I see a painfully large amount of people waste their lives on stupid business ideas. We all have…
A friend gets giddy over some new venture he thought up after reading the daily newspaper for the first time in years. He runs around telling EVERYBODY how GREAT their lives will be after their product has hit the market.
We call these people “Wantrepreneurs”. They spend THOUSANDS of dollars and YEARS of their lives trying to fool themselves into believing they’re entrepreneurs. They get business cards, make Facebook pages, start Tweeting constantly, file for an LLC, open bank accounts…TONS of GARBAGE!
Don’t Be a Wantrepreneur!
Luckily for you, you are reading StartupBros and won’t be subject to the Wantrepreneur’s agony…
It is extremely easy to prove to yourself your business is a failure or a success with just a couple hours of effort. And it works for almost any idea.
Let me show you exactly how we validate our business ideas for FREE…
Step 1 – Create a Landing Page
The first thing we are going to do is make a landing page for our business idea (as if it is already an established business).
I use Unbounce (FREE)(Update: I now use LeadPages or ClickFunnels instead of Unbounce for this) to create all of my idea validation landing pages. Once you have an account and get familiar with it, it is very easy to use.
(Note – These tools now requires a credit card for their free trials, so you will have to remember to cancel after your done testing)
Here is one of the best performing landing pages we used to validate and test StartupBros…
A champion among scrappy landing pages…
You can see, I don’t put much time into these landing pages. The goal is to get it up QUICK and make sure it is something that your target market would bite at.
If you’re not sold on this concept yet, take a look at this…
Here are some landing pages we used to test different taglines with StartupBros – you will 2 of 4 different taglines we were testing.
A familiar tagline – You don’t need a job…
A loser of a tagline – Quit your job with us…
There’s literally NOTHING different but the taglines. I even toned down the logo tone to make sure the tagline alone was influencing conversions…
And boy, did it influence conversions! Take a look at the results –
Five words = 35% conversion rate INCREASE!
This test was a life-saver for StartupBros. I’m not saying StartupBros couldn’t be successful without the winning tagline, but why put yourself at a disadvantage like that?
This test showed us clear, reliable evidence that our target audience would be most receptive to the “You don’t need a job” tagline…
And a full 35% more receptive than the ‘Quit your job with us’ tagline.
35% conversion rate difference from five words…
That’s why it’s important that you take advantage of the A/B testing features on Unbounce/LeadPages when running validation tests. You’ll uncover insights that you didn’t know you didn’t know, and they’ll make all the difference in your business.
Test different headlines, different copy, different features, different prices, different colors…I test everything!
Step 2 – Run a Small Ad Campaign
Now we’re going to run a small ad campaign using pretty much any platform we can (Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, Twitter Ads – whatever you can run for cheap/free).
All these platforms offer coupons for free advertising credits. You’ve probably seen them floating around the internet. They’re fairly easy to get.
If you don’t have any free advertising coupons, no worries. You know I’ve got the hookup for you!
I keep a running list of working methods on how to get free PPC Ad Coupons from ALL the ad networks. And of course, it’s free for you 🙂
I’ll be using Google Adwords to show you the method in this article, since those ad coupons are typically the easiest the get…
Make a new account and load up your Coupon. Go through the process to set up a new campaign and be sure to try to hit your target demographic as much as possible. Set your bidding option to Automatic Bidding to Maximize Clicks, with a max big target of $0.50. If you don’t get any clicks, raise this up 0.25 every couple hours until you do. Put your budget around $20/day. Setting up a good Adwords campaign is obviously much more in depth than this, but we are going purely for speed here, you don’t even know if your idea is good yet.
After you have your campaign set up, write some ads and throw some good keywords in the campaign. If you don’t know how to pick good keywords then don’t worry too much for now. Keyword selection is an in-depth topic and I’ll walk you through the process of keyword selection in an upcoming post.
Your ad will show up in places like this
For now, check out the Google Keyword Tool and put a website similar to yours in the “Website” box. Then test some keywords that you’re thinking. Don’t be afraid to get specific with them. To get to the Keyword Tool go to www.google.com and type “Google Keyword Tool” and it’ll be the first thing that comes up (they’ve been moving the URL around recently so I didn’t want to give a link that would go bad tomorrow).
You can also run Facebook or LinkedIn ads for these types of tests (obviously), but I can’t hook you up with coupons for those 🙁
NOTE – Don’t forget to set up Conversion Tracking, or else this whole thing will be useless! In Adwords, set up Conversions under the Tools and Analysis section of your account. Take that script and put it on the confirmation popup on your Unbounce pages. Also, submit an entry into your landing page to make sure all tracking and lead capturing is working properly! If you have any trouble doing this, comment below and I will post a follow up!
Step 3 – Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! … or Try Again
Now you get to see what happens…
You will either start getting TONS of leads in your email, get a few leads, or get absolutely nothing. Be sure to contact your leads and find out as much as you can about them, their needs, etc. Start the sell!
You will soon find out if you have a smashing hit or a complete dud on your hands. People could start throwing money at you, or they may start cursing you out.
After a couple days you’ll have something that looks like this:
This is actually from Facebook Ads but Google Adwords will look similar.
This will give you some additional numbers about customer acquisition costs for you to weigh against your revenue (or potential revenue). What copy worked well? What tone? Using this information you will be closer to determining the validity of your business.
After running your tests and looking at all your data, you will have INFINITELY more perspective on if you want to move forward with your business idea; and if so, which direction to take it in.
Start it now! It doesn’t take a lot of time and it has a very real possibility at changing your life for the better. You have pretty much zero to risk here – GET AT IT!
For real – when in all of history has it been possible to test a business in a week for $25 and an hour or two of work? It’s absurd not to.
And you did it all in a couple of days, for no cost but your time. Pretty nifty huh?
Let us know how this is working for you! Are there extra details you’d like to know? Add anything and everything below in the comments!
Will Mitchell is a serial entrepreneur and Founder of StartupBros. You can learn more about him at the StartupBros About Page. If you have any questions or comments for him, just send an email or leave a comment!