What if it’s the very first product either on Amazon or Shopify? WHERE do I start?￼
I’m talking about the very first stage of social listening yet when we aren’t even finalized with the niche itself. How can we come up with a product for testing purposes and what should be the driving force/offer that makes the audience land on our Shopify store when there’s nothing yet?
Member kindly asked this, and I’ve helped countless people through this part of the journey, so I figured it would be easier to answer it as a standalone post.
The answer is actually a question: What is your REAL Goal as a brand new seller?
The answer to that question is this: If we are still in the stages of being inexperienced with business, then our goal is “To define a market that you can service that has a lower barrier to entry in terms of capital upfront, low consequence to failure, and as little moving pieces in the operation as possible”
In other words, we need to get you business experience without spending all of your savings, give you as simple a puzzle as possible to manage, and mitigate as much risk out of the situation as possible.
Sooooooooo, how do we go about doing all of that?
1) We have to clearly define 2 important things before we start:
– Whom are we serving?
– do we have a clearly mapped operational model for serving them.
Understand that your product is ONLY one of the possible vehicles for delivering a resolution to a problem that the end-user is seeking to overcome. This means outside of a product-market match, we still have to have a clearly defined operational framework to get the product into the customer’s hands.
2) DEFINING THE AUDIENCE:
step 1 – make a list of every subject you find fascinating or would not mind learning more about. The only thing that is out of bounds are topics that just don’t interest you at all or are full of people you just flat out do not want to speak to.
This is important because if you don’t mind learning about something, you’ll be successful in your social listening and NATURALLY begin to understand the market and what they really need.
Step 2 – Drill down one level and define EXACTLY who you want to service and be ok with ignoring the rest for now. Even as a freelancer, the cash is in the specialization.
Step 3 – find and write down some of the congregation points for those particular audiences. Can we find over 100k people in a space that are already talking to each other in various groups and pages? If yes, then we have a viable market to service.
Step 4 – Read and interact by asking questions until you can understand the topics as a member of the market. If I picked up a magazine about mountain climbing or went to a Facebook group where mountain climbers were talking, I would want to study what they were talking about until I CLEARLY understood what people were talking about.
I would also want to read until I understood what the advertisers and vendors in those spaces were talking about and why the end-users might want those items.
UNDERSTANDING AT THIS LEVEL is where product ideas come from that your amazon competition will never see and where will get great ideas for a product that has a better chance of being a great fit for the market.
THIS will point you toward a healthy amount of product ideas to then go and investigate for sales numbers and sourcing.
3) DEFINING the framework: SIMPLE IS BETTER!!! – Even at scale. we don’t want to keep track of a 10 armed octopus when a 2 armed octopus will do.
Framework pieces to have a business:
(REQUIRED) Attraction – Which channels are we going to use to get the attention of our prospective audience – this is your MOST expensive part of the operation. Amazon PPC, google Search, FB Ads, Email marketing? YT Channel? – what is it going to be?
(Optional) Relationship area – What are you doing to build a relationship with your customers? Do you have a special space where you can use content to get them to talk and confess all of the things you need to know about the space and what psychological motivations are driving purchase demand for the space?
I won’t run an operation without this step. Many do, but not me.
My groups are my captive Focus Groups, where I can use all sorts of devices to boost my chances of conversion. this is where I nurture the 50% of the market that is in the pre-purchase phase and thus aren’t ready for my offers or my product pages just yet.
(REQUIRED) Conversion Assets – Where are they going to checkout and how are you doing everything you can on those spaces to boost your chances of them buying? amazon product page? Shopify Store? Standalone landers? – What is it going to be?
(REQUIRED) Deliverable experience – What happens when they click to purchase? How is what they bought going to get to them AND what are we doing with that experience to get them to maybe leave a review, join a community, buy again, etc?
(OPTIONAL) Retention – What are you doing to keep them? buying new customers costs 6x what it costs to keep and re-sell an existing customer. my average customer lifetime value is over 10x their initial transaction value because I do everything I can to give them an amazing customer experience in an effort to get them to stick with me.
So there you have it – That’s how I would approach starting from scratch.
Have clarity on your market and clarity on your process.
THEN go product hunting.
The simpler you can keep the process the better. You need WAAAY less moving parts than you realize to make a very solid income