In a few hours, I'll be on stage at I Hate Networking, to share about startup "f*ck ups".

It's a strong word.

Anyway, I thought about the mistakes I could potentially share and thought I'd share the biggest and most common one that startups usually make to you.

I'll tell it in the form of a story. Here we go.

The course that flopped

In 2019, I developed a course with Sina Meraji, a brilliant product manager and now, founder of an online community of founders called Learning Loop.

Remember, this was before the whole Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) boom, and before the COVID pandemic.

The course flopped.

I emailed our database of 10,000+ working professionals, startups, and corporations, again and again, only to receive crickets.

Nobody wanted it. We ended up putting up the course as a "bonus " when our customers bought other programs, and totally killed the course at the end.

What happened?

We didn't take the time to find out if people want the product in the first place.

The customer pay test

Most startups build something they like. Then they spend all their time using all sorts of marketing tactics trying to sell it.

But they never spend time to find out if people really want their product or service.

No, you don't have to build a long survey, asking if people will buy your product. Just do the customer pay test.

Here's how it works.

Question 1: Do they have the ability to pay?

Let's say I created a payroll software for startups. It costs RM10,000 per month.

Do they have the ability to pay? No! Startups are strapped for cash. They'll never pay this amount.

Sure, you might argue that some startups do have the ability to pay. Okay, fair enough. If your audience qualifies here, move on to the next question.

Question 2: Do they want to pay?

Do startups want to pay RM10,000 a month to get their payroll automated? Probably not!

Most startups are in survival mode, so they'll choose to do everything themselves, including their payroll.

It's not your marketing

If you have a product or service that isn't selling – no matter what you do, then it's probably not your marketing.

It's your audience.

You forgot to do the customer pay test.

I probably wouldn't have spent hours and hours developing the AI product manager course with Sina, if I had done the test. The people (working professionals) that we want to sell the course to have the ability to pay. But they didn't want to. Red flag.

Interview: She spoke on the same stage as Robert Kiyosaki.

Sherine doesn't even have a website. (Not that we know of). Yet, she's able to write a book and speak on the same stage as Robert Kiyosaki and Nick Vujicic.

In this video interview, you'll learn how Sherine leverages communities to brand and market herself.

Eliminate "imposter syndrome" and market yourself.

If you want to build a business, you have to learn how to market yourself. There's no way around it.

Yes, people WILL judge you. No matter how successful you get, people will still say things. This might discourage you from going out there. But imagine if the creator of an amazing product thought the same way, and never marketed themselves. It would be a waste.

The Branding Makeover Workshop will help you build your brand, apply differentiation, and show you how to market yourself and stand out this year.

Pre-sale closes on Saturday.

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