Your First Product

Your First Product

This killer, 4,000+ word guide to creating products that sell will help you learn how to get the money flowing (without the cheeseball “yellow highlighter” stuff you see everywhere else).

Grab a beer (or your favorite frosty beverage).  I’m about to take you by the hand for 10 minutes and get you on the path to making money with your own products in the next 3 days.

Not 3 months from now, not a year from now, but 3 days from now. Your product can be made, and you can even have sales coming in, even if you have no idea how you’re going to pull this off. It’s not only possible, but provable – I’ve helped more than a few people make this happen. And today I’m going to school you up in the art of rapid, high-quality product creation.

I’m “The Launch Coach,” and this is what I do for a living: I get more people to buy what you’re selling. So let’s get you something new to sell in the next 3 days.

You’ll need to put in some hustle to get a marketable product out in 3 days, but in reality it’s a fairly simple process:

  • Step 1: You get your head in the right place.
    This is actually the hardest part, but the most important one.
  • Step 2: You create a marketable solution to one single problem.
    This is actually the easiest part. Also important, though.
  • Step 3: You get it out there for sale.
    This can take just 30-60 minutes. Seriously. We’ll discuss.

The idea of getting a product made and ready to sell in 3 days would make most people’s heads spin. But turning heads is what selling stuff is all about.

So let’s jump right into it – and let’s start getting you and your products to attract more buyers every month.

So we’re looking at three things that are probably standing in the way between “you-right-now” and “you-with-a-new-product-to-sell-in-3-days:” Fear, Self-Centeredness and Limiting Beliefs.

I put Fear, Self-Centeredness and Limiting Beliefs in that goofy Unnecessary Capital Format because I want you to start seeing these three items as goofy and unnecessary. They are getting in your way and they are preventing you from helping people solve their problems.

Let’s talk about why.

There are times when fear is a good and healthy thing. For example, the idea of “running with the bulls” fills me with some pretty pants-wetting fear, as it should. This is my brain’s natural way of saying “Holy hell, Dave – don’t do that, it could kill you.” Fear is one strong asset in that case. It’s a natural survival mechanism, and you’re a smart person for always giving it a chance to have its say.

But the problem comes when we put blind trust in Fear and start believing everything that it says, because then we start having those pants-wetting feelings about things that will not kill us and may, at the worst, just make us feel uncomfortable or foolish. Things like:

  • Fear of rejection: We might get shot down when asking someone out, or we might try and sell a product only to have no one buy it (or horror of horrors, people might ask for refunds). Guess what? That’s not fatal. Not even close. It’s actually a normal, healthy part of the process.
  • Fear of failure: We might try this really cool idea and discover that it just doesn’t work out. People might look at us and think “Hey, you don’t finish what you started,” or “That was a dumb as hell idea.” Guess what? That’s not fatal either. In fact, people who actually make money call these failures “stepping stones,” (and people who never take action usually envy the people who do – even when they’re making mistakes).
  • Fear of work: Sounds silly, but it’s a big fear for most (all?) of us. The project seems BIG! (So? Scale it down and grow from there, instead.) The project seems DIFFICULT! (So? Find ways to make it easier.) The project takes SUSTAINED EFFORT when there’s so much else to do! (Umm, yeah. That’s what successful people do.) So – gasp – you have to actually work hard? That’s not fatal. It’s uncomfortable. Quit letting your aversion to discomfort put you on a leash and call you a “good dog.”

Fear has its place – when it saves your life, or prevents major disaster, it’s good. But seriously, we’re talking about making a quick product to sell here and putting you on the path to growing your business a little bit more each month. This isn’t fatal stuff, and the strategy I’m going to lay out to you is even something you can do for free – so you don’t really have a good excuse to listen to Fear for the next few minutes.

Don’t think of doing some rapid product creation as a SCARY THING; think of it as an experiment. Some people might reject you, but others will buy from you.It might not work out as well as you hope, but you’ll at least have a result instead of the wishful thinking you’ve been nurturing.

Sure, it might be some work, but it will be work that moves you forward and gets you attention.

The point of making your first / next product isn’t to get you rich, it’s to get you started and get an “income snowball” rolling and growing each month. (You can decide to do what it takes to be rich later if you want. I won’t tell anybody.)

If fear is freaking you out, use the worksheet at the end of this article to kick fear’s ass to the curb.

Usually when I tell clients they need to get over being so self-centered they get a bit insulted until I explain what I mean. (You’re not paying me any money right now, but I might as well give you the same treatment regardless. Let the smackdown ensue.)

If you’re feeling that action-killing fear around creating a product, you are being self-centered. Your fear is selfish because you are withholding solutions from people who have problems that need solving.

If someone on the street had pneumonia and you had a truck full of antibiotics, would you feel guilty about selling your stuff to them? Would you hesitate in the least? Would you draw back and not engage these people in conversation so you could let them know what you had to offer? Hell, no – you’d be selling those pills and feeling great about what you were doing.

Now step back. You know stuff. Stuff that can help people solve their problems, whether that means you fix their issues or you just help them find the information they need faster. Or maybe you just know how to make people happy by entertaining or inspiring them. Bottom line is, you know how to make someone’s life/business/whatever better.

So if you’ve been stressing about how you can’t make a product because it’s too hard, or no one would buy from little old you or it feels icky to sell or whatever story you’re feeding yourself, just imagine yourself saying those things about that sick person while you’ve got a cart full of the stuff that would make him better. You wouldn’t, because you’d be thinking of the other person’s needs instead of being self-centered and dwelling on your own insecurities.

Now, I’m not saying that if you don’t take your skills and start producing products you’re selfish or self-centered. Nothing obligates you to productize your knowledge. But consider this: If you’re feeling worried or scared about selling your knowledge, it’s because you’re focused on your own insecurities and NOT on serving the needs of other people.

If you focus on their needs – and the specific, measurable value you can provide – then selling your products becomes enjoyable. You’re not trying to get money from people, you’re trying to give them an opportunity to have their problem solved. And that’s a pretty nice feeling.

So when the fear and the worry come a-knocking, tell yourself to stop being self-centered. Center your thoughts on the people you can serve instead.

I’ll show you how to do it, too.  There’s a worksheet to help you do this at the end of the article.

It’s easy to get caught up in thinking of all the things you “can’t” do or that you “don’t have” the resources for. I put “can’t” and “don’t have” in quotes because most of the time we say those words we are flat out lying to ourselves, using them as an excuse to not have to do the work it takes to make things happen.

First of all, when we say “can’t” or “don’t have” most of the time we mean “won’t,” but don’t have the guts to admit it.  (Thank you, Christine O’Kelly, for teaching me that gem.)

For example, when I’m on a phone consult and someone tells me they “can’t” make any time for a new project (like creating a product in 3 days,” I ask them what they’ll be watching on television this week. I ask them how much time they’ll be spending surfing the web or using Twitter to “build their business.”

There’s usually silence on the other end of the line, because they know I’ve called their B.S. They have the time, but they won’t spend it on what they say truly matters to them. Then it’s my job to say “I know exactly how that feels, and here’s how I get past that feeling when it happens to me,” (but that’s a topic for another day).

Or maybe they’ll say they don’t have a list, or they don’t have a microphone or webcam to make a fancy audio video product, or they’re not established enough to make the big sales. Then I have to remind them that those are limiting beliefs, because they can do so much more than they think from the spot they’re in now.

Breaking limiting beliefs is a subject that can (and has) filled volumes of self-help books. I’m not going to cover that in these few pages – but I can simplify a lot of it for you. When you’re bowing down and serving limiting beliefs, you’re essentially being paralyzed from action by focusing on the things you can’t do from where you are right now.

The simplest way to chip away at limiting beliefs about what you “can’t do” is to just ask tell yourself, “That’s ok, I’m going to focus on what I can do right now from where I am instead.” Think about your next baby step. And take it.

Limiting beliefs only have power because you’re thinking in terms of what you can’t do/be/have. You can overcome them easily by scoring a quick minor victory and moving on.

And that’s why this guide is all about how to make a quick, useful product in 3 days. If I can show you how to make a little bit of money quickly, I’m certain it will give you the confidence to build on that success a little at a time, until you’re amazed at the results you get over time.

So now that we’ve hopefully gotten your head in the right place, let’s talk about how to rapidly put together your first (or next!) mini-product that you can sell for $7 to $27 in the next 3 days.

Creating a high-quality product in 24 hours is not impossible – not by a long shot. That may seem hard to believe, but that’s only if you’re thinking that “product” means this big complicated package of things that takes a long time to put together. You’re thinking of the “products” you buy in the store, like books with slick covers, or DVDs with professionally edited video and all the trimmings.

If you’re thinking of “product” in terms of the things you’re used to buying in stores, then yes, it will seem intimidating. But I want you to think of a product using a different definition:

  • A product can simply be a single-function tool that solves one very specific problem or brings someone one step further than they were before.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can just be one thing – and in fact, your audience is often looking for just. one. thing.

The way you currently think of a “product” is probably more in terms of a Swiss Army Knife – it’s got to have everything because you think people want everything. It’s not your fault, though – marketers pack so many features into products that it’s scary to do anything but try and include everything under the sun just to compete).

I want you to shift your thinking, though, and ask you to consider the humble bottle opener. Seriously – when I want to open a beer, I don’t go looking for someone with a Swiss Army Knife – I’m looking for someone with a plain old simple bottle opener. Sure, I’ll be happy with the Swiss deal if someone has it, since a bottle opener gadget is included, but I won’t say no to the tool that solves my single, targeted problem now.

Your audience has a lot of “one-off,” targeted problems that they want solved now. You don’t have to solve them all to start making more money. You just have to offer them one solution at a time – something they can use immediately (and then later they’ll be likely to come back to you for more).

So let’s talk about how to do that – faster than you ever expected you could make it happen … in fact, I’ll bet you can knock out your product in just a few hours this weekend.

(And if the idea of “a product in a weekend” sounds impossible, I can tell you that the people who took my Weekend Challenge to do just that made it work, and in some cases, they started making sales immediately.)

Here’s a simple 7-step system for creating an effective tool for your audience that solves their immediate problem / moves them one step forward. It’s so easy you could do it over a beer.

  1. Grab yourself a beer (or your favorite frosty beverage) and something to record yourself with. Go on, I’ll wait, if you want to do it now. 
  2. Pretend you’re having that frosty beverage with someone who needs advice in the area of your expertise, and you’ve got only 20-30 minutes to talk.
  3. Think of a specific question that people tend to come to you about. Whatever field you’re in, there are some entry-level questions everyone seems to have.
  4. For 20-30 minutes, pretend you’re having that conversation. Put the beer bottle on the other side of the table and talk to it if you need to talk to “something” just to get your head in the game.
  5. On the back of an envelope / receipt / napkin / paper, write down what you’d be telling that kind soul to do – not the gory details, but the main bullet points, as if you were jotting notes down for this person to take home with them. For example, if you’re a Realtor, maybe it’s 7 main things to pay attention to when selecting a neighborhood.
  6. Take 1-2 hours (max) and turn that into one or more simple worksheets, and then just record yourself talking through the important points with a little bit of focus (your conversation to the beer bottle was a trial run).
  7. Breathe deeply. You’ve taken the hardest step – just getting started. You’ve got a 30 minute MP3 and a set of worksheets that can help people move a step forward on one single problem in their life/business.

If you’ve been on the fence about making products, get out of your comfort zone and just do this. It’s a few hours’ worth of work, but it’s how the big business gets started.

The idea of selling a 1-hour personal consultation doesn’t seem that farfetched, does it? I mean, someone can come to you, and you can talk them through their solution, or their next steps, or whatever, right? All that you’re doing with this “product in a weekend” is taking a small consultation and “productizing” it.

Sure, you may not make a killing this way (though, if you have a decent audience, you might make some good money). But if you did this over and over again, you’d have a library of small content packets that could be making you money every single day.

Believe me when I say this: Once you get some product-creating action going, the momentum begins and it becomes easier and easier to increase the amount of money you’re bringing in each month. Every time I work with clients or just regular visitors to my blog, they’re always saying “I could kick myself for not doing this sooner.”

Don’t kick yourself for not doing it sooner – kick your butt into action this weekend. You’ll thank me for it.

Years ago, it was a total pain to get a sales system set up. There were merchant accounts, and approvals, and download areas to set up … it was expensive and took a lot of time.

Not anymore. All you need to get going is a free PayPal account and a signup at e-junkie.com. Yeah, technically you could just go with PayPal and email your product or set up a “secret” download page, but there are downsides. People could share that link if they were so inclined. Sometimes PayPal doesn’t take people to the page you specify (and instead distracts them with a “Sign up for a free PayPal account!” page if they pay by credit card). Distraction = Fail.

With e-junkie, you just upload your product and you it’s pretty much hands-off from there. They handle the PayPal/credit card transaction, send you your money immediately and then direct the buyer to a secure download area (so they can’t share their link with the public). And it’s as little as $5 a month (don’t forget to search Google for “e-junkie coupon code,” too, because they often have 60-day-free discount codes there).

All you need to do then is upload your file (it takes just a few minutes) and sell it for $7 or $10 or $12 or $27 or whatever feels good for the value you’re delivering to your audience.

Then, once your download link is live, all you have to do is make a simple page telling people to buy. It doesn’t have to be a “sales page” – it can be a super-short blog post about your new product, with just an outline of the major things you cover.

You can then publish that blog post, email your list about it (if you have one), and mention it on Twitter. If you have no list, then maybe you can offer a crazy cool discount to someone who has a list.

Poof. (Almost) instant product. Possibly some immediate sales. No promises, but it could definitely happen (and if it doesn’t, it’s still a great learning experience and gets you valuable exposure as an authority who has stuff to sell).

Remember, this product – and this product’s sales – aren’t the big point. The big point is to get rolling, to get momentum going, because one product leads to another, leads to another … and each product gives you an opportunity to expand your audience, get more attention, and grow your brand – and that’s where the real money is.

You see, this is more than just a “product in a weekend.” This is about the chain of events that product sets in motion, and where that takes you over the next 12 months from now.

You might be saying to yourself, “That’s too simplistic. No one would ever pay for that.” You can say that, but the market disagrees with you, 365 days a year.

People need immediate solutions. If you can fix just one issue they’re having, that’s money in the bank – and more importantly, that’s a customer who’s likely to become a repeat buyer if you play your cards right.

You can use this 10-step process to make a single mini-product or you can use it to create a string of small modules that become a larger product if you’re hesitant to release a low-priced offering.

Hopefully the light bulb has gone off and you’re seeing just how simple it is to translate your expertise into a saleable information product. Now let’s take it one step further and visualize how long all of this is going to take.

Here’s a minute-by-minute timeline of what you can expect by using this process:

  • 0:01 – Obtain a frosty beverage of choice, a paper and pen, and grab something to record your voice with. Get comfortable.
  • 0:02 – Think about the question you’re going to answer. Don’t overthink this, just think of a commonly asked question that you’re the expert about. Here’s an example: “How do I get started <in whatever you do>?”
  • 0:05 – Start the recorder and talk for 20 minutes. Sketch out a mind map or an outline as you’re talking if it helps.
  • 0:25 – Finish up that beverage. Grab another.
  • 0:26 – Listen to the recording again, but this time turn what you’re saying into a more robust outline of bullet points that you can use as a reference for delivering this talk a second time.
  • 1:00 – Take that outline and turn it into one or more simple worksheets or checklists in Word or PowerPoint or whatever you use. This is crazy easy, because all you need to do is ask leading questions that support the bullet points you just wrote down. Power through these – again, don’t overthink it. There are sample worksheets included at the end of this module in case you want to see examples of how to do this.
  • 2:30 – Grab another beverage. You deserve it.
  • 2:31 – Re-record the 20-minute audio, this time using your reference sheet to help you run through it more confidently. Again, pretend you’re just hanging out with someone, be casual, and force yourself to get it in one take (just as you would a normal conversation).
  • 3:00 – Turn your worksheets into PDFs, grab the MP3 of your recording and package it all up into a zip file. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, St. Google of The Endless Info-stream will to show you how to do this).
  • 3:30 – Set up an account at e-junkie.com and upload your file.
  • 4:00 – Write up a blog post giving the details of what’s covered in your mini-product (use your bulleted reference sheet as an idea guide) and include the e-junkie link. Don’t overthink this for such a simple offering – just tell them what they’ll get and where to get it. Short. Sweet. Done.
  • 4:30 – Publish the blog post, then send an email to your list with the same text that was in the post, and hop on Twitter/Facebook/Whatever to announce your new product.
  • 5:00 – Beverage. Have another. You’ve earned it.

Big products do take a lot of time, but little products don’t. And the more you dabble with little products, the easier it gets to make the big ones (and the more your audience becomes used to buying value-packed stuff from you).

So you can plainly see here that it’s 100% possible to create a product that people will want to buy in less than 8 hours.  The only thing holding you back is you not scheduling the time.

Making a product is one thing – selling it is another. If you’re wondering “who would buy a tiny little product from me?,” you’ll be happy to know that I have a pretty easy way to find out – a survey.

Send a survey to your list or blog, or just ask around on social media sites, and ask “What’s the #1 thing you’d like to know right now about <whatever>?”

Poof, people will be telling you what they want to talk about for 20 minutes.

Then, when you start creating your mini-product, you’ll know exactly what people are most anxious to buy.

Remember, your most sure path to profitability lies in creating the products people say they want now, not the “really cool ideas that you’re sure they’ll just eat up.”

Your buyers will tell you what they want to buy. It’s your job to give it to them, and they’ll be happy to buy it a bite at a time.

Once you have one mini-product, expanding the line is relatively easy. All you need to do is this:

  1. Release your first mini-product.
  2. Ask your customers what they want to know about next.
  3. Create another mini-product.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Don’t overthink it. Whatever customers you have will be likely to want additional information after they’ve taken in what you’ve given them. You can sell to them again and again – and if you do this enough times, you can have a group of related products you can sell in a bundle.

The earlier you start releasing products – of any size – the faster your business will grow.

The only thing holding you back is … well, there’s really nothing holding you back. You now know everything you need to know. So it’s time to take action, and the free workbook you’re about to download will step you through it.

This article is credited to Dave, The Launch Coach.

His website is no longer available.

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