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3 Simple Steps to Prove Your Startup Idea

Anastasia MudrovaAnastasia Mudrova

I talked to more than 100 CEOs and founders to get proof of the startup idea

My story is the same as yours. I wasn’t an expert in many fields when my boyfriend and I began building our startup. When the idea for the project became more tangible, we needed to get evidence supporting our beliefs about the product, in order to be certain that it would work. I’m not an expert in any analytical area, and understood that I needed some simple way to prove the idea. Do you know the easiest way to get answers to your questions? Sure, social networks! Social networks today give you an awesome chance to be closer to your potential customers, as well as to know more about their concerns, demands and wishes. The question is: How do you make your potential customers be honest with their answers?

Now begins the most interesting part. First, I created our Marketing Persona (a marketing persona is a composite sketch, representative of a segment of your target market, by Ardath Albee). The centre of our Marketing Persona sketch is a CEO/founder of a company. Where I could get these busy people to have a talk? I chose LinkedIn as a “battlefield”.

Step # 1: How to Find the Relevant Group of People on LinkedIn.

When you know your sample group, your task is to find a relevant group of people on LinkedIn for your questionnaire. I’ll tell you how I did it.

This part is the easiest one.

Step # 2: How to Contact Someone you are not Connected to on LinkedIn.

Now you have the list of people you’d like to survey. You know, if you don’t have this or that person in the list of your connections, you can’t write them a message. I mean, you can—but you’ll need to pay. What if you are not even second degree connections? In that case, how can you connect with them anyway?

Step # 3: How to Write LinkedIn Messages That Actually get Read

I’m sure you’d like to tell people about you or you project ASAP. But be respectful of the other person’s time. Many people don’t want to get a message from you at all, let alone hear about your startup idea. Here, you should be proactive.

Well, now you have the structure of your InMail: an introduction, body paragraph, and conclusion. One more critical fact—your message should only be a couple of sentences, tops. You have a much higher chance that a person will read your message if it’s short, straightforward, and friendly (and definitely not pushy).

100% you’ll get some refusals. No worries. Just say thanks them for their time.

The main rule of the game is courage, brevity and proactivity.

After some time passed, I had all my questions answered. Should I say I was happy and more than amazed by some answers? It was a great experience for me. The results are even more exciting; you can have a look at my Research Results.

LinkedIn is typically the easiest way to find people who work in a specific industry or hold a certain job title. LinkedIn also allows you to narrow your search based on skills and expertise.

Cindy Alvarez (from Lean Customer Development)

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Photo by Aaron Clark

Founder @ - The first task management app focused on results, not to‑do lists.

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