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Building Better Products and Features Requires User Feedback

It’s easier than ever to get a business launched. The challenges we used to face around building products has been mitigated by companies like Google that’s built a “Google for Startups” site and online learning courses for Python and Ruby where you can learn to code in 30 days! The advent of networks like Odesk, Hubstaff, and Upwork have further improved the time to launch a product or new feature. What’s more, many established brands leverage solutions to collect user feedback. For instance, solutions like Intercom, Mouseflow, and Qualaroo are all built to help brands better understand user behavior and what makes their users happy.

Whether you’re building an e-commerce business, a mobile app, or SaaS web app, entrepreneurs and developers around the world can leverage all kinds of technology to quickly get their products off the ground. Despite the ease in launching new businesses, the challenge of proving market fit still exists. Businesses are (and will continue to be) challenged with validating products and features they are building. Even more challenging is getting a user to tell you if the product/feature you’ve built will actually benefit them.

How do you know if you’re new product/feature is going to benefit your target audience?

Here are some ideas to collect feedback on your new product/feature ahead of releasing it out in the wild:

ProductFeedback.io (shameless plug)

ProductFeedback.io is on a mission to help SaaS brands build better products and features by connecting them with targeted users and getting real feedback. It’s a growing community and looking for new members to join.

ProductHunt (Acquired by Angel.co)

Post your product on ProductHunt and see if people have any reaction to it. They can vote on it, leave comments, and even go to your website/signup page. This is a great place to collect feedback from a lot of technology activists. The problem is that your product is listed in a rather public place and you’ll get feedback from anyone who takes the time to explore it. Arguably, the people who take the time are probably your target audience but none-the-less, you’ll be sharing it with anyone who follows PH listings.

LinkedIn

You can use LinkedIn Sales Navigator or a Premium Profile to search for users that fit your target audience. You can quickly search through a list of LinkedIn members and filter by industry, company, or role. Once you’ve identified your target audience you’ll be able to send them “InMail” to ask them to check out your new product/feature. This can be a great qualitative approach to getting feedback from the right type of users.

Facebook Ads

If you’ve got some money to spare you might consider running an ad campaign on Facebook. The ability to target users in a specific region, age range, or based on their interests is outstanding.

Facebook Groups

There are a lot of online groups on Facebook. Ask your friends if they know of any that might be relevant to your product/feature. Alternately, you can also search for communities and see if you can join them.

Online Communities

This is one “hack” that I personally love. There are a TON of online communities filled with users that may be in your target audience. Here a few to get you started.

Inbound.org

This is a community of marketers with a broad range of skills, from SEO to Content Development and Lead Generation. You can participate in discussions, post articles, and ask the community for feedback on your new product/feature.

GrowthHackers Community

This community is made up of a lot of marketers looking to grow their business. You can post articles and ask questions to see if anyone would be interested in trying your new product/feature.

Reddit

This is a HUGE community but it’s filled with lots of channels and threads that you can search through. For instance, you could search specifically for a subreddit on “finance software” and find r/personalfinance to engage with the members (over 12 million) and see if anyone there would be interested in your product/feature.

Slack Communities

This is my personal favorite. Although they can be hard to find, there are Slack channels for things like IT, Product, Programming, Hardware, Finance and Marketing, and more! These channels can be free or paid (yes you have to pay to join the community). I’m personally in some free and paid Slack groups that have been a big help in advancing my skills/knowledge on marketing tactics. Here are the ones I’ve joined:

If you’re interested, I also found this great blog post by Alex Kistenev that lists over 1,000 other slack channels.