In this edition I’ll cover the tools I used for setting up the West Slope Works landing page, my design format, and how I gained fast feedback.
Goal: Use a simple landing page to gain insights from our target audience:
Is the offer clear? And desirable enough to take action and request an invitation?
What channels help me reach the target audience?
Does a pricing exercise suggest viability validation?
Invite serendipity from unexpected partners/collaborators.
💡 Your prototype should be informed by what you want to learn. I already have insights from running workshops (another form of prototype).
Landing Page: I used a visual builder called Carrd. It’s simple to use, affordable, and dependable. A super cool feature is the ability to share designs with other pro users.
Invite Waitlist, I use Google Forms. Free and fast to set up.
Newsletter, I use Substack (what this newsletter is hosted on). Free and fast to setup.
Workshop RSVPs, I use Luma — a less clunky version of Eventbrite.
My Landing Page Format
Explain the value you provide
Explain how you'll create it
Help the visitor visualize it
Create trust and social proof
Make the next step clear and easy.
Before building anything, I sketch it out on paper with simple wireframes and notes on copywriting. When it comes to visual design, keep it simple.
I like to work with one color, one or two fonts (titles vs text), and simple layout. Use images if they help the visitor visualize the value. West Slope Works is the maximum limit of effort I’ll put in a landing page (in future posts I’ll share simpler examples).
The goal is to build quickly in a way that is good enough. Done is better than perfect.
1. Explain the value
The header explains who this is for “west slope job seekers” and describes the value as “network/community helping advance your career.” Adding “small Colorado towns you love” acknowledges the difficulty of making a professional living in small markets.
I then include three ways this value it delivered. This places an action above the fold that can be clicked in the first seconds of visiting the page.
2. Explain how you will create this value.
I tease this in the header with “three ways to get started”, then below the fold I make it clear that joining the community, and what comes with it, is how I help job seekers. I use a few user sentiments to help readers identify with their needs.
3. Help the user visualize it.
I use two short blocks to describe the community features and experience. Bullet points make copywriting easy.
4. Create Trust with Social Proof
I provide short testimonials just above the fold, and again before making the call the action.
But wait! How do you get testimonials if your product is brand new?
I’ve been working with people 1:1 using the same practices I’m bringing into WSW. This goes back to the Bird In Hand assessment where I already have insight and experience that lend to why I’m pursuing this idea.
5. Make The Next Step Clear & Easy
The primary next step (or call to action) is to request an invitation. A secondary step is subscribing to the newsletter or RSVPing to a workshop. Either way, people are taking action to connect with WSW.
Creating a request for invite or a waitlist is a good way of creating a next step that doesn’t require a completely built product. I can slowly bring people into West Slope Works as I build it.
Getting Fast Feedback
I built the landing page in one day. The next day I created a Google Form to collect feedback on communication clarity, positioning, and to ask a question about a pricing hypothesis.
I use a virtual assistant service that sent this form to 30 people within the target audience. It’s not perfect, but it’s fast.
Within 48 hours I had responses that guided me to make more than a dozen changes to the landing page. Additionally, a lot of this feedback translated into a new FAQ and About page.
Subscribe to follow along, ask questions, or tell me about what you are working on. 😀