If you've ever wondered how to get paid before you actually start the process of product creation, listen up. This is a strategy I've used to do just that multiple times in the past.
I’ve recently learned that Jeff Walker teaches this strategy in his Product Launch Formula course. He calls it the “Seed Launch” so I’ll go ahead and just stick to that term.
Because I’ve never taken Jeff’s course, I’m not sure if the way I do it is exactly the same or not but I definitely know there are some similarities. This is also a strategy that Joe and I taught inside the Evergreen Profits Masterclass (no longer for sale).
The way a seed launch works for product creation is simple:
- Part 1: Come up with the idea for the product
- Part 2: Launch the product
- Part 3: Finally, you create the product
It’s a little bit out of order from the conventional wisdom but it’s very very effective.
In fact, this is the exact way that I originally launched The Evergreen Profits Masterclass. There are a few ways to sell into a seed launch.
- You can create a traditional sales page or sales video and promote what you’re going to be teaching in the product or, you can do what I’ve done and create a webinar.
- On the webinar, you will teach some of the basic concepts that your larger course will teach before doing an actual pitch for the course.
The key to the whole seed launch process is that you don’t actually create the course before selling into the course. You can outline what you’d like to teach and use elements from that outline to tell people what you’re going to teach during your pitch webinar.
The initial pitch webinar itself is actually validating the product. If people buy on the webinar, you go and create the course. If nobody buys, you dodged a bullet of spending time creating a course that nobody wants.
Once people purchase your course, you can either quickly create a product like an Interview Skin Product or you can create the product through live training like we did with the Evergreen Profits Masterclass.
With the “Masterclass”, we pitched the course through about three live webinars. On the webinars, we sold the fact that the training would be conducted live.
It’s actually a big selling point because attendees can ask and get their questions answered in real time. You also ensure you’re keeping your training relevant by handling objections and catering to exactly what your viewers are asking for.
About a week after the first webinar, we had our first live training.
I taught the course in eight modules over six weeks and they were all recorded live. The people who purchased during those first three webinars had the unique opportunity to experience the training in real time and ask any questions that might have popped up.
The training calls were all recorded and added to a members area in Teachable. Up until just a few months ago, we still sold the Evergreen Profits Masterclass that we initially recorded live.
How to create a seed launch before your start product creation:
- Think of a topic that you’d like to create a course about.
- Outline a course on that topic. Simple bullet points of what you’d teach work well.
- Follow a webinar blueprint, like the ones taught by Aaron Fletcher. Pitch into a live course on that topic.
- Use EasyWebinar to collect registrations and conduct the webinar itself.
- Drive Facebook ad traffic to that webinar registration.
- If you have a lot of attendees but no one purchases, either pick a new topic, a new angle, or rework your pitch and then try again.
- If you do have sales on your webinar, create your training through more live webinars. Be sure to record all of your training.
- Load all of the training videos that you recorded into a Teachable account.
- Continue to sell your course recordings for as long as they are relevant.
How To Squeeze More Income Out Of Your Existing Courses That Doesn't Require Further InDepth Product Creation
If you already have an online course, you are going to love this. It’s something we’ve done with a ton of success over and over again.
While I was co-running LearnToBlog.com with Bradley Will, we came up with this idea of selling the “Cliff’s Notes” version of our course. We hired a VA from Upwork and asked them to go through all of our training inside LearnToBlog and take notes on it.
We then had that VA organize their notes into a more readable eBook format. The VA took screenshots of various key points throughout the training videos and plugged them into the relevant spots in the eBook.
All said and done, we had about a 150-page book that covered pretty much all of the strategies from our core course.
We sold our main LearnToBlog membership for $197. In our email followup sequence, if someone had not purchased the main course after about 2 weeks of being on our list, we had an email that went out that offered them the “Cliff’s Notes” version of the course for something like $47.
This was a huge success and allowed us to squeeze a ton of extra income out of the people on our list who felt that $197 was just a bit out of their price range.
The concept worked so well that Joe and I decided to test the concept again with our Content Business Machine course. This time around, one of the course students took the course and took a ton of notes along the way.
I asked him if I could take a peek at his notes and he shared them with me. They were so well done and covered the course so deep that I asked if we could use them as the “Cliff’s Notes” version. Up until a few months ago, we still sold copies of the Content Business Machine Cliff’s Notes.
Here’s the email that went out to sell the Cliff’s Notes version of the Content Business Machine course:
Over the last few weeks, we've re-launched our course, The Content Business Machine…
In the course, we cover how to pick the perfect niche (if you haven't already), how to create a product that this niche will love, and how to drive traffic and build a list… It's pretty dang comprehensive.
Anyway, we were talking to Ryan Hartigan, a member of our private community, and he told us that he had taken the course and it was, hands down, the best course he had ever taken online…
In fact his exact words were:
“CBM is hands-off the best course I've gone through so far and I've gone through a ton. Some of the stuff at the end when you talk about influencer outreach was phenomenal.”
Then Ryan went on to tell us that he took a TON of notes on the course and essentially built his own little strategy guide off of the training…
Of course, we asked to see his notes and he passed them over…
They are AWESOME!
We asked if we could work something out so we could make them available to you and he said “sure, do what you'd like with them.”
So, today, we've got them ready for you…
Here's the special link to them.
You'll notice a couple things right away…
First, it's straight to a checkout page… We haven't actually finished the sales page for these yet…
Second, I applied a coupon to that page, which takes the price down by $10…
Basically, we're going to keep tweaking the notes and dialing them in and adding to them so they are as clear as possible…
However, we wanted to make them available to you quickly… So we got a checkout page up and we put a temporary discount on the offer…
Grab it today, and we'll make sure to email you with any new updates or tweaks to the notes.
So head over to this link…
And grab the notes while they're available at a discount (until tomorrow).
Once we get a new sales page ready, the price goes to normal…
Matt Wolfe & Joe Fier
We actually never even created a sales page for this offer. Instead, we sent them directly to the Thrivecart checkout page. The price was such a “low-barrier” price that it was a no-brainer offer and converted really well.
This promotion was a big success and we sold tons of copies of the Cliff’s Notes. As a bonus, we saw an uptick in sales on the main course. People who bought the notes wanted the whole package!
Creating A Recurring Income Using Other People’s Content
It’s a really simple concept actually. You create a weekly or monthly email newsletter that people can pay to subscribe to. For example, Ben’s newsletter was on the topic of fitness.
Each week he would email all of his paid subscribers with a curated list of blog posts by other people around his topic. He created a sales page that was very transparent about what he was doing and sold members into the letter.
Here are some excerpts from the actual interview that should help you wrap your head around the concept…
“We put together memberships that were completely email-based. It was curated content. We would go find these really good articles, which I'm usually reading anyway because I'm into the topic. We would not only put them in there, but we would start having a little blurb about how all these things related.
What was cool is that the content that was out there was way better than anything I had time to create. People were really jazzed and they liked the way we were tying stuff together. So that's the model that we started using: really simple email newsletters. You pay a fee, you get put on an email list, you get curated content that's very focused on something that you dig and something you're trying to achieve, and you get that every so often. People loved it. We were like, “Why did we go so long trying to make this hard?” That's how it came about.”
I dug in a bit because I assumed the biggest objection would be, “why would people want to pay for something that they could find for free themselves?” Here’s what Ben had to say on that topic…
“I think people underestimate convenience. We all gravitate towards convenience in our lives, but then, when we try to sell something that's convenient, we think, “Well, why couldn't they just go do it themselves?” I always try to think, “If I could wake up in the morning, and someone would hand me a report of everything I needed to know to do my job during the day, or to lose more weight during the day … If they could hand me the exact information that I needed, would I pay a large fee for those things? Would I pay a small fee for those things? Would I pay?”
I would love to wake up every morning and someone came to me with, “Hey Ben, here's how to rank your websites better based on the most current information that's out there.” I'm like, “Yeah, I'd pay for that, right away.” I think it's the convenience.
You can't underestimate what people will pay to have everything handed to them on a silver platter. That's the beauty of it, and that's why people will pay for something they could go find on their own. They don't want to spend the time doing it.”
Finally, I asked Ben how he actually found the content that he curates. He had a cool and simple solution for that as well…
“I have this secret. It's this great website. I don't know what I did without it. It's called BuzzSumo. I first started using BuzzSumo, putting in a URL to backtrack what a website's most popular content was. Then I somehow figured out one day that you can just put in a keyword and it will show you all of this really great, popular, content. You get a list of all this content that's been shared on social media, and how popular it was. You can go find specific websites. Once I find websites that are showing up a lot in those lists for those keywords, that's when I start saying, “Okay, maybe this needs to be in my” … If they're cranking out content like crazy, then I know I've got a good source for our ongoing newsletter. Simple tip there, but man, it has changed my life.”
So there you go… An additional way that you can add new (and recurring) revenue to any existing business.
Joe and I are getting a new YouTube channel put together right now. Once we get our channel live, we'll be sharing the full interview with Ben. So keep an eye out and make sure you're subscribed to our newsletter to be notified when it's available.
Product creation resources to use: