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How to create a beta test to validate a money-making offering for your online business

How to create a Beta Test to validate a money-making offering for your online business.

Have you ever had an idea for a new offering for your business, but have been hesitant to put it out there? Have you put it out there and it’s been something that is hard to sell?

I was there just a couple months ago with an offering I was sooo pumped about: Pinterest Management!

We had two clients we had been working with, and seeing some great statistics come through (things like 2 million % increases in some areas!!!). When I went to sell at the price I knew this was worth, I was hearing crickets or no’s….which had me second guessing whether this offering could really grow traction for Pinegate.

After a few calls, I was in a serious pit of despair knowing we could do so much awesome with Pinterest, but not having the sales stats to back up the offering when I went to pitch it. I was feeling like this wasn’t going to go anywhere, and my dreams of being Queen of Pinterest were vanishing faster than you could say #pinterestfail

Then, one thing happened that changed everything!

Learning about beta testing was a HUGE ah-ha for me!

Have you run a beta to prove your process and strategy before you for real launch? I want to give you a little peek into how that went down, in case this strategy is something you’re wanting to implement for your biz!

INSPIRATION FOR BETA TESTING:

This past Fall, I was on a mastermind call with a group of ladies I had met earlier this summer at an entrepreneur event. We’d been getting together on a video call every month since then to chat through life and business and offer support to each other.

I came into this one call in such a state of sadness. I had been pitching Pinterest to new clients, generally doing ‘all the things’ I normally do to make sales…and things were just falling flat.

I had dreams of not being able to pay my team, and slow slithering back into solopreneurship, which was terrifying.

When I was talking about Pinterest and the crazy results we were getting with the two clients we had, one of the ladies in the groups said: “I feel like I’m your ideal target audience, but I’m hesitant to invest in this at full price when I don’t know if I’ll get the ROI from it. I think you need to prove the ROI with a beta test before you launch this, and validate your offer!”

BOOM.

That one conversation about beta testing seriously changed the way I’ve been doing business ever since.

Right after, I hoped on a call with my team and we dreamed up Pinterest Beta. We created the offering, and priced it at cost so it would be an easy sell to people wanting to test the waters with Pinterest without the proven ROI.

Within days, we sold out of our 10 spots (and took on 2 more!).

With a total of 12 beta testers, my team was being paid and we have been able to test out this offering over the last couple months to prove the ROI for this service. Pinegate made over 5-figures with this mini launch, which was such a fun thing to see come together so naturally.

THE BENEFITS OF BETA TESTING

While the process hasn’t been perfect (#betalife) I’m so glad that we put it out there. No service you’re ever going to over is going to be created perfectly right away — it takes testing and tweaking to get it just right over time.

Doing a beta test for this, people know that we are learning as we are implementing. We’ve been able to get feedback first-hand about what our clients are looking for, how often they want communication and what for, and so much more through this process! We aren’t assuming what people want or need, we’re listening and tweaking to what is actually going on so we can make this a truly great process in the future.

This is the beauty of beta testing!

• Are you in a spot where you’re putting off launching something because it’s not perfect yet?

• Do you think that you have to have proven ROI before you can go out and sell something?

• Are you fears of something not selling the way you’d hope holding you back from actually putting it out there?

A beta launch might be for you!

HOW TO GET STARTED WITH A BETA LAUNCH:

ONE:

Create the offer: Figure out what you’re offering, how you’re going to deliver it, and the lowest pricing you can offer it for. In Pinterest beta, I knew that I wanted my team to deliver this, and I would be behind the scenes working on the over-arching strategy. I was willing to go ‘unpaid’ for my time, but I obviously needed to pay my team for theirs. We chatted together can came up with a price that covered their costs to make this happen, and I knew I’d be spending more time on this as an investment for the future.

TWO:

Put the offer out there: Share about the offer as easily as possible. What is the path of least resistance for you to share your offering? For me it was EASY to go on instagram stories and share about Pinterest, take some screenshots of the few (awesome!) results we had so far, and ask people if they wanted in. In 3 business days, I had sold out of our 10 spots simply through instagram stories. What’s key here, is being excited and passionate about what you’re offering. In my soul I believe in this offering and the potential it has….it was EASY to share this because of my excitement and passion for the offering. If you’re not feeling that, think through what WOULD be the most exciting thing to offer!

THREE:

Onboard your people: Once you’ve sold, it’s time to deliver. The best thing here, is that you don’t have to do any work until this has sold! Once it does, it will be a period of hustle where you create the systems to deliver the offering. For me, this was creating homework documents, getting my team set up with what was being delivered and expectations, getting contracts signed and payments made, and communicating with them to get going. This will look different for everyone! Hustle through now, so you can make this smooth for the future. Once this is done…it’s done! Tweaking it for the real launch will be easy peasy!

FOUR:

Collect the results: The point of beta testing is to get results so you can sell the offering at a higher price when you’re ready to launch. Think through how you’re going to get results from your offering and how you’re going to collect that data. For Pinterest beta, we let our clients know that we will be doing a 2 month report for them, and sending along a questionnaire to see how things are going. At the end of all our questionnaires, I always ask permission to use quotes and a photo for marketing purposes. This allows us to share results, gather feedback to implement changes, and will start to form the story of how this process is truly working for our clients and their businesses.


And that’s it! Beta testing has been such an amazing experience for my business, and it’s actually lead to a second Pinterest beta round, AND a course we launched over the holidays! With this framework, things have been EASY to sell, and I’m feeling so confident about being able to launch these offerings at higher prices in the future to bring in big results for Pinegate.

Wanting to chat more about beta testing, business, and living a life you love?

Head to our Instagram and send me a DM or leave a comment! I’m always hanging out there, and would love to meet you :)

How to create a Beta Test to validate a money-making offering for your online business.

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and I’ve been helping entrepreneurs and businesses build their brands and online presences for over a decade. I deeply believe that everyone has the potential to make their dreams reality and my agency helps people do just that. As your creative director, my job is to help take the vision in your head, ground it in strategy, illuminate it with design, and make it your digital reality. 

I’m Kelsey Kerslake, founder and creative director of Pinegate Road

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