Did you know that you can scale up your business before you even manufacture your product? Why start from zero when you can do a pre-sell? These are the 5 W’s of pre-selling your product that you need to know about.
In the past, entrepreneurs didn’t have an option to pre-sell. They had to go through the entire process and manufacture 10,000 products that could end up sitting in their garage. Even when they managed to sell, they would find all sorts of issues that would happen when you manufacture ahead of time.
With the ability to pre-sell, you’re doing two amazing things:
- You have an empty garage where you can put your car because you were smart and listened to your customers.
- You’re letting your customers pay for your production.
Most entrepreneurs don’t have the capital to spend on manufacturing their products, shipping costs, and storage capabilities. With pre-selling, you find customers who want your product and are willing to pay for it. This happens before a penny comes out of your pocket.
There is a general tendency among entrepreneurs to skip the pre-sale step because they are impatient to get their product to market. But if you’re trying to move forward too quickly in the long run you will end up taking 5 or 6 steps backward.
When and Who to Pre-Sell To?
Know who you’re selling to. You shouldn’t be doing your pre-sale campaigns until you’ve nurtured an audience. First, you have to have your engineering done and manufacturing lined up. This will help you know what the product is going to look like and what it’s going to cost you. Then create a list of traits or features you believe people will want to see on your product. This is when you start thinking about pre-sales.
“You need to understand what you’re doing before you go ahead and pull that trigger.” – Fred Cary
You can begin with little teasers and give bits of information at a time when you are gathering an audience. IdeaPros is doing that with the Launchpad. We drive audiences to different products and pages. We look for commonalities. You are looking for people that fit the persona you want as your target audience.
While gathering email lists, you determine with Google Analytics or other tools who that audience is:
- What do they look like?
- Who are they?
- Are they men or women?
- Are they young or old?
- Is it a combination of both?
- Is there an age range?
- Do they have a certain amount of money?
- Do they live in certain areas?
Once you’ve established who your audience is then look for a similar audience on Facebook. Figure out who your competitors are selling to, look for hashtags on Instagram, and create a targeted audience specifically for your product.
“You have to have thousands of people that say they want to have this product before you even start thinking about pre-selling. Otherwise, you’re just pre-selling out into the air.” – Fred Cary
What and Where?
There are different ways to build your lists. Viral Loops is a good solution where you can build pre-launch campaigns, organize giveaways, and refer-a-friend deals. Viral Loops has a little widget for your website that helps you find people and get their feedback.
The beauty of getting feedback is not only hearing people how wonderful you are and how great your product is. What’s even more important is understanding what people don’t like or what people wish they had that wasn’t there.
Look for consistency. If 40% of people tell you they prefer white to grey then make it white. Even if the changes delay your launch make them anyway. The beauty of pre-sales is making people’s dreams come true. Don’t make random lists instead make lists of people who are opting for similar products and nurture them.
You don’t just collect somebody’s email address and let it sit there. You have to collect their email address and nurture them. Every week you should have something going out to them.
You can use the scarcity of the product to drive more traffic or ask people to commit by paying a very small amount of money. They will be much more likely to convert when your product is out. It’s all about getting people interested and keeping them interested. When you are ready to pre-sell your product you will have an audience waiting for you.
What About Apps?
Most apps are free or if they are freemium apps where one part is free. Extra features are paid, so you can’t get money in advance. However, you can gather an audience, gain more interest, get people to talk about your app, and get traction by inviting people to become beta testers. If it’s a freemium app, you can offer the ones who were there from the beginning to be permanent members and get it for free. You’re pre-selling, but not for money, right? You’re pre-selling for downloads.
The “Idea Pros” at IdeaPros have the resources, experience, and tools to help you at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey.
We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest their ideas. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.
Want to see the products we have launched? Check out IdeaPros Launchpad!