My friend, Andy, wrote those eight words on a whiteboard almost two years ago and they’ve found their place in my head like a well-written poem ever since. Those are the four basic reasons someone will start using your thing.
Your product or service has to save time, save money, make money, or make happy. But, before letting yourself off the hook too soon, and telling yourself, “Oh sure, this will definitely save my customers some money. Once I launch they’ll come streaming in,” you need to know that saving some time, some money, or making some money, isn’t gonna cut it.
There’s a fairly predictable thing about us humans, and that’s that we’re really into our habits and we’re fearful of the unknown.
So, even if your new solution will save someone a measure of hours per week resulting in (by your sales page’s calculations!) a non-trivial figure over the course of a year, their first response will probably not be clicking “Sign Up!”. Their natural, DNA-deep, first response will probably be asking themselves if they can save those few hours themselves with something more known and familiar. Something they can do themselves.
To overcome habit, fear, and anxiety, you’re gonna have to save someone a lot of time, save them a lot of money, make them a lot of money, or make them very happy.
Incremental improvements can help you keep customers you’ve already got, but incremental improvements over their current solution will not convince them it’s worth the effort and risk to change.