Ideas and Validation June 1, 2020

What would you do first - Build an MVP or Build a landing page to see if I can get some sales?

Edwin Merino @helloeddy

I've been doing Instagram marketing for over 5 years now with a dozen of my own large accounts making money in various ways.

Now I'd like to step into the world of developing software to help businesses make sales with the help of Instagram using their open APIs and then parsing the data into a useful feed for any business sales team to use.

I'd love to hear your opinions on whether you think I should start buy going through the trouble of creating an MVP product that does this (not a fully tested idea though) or creating a mockup with a landing page plus explainer video and a very low price like $5 to see if I could get any sales BEFORE spending the money and energy into developing the MVP.

Thanks for your time!

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    How about you don't build anything and instead talk to them to figure out if this is a real problem and something they'd pay for?
    On that note, I suggest you read "The mom test" by @robfitz

  2. 2

    I'm a big fan of Lean Startup. I vote landing page as well. With that said lol, we did the exact opposite. We didn't make a landing page. We didn't even stop after we had a fully functioning MVP. Given the nature of the space we operate in we had to build the full production version before we could gauge interest and go to market lol. But for your idea? Landing page!

    Co-founder of CRUU, the best darned React development tool ever invented by humanity this week.

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  3. 1

    There is no right or wrong way imo.

    But I have seen many SAAS companies that initially have a landing page with an optin box at the top in order to validate their idea. This helps them know if their idea is in demand or if users are willing to pay for it.

    Most even hold Skype sessions with some of the users that have opted in and have one-to-one conversations on how the software can help them and what features they should focus on.

  4. 1

    Hi Edwin! I agree with the folks in the thread to build a landing page before MVP.
    However, before doing it I would do a research exercise to define the problem with Value Proposition Design. Defining the pains, gains and jobs with your audience. After that I would take a look to the competition and see what is not correctly solved in the market (which pains or jobs).
    Developing the landing page with a value proposition fitting what is not served in the market + solving what you've found in the research will help you to increase the odds of success. Landing pages usually are good to validate the solution, but before validating the solution, it's advisable to validate the problem hypothesis doing this research with your audience.
    I hope it helps. Go for it!!

  5. 1

    Hi! You can use my new product to create a landing page in 2 minutes:)
    You can check it out here:

  6. 1

    If I was you I would build a nice landing page that clearly explains the product, then I would send automated message from multiple IG accounts explaining your product a little. You can use Jarvee to do this. If people respond you know that they have some level of interest and then you can send them the link for your landing page and ask them to check it out.

    At least this way you will stand a better chance of getting feedback from your target audience about the product you are developing.

    I used this method to grow my business. Had around 100 messenger accounts sending varying messages which I AB tested to see which performed the best. I then hired a VA to handle the responses when it got too time consuming. This was my main method of marketing, mainly cause I didn't know much about traditional marketing methods 😂.

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      That's great! This is what I and other IG marketers have been doing but I'm tired having to work around IG algorithms and shadowbans so I've been thinking of a more white-hat way to do this. Thanks for the idea!

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        Why does it matter if you get shadow banned? You can still send DMs. Like you can create accounts specifically for this purpose and it won't matter if they get shadow banned. They didn't post any new content, just messaged people

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          Right it works, but for a business that doesn’t have time to deal with the hacky Approach of setting up a VPS + Jarvee, (which is a beast and no regard for user experience) not to mention acquiring 4G proxies, I think a more practical solution would be worth something to some businesses. Let’s see.

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            Ah right yeah, if you don't already have a set up then it's not worth doing. Best of luck with it though 😊

  7. 1

    If the MVP is doable in a day or two than it is best to have the first version than a page. But if the MVP is longer than a day or two than a landing page. You may save a lot of investments.

  8. 1

    I asked a question that was a bit similar recently on IH. The takeaway was: yes, building a landing page to collect emails is definitely the way to go to validate and build a trusting relationship :)

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    Tweeted about it, just this morning

    landing page first, 2 good reasons

    1. Do people actually need your product
    2. Do you know how to get traction and grow your userbase
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    Create a landing page and start collecting email address from potential customers but don't charge $5. In fact, don't communicate how much you're going to charge. Just say you're in closed beta and access is available based on invites. Maybe build some referral mechanism - jump the queue types.

    Their email address is equal to the $5 you want to charge. Then based on response, you can decide whether or not to build the MVP.

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      Is it not better to have people validate with their wallets? I’ve been doing marketing on IG for some time and there are always way more people looking for freebies than actual paying customers. Thoughts?

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        Yes. Sure that happens. But that's for consumer businesses not for saas businesses. In consumer business, never sell anything for free not even for a single day. But saas is different, it gives you recurring revenue if you get it right.

        Also, today they might stick with you for $5 but the moment you raise your price, they'll leave. And you don't want to be building for those kind of customers.

        You want to build a product for those who stick around because they find value in your product. And that happens only when you bring them in the loop while build.

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          How many emails would you say is good enough to qualify the idea in your opinion?

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    I think it depends on what you want to validate. If you want to validate if the idea is viable then the landing page is much easier and cheaper. If you are sure there is a demand for it, then it may be the time to build MVP to start earning on the idea.