Over the past couple of months, I’ve asked for and received scores of questions related to rapid revenue acceleration. I addressed as many of these as I could during a recent Q&A webinar, but lots of additional questions continue to pour in.
So I’m going to start responding to these questions by turning them into topics for the Freedompreneur blog.
Here’s this week’s burning question related to how I created a 6-figure revenue stream in 73 days: Linda, one of my readers asked: “Did you have high-end products? What’s the first thing to do if you start out with nothing?”
When I first started out, I did not have any products, such as a book, CDs or other information-based training programs, that were either downloadable or in physical form. Instead, I offered a high-end coaching service at $1,500/month. Essentially, I “pre-sold” my coaching program, because I had never delivered my coaching services for a fee before.
If you’re just starting out, like I was, you have three basic options for what you could offer:
1) Create and offer a product.
2) Create and offer an educational or training program.
3) Offer consulting, coaching, or some other type of service.
Let’s take a look at each option…
Create and offer a product.
For the service-oriented entrepreneur, a product typically consists of content that exists in downloadable format and/or physical format (CDs, DVDs). The advantage of offering a product is that you have the opportunity to leverage your time, effort, and energy.
The potential disadvantage is that it takes time, effort, and possibly money to create an initial product.
If you choose the route of creating a product, my recommendation is that you “pre-sell” the product before you ever create it. Otherwise, you run the risk of investing time, money, and energy into creating a product in forever search of buyers. By pre-selling, you have buyers who pay you before you build the product, so you then have the funds to create the product and support your business operations. And you have greater confidence and real-world proof that there’s a place for your offering in the marketplace.
Create and offer an educational or training program.
By my definition, a program has a specific starting and ending point. And typically, there’s a particular core approach upon which such a program is based.
If you’re looking to create significant revenue as quickly as possible, offering a program of some sort can certainly work. However, just be aware that, like creating products, creating a valuable program requires significant investment of time and effort.
And just like products, I recommend that you “pre-sell” your educational or training program.
Offer consulting, coaching, or some other type of custom service.
I like this option because once you’re working with a client, you can customize the services you provide as you are working with the client. You aren’t locked into a particular approach or areas you can address. In other words, offering a service gives you the greatest amount of flexibility and adaptability in delivering value while best serving your client’s needs and wants.
The distinct disadvantage comes only if you’re not comfortable customizing the nature and delivery of your services as situations and needs arise. And if that’s the case, I strongly encourage you to create frameworks and models for the content/material you plan to offer to your buyers. In fact, I recommend this even if you are comfortable with customizing services for clients “on-the-fly!” I’m referring to mapping out your basic “Core Client Process” or “Signature System,” which I’ve written about elsewhere.
Based on my experience and observations…
If you’re just starting out, no doubt, one could make a strong case for offering a product or program; you can certainly generate signficant revenue in a short period of time by doing so. However, my preference is to offer a custom service of some sort.
Offering a service gives you more latitude to create content “just-in-time” and, potentially, shortens your “time-to-market.” That means you have a chance to generate significant revenue sooner than later.
And you can turn the information you create and deliver to private, high-end buyers into programs and products that you can sell at a lower price point to buyers who aren’t ready for your premium offer.
I didn’t have the time or confidence to create a product or training program when I first started. But I did have my experience of turning my practice around and I had confidence in my ability to share that experience by offering business development advice. So that’s what I did; this strategy worked out extremely well for me, enabling me to get of to an incredible jackrabbit start and sustain that through a consistent stream of high-end clients. And now I’m working on developing programs and products for people who are interested in what I have to offer, but aren’t ready to commit to the high-end, big-ticket services that I have offered over the past seven years.
So my choice was a rational, logical one. But what about trusting your intuition? Well, there’s certainly a place for intuition. So if you feel called by your heart (and not your head alone) to create a product or program, instead of offering a service, I’d recommend listening directly to your heart (I say “directly” because it’s possible for your mind to fool you into thinking that you are listening to your heart, when instead, you are rationalizing your choices under the guise of listening to your heart.)
Introducing the 6-Figures Fast! Community…
Creating your services, programs, and products is only one small part of rapid revenue acceleration. There are lots of moving parts! But the key is to know what to truly focus on and where to invest your time, energy, and efforts. Based on 100’s of specific requests, suggestions, feedback, and questions we’ve gotten from readers from around the world, we’re planning to create a virtual community of like-minded, like-hearted entrepreneurs who are committed to contribution, first and foremost, and rapidly boosting their revenue.
Stay tuned for specific details early next week.