Validating your idea means putting a vision of your product out there as early as possible, to get a feel of how customers respond to your product. In order to have a lasting memorable impact, it is becoming increasingly important to take aesthetics of your website seriously. It is important to be firm in your values and mission, but at the same time not be married to what you have built.
New startup founders begin their journey with gusto and believing firmly in their ideas. Many times they go ahead and build a full-fledged application, with the intention to launch in 12 months, with little research or validation of their ideas. You as a founder may have done your market research to validate if the idea is good enough. However, as a founder you only know what your customers need, once you start putting your product to test. A low barrier entry is to at least put a vision of your product out there as early as possible, to get a feel of how customers respond. In order to do so, it is important to first have a good branding and design of your landing page(s), so that you put across a professional and trustworthy front to your potential customers. The branding you choose will reflect and extend your own values to what you are building. The tone and vibe of your product gets set already then, and therefore decides what kind of customers will get drawn to it. Many founders may disagree with this entirely. However, in the last 10 years startups competition has become fierce. In order to have a lasting memorable impact, it is becoming increasingly important to take aesthetics of your website seriously. If there is anything we have learnt from A/B testing facebook creatives in ad campaigns, is that the colors you choose, the fonts and sizing have an equal if not more impact on user perception as the content in it.
Most digital platforms are focussed on getting customers to sign up and more importantly convert into a paid customer. How can one do so without having a full-fledged application out? The answer lies in building your user base through simple CTAs (call to action) like asking them to sign up by filling a simple form or subscribing to your newsletter. If you have followed the previous step and set up a well-designed landing page that is in-line with your ethos and vision, then you are already on track to gain trust of potential customers through these CTAs.
How to know if what you have put out is of value at all?
This means validating your ideas and understanding how to increase the impressions and traffic of what you have already set up. Taking the example of my own startup anamii.com, our initial goal was not only to increase the traffic on our website, but to attract the right audience. Our company’s mission is to help people get the right guidance they need to heal their life. If you are an early stage startup with a broad mission like ours, it is crucial to narrow it down. Narrowing it down in this example meant finding out what are the most common pain-points of people who are interested in our website. The goals are therefore two-fold - understanding the common pain-points, at the same time finding out where the people who would need what we offer are. All this information can be found by running a series of campaigns and tests using google and facebook ads and investigating the findings with the right analytics tools (eg: heatmaps) in place. One landing page with a simple CTA is already enough to dive into these experiments, and helps to set a solid base to catapult into building more sophisticated features.
Let us assume that your platform / application already has some features built into it that you felt were right to go with, now what? In such a scenario, it is still important to run campaigns and experiments. If you built these features by conducting extensive user research and directly speaking with your initial set of potential customers that is a great place to start. However, you can not scale from there, without validating these features and ideas in the broader market you would like to target. Doing this early on is beneficial in identifying what works and what doesn’t. Why? It saves you time and money, and also allows you to pivot your platform while it is still in a malleable stage. As a founder, it is important to be firm in your values and mission, but at the same time not be married to what you have built so far. There needs to be an appetite for flexibility and a willingness to pivot your product multiple times. Since this is critical in making a startup successful, it is wise to not build highly sophisticated products early on, when you are still figuring out the product-market fit and business value. Therefore, we also advocate building such products with low code / no code tools.
Now the question is who will set up and run these experiments? Someone needs to devote their time in determining what to test, setting up the test, integrating it with the platform and verifying and implementing the results of the test. As an early-stage founder, your time and energy is scarce, and it may seem overwhelming to do all of this by yourself. This is where thirty3 can support you. At thirty3 we are devoted to helping startups succeed. Having built and worked with startups extensively, we have the knowledge and experience in doing the right things, not only at the right time, but also in a wise and efficient manner.
How can thirty3 help me?
Find out more on how thirty3 can help you here.