Whoop-whoop-whoop it was a fantastic week when I almost completely satisfied with myself, I learn a lot and finally got a breakthrough in my seems endless ideas research process.
This week as five previous was about finding a target niche and problem I want to solve, but this time I succeed and finally decided what I am gonna to do.
How I finally did it
This was a long way and mostly because I'm a lazy and mostly scared dude who is trying to find another way to engage with outside world. But long story short, this week I spent quite some time building landing pages, buying ads and suddenly realized that I already have a validated idea, my own itch that was proved with dozens of people.
But even in this case, I found this hand on experience and money spent on paid ads is very beneficial for me.
Landing pages it is a straightforward and streamlined way to test ideas and how they appeal to customer problems. Usually, as a validation it is fine to collect email subscription, many people go much further and even charge customers for the stuff they do not build yet.
This is a well-known theory that seems obvious, but my whole understanding did change at the point when I start to do it.
First of all, it is much easier to say than do, the proper landing page should appeal to customer pain immediately when they saw it and show that owner of the page knows the problem and has a solution.
The approach that works best for me contains 3 phases and looks pretty much this way:
- Piece of paper where I try to write answers to the following questions:
- What is the customer problem?
- How product solve it?
- Chose one of various on demand landing page providers and landing page template
- Migrate written text from the paper to the landing page
When the page is done, I usually try to find a way to redirect some traffic to the page.
Paid Facebook ads
The most convenient way I use to generate traffic to a new landing page is by using paid Facebook ads. I see only one clear disadvantage on the super early idea validation stage - this approach requires to have a company page on Facebook, what could be an overhead.
A small advertising campaign that generates few hundreds of clicks could cost even less than 10€, with all these fantastic opportunities to select an audience and so on.
For me, this approach sounds like a plan.
I'm always trying talk about my ideas even despite many people think I'm stupid, but this approach is alway lead to valuable feedback about things I'm thinking are valuable or could make a difference to the world.
The final idea I pick to process is actually the one I discussed with many people but before I did it in background mode without focusing my attention on it.
Going through the set of different test and ideas I suddenly realize that I have already tested and validated the idea that appeals to me well. Most likely my mind set was just not able to see and process it before as something doable and meaningful.
Build a working prototype
Now when I have at least a proven assumption, I'm gonna make a real working prototype with a minimal set of features and still manual work under the hood to fulfill initial demand.
Sounds completely unscalable but I think it is the best way to check if people ready to pay for this service because interviews are good but they not actually prove the business model, only the problem that should be solved.
I think the minimal working prototype is something that should be relatively easy to build within one week so I will try to do it within next week.
Share my learning in deeps
Every week I learn the plethora of the things that not really well explained in the weekly reports so probably the best way is to write the separate post about each thing I learned or dug deeper this week.
Based on the each week findings I plan to write a series of blog post about ideas validation using landing pages and Facebook ads and other topics appealing to the bootstrapping and SaaS business without VC capital.
Create a curated list of resources
During each week I pass through myself tons of info related to indie business, and there is no way to know for sure before reading at what point of the journey this info will be most useful.
To fix this issue, I plan to create a separate page, where I'm gonna sort all processed resources according to the business lifecycle stages.
Hands-on change mindset
I started this week mostly with theoretical knowledge about landing pages and traffic generation, but during a week I learn plenty of things by doing it not by reading or listening other people description of this tools and processes.
Most interesting thing about this experience that in reality, things are different from and in practice I understand the world from the entirely different point of view.
All the thing I know before about landing pages and traffic finally got structured and landed on their places in my head, very fresh feeling.
For the long period of my life I'm constantly overloading my brain with an endless flow of information like videos, podcasts, books, blogs, conferences, etc. but usually it is just white noise. Mind became overflowed with information and spent all energy trying to process it instead of spending it on something useful.
Current period in my life seems like a good moment to dramatically cut the consumption of information and instead produce more in different forms like writing more, making more, building more.
During the week when I spent real money on ads I observe that how it makes me pay much more attention to the details and quality of things I'm working on.
I start my landing pages super dummy without message appealing to the customer and observing the behavior of the people tune ads and page perform better and better.
At some point, I played with regions where ads were shown and other settings, this small experience was fascinating, and I think the fact I paid money for the whole process was one of the key factors to this.
Key things here for me try to keep myself engaged and motivated with easy to measure involvement in everything I'm doing.
What went wrong
I still suffer from procrastination and fear to make a mistake although I clearly understand that worst thing what could happen is I'll get an experience and become much smarter, such an awkward feeling.
Fail to do things on time
Stupid thing but this report is written at the beginning of week 7 and stealing time from the product prototype. My procrastination became terrible and now even my blog suffering from not doing things on time.
Hopefully decreasing of consumption and better time management should help me to overcome this issue in future, will see.