Despite all the advice to "never underestimate people's intelligence" -- it's pretty hard not to.
If you ask me to summarize all the things I teach, I feel it basically boils down to "Stop being a dumbass."
KEEP IT SIMPLE
In the past when mapping out new business ideas and strategies and plans, I wanted to have everything in place before getting started. Especially back-end offers.
I was, and still am, firmly aware that the person with the best back end strategy will win in business.
If you can spend more money to get a customer than your competitor can, you'll win every time.
And as such, if you have a better back end -- more things to sell the same customers -- you'll win.
And in the past I would plan it all out ahead of time.
"Yeah, we'll offer this book on the front end, leading down this intricate email follow-up system going to this webinar, which sells the audio course. Then we'll do direct mail and a live seminar and we'll sell a coaching group membership from the stage. And we need to have a continuity program to upsell after every sale..."
I think most people do that. But in fact it is a clever way your brain is using to procrastinate while you still feel you're getting shit done.
Do you know what you really need?
If you're just starting a business, your one and only priority is this:
Find a single idea people are willing to pay money for.
Or, in the words of Rick Butts: "Your greatest asset is an original solution for an identifiable group of people with money."
That's what you need.
And you can figure out if you have a good business plan over a single weekend.
Start there. Everything else comes later.
You need to be shipping something as soon as possible. If you can generate a single customer who pays any amount of money for anything, you're in business.
Until you can do that, you don't have anything. So don't worry about anything else.
Don't even worry about a product yet. Who cares? Just get a customer.
GET PAID NOW
Don't create products before getting paid. Do live events: Like a live web class or live coaching. Those things don't require you to sit down and record 10 hours of video, editing and packaging and everything else. You'll get paid to create as you go along. If enough people pay you for it, you have a finished product you can sell over and over, with built in social proof because you had live participants.
How do we find the "sticky idea?"
I watched a presentation from the Nordic eCommerce Summit 2012, featuring Gary Vaynerchuk. I listened, horrified at my fellow countrymen speaking English, but endured to listen to Gary.
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Something he said: "Always reverse-engineer. Always."
I think that is profound. Whatever you're trying to do, someone else is already doing.
Someone else already has your customers.
What are they doing and how can you do it better?
For example... the biggest criterion that determines whether or not you will be successful in entering a new market is whether or not other people are already paying for customers there.
Are there long-running ads, banners, etc?
Is it possible to acquire new customers at a profit? You know if you can see that others are doing it. If other people aren't doing it, there's probably a reason they aren't.
There are certain ways of identifying gaps in a marketplace, ways I don't have time to cover here, but that is where you start.
Where are they buying ads?
Can you buy ads there too? Can you partner with these people?
HELP THEM BETTER
To give you a quick outline of the steps:
- Figure out exactly who you want as a customer.
- Figure out who's already selling to them.
- Figure out exactly WHAT they are being sold (the basic premise of business itself is the providing of solutions: your customers have a problem and are paying for solutions -- what solutions are already being sold to them?)
- Figure out how you can help your customers better. (Mantra: Help Them Better)
- Do the least possible to figure out if you have something that people are willing to give you money for.
- Repeat step 5 until you do.
- Execute until eyeballs bleed.
Another thing Gary said was that the two things you need to win in business are Awareness and Execution.
If you look at the above steps, that's exactly what they are. No more and no less. The first steps are to become aware of what's needed, and the rest is fulfilling those needs.
Keep it simple.
Find a single idea people will pay you money for. Don't worry about anything else.
Here is another simple exercise you can do to come up with your idea:
Go out and find the top 10 information products that are being sold to your customer.
Go through all of their sales letters and copy and paste all the bullets and headlines into a new document.
Headlines often sell the primary big benefit of an offer, and the bullets are the rest of the benefits. Bullets are often the real meat and potatoes of an ad.
Got it? Congratulations, you now have a list of all the reasons anyone in your market buys anything.
You can use that to your advantage.