099: Doing the Pre-Work for Online Product Success

In this episode we’re going through the pre-work steps how to get your online product to the point of creation.

That is — everything that I think needs to be figured out before writing a single video script or writing a single line of sales copy or creating a single graphic.

In short, this is developing the promise.

Your online product is going to deliver on a promise. And every aspect of the product, whether it’s a course, membership site, group program, distance learning or other type of online product, needs to work towards delivering on that promise.

Let’s use an example to illustrate how to develop the promise.

Let’s say your online program is going to help someone keep their paint brushes in good working shape for twice as long as the average lifespan of a paint brush in under 15 minutes.

There is value to this program — your students are going to save money by not having to purchase new brushes as often and being able to sit down and paint whenever they feel compelled (because their equipment is ready to use.) This is the promise.
The promise is the BECAUSE not the HOW.

Or put another way — nobody really wants to wrap up every painting session with a cleaning session. That’s not a strong selling proposition. They want to be able to start every painting session with clean brushes that are ready to use. So we need to use the angle of what they want instead of what they don’t as the premise of the promise we are delivering.

Now, let me jump in here and say I know next to nothing about painting but I’m inspired by artists and this felt like a good example to use right now…

Our promise needs to encompass the benefit of being able to sit right down and get to the joy of the craft. Our promise is that “When you finish this program you’ll be proficient at keeping your paint brushes in tip top shape so that they are ready every time you sit down at the easel.”

That’s compelling!

Here’s another take, factoring in the time element. We said it earlier that we’re going to make the brushes last twice as long as average. And that it’s going to take less than 15 minutes.

Our promise might include the aspect of saving time and money on supplies. “When you finish this program your art supply runs will be less frequent, saving you time which can immediately be used to create more art.” Or “when you finish this program your art cleanup will fast, efficient and a joy instead of a burden.”

Get the idea? And once we get the promise down, it’s so much easier to pull everything together from the content and messaging to the tech and marketing.

Here at Tech of Business, we love helping our clients deliver their promises… actually, we are on a mission to help our clients over-deliver their promises…

When your students take your course and feel that you’ve lived up to the promise, they’ll be happy. When you over-deliver and wow them, then they will spread the word about your online products and shout your name from the rooftops. That’s the power of delivering… but I digress.

This post is about understanding what needs to be in place outside of the tech and the content.

First up: time allocation.

Once you have customers who purchase your online product, you need to have time to service them.

And this means that there are going to need to be adjustments to your weekly schedule. Are you going to commit to a forum or a Facebook group, weekly office hours or guaranteed email responses. All those options will compound the benefits of the product but they take time out of your day. You can choose to reduce your in studio time to block that out for online students. Or you can carve it outside of free time. But it needs to be figured out before getting to the creation.

Next: team.

Who is going to work with you and support this project. Are you doing it solo from conceptualization all the way down or are you hiring a videographer or a copywriter or a tech company (ahem, you know this is what we do here at the Tech of Business, right?) or are you going to have a long-term contractor, assistant or team member working on it with you.

Finally: education.

And, if this is your first online product what do you need to learn before you can launch this product? Do you want to hire a strategist or mentor or a coach or a consultant? Do you want to take a course or attend a workshop?

And the ugly truth — do you have the money and time for the pre-work, creation and marketing to make it a success?

Jumping to creating the online product is my favorite place to go — but there is so much that goes into having a successful online product, and I’ll bet since you’ve read this far, you know that the pre-work and understanding what you’re promising is going to have compound benefits.

We’re right on the cusp of a new year, as of the time of the release of this episode, and I know you’ll be itching to create and spread your wings. I’m right there with you — let’s just make sure we’re doing it right from the get go.

BTW, I recently talked on the podcast about launching messy — and I am good with that but launching messy doesn’t mean launching unprepared.

And the same goes with creating — pre-work and a constant reminder of the promise you want to make to your customers is task #1.

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