Product/market fit is an essential stage for any business to reach.
When you've reached product/market fit it'll become a lot easier to build and scale your business up.
When you're lacking the product/market fit aspect of your business, you'll realize how much harder it is to find customers and retain them.
You may have some sort of idea now around what product/market fit is, however, I'm going to go ahead and explain that to you now.
What is product/market fit?
Product/market fit is very simply how well your product or service serves its purpose in your chosen market.
The better your product or service satisfies a pain point in the given market, the more likely you've achieved product/market fit.
People and consumers buy products when they want to solve a specific pain point.
People order cabs on Uber when they want to quickly get around the city.
People order food on Uber Eats when they're hungry and want some food quickly.
People buy a Netflix subscription so they can satisfy their boredom.
People choose to buy iPhones over other phones because iPhones solve specific pain points better.
This applies to B2B businesses too.
A business buys a solution that helps it fulfill a specific need or pain point.
For example, businesses would buy Hawk Prospecting because they want to find a way to reach decision-makers.
Therefore, Hawk Prospecting is the most effective, easiest way of finding your prospect's information.
How do you know if you've achieved product/market fit?
There's a well-known saying in the infamous region called Silicon Valley that many entrepreneurs reference.
You'll know when you have product/market fit.
Once your product or service is being bought at a rate faster than you could fulfill it, you've reached product/market fit.
When people start to buy your products or services, when you start getting good reviews, repeat buyers, a large influx of users to your page that convert, you'll know that you've reached product/market fit.
At Hawk Prospecting, this is still a stage that I'm striving towards.
Therefore, In this article, I want to discuss ways in which I'm going about reaching product/market fit.
It's crucial that a business reaches this stage if they are to carry on growing.
Once you've reached product/market fit, you can rest assured knowing that people who want your product are out there.
With that said, let's get into how you can achieve product/market fit.
Pinpoint your target customer
The first, most important thing is to identify who your target customer is.
If you don't know who your customer is, it'll be almost impossible to sell your product.
I've talked about finding your niche previously in another article.
You'll want to ensure that you find a specific subset of the market, a subset that may not be the focus of other competitors in the market.
For example, Hawk Prospecting is currently focused on agency owners, marketing agency owners more specifically.
This is for two reasons:
I owned a marketing agency previously
This niche isn't the target for other competitors
Although this subset is currently using competitor products, those products may not be optimized for an agency's needs and pain points.
Therefore, when my product, Hawk Prospecting, comes into the mix, it'll be a no-brainer to make the switch since it's more directed towards their pain points.
You may have different groups that you can focus on as your target customer.
I can probably come up with a list of over 10 different customer profiles for Hawk Prospecting.
However, my focus is small marketing agency owners in the USA who do outbound prospecting and focus on USA-based clients.
The more specific you can be, the better.
Sit down, take a paper out and start brainstorming your different options.
Once you start testing your product and progressing through the next few steps, you may need to come back and iterate the audience.
You might find out that you're targeting people who are not perfect for your product.
Build out your MVP
Once you know who your target customer will be, you're now able to build your product with their needs in mind.
You can start by talking to them.
In the next step, we're going to discuss this in more detail.
When you talk to people about their problems, you're setting yourself up for success because you're able to build to solve those problems.
However, the other option is to just build out your MVP based on your own assumptions.
This is what I did with Hawk Prospecting because I was part of the customer profile that I had laid out.
Therefore, I assumed that my problem was also a problem amongst other agency owners - and it is!
However, there is still refining to do and validation to receive which is why the next steps are important.
When you're building a product, never assume that your assumptions are correct.
After all, you're not going to be your user, your customer profile will be.
When you build based on your assumptions only, you're building blind.
That's why I also recommend at least doing a customer problem stack rank.
This is a simple survey-like form that you can get people to fill out.
It will outline the problems you've assumed and people will be able to validate them or add on more problems that you may have missed.
It's a great way to quickly get people's thoughts and opinions on the matter.
With this, instead of going in blind, you'll have something, a set of problems to base your MVP on.
Although I still launched quickly, I must admit that there were features I could have left out to save time and launch faster.
In my opinion, this is all personal choice.
You can either spend a little extra time building and polishing your MVP which will attract more users.
Or you can save time, launch with a rough MVP and get fewer users but faster feedback.
I, being a natural perfectionist, tried to go for the latter, but compromised somewhere in the middle.
Speak to your market
This is where it starts to get serious.
You're going to want to start making connections with your target customer.
You'll want to talk to them, tell them what you're up to, and ask if they're willing to help you validate the business with their feedback.
The easiest way to do this, and the way I was able to find 40 people to interview for Condensr, was through Facebook.
Facebook's group feature is very powerful.
Groups are a great way to get in front of your target audience and put an offer in front of them.
Join a bunch of groups that are related to your customers.
In my case, I'm in a bunch of groups that are related to marketing agencies, coaching, consulting, etc.
Hawk Prospecting would be a great product for these groups of people, especially the agency owners.
Make sure that you join groups that have a low number of posts compared to the number of members.
For example, there might be two posts per day in a group with 3000 members.
This is great because it shows that the group is not a spammy group.
From here, you have two options:
Message the members of the group and ask them to hop on a call.
You can use a script like this:
Hey [name], sorry for the cold message, but I'd love your help! I'm working on [idea] and would love to learn more about your pain points as a [customer profile]. Do you have 5 minutes to share your thoughts?
The other option is to simply put out a post in the group asking people to comment if they're interested in helping.
You'll get lots of people commenting and you'll be able to message them once they comment.
Another way to do this is simply messaging people on LinkedIn.
In my experience, Facebook is a lot better for getting replies from your audiences, however, that is only my niche.
These are similar strategies to the ones discussed in this article.
Your case might be completely different, so test different methods and see what works best for you.
When you find people willing to test out your product or service, you'll want to make sure that they're open to giving you honest feedback.
You may also want to set up a call with them a week after they've used the product to see how they're getting on and if they've got feedback.
Honest feedback is crucial here - it can be scary and even demotivating to get negative feedback, however, it's important for the betterment of your product.
Once you start collecting this feedback, you can start iterating.
Iterate your audience, iterate your product and features, iterate your messaging.
Test your messaging
Messaging is one of the most important things for a business.
The way you put yourself out there for your future customers will determine if they choose to use your product or service.
I've written an article previously about perfecting your product messaging.
All of the principles we talked about in that article will apply here.
Essentially, when you figured out your target customer and understood their pains, you'll then need to think of your unique value proposition.
What value do you bring with your product?
How does your product solve their unique problem differently?
How does your product differentiate from others in the market?
Your messaging will need to cover these points here.
I remember reading Russell Brunson's book 'Dot Com Secrets,' and he talked about how in his early days, he would just replicate what was already working.
Prior to reading that, I would always try to add my own, unique spin on things.
However, if there is something already working, why not just do that?
This resonates closely with my article on reinventing the wheel.
The first version of Hawk Prospecting said 'Find qualified prospects in seconds.'
When I checked the competition and saw what my successful competitors were doing, I was able to better understand the problem.
On top of this, from the feedback I had gotten from speaking to people, I learned that people cared about getting to the right people who matter to their businesses.
Therefore, the most recent iteration of my product messaging says 'Your direct connection to any decision-maker.'
This sounds a lot more enticing to marketing agency owners.
They want to reach decision-makers, and so that's what I'm giving them.
You'll want to keep iterating, keep testing until you've figured out what converts best.
The importance behind great product messaging is not just reaching product/market fit, but you're able to make more with the same traffic.
For example, if you're getting 100 visitors to your site per week, and only 6 people sign up, you're essentially at a 6% conversion rate.
However, if your product messaging resonates with your audience and solves their pains, your conversion could be 12%, 20%, or even higher.
Instead of 6 people signing up, you might be getting 12 people or more signing up.
That's it! That's exactly what product/market fit is and how you can achieve it quickly.
- You niche down to find your target customer
- You create a value proposition that solves their problems and positions you in the market
- You build out a simple MVP with the basic functionalities needed
- You find users to test your product and share their honest feedback
- You iterate - iterate the product, the audience, and the messaging
Did you find this article valuable?
If so, tell me what you thought in the comments below and share this with other people who can benefit from it.
Till next time,