This episode is for all of you who need to know that you can be a good mom and a thriving entrepreneur. Today I’m interviewing one of my absolute favorite women, Sarah Allred. She is diving deep into some of the lessons she has learned through starting (and sometimes dwindling) several businesses. Her pure joy for this work is infectious and she is spilling the beans on why it’s so important for you to share parts of your personal journey with other women trying to be both Mom and Entrepreneur.
The Goodness Squad Podcast Episode #41
how to create products you know your customers will purchase
The podcast only grows if you share it – Thank you for doing so!
You have great ideas and you're willing to put in the time and effort to create something amazing. But, is what you want to create the same thing your customers need you to create? These tips will help you figure out how to create the right product for your audience.
Resources mentioned in episode:
This is episode #41 of The Goodness Squad podcast. Now, if you have ever put your heart and soul into creating a product and then launching it, feeling so excited and hopeful that you're going to hear the ding, ding, ding, ding in your email box from all the notifications from the people who love your product - you're changing lives, you're earning money and instead you hear deafening silence inside of that inbox. No one purchases. That is heavy and hard, and I want to help you solve that problem today in this podcast episode.
This is season #2 of The Goodness Squad podcast. And during this season, we are focusing on how to monetize your content marketing business. In other words, we're talking about how to earn money from your blog, podcast, YouTube channel, or Instagram feed.
My name is Misty Marsh. I have built and sold a profitable online business. And now I am on a mission to lift you, your influence for good online, and your income. During every episode of The Goodness Squad podcast, I give you an easy to understand, easy to implement tip for your business. So make sure you subscribe today.
Okay. So what causes this problem that I described in the intro?
This problem occurs when you are chasing customers and trying to get them to purchase the product that you created. You have thought of a product, you have thought of something that you thought would be helpful, and you have great intentions. You truly want to help. The only person you've consulted is you, maybe your spouse, and a friend or two, but it's coming from you and what you think is helpful.
The solution, is to create a product for your customers based on what they need and want. Now that statement seems so simple. My 12-year-old boy would say, "duh, mom," that seems obvious. But it is much more difficult to put into practice because the next question that comes is what do your customers want? What do they want and need? What problems do they need solved? If you just try to answer that question in your own mind, you will face crickets in your inbox. That deafening silence, because you have not created a product in answer to their questions and concerns.
So here's what you do instead. I have six suggestions for you. So the first is to create a survey. If you have an existing audience of any type, create a survey. I saw someone do this recently on Instagram, they sent out DM's. I got one of them. She said, "I am really trying to create content and products that you will enjoy. So will you take just a couple of minutes to fill out the survey?" And it was very, very simple. I didn't have to even type in any words. I just clicked, would you like this, this, or this? And there were a whole bunch of options and I could click whatever was most important to me. And she's gathering data in order to understand her audience and what their needs and wants are.
A second option is to ask for responses in your emails. Simply send out an email with a question like, "what is your biggest concern in your business right now? If I could wave a magic wand and solve one problem for you, what would it be? Where do you hope to see yourself a year from now?"
You're asking people for that transformation and as they answer those questions, they're going to tell you what their problem is currently and what they wish the solution would provide. And then you can create a solution that provides exactly what they asked for.
Third, you can ask those exact same questions inside of a Facebook group or on your Instagram feed or in Instagram stories as well. Ask ask, ask.
Fourth is Amazon books. This one might be somewhat surprising, but if you go to Amazon and search for books around the content, the topic, that you teach about, and then search for those that have a high number of reviews (a lot of positive reviews) then you know that that book has solved a problem for someone.
And I'm not telling you to go copy the book title, and all the chapters that are in there, and create the exact same product. But what I am encouraging you to do is figure out what problems that book solves for people. What solutions does it provide? Because obviously it's popular. If it has been sold a lot and has a lot of positive reviews, you know it is popular. So now, you know a topic that you can create your own product around problems that you can solve. Maybe that book solves more than one problem, and you can pick just one and create a product around that.
The fifth idea is to use Facebook groups, but not in the way I mentioned earlier. So earlier I was talking about Facebook groups that you own personally, and you can go in there and ask your following, "What can I do for you?" If I make waved a magic wand question like that inside your own Facebook group or on your own Instagram. But this tip, number five, is different. I want you to find Facebook groups that are owned by other people, but that are where your people gather.
So for me, this might look like Facebook groups run by Pat Flynn or Amy Porterfield. Other people who have large audiences that are similar to mine. Those people aren't necessarily LDS for me. And there are some unique struggles that Latter-day Saint women deal with, but a lot of the struggles that online entrepreneurs deal with are the same.
So I can go into those Facebook groups and what I want you to do is I want you to find the search bar. I absolutely do not want you to spam these groups! Do not go in there and say, "Hey, what can I help you with? If I could wave a magic wand," do not go do that in these Facebook groups! Honor the fact that someone else owns that group. But what you can do is go in there and find the search bar and search for things like "how can I, I need help, Does anyone know, Problem." You can search for these types of phrases, and questions will come up and you will be able to find out exactly how people describe their own problems and create solutions for them.
The sixth tip, and similar to a Facebook group is Quora. People post questions there. Be careful because sometimes people will post their own post and then answer their own question for marketing purposes. But you could go in there, search for your topic and find out what questions real-life people are asking about that topic and then provide solutions.
All right. So once you've gone through these six steps: surveys, asking for responses in your emails, asking questions like if I were to wave a magic wand, both in email and then Facebook groups, looking at Amazon books, searching through Facebook groups, and searching through Quora.
Once you've done those six things, I want you to pick three ideas and then I want you to run a poll on Facebook -inside a group, on your page, in Instagram stories, on Instagram, an IGTV, and talk about the three options that you're considering creating. The solution for your people and which one would they prefer?
Get those votes back and now you have a solid idea for a product. But there's another step I want you to take to validate it before you spend the time creating it, because I don't want you putting your heart and soul into a product that is not going to sell well. That is scary. That is exhausting. That is discouraging and depressing. That is one reason why so many entrepreneurs give up! They put their heart and soul into someone, something, and they didn't validate it to know for sure it would work.
So once you have gotten your ideas, you've taken your poll, you found the results from that poll, now I want you to sell the product before you create it. I can see you gasping, right? "That's crazy. How am I supposed to sell something? I haven't created?"
Let me walk you through this a little bit. This is such a smart idea. There are a lot of reasons, but here's what this looks like. You send out an email to your people. You say, "Hey, you told me you would really enjoy this product. When I asked you in this poll here and here and here, you told me that you would really enjoy a solution to this problem. I want to create that solution for you, but in order to really do it well, I want to have a few of you join me in a founders group or a prelaunch and help me create this. And in return for your help and feedback, I am going to give you a rock bottom price.
So I just did this with my Tech School. I offered my founding members the price of $19 per month, or they had the option of paying a lifetime price of about $400 and then they would always have access to Tech School. That lifetime price will be available to no one else ever. Only my founding members got the lifetime price and only my founding members got the $19 per month price.
I did this in May. I pre-launched Tech School back in May and since then I have had these founding members to bounce ideas off of. In fact, we have met almost weekly on a live Zoom call. I will ask some questions, "Did this work with, how could I do this better? Is this confusing? What tutorials do you need, what's most important to have in here?" And I have been able to build Tech School in a way that will truly benefit you. And I cannot tell you how many times I had an idea and my founding members improved upon it or changed it entirely because I was able to bounce that off of so many people who are in the same place you are. They are building their businesses. They are frustrated with the tech. I'm not there right now. I have been, but it's been 10 years. And so it has been so fantastic to be able to bounce these ideas off of people who are actually right there in those trenches with you. So when tech school launches on September 28th, it is going to be an incredible product built just for you, by people just like you.
I want you to do this with your product. Now you might ask, "well, why don't I just do it for free? Why don't I just have my founding members come in for free?" There are a few reasons.
Number one, I want you to have some capital, some money in order to be able to invest in making your product high quality. Because those people paid me, I was able to invest in tools that will make Tech School far more organized for you. Far easier to understand, access, search, filter, all because I charged those people, my founding members, in order to join.
Number two, you still want your founding members to be invested. You want them to use the product because they can't give you quality feedback if they don't and they are much more likely to use it if they have invested some money in it.
There is a bonus benefit to having this founders launch and it's testimonials. I now have people who have actually used Tech School, had it transform their business, and they can now give me testimonials that I can put in emails, social media, on my sales page to help reach you. Because me telling you that Tech School is really worth it is completely different than someone else in your shoes telling you that Tech School is worth it.
So, here are your steps to creating a product for your customers instead of chasing customers for a product you've already created. The latter is no fun. The first one, that's a lot more fun.
Number one is to figure out what your customer's problems are. And I gave you six ways to do that. So whether you have an audience or not, you can figure out what their problems are.
Number two is to pick three of those problems that you believe you can solve.
Number three is to ask your existing audience, no matter how small, which of those three problems, they would truly like solved.
Number four is to then pitch the product to your existing audience and create what's called a founding launch or a pre-launch, where they pay you for the product before it is created.
Number five, create the product with feedback from your founding members, regular feedback, deep feedback, real feedback.
Number six, relaunch your product at a higher price point and with testimonials.
If you follow this six-step process, you will not hear crickets in your inbox. People will buy from you because you have created the solution they were asking for, instead of guessing and throwing darts in the dark at what you think they need or want.
And if you are interested in Tech School and the time and money it will save you on the tech side of your business, I would love to have you check it out. You can go to TheGoodnessSquad.com/techschool. I hope to see you there.
In the next episode, we are going to be talking about how much money and time it actually takes to create your very first product.
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