Last month I released my first ‘proper’ product – a guide on pricing and selling products or services.
Producing the product and launching it for sale has been a huge learning curve for me and I’ll be sharing some of my experiences over the coming weeks. Today I want to touch on one aspect – feedback. It’s both scary, but very encouraging at the same time.
Let me explain.
My Original Product
The original draft of the guide was a little over 70 pages long. I have this problem (that I think is shared by some other bloggers) that I want to impart a lot of information, so I write a lot. I thought that a longer guide would be better value than a shorter one.
I was wrong. To explain how I found that out, let’s go back in time.
A number of months ago I launched my first ‘test’ product on the Warrior Forum – a guide about one aspect of Twitter that I sold for $1. The plan was not to make millions from the product (I didn’t even make 100’s) but instead to learn about how to launch a product on the Warrior Forum. As part of launching the product, a number of people applied to become affiliates for my product. Out of the 20 or so who I approved, only a few promoted it to their lists and I gained a few sales from them.
As part of the pre-launch of this product I approached a couple of these affiliates for feedback. I gave them a copy of the 70 page draft and asked them to be as honest as possible.
And they certainly gave me feedback!
The main comment I received from all of them was that the material was great, but there was too much of it. The people I was trying to sell it to (i.e. the average purchaser of Warrior Special Offers) don’t necessarily want a lot of pages. In fact, many of them want the following – something that is short and actionable.
The frustrating thing about the feedback was that I started to feel that I’d wasted my time writing the long version. I wished I’d asked for feedback earlier.
But I couldn’t argue with the feedback. Not everyone is like me, and, as I wrote in an earlier article, it doesn’t matter what I think.
The New Product
So a new product was born! I shortened the original guide down to 32 pages. I took out a lot of the ‘why it works’ stuff and just focused on the ‘do this because it works’ stuff.
I also provided more information on how much to price certain products because one of my reviewers suggested the readers would want this.
I sent this product back to the reviewers for feedback, and they all came back and said it was much improved on the previous version.
So I knew I was on the right track, but I still felt I could create something even better.
The Product Strategy
The Warrior Forum is full of people interested in internet marketing. It’s a good place to launch a product and get immediate feedback. However, it’s also full of people who don’t want to pay full price for anything, and expect everything to be discounted.
My plan is to release my initial product through the Warrior Forum, enhance and update the guide and then sell it for a higher price via Clickbank.
So my goal with the Warrior Forum was more around refining the product via purchaser feedback than it was about making the most money.
The Bonus Product Is Born
So here’s my dilemma at that stage.
- I’ve created this 70+ page product that I think is good.
- My reviewers suggest a much shorter version which I create.
- I still think my product is lacking, but I’m not sure what to add to it.
So I had an idea to find out what people wanted.
When you purchase the 32 page guide, you also get access to the full 70+ page version. I didn’t edit it or remove any bits from it that made it into the shorter guide.
All you need to do to get access is to give me feedback.
So I created a short four question survey on a page in my blog, and included the link at the back of the book. So people finish reading the short version and are them prompted to read the bigger guide to learn more.
The Feedback Has Been Great
The point of all of this has been to receive something incredibly valuable – feedback.
Importantly, it’s feedback from buyers.
Here’s some of the things I’ve learnt:
- People liked the formatting and look of the guide. I purposely used some coloured text and lots of pictures and highlights to make it look different from the average e-book that gets released. I was very pleased that this was noticed. Here’s what one person said
- People liked the parts that were ‘actionable’.
- I asked what changes would improve the value of the guide and the feedback was asking for more information on how to implement some of the strategies. This reinforces my opinion that learning how to do something is not enough – you actually need to do it.
Finally, I asked “When it comes to pricing and selling a product, what are your biggest challenges?” The common feedback here was how to sell a product for a higher price when everyone else sells something similar for less.
What Did I Gain?
This feedback has been invaluable to me. Rather than making my product bigger for the sake of it, I now know what extra information will be most valuable.
I’m working now on adding some extra parts to help people take action, and more on how to differentiate your product so it’s perceived as being different from the others.
The extra content in the 70+ page bonus guide isn’t wasted either. I can take a lot of that information and incorporate some of it into an autoresponder sequence. I want people to actually take action, so sending them a weekly email that reinforces or reminds them of some of the key concepts could be very effective.
My Future Plans
I’m working on the updated version of the product now. For the time being I’ll leave the current version for sale on the Warrior Forum at a much reduced price (remember, it’s about getting feedback to create a better product).
In a few weeks I’ll remove the lower priced product from the Warrior Forum and sell the new improved version via Clickbank for a higher price.
If you haven’t already seen it, here’s a link to the world’s best guide that teaches bloggers how to price and sell their products
photo credit: freeflyer09 via photo pin cc
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