If you don’t live in startup hub, as I don’t, you might feel a bit sad when you hear how awesome living in places like San Francisco can be. Startup founders, hotshot investors and other tech influencers walking past you, sitting next to you in coffee shops and bumping into you on the street. It’s heaven for young, aspiring people with heads full of ideas. All you have to do is walk up to someone and ask for 3 minutes of his time, one of which will be spent to pitch your idea for the next big thing.
However, if you’re not living in a place like that or haven’t moved there yet, you might have a problem reaching those people. If they’re well known and good at their job, they probably get 1000s of emails per day from people just like you, asking for advice and feedback. Chances are, your emails will be ignored. Not because they don’t like you but because they just don’t have the time to read a 800 word email. They’re busy.
So what CAN you do?
You can, for example, write a very short email and ask for a 10 minute Skype call. Calls are better because you can ask anything and get a response much faster than with emails. When you’re building a product, you want to get as much feedback as possible about how to improve your landing page, copy or even how to reach your target audience.
I’ve experienced how this can be beneficial a week ago when I had a Clarity call with Justin Jackson about a new product we’re building. It’s called Viaemail and it helps people schedule calls with a couple of simple steps.
I wanted to hear his thoughts about how he could reach our target market which consisted of service providers at the time. We talked for a little more than 20 minutes and I got so much useful feedback and great ideas. I knew instantly what to do next and it took 20 minutes of his time. If we’d done that through emails, it would take 10 emails back and forth and the timespan would be a few days. This is how awesome short and focused calls can be.
With his advice in mind, we’re now trying to help people and companies with call scheduling. We haven’t changed the product itself much but the message definitely changed and it resonates better with the people in our tech community.
So next time you’d like to ask someone for feedback, ask him for a short call and prepare questions you want answers to. You’ll be amazed at how much insight you can get.