Approval process for Buffer

Peter Meyers has a long experience in marketing. He experienced the pain of doing twenty back and forth between the client and the agency to know what to share on social media (many if not most of social media accounts of brands are managed by marketing agencies). He wants to fix that with his partner Florent Grandjean.

Approval process for Buffer

The danger here is to fall in the trap of tailoring the application to a given business. Every business has its own version of what the approval process should look like and you could quickly end up doing a complex enterprise software that will require a sales force and sales cycles that will take months.

So the key here is to keep it simple and offer a turn key solution as an online service that can scale independently of your work force.

Easier said than done. You need to get it right and you won't get it right at the first try. So you need to get a first version out there and start learning. It's very important to put yourself in a great environment where you can learn and iterate quickly. That's why it's important to define your Initial Target Market.

In this case, a good proxy to identify the minimal target market is the group of people that use Buffer. They pay $10/month for a simple tool that help them manage their social media account. Focus on that group and try to piggy back on Buffer's success.

Your Minimum Awesome Product should therefore focus on the needs of that group and fit their workflow. Create an app that will be a pre-buffer. A pending list of tweets that first needs approval. A free version should allow to have max 5 tweets in that pre-buffer and only one possible approver. The person that needs to approve receives an email with a unique token so that they can approve or disapprove in one click. A $10/month version should allow for up to 5 approvers with the option to require the approval from minimum x number of approvers.

That's it. Release that at $10/month and focus on getting your first $10k MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue). And do nothing else than that until then. All the rest is noise. If you can't succeed within the group of people who already pays for productivity tools to improve their social media workflow, there is no reason that you will succeed in the larger market.

Xavier Damman

About the author

I'm Xavier Damman. I'm an engineer in computer science and an entrepreneur. I'm passionate about the digital renaissance. I like to think about the future of media (I cofounded Storify), organizations and democracy (I'm now working on Open Collective). In my spare time, I like to hack and talk. You can follow me on Twitter @xdamman.