Early adopters are cool. According to the omnipotent Wikipedia, early adopters tend to be younger, have more money, more education, more friends, and more influence over their friends. Dang, we should all be early adopters!
They are the first people to try new things and their stamp of approval can go a long way to creating popularity for whatever it is they’ve tried and loved.
Early adopters essentially lead their whole social group to a new idea and with the internet, their social group can be huge. From blogs to twitter to facebook to linkedin to youtube, early adopters wield a huge amount of influence and can turn a stupid cat video into an overnight viral trend.
So how can you, innovator, business-starter that you are, garner your own little army of early adopters?
Let’s again consult Wikipedia.
Let’s say you’re starting dog-walking business on Earnest.com. In order to have the best shot at gaining the audience of early adopters, your business should…
1. Have a relative advantage over the previous generation– Your dog-walking service includes more than just dog-walking. You offer dog-sitting, dog-singing, dog-co-tv-watching, dog massage, the things a dog misses out on when his people aren’t home.
2. Compatibility: How well your business fits into a consumer’s life– Your business is open 24/7 and you’re always on call.
3. Complexity or Simplicity: If your business model is super-complicated, people are unlikely to use it- Earnest.com makes it easy-as-pie to find you, contract your services, and make payments and all that; you have to keep your business model simple too. You charge $10 per mile walked or hour sat, $15 between 10pm and 7am. Tips included.
4. Trialability- Make it easy for people to try your services without too much risk. This is especially important for businesses without a hearty brand to back them up. Offer a money-back guarantee, or a satisfaction guarantee, or invite a dog-whisperer to get the dog’s feedback; however you choose to do it, make sure your customers feel like they really can’t lose.
5. Observability- Make your company easy to see. On Earnest.com, that means personalizing your page to reflect your brand and getting lots of positive reviews from your customers so you stay at the top of the search list.
In the internet era, people have gnat-like attention spans, so if your business isn’t immediately observable, simple, compatible, trial-able, and a little different, there’s a fair chance, early adopters won’t take the time to find out whether your business it great or not.
These 5 laws of early-adopter-enticing are especially important for new companies. Starting fresh on Earnest.com means you have all the potential in the world to be successful, but it’s a marketplace so there’s always competition.
On Earnest.com, all you need to get the ball rolling is one customer to leave a positive review from one early adopter. Just one.