Creating a new product can be both exciting and scary. One reason many would-be information marketers hold back from creating and releasing a new product is that they are unsure how it will be received in the marketplace. Having customers serve as guinea pigs that you can test your ideas on can help you to understand what they want and need, and how best to present it to them.
These guinea pigs are people in your niche audience who can provide valuable feedback for you during your creation process – before the launch. They can tell you where you are falling short as well as where you’re excelling. If you don’t want to think of your customers as cute, furry little rodents, consider them your own personal focus group of testers. ;o)
You want to work with these testers from the very beginning – from the day you start brainstorming your product. Find people in your niche – maybe existing followers or followers of someone else – and ask them if they’d like to receive free course materials in exchange for their feedback – blunt, honest feedback, not a testimonial.
You want more than one person onboard. Don’t be thinking of it as 10 sales you won’t get once it launches. Think of it as 10 sets of eyes helping you steer clear of trouble and helping you make things better.
Set up a system where you get feedback either through direct email communication or anonymous surveys. Some people might feel awkward being extremely blunt with their feedback, so you have to reassure them about why they’re doing this.
After getting them to help you brainstorm the overall product – what slant it has, what goes into it – you can take it one step at a time and get their feedback every step of the way.
Don’t wait until your product is complete to begin working with your guinea pigs. If you do that, you won’t get all of the little details given back to you. Instead, you’ll get answers like:
- It was great!
- I felt it was kind of flimsy.
- You need more detail.
But those kinds of answers are broad and general. They won’t help you make it better. You need a microscopic approach – chapter by chapter or video by video – so you can get specifics about what’s wrong, like this:
- This was a good chapter, but you forgot to mention ______.
- I could hear you slurping coffee in your video at the 4:30 mark.
- I didn’t understand what you meant by __________.
- It would help to have a screen shot of the procedure on page 17, where paragraph 3 is.
Those kinds of details will smooth the wrinkles in your product and ensure that whatever common questions or complaints people might have, they’re gone by the time it hits the marketplace!