So, how do you know if someone will actually buy your product? In today’s video I’m going to walk you through three easy steps to help you find out if your product idea is something people actually want to buy and pay for BEFORE you start investing your hard earned time and money into it.
Click the play button below to watch the video or scroll down if you’d rather read.
How to validate your product idea in 3 simple steps
So you have a great product idea and you’re getting excited to launch it.
You’re starting to think through inventory and how you’re going to make it or who your suppliers are going to be.
You’re busy doing alllll the research to make sure you’re ready to get your product out into the hands of (hopefully) eager customers.
It’s great that you’re excited about it.
It’s great that you’re thinking about ways to make it but I have a feeling you might have skipped a little step between idea and execution and that’s validating your product idea.
It’s super important before you start investing time and money into it that you make sure it’s something people really want to buy.
Wondering how to actually do that?
I’m going to walk you through a simple 3 step system to help you make sure your product idea is one you can actually sell.
Step #1: Identify the problem
Think about the product you want to create: what problem does it help solve for your potential customers?
It doesn’t have to be complicated; I see so many product-based business owners way over complicating the idea of solving a problem. You don’t have to create world peace. You don’t have to solve world hunger.
It could just be that you’re helping mamas neaten up their kids hair in the morning with less stress (and fewer tears all around.)
Or maybe you’re helping make their car a little bit cleaner.
Maybe you’re helping people organize their cabinets (and keep them that way.)
Whatever it is, there is likely a problem that someone is struggling with that your product can help solve.
Take the time now to think about what that problem is and then jump to step to.
Step #2: Google your potential problem
When you type the problem you identified into Google what comes up? Are bloggers talking about it? Are people asking questions when you pop it into google? Does Google suggest other options for questions to ask or other topics to search for that are related?
Or does are you getting weird, unrelated search results and suggestions from Google that lead you away from the problem you originally typed in?
Our goal here is to make sure that the problem our product solves is something people actually want to solve. If people don’t think they have a problem and they aren’t looking for ways to solve it, your job is going to be so much harder than if they are actively looking for help.
If you can’t find it on google, the next thing to do is to try changing the way you word it. sometimes the way that we talk about something is different from the way our customer talks about it so try different variations.
Talk to friends and family and ask them how they think about whatever it is you’re planning to sell or what problem they think it might solve. Ask them to explain your product or problem back to you – what words do they naturally use?
I suspect you’ll be able to find pretty much any problem on Google but sometimes it’s takes fine tuning to figure out what customers are actually searching for vs. what we think they should be looking for.
It’s also a really good exercise to sit down and think through the problem your product solves. It’ll make all of your future marketing efforts so much easier if you know from the beginning who you want to help and how you want to help them.
If you can’t figure out what problem you’re solving OR you really can’t find it on Google, it’s time to go back to the drawing board to think a little harder about what exactly it is you’re hoping to give to your customers.
Step #3: Look for similar or related products
This one’s really simple and it might surprise you: we’re going to look and see if there’s anything similar already for sale. Is there a shop out there doing really well on Etsy (i.e., they have lots of sales and reviews)? If you google your product’s name or similar words, do you get recommendations for products to look at or shops to check out?
Are you able to find someone with a standalone store (online or in person) who seems to be crushing it (look for product reviews, an engaged social media audience, lots of PR, etc.) If they’ve got all these happy customer photos when you go to their social media and you see people commenting and liking or you see them sharing photos of real customers using their product, you can tell they’re building a serious business and people are buying what they’re selling.
The fact that there’s someone out there selling something similar or solving a similar problem is actually a good thing.
It tells us there’s a market already there (or growing) and now it’s our job to create a killer product and get in front of people who are already interested in buying something similar / solving a specific problem.
The fact that there are clearly people out there looking to pay to solve a problem or looking to buy something similar to what it is you want to make and sell is a great thing. It means people get it, they’re excited about it, and you’re not going to have to go out of your way to explain to them that they have a problem in the first place (<- really, how awkward and exhausting is it to try to explain that yes, XYZ is a problem. Yuck. Save yourself the hassle and do your research right from the start.)
Extra Credit: Get out there and talk to people
At this point you’ve figured out the problem your product solves, you’ve made sure it’s one people care about and you’ve proven to yourself that it’s possible to build a business around it.
From hear, the next best thing you can do is actually talk to me to find out how they think about the problem you want to solve and the product you want to sell.
You don’t have to ask them flat out if they would buy your product – we’re not looking for any vague yeses nor do we want to make people feel guilted into saying yes. Instead, your goal is to get a better understanding for how your target customer likes to shop.
Talk to family, friends and acquaintances who seem kind of similar to the customer you’re going after. Let’s say you want to sell jewelry, here are some great questions to ask:
- Where do they like to shop for jewelry?
- When was the last time they bought jewelry? How often to they buy it?
- What makes them excited about going into a store to buy jewelry?
- What do they hate when they’re buying jewelry?
So those kinds of questions get to the heart of what gets your potential customer excited, what’s confusing to them and what don’t they like so you can create a product, and an experience, that blows your competition out of the water.
Maybe they don’t like pushy salespeople: they love looking at pretty jewelry but they don’t want someone making them feel awkward and trying to force them into looking at things.
All of that information is really great ammo to help you understand if the product you’re creating and the business you’re building could potentially be solving existing pain points for your perfect customer.
That’s going to make it so much easier to message and really create a story that draws your perfect customer in because now you know what it is they’re struggling with, what they’re looking for and what they get excited about.
You can make sure you’re crafting the perfect story to just pull them in and get them super engaged and excited when you finally do launch your product.
It’s super important that before you go investing your time and your money into building a business and creating a product, you do the work to make your product will sell when it’s ready.