What I learnt from creating a product my clients didn’t think they needed.

My focus this week is on understanding your client profiles and focusing on what they actually want. There’s a broader lesson in this that will apply to anyone who is in project management, product or content development, and that is all about how to recycle, or repurpose your content if it doesn’t ‘work’ the first time.

So here’s the story.

I was encouraged to create an online course early into my business by a well meaning business coach – at the time they were all the rage and it made perfect sense if I was going to show people how to create quality courses that I had a demonstration of best practice #alwaysgratefulforthisadvice so went head long into creating it – a year spent creating, piloting, reviewing, re-creating then getting it online – my flag ship course. So proud. When the first launch fell kinda flat, I was amazingly disappointed and so I asked my existing clients (the ones I really enjoyed working with) what they really wanted. Guess what they said? ‘Not another online course – I just want your help one to one!’

So there are two morals to this story.

1. Know what your clients want BEFORE you jump headlong into creating a product they may not actually be interested in buying, using or engaging with. There’s only one way to really understand what they want, and that is to ask them – so – ask before you create. Sales and marketing 101 right?

2. If you do end up creating a product that didn’t end up being as successful as you’d hoped, recycle and repurpose! Did I throw that course, and the year of hard work down the drain? Dear Gods NO! I just changed the way I ‘sold’ it. Instead of becoming an online personality with a social media following, becoming a sales guru and selling 0000s of courses (which to be honest never really appealed to me anyway), I just buckled down and focused on doing the work I do best – one on one with people – when they need the lessons in that course, I now can give them an option – “OK – well, now that we’re at this point, you can pay me by the hour to walk you through it, or you can go and access the online learning as part of your package (at no extra cost).”

Guess what most of them choose?

You guessed it. The course. Nuts right? What that means though, is that I can feel solid about the rates I charge because they don’t just get access to me on an hourly basis – they get all my IP thrown in ‘for free’, and if they don’t have the budget to work with me at all? Then yes, they can still access the online courses and learn that way.

It’s all about speaking their language, speaking in terms that will resonate with them.

Do you want an online course? No. Do you want some self study materials to supplement your one-to-one coaching program so that you can save some time and money? Yes. Same content, described differently. What do YOUR clients think they need?

If you’re handed a lemon,

find a way to make some sweet, sweet lemonade – or in other words, if something doesn’t quite work out the way you thought it might, recycle or repurpose it into something that does work for you! If you really don’t think it’s that important to profile your clients, find out how many times I learnt the hard way – (egg. on. my. face. so many times.)

creating a product

So what can you do to avoid creating products your clients simply won’t buy?

Do the research. Find out what they do and don’t want, and the language they use to describe it, then pitch at a level that is going to resonate with them. Use their unique experiences to help mould and craft a learning experience that is going to speak to them directly, challenge them and push them to grow their skills with your help.

Ready to find out how to source that information?

So you don’t end up with egg on YOUR face? The lesson below has step by step questions and examples to help guide you on how to create your own pre-work surveys. Profile your clients. Get the intelligence. Then use it when creating a product or a learning experience that blows them out of the water.

The lesson is available here.

It’s located in the FOUNDATIONS Level of the Library, in the Product Development course:

Lesson 1.1 Client Profiling

Click on the above link to be taken directly to the Lesson. If you’re already  a member of the Product Development  course, make sure you’re logged in! If you’re not, you’ll be redirected to the page where you can become a member.

client profiling and creating a product

Great content stuck in your head & hard drives?

So much to think about . . .

>> What to put in & leave out, in what order?

>> How to package it? Or deliver it? Online?

>> Will it just be a waste of time & money?

>> Will the content actually help people and help me build my reputation as the go-to-professional in my field?

My quiz can help!

Do this 3 minute quiz, and find out exactly which areas you need help with.

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