Starting a successful business doesn’t happen overnight.
It takes some people 10, 20, or even 30 years to become an “overnight success.”
That’s because trust and influence aren’t earned instantly. They require time and effort and should be carefully earned over time.
Many businesses fail because they focus solely on the idea of a “grand opening.” They believe they have one shot to entice people with the newness of their product/service and that’s that.
Successful businesses, however, know that their product will be better tomorrow than it is today. There is no hurry because they’re focused on building value, not attention. Value demands attention. If you’re going to spend time and money on building a business, why not kill two birds with one stone?
The goal of entrepreneurs should be to invite customers into a relationship, not to make sales.
Instead of spending thousands on a new advertising campaign, why not invite a group of 10 idea customers for a trial phase and ask them for feedback?
If they tried your product/service and liked what you offered, then you found a new customer free-of-charge. If they don’t like it, then at the very least you have their attention. You must nurture that attention. Ask them what they didn’t like or why it wasn’t right for them. Using this approach at best can get you a client and at worst can help you get more clients down the road.
Take their feedback and incorporate it into your product/service, if possible. Circle back a few days later and tell them you took their advice and you’d like to offer them another trial. Reinforce that initial invitation that got their attention in the first place and reminds them of the value you offer.
Doing this deepens the relationship between you and a prospect. And as a bonus, if you incorporated their feedback there is a good chance they feel valued, which will increase trust.
Eventually, the prospect is going to start feeling like they can trust your company and advice.
This is the holy grail in marketing: building a community that inspires advocacy.
While this process may take longer in the beginning, it will grow faster in the long-run than throwing your money at advertising and hoping for the best.
It’s the same reason that 77% of shoppers prefer to get advice from people they know before making a big purchase. People prefer to buy products from companies they trust than businesses they’ve never heard of.
So try this:
- Find 10 people you know that would find your product valuable.
- Ask them to try it out and let you know what they think.
- Make feedback very specific
- If they like it, ask them if they know at least one person that would find the product valuable.
Bonus Template: How to ask people to test your product/service
There is an art to asking prospects to test your service. And the secret is quite simple: change the conversation from “help me” to “could this help you?”
Here is an email template you could use to invite potential customers to try your product/service.
Subject: Could this [PRODUCT/FEATURE] help you?
For the past few months, I’ve been developing [IDEA] for [PRODUCT], and I noticed you use similar [PRODUCTS/FEATURE] quite often. I’d love to give you an inside peek at some of the early concepts I’m working on and to also let you help shape the final product. Basically, I’d love to see if I could come up with a product that helps you [BENEFIT] better/faster/easier.
If you’re interested and have a few minutes to chat, let me know what time works best for you. I’ll follow up with you to see what’s the best way to jump on the phone.
- Monday, Month Day at Time EST/PST
- Wednesday, Month Day at Time EST/PST
- Friday, Month Day at Time EST/PST
Looking forward to hearing from you and helping me make things that help you get sh*t done!
If you have any tips for growing your business on a budget, drop them in the comments below or give me a shout on Twitter at @Eduardotheceo.