One of the most common pieces of advice you hear about internet business is…
Nothing new here. Of course, that doesn’t mean you’re making a habit of it, but still, you’ve heard this before. You can spend time thinking about things, or you could spend time doing.
Well, I thought I would share a quick story of a time I spent simply… doing. I’m not here to say that I’m always a model of taking action, but this particular story is one where I got it right.
See, I had an idea. And it was firmed up by a customer of mine who I was speaking to on the phone.
A lot of bloggers and website owners struggle with technical issues with their blogging. They are confused by server terminology, HTML, CSS, PHP… all that stuff. And, to get into this business, one has to wade through it. It causes a lot of frustration and my experience helping people with WordPress blogs told me that these technical confusions were a pretty big hurdle.
So, my idea was this…
How about I deliver a live workshop series where I personally walk people through all this stuff?
I just put all the business and money-making stuff aside, put on my geek hat, and start walking folks through the technical aspects of working with WordPress. After all, I’m a long-time tech blogger. No problem.
This idea came to me on a Thursday afternoon.
To bring this offer to my audience, all I needed was a sales letter. After all, the training would be done in real-time, so I didn’t need to prep that in advance or record anything. I wanted to make the sales letter with OptimizePress because it was a system I’m familiar with.
To make it fast, I simply used the existing WordPress setup which I use for the members-only portion of the Academy. WordPress is there along with OptimizePress. Cool. So, set up the sales letter. It was blank, but it was there.
I wanted a sales video. But, I didn’t want it to take very long to make. So, I sat down and wrote a slide deck in Keynote (basically, Powerpoint for the Mac). I didn’t really have an outline in place, but I knew I wanted to put the viewer into the problem, then provide the solution. I followed the fairly well-known AIDA concept of marketing: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.
I started making the sales video slides at about 5PM. At 6PM, I quit to be with my kids. After they went to bed at 8:30, I worked on my laptop that evening and finished off a draft of the slide deck. To make it simple, I didn’t even worry about graphics. Just a simple white background with black letters. My excuse? It looks liked Apple.
And to make it even simpler, I just basically had the slides say what I wanted to say. So, yes, essentially, my video would be my own transcript and I’d basically be reading the slides on a video. Simple.
The next morning, my first task is to record the video. So, I pull up my slides, quickly go through and add transitions, then pull up ScreenFlow. I do a one-take recording where I’m basically reading my own slides. The final length of the video is about 6 minutes. Perfect. It isn’t long (people get a little tired of uber-long videos), plus it suited my needs of just getting it done quickly.
After the video, I wrote the copy to go beneath it. Just a description of what I’ll be covering in the live workshops and some stuff to answer what I figure would be common objections or questions.
I already had a shopping cart and all that, so I just set it up. Set up the order form, the thank you page, the welcome email, the sync with Aweber, etc. Run a test order. Done.
By about 4PM on Friday, the offer was ready to bring to the attention of my audience.
24 Hours Later, I Tell Some People About It…
At around 4PM that day, I emailed only my own Academy members and gave them advance notice. Right away, I sold a few spots. Nice, money in the door which wouldn’t have been there otherwise.
That was Friday. On Sunday, I went on vacation for two weeks so was only giving the marketing of the workshop some of my side attention between other things. And, the workshop was scheduled to begin right when I got back into town.
Well, it brought in about $8,600 in a couple weeks. Was that my most successful launch ever? No. But, it certainly was the fastest.
I went from idea to launch in 24 hours. I did essentially no advance marketing for it. I simple presented it to my existing audience, mentioned it a few more times over the course of a couple weeks, and it brought in $8.6K while I was on vacation with the family.
Of course, I still had to deliver the workshops. And, as of this writing, I’m in the middle of doing that.
But, it is leverage. Everything is being recorded. It can – and will – be sold later on even after it is recorded. There are a number of things which can spring off of this.
The Motto Of The Story…
So, here’s the lessons I hope you would get out of this story:
- Sell live events. You collect your money in advance, you can tailor the product to your customers, and it spares you from creating some big thing beforehand only to not even know whether it sells.
- Move quickly on your ideas.
- Don’t waste time trying to make things beautiful. It is 80/20 rule. It was more important that I get the message out there than to waste time trying to find stock images for my slides or do some other fancy thing with the sales letter. This isn’t to say being beautiful isn’t important, but realize it comes secondary to delivery, and when you just want to get something out there, delivery is most important.
- Take the shortest path from A to B. This means forgetting about some things which you may have heard others say were necessary. I didn’t take the time to do any split testing. I didn’t do any prelaunch. I didn’t write some advance email marketing sequence. I didn’t sit there and think about every word of my copy or have a copywriter look at it. I didn’t do any of that. I simply created the bare essentials I needed to communicate the problem and my solution… and I presented it.
If you don’t have a product yet, consider doing a live one. Just schedule a live event and sell it. Record it as you go. You make the product on the fly (which forces you to do it and not procrastinate). Plus, you collect money before you begin.
Oh… and if you’re interested in checking out what this product was (as if you hadn’t already guessed), check out the Demolishing The Blogging Technical Confusions workshop.
See, I didn’t even have that great a name for it and it still worked!
You can still enroll in the workshop, too.
And, if you want my view on what mistakes I made during this offer, join the Academy. I’ll be doing a post in there about it.
How can you apply this to your own business? Got any product ideas baking that you could bring to market super fast? I’d love to hear from you below in the comments.