BY DANIEL DA SILVA LAY
Pre-selling allows you to somewhat guarantee the success of a product before you launch because customers are paying for the development.
It’s an approach that can be done quite well with crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo.com and Kickstarter.com
The interesting thing is that people naturally associate these sites with raising capital for a project but don’t always think to use them to validate a product or service and try to pre-sell.
The main goal of pre-selling is to see if people will put their money up before you go away and develop your product or service.
If there’s enough interest, then you know you’re onto a winner or at the very least you can cover your costs. And if no-one buys, it’s indicative that the market isn’t interested or ready for what you’re currently offering.
Here are some practical tips on how you could set up a campaign to validate your product or service and then pre-sell:
Tip #1: Find someone on Upwork.com or Fiverr.com to turn your idea, which could simply be a bunch of sketches, into a user interface or a concept of the finished product.
Tip #2: Use Placeit.net to transpose a mock-up of a website, phone app, web app, basically any user interface onto a common device such as a smart phone, laptop and even a smart watch.
Tip #3: If you don’t want to use Indiegogo.com or Kickstarter.com and you have a large enough email list or a clear strategy to attract traffic to your own site, you can use a Wordpress plugin or theme from Ignitiondeck.com that lets you set up your very own crowdfunding platform.
Tip #4: Offer different pricing options for pre-sale customers, for instance $50, $100, $500+ so that you can cater for a larger group of people and maximise your ability to hit your funding target.
Tip #5: Provide lots of value to pre-sale customers who are funding the project. Things like a cheaper price that won’t be repeated again or maybe engaging with them regularly and using their feedback to help shape the development of your product or service.
Pre-selling is a great way to fund the development of your product or service but more importantly it will allow you to validate your idea and see what people think before you spend valuable time and resources bringing it to the market.