Startups: The Truth About Product Market Fit

Are you in the middle of or considering creating a tech startup?

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If you are on this tech startup journey, I want to get to you early and let you know about what could be the most important thing you will consider. If you get this wrong, you will fail. And that thingy is Product Market Fit.

I want to use the words “Wake Up People!”, but trust me it’s not useful here.

I abhor the use of the words “Wake Up People!” I’ve heard those words from all political spectrums. Trust me, nobody is waking up!

Let’s first explain product market fit. This is understanding your product, who your customer is for your product, and how you deliver this product to your customer.

Even though you can imagine your customer buying your product or service, and you can go out and do a ton of testing, you really don’t know in the end if they will buy it. And remember this issue cuts across both consumer and business to business products and services differently. Your gut is as good as you are going to get. In the end, most entrepreneurs don’t want to leave things up to chance. They want a guarantee their product will sell.

Even if you are giving your product away for free, as most consumer mobile apps do for instance, you still don't know how many downloads you will get till you get to market.

So think about that. We started by selling the concept of segmented push notification services. This was powerful, but hard to understand by customers. To me it’s easy to understand. You generate 250 landing pages that all have a segment and ask people who land on the Baltimore page, to sign up about messages just about Baltimore.

A few weeks into this push notification consulting biz, we realized that the business customer was seeing abnormally high results being found on Google Search. That’s when we pivoted and our product market fit, literally switched to a SEO visibility solution.

Back then, 3 years ago, we were selling directly to large website or enterprise level customers. We got a few on the hook. I had developed all the code myself both custom and WordPress plugin. It seemed like we knew product market fit.

One of the issues with product market fit, is you gear up your website, emails, case studies to be for the market you have decided on. Later on, I partnered with a software company and they turned my coding into an API, backend and scalable monthly Saas service.

But we were not done yet. We knew initially that only a web agency could really sell our product, so we created one. That worked ok. We signed up a dozen clients.

At some point I was convinced that the nutritional supplement industry was our market. Our produced killed in that market, and our one large client was very happy.

Here is the real problem. You end up putting your selling resources into chasing the market of your product market fit. But if your product market fit changes, you have wasted your budget. So, when I spent $5,000 going to all natural food shows and nutritional supplements shows all I got was a pile of CBD tubes and a lot of cool SWAG.

At some point sometimes a potential customer or affiliate comes to you and sets you straight. That happened to us. A large web agency approached us and said, hey, we love your product. We want your product on all our client websites. And that's finally when we hit our product market fit. We are no longer selling directly and we get all our customers through agency partners. That is all who I sell to today. If you are a digital agency, call me!

It took 3 years and a lot of starts and stops to understand this. But now that we know where we are going, it is easier to know what to do. :)

If you run a web agency or SEO consultancy, please contact us at info@seoturbobooster.com. One thing you should know is this product is not available anywhere else. No guru, industry leader says to do what we do. You will be at the forefront of something big. We are a landing page generation company delivering stuff that you can’t readily get off the shelf. And we are gearing up for a bunch of product add-ons. These services allow you to resell this stuff to clients and make your life easier. let me know. Have a great day!

Written by

Founder SEO Turbo Booster, http://seoturbobooster.com, Writer, Speaker, Consultant. Email me at dan@seoturbobooster.com to contact me.

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