There is no one right answer to how often you should create a new product. It depends on the nature of your business and how long it takes to put together a high-quality new product that will impress your prospective customers.
Having said that, regular product creation is important to build your brand and business so that your target audience gets to know you, sees the value you represent, and can develop loyalty to you over time. If you sell your products, then creating new products is also important to keep growing your revenue.
As a service provider, this is a lesson I feel like I adopted too late; in that I spent a majority of my time focused on providing services. I’ve since moved to balancing out service provision with product creation.
Studies have shown that 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your audience; in other words, repeat buyers. Adding new products regularly is therefore essential if you are to make the most of this opportunity.
Types of Products
There are many different products you can create and sell online. They could be digital or tangible (that is, physical products). Digital products such as eBooks and multimedia courses are usually fairly easy to put together because you are in control of most of the production process. For example, you could write a short eBook in a day or two and have it up and selling on Amazon within a few hours.
The more expensive the item, the more time it will usually take. You can get a lot more money for a multimedia course, but it will have a lot more moving pieces to it, such as audio or video. You may have to outsource some of this work to create an impressive package.
If you decide to offer a monthly membership site, you have to stick to the terms of service. You need to create a new product each month and add it to the interface, or your customers will ask for their money back and cancel their membership. But continuity income (that is, money from membership sites, clubs and so on) can be the best way to ensure a fairly even level of income throughout the year without too many highs and lows. Many membership sites report that users stay online for at least three months, so that is three months of income if you play your part and create great products.
Physical products are more problematic because of design issues, specification, manufacturing and materials, and even shipping and handling – either to your location, or to a warehouse where your items will be stored until ordered. All of these aspects of manufacturing physical products will usually have cost considerations and require a great deal of follow-up to ensure that the item is high quality and works the way it should. This whole process can take many more months than creating a digital product on your own computer.
The Launch Process
No matter which type of product you create, there is a launch process that needs to be followed in order to help your product sell well out of the starting gate. You might do alpha and beta testing to make sure the product is the best it can be by getting feedback. You would then correct the issues and get ready for a full launch across all media channels. The more of this you get done before L-Day (Launch Day), the better you will be able to deal with issue as they arise once paying customers start coming in through your site.
Do you have some questions about marketing your business online but don’t know who to ask? Why not ask me? I can help you with both strategy and implementation to make your business more profitable and more popular. We can do this together in 75 minutes; though my whiteboard session. Learn more about it!