You have a great idea for a new eBook, or a video series, that your audience would love to pay for.
You work on it for weeks and create an awesome product.
You create a landing page, write the sales copy, set up your funnel and get your product ready for launch.
But when the launch day arrives, there’s no one to buy your product.
How could it be? Your product was awesome and the price was nothing compared to the value you offered.
How could someone not be interested in it?
Research shows that 8 out of 10 businesses close within the first 12 months. If you ask any of the owners of those businesses, they’d tell you they had a great product.
But what they lacked was market research.
Any serious business would never compromise on product quality. But is there anyone interested in buying that product.
That’s the question that many businesses never ask before launching.
The same applies to bloggers as well.
Almost every other blogger offers eBooks and courses to his audience.
But how many of those courses are really successful?
Apply the Lean Business Model To Test Your Product
If you’re planning to launch an eBook, a video course or any other form of info product, it’s important that you validate your idea before investing time and money.
This is where the lean business model works so well.
Lean is originally a concept from the manufacturing industry. But its core principles are equally applicable to content marketing and product launches as well.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
The lean methodology is based on the build-measure-learn loop.
It advocates building the most essential and core elements of your product, test them in the market, learn from your findings and refine it based on your learning.
This allows you to quickly validate your idea without investing too much time or money. If you see there’s a market for your product, continue to building it. If not, pack up and try something else.
Mapping this on info products, here are a few ways you can test your product idea and gauge its market potential.
1. Analyze the Products of Your Competitors
The easiest way to test the business potential of an idea is to see if anyone else is doing it. You don’t need to re-invent the wheel. Just analyze your competitors and their products to see what they’re finding success with.
If your idea is really unique and you can’t find anyone else doing it, there’s another way.
- Look for products that are closely related to your idea or products that solve the same problem that you’re trying to address. Do some market research to understand if your target audience is satisfied with the solutions on offer.
- If you already have an audience, run short 1-2 question surveys and ask them about their biggest problem that they want you to solve.
For example, if you plan to create an eBook on “Building Authoritative Backlinks”, analyze the products that are already in the market and see how they’re performing.
Look for product reviews and audience feedback to identify the loopholes in the existing products.
This should give you a solid starting point.
2. Get Product Ideas from Amazon and Udemy
Amazon and Udemy are goldmines for product researchers in general, and bloggers in particular. There are thousands of eBooks on Kindle Store that you can use to validate your idea.
Amazon has an endless database of eBooks, customer reviews, and feedback.
Just look for products that are related to your idea, see what they offer and read customer feedback to gauge the potential of your product.
Similarly, there are thousands of video courses available on Udemy where some of the world’s best professionals and instructors share their expertise.
Every course has an outline and a list of topics that it covers.
Find the best performing courses related to your idea and see the topics they’re covering.
This, again, will give you a pretty good idea of the value of your idea and will help you refine your product.
3. Create a Sales Landing Page and Capture Leads with Facebook Ads
Going through the first two steps should give you a pretty good idea of where your product stands and how you can make it more valuable for your target audience.
But to validate your idea even further, without fully committing yourself to it, you need to see if people will actually buy from you.
Remember, you still don’t have a product, it’s just an idea. But creating a professional landing page for your product and routing traffic to it will give you a clear idea of where your idea stands.
Here’s a good example of a focused and well-optimized landing page that lists the key benefits of the product and doesn’t divert visitors from the main call to action.
Add a small opt-in box on your landing page and ask your visitors to enter their email address and press the buy now button.
When they do that, you’ll collect their contact information. But since there’s no product available right now, you can route them to a 404 page giving them the impression that something went wrong with the sign-up. Don’t collect the payment information yet.
If you see that people are responding to your product and signing up, it’s a good indication that you should create the full product.
You can set this up using tools like LeadPages, Gumroad, Instapage or any other landing page app.
4. Create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for Quick Feedback
Finally, when you decide to launch your product, don’t immediately create the full version. Instead, create a minimum viable product first.
MVP is a concept of lean marketing that advocates that you create your product with only its core features. If people respond well to your MVP, you can add the nice-to-have features and invest more time in it.
But if you see there’s not enough interest, you can quickly move to your next idea.
The MVP concept is applied mainly in the manufacturing sector, for example, this solar light manufacturing company used MVPs to gauge product interest.
But the same can be applied to info products as well.
For example, Pat Flynn (Smart Passive Income) not only advocates using this approach but also uses it himself.
Creating and launching info products is a very profitable business. But it requires a lot of time and effort. That is why applying the lean approach to this whole process can make it much more viable for your business and help you validate your product idea before fully committing yourself to it.