“A minimum viable product is powerful because you can start with just a concept of what you think people need and then tweak it as you go along to specifically meet users’ needs.”
Last month, I launched my new Smart Social Mastery membership for PR and Marketing consultants to solve the problem that I had in my early career – namely, neglecting my own business marketing.
The doors closed last week, and I have been deep in delivery mode, but I wanted to share what I learned with you before it fades away.
I started talking about the project late last year and I put up a simple interest page. And I started talking with people directly who might be interested. I had already created an online course and done some training for corporations who wanted to level up their social media and community growth strategies.
Think of it this way: If Smart Social Mastery were a house, I already laid down the cement foundation, erected the exterior walls, put on the roof, and even framed all the rooms with the Pathway to Mastery that I created.
What I haven't done yet is decide on the flooring material or wall colors or cabinet hardware until I get specific feedback from the workshop participants about what they need and what will be most useful to them.
And in terms of tools, I didn’t do anything fancy there either. I used ConvertKit to create a simple landing page and ThriveCart to create the sales page. That’s it.
The Process of Creating a Minimum Viable Product or Service
There are essentially three steps to launching an MVP, or minimally viable product. But before I tell you what those are, here are a few reasons you might want to launch one.
- Speed. Getting to marketing fast lets you start to innovate with real clients. In a competitive market, every week, month and year you don’t launch you get further behind.
- Lower Expense. It is a lot less expensive to launch an MVP because you haven’t put in all of the work yet to create the assets, though you might have some of them that just need to be tweaked a little for a new audience.
- Community and Testimonials. Your founding members, those who buy your MVP, will be highly invested in its success because they are helping to shape its features and culture. They will also help to sell new versions of your product with their testimonials.
- Better Service or Product. We often think we know what people want, but then find out it is not what they want at all. The continuous feedback in the MVP process makes for a better service or product.
Some of the reasons you might NOT want to create one include the following:
- Delayed profitability. Because you are creating an MVP product, you will be giving it to your founding clients for a great value. A second launch can be priced higher.
- Hard work for a season. You will work hard to create as you go, and deadlines will be tight. But once it is built, you won’t have to do it again.
- Potential for unhappy customers. When you create an MVP product it is critical that you set expectations for your customers and ask for their feedback. Let them know up-front that things won’t be 100% perfect at first.
3 Steps to Create an MVP for your Clients
One you have decided to create an MVP, the hard part is choosing what should be included and how to structure and deliver it. But following these three steps below will make it a lot easier.
Step #1: Research and Get to Know Your Audience
This is the most important step and what took me the longest. I didn’t want to feel like I was leaving anyone out, so it was hard for me to focus on a very narrow audience.
I have always worked with communicators. Zoetica provides a service where we act as an extension of your staff and provides turnkey done-for-you social media content and community management. That’s why the person who usually hires us is a corporate Director or VP of PR, Communications or Marketing.
With that in mind, here is the process I used to make sure I was targeting the right audience with my new MVP.
- Find out exactly what your target audience needs and wants by going directly to the source rather than assuming or even guessing what they want (raise your hand if you’ve ever taken that shortcut, thinking it would do the trick 🤔).
- Reach out to your ideal client for the product and schedule one-on-one Zoom and in person conversations. I asked them specifically what they’re having the hardest time with when it comes to promoting themselves and their business.
- I learned that my target audience for the Smart Social Mastery membership – marketing, PR, and communications consultants, coaches, and small agency owners – is struggling with two main things, namely
(1) taking the time to promote their own business and
(2) being accountable.
- Knowing their most pressing and urgent needs allowed me to create the perfect service to solve their problem: Smart Social Mastery, a mastermind-style accountability and membership community that is focused on getting things done.
- You can also use technology to get the top questions people are asking about your topic (I like AnswerthePublic and searching Facebook Groups for questions)
Step #2: Create an Easy Entry Point for Your Target Audience
- I knew that Smart Social Mastery would help my target audience finally make progress instead of continuing to spin their wheels. But first I needed to get their attention and prove to them that this program will deliver.
- I decided to offer a free 2-hour workshop laser-focused on helping my target audience achieve measurable success. I wanted it to be something truly valuable that they would be eager to get in exchange for entering their email address on the sign-up form.
- I came up with the Instant Authority Workshop, which promised to show time-starved communications professionals how to put together 90 days worth of promotional social media content for their business in 2 hours. 💪
Step #3: Short-Cut the Results for Participants
- A total of 40 people registered for the workshop and 20 showed up.
- After I explained the process to them, everyone rolled up their sleeves and worked on their personalized Cornerstone Content Generator where they chose two main visibility platforms, created 5 main content themes for the year, and brainstormed 2-5 topic ideas per theme.
- Here is the impressive part: People completed their topics in 17 minutes. ⌛ You could feel the energy in the group, everyone was so proud of what they had accomplished!
- I then shared the details of the full Smart Social Mastery membership program with them, describing it as “an accountability program on steroids for communication consultants to get YOUR marketing done and dusted and attract the perfect clients for your stage in business.”
- I told the workshop participants that because it was the first time running this program and there would be some tweaks along the way, I was offering them a 50% discount as founding members if they signed up that week.
- People were so thrilled with what they’d experienced that 16 of the 20 bought the monthly program, an amazing 80% conversion rate!
Can you do me a favor? 🙋🏻♀️ Reply to this post and let me know if what I’ve shared motivates you to want to get unstuck, take action, and make your business a priority! 🎊
Or better yet, share it on Linkedin, Facebook or Instagram and tag me.