A few years ago, I was a no-name blogger making zero money. My wife and I were broke and in a lot of debt. I had no idea how to make money online.
Now, I’m a six-figure entrepreneur who works 100 percent for himself, making money while I sleep (which feels as awesome as it sounds). The other day, I asked my wife how much we had in the bank. She checked our bank account, looked at me with a little grin, and said two beautiful words: “…A lot.”
I’ve learned how to make a lot of money online, the kind of money that changed my life. It starts with creating your first great product. Here’s a five-step guide for making sure that the first product is insanely profitable.
Find Out What Your #1 Skill Is. What Can You Teach?
I’ve made almost all my money through information products – online courses, coaching, books, writings, training, and workshops. They’re an easy sell: They’re evergreen, infinitely scalable, and easy to make.
A while back, I enrolled in an online mastermind group learning how to create high-ticket products ($2,000–$10,000 range). I was having a really hard time. After spending a lot of money and time, I learned a very valuable lesson: Before I could successfully sell a high-ticket product, I needed to know what that product was.
I realized a blunt truth – I had no idea! I needed to spend more time figuring that out. Even if it’s your first small product, you need to figure out the answer if you want your first product to be insanely profitable. What is your number one skill? What is the main thing you can teach people?
I’ve learned the hard way: People won’t buy your product if it doesn’t help them solve a problem. People also won’t buy your product if it tries to solve all their problems. It’s better for you and your clients if you can do one thing very well.
What is that thing?
It might take some time to figure that out. That’s OK, this is a crucial step in creating a product that actually sells. There are hundreds of thousands of cheap (or free) online courses on places like Ebizcourse and DICourses that no one buys; in almost every case, the creator didn’t create a product that solved one thing well. What is the one thing you know can help people with?
Price It Under $100
Eventually, your first insanely profitable product can be expanded upon to earn you a fortune. It’s the first step of your value ladder.
As I’ve written before, “Every successful business has a rock-solid value ladder – an ascending list of products/services that increase in value and price.” If you want insanely successful products, you need to start with a great first step of your value ladder.
After years of experimenting with price, value, and products, I’ve learned that the best initial products are priced under $100 (frankly, they’re usually priced under $50). It’s a low-enough price point where new buyers won’t be scared away, and high-enough that lets you reinvest meaningful profits back into your business.
Once you find your number one skill that solves a major problem for your clients, package it into an inexpensive product priced under $100.
Here are some small first product ideas that have worked really well for me:
- Small online courses
- A book (physical or eBook)
- A short consulting/coaching call
Some of my colleagues have seen extremely high sales rates from things like email courses, Slack channel memberships, or mastermind groups.
Remember – this first product must solve an important problem, using real solutions you can provide. I’ve bought a few books, courses, and coaching calls where I quickly realized the seller didn’t know what they were talking about. It left a bad taste in my mouth, and I’d usually request a refund. Once you find your great product, package it in a way where you can sell it for less than $100 (or even $50).
Automate Your Sales Process
One of the best parts about making money online? Once you create something great, you can set it on autopilot and move on to bigger, more important tasks.
The more you automate, the more money you make. Once you’ve created your first product, you want to spend as little time as possible with upkeep and maintenance. I ask my entrepreneur clients a simple question: If you got a huge spike in traffic today, would you make a lot of money?
You never know when you’re going to get a big influx of potential customers. You don’t want to waste precious clients because you were busy fixing technical issues or forced to offer refunds because the sales process failed.
Years ago, an old writer friend of mine wrote an extremely viral article, getting tens of millions of views in a couple of weeks. The problem was, he hadn’t set up an email sign-up in his article. By the time he set it up, most of the traffic had come and gone.
Afterward, he estimated he missed out on 125,000+ email subscribers. Imagine what he could’ve done with that list. How much money he could’ve made, how many people he could’ve helped.
Automate your sales process. Then, everything will be in order when you get traffic spikes, both paid and organic. For me, I use high-end email software (ConvertKit) and pair it with my online course software (I use ClickFunnels). Both allow me to automate everything – all product shipping, customer information, fulfillment, and product delivery.
Automating tools might be pricey, but they’re one of the best investments I’ve ever made in my business. I spend more than a thousand dollars a month on these automating tools alone. But they allow me to make ten times more money, with a fraction of the hassle.
Position That Product To Be the First (and Only) Thing Your Traffic Sees
For years, I used the same first step of my value ladder: A self-help online course priced at $37.
Each year, I’d make thousands of dollars from that one course alone. It was all automated, and everything funneled into it. If you watched a webinar, read an article I wrote, listened to a podcast I was on, saw an ad for my work, all of it led to my $37 online course. As soon as people joined my community, they were told a simple message:
Everyone in my community needs this one thing to start, so buy it.
This message is very powerful. It simplifies your business, giving new customers an inexpensive opportunity to see what my community is really about. The reason I’ve gotten so many customers for that one online course is that everyone sees it.
Once you create the product and automate the process, make sure everyone sees it. Make sure they all understand a simple truth: if they want to know more (about you), then this is the thing they need.
If you can do this well, it becomes a no-brainer to sign up. That’s why I get three to five times higher sales rates than my colleagues who are still figuring it all out.
The most successful entrepreneurs have the most focused, simplified processes. It’s not about spamming readers with everything you’ve got; it’s about giving everyone a sole directive: Buy this thing.
Re-Engage Older Readers With New Training and Videos
In his book Traffic Secrets, Russell Brunson explained that after 30–60 days, most subscribers have a huge drop-off rate to buy your products, even the cheapest ones.
Most entrepreneurs send sales letters after sales letters to their email lists, not realizing they need to re-engage these older readers through training and videos.
This was me for a long time. If a new reader/subscriber didn’t buy my $37 online course, I just kept trying to sell it to them over and over. Sometimes it worked, especially if I gave it a limited-time discount. But the sales rates were very low.
Eventually, I started focusing on giving my email list fun, free training (I especially like webinars, Facebook Lives, and live videos) that got them interested in my content in a new way. Then, I presented the $37 online course and saw a much higher conversion rate.
If your readers aren’t buying, find a new way to get them interested in your message. Videos and training are a great way to show your face, build rapport, reward your long-time subscribers with exciting new content, and sell your product.