Podcasts

Starting and Testing Business Ideas On Social Media With Jaco Gerrits | Ep #05

By May 15, 2020 No Comments

The first thing you need to realize as someone who is starting a new venture is that all your ideas, at their core, are assumptions. There’s a big difference between asking your friends or family if this is a good idea and a stranger who will be blatantly honest with you.

So, before you launch a business, break your strategy down step-by-step:

  1. Test your assumptions. Is this something that is useful to my target audience?
  2. Identify your shortcomings. What are your skills and your weaknesses?
  3. Be intentional with your actions. In order to be successful, you need to be willing to change. “Choose to grow”.
  4. Have the discussion with the people of the public.
  5. Have a deep understanding of how digital marketing works.

If you already have a business or an MVP (minimum viable product) then it’s time to test your target market’s response.

Instead of paying thousands of Rands for market research, you can spend a few thousands rand on social media to determine whether people want what you are selling (whether it’s a new business or a new product extension).

You can focus on creating your very own paid media campaign that drives people to the specific offer at hand.

The response should be able to tell you whether you are on the right track or not, that is if you know how to buy the necessary ad inventory on social media or not.

Next you can determine your lead cost or cost per sale, which means you have some data that will be able to tell you whether this is going to work, or whether it’s going to fail horribly!

However, if the numbers don’t add up in the beginning, it’s important to not get discouraged, as failing is evitable for a business owner!

What you do need to do is, try and find out why the numbers aren’t making sense, could it be the product, your message, your offering, or maybe you are just not good at running the social media ads yourself, which is why it’s never a bad idea to ask experts in your field for help.

The Biggest People Make

If you already have a business or an MVP (minimum viable product) then it’s time to test your target market’s response.

Instead of paying thousands of Rands for market research, you can spend a few thousands rand on social media to determine whether people want what you are selling (whether it’s a new business or a new product extension).

You can focus on creating your very own paid media campaign that drives people to the specific offer at hand.

The response should be able to tell you whether you are on the right track or not, that is if you know how to buy the necessary ad inventory on social media or not.

Next you can determine your lead cost or cost per sale, which means you have some data that will be able to tell you whether this is going to work, or whether it’s going to fail horribly!

However, if the numbers don’t add up in the beginning, it’s important to not get discouraged, as failing is evitable for a business owner!

What you do need to do is, try and find out why the numbers aren’t making sense, could it be the product, your message, your offering, or maybe you are just not good at running the social media ads yourself, which is why it’s never a bad idea to ask experts in your field for help.

Typically, when you have an idea for something you want to ensure that you have something viable that you can test.

So, you invest your money into production only to find out that once it hits the market, people aren’t interested.

How do you combat this?

Learn to manage the expectation of the user.

Although it may seem risky because marketing a product that doesn’t exist can be unpredictable, it is easier to get people to sign on to an idea and tell them that this is something they could have in 2 months than to spend 2 years producing something no one will buy.

This way, you are generating an appetite for what is about to come while gathering very valuable information on the side!

Start with identifying what your proposition should be and the benefits thereof.

Once you are able to drive down lead and acquisition costs, you are able to have a payback period in which this could work.

Remember, treat your idea as though it is only an assumption, making it worthless.

Test it and your action and execution becomes valuable.

Why?

This is because not you have stats and facts to prove your idea is good.

Remember it’s not so much about being an expert, your upper hand is your ability to adapt to a new environment.

More than one person could have the same idea, but the faster you are able to discover the insights, process the details, make meaning of it and adapt accordingly, the quicker and easier it will be for you to execute the idea.

Be prepared in all aspects to fail rapidly.

Lessons of failure put you 2 years ahead of the market so don’t be attached to a big ego.

Once you have learned the lessons, you unlock the value.

But Why Social Media?

Most business owners underestimate the power of social media and especially the power of Facebook.

On Facebook you are able to create an avatar of your dream buyers, such as labelling something as being useful to students, single moms or people who like sports.

Now you can run a campaign and monitor your market’s response to your “idea” or new product.

The ads are also very affordable, much more than any other means of advertising, or at least advertising that’s going to provide you with results and valuable insight.

Every Cent Counts

You want to make the most of your money.

Spending R250 on a campaign can turn into a R5,000 campaign down the line.

Why advertise on a billboard targeting the masses, when you can reach a smaller, more targeted audience at a fraction of the cost?

This does not mean that traditional marketing goes right out the window, but in identifying who your customer is, where they are and what they like, you are able to grow to other means of advertising.

Digital advertising allows business owners to reach different target audiences and markets at scale, not to mention that you can run campaigns with daily budgets as low as R30 a day.

Top Tips for Launching an Idea on a Budget

You want to make the most of your money.

Spending R250 on a campaign can turn into a R5,000 campaign down the line.

Why advertise on a billboard targeting the masses, when you can reach a smaller, more targeted audience at a fraction of the cost?

This does not mean that traditional marketing goes right out the window, but in identifying who your customer is, where they are and what they like, you are able to grow to other means of advertising.

Digital advertising allows business owners to reach different target audiences and markets at scale, not to mention that you can run campaigns with daily budgets as low as R30 a day.

Top Tips for Launching an Idea on a Budget

  1. If you have an idea, make it look nice. Consult with designers on sights such as Fiverr.
  2. Go exclusively onto social media, drive value around proposition you can give away for free to build a relationship with your customers.
  3. Build and launch different landing pages (without knowing how to code) with different offers, and ideas using a tool like Unbounce (which offers a 14-day free trial).
  4. Create an ad, run it, channel it towards the page and your final offer and see what happens.
  5. Use your data to tweak and improve.

To sum it all up, social media as an advertising platform is the cheapest and easiest way for small and medium businesses to determine the value of a product, identify and bridge areas of conflict while maintaining a channel where you can continuously engage with your audience.

Jandre de Beer

Author Jandre de Beer

In a nutshell... I'm an online marketing expert with an appetite for #entrepreneurship! I'm the Managing Director of Version Eight and a contributing author to Entrepreneurs Mag SA and SME.

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