11 min read
Raise your hand if you’ve been sitting on an idea for an amazing infoproduct – a book, a workshop, an online course – and you haven’t created it yet because you’re not sure if it will be profitable. Yep – me too.
As much as everyone in the online space raves about passive income through information products, the honest truth is that passive income requires a huge risk on the part of the entrepreneur. You’re investing a ton of time up front developing something with the hope that it will pay off in the future.
There’s a big tradeoff you’ve gotta consider! Do you give up time you could be generating revenue right now providing services or do you invest potentially hundreds of hours developing and promoting a brand new product?
If I’m going to spend hours and hours creating a new product, I want to make sure that I’ll actually make a return on investment for my time!
So how do you validate and launch a brand new information product? Here’s a breakdown of the 4 major steps that took me from idea to infoproduct in 6 weeks.
Your most profitable product idea is likely sitting right in front of you.
Last summer, I spend a weekend in Washington DC masterminding with a business BFF. We were mapping out the customer experience of my existing programs and services when we realized the same challenge was appearing over and over again for many of my clients.
Not. Enough. Clients.
Despite doing all the marketing (blogging, podcasting, newsletters, social media, you name it), there was a disconnect between building a community and those community members becoming paying clients.
What was the missing piece to the puzzle? Actually ASKING for the business.
I knew from working with hundreds of solopreneurs that many simply don’t feel comfortable with sales, but it’s possibly the most important skill set required for anyone who is offering their expertise and experience for hire!
And I had already been teaching my private clients for years a very simple 7-step sales process that eliminated all the stress and anxiety around sales. In fact – it was the very same system I personally was using in my own business to consistently fill my own client docket whenever I needed new clients and cashflow in my business.
There was my product idea – sitting right in front of me. It was a system I already had created, that I knew worked not only for me but also for my clients. All I needed to do was sit down to turn my system into a slide deck and hit record!
Action Step:: Make a short list of your top ideas for a new infoproduct then narrow down your big ideas by asking youself::
I had my idea:: a simple on-demand workshop style training complete with worksheets and templates to walk service-based entrepreneurs through a complete sales strategy.
But did my audience actually want a sales-specific training from me?
Honestly, even though I was teaching this process with my private clients, I just wasn’t sure if this idea was something people would buy because there is a big difference between what people want and what people need.
What people want = end results.
What people need = the process to get the end results.
It was time to validate my idea and make sure I was on the right track before I started creating and offering this new product.
Validating your idea is essential – not only because you’ll have a clear indicator of if this product is a good idea or not, but because you’ll gather copywriting gold in the form of your dream clients exact language describing their biggest challenges and frustrations.
The easiest way to validate your idea? A survey.
I had just wrapped the launch of my biggest program – Sweet Spot Strategy – so it was the perfect timing to follow up with a quick survey.
In fact, we went even deeper by segmenting my email list into 2 groups and sending 2 specific surveys.
Group 1 was everyone who we tagged as Sweet Spot Strategy INTEREST – they had shown interest in Sweet Spot Strategy during the launch by clicking the link to the sales page, but didn’t join. This group was the MOST engaged and interested in working with me, so this version of the survey was focused on ONE question – why didn’t you join Sweet Spot Strategy?
See that 60% open rate? We had nearly 20% of those people send us a response to our survey question.
Group 2 was everyone else on my email list. We knew these subscribers did not check out the sales page for Sweet Spot Strategy, but they were following along with my regular free content. This version of the survey asked – “What’s the #1 single biggest challenge in growing your business, right now?” – followed by a few multiple choice questions about their business (size, age, industry, etc) so I could just get a quick read on the current makeup of my community.
Because this group wasn’t as engaged, you can see that the open rate and the click through rates are much lower. That’s OK – we still received some fantastic information from two segments of my audience.
About a week after sending these surveys, my team sorted through all the responses and started grouping the answers like with like. It didn’t take long for us to see a big topic was Get More Clients (now you know how we named the program!).
Action Step:: Use a one-question survey to start gathering information from your audience, in their words, about the biggest challenge or problem they are struggling with that you can solve.
Now that I had hundreds of survey responses confirming YES! We Want More Clients!, I was ready to start creating my product Get More Clients.
Unlike my much larger online mastermind Sweet Spot Strategy, which is a full 8 week program with dozens of hours of training and materials, I wanted Get More Clients to an on-demand workshop that someone could complete and implement in an afternoon.
And because Get More Clients is an actual system we already use in my business, I had a good 50% of the content already! Win! All I needed to do was organize it into a slide deck so I could record the workshop and turn system into a supplementary workbook that included templates, checklists, and agendas to give students everything the needed to implement the sales strategy.
Total hours to create Get More Clients = 20ish hours over about 3 weeks.
Could I have pulled it all together in a single week? Probably. BUT I’d miss out on a huge opportunity to 1) seed the launch, 2) refine the product, and 3) design my launch.
The strategy that helped me accomplish all three of these was simple – blogging.
What people want = end results.
What people need = the process to get the end results.
From the surveys, I knew that my audience was struggling with Getting More Clients. But they didn’t know HOW to get more clients. I knew they needed a sales system – but they didn’t.
While creating Get More Clients behind the scenes, I sparked a conversation on my blog with a three part blog series crafted to bridge the gap and educate my audience on the importance of a sales strategy to bring in more clients and cash-flow.
Blog 1:: Why Working 1×1 Is The Fastest Path To Cash shares the opportunity of working 1×1 with clients. That’s the key point for this first post in the series – to share the big picture and opportunity of what you are promising. I ended the post by asking in the comments What are the biggest challenges you’re having getting 1×1 clients in the door?
Blog 2:: Three Reasons You’re Not Getting 1×1 Clients In Your Business outlines the most common mistakes many entrepreneurs make in getting new clients. The final reason is really the most important because it outlines that they are likely spending all their time marketing their business and not enough time inviting people to work with them. The most important part of this post is educating your audience on why what they are doing simply isn’t working.
Blog 3:: How to Get Private Clients and Fill Your Calendar Stat! essentially previewed part of the process that I teach inside Get More Clients. The goal of this final post is to give enough actionable content that your readers can see themselves implementing and seeing a small win.
Hint Hint – You can follow this strategy in nearly any format (emails, blog posts, videos) to seed your launch and warm up your audience for your product launch.
This blog series served to warm up my audience for the coming product launch. We also used this blog series to tag email subscribers based on who clicked through to read the entire blog post. By the time we were ready to announce Get More Clients, we had a segmented interest list built from people who clicked through from my emails to the post with just over 600 subscribers.
Action Step:: Map out a three-part blog series to seed your launch and warm up your blog audience! Remember, the blog series should include::
The blog posts were getting amazing feedback. Get More Clients was sitting on my laptop, ready for me to record the workshop. I was already planning a webinar to officially launch Get More Clients.
And I was a little overwhelmed with the idea of a big launch. Keep in mind, at this point, we’re about 4 weeks into this process and I’m doing this all while running my business, working with private clients, and facilitating my online mastermind. Not to mention the day to day hullabaloo of being a breadwinning working mama.
Thankfully, during a mastermind retreat in March, my biz besties offered up some incredible advice to pause the big webinar launch plan for a month and offer Get More Clients via email to the interest list we built through the blog series (see above).
It was brilliant.
We decided to simplify by uploading the workshop, workbook, and bonuses directly to Gumroad instead of stressing over the details of hiring a programmer to set up this product in our regular members site.
And Instead of stressing over putting together not only a webinar, but all the promotion for a webinar, I sat down and wrote a few emails to the interest list announcing the program with an incentive of $100 off the regular price and a bonus live Q&A call with me to celebrate.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the emails that went out::
Thursday March 10:: Announcing Get More Clients
Sunday March 13:: Weekly Blog Post with PS about Get More Clients
Tuesday March 15:: Got Questions?
Thursday March 17:: Psst… want to save $100? Time is running out
Friday March 18:: Only a few hours left to save $100 for Get More Clients
The results? $9,504
BOOM. Win for sweet and simple launching to a segmented interest list!
What is the easiest, simplest way to deliver and sell your product the first time? Thanks to the ConvertKit integration with Gumroad, it was an easy choice that saved me several hundred dollars compared to hiring a programmer to add to our members site.
Have you segmented an interest list to promote an insiders only launch? Again, thanks to ConvertKit, it was really easy to tag anyone who clicked to read the blog post series, essentially creating an interest list without asking people to opt-in to hear about something.
Write all your emails! You’ll notice that during this particular week, 5 emails were sent. That might seem like a lot! But during a launch of any kind, you’ve gotta remember that your emails are doing a lot of heavy lifting for you by answering the biggest Qs about your product and helping people to make an informed decision.
These steps laid the foundation for Get More Clients, which has generated an additional $40,000 for my business in just the last 5 months. The dream of passive income is alive and well, but keep in mind that without the crucial first steps of validating and testing your product idea, you’ll find yourself on the hamster wheel of creating and launching new products all the time with less than stellar results.