Scale to $10K Per Month
So I wrote a book, and it's led to a lot of conversation with readers. And it was a $5 book on Amazon, and I got lots of people emailing me telling me, yeah, I tried this, but this didn't work, or what about that. And I just took notes. And then when people would pay and they'd give me feedback, I would tweak and iterate those things. Yeah, I mean, so the first launch was well above $10,000, $25,000. And as Bryan was saying, I mean, you could do this with an email list that's relatively small. But I mean, if you've got an email list of a thousand plus people, you know, you should be able to make $10,000 off of that. Now you've got a way that you can, when you press send, you know, $10,000 comes into your bank account. And you don't wanna just keep doing that over and over again, but you wanna tweak and iterate and find ways to do it better, and then you can grow your list. And for me it went from, like, 25 to 30 to to 100 to 250 and so on. And it had this sort of exponential accelerat...
ion that happened. Because every time we were making it better, growing the audience, finding out what was working and what wasn't working. And over time, you launch this thing over and over and over again, and you learn, you know, what works and what doesn't work and you start to get known for this thing. And it really becomes a signature product, something that you're known for. I wrote a guest post for Bryan Harris a while ago about how I launched this product, and that friend that talked me into launching it also talked me into continuing to launch it. I launched it, I was like, oh that was cool, I made $25,000, I should go create another product. He goes, why would you do that, that's stupid. I was like, well, I need to create something new 'cause I think everybody, you know, they need something new now. He goes, let me ask you this. Like, how many people on your list, how many people are on your list? I said, you know, between, like, 10,000, maybe a little more. And he said, and how many people bought the course? And I was like, well, you know, at this point, whatever it was, 600 or 700 people. He says, so, do you think that those 9,000 people don't need this? I said, no, I think they need it. He says do you think those 9,000 people wouldn't pay for this if you sold it again? I was like, no, I think some of them would pay for it. He goes, so why are you gonna create another product? He said don't do that yet. And that advice was the difference between $25,000 and three million dollars. And so this is the power of a signature product. It is something that you get to launch over and over and over again, and it takes time. Like, I started working on this, really, in February of 2012. And I launched it in October. And so it's not something that you're gonna go create in 30 days. But you do your MVP, you create the minimum viable product to validate that people will actually pay you for something, and then from there, you know, you get to build on this thing. For me, the course, Tribe Writers, was the course version of my book. I mean, it was a lot of the same information, but it was done in a way where here are screenshots and tutorials, and me walking you through this process. But it was basically the same information. And instead of it costing five or $10, you know, it was costing hundreds of dollars. So, that's the power of the signature product. Any questions on that? Yeah, Maya.
So, the idea behind that then, if I can extrapolate, is to continue to build your list and build your audience so that it kind of increases the pool of people that you can continue to sell that signature product to.
Yes, once you have a signature product you now have a money maker, and the more you grow your list, the more money you're gonna make. And there's, I mean, if you keep selling it to the same list every three to six months, you'll keep making money, but it'll be diminishing returns. 'Cause you're selling the same thing to the same group of people. And so you want to find a way to acquire, you always wanna be growing your list. You wanna be acquiring new leads, new readers, so that you can, yeah, keep selling them products, and eventually create new products for them as well. Yeah, mm-hmm.
So sometimes I hear the process going from, like, webinar to mini course to larger course, or something like that. Can you explain that process a little bit? It doesn't sound like that's what you chose to do, 'cause you basically went to a larger course, albeit half of it was created when you launched it. But, is there any value to that--
Like, creating a webinar--
Well, a webinar that would be free. You know, but that would lead into sort of a mini course that gets some momentum going that might also be free which would lead, it's like, you know, the first... Maybe the outline of your course, or the first two sections of your course, if you've got a six section course, for example. Is there any value to that approach?
It sounds like a lot of work for something that I'm not sure will sell. And so, I wouldn't do that first. What you're describing is basically a funnel.
And we do that, I do some funnels where you sign up for a webinar, and then there's an opportunity to buy the product on the webinar. And then after the webinar there's sort of like an email course, you know, drip sequence, where it's a series of lessons kind of giving them a taste of the product, and then another opportunity to buy it. But yeah, like, my philosophy is when you're going to give, give. Give without any ask or expectation of reciprocity. And when you're going to sell, sell. And so, it's challenging for me, but I've learned over the years, like, I believe in these products, I believe in these resources. Try to lean in a little bit, you know, not sell kind of back on my heels, but lean in and be confident that this is going to help people. So I wouldn't recommend starting there. I would do what we're talking about here which is create something, for a lot of writers it's probably gonna be some sort of book, it could be something else. Create something that can very quickly get you some money. It could be coaching, you know, if that's your jam. But it needs to be something that very quickly you can create something, you can get feedback on it, and then you can kind of tweak a process that then you can turn into something that scales. It doesn't have to be a course. For a lot of people it may not be. We're gonna talk to a guest later today where he's making $10,000 a month off of his book. And where he just signed a major book deal with a publisher. So, yeah, I mean, it can look differently, the point is this is the thing that I'm going to be well-known for. If we go back to those three different types of writers, we've got working writer. So their signature product could be, like, one of their books. You know, a bestselling book, a book that is sort of the anchor story in a series, or it could actually kind of be their body of work. It could be the name of a series of novels that they've written. And if you look at, you know, bestselling novelists, they have series or projects that they are better known for than other things, and the signature product kind of becomes the thing that gets people into their world and then they buy other things. For an author-preneur, it would very much be some sort of information product like a course, or an event, or a higher-end coaching experience, something like that. And then for a thought leader, you know, your signature product could be your book. It's probably a speech that you give, or some sort of, like, specific process that you walk people through. Simon Sinek, it is his Golden Circle Why thing, that is what he is known best for. The book is like a lead gen tool for that, but his money maker is he goes and does, you know, five figure speeches for companies all the time. And that is his thing, that is his signature product. It is something you can do or sell over and over and over again, and it gets consistent results. Yeah, so that's the thought leader, the author-preneur, and the working writer. Does that make sense? That's why I wanted to talk about the different types of writers at the very beginning, 'cause it will look different depending on what your goals are, and, yeah, I mean, what works for one person may not fit for you. But this process of MVP to talking to my customers, trying to find out what itches that they have that I haven't scratched, and then working with them to create something really, really cool, really helpful, and being flexible about that. It could be coaching, could be consulting, could be teaching, could be you reading something to them. It could be a bunch of different things, and you just wanna know what is gonna be most valuable to them.
All right, well, we have a couple quick questions here, if you wanna just touch on these before we get to our special guest. Corianne Gray wanted to know what platform do you use to host things like courses? We don't have to get too deep into the details, but do you have any recommendations, if people are creating a course or another sort of product, any examples of things they can use to host them?
Yeah, a great tool, if you're gonna make your own course, would be Teachable. That's a great platform that a lot of people are using. I've used it before. Another tool is Udemy, these are open source course creation communities where you can upload videos and sell your product on there and keep most of the money. So those are two resources that I recommend.
Let's see, this question comes from Pira who says, do you have any examples of products or ideas that you had to completely trash along the way before you got to Tribe Writers? Did you have any things that maybe you tried, didn't work, I guess the question is also, how do you know when to let go of some of these things? And maybe you tried them as a minimum viable product, they don't seem to work, when do you know when to scrap it versus keeping iterating on it?
I mean, yeah, that's a great question. Pira?
Pira. Yeah, I think yes that did happen. The first thing I got into was coaching, and it was just like, somebody was like, hey, will you coach us on how to do these things that you did? I was like, sure. They're like... I was like, yeah, what's that worth to you, or something. And they said what do you charge? I was like, I'd charge you $250 a month. They're like, we were thinking like 1,000. I was like, that sounds great, that's my rate. (audience laughs) And it was kind of a train wreck, you know? I would talk to them on the phone every week and they wouldn't do what I asked them to do. And I didn't really know how to, I didn't know how to coach, that's an art form. That's a thing that people do, and I was just like, I'll tell you things, you know? And it just didn't work for me 'cause I was kind of in over my head. And I didn't like it. And I realized I like creating things. And so, I sorta scrapped that, I stopped doing that. I do a little bit of coaching now 'cause I've learned a lot about it and I've had a lot of great coaches. But yeah, that was one thing that I scrapped. How do you know when it's time to throw something away? I've done it wrong, when I've just assumed that I know what the audience wants instead of asking them, and keeping kind of this open dialogue going. Every time I do something new, a course, I started doing small, intimate events with 12 to 20 people and charging a few thousand dollars for that. The first time we did that, I was like, I was asking people every day, I was asking people ahead of time, what are you expecting, what would be a big win for you? I asked them afterwards, what did you get out of this, what did you not get out of this that you were hoping to? Like, give me feedback, 'cause I've done this once, like, I wanna make it better. And whenever I haven't done that, things tend to fail. And that's just ego. I think you scrap an MVP when you follow this process that we did and you ask people will you pay for this, and they say yes, and you send them the link, and they don't pay. And you still stubbornly think, well, those 10 people wouldn't do it, but somebody will. If you can't find somebody to do it, you shouldn't create it.