Episode 13. How to Create a Program That Sells Itself
I’ve experienced both success and failure when it comes to starting a business. I’m not ashamed to admit it because knowing what works and what doesn’t puts me in a powerful position to give advice on what differentiates the two. For me, one of the things I focused on in a different way that helped lead to my business’s success was the product. I have eight ways you can create a product that’s going to become your bread and butter for years to come.
In this episode, you’ll hear…
- 04:39 – Why you should keep your product offerings focused
- 07:12 – How you can show up differently than others in your niche
- 10:03 – Making sure your product works for your customers
- 20:25 – Offering ONLY just what your customer needs
- 23:38 – Pricing your product effectively
- 26:51 – How to build your product to scale over time
- 28:50 – Beta-testing your product
- 34:36 – Selling your full-price product
How many products should I offer?
One of the things that help create a great product is narrowing your focus to just a few core items for your business. Only when you give one product – or a select handful – that intentional focus can it become a tentpole offering. There’s no magic number when it comes to how many products you should offer, but there is definitely such a thing as too many. Up to three products is probably the max, and, ideally, only one or two. Not only is that the best way to sell, but it’s also the best way to balance your sanity and your life and avoid launching a new product every month.
What’s the best way to make sure my product is a success?
This might sound obvious, but here’s the most important part of making sure your product or program is a massive success: it has to work. And when I say “work,” I mean it has to deliver results that get people talking. You can do all of the marketing in the world, but nothing is going to sell your product as fast or as easily as enthusiastic word of mouth. It’s up to you to make your product the best it can be, and let your happy customers tell the world.
How can I test my product?
If you’re working on your product or you’ve just finished it but you don’t have any clients or testimonials, it’s a good idea to start beta testing. Reach out to people who are active in your social media community and let them know you’re working on a product. Give them an idea of how much you expect it to cost and offer a substantial discount if they’re willing to give you a testimonial at the end (hint: ask for a video testimonial)! This cash flow can help make up for some of the expenses in building the product, as well as offering some proof of concept and testimonials. If you’re having trouble selling your product – even as a beta – it’s time to go back to the drawing board and figure out where you’re missing the mark in your communication.
We will be diving into all of this in more detail on day two of the LIVE From Startup to Soldout Masterclass series on November 3rd-5th, so make sure you sign up to learn even more about creating a streamlined product that sells!
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Resources Discussed in This Episode
- Get your ticket to “From Startup to Soldout” here: samvanderwielen.com/fsso-oyt
- Try Canva here: canva.com/join/tbq-wth-fpr
- Create a product, website or program with Kajabi w/ a 30-day free trial here: app.kajabi.com/r/fLP3TYLV/t/6lnttyqz
- Watch my free legal workshop ‘5 Steps to Legally Protect & Grow Your Online Business’ here: samvanderwielen.com/oyt-workshop
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:09] Hey, hey, hey. Welcome to another episode of On Your Terms. I’m so excited to talk with you about creating products, products that – products or programs, whatever it is that you want to create, that you want to sell over and over and over again without having to be on your phone 24/7 without having to be super salesy, whatever that means, and without having to continuously go back to the drawing board and be like, "Why isn’t anybody buying this thing?"
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:34] So in today’s episode, I talk with you all about how many products and programs I recommend that you actually sell in your business at any given time, how to stand out from the crowd more than anything else, what the number one thing is that your product needs to do in order to sell. Period. End of story. We go over that a ton in this episode.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:55] I also talk about getting straight to the value in your product and how to remove the fluff so that your clients can actually see the results more immediately. And, we talk about creating products and pricing products that it actually allows you to scale. Last but not least, I’ll round out this episode with talking about beta testing, getting it into the hands of your first paying customers, and then scaling and amplifying your product in the end. I’m so excited to jump into this episode with you.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:01:24] And in case we don’t know each other yet, by the way, I’m Sam Vander Wielen. I’m an attorney-turned entrepreneur who helps coaches and service providers legally protect and grow their online businesses using my DIY Legal Templates and my Ultimate Bundle program. But here on this show each week on On Your Terms, I bring you fresh tips about how to legally protect your business and grow that business on your terms. So let’s get into today’s episode and find out how to create a product that will generate you the moolah.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:01:56] So, I’ve talked a lot so far on the show about how I created one business when I first left the law and it wasn’t successful at all, and then, how in 2017 I shut down that business and started my legal business, Sam Vander Wielen LLC, and how things just have gone totally differently. And, one of the things that I feel like I focused on in a much different way and that has led to so much of the business’ success is my product. And when I say product, by the way, I don’t mean that you have to sell physical products or digital products even it could be that you have a coaching program, a course of membership like just, you know, insert that whenever I say product because I created kind of this hybrid course, digital product, community membership thing with the Ultimate Bundle. And so it’s kind of it’s all-encompassing. So, I really focused on the product in a much different way than I ever did.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:02:53] I don’t even think I thought about it at all with my first business, and I think that that has had such a big impact on the fact that, you know, four years ago, I created a product that has now generated millions and millions of dollars in revenue. And obviously, that wasn’t even my goal. I didn’t think anyone would buy it. But I think that there were certain things I did right along the way that have made it what it is today. So, I’m hoping that this episode today we can get clear on what steps you need to take to create your own product program thingy, whatever, that will be the thing that years from now you’re talking about being like, I can’t believe that this thing in and of itself, on its own, has generated just millions of dollars on its own in revenue.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:03:39] So, it’s pretty incredible what you can do when I think you really create something with good intention and a lot of thought behind it and you really put the time and the energy into the actual product itself. So, keep in mind as you’re listening to this episode today that when I created this product, I did not create this product or program or whatever with the idea that I was creating it so that I could generate millions of dollars or so that so many people would buy it or anything else. I literally started it because I thought it would help people.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:04:16] And so I think that, you know, a lot of times when I’ve heard other people talk about this kind of stuff, they’ve had like a similar experience that they really started from a very good place. So, we’ll talk about all of this stuff today. Let’s get into – I have eight ways that you can create a product that’s going to be your bread and butter from years and years from now.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:04:39] So first and foremost, number one, I just wanted to say off the bat that one of the things that I think helps to create a great product is to only focus on creating a few core items in your business. And that’s what you’re going to focus on perfecting and selling, obviously. But you’re not going to be selling one hundred things and then like one thing is going to be your bread and butter. I think one of the reasons that something can become your bread and butter is because you’re so intensely focused on it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:05:09] So, I only, for the last four or five years, have only ever sold the Ultimate Bundle and then individual templates. That’s it. Like, I have never run off and created all these new products and services or anything like that. So I think that it helped me because it was just a fine-tuned machine. Like, you just keep coming back to it and you’re just like again, again, again, again, and you just keep making it better and better.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:05:32] I don’t really think there’s any magic number when it comes to how many products or programs that you should offer in your business. But I do think there’s such a thing as too many. So for me, I would say like one to three programs or products is the max. That’s the max that you really should ever have at any given time in your business. And preferably, I would love to see you only have one or two. So, I would love to see you maybe have a group program that you run a couple of times a year and you have your private coaching or you have your private coaching, but you sell your course on evergreen. And then a couple of times a year, you promote that course in like a live fashion, like what I do with the bundle. You know, you find some kind of balance because it’s not only the best way, I think, to sell a product and really, maximize the juice that you can get out of that product but it’s also the best way to balance your sanity and your life.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:06:23] And as you know, hopefully by now, what matters most to me more than anything is to live a normal life, live a life on my terms. You know, I want to focus more on my family and my friends and my cute little puppy and reading and traveling and giving back and gardening and cooking and doing pretty much everything other than being a business owner. Like, this isn’t who I am at my core, right? So, it’s also what allows me to do that.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:06:50] And if that’s something that’s important to you, then streamlining the amount of things that you offer is like one of the best places to start. But I also think that that was one of the reasons why I was able to so successfully maximize the juice out of one product because it’s just been my, like – I eat, sleep and breathe this Ultimate Bundle for the last four plus years, you know. So, that really helps. That’s why I want to start off with that tip.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:07:13] All right. Tip number two is that I also want you, as you’re thinking about this product and we’re thinking now about only creating a handful of these products, I want you to think about how you truly want to show up, how you truly want to offer this. Like, last week, in last week’s episode, episode number 12, I talked about finding your paying customers, and I talked about really leaning into your unique value proposition. So, if you haven’t listened to episode 12, make sure you go back. It might be a good place to start and then you can come back here. But I talked about really leaning into what makes you different. Because for those of you who are concerned about the fact that, you know, the space is like blowing up and that there may or may not be so many people doing already what you do or whatever, then that’s all the more reason why you have to lean into this unique value proposition.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:08:03] And so, when you’re doing market research and when you’re looking around and thinking to yourself, "Oh, everybody’s already doing this," or somebody already offers a course, what is it, like, naturally and organically that you wish was different about that? Like, I remember seeing something that I saw years and years and years ago that somebody was doing that was like a group program. So, they were having people meet every week to talk about this like very dry and boring subject. And I was like, I wouldn’t want to do that. I would just want little bite-sized information done on video that I could watch on my own or listen, you know, on a walk or something like that. And I would implement it in my own time. But I don’t want to be required to meet every week for two hours, to talk about this. Like, that doesn’t sound fun to me, you know. So that’s when I was like, "Well, there have to be other people who are interested in the same subject, and they don’t want to consume this information that way, either. And so, why don’t I do it a little differently?"
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:09:00] So, you can look at either the way the information is being presented, maybe you even have a unique spin on the content of the information. You know, maybe people are only ever talking about it from one angle. There are all kinds of endless possibilities. But I want to encourage you that as you’re creating this project or this program or anything that you need to think outside the box. Don’t just look at what everybody else is doing and think that that is the definition of what’s possible for you. That is just what’s being done. It has nothing to do with what you’re able to go out there and do.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:09:34] When I created the Ultimate Bundle, there was nothing like it. So, if I would have just created something that was just similar to what everybody else was doing but a little twist of different, that wouldn’t have been good enough. The whole point was that they had to think outside the box. I had to think in a different way, what was not being done.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:09:50] So, I want you to look at the space and see how people are doing it, what you would want to be different if you were a consumer. You could obviously even do some market research about that as well. And, I want you to put your unique spin on it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:10:03] Third, and this is probably the most important tip of the entire episode so pay attention to number three for sure. But number three is all about if you want a product that is going to generate a lot of revenue for you and is going to continue to generate revenue for you for years to come, it has got to work. That product has got to be amazing. The program has to get people results and people have to love it. Because you can pour in as much money as you want to Facebook ads one day until the cows come home. You can scream about your product on Instagram Stories every single day until you’re exhausted. You could email out to your email list, you know, begging them to buy it. I guarantee you nothing is going to sell this program or this product for you as well as word of mouth. Nothing. Because it’s like a spider web that you can’t control. So, when you have customers who buy your product eventually, or we’re going to – towards the end, I’m going to talk a little bit about beta testing and selling beta testing if you’re new and you’re like you might be listening to me right now being late. But no one’s bought it. So, how do I do that, right?
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:11:13] So, you’re going to give them the best experience possible. You’re going to make that product and that program the best that it can be so that they get a great result and you’re going to use any little blips in the road, anything that comes back that doesn’t quite work to continue to fine-tune and improve it. Like, my Ultimate Bundle wasn’t perfect from the start, but I kept listening and listening, listening and improving, improving, improving.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:11:38] So, you’re going to make sure that you get these people the happiest result that they can get. Of course, we can’t control what other people do. So, like, they have to put in the effort and all that good stuff. But that has more to do with the first episode number 12, where I talked about finding the customers that really need what you’re going to help them solve. So, we want to get the right people into this program, then they’re actually going to benefit from it. And I’m telling you when you change people’s life in that way, when you make people feel better about something, when you make them feel healthier, happier, better in their career or their relationship, their business, whatever it is, they are going to tell other people about it. Because just naturally, think about what happens when you love something. You go around, you tell other people about it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:12:20] So, I saw in my own business after enough people purchased it, after I kept focusing on customer retention, customer happiness, you know, really making the product the best that I could, I saw that all of a sudden the snowball effect started. I started getting tagged in comments online when, you know, somebody would post a question in a Facebook group being like, "Hey, guys. I need a legal contract or I’m so frustrated about this legal thing. I don’t know what to do." Someone would be like, "Hey, you should talk to Sam. I actually bought her bundle and, like, here’s her information. You should buy it, too."
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:12:54] And then it started being like, you know, getting reached out to through email and DMs, saying, "My friend told me this." Then, you know what happened? People started telling other people in big groups, like in schools or like certification programs like, "Hey, I went and worked with this girl. You should, too." And my name started to get dropped in chat and on public boards and schools and all this big stuff. And it just goes and goes and goes. And once that starts going, there’s no stopping it. Really, it is a big, big freight train. You can pour ads in like all day long. You can pay for Facebook ads, but there’s just like nothing. It isn’t valuable to focus on this word-of-mouth effect.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:13:36] It’s something that Tyler McCall – he has a follower-to-fan society, and I always think about that term, follower-to-fan, is that – which really there’s a middle step here that we’re taking somebody from follower to a purchasing customer because we have to trigger them to become a purchasing customer. But then while they’re a customer, I feel like that’s really where we make them a fan because I don’t just want my followers to be fans. I want people who end up coming into my most intimate community, my customer community, I want them to be huge fans because they’re the ones that are going to be little foot soldiers and they’re going to go out and they’re going to tell other people about my stuff.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:14:12] So, that’s what we want to focus on, really getting people the results that they want or your thing actually being the best. I do truly believe in putting your best foot forward as best as you can, and that doesn’t mean it has to be perfect, but you have to keep trying, keep improving something.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:14:28] I also want you to imagine having to confidently talk about this product every day. Like, imagine you’re in my shoes, you’re four years down the line. Every day you’re getting up and you’re opening up the Instagram app, popping open stores, and you are going on and talking about the product that you’re thinking about creating right now or that you have created already and you’re popping it open four years from now and you are talking about that same product confidently on Instagram without any worry or concern that somebody is going to be like, "Oh, I wish I wouldn’t have bought this," or "this wasn’t that helpful," or anything like that. That’s the product that you’re trying to create.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:15:07] I have no problem, no qualms about getting on to Instagram, getting on a workshop, getting on somebody else’s podcast, writing something, and talking about my product asking for the sale. I have nothing to be ashamed of. It’s helping people. People love it. People love it. They tell me every single day. So, there’s nothing for me to feel bad about. I’m not doing anything wrong. As I always say, Target doesn’t feel bad about running another commercial on TV, encouraging us all to go spend more money and go do more Target runs. So, I have nothing to feel bad about because I know the product stands on its own. It’s great. People are going to love it. And if they don’t love it, they weren’t the right fit and then I take a step back and I look at what happened in my marketing. So, think about that. Think about it from that angle. Try to imagine yourself like, "Can I talk about this product like two, three, four five, hopefully, ten years from now?" That’s the kind of product you’re striving to create.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:07] Are you really serious about growing and selling out the offers in your business to your dream customers? If you are, then I want to personally invite you to come to my first ever three-day From Startup Sold Out Live Masterclass Series, all about how to go from just starting up your online business to being sold out and automating processes that will earn you back your time while still having plenty of paying customers that are thrilled to work with you, knocking on your digital door every single day.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:35] Over the course of three, short and sweet 90-minute trainings on Wednesday, November 3rd, Thursday, November 4th, and Friday, November 5th, I’ll teach you the crystalized, super actionable steps that you need to know to be able to do these three things. One, to find your paying customers because you need to stop creating so much free content and tools that nobody’s paying you for and that nobody needs and start using marketing techniques that attract your only your ideal paying customer. So, I’m going to show you exactly how to do that and to stop spinning your wheels wondering if that 10-part Instagram carousel post is a waste of your time or not.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:17:09] In this first master class, I’ll talk with you about actually finding your ideal customer, doing some market research, and we’re going to go way beyond all the fluff and nonsense you hear online about just finding out where this person shops and eats. It is so much more than that.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:17:25] In Masterclass number two, I’m going to teach you how to create your streamlined solution, because sometimes you already have a warm audience that’s excited to buy something from you, but the offer that you create itself just kind of falls flat. So, you need to understand how to create a product with only the beautiful bare bones of what your customer actually needs. So, I’ll show you how to stop overwhelming them with unnecessary bells and whistles so that they’ll actually use your product or service, which will then mean that they actually benefit from it and give you rave reviews to all their friends, really growing that word of mouth network.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:17:59] And last but definitely not least, Masterclass number three, I’m going to teach you all about getting found by your customers and amplifying your impact, and I’m going to do all of that while teaching you how to still have a life and primarily have a life because my business doesn’t run my life even though it’s gotten so much bigger than I ever could have imagined. So, now that you’ve tailored your product to the exact people who will need it to solve their problem, you’ll need to understand how to amplify your impact with advanced PR and advertising and marketing techniques. That’s where this third masterclass will come into play, and it will help you scale what’s already working.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:18:35] All three of these classes are being held virtually, and this is the only time that they’ll actually be happening live. That is a huge deal because I’ve only ever provided legal education in the past and legal products. But now that so many people have asked me how I grew a seven-figure and climbing business in my first five years, it’s time for me to finally spill the secrets of my sales and marketing machine.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:18:56] So, I’m offering these classes live because I know you’ll have loads of questions that you want to ask during this live event, which is why we’re having a Q&A at the end of each one. And if you can’t attend live, be sure to buy a ticket anyway, and we’ll send you the recording of each masterclass video. And if you submit your questions before the class, I’ll even answer it live during the Q&A so you can get your answer during the recording.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:19:18] So, instead of investing in a big price tag, mastermind retreat, or a year-long coaching program with, let’s be honest, a lot of fluff and filler, you’re going to get my most important knowledge and experience growing my business online in this three-part masterclass series for as little as $197. It’s really an awesome deal, especially when you think about the value of getting to ask me questions during the live chat and Q&A portion. You can either buy just one ticket to any three of the classes for $97, or you can get the low bundle price of $197 to grab a ticket to all three masterclasses and the recording. They’re happening at 3 p.m. Eastern,12 p.m. Pacific, on Wednesday, November 3rd, Thursday, November 4th, and Friday, November 5th. But hurry because you’ve got to buy your tickets before 5 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, November 2nd when we close up registration for good. Head to the link in the description of this episode or type in samvanderwielen.com/fsso-oyt into your browser and get tickets now to this special live event. I hope to see you there.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:20:26] So, number four is that I want you to keep in mind as you’re creating this product that whatever it is like as you’re designing a product course, a program, whatever you’re thinking of helping people work through can probably be pared back quite a bit. So, we tend to – because we’re the experts, we tend to undervalue and maybe just underappreciated sometimes how much we have to offer other people and probably how little they really need out of what we can actually offer.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:20:55] So, when I first put the Ultimate Bundle together, it was basically like law school in a nutshell. So, I had put everything, the kitchen sink in there, like you have to learn about this and you have to know about that. And my lessons themselves were super long and super detailed, and I was really obsessed with everybody knowing about the nuances and the details. And as I took feedback in and as I just observed, like user behavior, which is another thing I would encourage you to do if you ever go down like the course or membership route, I was like, "Oh, people don’t need all of this." And what it actually ends up doing is backfiring, and people don’t end up actually consuming or implementing the information.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:21:36] So, number four is all about making sure that we have just what they need. We have the core content in your program, in your product that the person needs to get the desired result, but without all of the fluff and the filler. I really want you to think of every lesson, every module, every, whatever you do as like how does this move them closer to the goal? Because if it doesn’t move them closer to the goal, then it’s kind of fluff or filler, which keeps them from getting to the goal faster. And remember, if people don’t have a good outcome or they don’t experience the desired result that you’re trying to get from creating this program or this product, then they’re not going to be super happy. And if they’re not super happy, then they’re not going to tell other people about it. And we need good testimonials and like all of that kind of stuff.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:22:23] So, I really want you to be thinking about this as you’re creating this product, a product that’s going to make you millions or hundreds of thousands even, is not going to be full of fluff and filler. It doesn’t need to be super long. It needs to be super valuable, and it needs to get people to the desired result as fast as possible.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:22:41] To that point, a little like secret bonus tip here, maybe 4.5, is that any time you can sneak in a couple little like quick wins for clients in a program or a course of something, that’s always a big bonus. So if you can get them like a quick little win off the bat where they achieve something, they finished something, they do something they’ve been holding back on, it will create a snowball effect for them as well to feel motivated to dig into the rest of your stuff.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:23:08] If you want, I could have a whole, another episode, so you can tell me. Send me a DM. Let me know if this would be interesting to you, but I could do a whole, another episode on customer happiness and retention. For those of you who have courses and membership programs, I think there are so many things you could be doing, and group programs. I think there’s so many things you could be doing to keep clients engaged, to keep people happy, to get them on task, get them accomplishing the things that you’ve laid out in the course. Like, there’s just so much. So, let me know if that’s something you’d ever want me to chat about.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:23:38] All right. So, number five, I want to talk with you about pricing this product. Because when it comes to pricing a product, what I see so often is that when people are either creating a new product or they’re new to business, or maybe they’re just feeling still a little uncertain that people will buy this and all of that kind of stuff, they price a product really low. And so, if that is you or you’re struggling with any of those things, make sure you go back and listen to number 12, episode number 12 of On Your Terms because I do talk about finding the right customers and all that kind of stuff.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:24:09] But also now, after listening to this episode, I hope you can see that the more comfortable and confident you get with the results of your program, the more you’re going to feel comfortable asking what you’re worth. So, you know, you don’t need to charge $47 for a product if you know you’re changing someone’s life. So, that’s the other thing. Like, I know that my product is not the cheapest on the market. I also know that it really works and that a lot of people do find the value in it. So, I’m not trying to prove the product’s value to those who don’t see the value in it. I’m trying to get it into the hands of those people who need it most and who truly do see the value and who are ready to put this stuff to action and make the changes and get their businesses legally protected and they can make it happen. And there are all kinds of things we can do, by the way, with payment plans trying to make it more accessible, having sales, you know, things like that. But you can get paid what your product is worth, especially when you’re actually helping people.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:25:04] So, I want you to remember, too, that when you try to price something at a $47 value, 97, even 197, you know anything probably less than several hundred dollars, you’re really putting yourself in a position where you’ve created a volume business, maybe by accident. So, if we were like Marie Forleo, we had like Marie ForLeo-sized email list and you created a $47 product, maybe you can make a ton of money on the sale of that product. But when you’re starting out and you have a small audience, by creating low price, low ticket offers, you’re putting yourself in a position to have to require yourself to sell a ton of that product in order to make it work.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:25:46] The thought process is totally backwards. The thought process that you may have at this point is like if I price something cheap enough, then more people will want to buy it. The problem is, you don’t have enough leads right to do that. You have probably a lead generation problem as well as a sale problem. So, we need a lot of consistent and fresh leads coming in who are all on target and the right person, all that. And then, the product needs to speak to those leads, and that’s how we make sales.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:26:12] There’s also – I find a like psychological problem with pricing as well. So, when I go to look at products sometimes and I see how cheap they are, personally I tend to think that that means it’s a low value. So, I see low ticket, I think low value. So if your product, if you’re doing these things that we’re talking about so far in this episode and your product is delivering results, changing people’s lives, it’s going to bring them more money or more time or more something, then you need to charge and your price needs to reflect that. Because you don’t want people thinking, "Oh, this must not be that helpful." So, it can actually have a reverse effect on it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:26:51] Tip number six is that you also want to create a product that allows you to scale. So, a lot of times I’ll see somebody create a product or you’ll see somebody who’s struggling a little bit in online business and then all of a sudden they’re like, "Hey, guys. I’m going to sell mugs or I’m going to sell T-shirts, or I’m going to start a new, like, one-to-one intensive coaching session. Like, you can have three hours with me," or something like that. That kind of stuff, when you create, when you spend your time and you’re capital really with your audience. Like, we don’t get a lot of time to talk to our audience. We don’t get a lot of their attention. So, you need to think carefully about how you’re using it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:27:26] And if you’re using it to advertise either that low ticket offer or something that’s like a one-off thing, like a one-time 90-minute session, where is that headed? Where are they supposed to go after that? Unless you have a funnel set-up where the person gets a one-time 90-minute session, and then they can upgrade to your program at the end or something. But it really doesn’t make sense in terms of if you are sitting here today and you’re like, I want to create the product or program that ends up generating me millions. You need to be thinking about that on the front end of it being something that is scalable. Something that is able to continue to be sold over and over and over again without requiring more of you.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:28:07] Because the more of you that’s involved, the more times that you have to be live and present and create content over and over and over again as opposed to creating something once and being able to sell it, the less scalable it’s going to be. And really only those kinds of products or programs are able to generate those types of revenue returns. So it’s not that there’s anything wrong with creating other kinds of products that do require more of you, or if you’re someone who loves the coaching aspect or loves the consulting aspect and you love being involved with your clients, that’s totally fine. It’s just that in this episode, we’re just talking about things that are scalable, things that maybe you can sell while you’re sleeping, I hope, and generating you a lot of consistent revenue, no matter what’s going on in your life.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:28:50] Okay. So, now number seven is all about the beta testing phase, and this is for you. If you are kind of in the, like you’re conceptualizing the product or you’ve maybe even tried selling it but it’s not really working yet, I would hope that you would go back and do the things that we’ve talked about so far in this episode and gone back and listened to episode 12, so you make sure that you’ve done kind of the more marketing and research side of it correctly. But if you now are ready but you’re not sure like if it’s, you know, if it does get those people the results, you don’t have any testimonials yet, you’re not sure about the pricing, I want you to start by beta testing it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:29:25] So, I can only tell you the way that I’ve done this. I don’t know what the official way or the right way is of doing this. But when I created the Ultimate Bundle, I think I found about 12 to 15 people who were kind of in my community, like they were responding to my DMs, they maybe were responding to some emails and things. Maybe I hadn’t even had free sessions with them at that point. It’s just like discovery call-type things to get to know them. And I reached out to them and I said, "Hey, I’m working on this product. I know that you said you needed some contracts and you needed this or that. How about – this product is going to normally retail for – I think at that point I thought maybe a thousand dollars or something – but I’m willing to offer it to you for X." It was like a couple of hundred bucks in exchange for a testimonial. And I think at that time, I was smart enough to require a video testimonial as well.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:30:16] So during this phase, not only will you get a little bit of cash flow, which will help to maybe make up for some of the expenses that you’ve incurred probably in creating this product, but you will also get the opportunity to get some proof of product, proof of concept. So, the fact that you could even get somebody to buy this through a beta testing alone will tell you whether or not this is starting to pick up some traction.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:30:40] If people aren’t even interested in the beta stuff, there are several things to go back and to rework. It might be that you haven’t properly explained the value of whatever it is that you’re offering. A lot of times that tends to be because people focus on more like the deliverables. Like, there are 10 calls. There are 12 workbooks. There are three sessions, blah blah blah. We want to talk more about the transformations and the results that would come from it, what things that they’ll actually be able to do after they’ve taken your program or while they’re in it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:31:12] So, we want to focus on that value. Maybe it’s time to look at whether or not the target audience was correct. Going back to episode 12, for sure, talking about whether or not maybe the name you know is bad or is confusing. I’ve had people just rework titles and names before, as well as sometimes even the branding. So, sometimes you know the branding gets too stuck. Like, people get like, "Oh. I can’t release this until I get this like logo and this thing or a website," or whatever. I’m not really talking about that. But I do believe, like – just like anything, it’s not so black and white. It’s like – the stuff doesn’t come down to – like, it doesn’t make or break with your branding, but it can help. And the way that I think it can help is that depending on what you do, I think that you can convey a lot with your branding.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:32:00] So, I’m very visual. So, maybe I overemphasize this for myself, but I thought a lot about, with the Ultimate Bundle, what the colors would be, you know what the photography would be. For example, because I’m a lawyer and people tend to think that lawyers are super stuffy and like serious and scary or whatever they think about lawyers, I wanted to accurately convey the fact that I’m not like that. Hopefully, you know that by now. So, I was very intentional about the fact that when I did a photo shoot and I knew that I was going to be using those photos for the Ultimate Bundle, I made sure that I was wearing really relaxed clothes and I also made sure I was wearing the colors of not only my brand but of the product as well, which are all relaxing. They all kind of have beach vibes, cozy vibes, relaxing vibes. I wanted people to see my product and instantly feel at ease.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:32:56] So, I do think that there is something to it, right? You can have softer fonts. You can have softer colors. You can have more professional-looking stuff. I mean, sometimes I see things and I think it just doesn’t look that professional, right? And I understand that when you’re starting out, it’s so hard because you’re like, you’re on a budget and all this. But with the tools that we have available to us now, with things like Canva having such professional-looking templates for free, I think the key is to pick a brand palette, a brand kind of vibe that you go with, and then be consistent so that people’s eyes start to get trained.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:33:31] Like, think about back in the day when you used to go on Pinterest and you’d be scrolling through. Maybe it was just me because I always look at food stuff, but like I would see a food pin and I would instantly know which blogger it was because they each have such a unique style of photography and the font and the colors and the way that they would design their pins. So, you kind of want that same psychology to apply that, you know, you don’t want to be just picking randomly every single day, like a different canvas template that just looks cool because you think it’s trendy. If you have the more ’80s like pop vibe, you want to go with that. If you have the more like desert vibe, like bohemian vibe that’s on Canva a lot, go with that. But stick with whatever it is. Stick with your brand colors. Create the palette on Canva, for example, and you want to be consistent.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:34:16] So, if you’re just starting up, I would think about your branding, make things look consistent and professional. I would go back to the drawing board if people aren’t buying the beta, if they don’t like it, if they don’t complete it. Sometimes people find that when they sell things in beta, they don’t get much feedback from people at all. So that can be a sign that you maybe need to rework the audience a little bit.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:34:36] All right. Last but not least, we need to – number eight, sell, sell, sell that product and we need to sell it and sell it again and then sell it some more and then create some evergreen systems that sell it for you. And that is all that I’m going to talk about in Masterclass number two of my From Startup to Sold Out Masterclass Series that I’m hosting this November 3rd, 4th, and 5th, where I’m going to teach you the crystalized, super actionable steps that you need to be able to find your paying customers, create this incredible product that you can sell for years and years to come even on autopilot, and then get found by customers and amplify your impact through evergreen marketing strategies, traditional PR, everything in between.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:35:17] So, what we talked about in today’s episode is what I’m going to cover in Masterclass number two. What you heard in episode 12, I’ll be covering in the first masterclass. You can buy a ticket to just one of these masterclasses or save and get a ticket to all three. We’ll drop the link in the show description below.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:35:35] In the meantime, I would love for you to send me a DM on Instagram @samvanderwielen. Let me know how this episode was for you. What is your number one takeaway? What is the thing that just kind of popped in your mind when you heard me talk about how you could create a product that can make you millions? I’m so curious to know. So let me know. And before you go, if you haven’t already, make sure that you follow and subscribe to On Your Terms wherever you listen to podcasts. If you listen on Apple Podcasts, now’s your time to rate and review the podcast. It helps us so much to get this podcast into other entrepreneurs’ hands. With that, I can’t wait to chat with you until next week.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:36:15] Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram @samvanderwielen, and send me a DM to say hi.
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