I’ve seen it more times than I care to count: a business owner has a brilliant idea for what their customer needs, and so she spends weeks or months (and tons of time and money) building a product or program. Then she launches it with big fanfare and… crickets. No one buys.
Yet other entrepreneurs seem to have the Midas touch; no matter what they launch to the wide world, it seems to do extremely well and become profitable.
What’s the difference between these two businesses? My guess would be that one of them uses beta offerings to test their products before taking them to the wide market — and the other doesn’t.
If you’re worried about wasting time developing a program or product that won’t be profitable, if you aren’t totally sure if what you want to create is exactly what your customers need, or if you don’t have the time and money to invest in creating a product before it makes any profit, using a beta group can eliminate all of those potential problems.
Interested in trying a beta group in your business? Click here to download my Beta Offer Invite Script for free! It’s just one of the many resources we’re offering this month in our new Beta Group Guide as part of Business Class.
What Is a Beta Offering?
The term “beta testing” is a term that comes from software development. In that world, a “beta tester” is an outside user who gets a first crack at using the software. (Alpha users are usually members of the team.)
In the entrepreneurial world, we use the term “beta group” or “beta offer” to refer to a small group that gets to test a new program, product, or offer before the general public.
In my physical products businesses, I learned early on the value of prototyping a new product or design before rolling it into full production. But when I started in the information business, I wasn’t sure how people prototyped their programs or courses. And that’s when I was introduced to the concept of the beta group.
I have personally used beta groups for testing out my own programs and I have found them incredibly helpful. Not only do you get to iron out the kinks (so to speak) before a huge group of people sees it, but you also get the benefit of live feedback and testimonials from real students.
The Beauty of Beta
The real beauty of beta offers is that you can create WITH your ideal clients/customers to ensure that there is an actual want and need for what you are creating.
You come up with the idea for the basic offer, but if, as you go along, you find there is a need for different information or resources — or that there isn’t a need for something you thought you might need — you can adjust on the fly.
That means creating as you deliver. When you work this way, you get small testable pieces out into the world to get feedback on ASAP — instead of creating a whole program and THEN finding out whether or not it will be successful. This is HUGE and probably the most common mistake that people make when it comes to building courses.
When I host a beta group for a new offering, I send out a survey every week asking for feedback. I also use one-on-one meetings and group calls to ask for feedback from the participants. This helps us gauge what is working and what isn’t.
Just like a teacher in a physical classroom, it’s important for you to adjust your teaching to what the class needs at this point, even if it gets you off track from your original outline.
Also, it allows you to gather testimonials/case studies that you can use when you officially launch your offering. Having that social proof that the program works and is what you say it is can result in much higher sales.
Finally, of course, it means that you can get some income flowing in while you are developing the new program or course, and not have to wait and hope for your big launch. Usually beta offers are priced lower than you intend to sell the final product, but even a lower priced offer ensures you have cash flow while you’re creating.
I love to use beta offers as a testing ground for new products, programs, and offers because it helps ensure that I’m creating exactly what my customers need and delivering it exactly the way they need it. That means that when it comes time to launch it to the wider world, I’m much more confident that it will sell and be successful.
If you think beta offers might be a good tactic for your business, click here to download my Beta Offer Invite Script so that you can start inviting people to your first beta offering today! Remember, this is just one of the valuable resources I’ve created for our Beta Group Guide which is exclusively available to Business Class members. Click here to learn more about Business Class and get on the waiting list!