A career in product management intersects across various disciplines and requires you to have a wide range of skills. This makes it super competitive, and side projects can really help you stand apart from the competition, by demonstrating your competence and giving you valuable talking points in interviews. Ultimately, side projects help you communicate your skills and knowledge as well as your knack for the position to the recruiters.
But having an amazing side project simply must have a strong landing page to drive real impact. A good landing page for your side project is one which is designed in such a way that all elements are aligned with two goals – maximizing engagement from your target customer, and demonstrating your product management skills.
Here are a few tips that will help you design a landing page that will help you drive conversion for your product as well as showcase excellent product management skills:
- Get the basics right
Get the basic factors of landing page success out of the way first. Before thinking about things that make the landing page more engaging and appealing to the visitors, ensure that your content loads quickly. Use next generation image formats and properly encoded images for faster loading speeds. Make sure you keep the content including images and media relevant to the website’s audience. Make sure to include a functioning form for gathering leads.
2. Make sure you have a well-structured Design
The landing page is not only the key to the engagement of your side project but also the first impression of your experience to the recruiters. It’s therefore important that the design goes hand in hand with both those things. For the landing page to be effective, you need each element of the page to look clean, be well-positioned, and in-phase with your central goal – driving engagement or conversions depending upon the type of your side project.
Use rich visuals and make smart use of color and eye-catching images to design an effective landing page. Use graphic design principles to decide on the content and its placement that you want to use for the landing page. Decide your metrics upfront – from making the visitor fill a form, make a purchase, download your eBook, or subscribe to your newsletter. Finally, decide the elements for your objective and place them in a way that makes sense for your objective.
3. Use a simple layout
The last thing you want from your landing page is to throw the visitors off by redundant visual elements, incoherent navigation, or distracting elements like pop-ups. Your landing page needs to have a simple, minimalistic and attractive design, with seamless navigation, which presents your side project without annoying visitors with any distractions. Whether it is a visitor that you can potentially convert or a recruiter reviewing your side project, a simple layout for your landing page works effectively for both use cases.
4. Use Headers to Present Offer Value
The headline and subheading are the elevator pitches of landing pages. As the first thing that a visitor takes a look at, the header of your landing page should convey the most important thing about your product- the offer value. The header of the landing page for your side project should have a strong offer that targets a pain point or a problem. It is also very important to keep the header clear and concise while explaining the value of the offer. Use subheadings for further explanation of the offer and sharing the value proposition.
5. Introduce the Team
A career in product management requires you to work with cross-functional teams and ensure smooth collaboration between its members. The primary goal of the landing page for your side project isn’t just to drive conversions and engagement but also to reflect your skills as a product management. Adding a fold that introduces the visitors to your team tells your recruiters that you’re capable of managing cross-functional teams. But remember to put the fold somewhere in the end after you have walked the visitors through the product features.
6. Measure Analytics in Real-Time
Time and resource management are two of the most imperative soft skills for a career in product management. This makes documenting everything as you move forward in your side project necessary. It helps you reach your objectives faster and ensures the limited usage of resources. Measuring analytics in real-time helps you keep track of your milestones related to engagement and conversions. It also lets you know about various problems related to engagement and you get experience of dealing with them. Finally, it demonstrates that you recognize the importance of metrics to anyone who inquires about them.
7. Finally – make sure to have fun
Your side project should be something you enjoy doing. The point isn’t to tick a checkbox, it’s to learn something new, become a better Product Manager while doing it, and to refine skills that will prove essential in your job later. The fact that you gain a ton of excellent content for your interviews is the icing on the cake. So use this landing page to experiment with ideas, test out different hypotheses, and to gain insight into what your customers really need. Trust us, this will make you a stronger PM 🙂
To sum up, when you are looking to leverage side projects for landing a PM job has two primary goals- driving conversion and showcasing your product management skills to your recruiters when they review your side project. Design a landing page that uses elements and content that are aligned with these goals and maximize the success of your side project.