Great startups tend to succeed in spite of themselves. You don’t need a fancy brand, or a polished image to find out if people want what you’ve got.  They’ll forgive you for being imperfect.  So why not test your startup ideas on the side?  Get something out there.  And get ready to learn something that will surprise you.

1. Don’t Sweat the Details

Forget about things like a logo and having the right design. Start with your message. What are you selling? Why will people care? The answers to those questions can be written down, and tested with TurnMVP. Test the earliest and crudest value propositions you can think of. Then follow this formula until you learn what works:

  • Use a fake product name
  • Use TurnMVP’s step-by-step MVP landing page tips to write the first thing that comes to mind
  • Test your wording with a quick user test.  Try Peek (it’s free).

2. Cast a Wide Net

Don’t experiment with just one product idea. Why not increase your odds of success? It’s easy to create several landing pages with TurnMVP and measure which ideas have the strongest signals. If you’re not sure where to start, head over to Google Trends to see what people are searching for.

3. Do Search Advertising

Your landing page needs visitors. And you need to find out how much it costs to get customers (CAC) so you can learn how much you need to charge. You’ll get both by advertising your TurnMVP landing page in Google™ search results with Google AdWords.

AdWords has these benefits too:

  • Find high-volume, low-competition keywords. In other words, find good business opportunities in high-demand, low-supply markets.
  • See which ad text gets the most clicks, and refine your landing page wording to match those ads.

4. Follow the Strongest Scent

Gradually shift your focus towards the products that show the greatest chance for success. Which landing pages get the most clicks for the least cost? Spend more time refining and advertising those landing pages.

Tip: Use TurnMVP’s integrated survey to learn why people won’t sign up. Then make changes to your landing page based on what you learn.

5. Build a Simple Sales Funnel

Once you have a value proposition that works, research domain names, and survey your target audience to find the best name for your product. Build a simple website for your product.  But don’t build your actual product yet. Embed a TurnMVP survey on the sign up button to test pricing. Advertise and experiment with price points from very high to very low and check your results in TurnMVP to find out where the sweet spot is.

Hint: Start a blog. Engage with you market to build an audience. And see how well you can do in unpaid search traffic.

6. Sell a Concierge Service

Try to get paid to do manually whatever your product will do automatically for people. There are very few software products this doesn’t work for.  By getting a little traction before you invest in your product, you can be more confident it’s worth taking that risk.

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