[heads-up: at the end of this post I’m going to suggest you check out Russell Brunson’s 10X Secrets, and this post here is the reason WHY]
over the last quarter, I’ve come to an ‘old’ realization:
‘old’ in the sense of: I already ‘knew’ it (intellectually), so it wasn’t ‘new’ to me …
… but it is something that’s easy to forget, and hence hadn’t done properly for a couple of projects.
And that ‘old’ realization is this:
every single time I have an idea for a product …
… I should NOT go and build that product …
… but instead, I should go into that market, build a list and see if I can’t sell some affiliate products first.
and only if (if and only if) I can do that (build list + sell affiliate products), then (and only then) …
… do I go and build my own product.
Incidentally, when I say:
“sell affiliate products” … I mean ‘sell them consistently and very profitably‘!
It is NOT enough to sell 1 copy of someone else’s product, and then decide: ‘yeah, this is a viable market’.
If you can’t figure out
- where your ideal target audience hangs out (where the ‘traffic’ is coming from)
- how they make their buying decisions (what types of offers they respond to), and
- if you can connect the 2 consistently and profitably
then ‘building your own product’ that ‘could make a real difference’ … is nothing but an ego-stroking exercise! (and a waste of time, energy & money)
So yes, as ‘crazy’ as it sounds:
I am suggesting almost everybody looking to sell something to random strangers on the Internet …
… is better off becoming a successful affiliate in their market first, and then (and only then) start creating their own products.
(side-note: the exception to this rule is that if you have a fabulous network of joint-venture partners, and you are very experienced creating funnels that convert, and you can fix it VERY quickly in case things go wrong (so you don’t piss off your JV-partners who promoted for you). In that case, by all means: build your product first)
And this is true EVERY … SINGLE … TIME!
Because every single time I go with the excitement and build the product first, the results are GUARANTEED to be sub-optimal.
(incidentally, when I say *I* in this email … that’s me talking about my own ideas, but also countless others I’ve seen in different markets.
Including close friends who have invested months of their time, and big bags of cash of creating products …
… where then either there was no market, or the market had totally different needs from what the product does)
Just to re-iterate, and clarify and emphasize:
this isn’t even about building out products ‘lean-style’ to make sure it meets the market’s needs.
The real issue is this:
If you can’t even build a list … (typically: give something away for free) … then how the heck do you expect to get random strangers to hand over money later on down the line?
“Ok, ok, I want to build a list first …”
so yes, at this point 8 brains out of 10 will go into “ok then, I’ll build a list“-mode.
(the other 2 don’t know how to build a list – reach out to me if you want some pointers)
Sadly, at this point then also the 80-20 principle kicks in:
80% of those 8 who are happy to build a list, will go into creative mode and start over-complicating things:
“ok, I’ll do it, but I’ll do it MY WAY, and add some fancy stuff to it, so it’s special, and reflects my personality, and, and, and”.
(yes, this happens EVERY SINGLE TIME!)
and then – every single time – the 80-20 principle kicks them in the backside and shows them that they should’ve stuck with what works and is proven in the real world.
(and it does it in the form of: “your s**t looks fancy, but doesn’t work“, aka the sucky reality of tumble-weed response to the offer that was SURELY going to crush it in the real world!)
I’m not going to tell you what YOU should be doing, but I can share what I tell my own brain when it gets overly creative:
“P**s off and leave me alone”
and yes, I also thank my brain for trying to be helpful and coming up with creative solutions.
And acknowledge that it does this because it doesn’t actually know what’s TRUE and what isn’t in this particular market.
That last sentence right there is the main problem:
If you don’t know what is TRUE in a particular market (see the 3 steps above!), then everything you do is GUESS-WORK.
And heck, brains are curious, they love guess-work,even when it’s complete make-belief.
Sadly, guess-work, and products & marketing funnels built on guess-work & make-belief are on the wrong-side (the tumble-weed side) of 80-20.
Which brings me to Russell Brunson and his 10X Secrets I mentioned above:
I’ve been following Russell’s work for over a decade now.
And I marvel at the speed at which he evolves & ‘grows up’.
Yes, he had a bit of a ‘hardcore’ salesy period that bordered on ‘exploiting’ sales-psychology
(then again, that too is a matter of ‘perspective’ … and the question is: why did *I* feel uncomfortable with ‘selling’ back then?)
Anyway, he has since evolved his methods to something that’s truly outstanding:
rather than focus on the ‘persuasion’ part … all his work is focused on the part of ‘selling’ noone talks about:
why people DON’T buy.
and I’m not talking about ‘objections’ (almost all ‘objections’ that are voiced aren’t really objections, they are an expression of feeling deep down that a deal isn’t right for you) …
… it’s about genuinely looking at what is stopping people from succeeding with your things.
and then fixing that!
in other words: ENABLING them to succeed.
(which all goes back to Zig Ziglar’s famous quote: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want”.
The idea is to keep asking that one question: “What is stopping them, and what can *I* do to help them succeed”
.And what he’s done in 10X Secrets is create a system for answering that question.
I have witnessed (in the real world, with countless examples) just how powerful this approach is
(actually, I have seen only a small sub-part of his system, namely the webinar-“secrets”, so can’t begin to imagine how effective the entire new system is), …
… and that’s why I’m recommending it wholeheartedly to anyone who ultimately wants to sell their own, or other people’s products.
And because it’s PROVEN in the real world … it is something you absolutely SHOULD model.
Which of course brings us full circle:
The moment you have an idea for a product …
… stop yourself, and decide to become a successful affiliate in that market first.
And for that, focus on the one question that rules them all:
“What is stopping them, and what can *I* do to help them succeed”
(and if you want to shortcut that learning curve, simply fill in the blanks in Russell’s system)
thoughts? Let me know!
PS: my experience is, that more often than not, you don’t even need to create that product you thought of anymore … because you’re being so valuable (helpful) to your market that you’re achieving your goals as an affiliate alone, but that’s a story for another day