When starting SocialWOD, we noticed that every single potential customer - CrossFit gyms - all had a blog and were looking for interesting stuff to share with their members.
We created an infographic (http://socialwod.com/pages/history-of-the-games) which linked back to our landing page (which had benefit-focused copy on it). Prospects posted it on their blogs, which drove others to our landing page.
We emailed each person who signed up through the landing page and who posted our infographic to see if they'd be up for a 15 minute chat "to make sure we built something they loved".
In the first round of conversations, we made sure that our idea was something people needed. In our second round several weeks later with the most promising first-rounders, we showed them wireframes of a two-screen version 1 and asked them to commit to paying a discounted rate of $30-50/m when the app was built.
We had eight people commit, and seven ended up paying us. Getting those eight promises was enough to de-risk building the minimal v1 product.
Make sure you have people committed to pay you before you build v1.
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