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Marsha and the MVP

I just got off a call with the dazzling Marsha Shandur from Yes Yes Marsha.

yes yes marshaIn between gasping for breath at her hilarious anecdotes we talked about the dilemma of creating messaging around a new course she’s offering. Marsha has an incredible gift for teaching people how to network in person that gets you noticed by big shots, new clients and new friends. She also coaches people on story telling. Marsha’s a brilliant story teller who truly understands the craft and it’s totally worth check out her blog.

The challenge she’s facing is how to create messaging that taps into the Ideal Customer she’s trying to reach.
What I advised Marsha to do was to go ahead and create the course and create a split test for the sales page. Split testing is when you launch 2 of the same things (in this case 2 sales pages) but use different messaging or images, then track which one garners the most attention through clicks.

My point was this, this is all a great experiment. We don’t know with 100% certainty what’s going to resonate with our Ideal Customer right out of the blocks. We each have an incredible genius and brilliance to share with the world. That’s not in doubt. But until we know with certainty what deeply resonates with the people we’re trying to serve, messaging and advertising is going to be a bit of an experiment. And that’s ok!

The beauty of online marketing and advertising is we can see in real time how people are responding to what we’re offering.

We do this by tracking clicks on a post and click throughs to the website where they can ultimately sign up or purchase your product or service. Even if what you’ve created is the answer to your Ideal Customers deepest struggle and source of pain, if the messaging is off it’s unlikely it will attract them.

facebook Stats - 600That brings in the concept from a book by Eric Ries, The Lean Start Up and what he’s coined as the MVP. The MVP is your Minimal Viable Product.

Here’s the theory: once you’ve conceptualized a product (or service), launch it to a small targeted audience and study their response. Don’t spend a lot of time trying to make it perfect. By launching it in its first iteration you avoid spending a lot of time building product (or services) or in this case messaging, which may not attract customers.

By creating a Minimal VIable Product  you maximize the amount of information you can learn about your customer as quickly as possible.

Once you’ve done that you can take that information and then tweak what you’ve created (the official term is pivot) to reflect what you’ve learned. Maybe you need to pivot on your service or product, maybe on course content, in this case we’re talking messaging.

Whatever it is, by launching early and testing you learn so much more, so much more quickly than you can possibly learn inside your office creating, scheming, researching and investing time into the development of something you haven’t actually tested.

When I was launching the first iteration of my DIY Content Marketing Strategy Kit I MVPed it. I created each weeks course instalment the week before it was due and I ran it through a small targeted audience I had got to sign up for the course before I’d even created it. By launching the offer I was able to see first if there was even an interest in what I wanted to make. When people responded positively I knew it was worth investing my time in making it. Sound like cheating? It’s not. It’s good business. Think about it, why would you invest your time (which costs money) into creating something that you’re not sure will actually sell. Following the MVP philosophy it allows you to get answers fast and then respond.

Every week I got feedback and used that information to go back over and make the course better. I eliminated parts, added others and changed the messaging on the advertising to reach more of the people like the ones who did sign up (because obviously I’d I hit their pain points).

By launching an MVP I was immediately able to generate revenue right out of the blocks and even though I didn’t reach six figures (or even five), I got real time feedback and personal feedback from people. Based on what I learned I adjusted the course and messaging and made it better.

If you’re struggling with a strategy for an idea, course, product or service you’d like to launch or expand but you’re not sure how, I offer a one hour, one–on–one strategy call. For that hour we’ll focus in and discuss in depth your challenges and I’ll offer feedback and strategy ideas to help move you forward. If you’re interested in learning more about a one–on–one strategy call you can click here. And if you interested in learning more about the DIY Content Strategy Kit you can do that here.

And if you have a story of your own where you tried out a strategy and used it to learn and grow I’d love to hear it!

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