The Questions To Ask Before Showing Off Your Product

To show—or not to show—your software is a question we hear a lot working in digital product. It’s not only a big question with many answers, but one with high stakes that ultimately depends on many intersecting parts of your product process. As inspired by a LinkedIn post from Wynter’s Peep Laja, Christian & Meghan unpack the critical decision to show your product to potential users, and all the smaller choices you’ll have to make along the way around your messaging, brand, product usability, and selling potential.  

Want to add your own take? Write a note or record a voice memo, and send it to erica.irish@innovatemap.com to join the conversation. 

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Takeaways

  • You have a choice when deciding when & how to preview your product: Will you rely on good salespeople, or a good product? 
  • Focus on conveying value, not trends, when showing off your product. 
  • Don’t just describe the product; describe the problem it solves. 
  • Your team should do four things before showing your product: 
    • Make your messaging & brand tell a valuable story
    • Make your product easy to use 
    • Make your product easy to learn 
    • Make your product easy to buy

Things To Listen For

  • [0:00] Introducing Peep Laja’s “show me the software” LinkedIn post
  • [2:00] A comparison to car commercials
  • [2:50] Why there needs to be a process to “showing the software”
  • [4:00] What’s different—and complicated—about previewing B2B SaaS products
  • [5:30] What to know about showing your product at different stages of growth
  • [6:00] Realtors, ghosts, and raccoons
  • [7:50] How most preview software is counter to product-led growth
  • [9:30] Messaging & brand should guide how you choose to preview a product
  • [12:00] How to marketize your product previews
  • [13:00] Avoiding a bait and switch with the “uncanny valley”
  • [14:45] “What’s the line between marketing and catfishing?”
  • [15:45] Overview: The four steps to follow to preview your software well
  • [16:30] What to consider about messaging & brand in software previews
  • [17:40] But what about “design for design’s sake?”
  • [19:00] What to do when you need to explain a complicated product
  • [21:00] How to think about your product’s functionality before showing it off
  • [23:00] You have to be honest with your community about where your product is
  • [23:30] Why absence can say a lot to your audience
  • [24:30] Why you must make your product easy to learn when sharing it
  • [27:30] Don’t forget to make your product easy to buy

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