It’s time to create your Minimum Viable Product. The first step to doing that is surveying your audience to determine what it will look like.
Back up for a second, what’s a Minimum Viable Product?
It is exactly what it sounds like. A product with the bare minimum feature-set that still makes it viable to showcase your Unique Sales Proposition.
It is the 20% of features that creates 80% of the functionality.
What should I make my MVP on?
I’d suggest starting with any one of these three product creation techniques.
Survey Your Audience
It’s time to ask your actual visitors what they think of your product ideas so you can hone in on the best fit.
A service like qualaroo is ideal for this and you can do it with actual traffic, or if you have a list, you could send out a survey to your list in exchange for a bribe (the bribe could be a raffled giveaway of the service itself).
Here is an old survey I did back in January 2013, when NoHatSEO was still a fledgling blog:
Subject: Fill out the 30 second NoHatSEO Survey and win some domains!
I have a bunch of ideas and may release some of them as products. Will you give me a little advice to make them better? It’ll take under a minute, and I’ll be raffling away $1000 worth of domains for those that answer (20 random responders will receive a $50 domain of their choice on the Public Domain List).
Please fill out the survey here:
One thing I’d do differently in 2015, is I’d use skip logic to create a dynamic survey. I’d start by asking more broad questions about their problem, then narrow into the type of solution to the problem (IE productized service vs SaaS vs course), then get into details about the features based on their responses. This can be done with the paid version of surveymonkey, and I do it within Stepify. This isn’t a necessary step, you can use a free survey provider and just ask questions based on your product-type of choice, but I think you will get more out of it if you do a dynamic survey.
Once you’ve done this, not only do you get a great idea of what your list wants, you can also segment these customers! With NoHatSEO back in 2013, I had a VA concierge it for me. She went in to GetResponse and created new lists based on the responders (especially based on the customers that responded they had agencies, this one change create 50k+ in income for me). I’d suggest you do the same, if you do happen to have a large list you can use your mail provider’s API to do this for you (check if there is already an integration with a tool like surveymonkey or gravityforms). If you have under 300 respondents it’s easier to just do this manually (or get a VA to do it).
This vs Deep Dive surveys
I recently head about deep dive surveys and it does sound practical. It seems it would be better when you have a larger audience and don’t already understand their needs. I’m definitely going to test it out in the future.
Where to go from here?
If you’re considering moving up the monetization value chain by creating a product, congratulations! There are tons of benefits to product creation, and if you approach it intelligently, you only have to put the work in once you know you’ll be paid for it. I’d suggest you check out what an MVP looks like for my three favorite products: an online course, a productized service, and lead sales.