We’re about to dig into a minimum viable product template that will help you pinpoint what to sell online.
NOTE: This article includes free video training you can watch right on this page. Scroll down to get started.
Developing your first online offer is a big step, I know.
But you’ve got to take it. Why? Because …
Until you actually offer something for sale, you’re not running a business — you’re managing a charitable organization!
A minimum viable product is what’s standing between you and online revenue.
In this all-inclusive minimum viable product presentation, I’m going to show you:
- Why you should develop a minimum viable product before you create a more elaborate solution
- What to expect from your first minimum viable product
- A minimum viable product template with examples and ideas you can use to get started
It may seem like a stretch to do this in a month.
But if you use the minimum viable product examples and ideas here? You can launch your offer, earn some revenue, and discover what works in the next 30 days.
Get your free Minimum Viable Product Template PDF
Free! Drop your name and email address below, and I’ll send you my free Minimum Viable Offer Planner.
If includes a fillable minimum viable product template where you can think through what you’ll include in your offer.
You’ll discover my “3D approach” for creating a quick, easy minimum viable offer you can use to test your next idea.
Plus, get in-depth guidance for the minimum viable product examples shared in this article.
What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
For the rest of the world, MVP means Most Valuable Player.
If you’re a sports team coach, it’s that person that you put in the game because you know they’re going to score big for your team.
In this article, I have a different definition for MVP.
MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product — or Minimum Viable Service if you have a service-based business.
Personally? I’d like to think of it as your Minimum Viable Online Offer, which is a global term that includes either a product or a service.
That would be MVOO!
Which reminds me of …
Your MVP — or MVOO — is how you’ll test your business revenue ideas.
An MVP will become your most valuable player because it will save you a ton of grief.
It’ll allow you to test your big idea and ensure that you get it right before you pour all your effort into building something very elaborate and time-consuming that — it turns out — no one wants.
You’re going to develop something small that delivers a result so that you can test your offer and see if it actually works.
In case you’re wondering, the opposite of a minimum viable product looks like this:
- You spend weeks, months — and sometimes years — creating a solution without ever checking to see if anyone wants it
- You study, observe, and compare your future solution with other people’s offers — and find yours lacking, so you go back to the drawing board
- You delay releasing your offer until you can “get it right” — which can’t happen until you actually release it!
It’s a nasty, vicious circle — and it’s no way to run a business.
Let’s avoid that fate and create a minimum viable product or service the easy way.
Why should you create a minimum viable online offer?
You should create a minimum viable product because it allows you to test a whole bunch of important concepts while earning revenue.
You’ll build a minimum viable offer to discover things like:
- Do people want your solution?
- Can you sell your solution?
- Will anyone pay for your solution?
- Does your solution offer real results?
Focus on delivering real value in a simple, easy-to-create package.
The most important traits to remember about a minimum viable offer is it solves a problem and it has value — but at the same time, it’s easy and fast to create.
What is the goal of a minimum viable product?
When you go into a big project like creating your first online offer, it’s important to really understand the problem that you’re trying to solve.
What’s the ultimate goal for your minimum viable offer? Watch the video below to understand this crucial concept.
Video moving too slow for you? Do this:
Your ultimate goal is to solve a problem you may not know you have.
The problem we’re solving is not, “I need a product.”
The problem that we’re solving is your knowledge gap.
That’s right! There’s so much you need to know at first:
- You need to know what your customers’ challenges are
- You need to know how you’ll deliver some kind of transformation to your customers
- You need to know your customers’ questions and confusions in their own words
- You need to know if there’s any real interest in your solution before you over-develop it
It’s a tall order, but I’ve got your back!
The minimum viable product template below will help you get started.
Where can I find minimum viable product examples?
Let’s look at real-life examples of minimum viable products, service, or offers.*
*All of the minimum viable product examples below are drawn from people building online businesses in my BIG League self-paced training program.
Minimum Viable Product Example 1: Better relationships
Let’s suppose you have a business that’s going to be devoted to improving relationships.
You might develop a minimum viable offer that’s all about a healthy approach for having tough conversations. Healthy conversations are part of the solution to healthy relationships!
It could be a short series of classes, delivered live (more on how to deliver your minimum viable offer below).
Minimum Viable Product Example 2: More online revenue
Let’s say you have a business that’s devoted to helping people earn more revenue online.
You can create a minimum viable product that’s all about how to build high-converting sales pages. Effective sales pages help you earn more revenue online.
You’re solving a small problem that’s a part of the larger challenge that your ideal customer has around your topic.
Minimum Viable Product Example 3: Good health
Let’s say that you have a business that’s devoted to helping people have better health in middle age and beyond.
Your minimum viable product is all about how to create a healthy meal plan.
Eating healthy is part of the equation — nutritious food boosts our overall health.
Minimum Viable Product Example 4: A happy retirement
Let’s say you have a business that’s all about how to have a successful retirement experience.
You create a minimum viable product that’s all about how to find your purpose every week.
Solve someone’s week and week-by-week, you help them have a better month, year, and decade.
Minimum Viable Product Example 5: A service-based business
It’s a little trickier with service-based businesses, but let’s say you have a copywriting and content writing business.
You might create a minimum viable product to help people write their online bio for their About page, their social profiles, or their blog post author bio. Everyone needs a good bio — and it’s notoriously tough to write your own.
Help them write this short copy and they’ll get a taste of your services. You’ll get to know them as people and can follow up with those who seem like good prospects for your services.
What are some easy Minimum Viable Product [MVP] ideas I can try?
We’ve covered examples of an MVP and ideas for your MVP.
But in my experience with Offer Accelerator members, they don’t lack for ideas.
It’s delivering those ideas that’s tough.
Fortunately, there are a lot of inexpensive tools that make delivering a minimum viable offer easy.
In the video below, I share four minimum viable product delivery ideas.
Any of the minimum viable product examples in the previous section can be delivered using any of the formats in the next section. Mix and match!
The delivery formats for all four minimum viable product examples have some things in common:
- These minimum viable product examples give you the opportunity to interact directly with your customers — you’ll get to know their struggles and how they describe them.
- All minimum viable product examples here involve very little preparation. You can map out what you want to cover and create your information as you go.
Watch this video for all the details:
Minimum Viable Product Delivery Idea 1: The short workshop
The short workshop is my favorite minimum viable product idea by far.
It is a one-to-three-session live event that’s a combination of teaching and answering questions.
What you’ll do is invite people who meet your ideal customer profile.
How to deliver your short workshop:
- Sign up for a Zoom meeting account. It’s the easiest and least expensive solution. Set up a meeting on Zoom and copy the meeting link. Set up Zoom to record the meeting.
- Invite people by email. When they purchase the workshop, you send them the link to the meeting.
- Send reminders. Before your meeting, send reminders — people get busy and may forget.
- Download the meeting recording. Grab your copy of the meeting video under the Recordings tab in Zoom.
- Upload the recording of the workshop to YouTube. Set it to be hidden and then embed the recording video on a page on your website that’s protected with a password.
This is a very, very simple way to deliver this information.
You sell a useful workshop and deliver it live so that people can participate in the moment and also get value from watching the replay.
Here’s what you’ll learn when you put together a short workshop:
- You’re going to see whether or not people really want your solution.
- You’ll know what people understand and what they don’t understand when you teach them your topic.
- You’ll also get a feel for what else they’re worried about.
- You’ll see what’s confusing to them about your topic.
Minimum Viable Product Delivery Idea 2: One-on-one coaching
One-on-one coaching is super easy to deliver. Watch the video above, or read on!
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This could be one to multiple coaching sessions with a single person, and it could include an email follow-up.
You want to invite people who meet your ideal customer profile, of course.
How to deliver one-on-one coaching:
- Sign up for a Zoom meeting account. Use your default meeting room for your coaching calls. (Every Zoom meeting account comes with a default meeting room.) Set up Zoom to record the meeting.
- Send a link to your default meeting room to the person you’re coaching. Send it by email before you meet.
- Send a reminder before your coaching session so your customer is there on time.
- Share the downloadable recording. Download the video file from Zoom and place it on Dropbox or Google Drive where your client can grab it and keep it.
Here’s what you’ll learn from one-on-one coaching:
- You’ll coach people to find their own solutions — and you’ll see what obstacles are in their way
- You’ll support people as they figure things out and discover new ways you can guide them
- You’ll see which of your teachings resonate and help most — so you can do more of that in the future
Keep in mind, you’re not doing things for your coaching clients — this is a mistake many inexperienced coaches make! They haven’t hired you as a contractor to do things for them. You’re supporting them as they work toward their own solutions.
Get ready to get a real peek behind the scenes of what your coaching clients are struggling with.
Keep in mind that sitting across from your ideal customer is a true privilege, so do not waste it. Take good notes and absorb everything you can.
Minimum Viable Product Delivery Idea 3: Group Coaching
Short group coaching is a super simple minimum viable product idea.
This is a one to three session live event that’s delivered to a small group of people — maybe six or eight at the most.
Give your group coaching a theme so that all the questions that are asked are about a specific challenge that you want to eventually solve with a larger product.
Again, you want to invite people who meet your ideal customer profile.
How to deliver group coaching:
- Sign up for a Zoom meeting account. Set up a meeting on Zoom and copy the meeting link. Set up Zoom to record the meeting.
- Invite people by email. When they purchase group coaching, you send them the link to the Zoom meeting.
- Send reminders. Before your sessions, send reminder emails.
- Download the meeting recording. Grab your copy of the coaching video under the Recordings tab in Zoom.
- Upload the recording of the coaching session to YouTube. Set it to be hidden and then embed the recording video on a page on your website that’s protected with a password.
Here’s what you’ll learn from short group coaching:
- You’re coaching people to find their own solutions and supporting them as they figure things out.
- You’ll see their stumbling blocks and challenges firsthand
- You’ll help them go through the transformation process and you’ll discover how to help make this transformation happen.
Again, keep in mind that sitting across from your ideal customer is a true privilege, so don’t waste it. Listen closely.
You’re there for them, but you can learn so much from them too.
Minimum Viable Product Delivery Idea 4: Service “taster”
The service “taster” is a perfect minimum viable product example if you have a service-based business.
Try a taster version of your larger service offering so that clients can see what it’s like to work with you.
How to deliver a service taster:
- Create a small, easy-to-deliver service that’s tailored toward people who meet your ideal customer profile.
- Target the decision-maker. Create a small offering that’s for people who will be awarding you the big service contracts down the road.
- Develop a service taster that allows customers to get a peek at what it’s like to work with you on a project. Get creative!
- Keep it simple. Communicate with customers by email, video meeting, or phone call and make this very personal so that prospects interact with you — the service provider.
Here’s what you’ll learn by offering a service taster:
- You’re going to know whether prospects will be easy to work with as clients, and that’s really important information because if you discover that they’re difficult to work with, you’re not going to pursue offering them other things.
- You’ll also find out what your prospects’ needs are so that you can pitch them services that are tailored to meet those needs.
The minimum viable product examples here have one thing in common …
The best minimum viable product template includes one crucial element:
You interact directly with your customer.
That’s one of the reasons that I’m not recommending an ebook as a minimum viable offer, or a recording of a short video series.
You can do those as well, but all of the ideas that I’ve described in this article allow you to interact directly with your customer, and this is so valuable.
You don’t have to imagine how they’ll respond to your solution — you’ll see it for yourself!
You can use their questions and current challenges to make your offer better, clearer, and more effective.
You can’t get that from an ebook or pre-recorded video series.
How to evaluate your minimum viable offer results
You put your minimum viable offer out in the world — congratulations!
How do you evaluate your minimum viable offer results and then move forward?
A rule of thumb for online products is that three to five percent of people who see the offer will end up Buying. If three to five percent of the people who saw the offer ended up buying, you’re doing great.
For services, the conversion is going to be different. It’s going to depend on your offer and your industry. It might be smart to go into this process with some kind of goal in mind of a minimum number that you would like to sell.
Check in with your customers
Remember, once you wrap up this minimum viable offer, to ask for feedback and be really open to hearing everything that people tell you.
Your customers will share the good, but they might share the bad, and that’s important to know as well because you want to be able to improve your offer over time.
Check in with yourself
You also want to check in with yourself. Did you actually enjoy delivering this minimum viable offer?
- If you didn’t enjoy delivering your offer, maybe you need to explore a different idea?
- If you loved delivering your minimum viable offer, then it’s time to do more of it.
Speaking of more, check to see if your customers are asking for more:
- Would they have liked more workshop sessions?
- Do they want to continue to work with the small group that they got to know in your program?
- Are they asking if they can book more sessions or if you can deliver more of your service to them?
Any of those responses are really great sign!
Next steps for your minimum viable product
Here’s how to develop your minimal viable offer into a revenue-building product or service:
- Based on customer feedback, develop a slightly more elaborate solution than the one you delivered the first time out of the gate, and deliver it again
- Gain more experience, gather more feedback, make it stronger, and make your offer better!
- Perfect your positioning: That means how you present your offer, how you talk about it, and how you sell it
- Perfect your delivery: Find a way to make it easier to use, follow, and get results from.
Do everything you can to improve your minimum viable offer and make it better every single time you offer it.
Start building revenue with a minimum viable product or service
Use the minimum viable product examples here to build an online offer that will help you to:
- Discover what your customers’ challenges are — and what words they use to describe them
- Discover how you can deliver real transformation to your customers
- Discover if there’s any real interest in your solution before you pour time and money into developing it
Bookmark this post and come back to it when you need to create a minimum viable offer.
Ready to start now? Grab the resource below and take the first step.
Get your free Minimum Viable Product Template PDF
Free! Download my free minimum viable product worksheet, which includes an idea template you can fill in to map out your first online offer.
Discover my “3D approach” for creating a quick, easy minimum viable offer you can use to test your next idea!
Plus, get a handy guide that includes all the details about the minimum viable product examples mention in this article.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published September 23, 2020 and has been updated.