When he appeared on screen, I was surprised. Usually, folks who hire me are in their 30s, 40s, or 50s.
But Clint was young, in his early 20s. He had youthful excitement in his eyes and a big smile on his face.
He wanted to discuss his product idea. It involved the blockchain and a bunch of other tech I didn't understand. But that was OK because Clint wanted my advice on marketing. He wondered, how could they promote this complicated tech to investors who might be 60 to 70 years old?
Invariably, my first question for a new startup is: do you have a landing page?
Initially, Clint was skeptical.
I asked him to imagine himself in this scenario:
Pretend I'm a 65-year-old investor. You manage to get a coffee meeting with me. We sit down at a table with our mugs, and I ask you: "Ok, what's this investment opportunity you have for me?"
Clint started back at me blankly.
"Go ahead Clint," I prodded, "sell me on your product!"
"You mean, right now?" he asked.
"Yup, go for it!" I said.
He then did what most of us do when someone asks us: "So what are you working on?" In a halting voice, he meandered through a 5-minute description of the tech, and how it worked. He was passionate about the topic, but couldn't articulate his product's value.
"This is why you need a landing page," I answered.
Writing a landing page helps you clarify:
Who your product is for.
What their main struggle is.
How you help them overcome that struggle.
How their life will be better.
The benefit of doing this work goes beyond having a sales page on the internet.
Now, you'll have a description of your product that you (and your team) can use everywhere:
When you get on an elevator, and someone asks about your app.
At a conference, when folks inquire: "What do you do for work?"
In your emails, blog posts, podcasts, tweets, and YouTube videos.
It's a reusable soundbite that communicates your product's value.
The other benefit?
After you describe your product, you can point folks to your landing page and get them to sign up.
I was enjoying my call with Clint. He was energetic, writing notes, and engaging with the process. I ended up giving him extra time.
I was about to end the call when he interrupted me:
"Justin, I need to tell you something."
"I wanted to tell you that I've been a huge fan of yours since I was in the ninth grade. I discovered your This Is A Web Page, and I've been on your newsletter list ever since."
I did some quick mental math. I published that page on June 20, 2013. Five years ago. That means Clint had been following my work since he was 14 or 15 years old.
It's a great reminder about the power of words, and the legacy our web pages can create.
PS: ready to make your landing page? Get $20 off my landing page course until Jan 31, 2018.