Making products can get expensive and time consuming. But, you’ve got to have them if you want to make any money.
The most common way to get started online is with a blog. This slowly grows until you have a strong core of subscribers who enjoy your work and then you release your first product.
This first product is usually an ebook of some description.
Which makes sense because it’s a low price point, easy to make and can be packed with high quality content.
You may even have started with this product and then built your subscribers list by selling it.
It doesn’t matter which route you took because it will ultimately lead you to…
A bigger product.
This product may be a small piece of software, a WordPress plugin or a tool that helps your readers achieve their desires.
The chances are that when you first start developing a product like this you’ll use a service like Freelancer or Elance to get this done as cheaply as possible.
But, if you want to continue to grow your company then you’ll at some point be looking to make bigger projects that a lot of the smaller developers don’t have the expertise to do.
There will also be the concern about ongoing support once it’s launched. Particularly if it’s a web app or similar.
Which means one thing…
You’ll start to use better developers.
And with better developers comes significantly higher development costs.
Once you get into higher development costs, product launches and retention start to become a lot more important because if you do a good launch then after the affiliate commissions, transaction fees etc… you may only just cover your costs on the launch. You will still need to make your profit for the hours of time spent working with your developers to make the product.
But there’s a better way!
A way that means you have absolutely no risk in developing your product.
An approach that means you will already have paid for the developers time and your time before you begin developing.
A method that means you get your products made for free.
In the next few paragraphs I’m going to outline how this process works. It’s very simple. Following that I’m going to share with you what you need to look out for. If you don’t plan for this then you’ll regret it.
There is one key to making a successful product… customers.
Your customers must WANT your product badly enough to spend money on it. And that means it must solve a problem or fulfill a desire that nothing else does or better than everything else.
So, to get your product made for free you simply need to…
Sell it before you’ve started making it.
This is quite a strange concept, but one that works exceptionally well.
You have an idea for a product, you’ve done the market research which indicates it would be in-demand. But, however good your research, you’ll never know for sure until you actually start selling your product.
If you sell it before you start making it then you’ll know for sure whether or not it’s going to be popular enough.
But to do this you need to have a plan and you need to know:
- Exactly what the product will do
- How much it will cost to develop (both developers time and your time)
- How long it will take to develop (always add at least 4 weeks extra on)
- What your price-point will be
Next you need to work out how much you want to make for putting this product together. If you’re selling a product before it’s been made then you need to offer a discount to your customers for jumping on board at the beginning.
For example, if you were going to sell the product for $197 then you may want to sell it before it’s been developed for $97. Your customers will get it cheaper, but have to wait for it to be made.
With this figure you can then calculate how many sales you need to make it worthwhile developing the product.
Now put together a sales page as if the product had been made but offer your discount, making it clear that the product won’t be made unless X number of people join and how long it will take to make once that number of people have joined.
If you don’t get that many people then you will refund everybody who joined.
This will give you the seed-money that you need to develop and launch your product, as well as making you a profit immediately.
Once you start making your product you should be providing your customers with regular updates about the development process, photos or screenshots of how it’s looking. You can even include them in some of the design choices, such as colours or layouts.
Keeping them involved is the key.
Your job now is to become the hard-ass project manager because your product MUST be delivered on time.
People have already paid for it, you have told them when it will be ready and that means if you want to repeat this process it must be ready.
Developers will always take longer than they say, often by months. So plan for this, plan to be on the back of your developers every day making sure that they’re working on your project and not somebody elses.
And if you’re using a new developer, be prepared for them to walk off the job. Working in this way is not normal for developers and a lot of them won’t like it. This means you need to have backups you can use in case this happens.
When you find someone who you work well with and can work in this way successfully, make sure that you hold on to them tight. They will be worth a fortune to you!