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Build to Sell

Lesson 11 from: Turn Your Service Into a Product

Tara McMullin

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Lesson Info

11. Build to Sell

Lesson Info

Build to Sell

All right, so, like I said, this is probably the number one thing that I hear about when it comes to turning a service or any idea really into a product, I don't know how I could take the time to build a product that I don't know well, cell yesterday, we talked about that investment mindset that you need to have as a business owner instead of just someone who owns their own job and this idea of making time, taking the time to build a product because it is an investment, you know, if if you're not if you're not able to take that time, or if you if you're scared that you're not going to get the return on investment of your time, you're not going to find the time not going to make the time to actually build the thing. If you don't build the thing, you can't revolutionize the way your business makes money and that's what we're here to do, we're here to figure out a whole new way for your business to make money so let's, take a look at what we're going to do over the next few lessons were h...

andled lessons ten through eighteen over the course of today, so you will outline the process for building a product that resonates, something that just grabs people, something that connects with people on a very organic, deep level you're going to research what your customers know right now and discover how what you want to sell can fit right in because here's, the thing if the product that you're trying to sell, if people don't see how that fits into their lives right now, how it fits in need, how it helps them achieve a goal, they're not going to buy it, they're not going to see how it fits it's in either. So what that's our job that's our burden and we're going to get that handled today. We're also going to test your product idea with certain us with social media and content marketing, so that even before you start taking lots of ours or lots of time to build this product, you have a really good idea that the direction you're headed is something that people want, something that they understand the value of. We're going to clearly and succinctly describe what you have to offer again. This is a huge complaint that I hear you know, in terms of road blocks from people moving from one phase of their business into their next and it's a it's a really good insight to people understand that because they don't know how to clearly and suzie sync, clea state what they have to offer. But they're not getting the sales that they could. They're not breaking into the markets that they could be breaking into, so we're going to fix that for you today and then we're going to create a marketing message message that resonates and, ah, plan to make your first ten sales. I call this your living room strategy, and the idea is that you can't sell to a stadium full of people until you know how to sell to a living room full of people. We're going to find those ten people, and we're going to figure out exactly what they need to be able to buy this offer. Sound good you guys ready? Are you guys ready? Thank you. I need I need your energy today. This is billed to sell. This is the process of learning how to build an idea to actually be able to sell it. How do you know your product will sell? You build it that way. Far too often. I hear from people who have built something and then wonder how to sell it. I can't help you. I can I can maybe get you a little bit closer. I can get you a few more sales, but if you want to reach bigger markets, if you want to get the most return out of the investment in the product that you've created, you're not going to build the product first and then ask me how to sell it. You're going to ask how to sell it and then figure out how to build it. So we're gonna flip the normal process on its head so that you have the utmost confidence in the thing that you are about to build. All right, this is a very long story, but it's a very important one. And so I am going to read it from the lean started by eric reese. It manes a painful memory. The company limped along for months afterward, but our situation was hopeless. At the time. It seemed we were doing everything right. We had a great product, a brilliant team, amazing technology and the right idea at the right time, and we really were on to something. But despite a promising idea, we were nonetheless doomed from day one because we did not know the process, we would need to use it. I need to use to turn our product insights into a great company. If you've never experienced a failure like this it is hard to describe the feeling it's as if the world were falling out from under you even worse the many many many promises you've made two employees friends and family are not going to come true everyone who thought you were foolish for stepping out on your own will be proven right that is from the master of silicon valley if the master of silicon valley has been there done that with a flopped product launch and many of them then it's no wonder that we all have been there to write have you guys been there before yes yes so if if you're out there thinking man I'd love to build a product again I'd love to give my hand give this a try again but it was so painful before if eric reese has been there you can figure it out too this is the process that we're going to learn the process that he developed on that I've kind of been translated for you as a service driven mission driven idea driven entrepreneur it's very much within reach its very much step by step bye step by step you can avoid these feelings you can avoid that sense of failure but you've got to work it through step by step and you have to start with the imperative to build to sell now what do I mean by this there's a difference between building for yourself and building to sell building for you, er self is I've got this great idea, and I want to put it out into the world because I want people to know this idea. I want them to love this idea building to sell is I've identified a problem, a frustration, ah, goal! And I've got a unique way to help people achieve what they want to achieve, so I'm going to create that solution for them. It may sound like a small difference, but in the end, when you look at your bank account balance it's a huge difference and it's the difference between feeling that sense of failure and feeling confident and successful and abundant with what you've just created, I'm curious to know how many of you are who's had an experience of building for yourself versus building to sell, or just even a failed product. So let's, go back to our case study panel are people who have kind of already done this thing, they're still learning, but they've already done this thing that we're talking about. I would, I would love for you guys to tell me about a failed product. Bridget I'll start with you. Yeah, um, I definitely have failed product launches with, um, lunching courses around, pr, learning how to do pr and I think you hit the nail on the head when I started trying to teach it, I thought that I was identifying a problem in the market, you know, I was looking at working with artists and creative entrepreneurs and seeing that they could be promoting themselves more, I was meeting people that like, art fairs and being like, wow, you guys have this great work and and you can there's so many opportunities to get it out there, but at the end of the day, like, I just wanted to kind of like, here, let me show you like, how you could do this, and I want to help you, and I had a lot of good motives, I think, but it wasn't really the problem that they were staying right there problem was more like, well, we need to make more of a living with our art, and when I was honest about it, I said, well, publicity is great, but that's not actually your core problem. And so I had to kind of shift where I was focusing, um, so that I could market the ideas that I had in the services and the learning that people could get for me in a way that they could receive it and apply, and it wasn't like this fire hose of information that then they didn't know what to do with yeah, absolutely. And I think another problem that you had run into too is that people were interested in learning how to do pr, but they didn't have the time either learn it were to apply it. And so you are missing this piece of what people were really experiencing right now. What was their almost what was their biggest problem? Their biggest problem wasn't pr. Their biggest problem was a problem with time, right? And so if they were going to invest time and something it had be like a fundamental it had to fix a fundamental problem, not just something that sounds great on and I was almost trying to teach them like the principles and like you could point us to everything like once you learn this, everything will come together instead of really breaking it down into ok for this audience here's an opportunity so like later I had a really great launch with a trade show product because if you do wholesaling, going to trade show is like the best way anyone could ever meet an editor right it's such an amazing opportunity and the guide I have breaks it into here's what you do if it's a monthly for the trade show and here's what you do if you bought this the night before it's not too late and it was like really easy and simple and so learning like this is a specific time when I swoop in and actually help somebody with a real outcome versus, like here learn all the things in my head because they're going to be good for you is very unsuccessful. Very unsuccessful. Yeah, and I think the other thing that, you know keep in mind with the trade show product is that you know, it's you were using an idea that was top of mind for them. Right then they were preparing for a trade show and you use that to connect to your idea to create resonance with your idea that's a perfect juxtaposition of failure and success about one mohr, another failed product. Jennifer yeah, it was terrible. It was, ah, two, three years ago and I create a class called scrapbooking one or one. Okay? And I was like, oh, I have to do this I can put everything I know in one class it will be like a thirty day type boot camp where they get any mail a day it's going to be perfect. And I realized I was trying to sell scrap booking one oh one two people who are already scrap pickers oh, so it totally fail because they're like, well, why do I need this? Yeah, and in the end, the content was good but it was just a totally poor branding poor marketing because yes, it was my kind of manifesto on this is what I believe this is kind of how I think you should be doing things and so I changed it to story first scrapbooking on and I end up giving it away for a while people loved it but I started with this whole concept of scrapbooking wanna one to an audience of experience scrap pickers and I sold ten copies and one of which was to a competitor in my industry who just wanted to know what I was doing so that is a brilliant story there's so much to unpack there when the first thing you said was I thought I could put everything I know about scrapping going into a product if you start off by saying I could put everything I know into this thing you are on the wrong track that is a red flag do not do that no no no yeah and then you know what you said about your audience figuring out that wait a second this actually is not relevant to the audience that I have at all maybe you could have used it to go out and get a brand new audience but that wasn't the strategy it sounds like you had in mind no, I hadn't done any outreach to broader communities that weren't maybe the photography community people who weren't yet scrap well I was just trying to market it to my existing audience, right? Yeah, and then what you said about repositioning it, which we're going to talk about in a much later lesson, you figured out where you'd gone wrong and you're actually able to flip it around and still get some use out of it. Correct, I wouldn't. And I've since kind of broken up the content because it was really good. Yeah, but I didn't go into it trying to solve a problem or looking at what my audience actually needed. I was just trying to do this brain dump of information on them. Yes, bringing dumping it seems like it should be so valuable. It's so not it is just not it's, not information. That's valuable, right? It's what we do with that it's? Not information that's valuable it's what we do with it, it's, not our service. That's valuable it's! What people could do with that? And that's what building a product needs to be all about. So product development starts with knowing why someone would buy what you want to create. If you don't know why someone would buy what you want to create, don't create it if you don't know why someone would buy what you want to create, don't create it. This is how you avoid getting to the end of a product and then sitting in front of your computer screen and drawing a complete blank when it comes to writing your sales page it's why I have all of my clients start with writing a sales page before they've ever scripted a video roten written rotan written in the curriculum they start with a sales page and so we're going to get up to the point of writing that sales page writing that offer today we're going to write an invitation and that's what we're going to do in lesson eighteen but we have to get there first all right now this is another kind of lesson about product development and it's that you have to spend the same amount of time getting traction for your product as you spend building your product sasha I know when we first started working together you were surprised just how much energy you had to put into marketing right? Yeah still him still yeah still surprises me from time to time as well but you know the guys that wrote the book traction say and fifty percent of your time on product and fifty percent of your time on traction this is another part of making that switch from owning your job toning your business because you realize the important thing that you do is not actually doing the work the important thing that you d'oh it's figuring out why people are going to care about it and how you're going to build the structures and systems that really make that possible on a whole new level so attraction in product development are of equal importance you can also read this is marketing and product development reaching new people building new audiences on product development are of equal importance and should each get about half of your attention this is what we call the fifty percent rule spent fifty percent of time on your product and fifty percent on traction so if it's going to take you six months to build a product, guess what you're going to market in it for six months to which is a good reason not to spend six months building a product we'll get there all right, so now I'm gonna outline a thirteen step process I know it sounds crazy I outline a thirteenth step process for building a product that's built to sell alright guess what I think building the product is step nine if I remember correctly we've got eight steps before that to make sure that the time we spend actually building the thing makes sense and for many of you building the product ahead of time will not make sense you'll build it as you deliver it okay, here we go step one is to join a conversation I know all of you have heard me say before that markets are conversations you want to know what your target market is look for your target conversation who is talking about the questions, the frustrations, the goals that you want to be helping with who's talking about that where they talking about it? What does it sound like? Step one is to figure that out and to join in joining in looks like social media joining in looks like blogging joining in looks like going to networking event in your field or you know, with people who are talking about these things looks like going to conferences you can do this in all sorts of different ways the good news is you're already doing this you just need to draw attention to it so step one is joined the conversation step two is to identify core questions, frustrations and goals even idea of what those questions, frustrations and goals are right now once you're actually in the conversation really paying attention to it really observing the conversation really listening in you need to figure out what people are actually saying, what are their actual questions? What are their actual frustrations? What are their actual goals? Because often as experts or as leaders as people with an outer outside perspective, what we think people are talking about, what we think they want to achieve and what they actually want to achieve are two different things generally they're two sides of the same coin but I'll tell you only one side of that coin you can take to the bank and it's the one they're actually talking about all right? So we'll talk about exactly how to do that then step three is to engage those questions, frustrations and goals, which means it's not just enough toe listen, listening is hugely important, but you also have to talk back if to engage the conversation, you have to create that back and forth effect so that whether it's getting comments or whether it's getting likes or whether it's getting re pins or whether it's getting retweets, you're able to quantify on some level that you're on the right track with the questions, frustrations and goals that you've identified, you also need to respond with something different. And so, in a previous lesson, we talked about finding your unfair advantage. You want to bring your fair advantage to play when you're responding with something different. When you're thinking about how you and your business is going to respond to the questions, frustrations and goals that are in the market, you need to do it in a way that truly represents how you do what you do differently, jen, I know you wanted to publicly change you're unfair advantage you want to tell us remind us again what it is that you've created, what you created it from and what you now know you're unfair advantages so I created a conference well, it's a transformative experience for a diverse creative community in the form of a conference on I created it because, well, I was a former photographer was talking for fifteen years, and we conference the way lawyers, doctors, real estate agents and everyone else conference and it didn't make sense to me creative people shouldn't be doing things the same way as everybody else if they're really creative. So we created what if the conference and I've never like never? What about my inferred being into anything like that? So after terry's help yesterday, we realize that man for advantages community leadership in likeability so your responses would all be around building community, helping people understand their own leadership and helping them increase their likability and bring your own pieces of that to play as well. How maybe you're making an impact in your local community and not just the online community, how you're stepping into your own role as a leader and how you're making yourself even more likeable because you're very likeable. Alright? Step five is to understand and articulate the book fore and aft er, this is the first and biggest step to being able to clearly and succinctly describe what you have to offer. Because before and after his transformation and value is transformation with a little sneak peek of what's coming later, so if you know where people are right now, that's the before and then you're able to articulate where they would like to be after they use your product, you've just described a transformation and you've told people what's valuable about whatyou d'oh, it doesn't matter if you're a web designer, it doesn't matter if your therapist it doesn't matter if you're a business coach for artists, that doesn't matter what matters is where you take people from toe where they want to go, and I think the best cocktail lines the best elevator pitches are when you say things like, you know, I hope idea people go from the time for money cycle where they're delivering services and, you know, they just really can't get ahead to a place where they've built riel wealth with their businesses through an idea that impacts people in a really, really clear way that was probably not the best thing that I've ever said, but but that's the idea I don't have to say I'm a business strategist for idea driven entrepreneurs I mean that's nice too, but what's better is being able to describe the before and the after so that's a key piece of this process, then we're going to find your key insight your key insight is what you bring to the table is an expert on what you bring to the table from your unfair advantage, it's what you know that the rest of the market doesn't it's what sets you apart from other solution providers? And so we'll get into exactly what that key insight is and how you can use it in your sales process. Then you're gonna test your key insight see there's, all of this testing there's all of this talking that goes back and forth. This is also social media content marketing experience is networking you contest your key insight that way as well, then you're going to form your hypothesis. This is really where the magic happens. Your hypothesis is your clear and succinct way of describing what you have to offer. It links the results that you can create to the key insight that you have so that you can clearly state why you're unique and how that how that helps people get the results they really want. Finally, step nine you're actually going to build the product to sell this is going to build to sell part dio step ten is that you're gonna make your offer, and we will actually write an invitation letter to the first ten to twenty, people that you would liketo have build your product step eleven is to deliver the value this is the easy part, it's the fun part it's where you actually hand the product over to someone step twelve is to gather feedback because once you've delivered the product, your job is not done you need to get feedback and then finally you need to reiterate reposition and differentiate and or differentiate so you have to either make it more make it different or make it more different that's it a rate reposition or differentiate so panelists I'm curious how did you guys know that the idea that you've landed on now would sell marie? I was listening for a very long time in different facebook groups hearing a lot of the same complaints over and over again, eh? So I just started testing the waters with giving out things that I already had, like here's a proposal that I used that worked really well or hears, you know, here's a document that might help you and so people were responding really positively and I saw that there was an opportunity there perfect. So you followed all thirteen steps, jennifer, you know, I don't know when I started the membership, I didn't know that it would so okay, I think I observed other things happening outside my industry that this was this is two thousand ten people were talking about membership sites and I saw that sustainability opportunity for me that this would be a lot less work and more and more more leverage for my business if I did this membership over time, I've had to, um croft my own messages to really stand out and do that adoration and differentiation that I'm not just it's, not just any scrapbooking community it's about my particular unfair advantage and how I help you more mindful analytical about your process great and it was listening to people and and really I'm trying to understand what they were saying and how I can hear that back to them so they would want to be attracted to the product perfect pridgen I started hearing people um same ideas back to me so I started talking about this question that I was wrestling with with clients is that I asked him which is what you want to be known for and people were really engaging with the idea it was scaring people um but in a good way in a good way, yeah, I mean, people were getting insights and it was really kind of holding the feet to the fire of you want to have a legacy, you won't have an impact well, you have to be clear on this and you have to commit and it was really resonating with people and I just found that out because I was hearing other people have come aside conversations about my idea and I don't think I'd have that experience before and so it was just really clear to me that I was onto something and to develop it so it was really cool yeah and you were willing to test it on a lot of different areas to I mean last was the last spring we had a quiet power strategy retreat and that was one of the highlights of the whole event I think for a lot of people was you leading them through just the thought process of figuring out what you want to be known for on dh so I mean I think a lot of people get scared thinking you know, I've got this great idea I really need to keep it under wraps and you're a great example of how putting it out there even before you have final thoughts on what it's all about can help you get traction for it in a really big away a little later on and it was actually an early process of testing because what I realized in that moment like I was working actually was michelle to develop a speech on the topic and I kind of pulled back from it and then did a workshop because what I realized was that most people actually no bacon they know in their hearts or with their business is what they want to stand for what they don't have is the language help that resonate with other people or the permission, or even like the good business sense for why it's, good to stay on message, like most people think it has to change all the time. But I only came to that realization and in those conversations with people. And so I think I learned really, really fast by putting myself in these kind of uncomfortable situations. Where is talking about it before us? Totally ready? Yeah, awesome. Thanks.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

The Observation Engine - Multimedia Pack
Intro to How to Thing Like a Marketer - HD.mp4
How to Think Like a Marketer: The Who - HD.mp4
How to Think Like a Marketer: The What - HD.mp4
How to Think Like a Marketer: The How - HD.mp4
Create a Product That Resonates Workbook
Turn Your Service Into a Product Workbook

Ratings and Reviews


I love Creativelive and I watch a lot of good classes, but this course is mind blowing, I can´t explain how much Tara makes me rethink my business, and how this class clears up what are the right things to do to grow my business. This is especially important as I am a sole propriator and at times I am just completely lost about what to do. I love love love this course, and to be honest, the course worths so much more than what it is priced. Thank you Tara and Creativelive!


It was a great experience, thank you Tara! I have watched and own other classes. This feels to me like some kind of broadening of knowledge every time with you. It has been very inspiring 3 days. My service is not a product yet but on the way to become. Great people in studio, too.

Gloria Roheim McRae

Ever wondered about the roadmap to creating VALUE in your products? This Creative Live houses that roadmap. I just finished three full days doing this training and can say that it's Tara's best yet, and that my business in 2016 will not be the same because of it. We will be better connected to our customers needs, we'll have content that transforms their lives (for free), and as business owners we now have the toolkit to sell our products more consistently. Thank you CL and Tara Gentile for this gift. You make small business dreams come true.

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