Before you make any online programs read this…
First You Sell It, Then You Build It…
In the film Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner said “If you build it, they will come.”
But I reckon he got it the wrong way round… First you sell it, then you build it.
As the digital space grows and expands we see more and more people diving in to create their perfect online programs without knowing if anyone out there wants to buy them! It’s one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make.
In Field of Dreams, Costner was talking about building a baseball stadium where all the ghosts of yesteryear would come to play, but if you’re planning on making an online program and waiting for the clients to come, then you’re setting yourself up for heartache. That is, unless you’re planning on selling your program to ghosts…
People spend thousands of dollars building their programs whilst avoiding the most important thing of all… Especially if you’re starting out with no database… You want to market first, find the perfect people who want to buy from you, and sell to them first.
This is exactly what we did 3 years ago when we created our first online program, and it’s what we teach our clients to do now…
Here’s a few reasons why…
1) There’s no better market research than trying to sell something… You’ve come up with an idea of what you want to create, but do you really know if there is a demand for what your online program will be about? There’s no better form or market research than selling, so if you can sell the program before its made, then there’s no doubt that people want it.
2) Sales conversations help you to refine your content… If you haven’t built your program yet, then you haven’t locked down the content, and you can use your sales conversations to find out more details of what people really want in your program, and thus tweak the content accordingly.
I’m not saying you should start selling your program without knowing what it will contain. On the contrary, you want to fully design your program, to know in detail what it will be so you can sell all the benefits to people when you’re talking to them. The difference is that you’re not wasting all that time and opportunity by waiting for it all to be completed…
3) Raise the money from sales to build your program… It can be an expensive and time consuming exercise to build an online program, and a lot of people don’t have that kind of cash flow, nor the time to waste. It’s smarter if you sell the program first because then you have the money to spend on building it. There’s website developers, training to learn how to make the content, video making costs and all the other things that go into putting it together. Problem solved!
4) Once you’ve sold your program you’re more motivated to finish it… Fast… There is no greater motivator to complete a task than a deadline. Some people take months, even years to make their online programs, but when you sell them first, with a date set for when your clients will start, it gives you a deadline, a line in the sand that will motivate you to get your program finished and ready. It works every time and is how we make sure our clients get results.
5) The secret to success in business is speed… it’s been said that “the universe likes speed”, so the faster you act in business, the sooner you launch your business, the more money you will make through your fast action…
A couple of great examples:
Video Power – Online Program
When we sold our first online program three years ago we had three people paid up and ready to go on a certain date. We had a month to get the first module up and running. We knew what our content would be – we had the structure of the website built by our web developer – and we went hard for that month to get the content completed in time for launch day. But we only had to make sure that we got the first module up in that time.
Once we got that first module up and running our new clients started. We then had a week to complete the content for the 2nd module that would be released in week 2! It was awesome. That kept going for 8 weeks until the whole program was finished and our first set of clients had gone through.
Each week we knew what we had to do. We went out and shot all the videos, edited them, prepared all the worksheets and uploaded them by Sunday night every week. After that 8 weeks it was plain sailing. All we had to do was keep selling the same program and it’s been open profit for the past three years since then.
Float Noosa – A bricks and mortar business
A couple of our clients recently set up a float tank business called Float Noosa. Amanda Erlank did our Video Power course last year and used it to grow her Kinected Pilates Studio with great results. This year she and her husband Dennis set up a second business. The great thing was they were able to apply what they’d learned from us in this new business using video and marketing, building a whole lot of interest before the business launched.
Then there was a delay with supply of the float tanks they’d bought, but everything else was in place and they still had rent to pay on the new lease. So what did they do? They pre-sold float sessions in the weeks leading up to the eventual launch. In fact, they ended up selling 70 tickets before the place was even set up!
So, come the night before launch day, when people were booked in for their first floats, Dennis and Amanda were still getting everything ready! And they did it. With all their characteristic high attention to detail. From day one the place was beautiful, healthy and stylish and it’s been running smoothly ever since.
So as you can see, it’s not just online programs that can be pre-sold. The same concept works for bricks and mortar businesses too.
If you read last week’s blog then you would have seen some great examples of how to use video to pre-launch your product. If not, then ask now.
The bottom line is, when you’re passionate about something then you’ll do all you can to make it happen, and a deadline is a brilliant way to make it happen.
So, do you still think that you should ‘Build it and they will come?” Hopefully I’ve convinced you otherwise….
Video & Marketing Mentor | Producer
Girl Director Pty Ltd
P.S. I can’t mention deadlines without quoting the great author Douglas Adams…
“I love deadlines! I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”