Ann wants to know how to set prices for entry level products.  She asks:

Dear Naomi–

I have a question about entry level products. You have said that they are not [ultimately] meant to be money makers [and that their real value is helping customers see what your paid offerings look like so that they can trust your higher priced offers].

I had arrived at the idea that I needed to offer a low priced product so that people could feel they know me a little before considering whether they want to buy coaching.

My question is — What about creating products that do make money? Where does that fall in the process? My vision for my practice is to coach one on one for about 50% of my available time and then to have one or two solid product offerings that would round out my services.

Also, what is your definition of low price? How low? I know one person I work with sells her products for $27 which seems very low to me however, she has a big list and if 1000 people buy well, that’s a good product. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks,
Ann

Here’s my advice for Ann on pricing entry level products:

Hi Ann,

Great question! When it comes to entry level products, they certainly can end up being money makers, but that you shouldn’t get too attached to them being money makers in the short term. We see a lot of people who make a lower-priced product expecting it to be the thing that gets them to that “50% of their income” point. It can happen, but it’s not necessarily easy to do.

To answer your question about “where do the other products fall in the process”, you can pretty much put them anywhere you want. But it’s very useful to have something simple and lower priced in place sooner rather than later.

To match up with your vision, we’d say that the best path for you is to get an entry-level product out there and have it be something you actively sell – as in you mention it in emails and blog posts, you have it visible in your blog sidebar, etc. – for two reasons.

  • First, you’ll get money from people who don’t have the funds for something bigger (or aren’t ready to spend more yet) . So that’s money you wouldn’t get otherwise.
  • Second, you keep your audience conditioned to the commerce – basically, they see you actively selling one thing, so when you come out with your larger offerings they’re already accustomed to you selling things. It may sound like a little thing, but it’s actually a pretty big factor in terms of sales. Then, when you have your one or two big guns, you’ll be able to sell those more easily while still getting some smaller sales from the entry-level product.

Now! About the “definition of low price”.

This is another good question – and there’s no globally applicable answer to this. What you’re really aiming for here is a price that seems reasonable for someone who isn’t ready to spend a substantial amount of money (yet). In a lot of cases, the $27-$47 range is a good one.

It’s very much like buying video games for kids. When I walk into Best Buy and see a game for $49 or $59, I’m often thinking, “I’m not spending that much money on a game I don’t know anything about”, but then I see games for $19 or $29 and I’m much more willing to give them a shot. So in that case it comes down to “Well, it’s not as expensive as that other thing, so it feel safer.”

Also consider what people are used to in terms of pricing. Books have their own “normal” price range. With information products, $27-$47 cover the low end. Audio programs can be $15-$30 on the low end. So there’s no “right” number. But you do want it to be relatively far away from the price of your coaching. So if you charge $200/hr for coaching, $27-$47 products are “not as expensive as that other thing.” If you charge $100/hr, you might want to try a little lower, like $27, period, to preserve the gap.

At the end of the day, the price is really not nearly as important as the marketing. If you can communicate the benefits of what’s in the product well enough, the price isn’t as much of a make-or-break. Again, it’s like books. If the back cover really sells you, you don’t let the price occupy your mind too much.

xx
Naomi

About the author: Naomi Dunford started IttyBiz in 2006. In her free time, she likes to… ha! Free time. You’re adorable. Learn more about her here and catch up with her on Twitter or Facebook.

Mary wants to know how to balance newsletter content for multiple audiences. She asks:

“I’m wondering how to break my newsletter content down into different levels, to accommodate both beginners and more experienced people.

Right now I start off my weekly newsletter with a short message from that I try to work into whatever aspect of meditation I am sharing that week. Sometimes I share beginner content, sometimes I share content for more experienced meditators. I always share something about tea because my website is called “sip and om”. So the sip part is easy for the newsletter but the om part is what’s confusing me in regard to my newsletter.

I’ve thought of choosing a theme each month and then sharing something that goes with the theme. For example, if we are working on the 4th chakra, then each week I can pull in different parts of experiencing tips and techniques to support your 4th chakra. But beginners don’t really know what a chakra is.

I’d love your thoughts.

Thanks so much!”

Mary

Here’s my advice to Mary on balancing newsletter content for multiple audiences:

Hi Mary –

In cases like this – where you cover X and Y (and maybe even Z and A and B and C) – it’s helpful to think of your different types of customers and the different “what’s most important to them” things and imagine them as little circles that cross over each other like a Venn Diagram.

Basically, in your newsletters, you can put your muscle into covering core things that are in the intersection of the Venn Diagram, the things that all your readers care about, and feel free to link back to little areas that are outside of the intersection.

For example, at IttyBiz we have a lot of different reader interests. We have coaches who are trying to make six figures and jewelry makers who just want to make $500 a month and bloggers who want to make $30K so they can quit their crappy day job. That’s a bit of a mish mash of interests.

So, we look at the Venn Diagram and see that all of these humans are seeking emotional support, knowing that they’re not alone, a desire to have hope rekindled, some level of validation that they’re not crazy for wanting to start a business, and some generalized marketing advice that can globally apply to all of the different reader types.

Using that information as a base, we can then create a newsletter that is appropriate for everyone, and we also have the option to periodically link to specific blog content that addresses the needs of the six-figure coach, the jewelry seller and the blogger here and there. But mostly the newsletter just keeps them feeling good and warm and ready for future promotions.

The difference between newsletter and blog content is that people can see multiple articles at a glance and decide what they want to click on. So it’s a bit more of a buffet for them, and we keep targeted content there. A piece on X, a piece on Y and Z and A and B and C. But the newsletter isn’t a buffet, it’s a meal that’s delivered to their door, so we make it generally palatable.

So that’s the long answer. Essentially, we’d say try and write things that have a general appeal to the specific desires in the Venn crossover, and feel free to link out to Chakras and Tea here and there. That keeps everyone reading every newsletter over the long term. And totally pepper newsletters with subtle references to the X and Y and Z while you focus on crossover topics.

Hope that helps. Great question.

xx
Naomi

About the author: Naomi Dunford started IttyBiz in 2006. In her free time, she likes to… ha! Free time. You’re adorable. Learn more about her here and catch up with her on Twitter or Facebook.

How to take the drama out of running your businessEvery business owner has drama.

Not small drama, either.

Whether you’re making millions or pennies, you have Big Stuff impacting your business.

Drama makes people afraid. Paralyzed. Worried. Flaky. Stressed. Impulsive. Depressed. Hyper. Reclusive. Insecure. Quick to rattle. Closed-minded. Easily led. The list could go on forever.

You, by being alive, are one of these people.

Your drama affects your ability to run your business.

Drama sucks.

Should we address this issue now?

Let’s replace “drama” with “psychological block.”

(We addressed psychological blocks in an earlier post about doubling your revenue and profit. If you haven’t read it, click that link. It will pop up in a new window or tab so you won’t lose this page.)

Let’s define a psychological block as “the thing you’re thinking that’s screwing you up.”

That thing tends to create lots of drama inside your head. Lots of strong emotions that either overpower you or drag you down. Instead of doing your thing, you’re not doing your thing. Instead of feeling good, you’re feeling terrible.

This happens in peaks and valleys. Sometimes you’re feeling good. Sometimes you look back and think, “Oh my god, I expected to get SO much more done! I suck!” Liberal application of gin and tonics ensues. Shortly after that, you’re listening to Leonard Cohen.

Not good.

Let’s see if we can help you through the psychological blocks. (If you don’t do it for your business, at least do it for your liver.)

This is the ONLY thing you have to do (to start).

When defusing a psychological block, there is one critical step that must come first.

You have to decide to DO it.

That’s where everyone fails.

They don’t decide it’s REALLY time to fix their block. They don’t decide it has to GO, once and for all. They wander around feeling bad and wondering why it’s not getting better.

You must decide that you will beat this thing.

Even if you have no idea how that’s going to happen.

All you have to do to begin is decide you’re definitely going to DO it. It is not too big for you. No matter how many years it has dominated your thinking, you are going to resolve it.

That is all you have to do to start.

Give 100% of your attention to making the decision that enough is enough. This drama is not okay anymore. You refuse to let it have power over you anymore.

This is easier said than done, but it can be done. You can do it if you stop handing all your power over to your drama.

Remember when you started your business? When you just told yourself you were going to DO this thing? Even though you had no idea how you were going to pull it off? And you just decided to begin, without the thought of giving up in your head? That’s what we’re going to do here.

If you can step away from yourself for just a moment, you can get some distance. You can say out loud that you don’t HAVE to spend your life letting this drama claim dominion. You can believe there’s something you can do, and you are going to do it.

Once that’s out of the way, do this.

The next step is pretty simple. It gets you out of your head and into other people’s heads.

The goal of this step is to break the power of your psychological block. At this point, you may feel like your situation is unique. It’s possible you feel your issue is permanent or unsolvable. This step takes the power away from those beliefs.

All you have to do in this step is ask yourself this question:

“What do OTHER people do when they are trying to fix this problem?”

You’ll come up with a few ideas. Each one of them will trigger little voices in your head. “But my issue is different. Maybe that works for them, but it won’t work for me.”

This is normal and understandable. We all think we are unique and special flowers. We think we have unsolvable problems. Our dramas are different than everyone else’s.

Ok, but let’s play pretend. Just for a tiny little moment, pretend your drama isn’t THAT different. There are seven billion people on this planet. Surely a few of them have issues that are close to the one you have.

Nobody’s situation is truly unique. Maybe the total collection of each of your particular circumstances is fairly unique. But take any one of them and there are a hundred people solving the problem in a hundred ways.

Whatever obstacle you’re facing, someone has found a solution to it. Someone has found a solution that will work for you… as soon as you stop telling yourself it won’t.

When other people DECIDE to solve the problem that you also have, they find a way.

The solution is out there. The only thing in question is your willingness to find the solution, even if it takes a while to do so.

Ask yourself how other people solve the issues you’re facing. If you don’t think it will work for YOU, then ask the question a little deeper this time. Maybe change the question to “How do other people like ME tend to solve this problem?”

Assume the solution exists.

No matter how disorganized you are…

no matter how much you procrastinate…

no matter how much you feel like you don’t have the time…

or the courage…

or the confidence…

or the skill…

There are a hundred people out there – who are just like you or have it WAY worse than you – who find a way.

Your job is to become that kind of person.

Again, not remotely easy, but there is generally no reason a drama has to stay a drama. Thanks to the power of Google, the solutions you need are there for the finding.

But!

It only works if you did the first step – deciding to DO it.

There is no pithy wrap-up to this post.

I’d love to give you seven top tips. I wish I could slice and dice every drama you may have in your business.

But there aren’t. And I can’t. Life is a pain in the ass sometimes. That’s a fact.

You don’t have to invite the pain in the ass in, tell it to take the good couch, and stay as long as it wants.

You don’t have to let your drama rule you forever.

YOU rule YOU.

Don’t let your partner, your parents, or anyone else tell you anything different.

Don’t even let YOU tell you anything different.

You get to decide what kind of life you have from this day forward.

When you decided to start your business, no one could stop you.

When you decide you want this drama out of your life, no one can stop you, either.

About the author: Naomi Dunford started IttyBiz in 2006. In her free time, she likes to… ha! Free time. You’re adorable. Learn more about her here and catch up with her on Twitter or Facebook.