- by Rory Ramsden
Central to the success of any business, internet based or not, is your product marketing strategy. Creating a sales funnel without one will fail to deliver long term. When you have a strategy, you have a vision. You can communicate to one and all why you are in business. A strategy has measurable goals so that you can quickly tell how you are progressing.
Your vision explains how you will bring your expertise to bear on the challenges that the people in your market are faced with. It is always customer centric. It’s not about you. It’s about how you can help others achieve their goals as quickly as possible.
Central to your marketing strategy is your story. This tells your prospects about your products/services and how they came into being. It tells how you discovered your innovative new solution. How you decided to bring it to market or sometimes how you were reluctant to do so but were forced by others to do so.
Your sales funnel is a mere servant of your strategy
At the very top, your funnel is just there to ensure that those who ‘put their hand up’ to express an interest in what you are doing can do so by subscribing to your list and get more information. It’s your opportunity to send a sequence of emails that explains more before inviting them to join your product launch list.
Discover a micro-niche that meets these two criteria…
- There’s a hungry crowd
- They have money and are prepared to spend it
And you have the makings of a successful online business.
Laser focus your market research by testing several lead capture pages using different lead magnets and then move to staging a webinar series in which you interview known and respected experts on your chosen subject. This builds your credibility and trains your prospects to take action when you ask them to.
Record these interviews and get them transcribed and you have an instant product to launch. Your audience has helped you create your first product and optimize your offer through the question and answer session at the end of each session.
I call this a seed launch because you are actually creating your product as you go. Pivot at the end of each webinar to talk about the next in the series and tell people that you will announce something special that they should not miss – You see this technique used going into the break on TV – in the last in the series, pivot to your offer and the price. The built in scarcity is simple. The webinar ends within minutes
Until you make sales to real people…
You have can never be sure that you will make money. Validating your market like this saves time and energy. You will also have a snapshot of the conversion rate for actual sales rather than opt-in rates to a free newsletter as indication of a business opportunity. Having an inbox magazine as a relationship builder is a great first step but don’t assume people are willing to buy until you make them an offer
Once you are confident you have a profitable niche, the next step is to survey your buyers to find out the one thing that they really really need help. Best of all, get on the phone with them – this one-to-one call should be part of your original beta launch offer – and simply chat about the challenges they face. When the opportunity arises, ask questions. The insights you will get are pure gold and will help you take your seed product to the next level.
Once you have a list of the most common problems in your market you can integrate the solutions into your expanded product and then boost the perceived value of your offer by delierving it using downloadable audio, video or text not to mention further one-to-one class, master minds, inner cercle private tuition, workshops or conferences.
This is customer centric research at its best and may even throw up new product ideas for future development.
Alchemy and Your offer
Mining your relevant and supporting assets and bundling them into your offer is all about alchemy. The more value you can include the better. In the end, your offer has to pack a powerful punch and leave your prospects not daring to risk missing out on such overwhelming value. The price has to pale into insignificance in their minds
But remember that, during your product launch sequence, you will be stacking the cool by adding at least one fast mover bonus, a sprint bonus and an unannounced bonus so hold a few powerful ones back to help you get your prospects off the fence at the last minute.
Note: Under promising and over delivering will win you long term clients. The reverse might give you a short term gain but will blow your reputation and may even force you into another unrelated niche
Your beta product launch
Before you go ahead with your first launch to your whole list, I recommend that you first do a beta launch to a small group. This will allow you to test your offer, your sales copy, your technical processes and all of the other moving parts of your launch. Knowing that you have improved your CTR from your first seed launch will give you confidence but don’t rush forward until you are satisfied.
You need to consider your ability to deliver on your promises especially when it comes to personal access. There are only so many hours in the day so make sure that only your very best clients – the ones paying top dollar – are afforded the privilege. You are not in the business of trading your time for money. Your goal is to limit personal involvement by leveraging every minute of your working day to the maximum
The 30,000 foot marketing strategy and the value staircase
Wherever your prospects step onto your value staircase you must be able to offer other higher or lower value products that are relevant to the product that you have already sold to them. That is unless they buy your entry level offer in which case the only way is up.
It’s also important to realize that your best customers will leave you and buy from someone else if you can’t offer them what they want. Which is another good reason to get feedback from them constantly.
Looking down from 30,000 feet allows you to see where there is an opportunity to insert another product designed to fill a very tightly focused and proven demand. When you have built a complete and integrated sales funnel of related products and stacked one product launch on top of another for each, cross-promoting your offers will squeeze the last dime of ROI out of the set…
Putting the cart before the horse by designing a sales funnel when you have no idea how it will fit into your overall marketing strategy may work in the short term but it is certainly not a good way to approach the long term development and success of your business. Even if you start by working ‘in the rough’ at least you will know what price point your next product launch should target.
If you have not done a launch before or even if you have and now realize that hiring a launch manager would be a smart thing to do, you may be wondering how much hiring a product launch manager will cost. The quick answer is not as much as you might expect. Our aim is to structure a win-win sort of a deal with clients. We get paid when you get paid. That is we work on a percentage of the ‘pre-return’s gross’ revenue that your product launch makes. Naturally, you have to pay a fee to get on our calendar. We can only take on 2 or 3 clients per year so our time is valuable and we must know what our schedule is well in advance. It would be unfair on our other clients if we didn’t insist on this. Find out more by booking a free consultation with me now