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Clarity 6 – Product Strategy

clarity-roadmap-6
Products need a premise and they need to deliver something people want.   Alan Weiss

Finally we get to the making!   It goes without saying that everything that has gone before gets packaged and presented to the world via our products.

In Clarity 3 we identified your Transformational Content, aka “Signature System”.

Consider that work your raw material for product development.  Your products are the vehicle to solve problems your ideal client recognises and facilitate the changes they want to make.

(Perhaps revisit that first if you didn’t read it recently).

As an agent of change, your products can range from a 1 hour training course or a 7 day challenge all the way through to a one year program or multi year subscription to your membership community.

Have Great Products:

When people ask my number 1 tip for a successful business it’s this; “have great products”.

Belief in your products infuses you with confidence and removes the pressure for slick selling tactics.  So, basing your business around excellent products will spark your upward spiral.

(Note: Throughout the post I’m using the word “products” to embrace both “products and services” – knowing that many of you sell packaged services – and the principles are the same.  The other expression we use is “offer” which includes the full bundle of products and services and the price plus any sweeteners.)

The marketing and positioning of your product will PROMISE the desirable outcome ideal clients are seeking, and the design and packaging of the product will DELIVER.

So please, be known for GOOD products.

Products that deliver beyond expectation.

Products that create passionate Brand advocates.

Great Branding, high quality content and your smarts will get you on the radar and position you for success, but NEVER underestimate this:

It is your products that make you money.

It is your products that get you testimonials.

It is your products that create referral business.

So don’t sell crap.  Just because you can market the hell out of so-so “on the fly” products, doesn’t mean you should.

Be forensic in your development phase, test and tweak and get into the nitty gritty to understand what’s working and what you need to fix.

Be aware, it can take a while for a product to become great, your first pass at them may be underwhelming, but even with improvements required (and they will be), something about the core of the product must connect with clients and spark interest.

I’ve created over 75 products in 11 years for my B2B event business, Team Bonding.  Some of those have created 7 figure revenues and I’ve turned down offers to licence the formulas.

It didn’t happen overnight, and truthfully, some of the early events were really not good (actually, they were bad).  Over time, I developed methods to create and improve my products so I can now offer a money back guarantee that they will hit the mark for every group.

The most recent product I developed is already our second bestseller and has delivered $100K additional revenue just this year.

Starting with Product Design

Clarities 1 – 5 have determined how you’ll approach the market, so the next step is to identify the specific products you will sell.

  • How do you identify opportunities?
  • How do you prioritise your offers?
  • How do you deliver and structure your programs for great results?
  • What do you do so people refer your programs?
  • How will you price your products and services?
  • How will you design products that work for you and your business?
  • How will you develop your core message?
  • What will be your selling method and funnel?

If you are ready to go on and develop a product, I have a challenge to assist you.


PREPARATION:

You’ve identified your Sweet Spot (Clarity 1), and you have defined and mined your ideal clients for Insight (Clarity 2).

You can meet prospects right where they are, you know the challenges they face and you can articulate their desired state in a way that will be magnetically appealing.

Building on those insights, you identified your transformational content and developed a signature system that acts as a container for the important work you want to do in the world.

That is Clarity 3 and it is a pre-requisite for product development, because your signature system acts as a foundation for all your initial product offerings.

Once you have your signature teaching figured out, you need to determine the role of that intellectual property in your product portfolio.

Many people reserve the full system for their highest priced offer.  That could be your high end online program, in person workshop or membership content.

So you might develop front end or “funnel” products that introduce people to your work by solving a problem they have right now.  Then offer your full products to a filtered, engaged, pre-sold audience.  Or you might split the work into modules to solve problems your folks are experiencing right now.

Your free content – like my Magic Words online workshop – need to be developed with as much care as paid products.

In Clarity 4 we talked about building your Magnetizing Brand, including creating your brand value proposition (or Magic Words as I like to refer to those).

You will also use the Magic Words process to devise unique selling propositions for each product you make.

In Clarity 5, Revenue Models, we talked at length about the various revenue models open to know how entrepreneurs.

The first cut was 2 distinct models, the producer and the conduit.

Producers are “makers” (they create products themselves) and conduits are “marketers” – they sell or assemble products which are produced by others.

In Clarity 6 we are concentrating on the producer models 1 & 2.

  1. Asset sales of products (including information) or packaged services – not dependent on further input from you beyond the agreed delivery
  2. Access to your “mind” (your know how and expertise) – so you will personally have to deliver part of the value equation

Producer model 3 is advanced, but something you can work towards as you develop your products and services.

  1. Systematized or packaged intellectual property that allows other people to make money from your know how, such as franchising or licensing


It is also good to be familiar with the 5 pricing model options
(copied in from Clarity 5, Revenue Models)

  1. The first and simplest payment model is the one time sale– one product or service, each paid and delivered separately
  2. And next is the one time sale plus a built in methodology for additional sales;  add-ons,  cross sell, up sell or down sell.
  3. Limited continuity is when you sell a service for a block of time and seek to retain or rollover a good proportion of the customers into the next block.  An example is Michelle Bridges’ 12WBT program where she rolls most of the people into the next 12 week period.
  4. Printer and ink model is when your price has one component for an initial product or service plus an ongoing component to maintain or use the purchase.  Building a website and providing ongoing hosting, maintenance and small fixes would be an example.
  5. Subscription revenue is like a leasing model where customers continue to pay to have a product or service available to them.  They can access software, teaching content, a community or services for as long as they pay their fees.

Keep Front of Mind

  1. Don’t build a business that you won’t enjoy: (I’ve made this mistake).  As you evaluate opportunities, keep your enjoyment factor and the sustainability of your direct involvement in the decision mix.
  2. Play from strength
  3. Know that some aspects will be difficult and challenging.
    • Whilst you are building a business you love, it realistically won’t all be roses. Remind yourself of the “shit sandwich” popularised by blogger Mark Manson in this fantastic post)
  4. Look to current assets first before you make something new Assets include intellectual property (including your signature system), content, processes, formulas, clients and relationships.
  5. Time and lifestyle considerations. Models such as 1-1 services, coaching and consulting, mean you can charge high prices for fairly short periods of “actual” work.  However they do require you to commit to being available.
  6. Financial resources, whether you can buy help or you’ll have to DIY. Particularly if you are not technical, this will be a slower and occasionally bruising path.
  7. Stage of business now,do you have a list of customers or are you starting from scratch?
  8. Marketing ability.  Marketing, building authority and visibility in your niche, creating relationships and bringing people into your orbit IS the actual work of many business models.  If you are a specialist but resistant to marketing, you need to find others (conduits) to sell for you.  If you want to build your own audience and from there convert them into clients, you must know marketing or upskill in marketing techniques.

OK, where will you pitch your product range?

Let’s  work with simple round numbers – I’m using configurations of $100,000 gross revenue (remember costs will be lower) as a guide.  So to estimate profits (money you get to keep) you may need to double these if you are working on your own and triple them if you are paying  a team or other people to sell for you.

Of course, you may well have products in different bands and use an upselling / cross selling strategy.

So here are the ways to make to $100,000.

Number of Customers Money Configurations
1 or 2 1 x $100k
2 x $50k
5 / 10 / 20 5 x $20k
10 x $10k
20 x $5k
50 / 100 / 200 50 x $2k
100 x $1k
200 x $500
500 / 1,000 / 2,000 500 x $200
1,000 x $100
2,000 x $50
5,000 / 10,000 / 20,000 5,000 x $20
10,000 x $10
20,000 x $5

So what immediately appeals?  Would you rather have a high volume of “hands off” style sales or a low volume of more “hands on” clients?

Before we dig deeper into our product portfolio, first we need to understand what people want when they buy.

WHAT DO PEOPLE BUY?

Exercise:   What were the last 3 products you purchased to invest in your business?

For example, mine are:

  • A ticket to a conference
  • An in depth online training
  • A 6 month membership

What were your reasons for making those investments?  Keeping your recent purchases in mind, which of these apply?

  • Specific skills (how to do something)
  • Exposure to teaching content / knowledge (stuff to learn and think about)
  • Confidence that you won’t make bad or costly decisions
  • Acceleration / steps, so you can move fast
  • Community of like minded people
  • Opportunity to meet potential clients
  • Transformation / results (change from current state)
  • Accountability / committing to complete tasks

Now, you paid for those products, but could you have got results by consuming free or inexpensive content, listening to podcasts or participating in facebook groups?   Possibly yes (if you are self directed) and yet, you chose to invest some money.

So let’s tease out why that could be.

What additional variables that build on the above and create a higher perceived value?

  • Reputation / name
  • Established relationship, perception as a leader / authority
  • Freshness of the topic (new, low competition)
  • Money making or money saving promise is very direct.
  • Perceived quality.  This is signalled by Brand, production values, design and social proof.
  • Quality curation of content, the pathing through the knowledge is direct and effective
  • Online vs live in person (pay more for in person)
  • Large group vs intimate group  (pay more for intimacy)

And the key value creator?

The main variable that alters pricing is ACCESS to you and your know how.  In higher tiers they will expect some of your time and expertise.  The will want you to listen to them and answer their specific problems.

And remember, results do correlate with investment, it is human nature to want better results if they have invested.

Number of Customers Money Configurations Access to You as An Authority
1 or 2 1 x $100k
2 x $50k
Personal relationship
Virtually unfettered access
5 / 10 / 20 5 x $20k
10 x $10k
20 x $5k
Direct access, opportunity for customised advice
50 / 100 / 200 50 x $2k
100 x $1k
200 x $500
Managed access, answers to specific, topic related questions
500 / 1,000 / 2,000 500 x $200
1,000 x $100
2,000 x $50
Limited support from authority (sometimes none).  Facebook groups, FAQ’s or crowd sourced.
5,000 / 10,000 / 20,000 5,000 x $20
10,000 x $10
20,000 x $5
None, ongoing communication.

 

OK SO WHAT PRODUCTS FIT IN WHAT TIERS?

Number of Customers Money Configurations Product Types
1 or 2 1 x $100k
2 x $50k
Job/s
5 / 10 / 20 5 x $20k
10 x $10k
20 x $5k
Consulting
“Done for You” Services High End Programs
In Person Work (Retreats, Extended Programs)
50 / 100 / 200 50 x $2k
100 x $1k
200 x $500
Hot Topic Online Training
In Person “Done With You” Workshops
Subscription Memberships With Teaching Content
Multi Day Live Events
500 / 1,000 / 2,000 500 x $200
1,000 x $100
2,000 x $50
Supported “Do It Yourself” Online Training,  Information Products
Low price subscription memberships
One day training (generally funnel)
5,000 / 10,000 / 20,000 5,000 x $20
10,000 x $10
20,000 x $5
“Do It Yourself” Information / Tripwire Products
Books, Audios, Short Courses, Workbooks, Diaries, Apps, Paid Webinars or Challenges

(This is a guide only, your products and configurations could be different, depending how you deploy the bits and pieces).

So, start by choosing a configuration you find appealing. 

Now match that to the teaching content or packaged services you already have raw materials for.

Product Development Steps:

  • Find a problem that you can solve  (what are you always being asked about)
  • Validate with ideal clients that they are willing to invest in solving that problem
  • High level design; blueprint the process, select a delivery platform, tweak with beta testing until you know you have a product that will deliver.
  • Choose name and devise your key selling messages, pre-sell and finally build out the product
  • Select a sales funnel to reach your audience and create your funnel assets (free content)

Funnel Examples

Number of Customers Money Configurations Funnel Types
1 or 2 1 x $100k
2 x $50k
Reputation / Tender
5 / 10 / 20 5 x $20k
10 x $10k
20 x $5k
Upsell from relationship building and mid tier products.
Authority branding strategy
Appointment to personal selling calls
50 / 100 / 200 50 x $2k
100 x $1k
200 x $500
Upsell from trust building and lower tier products.
Webinars, live training or presentations, challenges,  video training series (product launch formula) online training (free or low ticket) to sales pitch to work deeper
Affiliate selling
Authority branding strategy
500 / 1,000 / 2,000 500 x $200
1,000 x $100
2,000 x $50
Upsell from lead magnet to offer / sales page, copy, video or audio
List offer to warm audience.
5,000 / 10,000 / 20,000 5,000 x $20
10,000 x $10
20,000 x $5
Sample teaching content
Single topic, tight focusLead magnet to tripwire sale.
Book, E-book, low price training.

Now check that the funnel requirements line up with your choice of tier and you are on your way to developing a product.

If this is new for you I’m sure you are feeling overwhelmed you, and you can already see that putting the pieces of the puzzle together could take longer than you might expect.   I have a challenge coming up that will help by breaking it into bite size pieces and taking consistent daily action to create your product.

join the product breakthrough challenge

11 weeks to conceptualize, design, tweak, sell and build your stellar new product

Presented in bite sized chunks with 15 minutes of content and tasks arriving in your inbox each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Wait list now to find out more.

I also want to make the point that the “job” of entrepreneurship starts when this creative stage ends.  And that is finding a consistent marketing activity that gets you seen, and known, by prospective clients.  We come to that in Clarity 7.

NEXT POST:  Clarity 7 – Consistent Marketing Activity