Don’t Overthink Product Creation

We all want to create exceptional value for our tribe, so we work really hard to create products and programs that meet—and exceed—their needs.

So you:

  • Identify the need
  • Outline the solution
  • Discover another angle
  • Outline the solution
  • Discover an interesting (and useful) side trail
  • Outline the solution
  • Decide on a membership site
  • Outline the content
  • Research membership options (including three days spent “testing”)
  • Abandon the membership idea
  • Go back to outlining content

If you’ve ever been “stuck” in creating your programs, then you know how much time and energy this type of overthinking can cost you. In fact, for a lot of coaches, it results in no product at all, because that feeling of being “stuck” becomes overwhelming. The next thing you know, it’s a year from now, and you’re still “almost done” with that great program.

Or worse, that amazing, timely coaching product is—a year later—completely irrelevant to your market.

Don’t let this time trap cause you to miss out on sales, market reach, and reputation.

Step 1: Determine Exactly What Your Market Wants and Needs

Like any great coach, you most likely “have your ear to the ground” and are listening closely to the wants and needs of your clients. Great places to listen include:

  • Private Facebook groups
  • Your blog comments
  • Emails from your readers
  • Conversations on social media
  • Your help desk

If you want more specific results, you can also ask for them in a survey especially designed for the purpose of creating a new product. Using a service such as SurveyMonkey or even Google Forms, create a short survey asking questions such as:

  • Where are you in your business journey?
    • Just starting out
    • Established but not earning as much as I would like
    • Well established and earning a great income
  • Have you ever worked with a business coach before?
    • Yes, with great results
    • Yes, but I wasn’t happy with the results
    • No, but I want to
    • I don’t believe in coaching
  • When investing in business training, which format do you prefer?
    • Video based training
    • Audio based training
    • Written training
    • Combination of the above
  • When investing in business training, which time frame works best for you?
    • Learn at your own pace
    • Scheduled lessons over several weeks
    • Scheduled lessons over several weeks with the option to download the entire course
  • What are your biggest struggles in growing your business?
  • What do you find easy about running your own business?
  • If you could invest in a program to [ENTER YOUR SPECIALTY HERE], how much would that be worth to you?
    • Less than $500
    • $500 to $1000
    • $1000 to $2000
    • $2000 and up

By including both multiple choice and essay style questions, you’ll not only get a good summary that will quickly point you in the right direction, but you’ll also see the words and phrases your market uses to describe their strengths and pain points.

Keep those examples handy, because they’ll be perfect for writing a sales page that converts!

Step 2: Check Out Your Competition

Savvy businesses know exactly what their competitors are doing. They pay attention to new products and promotions, examine the content and social media accounts, and sign up for free webinars to get a peek inside the offers.

If you’re not already doing this, you should definitely consider it. However, some coaches are concerned that by paying too much attention to what the competition is doing they’ll accidentally “borrow” the ideas. Worse, you might freeze up, thinking that no program you create could possibly compete.

Here’s how to avoid that.

Simply ask your VA to do the research for you, and distill her findings down into a few bullet points. That way you can still keep an eye on what’s working for your competitors, without worrying about being overly influenced by their offer or getting even more stuck because of it.

Step 3: Develop Your Idea

Now we come to the fun part! You know what your market needs and wants, and you know what they’re willing to pay for it. This will help you determine what format and length your program will be.

Lower priced offers will likely be much shorter and not be part of a membership. They also probably won’t include any coaching—whether group or private. For lower-end products, it’s a good idea to keep this advice in mind:

One problem; one solution.

This alone will help you avoid the “everything and the kitchen sink” time trap that might be keeping you stuck in product creation mode.

For higher end programs, though, you have a bit more flexibility.

Higher priced products can include video and audio with a membership component and perhaps a group coaching aspect. They can also be much more comprehensive in nature, covering lots of topics in depth.

Step 4: Create Your Program

You’re finally ready to begin putting your ideas down on paper. And here is where many of you will freeze up, so I want to give you a few ideas for easy content creation:

  • You have hundreds of blog posts, a YouTube channel, Kindle books, email archives, and a host of other content, so put those things to work for you! Have your VA compile a list of content that fits with your new program, and then you can simple update and refine rather than starting from scratch.
  • Crowd source. If you’ve ever signed up for a telesummit, then you know the power of crowd sourcing. Gather a few experts together to share their knowledge, and you not only have a virtually instant product, but you’ll have built-in JV partners as well.
  • No time? No problem! You can easily find a ghostwriter to create your content for you.
  • You can kick start your product creation efforts with strategic use of done-for-you content such as CoachGlue’s licensed coaching workshops or top-quality PLR from respected creators.

And finally, don’t forget about editing and formatting. Your job is to create—or have created—the ideas and solutions that will help your audience to thrive. It’s not your job to make the documents look nice, or to edit the “ums” and “ahs” out of your video training. Those are tasks that truly are a time suck for busy coaches, so you should happily hand those off to someone else.

That way, you can concentrate on serving your client base better.

One last word about time traps…

We all have our own. I’ve covered the most common ones here, and in a minute I’m going to get to your questions, but I want you to know this: No matter what your personal time trap is, there’s a solution for it. So think about what it is that’s holding YOU back from greater success, and make a plan to get those time traps out of your life once and for all.

Your business will thrive when you do.


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