The economy may be down, but the entrepreneurial spirit is in full bloom. Recently, I had the pleasure to catch up with 2 former colleagues in the midst of amping up their online businesses. After both conversations, I realized that the first step in WOMM is different for new vs. established businesses.
The first T in Andy Sernovitz’ 5T framework (a worksheet for which can be found here) is Talkers. Who is going to spread the word about you? An established brand can do research to determine who is already talking, analyze what they organically talk about and use that as a good starting point for a word of mouth marketing program. A new company, however, does not have that luxury.
New Site/Service Step 1: Identify which micro-audience will derive the most value from the differentiation of your offering. They will be your talkers. They can be your beta testers and your product development focus group and your conscience as you make decisions about the business.
The challenge? Like minoxidil that was designed for high blood pressure and now treats baldness or Dr. Martens shoes that were designed as gardening shoes for the elderly and became a symbol of the punk movement, sometimes your most valuable talkers are not the ones your originally had in mind when you went into business. Here are some thoughts on finding them:
- Family & Friends – Ask family and friends (real and Facebook) to test the site, provide you some feedback, and suggest what THEY think the value of the site is and what the ultimate user profile would be.
- Research, ID and start to follow bloggers in all of the different profiles/specialties that your family and friends think might be your ultimate users to gain insights into their needs and desires.
- Ask a handful of bloggers to check out what you’re building and provide you with some feedback on your beta.
- Gauge which segment has the most significant need/value from your offering and prioritize their development requirements.
- Develop new features, and repeat from step 3.
As promised Sunday, this was the gist of my feedback for Recipecomparison.com. What else do you tell the entrepreneurs who seek WOMM advice from you? Do you have any other thoughts for this site in particular?