The information in this blog post should save you an insane amount of time, stress, and money, help you get your product to market faster, and make your first product exponentially more beneficial for your customers.
We’ll cover many do’s, don’ts and concepts that will help you generate revenue quickly and create a solid product based on current industry trends.
If you’re ready, let’s dive in!
Start With a Digital Product First
The first mistake I see people make is they go to write a book, or create some sort of Physical Product as their first product.
This is a HUGE mistake because:
- the timeline to create a physical product is usually 3-4 times longer
- a physical product is much more capital intensive
- once you create a physical product, it’s hard to change, iterate, and improve
- there is much more of a learning curve
- extra complexity with producing and shipping physical goods
- it’s easy to get overwhelmed and end up never completing the project
Bottom line, physical products take more time, more money, and create more stress.
Creating a digital product (preferably an online course) is 100% the way to go.
It’s easier to create and make changes to and it doesn’t require much capital to get a product created and up for sale.
Ok, so now that we’re on the same page with creating a digital product, let’s cover some tips for your first product.
Clarity of Result
Before you start to build anything, it is absolutely essential that you have supreme clarity on the purpose of your product.
The nuances of purpose will vary slightly product to product, industry to industry, but ALL products should be designed to help create a result for your customer.
The essential purpose of any product should be to take a person from where they are now, to where they want to be; from point “A” to point “B”.
This is why it’s important to clearly identify what result you are helping your customers achieve, before you start building your product.
You start by identifying the current realities of where they are at now. What challenges, limiting beliefs, or fears do they have currently? What are their goals and aspirations? What does success look like?
Without clarity around those concepts, your product will not fully address the needs of your customers and the people who get results will be the anomaly, not the norm.
We want to design a product where everyone who uses it properly will achieve the intended result.
We do this by creating a linear path that people can follow to take them from point “A” to point “B”.
Create a Linear Path to Get the Promised Result
There’s a shift taking place in the digital product space.
Until now, the digital product game has been about how much content you can pack into a single product or offer. The other day I saw an offer for an online course bundle with over 80-hours of video training. Who has time to go through all that? No one does!
Courses are moving to a results and value-oriented approach.
More content is NOT better.
The fastest path to the desired result is what people want.
Instead of packing everything you know into one giant monster product, create several mini products each designed to generate a specific result. These types of products are what your customers want, and they are actually much easier to create because they are focused.
The goal with these mini courses is to eliminate any sticking points by creating a single path to success. It’s important to have answers to questions like:
What is the fastest path to creating the desired outcome your product promises?
What are the steps to get there?
What are the exact tools and strategies they need to implement?
Where is it most likely for people to get stuck?
Sticking points usually occur where the customer is presented with a decision to make, a fork in the road. It’s important to minimize choices that your customer has to make, and make decisions for your audience.
It’s common for people to recommend 3-5 different tools that can all accomplish what is needed, but then this sends your customer down a rabbit hole, researching all these different tools to figure out which one to use. (Not to mention create all sorts of support questions)
95% of the time you should tell your customers exactly which tool they should use, and the other 5% of the time you should recommend two (2) tools, at the VERY MOST. Make a clear delineation between the two options. (Ex: If you have a team of over 5 people use tool “B”, if you have a team of 1-5 people use tool “A” – or something like that, where it’s very clear and easy for the customer to determine which tool is the right one for them.)
Once you create your single path, it’s fairly straight forward to modularize your content in to sections of an online course, podcast topics, blog posts, or chapters for an ebook.
Create Modules From Your Path
When creating your customer path, think about how your customers will move along the path and establish stages that are based on the challenges, pains, goals, and aspirations of your customers.
These stages will essentially be the modules or sections of your online course.
You want your modules and sections to be aligned with your customer’s challenges, pains, goals, and aspirations because when you showcase the modules, they’ll act as a stand-in sales letter.
Think about how powerful it would be if each module of your program was focused on one of their 5 major challenges.
When they read or hear about what you cover in your course, it’s almost guaranteed that they are aware that they need at least one of the main topics you’re covering – most likely two or three.
Make sure to name your modules with benefit-driven headlines that are focused on your target customer.
Treat the name of each module like a headline you would see on the cover of the New York Times.
Wrong: How to Generate Traffic
Right: Secret Strategies that Drive 10x More Traffic to Your Website.
Wrong: How to Create a Website
Right: 7 Things All Million-dollar Websites Have in Common
Wrong: How to Lose Weight
Right: The 8 Things Sabotaging Your Weight-loss
Now that you have your product modules pretty much mapped out. It’s important to talk about how to appropriately price your product.
Pricing Your Product
When creating your product, it’s important to take the price point of your product into consideration.
There are two ways that you can approach your product pricing:
- Determine the price point and then create the product
- Create the product and then determine the price point.
I prefer option #1 because it’s much easier to determine what price point is appropriate for the market you are serving, and then build a product that delivers more value than the cost.
Essentially, you are able to reverse engineer your product based on other price points in your industry and/or niche. Selecting price point first, provides you with the opportunity to make the price point a differentiating factor, vs. creating the product first and then assigning a value to it.
Whichever way you prefer to come up with your pricing, there is one important rule that you must follow if you want your product to sell:
Your product must have a perceived value of at least 2x – 3x the price.
Note: this IS NOT what you think it’s worth.
Your customer must perceive the value of your offer to be far greater than the price. We call this a Positive Value Gap. It’s your job to communicate the value you are providing in a way that they understand how big that Positive Value Gap actually is.
If your product is reasonably worth $1,000, sell it for $497 or even $347.
You might think that you’ll be leaving money on the table, but you’ll actually make more money because your offer will have more traction, and you will make more sales.
We recommend that you charge a minimum of $297-$997 for your first product. Often people want to start with a $20-$40 ebook, or low price point online course for $97. If you create your product and sell it at a low price, you’re going to have to make a high volume of sales to make any money. When starting out, people generally are not able to generate a lot of traffic to an offer, so it’s hard to make a large volume of sales.
It’s not rocket science, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t think about this type of stuff.
Product Delivery & Pricing
Another big factor when determining the pricing for your product is how you plan to deliver your product.
Are you launching an ebook? An online course? Video? Audio?
If you’re selling an ebook at a $1,997 price point, you probably won’t have too many sales.
Usually ebooks sell in the $7-$37 range because that’s what people believe an ebook is worth and they are comfortable paying that price.
An online video course or an audio course has a higher perceived value than a book or an ebook, so you can charge accordingly.
What about charging monthly?
If you’re putting together your first product, we recommend that you go with one-time charge to access your course.
There’s a lot more work that goes into maintaining a monthly subscription model than you’d might expect.
- Providing ongoing value every month
- Support requests
- Cancelation/Refund requests
- Removing access
- Failed payment follow up
- Expiring credit cards
- Updating credit card info
If you’re just starting out and you don’t have a dedicated customer support person to help manage your support requests, I highly recommend that you don’t start with a monthly membership. Start by selling a single-pay product.
Estimate how many months the average person would pay monthly, and charge that price up front.
Get your product launched with the one-time fee. If you really want to charge a monthly subscription, transition to that pricing model later.
We followed this exact process when we launched “Personal Brand Monthly”. There wasn’t even an option to purchase a monthly subscription to Personal Brand “Monthly”. There was only one option, to purchase a lifetime subscription for $397, one-time.
We generated revenue first, and then rolled out a monthly option for $50/mo.
What is the product experience like for your new customers?
Remember, the goal here is to get a quality product out into the marketplace, and to start generating revenue quickly.
It’s important that you keep your first product as simple as possible.
People are buying your product to get a result. Not because it looks fancy and has a bunch of bells and whistles.
If you’re building an online course for your first product like we recommend, there are many software platforms that make it super easy to get a professional online course built without having to be tech-savvy.
Don’t get distracted by crazy technical nuances and features like gamification, award badges, and quizzes when building your first course.
Keep it simple, and make sure it’s easy for your customers to access the value you are delivering.
Generate revenue and scale your team to help build those technical nuances if you need them.
The bottom line.
Generate supreme clarity on how you are generating results for your customers, design a path to achieving that result, create a high-value product around that path, and price your product so that your customers feel like they are getting a great deal.
That’s the winning combination that will allow you to knock it out of the park with your first product!
After reading this post, you should feel like you have a huge competitive advantage when creating your first product. Most people never put this level of thought into their product and end up spinning their wheels and taking years to create their product.
Keep it simple. Add massive value. Get fancy later.
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