After all, you had a great idea based on a real world problem that you understood deeply. You knew lots of people had the problem your product would solve. You found competitors offering similar solutions, but nothing quite like your product idea.
You even spoke to potential customers, friends and family who you knew had the problem. The feedback was positive. So you built an MVP asking everyone you know to signup. They signed up, took a look around, then went away never to return. You tried a few times to get them back, but the truth is, their not using your product no matter what you do. At this stage it you start to realise, you’ve built something no one wants to use, let alone pay for! Worst of all…
You’re still not sure where you went wrong!
Imagine launching to an audience of eager users
Imagine all those early adopters using your product, helping you learn how users really behave. Imagine being able to focus on the features users really want, whilst ignoring the features they don’t. Imagine being able to repeat that success every day. Here’s what you’ve achieved…
Within a few short months you’ve got a full featured product in the market. Sales and Marketing are easy, the product sells itself. You’ve taken the time to understand how your customers view the problem. And now visitors to your website understand how your product removes their pain, buying your product is a no-brainer.
Market first, then build
Wouldn’t it be good to have your first paying customers BEFORE you invest all your spare time in building a SaaS product? People are willing to help you solve their problems. You just have to know where to find them and what to ask.
That’s where I come in, here’s how it works…
I will become your marketing partner taking you on the most direct route from zero to paying customers.
Step 1 Validation
I will schedule an 60 minute call to uncover the assumptions that you’re making about your target customers and the problem you want to solve. I will then do the research to find where these target customers hangout.
I will arrange a convenient time for us (you will have to set aside 30 minutes per interview) to interview them about the problem. I will analyse the data objectively to help you make a decision on market demand and future direction.
Step 2 Definition
I will schedule a 60 minute call for us to make a first draft mockup of the MVP. I will arrange a further call with the interviewees for us to get feedback on the mockup. We will incorporate any feedback that enhances the user experience, then present it back to the interviewees until they are happy with version 1.
At this point I will be looking to pre-sell the product to interested interviewees. Asking for payment is the best way to hear true objections, we will need to overcome them anyway, so let’s start early in the process.
Step 3 Build
Now it’s the fun part. You will get building the app, only this time you’ll have confidence you’re building something customers want to pay for.
At the same time I will put together a launching soon page with email capture. I will start building relationships with influencers in your niche.
Step 4 Launch
It’s time to do a staggered beta launch to the email list. This is where you build, measure and learn from the analytics built into the site. I will be getting feedback from early adopters, making sure that everything is in place to convert trial users to paying customers.
Step 5 Grow
By this stage the App is fully featured and the marketing site is a conversion engine. It’s time to grow your audience.
So what are you waiting for?
What people are saying…
“Dermot is someone who really looks out for my business. It means I can focus on the tech, while someone I can trust has the business side covered.”
Jon Canning – PropertyWithPotential.uk
“Dermot has helped me to focus on the right things at the right time. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of different directions when marketing a new idea”
Ankur Bhatia- Solutions Architect
“Just wanted to let you know that your advice has saved me a lot of money. I wish I’d known you sooner, it would have saved me wasting a lot of time too.”
Gill Searl – Linguagloss
What happens when I apply?
You’ll have to fill out a survey designed to ensure we are a good fit to work together. I will arrange a 20 minute phone call for you to speak to me about the process. This is your chance to ask any questions to help you decide if you want to work with me.
What if I’m in full-time work?
We will work around your schedule. The initial 60 minute phone call in steps 1 and 2 is mandatory, after that we can be flexible. When it comes to interviewing potential customers you won’t have to be involved in every call, it’s good for you to be involved in some to build up an understanding of your customers pain points.
What happens if we discover there is not enough demand?
It’s time to celebrate, you’ve found out early in the process when you haven’t invested too much time or effort.
I’m solving a problem I’ve experienced and lots of others have as well, why do I need to validate it?
Everything you think you know about the problem is an assumption, an educated guess. Why bet your time and money on assumptions, when you can easily validate/invalidate them by talking to potential customers?
Why would people want to talk to me without a prototype to show them?
People love to talk about themselves and their problems. When you start showing people your MVP the topic of the conversation shifts from being about them to the MVP.
I don’t need marketing yet, I’m building this for fun.
Great stuff, I can’t argue with that, enjoy it. Before you head straight over to the IDE remember it’s even more fun if you’re making money from your side project.
Won’t people steal my idea?
No, they don’t have the time. The more likely thing to happen is that people will wait until you’ve proven the business, then become a fast follower. That’s why it’s important to validate market demand by building lasting relationships with your customers. You want them to stay customers for life, right?
Who are you?
“I’m Dermot Kilroy a startup strategist, specialising in early stage, pre-funding, online business ventures. My background is in web/mobile application development where I’ve worked with UK organisations large and small.
I’ve previously worked with great companies like ITV, Uswitch, Thoughtworks, Vodafone, Universal Music and many more. Although I find it far more interesting/rewarding to work directly with business owners of small ambitious businesses such as FuneralZone, Devonshire Tea and Linguagloss.
I’ve been involved in, and founded, several startups over the years. I’ll guarantee you won’t waste your time making the same mistakes.
By clicking apply you are applying to work directly with me. I can focus on only 4 clients all the way through to successful launch. 2 spots have already been taken, once I reach my quota I can’t guarantee when this service will open up again. Don’t miss out, click the button and fill in the form.”