Linda: Is there a way to ask your prospective clients directly what it would take for them to become a customer or client?
Alicia: Sure – that’s where your email list of potential clients and customers comes into play. I think there’s still lots of solo business owners who don’t quite grasp that building that email list is critical in creating an online business that produces income consistently.
I survey my email list, usually once a year, where I give them actually topics, programs, and the like to choose from (and they can add their own ideas as well), and I use that information to inform my offerings for the next several months or so.
I also ask periodically on discussion lists and forums that are made up of the solo business owners I work with. Plus, I ask “what’s your biggest challenge with building your business online” to everyone who signs up for my Creating Client Abundance ezine.
Linda: How do you make sure you’re creating the specific information products that your market REALLY wants and will buy?
Alicia: I’m really glad you asked this question, Linda, because this will be a huge shift for some folks listening to this – especially for those who aren’t make the number of sales they’d like to.
What I see happen a lot is that many solo business owners create products/programs/services that they think their prospects need – offerings that seem the most logical to them that will help their prospects do, be or have better – but then they can't seem to sell many – or any of what they put out there.
There are three important factors to creating a profitable product for your niche:
1. Always know your niche before you begin to sell them anything.
Get inside their heads, feel what they are feeling, enter the conversation on your niche’s mind, and intimately understand the problems that your niche is experiencing. The more you are able to do that, the more effectively you’ll be able to create what it is that they want.
2. It's not what you want to sell that matters. It's what your niche wants to buy that matters.
It’s actually irrelevant what it is that YOU want to sell to them – at least in the beginning of your relationship with your potential client or customer.
You may have already learned this lesson. I know I have, where I got so excited about creating something that I thought would be great for my niche, and I went ahead and put it together, and then watched in dismay as hardly anyone bought it.
On the flipside, when I created 21 Easy & Essential Steps to Online Success System™, I was asking my niche all along what its biggest challenges were, and asking them what they wanted, and then I continually asked them what they wanted to so I could be certain I provided it for them – and my results this time were hugely different. Over 40% of my list bought the first edition of 21 Steps (which is an incredible conversion rate, by the way!).
3. Give them what they want now so you can give them what YOU want later.
To give you an example, I’m in the process of writing a book, which answers many of the challenges my niche is struggling with, and much more, but I didn’t specifically ask them if they wanted a print book to help them solve their problems.
Yet writing and publishing a print book is something that I’ve really wanted to do, and I feel confident that this particular product will sell because of three things:
(i) It solves the problems my niche has told me it wants solved. So, over time, I’ve already done my research to know this.
(ii) It’s a first-level funnel offering (< $50). It’s much less risky to create and offer something that you haven’t specifically asked your niche if it wants it if it’s a low-ticket item. I’d never put together a more complex product like a multi-media package or live event before making sure it’s something that a significant number of my list would be interested in enough to invest in it.
(iii) Because there’s a certain percentage of my list who’ve bought something from me before, so from that I can take an educated guess a certain percentage of those people will also buy the book.
If you will only ask your market, it wants to help you create the products it wants to buy!
Thanks, Alicia, for all of these great gems!