Easy way of validating your idea (takes 2.5 minutes)

Hey guys,

I see a lot of people here trying to validate ideas and the usual advice is to always cold email people at first - which is okay advice, but cold email without decent context has a somewhat low response rate in my experience.

And because of this, I developed a simple formula to get early opinions (and leads) on any project using Google search operators:


Just adapt this formula with your needs and copy-paste it on Google.

Now, here's a practical example of how did it for ecommerceranker.com:
"site:linkedin.com/in/ "e-commerce" CEO"

This way, I got over 8 million leads I could contact to get highly-relevant opinions on my e-commerce project. (and I even closed a deal with this strategy)

Just add 10-20 contacts (better if they're a 2nd connection of yours because they're more likely to accept your request this way), and politely ask them to review your project.

A considerable portion of Linkedin users accept connection requests within moments, so you can literally validate your idea in 2.5 minutes.

Now, if you feel Linkedin's not for you, that's also okay, because I bring you a second strategy involving Gmail accounts:

"site:linkedin.com/in/ "NICHE OF YOUR PRODUCT" @gmail.com"

This way you get the public Gmail addresses of highly-targeted Linkedin accounts you can email directly - and you also skip the waiting time of having them accept your connection request.

In my experience, 99% of these contacts are okay with being approached IF you say you saw their email on Linkedin - always give that context.

What do you think about this strategy?

Have you tried it before?

  1. 3

    @louisdv cool stuff!

    Curious to know how's the response rate so far?

    1. 3

      Hey Felix12777,

      Somewhere around 50-60% within a week

      1. 1

        Thats a really great response rate. Way better than cold email in my experience

        1. 1

          Yes, especially if you have an optimized Linkedin profile - almost anyone will accept you, almost no questions asked (because having more connections translates into a higher status on Linkedin).

  2. 1

    Wow...this is amazing insight. I am going to be using it for my new Copywriting side-hustle.
    Thanks a bunch.

  3. 1

    Awesome idea! Thanks for sharing.

  4. 1

    Great hack. Thanks for sharing this. :)

  5. 1

    Good advice, will try!

  6. 1

    Awesome thank you. Will definitely try it.

    1. 1

      Hey o2,

      Sure - I would take your most filled niche so far in your product and I would add users on Linkedin from that same niche who work within smaller companies (less internal politics and more agility to try new things).

      If they give good feedback on the project, propose those users to join your service with a casual pitch.

  7. 1

    That’s really good louisv. I didn’t expect it to work that well!
    I’m just trying to think of ways to add more criteria. So, for example; small-medium sized business or a business that uses Shopify.

    1. 1

      Ah, I just remembered all Shopify websites have a second URL at .myshopify.com
      Using your formula, this works great.

  8. 1

    This is fantastic... Need to validate a remote job board for African freelancers and workers would use this...

  9. 1

    Awesome. I am seeing a to of leads too

  10. 1

    Seems like a really nice hack! I'll try it and let you know how it works.

    1. 1

      Thanks Hermann, if you need any help let me know.

  11. 1

    This is really interesting, thanks for the tip -- I was using a very round about way to find people on linkedIn

    EDIT: How are you getting around the fact that you need to be connected to send people messages?

    1. 2

      Hey Hatcher01,

      If they don't accept my personalized connection, after a while I send them in an email (if I scraped the contacts with the Gmail tactic).

      You can also buy Linkedin Premium for one month, but that's not really the Indie Hacker way, so I don't recommend it.

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