17 min read
Every successful business starts with an idea, a simple “what if” question that unlocks a world of new possibilities.
If you’re like most content creators, coming up with new ideas isn’t the problem.
It only becomes an issue when you aren’t sure which idea you should pursue.
How do you know which idea to keep and which ones should be thrown out?
It starts with validating your idea.
As a content creator, you don’t want to waste your time developing a complicated website or an online brand based on ideas that turn out to be total duds.
You want to find a way to weed out the ideas that won’t go anywhere as quickly as possible, which you can accomplish by testing your idea with a simple idea validation landing page.
By using a landing page for idea validation, you’ll be able to focus every element of the page on determining if you should move forward with the idea.
This means everything from the call-to-action (CTA) button to the headline should be optimized with the primary goal of understanding what your audience really thinks of your idea. We’ll talk more about this in a bit, but for now, let’s talk about a few more reasons why you’ll want to use a landing page to test ideas.
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Imagine if you created a full-blown, multiple-page website based around an idea that doesn’t pan out once you launch it into the world. You poured countless hours into writing the website copy and designing it with your visual branding in mind. What should you do now?
You might think about scrapping the website altogether, causing you to be more hesitant to pursue another idea you’re passionate about later on.
Luckily, there is a way around this! When you use a simple landing page to gauge interest in a product or service idea before you spend hours creating it, you’ll save time and feel more confident when it comes time to launch your validated idea.
Maybe you already have a website built for your company but you want to test a new product idea that introduces you to a new audience segment.
Instead of feeling like you need to update all of your website messaging to fit the new audience that may or may not be interested in what you offer (that’s what the test is for!), you’ll be able to create a landing page that will be directed toward them. You also won’t have to declare a niche yet, which can come in handy if you are still discovering how you want to position your brand.
On your landing page, you can briefly outline what problem your product idea is hoping to solve and collect email addresses from people who are interested in more information. Seriously, that’s all you need to get started!
After creating a landing page for your idea, you’ll be able to track your landing page conversions (meaning how many people sign up for more information or the next step) by looking at who clicked your call-to-action button or filled out your form.
Each page of your website should be focused on a single goal. Since your landing page is solely focused on gauging interest for one idea, you only have to think about it solving one question: is it worth pursuing the idea or not?
No matter if the answer to that question is a yes or no, it will be considered a success because you found out early on in the ideation process. Then you can use this data to influence other business projects you plan to launch or make edits and tweaks to your current offerings.
If you’re convinced that landing pages are the way to go when testing the validity of a new idea, let’s use the rest of our time to dig into the most important steps of creating an idea validation landing page.
The biggest goal of your landing page is to determine if you want to move forward with your idea. That seems simple and straight-forward enough, but how do you know if you have enough interest?
This goal number will differ from person to person. For example, some content creators may need to collect 100 email addresses before they feel comfortable pursuing an online course idea. Another business owner may want to pre-sell their product before it exists to at least 20 people before they create and launch it.
There’s no right or wrong way to set goals with your idea validation. The best way to move forward is to ensure your goals are actionable, trackable, and realistic.
When we look at average conversion rates on landing pages, we see that 2.35% of people who visit a landing page will take the next intended action on it. This number can differ depending on your industry, but it’s a good number to shoot for.
It’s good to know what average landing page conversion rates look like before you define your own goals so you don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself. If you tell yourself that you need 75% of your audience to express an interest in your product idea before you start pursuing it, you’ll find it difficult to find any idea that generates that kind of response.
When you’re ready to set goals, start by looking at your current audience size. You can collect this number by looking at how many email subscribers you have (which we recommend), but you can also think about how many social media followers and website visitors you have.
Then you’ll want to ask yourself, What percentage of my audience needs to express interest in my idea before I create it? Keeping average conversion rates in mind, you can set a percentage that feels like a fit for the type of interest you are trying to gauge.
On your landing page, you can ask visitors to express interest by:
Including an email sign-up form on your landing page is arguably the best way to gauge how much interest your audience has in your idea. Since your email subscribers are typically your most engaged audience, it makes sense to tie email marketing with your landing page strategy.
When testing your idea, you can also add a lead magnet (or “freebie”) to your landing page that is relevant to your idea. If people sign up for the lead magnet, it’s a good indication that they are interested in learning more about your idea. It also gives you a chance to build your email list with interested buyers and provide them with value upfront. Win-win all around!
Now that you have your goal and landing page strategy in mind, let’s find out who your target audience is for this specific idea.
You may think you already know who your ideal audience is, but depending on what kind of idea you want to validate, you may want to attract a different audience segment. This can be a more specific segment of your current audience or a totally different audience altogether.
In both cases, it can help to create an ideal customer profile, which can also be called a “customer persona” or “customer avatar.” No matter what you call it, an ideal customer profile will help you understand the demographics and psychographics of your intended audience.
When you don’t know who you’re talking to, marketing gets way tougher than it needs to be. Taking a moment to revisit who your target audience is or define the new audience segment will ensure your landing page is only tailored to them.
First, you’ll want to start with defining your ideal audience’s basic demographics:
Most content creators stop here, but you don’t want to attract everyone who fits that description. If you wanted to attract every 25-35 year old single woman living in New York City, you would have your work cut out for you. I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it!
Instead, take a moment to define your audience’s psychographics, meaning the traits and attributes that make them who they truly are.
Here are a few ideal client profile prompts you can use to get your creative juices flowing:
Once you have these narrowed down, you’ll have a clearer picture of what audience you are trying to target with your business idea.
If you want to get to know your audience even more before you create a landing page, you can send a survey to your email subscribers or personally interview a few select people who fit your ideal client profile. You might also want to ask your social media followers to answer poll questions or comment on questions you pose in order to get a well-rounded idea of what your ideal audience is looking for.
With your market research and ideal client profile in mind, you can jump into the next step: outlining your big idea.
The beauty of testing your idea is that you don’t have to have it all created yet!
If you’ve been worrying about how the idea will come together or how to get a handle on all the moving pieces, you can put your mind to rest. You don’t need to know those things yet.
In this ideation stage, you only need to create a well-thought out outline. It may sound like this outline needs to be long and in-depth, but remember that you still don’t know if your audience would be willing to invest in your idea.
All you need is the basics. Here’s a good place to start:
All of these questions are meant to simplify your business idea.
You may be tempted to get lost in the details, but try to resist those pesky questions that try to distract you. Taking the time to validate your idea means you don’t have to have everything figured out right away. When questions arise, you can write them down and revisit them at another time so your mental energy stays on the task at hand.
To see this outline activity in action, let’s use the example of a content creator who wants to shift into online education for the first time. They’ve been blogging for a few years, but now that they are about to sell their first course, they feel it’s important to validate their idea before moving forward.
Their blog currently covers a variety of topics centered around DIY arts and crafts activities. In the audience activity, the blogger decided to target an audience of college students.
You can use this same example to create an outline of your own. Let’s move on to the next step where everything really comes together: creating your landing page.
Now that you know your goals, your audience, and how you want to present your idea based on its outline, you can create a landing page in as little as 10 minutes! No, really. That’s all it takes to get up and running with an ideation landing page.
All of the work you’ve done so far throughout this article will make this process incredibly easy. As you create a landing page in ConvertKit, you’ll notice that we have many unique templates you can customize depending on what your idea is.
Once you choose a template that works best with your brand and idea, you can customize each of these elements to ensure it is optimized to gauge interest in your idea.
Your headline should be simple and concise while speaking directly to your ideal audience’s problem. Revisit this part of your outline and create a few headline options that you can test in your landing page template. Make sure your headline is clear and inspires your audience to take action.
In a simple sentence or two, you’ll want to explain exactly what you are offering (if you decide to include a relevant lead magnet) or what idea you are planning to launch so you can gauge interest. This should ideally explain the “how” and “why” behind your headline.
Your call-to-action is one of the most important elements on your landing page. It makes or breaks whether your audience chooses to sign up for more information about your idea. It’s important to make sure your CTA button color has a high contrast with your background so it can easily be seen. When you write CTA button copy, try to add an action word inside it. Here are a few action-oriented words you can choose from.
Our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, so it’s a great idea to include an image with your landing page. It will further illustrate what your idea is and add a personal touch your page. You can add your own photos and graphics or choose a free stock photo from a site like Unsplash.
In order to show you how to put together all of these landing page elements, I’ll use the same DIY craft activities example from the last section to create a simple landing page in ConvertKit.
To build her list and really gauge her audience’s interest in video-based activities, the blogger might decide she wants to create a small sample of video lessons to test with her audience. If college students want to give her their email address in exchange for three DIY craft video tutorials, they may be interested in getting access to many more for the $49 online course price point she is thinking about.
To get this idea going, I decided to pretend I was the DIY craft blogger by creating a landing page for her audience inside the ConvertKit platform.
Here are the exact steps I took:
And… drumroll please… this was the final result!
I timed myself and it only took about eight minutes to complete all of the steps above.
Not bad at all!
Now it’s your turn.
Remember that idea you’ve been wanting to validate? It’s your time to figure out if it’s your next big idea by creating your own idea validation landing page.
When you’re ready to create your own landing page, sign up for a ConvertKit account for free so you can test your big idea and start building your email list.
We can’t wait to see what you create!