First, let me dispel the myth that “products” are only for service-based industries like coaching, information marketers and self-help gurus.
That is SO not the case. Every business, in every industry needs, yes *needs* products to supplement their other offerings:
- the Hallmark store that can publish a booklet of tips for identifying the perfect gift
- the Café that can publish a “Coffee Manifesto”, or how about a coffee table book on coffee?
- the House Painter who publishes a report on the Top 10 Questions to Ask Before You Hire Your Next House Painter
These can be sold, or the businesses will gain much more visibility, and credibility, if they give them away, use them as direct mail pieces or otherwise share with their target audiences.
And for those who do offer service-based businesses like coaching, information marketing, self-help gurus, virtual assistants and more? Easy peasy:
- Combine articles of similar topics into ebooks and add a workbook
- Create a “How to Work With” booklet
- Document your process and offer it as a self-study
Let’s walk through how to do (this is the exact process I use in my business):
- If you can share the information live, do so. Whether via teleclass, webcast, or live workshop — be sure to record the call. Present your best info on this topic live. It doesn’t have to be for a fee, you can offer free and combine creating the product with attracting people to your work. Be sure to leave plenty of time for questions (this is why I love webcasts, most people type their questions and you can copy/paste them to a Word document so you have them all written out).
- Have the call transcribed and ask them to do it so there’s room for you to take notes. Here’s a sample of my transcription template:
- Sit down with the transcription and the list of questions. Work the questions/answers into the transcription where appropriate. If the info really doesn’t fit, but it’s a valid question, add a “Bonus Sheet” or “Bonus Report” (depending on length of responses).
- Now that you’ve got a great feel for the material, decide how you want to offer the final product: audio, video, written, combined media, self-study e-learning platform, etc.
- Put it all together. My favorite is combined media starting with the e-learning platform so everything is saved in one location and an add-on nurturing sequence to keep participants engaged.
- Create your information (“sales”) page and add to your website and/or create a launch plan to announce it/provide it to your community.
- Incorporate this product into your overall Strategic Business & Marketing Calendar going forward.
This process works no matter how busy you are for a few simple reasons:
- You’re doing double duty from the beginning: serving your community and creating the base content for your product (great way to leverage).
- By encouraging questions during the live offering, you know that your community will be interested in the final topic — after all, they helped create it (be sure to use the topic of some of those questions in your information/sales page).
- You’ll have a product/giveaway (depending on your goals) when done which can bring in revenue/prospective clients for years to come.
What are your thoughts? Have you tried this approach? Are you ready/willing to? Please share your thoughts below.