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Turn Your Ideas Into New Income Streams In 10 Steps

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Turn Your Ideas Into New Income Streams In 10 Steps

Now, more than ever, turning what is in our head into a viable multi-channel business is crucial. It is imperative to maximise the opportunities both in person and in digital environments to fully capture the business potential in a changing world. Most of all we need to think strategically before investing in the actual doing of the product creation so you know it is viable for your market.

It can be a confusing landscape to venture into the world of digital products which is not a guarantee for success. Many people are producing digital products in the hope that this is a business transformation, but many people spend a fortune and the products stand untouched in the digital ether.

With 73%* of digital transformations failing, it is imperative the right strategic foundations of productisation are in place. Don’t just follow the crowd.

This approach is founded in the process of Productisation Privot™ where you need to turn your services into products.

There are some key steps in making a successful business and successful products. Here are some useful tips:

1. Purpose and Problems

What is the reason that you do what you do? What problem are you solving?

Many business owners think they have a great idea, but mysteriously it doesn’t sell. Some create products around something they love to do, but don’t really know if the market wants it too. There are others with a genuinely good idea and a market fit but just don’t know how to get it to market. Some don’t know where to even begin. There are countless ‘experts’ selling digital solutions and technologies with a vested interest in selling it and it may not be in your best interest. May creative and technology talent do what is asked of them and never question if it will actually work in the market.

Digital products are not the only way to monetise your intellectual property and many are stuck copying what their peers are doing without knowing the options available to them.

You need to follow a sound process starting with the certainty that you are solving an important problem, and that your go-to-market solutions are really right for you personally, and are sustainable.

Even big brands need to figure this out and many confuse what purpose means. Some think purpose is about social cause or corporate social responsibility (which are good things, but not the whole game). Having a purpose behind what you do gives meaning and understanding to both you and your customers.

Purpose can be as simple as ‘Making life easier’, ‘Having less waste’ or even

‘Making my client’s have a happier life’. Some get a lot of meaning out of ensuring that others don’t make the same mistakes as them for example. Your purpose doesn’t have to be about saving the world at all, although brands like Patagonia have a great knack for doing both.

Most of all, having a purpose makes it easier for those prospects that need what you are selling to know that you are the one that solves their problem.

2. Audience Profiling

It is super important to be clear on your prospective target audience, however if you are thinking in terms of gender, age, salary levels and those factors marketers refer to as demographic profiling you may be missing out on big opportunities and also doing harm by fostering outdated stereotypes in society.

Many automatically look at past sales figures and assume that is your key audience, when that is the audience who bought from you based on the bias in society or in the marketing and media placement in the past. Past sales are not a reflection of your potential audience of the future.

Think about the gaming industry for a moment. If past sales were their indicator of who their target audience was some would have said that only men, and younger men would have bought online games from here to eternity. Nintendo was smart enough to figure out the potential audience was a more inclusive market including women and families of all ages and stages when they brought the Nintendo Wii to market. The Nintendo Wii solved a lot of the barriers that prevented women, feminine people and parents to play games that engaged the whole family and got people moving at the same time. This product would never have been created if they’d been stuck in the mindset of following sales statistics to determine market.

Think instead about what binds people together in their attitude, values, problems, challenges and needs (attitudinal segmentation) instead of thinking about demographic profiling.

Consider the single woman who is 35 years old, earns $150K and is a professional white collar worker. Many think she is the target audience for the travel industry, but marketing to this segment has a lot of wastage if you think about two of them side by side where one is an avid traveler and the other is more focused on nesting at home. That’s 50% of the marketing activity wasted. Instead if you targeted anyone who has a taste for adventure travel you will reach all ages and stages and even income levels but very tightly niche into a particular type of travel bug. Australia Tourism did this exact thing by shifting to attitudinal segmentation with 300% better sales results than targeting with demographics.

If anyone suggests you create an avatar or a customer profile for a single person represented by demographic factors then you are missing the real opportunity. That doesn’t mean that you can’t target by gender, age or other demographic factors but it really needs to be stress tested to be sure you are not making assumptions about what their attitude, needs or values are. Target directly for the attitude and values instead and you’ll be far more effective.

3. Process Elicitation

Creating a process around your service offering and giving it a name is a very sound way for the prospective audience to understand why they need you and what it is that you do.

The more tangible the process is as a defined name, a ‘thing’ that they can grasp onto they’ll be able to see how the product fits into their needs.

Think in terms of their needs and not what you do also.

The process can be step by step, a unique combination of values and qualities, even a visual thread, or way of working for a specific audience. I call this your ‘Magic Formula’ that is unique to you.

What is your magic formula? The specific combination of all things that make you a unique customer experience?

4. Market Positioning

Think about where your brand is positioned in the market in terms of pricing, product design including features/value, place and promotion. The 4 P’s of marketing. Wrap all this up in the right personality, the right messaging and value proposition.

Consider also the level of prestige or cheapness and what that looks like visually too.

What brand personality does your customer need you to have? You can’t just adopt your own personality and apply it to your businesses if you are to be more certain of market success, but instead you need to become what your core customers need you to be.

5. Content Themes

What themes support your core brand strategy and product offering?

Keep the themes to just 3 main ‘spheres of conversation’ so people know exactly what you stand for.

Is it relevant to what you stand for?
Is it supporting what you ultimately sell?
Is it relevant or can you tie in relevance?
What are the over-riding focus points that ties in the many things you have to say?
How can you simplify what you stand for so people know what your point of view really is?
Can you group things together into a higher value so it makes sense to others?
Have you applied this to program content and your marketing content?
What content do you currently have that can be moved from in person delivery to online delivery and fit within your new content strategy?

Once you have done your brand strategy work you can review your current content and do a SWOT Analysis (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).

Check in from time to time – is this resonating with your audience?

6. Brand Protection

From branding to the legal aspects of brand ownership and what makes your offer unique?

There are many aspects to getting your brand protected including the following:

· Logo/identity

· Trade mark

· Copyright

· Trade secrets

· Design protection

· Patents

· Branding

· Domain properties

· Brand asset management

Some of these are a mix of design and branding work to secure the look and feel of your brand to keep everything aligned so that it can only be remembered as your brand. Others are legal requirements or protections but also you need to protect the assets that have been created at your expense and be sure they are managed well to be safe for use by your marketing team ongoing.

7. Ascension Modelling

Many business owners and coaches have just one product offer whether that is a package of six coaching sessions or one to one coaching by the hour. The failing with this is the lost opportunity for those people who have varying degrees of budget, time and also different levels of need too. Having products that allow for a small toe in the water and then lead your customers up the line with increasing levels of your personal time helps protect the commercial value of those precious face to face hours.

Many business owners and coaches have just one product offer whether that is a package of six coaching sessions or one to one coaching by the hour. The failing with this is the lost opportunity for those people who have varying degrees of budget, time and also different levels of need too. Having products that allow for a small toe in the water and then lead your customers up the line with increasing levels of your personal time helps protect the commercial value of those precious face to face hours.

Your audience are also likely to consume content and products with intellectual property in a variety of ways and having something for a range of people widens your audience reach.

Producing a lot of different products can be costly so it is recommended to build the plan and ensure that all products will lead to and from each other to maximise the lifetime value of your customers, but produce the programs and products one step at a time. The demand often presents if you are doing things right and the next release becomes obvious. This helps you produce products at the right pace without spending a lot up front too.

A sound product ascension model is created to drive customers from a low risk trial of your offering to a bigger purchase by helping them understand what your value is and how you can help them.

All products in the ascension model are created so that they make sense in the total landscape without cannibalising each product and creating confusion and paralysis that prevents sales.

Pricing with a solution for all levels helps you ensure you reach the widest audience. Determine the amount of YOU that your market gets for each level in the ascension model to ensure your time is valued appropriately and you can get out of the time for money rut. This will likely be a DIY product with very little of you right up to personal one on one time for premium services.

8. Market Release

From safe trials to getting your product to market. If a product is not selling in the real world then it is quite likely it won’t sell online either. Getting the fundamentals right in the beginning and being certain you have a market is a wise way to launch your intellectual property.

Many digital marketers can be thinking about one or two types of digital products and they’re on auto-pilot. Many are selling to you based on the technology that they are familiar with or have a vested interest in, but is it really the best option for you?

At the end of the day you need informed decision making and to fit in with what you want to do as a business owner. Asking yourself what brings you the most joy, or what do you actually want to be doing will help guide you too. Know that there are many technologies and many different types of products available and you also need to consider what you are prepared to do ongoing and what time is involved for you to deliver them.

Solutions you choose need to fit in with your current marketing pipeline in the most cost-effective way also.

An important factor is in aligning the media channel with your audience and don’t just get roped into spending money with a digital marketer just because that’s what they do.

When you release your product to market you can create a 3 phase launch plan:

· Pre-launch content

· Launch content

· Post launch content

For multiple programs/events you can repeat this cycle.

9. Scale

Whether it be your service delivery, your administration systems or your workflow systems including the technology stack that delivers your products or your marketing you need to be ready to scale and at the right time without over-capitalising up front. Reducing initial costs ensure that cash flow is put to better use and you protect yourself from backing an unproven product.

Getting the business in the door as a constant and repeatable flow of leads is crucial to business growth. Having a sound process and dedicated team will be necessary, but there is much that can be done to minimise the head hours and put the time where it matters the most for conversion and up-selling.

Marketing is simply an amplification of the business model. If you don’t have a sound business and product line in place then marketing will only help you fail faster and use up valuable dollars in the process. Doing the right marketing at the right time is where the value is for scaling. Don’t just do what the others do, as they could be failing faster than you! Scale at a pace that ensures the best ROI is there. Customer feedback will be central to the success of your marketing activities. In the early development days sales and marketing will likely take 85% of your commitment each day to be successful.

Once you have loyal customers in place they’ll be looking for ways to have more of you. Product design needs to factor in ways for the smallest cost to get the least of your time and personal attention, and then move customers up the line to get more of you for a premium price. Once they’re loyal advocates you can create product extensions and VIP offers to keep them retained for years to come. Your happy customers also become your next line of lead generators by referral too.

10. Refresh and Reinvent

Learn from what your market wants and respond to maximise the growth. Kaizen principles of is a Japanese business philosophy of small and continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency. This applies to all parts of business from the CEO to the assembly line workers to achieve more successful change over the long term.

Constantly reviewing feedback from your customers will help you develop product improvements and continue to remain relevant to your growing market.

Author Anne Miles is Founder of Suits&Sneakers, a global network of top marketing, media and advertising talent. Anne is a qualified Business and Life Coach with a specialty in intellectual property productization and also a LinkedIn trainer and strategist.

More on Productisation Pivot™ here:


Source: McKinsey

Unsplash credit: Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash


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