June 2016 Coaches Corner
Creating Helpful Products and Services that Work
People go into business for two big reasons – to make money and to help others.
But some ExpertPreneurs® sit more on one side versus the other. Perhaps they desperately need money to take care of their family and just want to rake in as much as possible.
Or perhaps they aren't as concerned about money, and really just want to give back to the world.
Either way, the result is the same; you are trying to sell something to your prospects. But I have to let you in on a secret: focusing on helping others will get you further.
You see, people who get into business purely for money eventually get found out. That doesn't mean you shouldn't want to make money; that is a completely valid goal and is necessary to keep motivated.
But now more than ever, prospects can sniff out a fake from a mile away. Google can, too. That's why they've changed the way search engines work, so you really have to provide valuable content to get a good ranking.
Basically, if you put your clients first and provide them with valuable, helpful products and services, the money will come. And your life as an ExpertPreneur® will be a lot easier.
So today I'm going to show you how to create products that truly help others…
You'll see why old-school trumps new-school every time…
Why “going lean” will cost less and earn you a lot more…
And one profitable alternative to creating new products you may not have considered.
The Olden Days
I remember a time when product launches were a real event.
Not like what you see today, when money-hungry internet marketers throw their products out to their list with very little care for whether it's actually useful or not. They just get an idea, create it, and put it out there come hell or high water.
Which sort of works. If you have a big list, chances are someone will buy what you are selling. (Although, they will also most likely end up returning it.)
But looking way back, product launches were a rather lengthy process. A business owner would get an idea from a customer, reach to her audience asking what they think, and then slowly build up that product with input along the way.
And guess what? That product sold extremely well, because their prospects were invested in it before it ever was released.
Why people don't do this more often today is beyond me, but that's good news for you. It's so rare, in fact, you will stand out among the crowd by being the one person who does put in the effort. The person who creates a product or service that truly helps people.
To start out, you take an idea either you thought of, or perhaps a client came to you with, and build from there. Any idea for a product or service which will help eliminate a problem, fear or frustration, or satisfy a desire for your target prospect.
Take that idea to your existing clients and ask them what they think about it. You can go through social media, your blog, a survey, whatever you prefer. Just be prepared to actually take part in the conversation.
Once you've done that, and strategized the product or service to a certain point, you present your more fleshed out plan to your list again. Asking them what they think about it, and if there is anything you missed they would like to see included.
And so on and so forth.
You see, by doing this you are accomplishing two things: you are guaranteeing you create something they really want. And you are priming your entire list for the sale. Not bad, right?
It's a lot more personal than just sending them a quick four-part video series that may or may not land with them. Instead, they'll be involved in the process, and be sure this product can help them out.
Now, this is ideal if you have a large audience already, but what if you are starting your business from scratch?
Make it Live
It can be intimidating to build something from the ground up.
And a big mistake ExpertPreneurs® make is creating a huge, top-heavy business with multiple products, social media platforms, and content channels without really knowing if anyone is interested! Talk about a huge investment of time and money without the chance of a good response…
But what if you approached it the opposite way?
For example, let's say you come up with an idea based on prospect research you've done. Remember, even if you don't have a list of your own, you can still study your ideal prospects through other means – Amazon, competitors' websites, Facebook, etc…
So, based on a common thread you discover, you decide to host a teleseminar or webinar educating people on that subject.
You would then spread the word to your list. Or, if you don't have a list, reach out to friends you feel may be interested, social media, related groups you belong to, even potential joint venture promotion partners… Then when you give your presentation, make sure it provides incredibly useful and actionable advice for your target market.
Regardless of how many people were involved, you will have made an impression. And the best part? You have a captive audience. So ask them if they feel they received value from what you delivered, and what else they would like to learn about regarding your subject. And based on those answers, put together a second live event.
If you did a good job with the first one, more will attend the second, and give you feedback. Then you can continue with a third and fourth if you'd like (while recording all of them for your future use as repurposed content, or even products). This constant flow of free and very helpful information will get them even more interested in what you have to offer.
It's essentially the same process as reaching out to your audience in the first section, but you're building your entire business while building your list and your product. Once you feel everything is complete, you can launch it with an engaged audience primed and ready to buy.
And if you already have a business, you can use this method to branch out to an entirely new audience.
But how do you know when it's time to create something new? Or when your audience has had enough?
Building Up vs. Building Something New
A big problem ExpertPreneurs® face is knowing a subject too well.
Whenever you are completely entrenched in something, it's challenging to step away and see things how others might see them. You assume everyone has at least the same basic understanding as you do.
This results in products, webinars, and events overburdened with information, and prospects feeling like their heads are spinning. Not a good thing.
So, what do you do? You break up the material into easily digestible parts for study.
And how you present that material matters, as well.
Creating a new product for each part might be tempting, but your prospect will tire of buying something entirely new each and every time. They'll feel like you're mining them for all they are worth.
So, a very effective solution for presenting your information would be through a “product ladder”.
Let's say for example you are teaching people how to make a living with public speaking.
The first thing you would probably need to teach is how to get people to attend events. More important than actually speaking well is having an audience to speak to. Distilling it even further, you may need to explain the difference between marketing your event and just selling tickets.
So, your first “lesson” could be about marketing vs. sales. You would stage the concept, define it, teach it, and give examples (i.e. sales is the process of selling a product or service). Then give some non-examples (i.e. sales is not an email funnel with valuable content, that’s marketing). By giving contrasting examples you are helping your audience understand the concept.
Just that one lesson should be enough information for your customers to digest in a short time. Then you'd move on to how to sell tickets, using marketing and sales.
A third “step” up the ladder might be “how to be dynamic and amazing during your presentations.” And the final step would be monetizing your “awesome events.”
All of these topics fall under the umbrella of “making a living as a speaker”, but they are HUGE subjects with many parts, tips, and tactics. Breaking them down to make them easy to understand will truly help your customers, earning their lifetime support.
As clichéd as it is, the old adage is true: focus on your passion and help others, and the rest will come.
Of course, you need to understand the best ways to get business, leads, customers, etc… is by putting your heart on your sleeve and truly putting your money where your mouth is. By doing so you will have a much easier time growing your business than if you just operate by pure greed.
People will see how much you care and want you to succeed. They'll evangelize your business, and as we all know, there's truly no better marketing method out there.
So really take the time to think about what you can do to best help your ideal prospect. It may take a little longer to start pulling in revenue, but the extra time will pay off in the long run.