When you work hard to bring your app idea to life, all you can think about when you’re about to launch it is the struggles you’ve been through.
You think about the roadblocks and the moments of keen insights and you can’t wait to share your story with your core audience to persuade them of the quality of your work. You can’t wait to show off your product, see it being used and getting feedback that sums up what great work you’ve done.
Every entrepreneur is the lead in their startup story
If you’ve gone above and beyond to determine which features will provide the value you know they want in your product, how can you not expect the happy ending each great story of entrepreneurship provides?
And the higher your expectations for getting accolades for becoming the best lead in this year’s startup line up, the bigger your dismay when your audience doesn’t react when you tell them “we’ve created state-of-the-art algorithms to aggregate for you the most interesting bits of content”? Or when you tell them “we’ve created over 50+ project templates to account for any possibilities”?
Yes, this is the moment you should be wondering what is going on. You’ve built up to announcing your product for a while, adding to the story all the nice features you’ve included in your product. If things were going according to script, your product would be a success and tested out with glee. After all, that’s the marker of your success as an entrepreneur – to have people lining up to use what you’ve worked hard to create.
And yet things aren’t going according to script. Your potential audience doesn’t resonate with your trials and tribulations and isn’t interested in trying out your awesome features.
The answer to this mystery is as simple as it might be hard to swallow. While you, as a founder, have every right and reason to celebrate hitting a milestone and enjoy this moment of success in your story, so is your audience entitled to see themselves as the main characters of their own stories.
Living their own busy lives, your audience isn’t interested in becoming a sidekick in your success story. What they are on the lookout for is a sidekick that will help them succeed. This is where the magic of promoting your product’s benefits, not its features, comes in.
Every great entrepreneur aims for the prize of best supporting character
You take great pride in the work you’ve put in your product. But as a great entrepreneur, you know that your startup doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and your audience’s success is your success as well.
That is why you don’t put forward the features you’ve worked hard to identify and develop. You know there’s a time and a place to explain how something works, but before that, you know it’s more important to explain why my product will help you. To your audience, the difference between how and why, between features and benefits, is the difference between hearing someone tooting their own horn and someone offering them sincere help.
In the populated app world, it’s the difference between:
“Our app offers 1TB of cloud storage” and “You can take all the files you need with you anywhere.”
“We’ve created smart algorithms that mark important emails in your inbox” vs “You will never miss out on answering the emails that really matter.”
Can you tell the difference between features and benefits? Can you tell which is the voice of a lead role and which is the voice of a kickass supporting character? And be honest, which would you rather have on your side, as a user?
Measure your success through the success of your users
It’s hard at times to not want to toot your own horn and show off your work. To not draw attention to the little things you’ve included to create delight through your product. But you’re missing out the real achievement of seeing your users take ownership of a problem they’ve been having or something they’ve been missing out on and getting it done through your product. After all, great entrepreneurs don’t measure their success on how many hours they put into their products, but in the number of people who are delighted to use their product to achieve their goals.