We’ve created tons of successful online products, and we usually get asked a few of the same questions time and time again.
How did you do it?
How do you make money with it?
How do you come up with new, successful products?
The latter of these questions is a huge deal because without it, you can’t build your social empire. Your long-term success hinges on the fact that, at the core, you’re making a useful and purposeful product that your customers actually need.
We’ve brought this point up before. Your products have to have a purpose, because – think about it – even a great idea is dead in the water if it doesn’t serve any real purpose or need for your customers.
So before you go crafting a full marketing campaign for a new product, first sit down and ask yourself three basic questions:
- Does your product have any competition? If you don’t see any competitors out there for your product, then are you sure that it’s a product that people actually want?
- Are there any existing products? Don’t just push out a remake of what someone else has done, but use other similar products to gauge best practices for reaching your customers.
- Are you passionate, and is your audience passionate? Without the passion, it’s going to be a struggle to really sell the product. And if your audience isn’t passionate, then they’re less likely to invest in what you’re selling.
But here’s the kicker: We’re not always selling tangible items here. In the realm of digital products, we’re working around the idea that what we’re selling is information.
We’re not saying you can’t succeed here, because – obviously – we absolutely believe that you can. Unfortunately, the statistics prove that it can be harder to achieve that success than one may initially think.
And we wager to say that some of the struggle boils down to your ability to efficiently create great products.
Few virtual businesses rest solely on a single product; it’s your ability to continue to churn out great products that your customers want. This inventive aspect to the business can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and simply difficult.
Before you ever get to the productization bit, you have to create something that people will actually pay for, which means that it must be useful. So we’re introducing to you our best formula for easy product creation.
Learn, Implement, Teach (LIT) Formula
Information is the name of the game, and to pump out truly useful products in this business, you’ll want to use this formula. Here, you can create ‘micro-products’ which require less time investment to create but are highly useful, highly sought-after, and highly successful most of the time. These quality products are what your customers want and need, and they only take a few months to create (without making you wait months or years to judge its success).
Step 1: Learn
This is probably the biggest part of the formula and it is a constant, ongoing piece in the machine. They say ‘you never stop learning’, and that’s completely true in this business.
You learn for yourself, but you also learn so that you can create new products to help others as well.
Okay, so what we’re talking about here is multi-pronged. Let’s take a look:
The digital world is ever-changing, and there’s always new ways to market a product or operate online at all. As virtual evolution continues, so must you adapt. This means having your hands in every social pot possible and keeping up with trends and launches.
Continue to learn about the foundational aspects of the business so that you can implement changes into your own company and teach others how to succeed with your products.
Not only are you learning about the business – your business – but you’re also learning about your customers. There are a TON of tools out there to help you with this.
For instance, our new payment processor PayKickstart will have a premium feature available called INSIGHTS. Here, you get a closer look into who your customers really are by browsing their buyer habits and technical information. Other premium features reveal different facets like DEMOGRAPHICS and SURVEYS. Here’s a shot of what PayKickstart customers get to see in order to help them learn more about their customers:
Your customers are constantly changing, and their preferences and habits change as well. Learn these ticks, and then you can implement their lifestyles into your products to create a better result.
One of the #1 reasons for failure with online businesses (or any business, for that matter) is failing to understand what your customers really want. So take the time to learn, and invest in the products that help get you the insights you need.
Step 2: Implement
Learning is great; it’s what helps you to become better educated in your field. But it’s useless if you don’t implement what you learn into your product creation.
Implementation means taking what you’ve learned about the business, the market, and your customers and integrating that information into your own business and product creations.
The thing about implementation is this: your results are always changing because what you’re learning is always changing. Implementation is that turning point where all the change takes place. You implement something you’ve learned and then monitor the results. Then, you learn from your successes and mistakes and implement what you’ve learned again.
The process can be cyclical, but the analytics that come from your implementation can determine what types of products you’re creating. This helps you to churn out bigger and better products in the future as well.
Step 3: Teach
Your product here is education and information. You’re teaching others what you’ve learned and how it’s changed your business because of how you implemented it.
What makes your product both valuable and desirable is the fact that you’ve done the hard parts — learning and implementing — and now you’re delivering the results in an educational and profitable way for others to learn.
You become the part of the first cog in their machine now. There are a few ways to deliver your product to round out our formula here:
And more. And while some of these are paid products, you can make others available for free. Keep the most actionable products (and, thus, the most useful) as products folks pay for. Those types of teaching moments are what your customers will pay for, but they also get the added value from your free ‘products’ — which can help keep them in your interest circle as well.
Let’s wrap this up. Product creation can be a difficult, time-consuming task, but one of the easiest forms of product creation is the LIT formula:
You tell us: How do you create new products? What has been your most successful product, and how did it come about?