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As a business owner, there will come a time in your business where you want to create products. Your reasons for doing this may be to make more money, increase your reach, help more people- or all of the above. I often suggest that you wait to create products until your business is a bit more established, and when you have a community of people to whom you can sell your products.
My reasoning for this is two-fold. First, if you create products from your services too early, you risk cutting into the profitability of your core services. If you have a really good process for helping clients with their branding, let’s say, and you take this thousand dollar service and turn it into a $20 book, most people will gravitate to buy the book rather than work with you directly. They won’t get as good results, and they may not even do it right, but, because they bought your book, and it didn’t work for them, they will believe your system is flawed, or, at minimum, not worth spending more time on. So I strongly suggest that you refrain from turning your core services into products.

The second reason I suggest waiting to create products until you have a community to whom you can sell them is because it is disappointing- and a waste of effort- to create a product that you can’t get anyone to buy. You’d be better off taking the time you spent creating that product and using it in some other business-affirming way.

Also, it’s crucial to realize that any income from products is often additional/extra/bonus. It is difficult to make a full-time living simply from product sales, unless creating products and selling them full time is your core business.

Ok, so now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s look at what products you should create, when the time is right for you to do so.

The type of products you sell have everything to do with who your audience is, how they shop, how much money they have to spend, and how they prefer delivery to be handled. You choose the audience and your niche, the audience and your niche choose pretty much everything else.

Products are a good option for offering service to people who might not be able to work with you otherwise- or need some convincing to work with you in the future. They are a low barrier way to making more connections and serving more people.

To build a product that people want, use these five steps:

1. Know Your Audience

All product creation starts with researching the audience. You want to be able to know your audience inside and out. You need to know their hopes, dreams, fears and their joys. What makes your audience tick? If you don’t know, you can’t create products that they want to buy. What problems are your clients often complaining about? What difficulties do you hear over and over?

2. Define Their Pain Points

As you research your audience, you should be able to identify at least three to four pain points or problems that need to be solved that fit in with your expertise. Once you identify them, you can start creating products to fill those needs.

3. Seek High Demand, Low Supply Products

As you research your niche you’ll discover holes in what’s available to help your audience. Ideally, you want to create a product that fills that hole that is in high demand but has a low supply.

4. Understand the Price Points Your Audience Can Afford

Part of understanding who your audience is, is to also know what your audience can afford to pay for various products that you create. Knowing a price point can help you determine what kind of form the product will take, and how much you’ll invest in creating it. An e-book would be priced differently than a full multimedia training course, for example.

5. Create a Product Funnel

Start with a free or low priced product and move up to a high priced product. An example for a life coach might be a free checklist for signing up to a newsletter, a low cost eReport, a higher cost longer eBook, a higher cost eCourse, a higher cost membership site, and finally the most expensive could be the one-on-one coaching.

When building your product funnel, it’s important to keep it streamlined- too many steps in the funnel can create conversion fatigue.

If you like product creation, as I do, then I have one more tip for you – Limit the Number of Products.

Don’t confuse your audience with too many products. Each product should build off the other and answer those pain points you discovered. Try to avoid creating lots of products in many different areas without a clear pathway for clients to move through them.

Use these points to start your product creation, or improve sales of your existing products.