Welcome to episode 42 of the Launch Yourself podcast.

In This Episode

In today’s episode, I walk through eight of the biggest mistakes I’m seeing smart entrepreneurs make when it comes to their digital product or course. With each mistake, you’ll learn how to easily avoid it right now and going forward, so you can be sure you are creating the absolute best product that will be profit-producing for your business.

Here’s a look inside this episode:

Mistake #1: Creating your product in a vacuum [01:12]

Mistake #2: Not being clear on your product’s transformation [04:17]

Mistake #3: Tapping into your customer’s journey too early in their awareness [06:28]

Mistake #4: Launching without validating it first [09:40]

Mistake #5: Adding too much content into your product [11:50]

Mistake #6: Building your product fully before selling it (over-investing your time) [15:59]

Mistake #7: Over-perfecting your product before selling it [18:01]

Mistake #8: Not using the right tools and tech for your own product [20:10]

Click here to listen in!

Melissa Anzman (00:00):
This is the Launch Yourself podcast, episode number 42 for more information and show notes, go to launchyourself.co/42. And if you want to join our free community and workshop, where you can learn all the things that you need to know to sell your digital product, your course, your membership site, et cetera, text launchyourself, all one word to: 44222.

Melissa Anzman (00:28):
Welcome to the Launch Yourself podcast. My name is Melissa Anzman. I'm a bestselling author and the CEO of two businesses and employee experience company and launch yourself where I help entrepreneurs diversify and scale their business by launching digital products each week, you'll hear mindblowing interviews where we peek behind the curtain of other people's launches, as well as actual tips and strategies that you can implement in your daily work life to create launches that actually make you money. Thanks for spending some time with me today.

Melissa Anzman (01:01):
Now let's get started today. I'm excited to share with you some of the most frequent mistakes that I see a lot of people out there making. When it comes to their digital course, their digital products, their membership site, their eBooks, their podcasts, all the things out there. And I wanted to share them with you because I see them all the time and they're pretty common. And they're things that you can do immediately. Right now you can stop doing, and I'm going to teach you what you can do to avoid them going forward. So I have eight common mistakes. The first mistake is that you're creating your product in a vacuum. And what this really means is you have a great idea. And as an entrepreneur, you probably have a lot of great ideas and you'll love your own ideas. Otherwise, you wouldn't explore them. Am I right?

Melissa Anzman (01:53):
We all think our ideas are the absolute best. And we think, you know, we, we know exactly what our client, our customer, or our avatar, whatever you want to use, we know better. We know exactly what they need. So we're going to create it for them. And you start doing the fun stuff, which is creating the product. But through that process, you are doing it by yourself or those who are around you, who really like know love and trust you already, which means you've created a vacuum. And what you do when you do that is you create something that the market, your avatar, your client, whomever may not actually need. It's something that you think they need, but they may not need it. And so in order to avoid this, well, you have to do is you have to ensure that you're talking to your ideal customer along the way that you have people around you who are, co-signing the idea.

Melissa Anzman (02:56):
And you have feedback that is helpful, constructive feedback that you're able to bring into the product that you're creating. Now, this does not mean that you create something with only people, you know, around you. Let me say that again, the people who work for you, the people who are already on your list, they already know like, and trust you. So they're not going to be the only people you need to talk to. You want to talk to those clients out there that may not know you yet, that are really excited to have an opportunity to work with you. You want to talk to past clients, who've had a certain type of transformation and dig deeper into why they want the chose to work with you. What types of problems did you solve for them? And we're always going to get feedback. We're always going to bring our ideas, our product ideas, ideas in general, my friends to those in our circle that we trust, whether they're entrepreneurs that we work with, mastermind with communities that we're in, maybe their Facebook groups in which you have your ideal customer in there. We want to be sure that we're not creating something in a vacuum on our own because we have great ideas, but we are too far along in the knowledge process.

Melissa Anzman (04:17):
To figure out exactly what our client needs or we think we know, or we know they know we know what they need, but it's not what they want. And so by adding those additional touches around you, you're going to be able to really bring to market a digital product that is ready to sell mistake. Number two is not being clear on your products transformation. Now I could literally talk about this for hours upon hours. So I'm going to keep it a little short here, but I truly and deeply believe in ensuring that your product has one very specific and clear transformation. What that means in simple terms is you are telling with your product, exactly you are here after using our product, you will be here. This is the transformation that your life will have. Now, of course, the word transformation has a lot of weight with it.

Melissa Anzman (05:18):
And we think, Oh, it has to be huge. And this big barrier, it doesn't, it can be a small transformation. It can be changing your mind. It could be learning a new skill or tool or what have you, or it could really be business changing, life changing. And so on the point here is, is a lot of us build products based on an outcome. And so we say, you know, after using this product, you're going to get X, which is okay, it's a step in the right direction, but for a user who wants to buy something, so your end user or client or customer, they want to know how their life is going to be changed, how it's going to be different, how it's going to feel transformed. And so if you are not clear on your product's transformation on that ultimate outcome of what their life is going to look like after, and how much better that is than where they are before you are making a huge mistake and missing a big opportunity in being able to sell your digital product.

Melissa Anzman (06:25):
So get super clear on your products, transformation I have in depth, free training on this. So if you want that, all you have to do is text launchyourself to: 44222, and I will send it your way access to it because I am that passionate about the transformation on the locking. Your products. Transformation is the key to scaling your digital product for ongoing sales success. The third mistake is tapping into your customer too early, along the customer awareness journey. And now when I talk about the customer awareness journey, a lot of entrepreneurs have heard about this before. Um, maybe through the research that's been done or they've heard other, uh, business owners talk about it. And the whole point here is you want to try and sell to your customers. Something that they already know, they have a problem about. So a lot of times entrepreneurs try to create digital products that have to first convince the client that they have that problem.

Melissa Anzman (07:36):
And then they have to say, well, I have the solution for you. So buy it. Now that's an extra step in Sally. When you have to tell people they have a burning problem, it's a lot more difficult for you to sell. And also it's more difficult to create a digital product that has meaningful value because they don't see that yet. They're not aware of the problem. And so instead, I want you to really look at where your customers are on their journey. Do they know they have that problem that you are trying to solve? If the answer is no, then I want you to try and reframe your offer, reframe your transformation into a place where they already are. So for example, if you are trying to sell somebody on a product, maybe it's a course, a digital course that will help them learn how to make the most amazing jam ever and friends.

Melissa Anzman (08:35):
I don't know how to make jam. So this is totally off the cuff. You want to make sure that you're selling to people who know that they make terrible jam or know that there's a better way to make jam out there, or perhaps they know or want or need to turn all of their extra fruit into something. And they're really into the homesteader movement, or what have you. What you don't want to do is try and sell this amazing jam making course to people who don't give a hoot about jam. Maybe they're not jam eaters. Maybe they don't know a thing about it, but you want to sell to somebody who has that need on the journey. And for some reason, we make it more difficult for ourselves and try to get that random person who like may one day want to make jam. In this example, say, want you to take a look at how you are framing your own digital product and where you are trying to reach your customers on the journey.

Melissa Anzman (09:38):
You'll lose an entire staff. If you are able to meet them after they know they have a problem, or as they are aware of searching for a solution, that is a really good spot to start. Obviously there's even stronger points along the journey, but we don't want to have to come to the digital product sale with them learning that they have a problem. Okay. The fourth mistake is a launching something without validating it first. I can't tell you how many times I've seen this and I will be honest. I've done this myself too. And really because validating things is hard. And especially if you're introverted, it's super uncomfortable and not something that any of us want to slow down to do. However, when you launch something into the world, without having that validation from those buyers, you are likely, or I should say you're at a minimum of risking launching to a flop or a cricket.

Melissa Anzman (10:47):
Must validate your offer first. And you can do this a few different ways. I personally love validating your transformation of your product so that you are insured, like very sure that you are solving the right problem for your audience. So that's really important, but you also want to validate the concept, your audience, and the overall idea for your digital product. And the only way that you can do that is by talking to your customers. And I mean, actually talking to them, you can do this virtually. So you can do this through Facebook groups and asking questions and creating conversations for sure, but you are going to get the best information by hopping on the phone with people and understanding through their own words where their pain points are, where the gaps are, where the friction is, what's keeping them stuck, why they haven't started, where they're searching for these solutions and so on.

Melissa Anzman (11:48):
And the whole point through these validation conversations is to lead the conversation, not to arbitrarily, get the answer you need, but truly listen to what your ideal client is saying. And being able to then incorporate their validation points, the good, bad, and ugly, which you're going to have all three in to your digital product offer. So take a minute to slow on down and validate it. So you're not wasting time creating something that nobody wants to buy. Mistake. Number five is adding way too much content into your product. And the thing here is I'm going to say it this way. A lot of people over add or irrelevant things into their product. And I find this often in courses in particular, um, sometimes in an ebook, but definitely in courses and membership sites, sometimes it's just off topic. So that's where the irrelevance comes in.

Melissa Anzman (12:53):
Now, as the expert in this space, which you are because you're creating the digital product, you have a lot of information that you want to add in. You see things as a step by step process, perhaps, or you go down the tunnel of, well, they need this, but they can't really do this without knowing this. And Oh, don't worry about, okay, they need this too. And you add all these things into your product. And the problem is is your person is not starting there. Your person does not need a sessions. 101, 201, 301, 401, and 501 like a college course. They need one Oh one or they need two Oh one or they need three. One. Those are three separate digital products. We, when we add too much information or superfluous information or irrelevant information, your customer gets stuck.

Melissa Anzman (13:48):
They get overwhelmed. They don't understand how everything is pulling together, how it's making sense together and likely they get frustrated and give up. And none of us want that. We all want to create products that improve the lives, create the transformations for our clients. And so to do that, we have to weed out irrelevant content. Now there's one caveat here, which is, there are some people who think it's not you, of course, but I have to caveat it that creating a course or a digital product, or what have you. You're going to do the least amount of content possible so that you have ideas and things left for your next course. Don't do that. That's a bad idea. You want to be sure that your audience is able to get the outcome you are promising on your sales page. So this is all related to your transformation statement, but for each product you to at least, as you think about it, build it and create your sales page.

Melissa Anzman (14:54):
You want to deliver on a specific promise and that's your outcome. Why people, the problem you're solving, why people need your product to solve X, right? And so you want to make sure that you fully answer that question and don't leave cliffhangers or leave information out so that you have your next product to sell. There's always more products to sell yours, an Ascension model. There's dissension models. There's all different ways that you create can create new things. I don't want you to arbitrarily leave things out to do that. Okay? So prune your content, weeded out, make sure that everything is critical for the success of your product's promise. And if it's not, if it's, Oh, this is nice to know, or this is next level, or this is before it happens. Intro stuff. I want you to take it out. We don't want to create any reason for our customers to jump off our product.

Melissa Anzman (15:55):
Feel stuck, overwhelmed, and give up. Number six. Mistake is building your product fully before selling it. Now, there are certain types of products that you do have to build before you sell. I get it. I'm here for it, but they're not every single product. In fact, there are fewer products that you have to fully create before you sell it. And the reason this is a big mistake is you are over-investing your time before you have a proven seller. Now I have been arguing against this for years and all the big name gurus out there used to teach methods where you create it, then you sell it. And I'm like, that is so terrible. Because then I look around my friends and all these Facebook groups who spent so much time, months, sometimes years creating the perfect course. And when they put a shingle up, nobody wanted to buy it.

Melissa Anzman (16:55):
In fact, my first course, I followed one of those methods and I put a sheet. I created this intense course all about how to get promoted. And I put my shingle up to sell it. And I think I sold one or two copies. I've totally blacked out the true number. So it was not good. My friends and I spent months creating it. And so my point here is don't overinvest your time on something that you haven't proven sells. So if you have to, pre-build your offer your product. Let's say it's an ebook, for example, or maybe it's an off the shelf template, something that people need to use right away. So these are things that usually aren't courses in last, you want to do full access to the entire course upon a payment, which we can it another time, my friend, but for most things, you can build it as you go or build part of it and then continue to build the rest.

Melissa Anzman (17:58):
As you have people in your program, in your course, paying for it. So stop over investing your time. And this is going to go with the next mistake, which is trying to over perfect your product before you start selling it. Now I am guilty of this. I may have a little bit of a control, freak or perfectionism in my blood just to smidge. I will cop to, but a lot of us use the refining, the polishing, the over perfecting of our product as a way to avoid moving in to the next step, which is selling the dang thing, which is hard for a lot of us. And so to your product needs to be good enough to deliver on your promise. It doesn't need to be the best thing out there. It doesn't have to have the best production. It doesn't have to have thousands of videos that you've paid thousands of dollars for somebody professional come in and do you need your product to include the right information for people to learn.

Melissa Anzman (19:06):
It needs to be easy to use, so to speak, but do not try. And over-engineer over perfect your product because it's still not going to match the standards of some random one person out there. I, every week I get a call or an email from a client or a masterminding friend, or just another entrepreneur that I know that we share groups in, or what have you, who says, yeah, like what's happening in this space? Like, how are people creating content? Like how are they delivering? Is it all video? Is it PowerPoint? Is it audio? Like, what's the production value of this? And every week I'm like, it's depends. It depends on the product. It depends on the person. And let me tell you, I know somebody who sells an annual program for $25,000 and they do audio recordings only, and there's no real great system or product behind it, but they're giving you immense value in each audio record.

Melissa Anzman (20:07):
I also know people who sell a $2,000 course who have very slick videos that are produced by a professional that are edited and have them talking with slides and so on. It doesn't matter. I want you to stop over perfecting your product before you start selling it. You can always upgrade. You can always tweak your product. You can always make enhancements as you go, but don't put the time and effort in upfront when you don't have a proven income generator for you. And then finally, mistake number eight is your not using the right and tech for your own product. Instead you're using whatever some guru or somebody else has suggested or recommended to you. So I know tech is a thing, and I know that because it's not a thing for me. I can feel a little like weirded out by this. I don't quite get it, but let me tell you so many of my clients have issues with tech.

Melissa Anzman (21:11):
And the point here is, is they're saying, you know, I don't really know what to use, which platform should I use? Should I use Kajabi or Kartra or a member of all or Podia or Ruzuku or what have you. And the answer is it depends. And so instead of following somebody else's recommendation where they also get a kickback, by the way, hello, Kajabi people out there. Actually all of them get a kickback. I don't know why I singled out Kajabi, but I actually do because the job is very expensive. And most people who are trying to do a membership site or a course likely don't need to over invest in Kajabi in less, they're going to use it for a hundred percent of their things, which is something else we can talk about. But that aside Isaiah grass on Kajabi, my point here is, is you need to understand what you need your product to do, and then choose the tech that makes sense for your product and your stage and business and your income and spend availability.

Melissa Anzman (22:11):
You don't necessarily want to throw $300 a month to a software or $500 a month. When you take out all the software into account, when you're not selling at least, I don't know, five grand in courses, I don't know what your number is, but I'm using that as an example. I ha I know someone who spent $10,000 on doing videos for their course, another $6,000, having somebody upload their course. And when they finally launched their course without any validation and did it in a vacuum, they paid for sales, for sales at $300. So they lost a ton of money. And you will, too. If you follow this advice, now they could have, you know, I, I forgot the big one, which was the tech and tool. So in addition to that, they were spending $500 a month on the tech and tools. So not even covering one sale of their product for the tech and tools.

Melissa Anzman (23:13):
So my whole point here is don't just use tech and tools that other people tell you to. I want you to know enough to be dangerous. I want you to look at what you need for your product, and then leverage the right tech and tools to deliver it at the right stage of your business, for you, with your available income. I don't want you using tools and tech that may be super slick and awesome that you can't frankly afford that your doesn't warrant that expense. You can always move and upgrade and change. It is a pain in the butt. I understand, but I want you to create something that is profitable first for your digital product versus over investing it. So these are at a high, high level, the eight biggest mistakes that I see, digital product creators making, and some nuggets onto how you can easily avoid them.

Melissa Anzman (24:15):
Now, of course, there are a lot of different ways that you can get yourself off track, but here they are. Again, stop creating things in a vacuum, be super clear on your products. Transformation, be sure that you're tapping into your customer in the right place, on their journey. Don't launch without validating your idea. First, stop over, adding too much irrelevant, or just too much content into your product. Don't build something before you sell it. So stop over investing in your time, stop over, perfecting your product before you start trying to sell it, and finally use the tools and tech that are right for your product. Not just what other people think. Hope this was helpful. Can't wait to hear how you've taken these eight mistakes and turn them around for your own product sales to join them, free launch yourself workshop where you'll learn why your digital products aren't selling nearly as much as he planned for and how to diversify and scale your income by launching the right way. Text, launchyourself, all one word to: 44222.