Discover how to sell before you build by applying lean marketing technique -- building a minimum viable product, gain momentum and motivates you undoubtedly forward building your online business.
||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
||5 publishers interested
Today, we’ve seen people give up their successful professional career to the ‘laptop lifestyle’, we’ve heard stay-at-home mum builds a five figure income. We’ve also meet people who’ve gone from debt to becoming millionaires. New terms like webpreneuer, micropreneur, infopreneur has emerged all around the world.
Why is this? because web-based business are low in cost to start, many resources are available if you know where to get them and routine tasks can be easily automated or outsourced. Most importantly, it gives you the flexibility to work anywhere, anytime you want. No commuting time. No office politics.
Despite all the benefits of running a web-based business, not enough people able to reap the advantage of new technology. They simply not sure how to generate a real sustainable income online. This is one of those kinds of books that will break the fear in you, giving you the confident that it’s not that hard after all.
There are many practical strategies out there, but many do not build you a five six figures, this is why… For example, selling an ebook for $29 - $49 (you will have very good content to sell at this price) You will need to generate 400 sales a month for a five figure. When you use a landing page, average conversion rate at 1%, you’d need a total of 40,000 visitors a month! Given a monetary value to a visitor say $1, that’s $40k expenses! That’s why most gets frustrated and demotivated after figuring this out later.
This is a practical and ’no-story-telling’ blueprint to get you inspired to succeed your small business in a minimalist style. This book offers a step-by-step approach to first validating your idea with paid customers, writing a book and eventually turn it into a coaching course which has higher conversion rates. This book is written for audience without followers and with small funding.
This blueprint will help you produce a product at the end of the process, a book or a coaching online course. Carefully plan, structure and design of your product is important to increase audience confident by giving them the impression that you’re serious in business, although you’re small.
This strategy includes:
- Part 1 - Validate with pre-orders
- Part 2 - Develop actual products
- Part 3 - Start pre-launch sequence
In summary, this book will walk you through a process by validating your book idea with a group of paid customers who can’t wait to have it. Do not proceed to the next stage if your idea doesn’t pass the preorder test, repeat the steps until you are confident that your product sells.
Then we will detail through how and what are the tools and tactics we used to build the actual product in the most cost effective way. A successful launch must start way ahead of the actual launch, Finally, we will talk about how to organise and plan your pre-launch to making sure your target audiences are well informed of your upcoming launch.
This process is sufficient to get you started on your new venture — a coaching business and as an expert in your field. You’re sure to have lots of work to do, to succeed in your business.
And with that … let’s get started.
Introduction - First and Foremost
Why this book is written?
Who is this book for?
What does this book cover?
Part 1 - Validate with pre-orders
Chapter 1 - What is lean for startup
Chapter 2 - Identify target audience
Chapter 3 - Competitor analysis
Chapter 4 - Customer development
Chapter 5 - Draft your pitch
Chapter 6 - Trial pitch to market
Chapter 7 - Upgrading pitch experiment
Chapter 8 - Bring traffics with paid ads
Chapter 9 - Building functional MVP
Part 2 - Start pre-launch sequence
Chapter 10 - Setting up landing page
Chapter 11 - Driving email collection
Chapter 12 - Inviting authorities review
Chapter 13 - Starting pre-launch sequence
Chapter 14 - Working on after launch follow-ups
BONUS - Develop creative coaching course
Chapter 15 - Preparing your mindset
Chapter 16 - Quick glance into production milestone and pricing
Chapter 17 - Inviting feedback from followers
Chapter 18 - Get creative with your eCourse
Chapter 19 - Refining product
Closing - The last chapter
About the author
This book is useful if you are a professional who has idea and wish to quit your job and wants to start your small online business or wants to start sharing and teaching your skills with a online coaching course.
In this book I assume:
- You don’t have $x million sitting in your bank account
- You don’t have huge followers and an ad-filled blog
- You don’t want to work 50 hours week for predictable low pay
- You don’t want to repeat yourself with your everyday routine without excitement, feeling guilty not having more time for your love ones.
With some tweak and creativity, this book will still be helpful if you are planning on ebook as a start, YouTube videos or other information products, it's totally ok that you don't have a product now, we will figure this out together along the way.
One step at a time, this book will teach you how to start as an authority in your niche, there you can carry on with the opportunities open to you to next level.
Karsin is a fan of growth hacking. She has stayed in digital marketing and eCommerce for good reasons. Inspired to offer advice for friends and community to start market online, she is passionate about the mobile lifestyle, purpose in life and productivity that simply works and is strong believer that small words give big meanings.
Task - Find your niche
What skills do you have? What’s your interest? For me, I wanted to establish as an authority in assisting clients to create effective conversion strategies since I am a professional trained in eCommerce and digital marketing.
I believe with my years of experience in the field, it's good exercise to gather my thoughts, start organising my skills and make it work for me and other professionals. With this book, I share proven steps (by gurus around the world) how to start afresh in a home-based setup with your skill; without quitting your job ... just yet.
While you can find a lot of inspiration in the niche that you are considering starting, you shouldn’t pursue a random idea just because you read somewhere that it’s profitable and main stream with huge audiences. The best business ideas come within yourself, your strongest area of interest.
Many started building businesses chasing pure market opportunities without a passion for it. I have started a couple before and honestly, it doesn't end well. When things get tough, you need inspiration and external motivation beyond the dollar sign to pull it through. If you’re only in it for the money, you’ll soon give up and be replaced by genuine people who care about what they’re doing more than you are — Simply because they are more inspired and motivated than you.
Here are couple of questions you can ponder while brainstorming your ideas.
* What is the most meaningful part of your day?
* What topics could you enjoy writing 1,000 words article about?
* What’s an achievement you feel proud of yourself?
* Any specific aspect or function you love in your job?
Take some time to answer the above questions and come up with three general topics. These could potentially be your calling to build a business and purpose around. Enjoy the ambiguity now as you don’t need to know the exact outcome at this stage.
Task - Leverage your strengths
Everyone is born with their unique skills and strengths, and it’s much easier to excel by focusing on your strengths than fixing up your weaknesses and trying to “complete” yourself as a whole. It’s been proven by Psychology Today that focusing on your strengths makes you more confident.
People who engage their strengths on a daily basis have a higher level of positivity, resulting in a happier human being, which creates a buffer against the negative effects of stress and fatigue.
Choosing to work with your strengths unlock your full potential to the problems you encounter, because you are more comfortable within your own elements and belongings.
If you’re unsure of what your skills are, assess yourself with this free skill assessment guide by Ryan Robinson. This worksheet will help you with the process of discovering your skills and you can pick it up from there.
Task - Crafting your pitch
Great! Now you're down to one idea, one step closer to knowing what you want.
Next, we need to craft a quick elevator pitch to test our idea. How exactly do you craft a winning elevator pitch? Here’s how.
We have promised to provide values so what make you different from your competitors? How do you identify the blue ocean and not get killed in the red sea? This is an evolving process; you may not have answer now, but eventually you will find out. Here’s how I did it.
Focusing on values, I listed what was missing on my competitor's content. I soon realised that as much as these authors were trying to help readers to build a home-based business, no one had outlined the exact steps from start to end. They were offering every valuable piece of missing puzzle here and there along the way. Please don’t get me wrong, they were offering valuable insight in their topic. I learned from them too!
And most importantly, my greatest fear of starting any business is — failure. What if I launch a product at the end and no one buys it? If there is a way to mitigate or minimise the chances of failure in starting a home-based business, that would be fantastic!
That rings a bell! I found the "Ah ha” moment to my topic. I believe the most important step to succeed in a home-based business is that we must validate the idea with paid customers. That will significantly reduce the chances of failure, IMHO.
Tips - Hello, Michelle
I started to imagine who my audience is. A lady in her late 30s with two lovely daughters with 5 figures income, who want to quit her job as a professional finance advisor, a VP of Investments of one of the top investment company.
Can't you imagine a person like Michelle would be? When I am writing this book, I imagine Michelle all the time (and she is an actual person, there I can even imagine her personality and attitude towards her jobs and her quit intention as well, how fantastic!)
She helps me focus on what to write and how my audience look like so she could quit her job after reading my book.
Task - Drafting your magnetic title
Your title is the first, and perhaps only, impression you make on a reader. Without a compelling promise that turns him into a reader, the rest of your words may as well not exist so writing a great title is critical.
Here are some interesting statistics.
Based on the 80/20 rule of title, on average, 8 out of 10 people will read the title, and two will read the rest. This is the power of your title, and why it’s so important to determine the effectiveness of your masterpiece.
Your title should summarise your content as a whole. I suggest that you have a 10-15-word title and less than 30 words for the sub title. Your title needs to be catchy and concise. People DO judge the book by its cover.
Suggested by Copybloggger, here is the 10 sure-fire headlines formulas that did wonders.
* Who else wants [something]?
* The secret of [something]
* Here is a method that is helping [something] to [something]
* Little known ways to [something]
* Get rid of [something] once and for all
* Here’s a quick way to [solve something]
* Now you can have [something desirable][great circumstance]
* [Do something] like [world-class example]
* Have a [or] build a [something] You can be proud of
* What everybody ought to know about [something]
Another school of thought would be having a title that induces fear, uncertainty and doubt. For example, what happens if you don’t do [something] on a [cause]?
Copywriter Clayton Makepeace ask himself 6 questions before starting to write his title:
* Does your title offer the reader a reward for reading?
* What specifics could you add to make your title more intriguing and believable?
* Does your title trigger a strong, actionable emotion the reader already has about the subject?
* Does your title present a proposition that will instantly get your prospect nodding his or her head?
* Could your title benefit from the inclusion of a proposed transaction?
* Could you add an element of intrigue to drive prospect into your copy?
There is no fast rule when creating your most killing title. My title has been revised unlimited times until the the day before it gets publish.
Task - Cross-check competitors
First simple rule, never select a niche with no competition; it simply means there is no existing audience for your product. Now you are glad you have competitors. An entrepreneur knows that competition is a good thing because someone else has already spent the time and money validating the idea for you!
Plus, you not only know there is a market for it — but you also know what can be improved for the better. Udemy is one of the largest course marketplaces. You can search if a similar product already exists. Check the number of enrolled students to gauge its popularity and also check out the good and bad comments. You may want to maintain the good and focus on the bad. Give people a better version of what they’ve already been getting.
Task - Validate strength of idea
The lucrative niche tend to be in these Big 3:
1. Health (physical, spiritual, and emotional)
2. Wealth (business, investing, money related)
3. Relationship (marriage, dating, parenting)
* Amazon best seller rank
* Google keyword planner
* Facebook insight
Task - Get the customer to pay
Most of the above tips go into making sure you’ve got a good potential idea on your hands, which is obviously important to understand up front so you can continue to build it out the right way.
But, if you truly want to know whether or not a product will sell or not, you’ve got to get people to pull out their wallets and actually pay you for it.
Notice how I didn’t really get into surveys or simply creating landing pages to build an interest list. Those can help, but when you ask your audience “Would you buy this?”, many may say they will, but when it comes time to pay they don’t. Having a list of 1000 people who claimed they will buy could end up leading to disappointment.
Building a list is important, but it’s not a true indication of whether or not a product will sell.
True validation comes from people actually paying you for that idea. And yes, even before they can get it. If you get 5-10 preorders, then this is an excellent sign that your idea works! With effective marketing, it’s easier to get hundreds or more customers for your product.
Task - Create a feedback group
You need honest feedback towards crafting your viable idea. Is this a daunting step? Definitely! You’re making yourself vulnerable and get checked and judged by others on the quality of your work. Your little devil in you called your “ego” is jumping on a hot pan. How much sweat is that!
Like it or not, this step will make a huge different in the result. Usually, they're a group of audience from your target market. The goal of the feedback group is to make sure you’re building something they need — and want bad enough to pay for it.
The biggest mistake people make when creating a product is keeping the idea to themselves. You must share your idea with others if you believe in it. Jon Saddington, a user-successful serial entrepreneur once said this, "Because this is what happens when you start sharing that idea–it starts becoming refined. And a refined idea is a much more mature idea."
We’re in constant fear that someone will take our idea … Jon continues, "the difference between you and the next person on the street who has a great idea–if you’re committed and you love the idea, you will actually see it to completion. Most people never execute on their ideas because they just never execute. But talking about where it starts is when you start talking about it with other people, you continue to drive the motivation. You continue to build momentum, and you continue to get excited on a much better and much more refined idea."
Task - Produce a sample chapter
Sit down with your pen and paper, create a sample chapter of your ebook. I suggest to include the “what does this book covers”, “table of content” and “chapter one”. These informations should suffice to let your audience knows what your book about and the approach. The chapter content should give them some idea on your writing style.
Get feedback from those who validate it. Is this book looks interesting to you? why and why not? What would you look forward reading the most of this book, or what do you feel missing based on the table of contents?
Task - Quick one-page
Now you will be investing some money for your business. You will need a domain name and subscribe to a landing page provider.
Please be reminded this is not a get rich quick scheme, you are creating a business and products that are valuable and therefore it deserves a little investment. It shouldn’t pain a little for something like a domain name which eventually will becomes your brand.
For those who don’t already have an audience, you’re going to have to pay a little bit to discover whether or not a targeted audience on a platform like Facebook, for example, would be willing to pay you for that product idea.
you’ll want to truly understand the ins and outs of what this product will become so you can setup a sales page as you would if it really existed. You could drive traffic directly to that page from Facebook.
Be honest with your audience and tell them the ebook is not yet created, you give them something for buying as VIP and say straight up that you’ll continue writing if you have a certain amount of interest.
Task - Co-production
Involve your audience in your product creation process. Make sure they know they helped co-creared the idea. You can achieve this by engage your audience with questions. Email them on new content, ask them for feedback and relevant problems that might arise on the content.
It’s important to let them know your product is a result of them bringing up their problem, asking collaborations to solve these problems.
Reinforce to your audience they played an important role in co-created the product and after this, you are ready for a preorder exercise. Sincerely thank you them for their help, and you will offer them a token of appreciation as the first-to-use VIP for your product.
Task - Social/Influencer proof
You need to acquire ate least 3-5 social proof from your audience about how excited they are for your product. Take a target of 5-10 guest posts on well-known blogs, which you can link to your preorder page.
Getting influencer proof will be very interesting task on how you can first get some big names in your product industry to give you a quote or testimonial. No doubt you must guaranteed you are producing a valuable product that will also give them values.
You will be amazed most influencers they are actually approachable and willing to help because they have gone through this stage, they clearly understand how you're feeling now. They will be there willingly to give you your “lucky day” and it’s your turn to impress them with your approach.
Identify the influencers in your world. Ask yourself “Who has achieved what you want to achieve? Who inspires you? Who is your idol?” Make a list of 5-15 people. Put your super aspirational VIPs who you think is greatest to have but looks impossible, don’t forget to include those closer to you who usually more accessible. Now, choose top 3 people who you want to build relationship with to start from there.
Next, research their needs and add values accordingly. Proactively stand out as a giver naturally attracts attentions. You can express gratitude the impact they’ve had on your life. You can promote their content and products. Make 2-3 impressions in short period of time.
Task - Create customer hunger
Building scarcity in your customer’s mind is important to get preorders. These simple two ways would do the trick.
* Limit the period of time available for preorder.
* Limit the number of spots available for preorder.
Send a few reminders to your audience about the preorder offer and how appreciate you’re having them for your product.
Task - Get customer to pay
It’s not easy to truly validate an idea, but it’s easier to face the reality and putting the time and effort up front then wasting a load of time and money down the road when you find out your product didn’t sell.
Tactics like this never guarantee the success of your product, but at least it increase the chances of your success.
Task - Status updates
Give your preorder customers periodic status update. Continue to show appreciation by offering small reward to sweeten the deal.