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Today, we’re building off of the last episode on creating products.
In the last episode, we talked about the order in which you should create products. You first start with something small, then launch something big. After that, you want to go back and fill out the spectrum.
You need more products on the shelf. You need more products at all levels. At every price point someone wants to give you money, you need to have an offering.
Today’s episode is jam-packed with creative ideas for quickly getting more products on the shelf. We talk about things like selling your process, templates, scripts, copywriting checklists, launch plans and so much more…
The best part? We’re not just talking about making new things. Yes, we do give you a TON of ideas for quick products you can crank out in a short amount of time, but it doesn’t have to be new work. You can repurpose what you’ve already made.
We’re going to help you make money from work you’ve already done. You have so many potential products right now under your nose that you’re not even aware of. You’re going to get a ton of ideas from this episode.
Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
- You can only sell your processes if you write them down.
- Get more products on the shelf to create entrance points to your business.
- Time you’re spending making products is time you’re not spending becoming more known for what you want to be known for.
- The more specific your products, the more you need to charge.
- If you do something in an efficient way that would save other people time, you can sell that process.
- Be mindful of the things you’ve created in the past that are in a bunch of different places—collecting all of that together is creating value.
- You always reserve the right to put a price on something that’s been free.
- If you have any kind of content backlog, that’s the first place to look for content to sell.
- To fill out the spectrum of products, also think in terms of breaking down your existing products.
- 02:11 Sean: The scope of this episode is this—once you’ve created your big product and moved on from that, now you need to fill out the spectrum. You need more products on the shelf. That’s the bottom line here. How many products do you have, Cory?
- 02:30 Cory: Four.
- 02:31 Sean: You need more. How many products do you have, Ben?
- 02:38 Ben: Two.
- 02:39 Sean: You need more. Chatroom, how many products do you have? Let me know. You need more products on the shelf, and that’s the goal of today’s episode. Levi has a film that’s a product, but it’s only one. You still need more products. I’ve got maybe a couple dozen. I need more products, way more, not to mention that they’re all scattered. They’re not even linked, related, or topical.
- 03:36 We’ve got Supercharge Your Writing, an in-depth master class on sales and writing. You want to make more sales? You want to sell with writing? Supercharge Your Writing will help with this. It’s a master class, 78 lessons, hours of stuff. We’ve got the killer headline formula, the buyer’s journey, writing for skimability, coming up with a content marketing plan, and the editorial calendar. There’s all this great stuff in Supercharge Your Writing, but it’s a master class. It’s huge. Why don’t I have smaller versions of that? It’s a mistake.
- 04:16 I need smaller things. That’s what I want to talk about today. I want to give people ideas. You’re going to have so many ideas as a result of listening to this, so pull out your notepad or your text edit document and write down the things that come to mind for you. I’m going to go through this list and talk about each one a little bit. For the next few minutes, I want to create a space for your mind to think. That’s part of the value of these episodes. We try to keep them condensed and relevant, but it’s also creating a space for your mind to think against.
- 05:05 If you don’t listen to a podcast like this, how often do you think about these things? Maybe when you hang around other people, you go to a conference, or you go to a meetup where similar people do similar things. Maybe that’s when you think about it, but you have to think about it more often. Part of the value here is giving people some room for their mind to click on things, to think, “Oh my gosh, I could totally do that.”
Get more products on the shelf to create entrance points.
- 05:36 We say “on the shelf” in a metaphorical sense. It could be physical products, but it could also be digital products. Today, I’m more focused on things that are really easy and quick to make, which is skewed towards digital. To be clear, all of these are things you can put a price tag on. You might think, “That would be a good lead magnet. That would be a good giveaway,” but we’re in the money stage now. We’ve entered the money era. We have to help people get their money right.
Sell Your Process
- 06:30 I don’t want to hammer through these bullets, because it won’t give people time to think about them. What do you think of, Cory, when you hear that? Where does your mind go? Do you have a process? This is why we talk about it. At one point, we were producing seanwes tv. We started with five days a week, and then we did way more. We were doing seven days a week. We didn’t even break for the weekends. We were cranking them out. Now, Cory, would you say that in doing a daily video show, seven days a week, there are things that you repeat?
- 07:19 Cory: Oh yeah.
- 07:21 Sean: Would you say that you have a process?
- 07:27 Cory: Yes, I do have a process in my work.
- 07:29 Sean: I have bad news for you. You don’t have a process. Ben can tell you why. Ben, why does Cory not have a process?
- 07:39 Ben: Cory, can I ask you a question? Do you have your process written down somewhere?
- 07:48 Cory: Actually, I don’t.
- 07:52 Sean: How do you sell a process you haven’t written down? You can’t. Step one, write down your process.
If you haven’t written down your process, you don’t have a process.
- 08:03 Eric says, “Ouch.” Tell me about it. I want to believe that I have processes, but I don’t. That’s not good. Ben, we need a process for this live stream setup. I’ve got it in my head, and I want to believe that I have a process, but I don’t. If I want to help other people do a live stream and I want to not be responsible for setting all this up and streaming live, I have to have it written down.
- 08:32 Ben: And then you can sell that.
- 08:33 Sean: You absolutely could.
- 08:32 Ben: Because other people want to put on this kind of production.
- 08:43 Sean: It all starts with writing. Writing is what births a process. Sell your process, but you don’t have a process until you’ve written it down. What are the things that you do? Let’s think about it. We podcast. We live stream. We produce courses. We know how to do teleprompters. We know how to sync to teleprompters across two different cameras. That’s pretty good.
- 09:34 Ben: Once you write your process down, you’re thinking, “Not everybody uses these specific teleprompter app that I use on my iPad. Not everybody uses an iPad as a teleprompter. Not everybody uses the specific program I use for editing video. Not everybody uses… Not everybody uses…” You’re an expert in the tools and programs you use, and the other people who use them are the people you’re targeting, so don’t let that be a road block between you and actually writing this process and seeing it as something that can be valuable to someone else.
- 10:10 Sean: There are also people who don’t have the stuff yet, and they’re ready to buy at your recommendation. People are smart. They can choose to substitute. We, generally, follow recipes.
- 10:29 Ben: I’m putting on a Premiere Pro editing workshop in a couple of months, and I know that not everybody is going to use Premiere Pro as the editor for their videos. Like Sean said, people are smart. They can fit that to whatever they are using. They can take the principles and ideas and still make that useful and valuable to them.
- 10:53 Sean: Sell your process. Think about that. You’re going to have to start writing.
Compile a Guide
- 11:12 This is kind of like selling your process, but maybe it’s not necessarily a part of your process. You don’t do this thing regularly, but you know how to do it. I know how to do a lot of things that I don’t do regularly, but I could compile a guide. These things don’t have to be big. It could be $5, $9, $19, or $39.
- 11:41 Ben: I was telling Sean that one of the Family On Purpose subscribers wrote in about doing some kind of a monthly journal outline PDF that we could sell. I thought, “Yeah, I could put that together and sell it for $0.99,” and they said, “$4.99.” Even the small idea you have, this small thing, is probably more valuable than you give it credit for.
- 12:10 Sean: I just posted a video called Quick Tip on Pricing. Basically, the more specific your information is, the more you can charge. So many people are selling something general, but if it’s not for a specific person, product, or situation, people are wondering if it’s for them or whether they should buy it. Let’s say they buy it, they get past their inhibitions and purchase it. Then they have to wade through irrelevant information, because it’s for a general audience.
- 13:01 If it’s a video course but it’s covering tons of cameras and software that you don’t have, you have to wade through that irrelevant information.
The more tailored your guide, the more you can charge, the more confidence the person has when they buy it, and the more you save their time.
- 13:23 You’re saving them time, which is why you can charge more. You’re going to get fewer people overall, but you can charge more for it, and possibly make even more revenue in the big picture.
- 13:47 Ben: Cory Miller asks, “How do you sell things that you do if you’re trying to curate what you sell? If you’re a web designer, you want to be known as a person whom clients can hire, not as the guy who sells web design tips on his site, right?”
- 14:02 Sean: Everything applies. Curate what you share. Curate what you sell. You want to be known for something, so apply these to the thing you want to be known for. Alternatively, you could make a whole other curation. Say you’re an illustrator, but on your sabbaticals, nights, and weekends, you also make music. I would not recommend posting your music on your illustrator channels, because it’s just going to confuse people. It’s going to muddy the waters. The more you add that’s different, the less people can process you and the more you resemble noise.
- 14:41 Noise is simply the combination of a bunch of dissonant things. Eventually, it’s no longer a song, but it’s a song and a dog barking. It’s a song, a dog barking, and a garbage truck going by.
- 15:27 Ben: In the example of the web designer, we talked before about teaching what you know and making products out of that. Even though it’s not directly related to the clients you serve, it still has a benefit on the client’s side because they see that you’re teaching these things. It gives you more credibility as an expert. You also get to take that knowledge and turn it into something profitable that you can sell to a different kind of audience. There’s a subset of the audience of people who want to learn from you who also may become your clients.
- 16:06 Sean: Cory Miller is talking about some random thing he knows how to do that has absolutely nothing to do with the thing he wants to be known for. If that’s the case, first, reflect on where you want to spend your time. You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. Time you’re spending making products for sale to make money is time you’re not spending becoming more known for the thing you want to be known for. There’s nothing wrong with that, objectively. I would recommend and encourage you to be creative and think of things you can sell within the space where you want to be known for something.
- 16:44 You kill two birds with one stone that way. If you don’t want to do that or you can’t think of that with all of the examples I’m about to give, then start a whole other projection. Don’t muddy the one you have now.
- 17:03 Ben: Cory is the Invisible Details guy. He knows how to do a lot of logistical things. He knows how to set up and run Infusionsoft.
- 17:23 Sean: I’m seeing in the chat now that he’s saying, “No, no, that’s not what I mean,” but I bring it up because, in the past, he has talked about selling Infusionsoft training, which has nothing to do with his specialty.
- 17:33 Ben: Which is branding. Think about how it relates to building your brand. How does web design relate to building your brand? How does learning how to use Infusionsoft, or any other software, relate to building your brand? What if you packaged it as something that was meant to support you building a strong brand?
- 18:04 Sean: I think that’s a brilliant idea. That’s a really great idea. For instance, Using Infusionsoft Without Harming Your Brand. Or, to make it more positive, Using Infusionsoft While Still Presenting a Polished Brand. A lot of people say, “Well, it’s pretty clunky and limited.” Yes, it’s kind of hard. You have to do a lot of tricky things, but you can still put forth a polished presentation with Infusionsoft with the knowledge that I have. That would be a good example.
- 18:45 Ben: I wouldn’t say that nothing is off-limits. If you’re using a lot of things like knowing how to set up video, syncing iPads, and stuff like that, and you’re using it in support of the thing that you’re doing, there’s a possibility that it also could support someone else that’s trying to learn from you in relation to the specific thing that you’re about.
- 19:11 Sean: I think that is a good idea in theory. In practice, be aware:
The more specific you go with your products, the fewer people there are and the more you need to charge.
- 19:29 If Cory was going to teach Infusionsoft for people who actually care about their brand presentation, it better be like $5,000. Now, you have a smaller pool, and of that smaller pool, you need to find the even smaller pool that’s willing to spend that kind of money on this.
- 20:03 Cory and I create cover images for things. We have processes. We spent an hour last week doing photoshop training, with me showing him how I do things, streamlining. I could do a mini-course on automation and keyboard shortcuts.
- 20:25 Cory: I was thinking that while Sean was teaching me. He knows his stuff! He could sell it.
- 20:30 Ben: Sean, did you know that custom thumbnails on your YouTube videos actually increase viewership by 20%? If you do it right. It takes a long time to put together a custom thing.
- 20:48 Sean: How much more work could Kyle Adams create in his life if he streamlined his process and used keyboard shortcuts, workflows, and automation in photoshop and illustrator?
- 21:12 Ben: You get this fancy template for making cover images for your videos, and it takes you just a little bit longer, but the impact is well worth it.
- 21:24 Sean: Do the work for people. You could sell contract templates, client communication scripts, or copywriting scripts. Justin and I have spend three hours on a single sentence that you reply to a client with. I’ve talked about this on the seanwes podcast and Justin and I teach it in Value-Based Pricing: you don’t ask a client for their budget. It automatically positions you as an expense. What if the client comes to you and asks, “Why don’t you ask for my budget?” Or, they say, “My budget is this,” and they offer it. What do you do at that point? Is it a red flag? Do you move on? Is there any recovering?
- 22:12 We spent three hours on the one sentence that you say that makes sure that you’re still positioned as an investment, that addresses their concerns, alleviates their worries, and gets everything back on track in one sentence. Think about the value of that sentence. It’s inside Value-Based Pricing. You have similar things, similar scripts. I’ve given tons of these to Community members, but what if someone wants to work with you and you don’t want to work with them?
- 22:42 Maybe there’s a red flag. Maybe you know something about them or you’re busy. How do you pass on that project without offending them? How do you pass on it in a professional way that leaves the door open and doesn’t burn the bridge for potentially working with them in the future? You’ve collected these things, come up with these things, and written these things. You have a lot of pieces to your process written down that you can sell.
Small Digital Products
- 23:28 You might have digital brushes that you’ve made or textures that you’ve made. I’ve made thousands of dollars, many thousands of dollars, from a single $4 texture pack. It’s called High Res Subtle Grunge Vector Textures. I put it on Creative Market when they first came out and just left it there. This was three or four years ago. It’s made like $6,000. It’s insane. Email scripts, copywriting scripts, checklists and launch plans.
- 24:13 If you do something in an efficient way that would save other people time, you can sell that. If someone is launching a course and they need to know how to produce a course, you could teach them how to do it, and it’s valuable. The value of course creation is massive. People make five and six figures on course launches all the time. Doing it well, knowing how to do it well, is incredibly valuable. That’s why a lot of courses on course creation are kind of expensive, because it’s very involved. It takes a lot of work, a lot of making mistakes, and a lot of research to figure out how to do it right.
- 24:54 When you save someone that time and they can make more sales, it’s incredibly valuable. Does that mean that you can only sell something like that, that’s super premium? You could also sell a launch list, a course launch checklist. I’m just giving away ideas here. You could sell that for $29, and people would totally buy that. It’s something to trigger their mind.
- 25:19 They’ll think, “Oh, I didn’t even think about promoting it to my email list six months in advance. Now that I have the list, I’ve thought about it. Oh, creating tiers. Oh, putting a countdown timer. Oh, remembering to go back and remove the introductory rate from this, this, and this place from the promotion.” You’re saving people time and helping them avoid having to think and remember.
- 25:45 Ben: The troubleshooting thing is such a wild card. There’s the thought of, “There might be a situation where I have to figure out what I’m doing and actually spend time solving this problem.” If you can’t take away that possibility and you’re potentially saving somebody that much time, that’s hugely valuable.
- 26:09 Sean: That’s a launch plan. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a launch. It could be a checklist for doing anything—creating a product, for example.
Think of things where you follow steps, and selling a check or launch list is a form of selling your process.
- 26:31 If you’ve created your own website theme for other sites, maybe you don’t even use those anymore. You could sell those themes.
Repurpose Free Material
- 26:41 Compile an old list of blog posts into an ebook. A lot of people hear this and think, “Oh, just copy and paste.” Why would you do that? How could you sell that? People will think, “I could just go to your blog, right?” No, they’re not. They’re not going into the deep pages of your archive. The value here is that they don’t have to search for it.
- 27:11 They don’t know what’s relevant. I know which podcasts in the backlog are good on certain topics, relevant, and connect and build off of each other. Other people don’t know that. When you put it together, you’re creating a new kind of value. You don’t have to just copy and paste everything in its entirety. Take out the best parts, edit it together, and make it make sense. You don’t have to do as much work, though, because you’re not creating from scratch.
- 27:42 Ben: Rachel has done that with some of her writing. This was not necessarily practical—it was poetry she had written over time on her blog. Somebody could purchase what she considers her very best work in a condensed form, and it’s all there in one place. They don’t have to go clicking around the website. That saves people time, and it gives them the best experience with that content. It’s valuable for those reasons.
Be mindful of the things you’ve created in the past that are in a bunch of different places—editing that together is creating value.
- 28:16 Sean: You’re not cheating people by putting things you’ve given away for free before together in a cohesive manner that saves them time. That’s creating value.
- 28:41 Ben: I think about this with some of the changes that are coming to seanwes. Any of the content that Sean has given away for free in the past is free game for something he could actually charge for now. You see a lot of people going the opposite direction. They sell something, and then the sales start trickling off, so they run a discount. Think about the people who purchased it at full price early on.
- 29:19 If you give something away for free, people enjoy your free content, and then you turn around and sell it, there will be people who say, “Why do I have to pay for this now?” Those aren’t your customers. Your loyal customers, who get value out of what you have to share, will say, “I can’t believe this person gave away all this free content for so long. I’m glad they’re charging now, because I’ve been wanting a way to compensate them for the value I’ve been getting out of all of this.”
- 29:52 Sean: If you give away the stuff you’ve sold before, it’s a slap in the face to your best customers. The free content is free game. You can always put a price on something that’s been free. If it’s valuable, put a price on it! That’s totally your prerogative.
- 30:17 We’re familiar with podcasts, and we try to make these very valuable for people. We try to make them condensed, to the point, give them a lot to think about, and give them a lot of insights. Maybe people don’t treat podcasts this way. It might seem strange, if you’re coming from our perspective here, to say that you should sell an audio program. Isn’t that just a podcast? One, even if it is “just a podcast,” that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. It’s life-changing, business-changing information. That’s value.
- 30:56 Number two, maybe you’re more familiar with podcasts that are less focused and less valuable, people talking about whatever they want to talk about. Maybe insights come out of it, but nothing is promised. It’s just someone recording a conversation. They didn’t prepare it beforehand. Even if you’re familiar with those kinds of podcasts, think about ways to use the audio medium to create value for people. That’s probably going to look similar to the process of creating a podcast for those of you who approach the podcast medium with a mindset of creating value.
- 31:35 It’s coming up with an outline beforehand, thinking about the end, what you want people to take away from this and what experience you want people to have, and working towards that. Record the audio for that. That’s a program you can sell as a product.
- 31:54 Ben: Some of the value in that is in the delivery method, too. Maybe you already have content that you’ve written out and sold as some other medium. It’s valuable for some people to have that in an audio medium, because that’s how they consume and retain information on their commute to work, while they’re out running, or while they’re taking a shower. Being able to listen to something while they’re doing something else is their preferred method of getting valuable information. By making that available to them, you’re providing something different.
- 32:37 Sean: If you already podcast and you’re thinking, “I’ve talked about this before, but there was some rambling and off-topic stuff,” if you don’t already do show notes for your podcast, have your podcast transcribed. Find the good stuff in the transcription of your podcast, take out the fluff, add some value, and then re-produce it. Take that written material to reproduce it, and now you have a program that you can sell.
- 33:14 We should be doing this at seanwes. We really should. It’s crazy. The amount of value in this backlog is immense. Pick any one of them, take 60% to 80% of the content that’s already written, because we invest so much time into show notes, add a little bit of value to it, some structure, some branding, and re-record it. Re-produce it and sell it for $39, $49, $69, any one of them as a program. Hey, want to get started with eCommerce? Want to get started with email marketing? There is tons of value in the backlog.
If you have some kind of backlog, that’s the first place I would look for content to sell.
Breaking Down and Replicating Existing Products
- 34:19 Illustrations or icons you’ve made for a previous project or landing page—you could recolor them, repurpose them, take inspiration from them and recreate them or package them up. These are things you can sell. Look for resources used in old projects. A premium curated newsletter is an interesting idea. A subscription paid newsletter that’s just you curating stuff. You have to have the reputation for it. People have to believe you’re a source for this kind of thing, but people pay for good information. They pay for entertainment, too.
- 34:58 Sean: Do you want 10,000 subscribers because it feels cool to tell your friends, or would you rather have 80 people paying you X dollars a month? Something to think about. Live training is a quicker way of iterating and getting out knowledge than a course. You could prepare an outline beforehand, but if you deliver something live, you can charge an introductory rate for live, when you first do it. When it goes to a recording, you charge a little bit more. Maybe it’s a $69 training live, and if they want the recording, it’s $99 afterward.
- 35:53 You probably want to have good production value for that, rather than your phone and Periscope. Make it something people want to pay for. That means getting into live streaming and doing it in a high quality way, which hearkens back to something we can teach people at some point.
- 36:11 Ben: If you’re doing in-person stuff, either one-on-one consulting and training or workshops, if you can get the production quality to capture that, that can also be a product you can sell.
- 36:32 Sean: In general, think in terms of breaking down your existing products. We are not talking about maximizing revenue here. The context is filling out the spectrum of products. If you’re in the context of launching a big thing and maximizing revenue, creating multiple tiers, you always want to add on. In the context we’re in now, we’re trying to create entrance points. If you have a course on a very big topic, what’s one little piece of that that would be valuable for a lot of people to take away? Maybe, what’s a piece that would be generally applicable?
- 37:10 This is something I’m doing with Learn Lettering. I have a module in there on licensing, and that module is worth it’s weight in gold. It’s huge, but it’s locked up. Anyone could use this. Anyone creating any kind of design or art could be profiting from their work in an ongoing manner, but the education is locked up in this lettering course. Unless you’re interested in lettering, you can’t really access it. That’s definitely something I want to do in a small course or a live training situation.
To fill out the spectrum of products, think in terms of breaking down your existing products.
- 37:56 In this case, the licensing thing could be valuable to other people who do hand lettering, but it’s also valuable for people who do anything. Think about the marketing aspect here. What piece of your process could be marketed to a more general audience? Cory, maybe you have a process for storing large files, because you work with videos a lot. That would be good for videographers. Let’s say you had a course about Streamlining the Editing Process, and it included that little piece. You could take that out and market it to anyone who wants to manage their harddrive space and maximize their efficiency for network storage. It doesn’t have to be tailored to video people.