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Find Product-Market Fit

Lesson 14 from: Create a Product Plan & Grow Your Standout Business

Tara McMullin

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Lesson Info

14. Find Product-Market Fit

Lesson Info

Find Product-Market Fit

We're gonna dive into this next lesson by starting off lesson four here on finding your product market fit. And this is gonna be a short one, but it's gonna be really, really important. So here we are, we're almost about halfway through, we're gonna get to halfway through by the end of this segment but we're gonna start off here by designing your feedback loop. When it comes to product/market fit, what we're really trying to do is create a system for you to make your product better and better and better, easier to sell, easier to deliver and more effective, and make happier customers every single time you sell it. And that is, it's a loop, it's a feedback loop, it's a system, right Aleah? Systems, yeah. (crowd laughs) It's a process that you can use, that you can employ, to make it better every single time. Now before we get to that feedback loop, I have something to break to you. There's a 90% chance that you fall into one of two camps and really if you're here, if you're watching, th...

ere's a pretty good chance that there's like, 100% chance, that you fall into one of these two camps. Either: one, you have not yet found product/market fit. And I would probably say that's where the majority of you lie, or you found it, and you ignored it. And I know there are people out there watching, maybe there's somebody here who has found it and ignored it. But what is this product/market fit of which I speak. Well we will let the person who came up with, coined the term product/market fit, Marc Andreessen tell us what it is. He says "Product/market fit means being in a good market "with a product that can satisfy that market." Okay Marc, what does that mean? I know. This is essentially what it means, this is what product/market fit is. When you find product/market fit, it's easy to get a yes on your product, in other words it's easy to sell it, and there are plenty of potential yeses to sustain your business. So you've got a product that people want in a market where there are plenty of people to buy it. Enough people to keep your business going for years, and years and years and years, depending on how the market changes and evolves. Makes sense? Are we clear on product/market fit? Okay awesome. Now if you haven't found product/market fit, first of all you are not alone. But here are some of the reasons you might not have found it. First and foremost, this is the biggest, you haven't stuck with a product, a program, a service, whatever your offering, long enough to truly evaluate the possibility of whether it could become your core offer. This goes back to that whole "what else?" problem that whole "junk drawer" business model that I've been talking about, where you are just constantly in a cycle of creating new things, you don't stay and focus on a product long enough to figure out "is this it?" Is this the blockbuster waiting to happen? That's the first reason. Two, then you don't use a customer feedback to iterate slowly, so often people get customer feedback but they use the kind of customer feedback to kind of justify that cycle of constantly creating something new. So you know you do a survey of people who just completed your program, and they're like "Well now I want this thing, and now I want this thing, and can you make it in purple?" And so you go and you create something brand new, right out of the gate instead of coming back to that product and saying "What do I need to change here "to make it even better for the next round of customers and even easier to sell?" That's how you wanna be using your customer feedback. In the next lesson we will talk about using customer feedback to further develop other product opportunities but right now we're talking about using feedback to better develop and refine the product that you have, the core offer that you have. And then of course you flail around, creating offer idea after offer idea. Now, what about on the flip side? What if you've actually found it and you ignored it? And you may not actually even know that you've fallen into this camp, maybe you sold something and it was really easy to sell but you still didn't come back to it. So if you ignored it, it means that you didn't go out and find new people to sell your offer to, you end up selling to the same people over and over again. Remember there was the question earlier in the day about what if you have raving fans, what about then, how do you keep them happy? How do you keep them growing? This is a really common problem where somebody has gotten together an audience of raving fans, a core group of people who would buy whatever it is that they offer. So they keep offering new things, and ignore when they've created an offer that they could go to the big time with. Because they're just focused on that group of raving fans, and guys there is nothing wrong with focusing on raving fans, I highly recommend it, but at the same time, if you wanna take a business and make it really sustainable, grow it to the point where it can take care of you and create a legacy with the work that you're building, you've gotta use those raving fans to actually teach you about what products you need to stick with instead of actually creating new things. If you ignore product/market fit you might have also thought that your offer couldn't scale to become truly profitable. So another mistake I see people make is that their coaching sells really easily, their consulting sells really easily. And so maybe they experiment with creating a class or a course and that doesn't go well for them, and so they think "Oh, this can't really scale, I can't "really take this to the point so I'm gonna try "creating something else, and try creating something else" instead of thinking about, "Well how could I "actually scale my coaching?" Or "How could I actually scale my consulting offer?" So there's that too, it can become sort of a self fulfilling prophecy in that way. And then the final reason you might have ignored product/market fit, and I know this is a problem for people here watching, is you got bored. You got bored. Because I know one of the other fears, and we have not addressed this yet, is that when Tara tells you that you need to focus your business on one core offer, your extremely creative brain goes "Ahh! What am I gonna do with all my ideas? "What am I gonna do with that creative itch "that I constantly need to scratch? "Tara I'm gonna be bored out of my mind." How many of you have thought that so far? Okay one. (laughs) That's awesome. I know wherever you are out there, online, you guys, you're thinking that same thing too. You're worried about the boredom factor. Just yesterday we released the hundredth episode of "Profit Power Pursuit and we did it with Chase Jarvis, who's the co-founder and CEO here of CreativeLive, who I co-produced that podcast with. And one of the things he said in that interview, is "In the future, all CEOs will be considered artists." "In the future all CEOs will be considered artists." And I think that encapsulates the solution to this problem of boredom, is that you now have the opportunity, once you've streamlined your business, focused your business on one core offer, you have the opportunity to apply your creativity, your art, your contribution, to the role of growing your business, instead of constantly creating new things. Growing a business is an incredibly creative act. It requires that sort of innovation, that sort of, you know, novelty of figuring out how to do old things in new ways, or figuring out how to do new things in new ways. Running a business is incredibly creative. It takes incredible artistry, and you now have the opportunity to become that kind of CEO. To become that kind of founder that is channeling their creativity, all of that idea power, into growing your business instead of just constantly creating new stuff. And constantly creating more work for yourself. Alright so don't, please don't worry about the boredom problem, we can solve the boredom problem. I get bored as easily as anybody. Maybe more easily (laughs) have a real problem with boredom. But this is fun, finding product/market fit, focusing your business and building your business around that core, one core offer can be incredibly creative. Now why does all of this matter? Why does all of this matter, it matters because of all the questions I get about how I can market my business better, how I can hire people, how I can reach more people, all of those questions, and really it all boils down to marketing questions, all anyone wants to know are the answers to the marketing questions right? But you can't accelerate your marketing, or build long-lasting systems, or invest in infrastructure until you've found product/market fit. You can't! What are you building systems around? What are you actually marketing? What are you investing in, in terms of infrastructure, technology, if you don't know the product that's gonna take you into the future, the offer that you're gonna build the legacy of your business around. You can't do all this stuff, all the answers to those questions are just gonna leave you spinning your wheels because you're not gonna know how to apply it to the next thing, and the next thing, and the next thing, and the next thing. If instead you focus on taking that core offer, and getting clear on your product/market fit, now you can take the answers to those marketing questions and you are off to the races. You can take those questions that you have about building a long-lasting systems, you can ask Aleah about them and she will help you take it off to the races right? You can take all of those wants that you have around building a better website, investing in better technology, finding the team members who can help you not have to work so hard, as long as you found product/market fit. So how do you do this? Well that's where building the feedback loop comes in. Now this is exactly the diagram you will find if you open up The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. And you look at how Silicon Valley startups take a teeny little tiny app idea, and turn it into the next Facebook, or the next Slack, or the next Twitter, you don't wanna build the next Twitter, the next, what else is hot right now, whatever it might be, this is how they do it. They start with ideas, then they build a product based on a hypothesis, then they deliver that product to a certain number of customers. Then they measure how that product works with those customers, they get data from those measurements, they learn things from that data, in other words they analyze and process that information. That turns into new ideas and the whole cycle starts again. Ideas turn into building, building turns into delivering your offer, delivering means you're gonna measure something, once you've measure it, you gather data, then you have to learn something from the data, this is a commonly skipped step, and then you come back to ideas. And this happens literally every time you sell your product. Every time you enroll a new client, every time you onboard a new customer, every time you run a campaign around your course, or your program, you have an opportunity to take a particular idea, build out a solution to it, whether that's a new feature, whether that's a new way of doing something, whether that's just a teeny tiny little tweak. You deliver that product or service, you get real actionable data from that, you take that you learn it and you start all over again. At CoCommercial we're onboarding new members every single day and we're running through that loop, almost, on a daily basis, maybe not in it's entirety, but every single time a new member asks a question, we're learning something from that. Every single time my community manager reaches out to a new member, or a confused member, and we get them help, we're learning something about how the product works, about how our messaging landed for them, about what needs to change in the app. That's something we're learning every single day, and making adjustments around. A bunch of us have been talking about how this process is not, this is not a two day process. You guys are here for two days, and I'm putting you through your paces, (laughs) but this is an iterative process, it can take you months and months and months to get you through this feedback loop enough times to where you finally feel like (exhales) "I've got it. This is it. I have reached "that tipping point where I know this is "gonna work, yes I still have a lot of work to do, "but I have complete confidence moving forward."

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Product Plan -- Implementation Month

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Product Plan -- Workbook

Ratings and Reviews

Lindsey Warriner

Every time I thought the class had reached a point that I knew "enough" about, Tara dropped yet another game-changer that I'd never even considered. Great experience, great speaker, great class.

Alaia Williams

Once again, Tara has been extremely helpful in getting me to think through where I'm taking my business next. I'm excited about the opportunities that lie ahead!

Ate Myt

Although the course targets people who have already started a business, I found it very helpful for me as I start my own business. I particularly appreciate the step-by-step guide to developing a 3-pillar business model. Very practical. i highly recommend it.

Student Work