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The key to creating digital products that fit into the sweet spot between what you love to create and what your audience really needs is to validate your product.

This may sound incredibly boring, but it is actually a part of the process that is insanely useful in building trust with your audience and checking that your product will really fly.

There are so many ways to validate your product or service. Here are a few to make sure that what you are creating is both what you will really love, what fits in your zone of genius, and is also something that your customers will love, pay for and refer to again and again.

You can validate your product by using a number of means.

1. Surveys

You can create a survey using Typeform, Survey Monkey or Google Forms, and send it out to groups, to your friends, and to all people who are your ideal clients. Gather their responses about how they like to have some products delivered, about their needs and their pains so you will know exactly how to serve them.

You can check in with them on what it is they’re struggling with right now so you can brainstorm some product ideas.

You can also interview a number of your ideal clients; you can do this either by Skype, Zoom or a conference line to jump on for a call.

Or,  you can use something simple and easy like Voxer and set up some individual chats with people who fit your ideal client criteria and chat with them about their pain points.

Doing this really gets some good insight into what your customers really need, and also how they talk about those needs; you can really get some insight into the language and the emotions behind what they want to ensure you create something spectacular for them.

2. Beta Test

Other ways to validate your product include creating a test version of something and running it past a small group or audience to get their feedback.

A test version of the product can either be paid, or free, and is a great way to get testimonials and feedback while you create. This way, the pressure is off to create a fantastic product until you have tested that it works in the way that you hoped it would.

You can also use the feedback from your first round to improve and build on your ideas to make them even better!

A test or beta round is also invaluable for you, as you might discover that you don’t enjoy this product or service the way you thought you would, so it’s a great chance to move on and stay in tune with what you love!

Digital products can be valuable in places you wouldn't expect, like a business run from a small farm. Validate your products to make sure they are useful to your customers

3. Early Bird Offer

Another way you can validate your product is to offer to your subscriber list, survey attendees, or people who have expressed some interest in your product, access for an early bird price to see if people actually buy.

If people part with money for your product and you can get some sales for the idea, then you have an indication that this is an idea that will sell.

Setting up a discounted price offer is really easy to do in your Selz shop.

Combine it with social media reach by sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and let people know about your brand new ideas coming to life.

4. Be Yourself

It is so tempting to follow models and ideas of what other small businesses have created – and that can be a great starting point to help brainstorm some ideas – but we all bring a different set of skills, experiences, and benefits to our work.

So, make sure that you are really working in your own unique zone of genius which will sustain you for the long term.

A photographer at sunset is being himself ad reminding us- Validate your products to accelerate business growth.

5. Stay Passionate

Once you begin to check what people need, what their pain points are, and how you can serve them, you can stay inspired by making sure you are using your own unique combination of skills and the passion that makes this product unique to you.

If you are creating products that you are no longer feel passionate about, this will be reflected in the way that you communicate about them, in your level of service to your customers, and in the end results of reduced sales.

Make sure your product or service has been validated by people who fit your ideal client criteria, that people have tested the product for you and/or parted with money to prove to you that this is what they want.

What happens if no one seems interested?

If your audience doesn’t want your amazing idea? Take a look at the execution; it might be they love the concept, but the delivery needs to be different. Or, that the idea is sound but the offer isn’t clear.

If you are super passionate about your idea and truly believe it has a place in your business, test it with a few variants of concepts and play around with some methods of delivery and adding value.

On to you!

Do your research, build as you go, and make sure that the vibrancy and energy behind your passion for your offering remain there, and your business and clients will thank you for it!

About the author

Jo Gifford

A widely read contributor to Huffington Post, Selz, Regus, Prowess, YFS Magazine and many more interwebz rabbit holes, Jo is a respected UK voice on life as a pocket-sized enterprise owner.

Jo’s background – a seasoned blogger, copywriter, podcaster, and graphic designer with an MA and research interest in creative thinking for small business – makes for an eclectic and colourful killer content approach.

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