If you own Product In A Weekend, you’ll already be familiar with the concept of a “simple outcome” – a single, easy-to-achieve result that your product can help people achieve.
It’s the premise behind a gateway product – something low-priced enough to be easily accessible while providing a valuable simple outcome that makes it a bit of a no-brainer purchase.
These gateway products are a perfect way to get new people who have just joined your list to make an initial purchase from you. They may not be ready to buy your $297 course or your more expensive monthly coaching, but they can spring $27-47 on something simple.
Then, once they get to know you and trust you, it opens the door to higher-priced purchases later.
But did you know you can incorporate this approach in your larger products and offers – even if they’re in the 4-figure range?
You can. And you probably should. Here’s why.
The days of complex, comprehensive products are (almost?) over.
If you’ve been around IttyBiz since the beginning, you know that many of the products we released from 2010-2015 were MONSTERS.
There was one class (Let’s Fix Your Business) that was 18 weeks long, and clocked in at almost 200,000 words.
Another class was even longer – a year-long program with a half-million words of content. That was a juggernaut.
But word count aside, those programs were so big because they were so comprehensive.
They covered so much material across so many topics. They were great courses (in my own opinion). A person who bought one of those could start coaching and consulting on those topics and make a mint. (And a few did.)
However, times have changed, and the market isn’t as interested in large, comprehensive programs.
Part of that is because the demands of business have gone up. In 2010, “blogging” entailed writing something, maybe adding a picture if you were feeling ambitious, and telling your audience on social media (or waiting for all those RSS subscribers to click on your new post). That's about it.
There was time to dig in and learn, because work responsibilities were lighter – and online competition wasn’t nearly as widespread. Learning the ins and outs of online marketing was also easier, because there were fewer components to account for.
Flash forward to today.
Now, there are more components involved in maintaining your Pinterest feed than there were in running an entire online business a decade ago.
As an ittybiz owner, your business life is more complicated, too. Your customers are also in a similar boat – whatever they’re coming to you for in their life / business, that thing is more complicated than it was a decade ago.
So complex, comprehensive products can be intimidating. Many people won’t buy them, because they can’t conceive of processing and implementing that much material.
Buyers want a more simplified, targeted experience these days. They want products, courses and services that are easier to understand. They also want to have to invest less time and attention to consume the material (and to put it into practice).
If you simplify your products, you’ll increase the odds that people will buy them.
There’s a reason that The 1-Hour Content Plan became our best-selling product, even before it was put in the Karma Store on pay-what-you-want pricing.
Sure, the concept of creating a content plan in an hour is enticing. But the obviousness of “this won’t take long” is a much stronger selling point than the specific amount of time. It lowers resistance for the buyer. (They don’t want to spend forever on something any more than you do.)
The same applies to other Karma Store products like Product In A Weekend and The Plug & Play series, which covers subjects like blog posts, branding and pricing.
These are small, easy to consume products with a simple outcome. So they’re easier for people to buy, because people can see that it won't be that difficult to use them.
You can still make bigger products – you just have to keep them simplified so they can be used quickly.
Some of our older products – like List Explosion and 300: How To Get 300 Loyal, Repeat Customers Buying Your Stuff are products that have a longer implementation window.
They’re easy to consume, but there’s quite a bit of work to put them into practice. They’re definitely not gateway products.
But bigger courses can be inherently simplified.
Take Easy-Peasy Sales Pages, for example.
Yes, it does take a while to put a sales page together – especially if you’re new. That’s true. But I specifically built that course from the ground up so that each component could be completed as quickly as possible.
If I had written that product 10 years ago, I probably would have made it comprehensive. I would have tried to teach people how to be amazing copywriters – so good they could charge for it.
Instead, I took the approach of designing the product so that you’d have to learn the minimum possible to do a “perfectly good” job of writing your sales page.
I didn’t try and throw in the kitchen sink. I just came up with the shortest path to getting a desirable result – getting a good page written, without taking any longer than necessary.
And that’s something I can communicate to customers on the sales page. The course is easy. The bonus copywriting course that comes with it is a “crash course”, not a masters-level program. And I’m only teaching one market-proven template, not the full range of possible options.
If you can keep things on the simple side, it’s easier for customers – and for you, the creator as well.
One of the reasons people don’t create more products is that they automatically think they have to be complex, comprehensive, and large.
That’s intimidating as hell for the average product creator. And if a product is intimidating for you to make, it’s going to be intimidating for people to buy.
So as you create your courses and products – whether they’re $27 or $2,000 – go through the product design process asking yourself questions like these:
- What are the most valuable outcomes that buyers really care about?
- What’s the simplest / easiest way to give those to them?
- How can I simplify my creation process?
- What can I cut / leave out that’s not absolutely required?
- What kinds of templates, shortcuts and examples can I include in my product that will make it visibly easier to implement the content?
Questions like these keep your product scope nice and tight, and they make it easier for buyers to understand what they’ll truly get in exchange for their money.
(And in fact, many people use Product In A Weekend to create simplified course modules for larger offerings. It works crazy-fast.)
The easier you make it on your buyers, the happier they’ll be to send money your way.
If you need any help scoping out your next small product, get in touch with me. I can design your product from the ground up so it will be easy to create – and easy to buy.
(And if you’re busy with clients & other things, I can write it for you, too. Just a thought.)
Products mentioned in this post:
- 300: How to Get 300 Loyal, Repeat Customers Buying Your Stuff
- Easy-Peasy Sales Pages
- List Explosion
- Product In A Weekend
- The 1-Hour Content Plan
- Plug & Play Blog Posts
- Plug & Play Branding
- Plug & Play Pricing
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