I asked some of my SBB members the other day, what is the one BIG thing that is holding them back right now. And besides from the usual, not enough time and not enough money issues, there was another rather popular complaint.
“I don’t want to spend the time or money (which I already don’t have!) on creating a product, because what if it doesn’t sell???!!!”
Oh yeah, that old chestnut.
And fair enough too. Because there are plenty of gorgeous looking eproducts and even real products out there that have massively underwhelming sales results. Many in fact lose their creators a fair bit of money, and don’t even get me started on how long they can take to actually create in the first place.
I even created a couple of total duds myself back in my early days.
But there are also a massive amount of products and eproducts out there that are absolutely killing it, and helping their creators to earn more than they ever could working a simple (and mind numbing) 9-to-5.
And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have the latter any day of the week.
Especially when time and money are both limited.
So no wonder so many of you are worried about overly investing in something that could possibly be a total disappointment.
So how do you make sure your product idea is going to sell??
Now of course no one can provide you the business equivalent of a crystal ball. Because that’s just not possible.
But there are definitely some simple and inexpensive things you can do to test your idea or offer before you spend too much time or money on it.
In fact, you can do these things before you even create it!
That’s what I do actually.
And it’s what a lot of other entrepreneurs that I know do as well.
You test it, and even start to sell it, before you create it.
Like Lisa Messenger from The Collective magazine, who famously sold thousands and thousands of dollars of sponsorship and ad space in her magazine before she had created a single issue.
Or Sean Clarke from Shoes.com who using a simple test website and a small amount of ad spend, sold over 40 pairs of shoes before he even had any inventory (and then had to go to actual physical retail stores and by the shoes ordered to send to those lucky first test customers).
And while that can all sound well and good (and terrifying), it is possible to do something very similar with your blog or product, and you don’t need a whole lot of fancy skills, a big budget or to be a sales whiz to do it.
So how do you do it?
Well firstly, if this is something that you are really keen to try then you definitely should come and join our SBB Blog Squad bloggers mastermind & community!
But in the mean time here are my top tips to get you started!
1 – First off you need to really know your reader, and in particular their current “pain points”.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to actually ask them “What are you struggling with most right now” (you can do this via social media, in an email or create an anonymous survey on survey monkey if you think the responses might be a bit personal).
Then just look for any recurring responses.
2 – See what already exists in the market.
Most people seem to think you need to create something totally original for it to sell, and while yes if you have found a gaping hole in the market then that can be awesome, it can also be risky.
Normally it’s actually best to make sure there are already some existing profitable products that already solve this problem or pain point for your particular market.
Because this proves that people are willing to pay for this solution (and helps to give you a guide on how much they’ll pay too!)
Then you just try to make a better, more specific or more “you” version of that offering.
Trust me, there’s nothing wrong with following the path of least resistance, and yes, your version of this particular idea will be different and will appeal to different people, because it is created by.. you guessed it… YOU!
3 – Create an entry level offer and test, test, test!
There are oh so many ways you can do this, BUT the general gist of it is you need to create a simple or paired back version, or even a pre-sale option, for your product.
This could be a related optin-offer, mini-ebook, short video series, email training, planner, template, what ever.
Something you can put together quickly (preferably from exisiting content), and that is like a stepping stone to your main product idea.
You then build a gorgeous landing page or basic sales page (which is not at all as hard as it sounds), then use a small budget to send some traffic to that page via things like Adsense or Facebook ads.
And if you can get a good percentage of the visitors to either optin for the free offer, or purchase your pre-sale product then you are onto a winner!
Yes this process does take a few hours of your time, and a little bit of your cash. But it takes way LESS time, and way less cash than actually creating the whole thing… and then only selling it to your mum (and possibly her best friend).