Last month I wrote about what a bad idea it is to sell your product to a group of startups. But, there is one very interesting thing you can do: Use the Hub community to generate feedback and develop your offering!
A few weeks ago we had an idea about bundling our experiences of Social Selling with LinkedIn and offering it as a workshop. Naturally, we had no idea if there was a market for this and decided to go and test it. The Impact Hub has a vehicle called Skill Share breakfast, where members talk about a topic of expertise and share their experiences. We decided to announce a Skill Share breakfast on Social Selling and see what happens.
For a Skill Share breakfast generally about 5-10 people sign up. It turned out that over 20 people had applied for our workshop. This was a clear sign, that our first market test was successful and showed clear interest in our offering. Our challenge now was, that we had to walk the talk and actually develop the workshop we had already announced. We approached a startup in the hub and offered a barter agreement. They would be our guinea pigs for the workshop and in return give us feedback.
This helped us to prepare for our 22 attendees on the actual day. All went well and the feedback was good. Best thing of all was, that one of the attendees was a Social Selling consultant. A friend drily noted: “if you have the competition sitting in your workshop, you must be doing something right!”
After a few weeks, we sold the first workshop to a corporation, have held multiple public ones and are continuing to tweaking our offering. Even though our customers are not in the Impact Hub we were able to test an idea and improve our product. Working with the community helped us, while it was also provided tangible value to the members. Or in the words of the Co-Manifesto this is an example of a “scenario where everyone wins”.
PS: If you’re interested in Social Selling, our next workshops are coming up soon!