February 24, 2024

The 30-minute conversation most entrepreneurs skip

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Today I want to show you a simple little process you can follow to have more conversations with prospective customers.

It’s called the 30-for-30 Exchange, and it’s one of the easiest ‘plays’ to run as an entrepreneur, even if you don’t have a big social following.

A 30-for-30 Exchange is where you offer 30 minutes of free consulting work to someone who needs it. And in exchange, you get 30 minutes of time to ask questions about their challenge, so you can build a better product or service.

Why customer conversations matter

I’m always surprised by how many entrepreneurs don’t spend time talking to prospective customers.

How are you supposed to make your business better if you’re not doing that?

For example, let’s say you're building a productivity app. If you chat with prospects, you might discover that 90% of your prospective users are looking for features like time tracking or project management. If those features aren’t in your current product, there’s a good chance people won’t buy it. Or if they do buy it, won’t keep using it.

So if you’re not having these conversations — you’re just guessing what people want. And guessing is not how good businesses get built.

Direct feedback from prospects allows you to adjust your priorities to solve the right problem, include better features, and even get your messaging right.

And that’s why the 30-for-30 Exchange is so powerful.

Here’s how it works.

Look for questions about your expertise online

To start a 30-for-30 Exchange, the first thing you need to do is find people that need your help.

But if you don’t have a huge social following, you probably aren’t getting a lot of questions on the content you create. And that’s okay. You can start by siphoning from larger, more popular pieces of content.

Jump on X, LinkedIn, Reddit or other platforms and start searching around for your area of expertise. (Advanced search is your best friend here.) Within 30 minutes, you should be able to find 3-4 pieces of popular content that are hyper-relevant to your business.

Open each piece of content, and skim the comments. Is there anyone asking a question that you know the answer to? Is anyone sharing a problem they are struggling with that you could help them overcome?

If so, reach out to them.

Reach out with a specific message

This is the easy part, IMO. If you’re reaching out to be helpful (and not sell anything), you’re probably going to get responses.

Here’s a simple template you can use to reach out:

“Hi {name} - saw your question about {topic} on {persons} content. I can {simple offer}. Nothing to sell you. In exchange, I’d simply love 30 minutes to ask you a few questions about that challenge. It will help me with the business I’m building around that problem.”

For example, if you’re building an agency to help creators with Facebook ads, you might say something like this:

“Hi Jim - saw your question about how to come up with a Facebook ad budget on Samantha’s LinkedIn post earlier today. There’s a pretty simple formula and process you can follow to make sure you’re spending on keywords that work. I can show you how to do that — would probably take 20-30 minutes. Nothing to sell you. I’d just love 30 minutes to ask you a few questions about how you’re thinking about FB ads for your business. It will help me with a business I’m to solve problems like this. Let me know if you’d like to chat.”

Send out 3-4 of these each day. No hard pitching. No guarantees. No big over-explanation. Just offering to help in exchange for asking some questions.

Just imagine - if you make it a habit to send three of these messages a day, and only one person out of three responds, you’ll have 7 meetings lined up in a week.

What a great start!

In Conclusion

When you actually spend time talking to prospective customers, you’re going to have a much better chance at building a product or service that people really want.

The tough part? You have to execute on what I shared above.

Remember, here’s your play:

Step 1: Spend 30 minutes a day finding hyper-relevant content on X, LinkedIn, Reddit, etc.

Step 2: Read through the comments and pull out 3-5 questions from people.

Step 3: Send those people DM’s using my template. Or create your own template.

Step 4: Run those prospect conversations and collect data.

I hope this helps you see that having these conversations can be a lot easier than you imagine.

What are you waiting for?

Try it today.

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