Just a little over a week ago, on Friday, December 2nd, 2005, I sold my first product. With that sale I was given a first taste of what it’s like to create and sell your own products and.. I’m hooked. So in these few minutes as I start my day and prepare for the rest of the week, I’d like to share a bit of my experience with you guys and focus on some of the things I’ve learned.
It took 2 Weeks of Spending
Less than a month ago, after the recommendations of several good friends, I joined a community of internet entrepreneurs over at the Warrior Forum. On November 19, 2005, I made my first purchase through the forum, buying my own copy of a member’s WSO (warrior special offer) and thus beginning my buying addiction.
I’ve bought 13 other products since then, have spent hundreds of dollars, and will spend thousands more, and.. it’s all been worth it :). With each new product I’ve purchased it’s given me a chance to learn new things, impliment new strategies, bring in new ideas, build onto existing ideas, and, most importantly, a chance to build relationships. Those are the most important. The success you achieve is greatly influenced and impacted by the people you associate with.
One product in particular sparked an idea. The offer was a chance to buy one of 50 exclusive copies of ‘5 gold niches’. For $47 you’d be given a list of 5 niches that the product had made money in. You’d also be getting a list of the keywords he used, as well as some bonuses.
It was a new idea and it intrigued me. I bought it.
On Wednesday, the 31st of November, as I went to bed and slowly began falling asleep, my head started spinning with ideas. I thought about the offer. I thought about the action I’d taken.
After recieving access and deciding to build a site around one of the niches, I created a text file and kept track of my expenses. $47 for the product, $14.19 for the domain, time spent building the website, and a list of my notes. My goal was to measure whether or not it had been a good investment.
All these thoughts were making there way through my head when the idea hit me..
Why not create my own product? I sat up in bed, reached over, grabbed the index card and pen I always keep handy, and took down a note.
The next morning, after starting my day and going through some emails, I stopped for a few moments to figure out what to do next. Then I saw the index card with my note on it. I thought over it for a few moments and decided.. ‘Why not?’.. Matt and I had each budgeted $1000 in expenses for our upcoming snowboarding trip and this would be a great way to cover that. I was convinced and I got busy ;).
Several hours and a lot of work later, I’d finished writing up my offer and posted it up in ‘special offers’ section of the Warrior Forum. I learned and implimented some powerful little tricks as I wrote my offer and I’ll share those with you guys just a bit later.
I submitted the offer for approval.. and waited.
It was painful. 8 hours passed by and it was just about bedtime. My offer was in ‘moderation’ and had to be approved before going live. I recieved an email from one of the moderators letting me know that I had to make a quick change before it was approved. I submitted the change and then it was time for bed.
In the few hours leading up till bedtime I’d begun work on fulfillment. My offer, for those of you who haven’t had a chance to read it yet, was to provide ‘7 Hot Niches and Bonuses That Would Melt Snow’.. *grins*.. I had a lot of fun putting it together and that made a difference. In the downtime while I waited for it to be approved, I worked with a good friend of mine to build a high quality keyword list for each of the 7 niches.
Early Friday Morning, December 2nd, 2005..
Still unapproved. I whined about it to my good friend Matt who encouraged me and reminded me to be patient. I cleaned up around my house, talked with my girlfriend, who also encouraged me to be patient, and kept checking back on the forum to see if it’d been approved it. I wasted a lot of time. It was something I had to go through though :).
At almost exactly 8 AM, the offer was approved. Less than 15 minutes later, I had 3 sales at $57 a piece. I went crazy! Suddenly I was laughing, grinning, and jumping around all at the same time. I called up my girlfriend and she couldn’t help but laugh and smile too. Another sale! I called my mom and told her and the rest of my family the good news. ANOTHER sale! 30 minutes later as I got out of the shower and checked back I’d just recieved 3 more sales! I was happy, really happy :).
Then it was time to start working
Now that my product was a hit, it was time to deliver! I’d given myself a 24 hour time slot in my offer, which was more than enough to make sure I was able to fulfill. I worked hard all morning and afternoon long. Each bonus was looked over and tested several times. The product page was created with a lot of thought going into the presentation. I reviewed my list of ‘deliverables’ and went through each one, making sure that I fulfilled exactly what I promised. And then.. I overdelivered. I threw in bonuses that I didn’t even list in the offer.
Around 2 PM, just before heading out to lunch, I began delivery. It was a success! I got some really positive feedback and a lot of encouragement. My customers were happy and I was happy. I’m hooked. I’ve made some good money in the past, but never that fast and never for selling information. It was an awesome experience :).
And as we know, with every great experience there are lessons to learn. This was no exception and I picked up a LOT of lessons. I’ll start by sharing some of the lessons I learned through this experience and then wrap up with some tips.
- Look For And Fill An Existing Demand – That’s really what niche marketing is. Looking for a need in a particular market and meeting that need. Internet Marketers are always looking for new niches to get into and with SO many out there you really want to focus on your efforts on the ones that you KNOW can work. Once you find one that works, you’re very reluctant to share it! That’s the appeal of ‘revealing’ the niches that you’ve made money in. One of the niches I revealed had several $100+ days in AdSense earnings, ALL the niches I revealed were niches I’ve made money in.
Finding a great niche takes a lot of time and when someone is willing to test them out, prove them, and then share them to others through a clear offer, it’ll sell. The other thing that made a difference is that I provided ‘bonuses’ that were syncronized with my offering. I provided a blogging template, a guide to making money with blogs, a basic niche website template, and more. Everything was added in to support and build up my offer.
- Have A Clear Plan Of Action and Prepare – As I created my offer, I kept a clear focus on exactly what I was going to be delivering. As I kept that focus, I moved it on into a solid plan for ‘What happens next’. As soon as my product was completed, I began delivery, following a clear system I’d set in place. Each person who purchased my product was added to my ‘customers’ spreadsheet with their name, email, and a column marked ‘yes!’ or ‘no’ for whether their copy of the product had been delivered.
I wrote an email ‘template’ which contained their access information for the ‘thankyou’ page and space for any personal notes. I would then use that template to individually email each customer, adding in extra notes and thankyou’s where I wanted them. Having everything planned for and prepared in advance eliminated a LOT of stress and gave me peace of mind, knowing that my customers were well taken care of.
- Work With Others! – One of the things that made a HUGE difference for me was working with others! I sent copies of the offer and the thankyou page to several of my trusted friends and they gave me EXTREMELY helpful feedback. From proof reading to new ideas, the product wouldn’t have been nearly as good and well thought out if not for the brilliant minds that were involved along the way. Working with the people you trust is VERY important. They sharpen you, help keep you focused, encourage you, and support you. Thanks guys, couldn’t have done it without you :).
And finally.. some tips!
- Keep A List of Deliverables – As you put together your offer, keep a list of all the things that you’re promising to deliver. This will help you stay focused and ensure that you don’t miss anything.
- Sell It and Then Deliver – Write up your offer before you make the product. The KEY thing here, though, is to make SURE that you absolutely can deliver. You’ll gain a reputation for what you do and don’t do. Write up your offer and see if there is a demand for it and have a CLEAR plan of action to fulfill that demand once you find it. Writing up your offer in advance and then reviewing it can put the whole project in a clear perspective. It’ll show you where the challenges are and help you be prepared.
- Overdeliver – Go above and beyond what you promised and take the extra step. Throw in the extras, send out that extra email, overfulfill. Your customers will take notice and appreciate you. It may not always show on the surface, but it’s there. Create a reputation for yourself and let people know that when you deliver a product, they’ll be getting more than their money’s worth.
- Keep Track of Everything – Every challenge that comes up, every successful delivery, every happy customer, track it all. Document your process cleanly and clearly. Save records of all that you do and keep it organized for easy access. This will save you a TON of trouble if any challenges come up and will give you peace of mind knowing that things are taken care of.
- Create a Memorable Experience – As I put together the finished product and after I had the solid content good and ready to go, I focused a lot on the presentation. How you present your product is important. I put together a good looking page designed to be clear, inviting, and focused. Things were cleanly organized and spread out. Presentation is very important once you’ve got a solid product finished up.
And that’s that! Within 24 hours of my first sale I’d profited over $1000. I only made 35 copies of my product availible and as of this writing, just over a week later, there are only 9 left. It’s been a tremendous success and I look forward to creating more products and taking it up a level! I also look forward to hearing about YOUR first products! Most people will get great ideas and never take action on them.. the ones that make a difference are the ones that DO. Take action.