Product Launch

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E113: Early Adopters: Friendlies vs Strangers

After you’ve launched your product, you’re going to want to gather as much feedback as you can before you scale.

The first set of users could be friendlies (people in your network) or strangers (people who you don’t really know) and perhaps both.

What’s the best strategy here and why?

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Episode Transcript
 Hey folks, Sean here, and today what I want to talk to you about is who you should be getting the initial set of feedback from, and what should that first wave of customers for your B2B SaaS product that you may have recently launched actually look like. Are we talking about friendlies or are we talking about strangers, or are we talking about some form of a mix?

Now, from my perspective, after you’ve launched your B2B SaaS product, And I’m assuming you’ve done some testing and if you’ve been following along with what I’ve been recommending you would have in order to get some type of an idea what the level of interest is in terms of your ICP or your ideal customer profiles, level of interest in your UVP or your unique value proposition, as well as.

Their motivation to pay for access to your product. Now, if you’ve done that once you are ultimately launching your product and then sharing with with those that have signed up, you’ve got essentially an initial set of folks that you can email because hopefully you’ve captured their email addresses.

And you can measure how many of them ultimately trying to access the product, how many of them convert into paying customers, and all of that is excellent testing. But without skipping steps here, my opinion, the most important first kind of big milestone to accomplish after you’ve launched your product is to.

Get a quote unquote wave of customers into the product experience and then be able to measure what their active usage looks like, what type of feedback you can receive from them. Has your product ultimately been able to solve their problem? That’s really what we’re trying to VA to verify and to validate as part of this phase.

If we can do that, we’ll know that we can significantly de-risk the future potential success. Of this project because we’ll have better understood how well we’ve achieved product market fit so far. So now from my perspective, I think there’s good and bad with both of the cohorts that I mentioned in terms of friendlies, which I would, I usually refer to as people in your network or folks that know what you’re working on or folks that may be able to use what it is you’ve.

And then strangers, people who you don’t have a preexisting relationship with. The advantage of the friendlies is that it can be a little bit easier to try to get feedback, but the problem with the friendlies is oftentimes that might be you have to take that with a pretty heavy grain of salt unless you are really forcing them to give you direct feedback.

Now that’s something that I’ve worked very hard at refining over the years, but that can be really hard to do, as in oftentimes that you know, people that fall into that category for you, they might be telling you what they think you want to hear as opposed to what you need to hear. So long story short, there is good, but you have to caveat that group.

Now, the strangers on the other, They’re harder to get direct access to, but they’re also more than likely to give you brutally honest feedback, which is what arguably matters most. At this point. You need people to tell you whether or not your baby is ugly, and sometimes your friends will not tell you that, uh, because if it is ugly or you do have problems with it, then.

That feedback can help you make that better, so that’s important too. Long story short here, my best recommendation is a mixture of the two because I think you can learn something new from each and potentially something unique from each. As in, if you can’t get one thing from one group, you might be able to get it from the other.

So I. I like to try to see if I can’t get a wave of each as in share with my network, what it is I’ve built and produced, provide some access to it, see if I can get some feedback, and then email blast or you know, start messaging and developing a relationship with the folks that have previously signed up, which most of which should probably be strangers in terms of a level of interest in what it is that you’ve built.

That way you can measure activity across both of these cohorts to see what you can learn about evaluating how much value your product is providing for the folks that have expressed interest in it.