Thu, 11 June 2015
What IS The Right Way To Eat A Cupcake?
Right before we started recording, Cynthia Sanchez, our guest on today's episode, told us about a video she watched about how to eat a cupcake.
We didn't think it was that hard, but apparently someone has now posted the official instructions. And apparently we're supposed to take the bottom off and plunk it on the top so the frosting is in the middle.
Thus follows a debate over crumbs, more vs. less frosting and the right texture for cake. We don't quite resolve everything but do decide that it would probably be a good idea to eat and test a lot of cupcakes.
What do you think?
And Now... Web Images Made Easy
We asked Cynthia to join us today because she has just released a new product. It's an online video course that teaches you the fundamentals of how to create great images for your website, blog and social sharing – even if you're not a designer.
She put this together over a year with her partner Jason Lange and it's 27 video tutorials plus a bunch of templates and bonuses. It teaches you how to improve your images and then shows you how to use some popular image editing tools to rock your visuals.
Since Pinterest is Cynthia's specialty, it makes sense that she created a product to help with images, but that's not why we wanted to talk to her.
What we really wanted to talk about was how to create a product and what goes into it – not just what we've been sold by slick marketers who want to sell their products that purport to "teach you to be rich" or "create your own six figure product in two hours."
This is the real deal and Cynthia shares the experience so if you're thinking of creating a course, book or some other digital product this is insight you can use.
Even if you're not thinking of creating one, maybe this will inspire you to try your hand at some recurring passive income.
It Starts With Your Audience
Unlike much of the advice you have probably heard about how to create a product (ie: sit down, think of an idea, create something then sell the heck out of it with lots of psychology and upsells and affiliate links), Cynthia started by listening to her audience.
And what she heard was that people were frustrated with images. They struggled to create images, didn't know how to make them look good and felt defeated by their lack of designer skills.
And so Web Images Made Easy was born.
It Takes Time
Yes, it took Cynthia and Jason a year but they also both moved across the country during that time, ran their respective businesses, spent time with their families, did speaking gigs and probably even ate and slept.
Still, it wasn't something they did – or wanted to do – quickly.
Cynthia said that a 4-5 minute video could take two hours to produce.
Ah-ha! You say… but if that video had been her product, she could have created it in two hours!
Well, sort of true, but there are things you don't see – like the amount of time it took to come up with a name, find and secure a URL, build the sales page and website, set up the payment processing…
So yeah. It takes time.
It Has Value – All By Itself
If you listen to "the product people" you'll probably learn more than you want to about the psychology of pricing, offers and upsells.
There's the "it's worth eight billion dollars but it's yours today for only $3.99!" trope.
There's the "hey, you bought my $3.99 thing but what you really need is my $500 thing… buy it today only!" trope.
That stuff must work because people buy, but those kinds of slick offers can erode trust and lead people to believe big promises that are quite often under delivered by their 2-hour products.
We decide that Cynthia's product will sell based on its value. Not based on tricks or tropes. People are going to buy it because it's great.
And because Cynthia takes an open, honest and truly people-centered approach to what she puts out into the world.
There's A Boat Load Of Stuff To Think About
Turns out the "creating a product" thing isn't the whole story.
I mentioned a few additional pieces earlier – the URL, sales page, website and payment processing. But there's more!
Do you want affiliate marketers? You've got to decide what you'll give them and set it up.
How will you price it? You've got to choose a strategy (subscription? one time?) and assign an actual price tag.
Will you maintain it? What happens when things change and your product is outdated? You have to decide what investment you're willing to make in improving, editing, updating, etc.
Oh, and how will you sell it? You can't just build a sales page and let it sit there until the masses pour in. You have to get out there and actually promote the thing.
Cynthia and Jason also spent time getting feedback from people before they released their product into the wild. They asked whether it was helpful, whether the messaging was clear, whether it worked technically. And they incorporated the feedback to make the course even better.
That's how you create a product.
You Don't Have To Be Rich If You Don't Want To Be
Ok, admittedly that sounds like a very weird thing to say. But if you run a business, follow your passion, freelance or consider yourself an entrepreneur in any way, there is a tremendous amount of pressure to make a lot of money.
People seem to be in a mad rush lately to get VC funding or be the next big thing bought out by Facebook.
Everyone wants to sell you a product (oh irony) that will teach you how to turn your hobby into six figures or finally be able to work from the beach.
But… maybe we're actually fine working from a condo in New Jersey.
Maybe we don't want to be billionaires but just be able to buy all the X Box games we want.
There is huge pressure to "think big" and if you're not aiming for major cash then you suddenly feel like a failure.
Don't believe the hype!
Don't let anyone tell you what you should be striving for. Don't let anyone define what happiness and success means for you.
Don't believe anyone who wants to sell you a product that makes those kinds of "live the giant dream" promises. Can it happen? Sure. But so can winning the lottery.
Cynthia Doesn’t Need A Gold Plated Toilet
By the end of the conversation we decide we want to own our businesses and products, produce something of value, be proud of what we do, help people… and be able to buy all the X Box games we want.
And drink wine.
Your Marketing Action Item
From Cynthia: The next time you see someone's product for sale, decide whether it's something that can help move your business forward or if it's just a big promise that will put a few bucks in someone else's product. You don't have to try and buy everything – even the inexpensive stuff. If it seems like there's more in it for the seller than for you as the buyer, move along.
From Ralph: If you're thinking a producing a product, think of something that you're doing that's helping you run your business or save time. And then think about how you may be able to package that and sell it to people who do what you do so it can help them too. Dedicate some time to figuring out what your product will do, how it will work, how your end users will use it, what value it has and how you're going to sell it. But in light of our conversaitons about GTD lately, better make this a project.
From Carol Lynn: Buy Cynthia's course! Just do it.
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Direct download: 0119-you-dont-need-a-golden-toilet-or-how-to-create-and-sell-a-valuable-digital-product.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EST