We’ve been discussing some of the ways for a business owner to create his/her own products. There are many methods and approaches to doing that … some were outlined in Part 1 of this two part post. Here is Part 2:
Video courses are becoming more and more popular, primarily because people like to watch something being done as they learn. Video courses are best for topics and content that need visual explanation for the best comprehension. Videos are best employed when the learner needs to see how something is done. So, as an example, if you want to teach your audience how to sew, it can be very advantageous to show visually the steps that are required to sew an article of clothing. That would be a better approach than to merely try to explain in text how to do it. You can put your videos that you create into a private area where only the paid buyers can gain access.
If you go the video route, keep in mind that some people don’t like video. It could be that they don’t have access to a high enough Internet speed to allow them to watch the videos with ease. Others would prefer to read something that is printed on the page and make notes as they follow along.
If you choose video, it’s best to have a transcript available for your non-video customers. This takes a bit more time and effort, but if you want to outsource it to someone, you can do that easily on freelance sites.
Make sure you practice with video before you create your first course. You don’t want to make rookie mistakes like yawning out loud or slurping your drink by the mic or saying, “Ummmm” too much so that it’s a distraction.
How Services Fit Into Your Sales
Products aren’t the only means of earning income in your business. Sometimes your time is the means of receiving payment because you can perform a skill or give advice to your clients in exchange for their money. In some cases, the business owner will even employ others as the service provider, while the owner handles the other details of promoting, scheduling, and transacting the business.
What kinds of services sell well online? Here are a few examples:
- Life or business coaching
- Freelance writing
- Graphics or website creation
- SEO and marketing
- Virtual assistants
The best things you can do as a freelance service provider are:
- Create your own website (or a page on your blog) that promotes your services
- Share openly any credentials, degrees, certifications, and licenses that you have in the service
- Highlight your education, training, and professional memberships in your industry
- Have a portfolio, if applicable, of your previous work
- Use powerful testimonials on your offer page or site from satisfied past clients as social proof
- Explain your time frames, rates and service options clearly
- Create an intuitive and easy way for prospects to contact you
- Sign up as vendors at freelance sites to promote yourself and what you do
Being a service provider is a way to generate fast income, but you want to work on your own products simultaneously because residual earnings are what provide you with security during times when you can’t work or don’t have clients.
Sales Funnels and Copywriting
When you’re selling a product, you have to start educating yourself about sales copy and sales funnels. Sales copy is what the visitor reads (or sees if you use video) when they are presented with your offer and you ask them to subscribe to your mailing list.
The sales funnel is the process they go through whenever they choose to join your site or mailing list. So marketers employ a very simple one level sales funnel … either the prospect buys the product or he doesn’t!
Others use more complicated sales funnels that anticipate both further steps for both a sale and a rejection. If the prospect clicks away and decides not to buy, he is shown a “downsell” offer which gives him a chance to purchase something less expensive, or leave with a freebie offer via sign-up so the marketer has a chance to promote to that person again in the future.
If the prospect does buy, he might be shown an OTO (one time offer) or and upsell or upgrade. Normally a higher priced product or version is presented to the buyer who has just proven that he is in a buying mood. Be careful with upsells … some marketers go overboard with them, making prospects choose five or more times before they can leave. Nobody likes to be pitched with a non-stop stream of offers while they are waiting to experience the product they just purchased.
Affiliates mostly love sales funnels with upsells because it gives them a chance to increase their earnings per buyer when they promote your original offer. If you create a product, think about it strategically in terms of maximizing your sales and providing value to the customer by including judicious use of upsells, downsells, and cross-sells.
Great sales copy is the result of the skill and style of the copywriter. Most prospects don’t like hard sells and don’t like the feeling of being “pitched” something that is not within their interest. Selling is a great art and a valuable skill to have. Many product creators are smart to seek professional help in getting sales copy created because the copy alone can determine whether an offer is profitable or not.
If you plan to write your own sales letter, it will be worth your while to test different “variables” of the letter so you can maximize it’s selling power. Variables include your headline, narrative, all images, colors, the offer itself, the price, the call to action, and even the P.S. (if employed). Always test and track one variable at a time … the new version vs. the current version. It really is surprising the difference a single variable can make in your sales! Be sure that you test on a valid sample size rather than a limited “biased” sample. Just as a simple rule of thumb, test on 1,000 impressions rather than 25 or 100.
Understand that as a new business owner just beginning in IM, your journey will be filled with ups and downs, successes and failures. This is normal. There’s not an experienced marketer on the planet who hasn’t failed (most many times) at one or more product creation attempts. It’s the ones who learn, press forward, analyze their failures and get better at the trade who seem to become the truly successful business owners.
People who give up easily and can’t seem to finish projects are probably not cut out for a work-at-home career. They’re better off working for others in a controlled environment. Of course, right now if you’re brand new to marketing, it’s normal to feel apprehensive about how good a product creator you might become.
Learn all you can, take it slow and methodically, and don’t give up. Seek out help when you need it and always remember to provide your help to others who know less than you do.
To your online business success!