I am building a marketplace. How can I make this attractive to other members while my presence grows online?

Planning to build MVP and leverage landing pages & explainer videos to drive adoption. However, once they come to the platform, won't it look disengaging since there aren't any members already on our platform?


Sounds like you have a compelling idea, but I’m wondering about the validation work you’ve done?
Have you talked to people in the market segment you’re targeting and confirmed that there’s a gap that needs filling? Confirmed that current alternatives aren’t doing the job to their satisfaction?
Once you’ve done that, for your initial MVP, do a very basic one (I’ve talked to people who did one on PowerPoint) and take it out and show it to people in your community. Ask them what they think of it, what’s good, what’s bad and what’s needed. Then, ask them to be part of the founding member group — with some modest incentive.
Then, do the same with your beta — ask real people to check it out and give you feedback — and loop them in as founding members.
Then, once you release to the real world, you have a collection of founding members who can reflect interest and validation of your idea.
If you wish to discuss, send me a PM through Clarity for 15 free minutes.

Answered 5 years ago

The right question you need to answer is "whether your explainer videos is solving any particular subject in details." The last phase of the video should talk about lessons learnt.
Trust yourself if your explainer videos is solving the purpose, audience will view and review as they will be intrigued with the data points you share.

Answered 5 years ago

I'd think about this from two angles...

1) Who are the people you can get to start using the platform IMMEDIATELY? Think your friends, network from college, or even LinkedIn connections. "Prime the pump" with people you know at first, to help get the network growing.

2) The point of a MVP is to quickly test a product idea, and iterate until you have a compelling product. I have a friend who runs multiple 7-figure businesses, and he says that he always looks for a "wow" reaction when he shows off a product — even a MVP, if it's just the concept of what it can accomplish. Remember you don't want to build more than you need to at first. A good product adapts to what gives the most results to your users.

Hope this helps! If you need any additional help, feel free to book a call. I recently grew a MVP to six-figures ARR, so can share the things we tried.

Answered 5 years ago

Solving the chicken and egg problem of a two-sided marketplace is among one of the hardest startup challenges. I have had the unfortunate experience of solving this multiple times. Here are my top tips:

1. Validate that your solution is needed. Talk to potential customers on both sides and get confirmation that this is a problem that both sides would pay to solve.

2. Figure out which side of the market needs you the most. Hopefully, your solution is a pain killer for both sides of your market but one side should be dying for it and easier to secure.

3. Get scrappy and do things that don't scale in order to secure these first initial customers. Find them first hand, email them cold, go to the home office in person, whatever you need to do to get a commitment from 1+ people that they will move forward if you come through on the demand or supply side they need.

4. Listen to what they tell you they need. Do not try to sell them something else. To the extent that it would not be a distraction, fulfill what people are asking for. Learn what they need instead of assuming you know.

5. Only secure the customers you feel confident you can deliver on. You don't want to spend $1k advertising to one side of the market, get a bunch of signups, and have nothing to offer them. Stay lean, get your first customer, meet their needs, then your second, meet their needs, then your third. Early on, you're trying to learn and establish a customer base and solid reputation.

6. Relentlessly work to deliver what you said you would. Go to the other side of the market with good demand or supply in hand and make things happen. Be a matchmaker. Do things that don't scale. Later you will figure out how to grow and streamline things.

7. As you start to achieve success but are probably limited in resources, switch your focus back and forth to keep the balance between supply and demand relatively in sync. You never want to grow one side of the marketplace significantly faster than the other or you just end up with both sides not getting any value.

There is more to building a two-sided marketplace than this but it is often very specific to the business. This truly is one of the harder startup problems to solve. If you need help, please feel free to reach out.

Answered 5 years ago

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