Seems crazy right?
It’s not as crazy as you think. This is a strategy I’ve learned that works incredibly well. Shoutout to Dane Maxwell – Founder of The Foundation.
Step 1) Identify a Niche.
- Pick something, I don’t care if it’s cupcakes or cars. Just pick a niche that you like, and you want to be associated with. This is the niche you’re going to launch a product in.
Step 2) Get Data
- Scrape the data and get the email addresses of the Founders of the companies. I personally use these two tools:
- Voila Norbert
Step 3) Email
Send an email to these CEO’s and just say you’re collaborating with a few CEOs in the Cupcake industry, and if they’d be open to that. It can be something like:
“Hey Mr XYZ,
I’m looking to collaborate with a few CEOs in London, on how we could collectively improve a few things we’re all struggling with. Would you be open to something like this?
Ping me back a quick note with “i’m in” and your number and I will give you a 2 minute call share more deets”
Mr Future Millionnaire.
Remember it’s a softsale. It needs to be something really light, suggestive and non-intrusive. They need to feel they will gain value from it. Check out how the email is structured.
1) Firstly, it’s straight to the point – no beating around the bush, nobody likes that.
2) It mentions “collaborate” which is a form of collectively working together, normally this suggests there’s no money involved and it’s mutually beneficial.
3) The words “few CEOs” actually embed credibility into the paragraph – and you know what, you are going to be emailing quite a few CEOs, so it’s not even a lie.
4) “Ping me back a quick note with “i’m in” and your number”: This is a very clear call to action that requires next to know thought on what the user has to do.
5) “2 minute call” – let’s be honest, no call is ever 2 minutes, but saying this gives the person a “false time constraint”, which is basically something that they are willing to invest in order to gain value. This doesn’t seem like a large commitment, so most probably they will agree.
Now you want to send this email out to about a 100 CEOs in the niche.
Step 4) Conversation
This is your golden opportunity to ask questions. Research the industry so you don’t look like a moron and you have some clue about what you’re talking about. After you’ve built the initial rapport, mention something like, “so, i’ve been speaking to XYZ CEO, and he’s mentioned he is really struggling with XYZ problem, are you also experiencing that?”. Identify the problem through a series of really good qualifying questions, and always dig deeper.
The main thing you’re looking to do here is understanding how much the problem costs. You can understand this by asking a question like: “oh, how much does that cost per year” or “how much time does that take from your day” – because time is money.
Step 5) Product
Use a tool like canva.com to design initial screens on how it will look. Remember, this needs to be a very rough design, however, how it solves the problem needs to be clear. Once you’ve got all of the images, use https://www.invisionapp.com/ to put the pictures onto a platform that allows you to turn it into a prototype.
At this point, you should have a fully functioning prototype that a user can play around with on his/her phone or computer.
Step 6) Email 2 + Feedback!
Now that we’ve identified a problem and you’ve turned the idea into a tangible solution that they can play around with, ping them a note like this:
Hey Mr XYZ,
Guess what! There’s been some cool progress since our last conversations. I’ve got something to show you that I think you’ll love.
I’m in the area on Thursday – say around 2pm. Have you got 5 minutes for me to run it by you?
Mr Future Millionnaire
Why is this email good? Numerous reasons:
- Guess what! – really good hook line. Nobody starts an email like that.
- Cool progress, got something you’ll love. Curiosity kills the cat, they are really going to want to know what it is.
- You’re “in the area” – so it makes it sound like it’s less commitment and more convenience.
- Have you got 5 minutes – this is a false time constraint to get the meeting booked.
- Speak soon – suggests the conversation is not finished and you’re expecting a response.
Step 7) Deposit
Ok. There’s no getting around this hurdle. You’ve got to perfect your pitch. I’ve read hundreds of books in my time, however, the two best books on sales are:
Note – at this point. The Art of Closing the Sale costs £9.99. So this is where your £10 is used up. As for The Way of The Wolf, if you sign up to Audible HERE. You will get one month free – which is enough time to download and read the book.
You’ve got to develop anchors for them and help them understand that it currently costs them X and takes Y long and with your platform, it will cost them A and B. Therefore they are saving – C money and D time.
An example would be, imagine they had 1000 burnt cupcakes per year because they didn’t have a timer in the oven, this cost them £2000. Your platform is an automated timer, which only costs £500 set up fee, plus £50p/m. However, if they sign up today and put the deposit down, they will get it for life, for only £250 set up fee, plus £25p/m. It’s important there is a strong enough incentive for them to be convinced about putting down a deposit on the day or soon.
Once you get about 10 companies interested, that’s £2500 + £250p/m. This is more than enough to hire a development agency using platforms like: Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, Upwork, etc to build a simple and elegant product that does only one thing.
Step 8) Build
Once you’ve hired a company with the £2000 you have, now is your chance to really turn the product into a reality. This is where you really have to push the freelancing team you’ve hired pretty hard to ensure they deliver a strong tangible product.
Step 9) Iterate
Keep you “investors” happy and ensure they are satisfied with the product and that it does what you agreed with them. Take their advice on board, but if they start trying to add more features – be careful of this. It’s fine, but naturally, it would probably cost more too which you can get them to invest as the initial capital was only for first functionality.
Step 10) Launch
Now you’ll have £250p/m to keep the product going and perhaps fixing a few bugs here and there. A lot of this money you want to invest in ads, to keep your product going and get new customers onboard.
This is just the start, but from here it’s possible to scale up.