How To Build Your Startup By Hacking Demo Videos For Customer Development

Having a great idea and building a startup from scratch is hard stuff.   Once you are up and running, actually attracting customers can be even harder.

So why not have some fun with it?  The best way to get new customers is to act like you already have them!

At Seconds, rather than walking into meetings with potential customers empty handed or with boring marketing materials, we decided to hack the process by creating use case demos specifically for the customer.  We quickly shoot and piece together one minute videos showing a person paying the business in Seconds.  (see below for a few examples.)  This way they see it first hand rather than listening to 30 minutes of a sales pitch without the faintest idea of how it actually works.   Who wants to do that?

So how can you do the same?

1) Brainstorm….
Its what we all like to do anyway, daydream… just focus it on a few key points you want to get across.

2) Put it into a script

Ask yourself, “What do you want them to remember?”  Having an idea is one thing… putting it on paper is a whole other thing.  Try and capture your ideas on paper while you’re in the Brainstorm process and get them organized into EXACTLY what you want to get across to your audience.

I feel that this is the most difficult step in this whole process… so, don’t get frustrated when your idea doesn’t end up the way you thought it would… trust me, its happened to me.

3) Determine how to present it
Now, the fun part! How are you going to present this in visual way?  You need to play to your strengths so determine what you are great at and what you should leave behind.  Are you good with images? live action video? or animations? Pick pick one and go with it.

If you don’t have the camera equipment, use something as simple as and iPhone, which works quite well and it’s what the videos below we’re shot with.  Also, Keynote is easy to use (it has basic movement animations… it works much better than you would think). Make sure to show the simplicity of your product, don’t display a ten minute long tutorial of which someone has to watch it five times to understand what is going on.  This never goes over well.

4) Sounds…
While voice overs work very well sometimes, you don’t necessarily need to have a voice telling people what they’re watching.  Brief text can actually draw their attention into the video even more because they have to read it.  And some light music is usually good though… just to break the  awkward silence.

5) Tweaks
Oh, trust me… you will have to tweak this stuff before its ready to be deployed! Just expect it and work through the kinks.

6) Repeat with new use cases
Once you’ve accomplished it once with a video that works, remember how you did it and the script format you used.  If it worked once it will probably work again!

Rental Payment in Seconds – Property Management

Paying Transit Card in Seconds – City Transit Authority

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