages…
Optimising for feedback.
Too many people launch products, often without much research in the first place, just relying on their own passions, and then go hell bent into sales mode.
Even if your product is off target, you can still salvage something if you use your product as an opportunity to LISTEN.
Let me give you a couple of examples.
When I launched the Foundation Funnel, I started by offering it for free, to see if people could actually USE the product.
As in, on a technical level could they understand it and copy my recommendations. Were there inaudible bits of speech in the video. Could an international audience understand my British accent. Was the jargon explained well.
In the process I got a tonne of feedback and great language that I could use as I went into MARKETING mode.
Even now I'm not as interested in money as I am in the first PEOPLE who actually buy the product. Money right now is just a way of segmenting my audience. Ones who have money and will take action, vs those who don't.
Who are they, what convinced them to buy, what was their frustration, what have they tried already. Big big important questions.
I'm offering short consultations to these people because the conversation is more valuable to me than it will probably ever be to them. It's the one lop-sided bit of value in the whole process, and they don't even know it.
When you get in the room with real A-List marketers, they're not talking about tactics, about tech, about the exact sequence of their funnels. They're talking about the MARKET. Who they are, where you find them, what keeps them awake at night and what makes them ACT.
In the early days – at least 3 months either side of launching your 1st iteration of your product – this is what you should be focussing on.
If you're taking or investing seed funding, that's what this is there to achieve, to find the closest and most magnetic fit between your product and an audience, and to define that audience in ways that mean you can find them and scale up rapidly. That's when your big 1st round will become attractive.
Two ears, one mouth. Use them in that order