To drive your car, you have certain controls. You know what those controls are and you know how to use them – and that gives you the ability to drive the car in the direction and speed you want.
Your business is the same way. You need to drive it. And to do that, you need to have controls – or levers – to use. I call those… money levers. If you don’t have any money levers, then your business destiny is basically left up to chance or luck.
So first off, we need to talk about the most important lever there is. In fact, it is the lever which governs all other levers.
Having something to sell.
Preferably, more than one thing to sell. If you don’t have anything to offer, you can’t even get off the starting line.
If you don’t have anything to sell directly, then your first item of business is to come up with your first offer. You don’t necessarily have to make that product yet, but outline it and come up with the basic terms of the offer. (more on that later)
If you already have a product, then realize that one of your money levers is to simply create more. When you have more offers, you can make more sales.
This isn’t rocket science.
What Kind Of Product Can You Make?
Well, you have the big ones such as:
- Worksheets, spreadsheets or checklists
- Membership sites
- Audio recordings / Interviews
- Videos or Screencasts
- Live event recordings
- Done-For-You Service
These are various major categories of product that can spark some ideas. Keep in mind, even if you don’t think creating an info/training product is appropriate for you, never rule out a done-for-your service, coaching or consulting. This opens up a lot of opportunity for creating offers out of thin air.
NOTE: I know many people who want to create an online business tend to look down on the idea of “time for money”. They want something more passive. But, realize, if you don’t have anything to offer, your lowest hanging fruit is to offer a service or consulting. Don’t rule it out. Even if you do have info products, you can always create higher-priced offers out of a service or consulting. Don’t mistakenly look down on “time for money”. There’s nothing wrong with it.
Now, if you dive deeper, you have a lot of smaller little product ideas that can help you create new offers, new bonuses, or to otherwise add value that could be exchangeable for money. Here’s a list…
- Services that relate to your market or product
- CD or DVD
- Action Guides
- Phone or Email Consultations
- Follow-up subscriptions (bundled memberships, email courses powered by autoresponder)
- Case studies
- “Rolodex” – contact lists, vendors, potential partners, resources
- A third-party product offered as a bonus (with permission, of course)
- Free updates / discounted updates
- MP3 recordings
- Live seminars / events
- Teleseminars / Webinars (or a series)
- Call-in Days
- Document templates
- Coaching Club / Mastermind
- Hot seats / Evaluations
- “Done For You”
- Print Newsletter (or PDF newsletter)
- “Quick Start” guide
- Lifetime access
- Different membership lengths (quarterly, annual, etc.)
- Printed book
- Support add-on
- Community access / forum
DOWNLOAD: Click here to download the Product Idea Generator (from above) that you can take with you as a reference for later.
New Product = New Offer
As I said above, you can’t even get off the starting line in business unless you have an offer. So, if you don’t have any product yet, use the lists above to brainstorm it and come up with something.
If you do have a product, you can look for ways to make it new or to make unique offers for it. For instance:
- Add a new bonus?
- Sweeten the offer with additional value add-ons?
These things allows you to then go and make that offer.
Do You Need To Make The Product First?
Likely not. In fact, there’s nothing that slows you down more and risks more than putting a ton of work into creating a new product before you’ve sold it.
So, even though you need a product to pull most any money lever, you don’t have to make the product before you pull it.
You CAN make sales of a product before you make it. In fact, I’d recommend it.
Making pre-sales is the only valid proof of concept for a product idea. It doesn’t matter one bit what people tell you, or how interested they seem in your idea. If they haven’t yanked out their wallet and paid for it, it doesn’t matter.
So, what you do is create the offer for your product before it exists. Then, try to make sales. And you keep adjusting the offer until it sells. Then… you make that product as promised.
How I Created A 5-Figure Payday Out Of Thin Air
Inside the Blog Monetization Lab, there was course I call simply The Tech Workshop. It was a live workshop series that I delivered to help my audience over some of the most common tech constraints and confusions.
I knew it was a valid demand. But, the last thing I wanted to do was put in a ton of work recording a bunch of videos for something without proof. Plus, it is always better to collect the money now rather than later, right?
So, I created an offer for a LIVE workshop. The plan was to deliver the workshop via live webinar, record it as I did it, then turn that into a course.
The fact that it would be live was a selling point. They could ask me questions, get live answers.
I created the sales page offer for it, including a general plan of what I intended to cover. I put the offer out there for something like $249 (if my memory serves). And I made the offer.
Now, it has been a few years since I did this so I don’t have the exact sales figures, but I can tell you it was definitely a 5-figure sum collected for this workshop. Before it even began.
Can You Do The Same Thing? Yes.
Instead of creating a whole course before you make the first sale, why not re-position it into a live workshop and simply record the course in front of a few people? Turn it into a pre-sale and make some sales now.
That’s a money lever.
Can you create a new service? Support? Consulting offer? These kinds of offers can be created out of thin air and you don’t spend any time on it unless it sells.
My challenge to you – and your big action takeaway from this post should be…
Look at the list of product ideas above and come up with an idea for a new offer you could make.
[highlight]You can download the Product Idea Generator and print it so that you have it for reference as you brainstorm.[/highlight]
If you’re a Lab member, you can reference the Product Creation Blueprint Action Plan, which contains several worksheets and strategies for planning out your product offer.
Not a Lab member? You can solve that little problem right now. Got a special deal on Lab membership going on right now… Click here to check it out.