by Marlon Sanders
Let’s say that you’ve decided to take the plunge and do a big product launch.
You realize that you need a PRODUCT in order to do a product launch. So how are you gonna create your product?
Here’s my product creation in a flash cheat sheet:
1. My favorite way to create products fast is using audio interviews. Interview someone else over the phone or have them interview you. Record and transcribe. Just write out a list of 10-15 questions in advance, and you’re good to go.
2. You can record your calls using freeconferencecall.com. But my favorite way is to use Skype and one of the applications that will record skype calls. There’s one for the PC called “pamela.” The one I use on my Mac is called “instant call recorder.”
3. For transcription services, try elance.com, rentacoder.com, getafreelancer.com and odesk.com.
4. Your first job in marketing is to find out if your product concept or idea will sell. That’s why you want to get a beta version of your product out into the market to see if anyone will buy it. You can always go back and tweak it later.
5. Another great way to create info products fast is via screen capture video. You can use Camtasia or Camstudio and record slides you create with Microsoft Power Point or Open Office. Camstudio.org and JingProject.com are freebies.
6. Another twist I’ve used is to get 3 or 4 of your buddies, friends or JV partners together and do a product jointly. Typically, you all own rights to use the product as you desire.
7. If you hate the sound of your voice, then you have several options. You can write your products or hire someone else to do the audio. I’ve seen people write out scripts that go with Power Point slides and then have someone else record the presentation. This is more trouble but it does work. Alternatively, you can record your product then have it transcribed. And give the transcript to a writer who can turn it into a polished report. You can find writers on getafreelancer.com.
8. There’s a balance between getting a product out the door and meeting a minimum level of professionalism. You’ll know if your product is subpar because your refunds will go through the roof. If you ummmm and ahhhhhh every other word, that’s probably below the line of professionalism. If you’re editing out every single ummmmm or ahhhhhhh, you’re going overboard the other direction. Remember, no one at all may by the product. You may not sell one. So before you try to create the world’s greatest product, first find out if anyone will even buy a beta version of it.
9. Webinars are a good way to create info products because they have high perceived value and you can turn them into DVD products. A lot of people use http://www.gotowebinar.com for this purpose. My friend Lee Mcintyre from lee-mcintyre.com is a MASTER at turning webinars into dvd’s.
10. You can sell DVD’s online using http://www.kunaki.com. This is print-on-demand fulfillment. You do NOT need to print multiple copies using Kunaki.
11. Timebox your product creation. If you’re spending longer than 2-4 weeks to create your first product, you’re likely making a mistake. While my Product Dashboard is a 6-week program, the actual product creation part lasts only a day or two. The rest of the Dashboard helps you set up the product delivery, shopping cart and all the other elements of selling and delivering the product. http://www.productdashboard.com.
12. The disadvantage of Kunaki is that to my knowledge they don’t print and ship workbooks along with cd’s or dvd’s. This means that if you’re looking to create a full-blown home study course, you’ll need to find a product fulfillment company. Your expenses go up because you’ll have to maintain at least a small inventory with them. If you type “fulfillment” into Google, you’ll see a number of options. I dealt with the issues of creating bigger ticket info products in ActionGrid.com. If you’re just starting out, I recommend, you stick to Kunaki.com and work within their parameters.
13. People live under the illusion that all you have to do is create this incredibly valuable product and customers will beat your door down. What you find out later is that it’s the PERCEPTION of value more than ACTUAL value that determines purchases. And what customers perceive as having value is subject to change. This is what in the early stages of your business it’s advisable to keep your product creation cycles SHORT. Why? Because you simply don’t know what will or won’t sell.
14. Dead ducks don’t quack. What this means is that if you have a product that no one wants to buy, it doesn’t matter how perfect the product is, how flawless the proofreading is, how beautiful the cover is. You can put make up on it, dress it up, make it look pretty. But dead ducks don’t quack.
15. I’m a huge advocate of taking your 12 best product ideas and doing a 12-product survey before you create your first product. Having said that, it seems everyone gets stuck at this point. And it’s 100X better to get a product out and marketed than it is to delay things 2 years while you’re trying to find 30 people to take a survey! To me, if you can’t get 30-50 people in your target audience to take a survey, then you probably can’t get them to BUY a product from you. Still, it’s better to get a product out the door and test marketed than it is to do nothing because you can’t figure out how to get anyone to take your survey.
16. Beware of writing books. It takes most people six months to write a book. In that amount of time, you could’ve created and marketed 3 teleseminars, 3 webinars, and 2 to 4 short reports. You could’ve turned the teleseminars into CD’s, the webinars into DVD’s and had significant sales coming in. You could have test marketed your ideas to see if people would actually spend money for them. Books are great publicity vehicles but not good money vehicles.
17. Your biggest enemy in product creation is the paralysis of analysis. You’ll find out that execution trumps great ideas. Someone with mediocre ideas and great execution will make 100X more than the person with world class ideas and no execution. You can’t sell air… for long anyway.
18. Worry less about whether or not you have a great idea and more about whether or not you’re going to execute your idea swiftly and efficiently.
19. Product creation gets easier. The hardest product you’ll ever create is your first. I advocate that you look at your first few products as practice. This takes the pressure off coming up with “the perfect product” and removes the pressure to make it a huge hit.
20. Monitor the questions people ask in their customer service support tickets. You’ll find good product ideas in the questions that come up over and over.
21. If you can’t think of any good product ideas on your topic, go search Amazon.com. You’ll likely find a number of great ideas there. I often see books with great ideas but an author with no clue how to sell or market the book. You can either work out a deal with the author, or simply use the ideas to stimulate your thinking.
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Marlon Sanders is the author of “The Amazing Formula That Sells Products Like Crazy.”
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