If you’ve been reading business blogs or been part of the online biz world for a while, then you’ve probably come across those too-good-to-be-true $50K from 1 Webinar” and “How I Made 6-figures In One Year” case-studies.
You know the ones that sound so good, and break everything into a simple step-by-step process that sound like anyone could do it? Yeah. They’re hard to ignore.
Even to the most level-headed and practical people, their lure is hard to escape. Those claims are so enchanting!
I mean, they’re the dream, aren’t they? Put in a little work for tons of return. Sigh. If only…
But really those claims are little more than success and get-rich-quick porn. And just like porn, those case studies aren’t revealing the whole picture.
Because the full picture isn’t sexy.
That Super Profitable Webinar? Took AT LEAST 6-months to plan and perfect. Not to mention the fact that they probably already had an established and warm audience.
That hit product or course? Went through many iterations, tests, beta trials, and tweaks.
Often that overnight success? It was 6-years in the making.
That 6-Figure Year? Came after YEARS of barely making money from the biz (and usually those 6-figures were net revenue and not profit).
How do I know? I’ve seen the behinds the scenes…the real, all curtains pulled back, inside look.
Sure, there are some people who have legit struck it big in a short time. But like a Jobs, Bezos, or Zuckerberg those cases are a RARE FIND.
And I hate to break it to you. But you’re likely not one of them. It’s simple math.
Wheww! That felt kind of ranty. I know. But the reason why I feel so strongly about this is that I want people to have REAL results. I want people to be in it for the long haul.
I’ve had countless discovery calls with people who come with so-and-so’s $50K Webinar Blueprint and want me to write copy to implement it. Often they have no set or tested product, no sizeable audience, and they want to do it within the next 2 months.
I always try to reel them in, but they don’t want to hear it because they “know” it’s possible because they know of someone who did it.
I took on exactly ONE client with such a request. It was my early days. And guess what? The launch tanked. Like I knew it would.
Never again! Now I offer my strategy services first. Then copy.
So here’s the deal. I don’t want you to try that too.
Pulling-off that launch in 2-weeks is likely going to result in heartache, trust me. Here’s what you should do instead:
- Question your reasons for wanting to launch your service, product, or course
A lot of people seem to approach online business as if it’s the easiest thing in the world. Often they feel like success is just around the corner.
I find that people feel that way when they have something to prove or they need money quick. So they see these incredible success stories, and they think they’ll get the same results in no time.
That’s why I cannot stress enough that you should make sure you’re launching something for the right reasons. If you need a quick buck or need to make ends meet now, this NOT the way. It’s soooooo much more work than it seems like. To have a super successful launch, you need to have a really solid base (think audience, authority, & money), especially if you’re trying to do it on a whim.
And when you try to launch something quick, you HAVE to cut corners. Often that means that you don’t take the time to create a worthwhile product or service, and that you don’t take the time to find out if your audience actually wants it BEFORE creating it.
So, is your goal to REALLY serve your audience? Or is it to pad your wallet?
- Create a strong foundation for your business FIRST
A lot of people want to enter online business by launching a course or product. That’s gonna be an uphill battle. Because if you’re just starting, you need a foundation of people who trust you enough to give you money. And often that doesn’t happen until you’ve been around for a while and proven that you’re a trustworthy, and likable business. Here are some business foundation basics:
- DO YOUR RESEARCH (in all caps because it’s sooooo crucial!)
- Research your market. Who are you competitors and what has been said about your topic already (whether by your competitors or in books by experts)? What holes are there in the coverage of what’s out there? What makes you different than anyone else? What makes your perspective unique? (and it is unique, you just have to pinpoint it).
- Research your audience. No, I’m not talking about making a little avatar with demographics, and a little description of who they are. And also no, simply naming your avatar and giving it human characteristics and personality traits won’t do. I’m talking about finding what they’re saying about their pains, what they wish their solution was like, what solving their problems would really mean for them and their lives. I’m talking about getting their actual words. They’re out there, trust me. This is the #1 thing I do before writing copy for anyone, even myself. You can find their words on the internet, or by talking to them. (The latter would be so, so good for you and how you think of your audience overall)
- Work on developing your unique voice and message
Remember this: No message, No voice, No following.
There are tons of people who start businesses on your same topic every day. That means that there is tons of noise. If you don’t set yourself apart with your message, you will NOT stand out. You will get lost in the static of thousands of people saying, “hey, pick me!”
There is NOTHING wrong with being one of many people who do what you do, but your take has to be different than everyone else’s. What is your strong opinion? What is your highest vision? How will what you do change the world in a specific way?
I’ll give you an example: I’m a conversion strategist and copywriter. There are thousands of those. But here’s what makes me different:
I have a vision that having women of color in highest levels of leadership and economic power will lead to racial and gender equality. And everything I do is in service of that vision. That means that I directly support women of color and the allies who support this cause.
Yes, I have very strong opinions about business, and copywriting and launch strategy, and I could build a really solid platform on these strong opinions. But to me, this opinions all lead to a grander purpose. And that sets me apart.
- Have defined frameworks and ideas (aka. Rack up experience in your field)
This is important. It’s difficult to have really strong opinions that you’re able to implement on WITHOUT feeling like an impostor if you haven’t done it enough times to solidify your ideas and frameworks.
So before you start launching some poorly designed products and courses you HOPE will make you money, spend time honing your skills and learning from the process. By doing this, you’ll be soooo much more confident and prepared to create something that’s really worth selling.
- Build your following and a strong relationship with your audience NOW.
I heard countless stories of people who have been in business for a few months (sometimes even a year) who tried to sell with one webinar and felt so discouraged when it flopped.
Here’s the thing, if you haven’t been creating loads of free value (whether through blogging, social media, of live video), and building your audience, selling from one webinar is most definitely gonna be a flop, unless, of course, you have something out of this world amazing (like chocolate with zero calories). Those people don’t trust you yet. Whether online or not, business is ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS.
This is becoming truer and truer. People are smart. They’ve been around. They’ve seen the tactics. And after years of automation, click-bait content, and crappy online products, they’re slower to buy. But they’ll buy if they trust you and know you. WELL.
So put your stuff out there CONSISTENTLY before launching something, and work on growing your list keeping in mind that normal conversion rates show that only 2-3% of a WARM, TRUSTING audience will buy.
(Hint: Doing this will be easier if you have your foundations (see above) set.
- Vet, test, and refine your offer
Once you have excellent relationships with the people in your audience, you can start asking them more and more what they want and need from you, and how. You can run your ideas by them, and ask them about their interest. And if they’re interested, that’s your green light to produce it. If not, keep having conversations with them until you find something that would work for you and them.
Then when you make it, your can sell it at a beta price and have them help you fine tune it so you can tweak and perfect it.
(You can get really high level and sell your offer at a test price before you even make it. That way you don’t pay for production out of pocket.)
Then once you have people raving to you about your results (testimonials), you’ll know it’s ready to take to market and sell to a wider audience for a higher price.
And here’s the kicker, if people who tested it love it so much, they’ll do a lot of the selling work for you. They’ll tell their friends and vouch for you and your offer. Win-win.
Want my other tips on making sure your Online Business is on track? I lay it down with this post on 5 Mistakes That Are Keeping Your Business From Success (Don’t worry. I tell you how to fix them 😉
Violeta Potter, Conversion Strategist & Copywriter
Violeta Potter is a conversion strategist & copywriter who has a vision that having women of color in highest levels of leadership and economic power will lead to racial and gender equality. She serves this vision by providing high-level mindset and business consulting & conversion strategy & copywriting services to women of color and the allies who support this cause. You can get in touch with her through her website www.violetapotter.com or by sending her an email to firstname.lastname@example.org