We developed a social networking platform that connects people with other similar people by analyzing their dreams - everyone is saying its cool but its hard to convince people to signup - any help?
We are only weeks old - testing with friends and families ( but open to others ).
What a great thing to learn so early in your development process! The conversion rate -- from visitor to user or prospect to customer -- is a critical ratio for your team to understand and improve as you develop your business.
Lots of people -- especially friends and family -- will say "really cool" because that is what loving family and supportive friends say. But making the choice to become a user or better yet a customer is a bigger deal.
Fortunately because of your prior relationship you can ask them and really gain a detailed understanding of the reasons for their hesitancy and objections. In a way that you probably couldn't with random sample you can get into a more iterative conversation and gain a more thorough understanding.
First -- do not be hurt or in any way express dissapointment that they havn't signed up. don't make a personal -- "it would mean a lot to me" ask. Make it okay for them to say no.
And then inquiry why? fear? concern/ security? value?
Make a list of the reasons. Brainstorms ways to address. And then create a business development, marketing , and software changes to resolve.
Dreams are very personal. Interpretation of dreams comes with a certain need for privacy. Connecting based on dreams might imply a certain disclosure of this private information which would make many people uncomfortable. identifying how to address this on the site may be your challenge.
Make sure the sign-up process is easy.
Allow for the interaction with already established social apps.
Target people that actually want to meet other people.
I would think that everyone has secrets, going to friends and family to ask for input on their dreams are probably one of the items on the top of the list of things they would rather tell a stranger than family. Privacy settings are similar even if you promised that all text in the database was encrypted I would say most people would still have a hard time. I know this from my own startup, we have made sign ups use facebook, and some of my frinends wont even signup. And they are my friends on facebook, but somehow giving rights to their friendslist feels an invasion of privacy when it comes from me even though they list me as their friend so I can see it anyway. (But they sign up on lots of facebook apps without thinking twice about saying yes to the same sharing with strangers.)
I would advise you to cast your net outside the FF circle you might be surprised by the increase in people signing up.