(Pre – S…. I created something awesome for you over here…. 7 Questions you MUST ask yourself before you create your online product. Now onto the blog!)
Hey Fabulous Health Professionals,
There is a lot of talk about the creating of multiple streams of income – a LOT of talk. And I have clinicians coming to me every week wanting to know how they can create another stream of income in their practice. In this day and age with the Internet and all things digital we have the opportunity to create a tremendous amount of resources for people to buy and consume. After all we are living in the information age.
I am however noticing a very lopsided conversation about creating an additional income stream and what it takes. I am somewhat surprised by the questions that are consistently being asked by clinicians about this topic.
I was pleased by a conversion that was started in the Selling the Couch Facebook community this week where one brave person actually asked about the ROI of creating an additional income stream from an online course or a similar product.
This thread of conversation was very interactive and there were loads questions being asked. The theme of some of the questions however caused me to pause, reflect and wonder how I can add some much needed perspective to the questions being asked.
So here we go: the 7 things I wish every clinician knew BEFORE they invested time and money into the creating of an additional stream of income:
1. The hard part is not your content creation. The truth is, the hard part is the marketing and sales of your product.
I can’t tell you how many times I have had conversations with clinicians who are so invested in their content creation, having used up all their energy to get a great product online and looking amazing, that they forget that they will also need the energy and resources to market and sell their product.
The truth is that you can be pre-selling your product, pre-launching your product and building a list of people who can learn to know you like you and trust you BEFORE your product is completed.
If you struggle with marketing and sales as a clinician providing face to face or 1:1 services – then you will continue to struggle with the marketing and sales of your product.
The truth is just because you have a website and a great product, its kinda useless to you if no one knows about it. If no one knows about it, then that means your marketing isn’t working. If your marketing isn’t working then no one will be buying your product which means you will be lamenting that this whole additional stream of income thing doesn’t work.
2. The truth is “sell it before you create it” won’t work for most clinicians, especially the first product you create to take to market.
You may have heard many a marketing coach, sales guru, business coach share with you how you need to sell your thing before you create your thing. Its rhetoric that appears to be prolific in this coaching, business mentoring market. I shall now (almost) swear (so block your eyes)…
I call BS.
The truth is most clinicians of every discipline are really really uncomfortable with marketing and sales. If we add to this level of discomfort trying to sell something that we haven’t got right in our mind or in our thinking then we will avoid, procrastinate or implement and fail. The truth is I’ve tried, and I can tell you this won’t work!
The truth is integrity and professional credibility are super important values for clinicians the world over. Time and time again people will tell me that they want to be seen as credible, as having something of value to contribute to their clients. So why then would we try and do what the rest of the world is doing (and let’s face it we tend to judge them harshly for their salesly ways ) by trying to fit into a mold that we can’t fit into.
The truth is, there is nothing WRONG with wanting to have a refined, credible, well thought out, well researched product ready to take to the market. You just have to make sure it’s something the market wants!
The truth is, that you need to know something about what your product is before you can pre launch and pre sell it, so you need the time and energy to think about and craft your content and idea.
3. The truth is just because you think it’s a great idea, doesn’t mean that your market will think it is too.
My favorite question now to clinicians who come to me with their great idea for a new product is “how do you know this is a great product and it will sell?”
Then it’s usually crickets…….
Or it’s – well I know this is what people need…………..
Or better – I’ve seen so and so do this and I like the idea and I think I can do it better…………
The truth is, until you have a strong cohort of people who you KNOW want (not need) what it is you’re offering, and until you have a list of people who have expressed some interest in what you are offering (because it meets their expressed need) then you really have NO idea if your product will sell.
How do you know what people need? And have you ever noticed that what people say they need and then what they want and actually BUY are two different things……..??
The truth is people won’t buy what they need. People buy what they want. Our job as successful clinicians who want to build great products is to sell people what they want by giving them what they need. This is NOT manipulation; this is NOT sleazy sales tactics 101 – this is knowing your ideal client and your market better than they know themselves. It’s about knowing human behavior and understanding the limitations that people in need come with. It’s about being a compassionate yet strong leader in your field of expertise and saying, I know you – and I know your pain – and here is how I can help.
Now I know that there is nothing really new under the sun. I’m not saying don’t create your fabulous product just because someone has something similar. Turn off your comparsion-itis meter (simply turn off your social media notifications) and the work on your product. No one will deliver your product quite like you can; no one will connect with your market quite like you can. People need to know what you know and they need it delivered the way you can deliver it.
And there are easy ways to find this out to stop a lot of guessing and paranoia – this is what my mentoring clients pay me to help them figure out. It’s a technique that once learned, can be repeated over and over. The truth is, most people don’t know that they don’t know this missing piece of the puzzle.
If you need further evidence that this won’t work …. Don’t be Jo, this is my personal experience…..
I created an outline for an awesome program. It was 8 modules in 8 weeks and it would bring in $100K revenue to your business in the next 12 months. So I marketed this, and took it to market and built it as I thought it should be built – then something quite profound occurred – my clients needed and wanted more. Every single one of them. Everyone needed more time; more time with me; more structure; more space to implement; more room to practice and grow; more focus on who they are as people and not just on the mighty dollar.
Ah ha – go figure – my market was saying yes we need your help, but please help us another way!
The truth is just because you think it’s a great idea doesn’t mean it will sell!
4. The truth is that establishing another income stream will cost you time and money and you need to be prepared for this!
I am somewhat gob-smacked by the numbers of people who come to me with their great product idea and then say to me:
- I don’t want to have to build a list
- I don’t want to learn how to use technology to host my online product (do you realize just how stupid that sounds)
- I don’t want to invest in learning about marketing and sales
- I don’t want to spend money on advertising
- I don’t have the time to dedicate to creating this
- Where are all the FREE things I can use to build, create, market and sell my amazing product that I have proud my heart and soul into creating (Can you hear my cry – why do we keep doing this to ourselves??)
Creating a product to sell requires new learning. If you have never done this before you are about to enter into a whole new world of learning. And we all know that learning takes time, it takes energy and it takes money. If you come to me with none of these things, I’m really sorry but what I think you are really asking for is for me to create, market and sell something for you – and I don’t do “done for you”.
The truth is – when we’ve been seeing clients all day back to back and we have a home to run; learning to complete; little people to take care of; a partner to love; a body to nourish – it often feels like there is not a lot of time left for anything new.
The truth is you can do this with about 4 hours of dedicated time per week. And it will take you about 8 weeks to get your product completed. (4 hours x 8 weeks – that’s 32 hours). That’s product creation done and done.
The truth is if you start from no connections and no list and no one to sell to – then you have about 6 months of consistently content marketing; positioning; brand awareness; marketing; sales; presentations; advertising to go before you see some real return on your investment.
- 8 weeks + 6 months = 8 months until we see something really start to happen
The truth is, if you gave yourself 1 year to complete a grad dip in coaching; or an MBA, then you would find the time, right? You would talk to the people in your world, and you would develop a plan to complete this study.
It’s no different here – you need the time, the plan and the action steps, fueled by energy and resilience to just keep going and get it done.
But it is not easy and there is nothing “passive” about it.
5. The truth is if you are going to sell an online product, and e- course or e- anything, you are going to have to learn about technology and the integration of various platforms.
I alluded to this truth in Truth #4. Can I just check in here to make sure we all understand that in wanting to create an online anything, you need to have quite a good understanding of how online works. To simply say to me that you don’t want to learn how to use technology; or be responsible for a website; or learn how to integrate a shopping cart to a lead page isn’t really going to cut it.
The good news is this – don’t sell an online delivered product if you don’t want to learn about the online marketing, sales and delivery environment. There are so many other opportunities you have to sell your information and knowledge without it having ANY online presence. I will admit you will be making life very difficult for yourself, but it can be done…………… probably…………….. possibly……………..maybe???
The truth is – we live in a world that is dominated by online sales and purchases.
How you buy anything worth more than a few dollars (and not a total impulse purchase) often looks like this:
- we post about it and ask for our friend’s opinions on social media
- we relentlessly research online and look for reviews
- we compare similar options online and look for the best value
- we choose the option that speaks to what we want and feels most in line with who we are
The truth is you will use ONLINE for pretty much all of your whole buying decision process regardless of what it is you are going to buy. You might actually hand over your money to a retail sales assistant in the store, but let’s be honest the sale was made long before you went into the store!
The truth is, if you are going to deliver online products, you will need to market and sell them online too!! This means you will need:
- A website
- A shopping cart and payment gateway
- A method of delivery; for example Ruzuku (take a look here for 15 possible platforms)
- An email service provider such as Mailchimp, Convertkit and hundreds of others that are available
- A landing page such as optimized press or lead pages, or something you build out on your own website (are you going cross-eyed yet??)
The truth is I don’t know how to use all of the pieces of software that I have in my arsenal.
I do however know what each of them does and how they all work together to provide the experience I want my prospective and current clients to have.
I have personally delegated the implementation of these processes to other people – but I know how they need to be used and why they need to be used. This took time and energy and to be honest a whole lot of swearing and flushing of the hard earned cash down the toilet. I don’t enjoy technology, but I do enjoy the results that technology brings.
6. The truth is an online product isn’t the right answer all of the time
I am always interested to see how many people jump on the idea of creating an online product, until they see the amount of work that has to be done on the front end.
The truth is developing any new product is always expensive in the front end. This is why any good marketing coach or advisors will help you to develop a pre-launch or pre-release strategy (am I the only person who buys the next book by my favorite authors before they are released?).
An online product or service isn’t the only way you can add to your revenue without having to see more clients 1:1.
The question I like to ask is what is the natural next step for you? Is it creating a team; is it building a multiple clinician practice; is it speaking; is it writing a Book (not an ebook). Is it doing something completely outside of your clinical work such as making a handmade something for sale; or developing a whole new business through the amazing opportunities that MLM brings us these days (want to learn how to stop hating sales, then join up with a reputable MLM).
The wonderful Kat Love and I have done an interview together which Kat will be releasing at the end of July – I sprout forth a whole long list of alternative income streams I have helped clients create…. so make sure you are ready to watch that when it released.
7. The truth is you can learn all the knowledge and skills you need to make a successful new product.
Just to reinforce this message a little more – the truth is you have a whole of learning to do – and you can do it!
You learned how to become a counsellor, a SLP, a dietician, a mum, a dad, a hockey player, a violinist, you can learn how to do this too!
You know how to learn. You’ve been learning your whole life.
Now if this statement was met with, “but Jo I’m so tired and I don’t want to work that hard,” that’s OK.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that an online delivered product is going to give you an immediate cash injection to stave off the growing sense that you need a holiday or some time out.
However if you read that statement and thought, Jo’s right – I can do this, but what now??
Are you willing to invest the time and energy and money it will take to bring your idea into a tangible product that can then create the recurring income that you have been longing for?? (notice I sad recurring because there is nothing PASSIVE about creating an online product).
If YES then read on…..
Get the Worksheet: 7 Questions you MUST ask yourself before you create your online product!
If you have answered NO to any of the questions on the worksheet above, then let’s talk.
Let’s talk about your idea and the process it will take to bring your idea to life where its actually doing the thing you want it to do – that is make you money!
OK this is like the longest blog post I’ve ever written… so I’m going to make a list of action items for you right here:
- Get your free worksheet here of the 7 questions you MUST ask yourself before creating your online product. Seriously. You need to be clear on this stuff.
- If you are a mental health professional and are not in Melvin’s Selling the Couch FB community then you are missing out. Join – it doesn’t cost anything!
- Be sure to sign up for notifications from Kat Love so that you can watch our interview as soon as its released.
- If you are serious about wanting to create an additional stream of revenue for your business after reading this blog post then let’s talk.
Click here to apply for a free 30 minute consultation with me. Let’s turn your idea into a plan and work out how to help more people while looking after you!
Here’s to your success,