When you see the “experts” in your field offering paid programs online for hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars, it can be tempting to create one of these money making programs for yourself.
And I help my clients to do just that. But it isn’t as easy as it looks.
First of all, creating a program takes a lot more effort than you think it does. There’s an investment of time, energy, and money necessary in order to birth your idea into a workable program that will actually help others.
For this reason, it is important to focus your efforts towards creating programs that will actually sell. Not every idea that pops into your head will be a winner in the marketplace.
You can’t know, in the isolated bubble that exists as you sit in front of your computer, which of your ideas is the one that your audience needs or wants most, which will make you the most money.
So don’t try to know. Instead, let your intended audience help you to make the right decision by trying out your idea first:
Follow these 5 steps to find the perfect program topic:
1. Do a Survey. Ask people in your intended audience what they are most struggling with right now. There are lots of easy to use, and free, online survey tools that make this process super easy. Check out my ebook, How to Create a Survey that People will Love to Complete, for great survey creation tips.
2. Host a Free Teleseminar or Webinar. Based on the results of your survey, pick a topic that your audience wants to learn more about and craft a 30-60 minute presentation on that topic.
3. Promote the Free Teleseminar or Webinar. How much work do you have to do to get people to sign up for your event? What percentage of those who see your promotion materials actually signed up (this is know as the Conversation Rate)? Do people voluntarily share your promotion materials via social media (a sure sign they found your content valuable)?
4. Hold the Free Teleseminar or Webinar. Of the people who registered, how many actually showed up? Of those on the call, how many stayed to the end of your presentation? If you allowed Q & A, how many asked questions?
5. Evaluate the Success of Your Event. How easy was it to get people to enroll? How many people DID enroll? Of those who enrolled, how many seemed to get something out of the program? What feedback, if any, do you receive? After looking at all of the data, you should be able to say that the program is a good fit for your audience’s needs… or it is not.
After your event, you may find that it wasn’t as successful as you would have liked. Maybe the audience wasn’t interested in your topic, or no one actually showed up to your call. Don’t let that bother you; simply craft a new free event and run through the steps again until you find a subject that is a winner with your audience. (Note that testing each idea only requires you to create a one-hour presentation, an optin page, and do some promotion, so don’t be afraid to test multiple ideas before settling on one.)
Choosing the idea is the first, and most important step, but the process doesn’t end there.
You also need to determine if NOW is the right time to invest in creating your paid program.
“Failure at a task may be the result of having tackled it at the wrong time.” ~ Brandan Francis
In order to determine if this is the right time to pursue this project, you need to look at two components, separate from the concept itself: Traffic and Budget.
Traffic: Succeeding online is a numbers game. Promoting your free version of your idea gave you a taste of what it takes to generate traffic online and how easy — or difficult — it is to get people’s attention. When you are promoting a paid program, it takes much more effort to fill your event because you are asking them to get out their wallets as well as make a commitment. Ask yourself this: Do you feel that you know enough about traffic right now to generate enough to fill your program?
Budget. Creating a program takes an investment in time and money that you can’t put to other uses, an investment that you may, or may not, make back. Do you have the operating capital to keep your business afloat even if this particular project doesn’t turn a profit? (If your business isn’t yet on a firm financial footing, spend time focused on those tasks that offer a higher return on your initial investment. Tip: Public speaking remains one of the best ways to enroll new clients.)
Offering paid programs for sale online, programs that people can work at their own pace without direct involvement from you, is a great way to increase your bottom line. Choose the right topic, and offer it at the right time for your business, and you, too, will be able to make more money while you sleep.