Getting traffic to run your experiment

Doing problem interviews, and "getting out of the building" (made famous by Steve Blank) are not just academic buzzwords. When you do your homework, the test is easier! Sometimes in college, I would be astounded at how other students knew so much and were right about almost everything... two months into the semester I dusted off the textbook and did the reading... and voila...:)

One of the most common questions I am asked by students and entrepreneurs (including the one to whom this post is addressed) is "How do I get traffic to my landing page ( from now on I think we should call it a "bait page" or simply a "front door" but I digress... that is for another post).

Anyway - the answer, like everything interesting in life, is relative. If you didn't do your homework, your guess is as good as mine. Probably better, but maybe not! There are some standard answers out there, which include at best going to where your customer segment "hangs out" online... and at worst getting your 20 closest friends and family to sign up, "support you" and tell their friends at random.

IF YOU KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER SEGMENT, and are STARTING with a landing page (better than building an entire product in a cave, but not as good as doing 50 interviews) you are still relying on more randomness than you need to. Going to forums dedicated to your space, starting conversations on twitter, engaging in comment threads of blogs are a great start... but there is no equivalent to doing your homework.

PRESUMABLY- if you have moved to a solution you are POSITIVE or nearly positive that the problem exists for people. The REASON you are positive is not because you think, but because you know.

So while the conclusion of this post may be anti-climactic... here it is. Offer solutions only after you have spoken IN PERSON to at least 25 people who have told you (without being lead) that they have the problem, and are actively looking for a solution - FIND OUT WHERE THEY ARE LOOKING, and GO THERE!

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