To Create or not to Create a Product. That is The Question with More than One Answer

online product creation - bryansarnold.com

In this article I’m going to try and tackle the hard and complicated aspect of product creation. It can be one of the best things ever if it hits! But it can also be one of the most devastating things to happen if it bombs.

Building your business on creating these products can be a very delicate subject.

We’ll go through some pros and cons and see if we can find a solution that makes sense for you. So without further of due,

Here are my notes…

To create a product or not to create a product is the question.

People can be so confused about this.

I mean some say don’t create a product. But then, when you get coaching from a mentor, the first thing they ask is what do you do?

We know that.

But it’s followed closely by

“So whatchu working on?”

And if you’re not working on anything, you get this…

“So what are you trying to do?”

It never fails.

At the end of the questioning, you feel like you need to have something created or something started of some kind. Am I right?

I thought you’re not so supposed to create a product, at first. Now to be clear, I’m discussing mainly a digital product or online product. But of course, a physical product is inline with this train of thought as well.

You’re supposed to:

  1. Grow your audience
  2. Ask them what they want
  3. Then sell to them.

That’s the plan right?

That would make sense. It makes a lot of sense and the most ideal way to do it, my opinion. I can hear Noah Kagan from Appsumo and Dane Maxwell from The Foundation applauding right now.

And to be honest, they may not even start with the actual growing of your audience part. You just ask people what their problems are then find a solution for them.

For them, there is no other way. I can agree with that. You shouldn’t create a product before you know who your audience is and what they eventually want.

You can’t predict what their problem is before you ask.

Unless you’re psychic.

It’s silly to create a solution to a problem if you don’t know they actually have that problem.

We get it.

Well some of us don’t.

Some of us still create products thinking that

Everyone wants to buy this!

Everyone needs this!

I’ve done that in the past with a WordPress plugin I thought everyone would snatch up.

I was so psyche because I had one person who thought it was a great idea. So I spent a good chunk of money to get these incredible developers from China to build it. I fine-tuned it and made it super simple to navigate.

I went to Fiverr and bought a gig to make a promo video. And it wasn’t quite what I expected but it was good enough. Didn’t matter, I jut knew this product would kill! I was on my way!!

I wrote a killer salesletter and got it set up to launch on the Warrior Forum. And launch day happened. I waited and waited and waited.

I got one sale here, another sale here…but the sales were very few and far between. I think I might have had a total 10-20 sales…maybe??

Maybe not even that many! In other words, it sucked!

Then come to find out that someone who bought the product, was giving it away on the blackhat site. Totally depressing and frustrating. And a lesson learned.

In fact, I’ve been kind of gun-shy about creating products online ever since, at least WordPress plugins!

The thing is, I know I’m not alone when it comes to this type of horror story. So many of us think our products will be incredible. Unfortunately, most of us who do that, fail.

Cuz we guess at it!

We literally assume that it’s going to be a hit. And of course you end up making a you know what out of you and your potential customer.

Sometimes our educational guesses are correct. There are exceptions. But for the most part, this is not the way to go.

So…we should build an audience first. Right?

Well how do you build an audience?

You need to build an email list. Or some other type of social following. An email list preferably.

So how do you build an email list?

That’s a whole lot to process too. It’s not that easy, but it can be, so it’s complicated. Did you read that?

You have to give them some content. A lead magnet of some kind or some incentive to get them subscribed.

But wait? Doesn’t that mean that you have to create something where you’re kinda guessing what your audience wants?

Well maybe…this is the dilemma.

You have to create something. Even if it’s curating content, you can make it your unique creation. It’s a guess. So what’s the difference right?

This is where the average marketer, and I’m talking to me too, gets a bit confused.

You’re not supposed to guess except when you’re trying to build an email list, sorta.

You need to know your target audience.
You need to know what their problems are.
You need to know what that solution should be.

Cuz to be honest. That lead magnet is the catalyst to your funnel working. You then need an actual product to sell to people once they subscribe.

Oh…you mean that’s another product you have to create? Yep.

Another product. That’s two in succession that should relate to each other. And of course….
They need to be valuable, quality stuff! Nothing flimsy.

So now you got all this pressure to create an initial product to get people to subscribe. Then another one to sell because this will deflect the cost of your ad spends. Yes.

That’s the most basic funnel.

So here is where a lot of us, again including me, get stuck.

You’re not suppose to create a product at first. But in actuality, you do, to build your audience. Did I miss something?

Now are there other ways to build an audience outside of an email list? Yes.

But none of those are great ways. Email is and will always be the best way. Mark that down. Email isn’t going nowhere.

So the anxiety comes for you to create these two products that may or may not be great. But you put in all this hard work for potentially no one to sign up. Hopefully this is not the case.

Bu that’s the fear. All this hard work for nothing.

The alternatives would be to:

  • start a FaceBook group.
  • Perhaps do the Instagram thing.
  • Maybe crank up a huge SnapChat following.
  • Twitter following? Eh?
  • FB Live following? Eh?

The one thing about these alternatives is that you can get lost quickly. And I guess the same can be said for email.

But usually when someone subscribes, it’s something they can access all the time. For instance, you ever go through your archive of newsletters to find something from a specific person?

I know I do?

It’s different. You can’t do this in the same way, on other platforms. Just not gonna happen although FaceBook is getting close with some of their new features.

Plus, you can sell better from email. Let’s just put that out there right now. Can you sell from other platforms and do well. Absolutely.

But it’s not the same as email. It never will be. With social platforms, you have to look the part.

I’ll just let the breathe for awhile.

Looks are a big part of getting that cash on those other platforms. Or you have to already be getting dough.It’s not something for beginners to really make a mark at first.

Now I know I just said something quite controversial. But I’m not wrong. I may have to amend some of that statement but it’s not false.

I know. I’ve been down those roads wondering why my following isn’t as good as some others. And looks play a part in the social media game. It’s just a fact.

But I digress…So you’re faced with this dilemma. This crisis that eats away at you cuz you’re conflicted.

Do you create or wait.

or

Do you wait to build an audience then create.

May I present to you the combo solution!

You have to create something that’s builds your audience.

No offense to Noah Kagan and Dane Maxwell. I understand what they’re saying, to wait and ask to see if someone will buy your stuff. Then you know you have a business. This is true. That is the best path.

It’s just that most of us aren’t built that way. You may need a nudge or maybe something to help with that plan.

Otherwise, the funnel is the way. Email is the way.
It’s a less stressful way to ask and proceed.

I rest my case on that.

Now if you don’t have a problem with asking, then Noah & Dane’s plan is a great and sensible way to do it.

Otherwise…

Create something we call a lead magnet.

  • A resource list.
  • A checklist.
  • A simple 10 slide video.
  • A short ebook
  • A mindmap

It’s free.

People are looking for the world! You will give them what’s free. They have to pay for the world. So basically, don’t go all out in your free stuff.

You need to worry about two things and two things only.

Your product has to say something unique and/or say something that is expressed in a different way for people to understand it better.

The only time this changes is if you want to sell a high price ticket item right from the start.

If you want that, you’ll have to go all out on the free product. The impression you’ll make is that people will be clamoring over your paid stuff since your free stuff was so good.

(This is an awesome way to do it if you can spend the time, otherwise, I wouldn’t start this way if you’re just beginning.)

Create a medium product for at a price point of $7-$30. That’s a big scale there.
I’ve heard of different ways to price it but anywhere in that range should be fine.

Just know that should add more to your product the higher you get to $30!

If that makes any sense.

  • A short audio recording. Sean Mize’s way.
  • A short video powerpoint presentation.
  • A 60 page ebook. Although video is perceived more in value so this should be a last option.

But it shouldn’t take you long. You’re worried about the work and the planning and the time.

Get rid of all that.

You’re lead magnet should be something you curate. Meaning. You’re getting this information from a bunch of sites. Put it in a checklist or resource page and call it a day.

Your $30 product should a simple outline of information on a powerpoint. Put in a video. Have some additional notes you can rattle off from.

And then talk out each page.

That’s a good $7-$30 product. Yes?

Of course you can always get someone to write it for you. I’ve gotten ebooks done for about $200.
Check out services at:

Then build your audience.

Now you haven’t done anything major yet. Here’s where Noah Kagan comes in beautifully. You can ask your audience questions about what you need help with…what problems are they facing?

This is the time. This is the combo!

So you need an order of a:

  1. lead magnet
  2. Short $30 product
  3. And for dessert, the ask project.

What is the ask project? Well that’s when you survey this list of people who have now subscribed or purchased your product. That’s the dessert because now you can see exactly what your audience you’ve acquired wants specifically.

Oh and there’s the whole landing page thing in order to get those people on your list. We haven’t discussed that. Maybe next time. Copy is such a tricky thing in today’s online world.

But be very smart about this process. This can make or break your business or least break down your will to create again.

But hopefully you get it.

You have to create.

Guess a little.

Do less work initially.

Ask for seconds.

Hit it with the Dessert Project!

That’s the product creation combo.

Order it today.

Update:

Another caveat to your $30 product is providing a service. Maybe you don’t make a product. Perhaps you provide an initial consultation at a deep discount. Something that is too irresistible for them to pass up.

So if you just fear that fact of the whole creation process, stick with a consultation. In fact you can provide this a higher price point than your initial product. It’s a different combo but something that may take less time to complete.

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Bryan S Arnold
Bryan S Arnold writes low rah-rah, on your level stuff that helps you make better decisions in your personal and business life. He's the host of The Get Known Podcast & Author of upcoming book, "The Power of Streaks". When he's not writing, he's singing or binging a bit on Netflix!

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Bryan’s uncommon approach to  to sell helps clients develop the confidence and authority to dominate their field of interest.