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Iterate, Reposition, Differentiate

Lesson 21 from: Turn Your Service Into a Product

Tara McMullin

Iterate, Reposition, Differentiate

Lesson 21 from: Turn Your Service Into a Product

Tara McMullin

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Lesson Info

21. Iterate, Reposition, Differentiate

Lesson Info

Iterate, Reposition, Differentiate

All right let's move on that was a great segue way actually christine hits you lesson twenty which is iterated reposition or differentiate because the question once you sell your product and get feedback on it is what now and inevitably the answer to this question is sell it again that's that's the fundamental answer you have to sell it again whether it's something that's evergreen whether it's something that you've put out there for just a short period of time you absolutely must sell it again but you don't normally or often you don't want to just sell it again the way it wass you want teo iterated reposition or differentiate and that's step thirteen this is the last step of the building products that resonate process and of course it's not about last last step because guess what you do after stop thirteen come back to the beginning or you go back to like step four but step thirteen is iterated reposition differentiate you have to do something with your product after you've sold it on...

ce and essentially what these words mean is mohr different or more different it's really that simple you can make your product mohr of what it iss in a future adoration you could make a difference by repositioning it and selling it is something you know the message is a little bit different the value your promising is a little bit different or you could make it more different which is to really figure out how you're gonna make that product stand out in what is inevitably a crowded market hey when I hear from people well, how do I do this in a really crowded market? They're all crowded markets, right? So everyone has the imperative to be mohr different to make their product mohr different. So here you're next steps here's how you do that if most of your guesses about your product were correct if you figure out yet this is how people used it, yet this is the value that they got out of it it's time to add features and make the product better by making it more robust you know all that all that fun stuff that we stripped out of your product when we were building the minimum viable product, this is your opportunity to start adding some pieces back in, all right? So you have to get past the pain of selling something that seems incomplete and not as beautiful as you would like it to be. So then after you get feedback, you khun see which of those initial features that you would have loved to have had you can add start adding back in slowly, and what I would not recommend is if this is the path that you're on to go from a skeleton of a product to what you think is a fully you know fully developed product do it step by step by step because as you do that you may learn different things each time you sell it and you don't want to have to trying to figure out what's features may have caused, you know, negative responses or positive responses you want to be able to attribute adding features to whatever new feedback you get. So do it little bit by little bit if many of your guesses were wrong about your product and that happens and it's ok in fact it's great the more wrong you are, the more you've I learned I know that's not that's, not super comforting but it's true if many of your guesses were wrong used the customer feedback to create a new offer of the same product and see if that does better because here's the thing when your product fails most of the time it's not the product that's the problem it's not the idea that's the problem and most importantly it's not you that's the problem way too often I hear people say negative things about themselves mean things about themselves shaming things about themselves when a product fails they attributed to the product they attribute it to the idea and then they attribute it to themselves that it's not helpful most likely your product is great most likely your idea is even better and certainly you are awesome but there are all sorts of other things that can go into putting a product together and putting it out there that can cause it to fail. One of them is missing assumptions are making assumptions about your customers that just aren't true. Another one of them is, you know, not having the right audience to be able to sell to another one is, you know, missing the mark on what really value your product is going to create another one is missing the message that's really going to resonate with people. There are all sorts of things that can go wrong that have nothing to do with the product itself now, that's not to say that you might not adjust the product or change the product after a flop, you might change the curriculum. You might add a couple of features, take a couple of features, a way to support your repositioning, but three positioning that's important. And then another option you have is if you see an opportunity to make your product more attractive than what's on the market, emphasize what makes it different in the way you adapt features or market it. So if you put a product out there for the first time, often differentiation is not your first. Idea, right? That's not what you're thinking about when you're putting a new product out there, and it also doesn't matter in terms of the market that you're selling too, because the market that you're selling to wants to buy from ugh that's part of the minimum viable product process, especially for personal, you know, idea driven businesses, you're the people who are going to buy that m v p want to buy from you, they don't care if it's different than what's on the market, because the fact that it's from you is what's different than what's already on the market that's what's exciting, but in subsequent releases differentiation is going to matter mohr and mohr, and more so if you're in a really good place with your product, if you're just looking for what's next, think about differentiation what could I change about this product? What features could I add to it? How could I adapt the marketing of it to make it maur and mohr different than what's already out there, the stronger you make that message, the mohr sales you'll get? That was one of the big things we did with quiet power strategy a few launches ago, really, when we went to take it from a core group of fifteen to the full group of thirty to forty that we that we serve now one of the big things I knew I needed to dio was really differentiate the product from especially a couple of key market leaders and so right up very high on the sales page was a wide this is different section and it literally said why quiet power strategy is different and then graphic graphic graphic reason, reason, reason and that really helped us get across the message that this is not just another business building course and then instead you know its hands on personalized support it's a coaching experience it's a community of other entrepreneurs who can help you make your business work that was super effective forgetting traffic there would you add anything to these next steps? I would say that you know we same or different more different don't forget that sometimes less is more right sometimes less is more and so when you're going through and you're looking at your next steps don't just be looking at what can I throw in because that's where we get these bloated products that tried to do too much one thing to look at is what didn't work a cz well and if the reason it didn't work as well as because it actually doesn't fit take it out like it doesn't need to be there on dh as you do that the other thing to keep in mind that just to restate what what terrorist said before is don't change too much at once, right, right? When I launch a product I often will do this private invitation style launch two or three times before I start doing it on a bigger scale because each of those times I want to be making tweaks and adjustments I want to see if the tweaks and adjustments I make actually work this is something we found actually I worked in in higher education for a number of years and we would do program redesigns of diploma programs and that was one of the cautions we gave to the people we were working with us you can make a change and it can make things worse right just because you change something doesn't autumn magically meeting's gonna make it better so you know, make small changes so that you're keeping the root of good and you're trying to incrementally improve rather than doing whole cell changes that could whittle away at the good foundation you've already built yes, absolutely yeah, which leads us to you know, the next generation of quiet power strategy is going to be a shortened version of the program because we knew no you know lessons one through three seven are where people tend teo get to and then stop and we've added in this other thing that is absolutely necessary and wonderful but not right then and so we're going to be able to adjust that in a way that I think it actually allows people to get it maur value out of it but in less time and probably for less money as well it's just really exciting but I think it'll be exciting for customers. Teo so your other option here speaking of wholesale change is to pivot um if it is I didn't put it in the lesson title because I think most of the time pivoting is not what you need to dio however it's an option that should always be on the table what a pivot is is the wholesale change it's taking what you've learned and doing something completely different maybe it's that you've you know you want to serve these people that the right people that you know you sold the product to the right people but it was the wrong product or maybe you sold the right product but sold it to the wrong people and so you need to make a pivot to be able to accommodate that maybe you thought the format should be one thing and actually should be something completely different with what you've learned or maybe you need to shelve that idea because of what you learned and you need to move on to something different maybe your audience wants something more advanced maybe your audience wants something more beginner these are all different reasons why you might feel the need to make a complete pivot I'm curious if you guys have made any complete pivots in your business or in your product development yeah, yeah, I got it right that you had was a couple different times before I started the membership. As I mentioned, I think on day one I was selling all these different products like this isn't gonna work. I need to completely change the business model to the membership. And then more recently, I guess in the past couple of years, I thought I was going to be teaching six, eight, twelve week workshops a few times a year, and that would be the foundation of my business model and it for various reasons within my industry and certain things that work well for me, it didn't make sense at all, but the's shorter, more intensive types of activities do make sense. And so I've restructured my business model around doing the membership along with those instead of doing these longer workshops nice and you shut one business down, too start a brand new business and that's the ultimate thing I was thinking not with what if I haven't pivoted? I guess my life pivoted. Yes, your life if it'd kind of totally tell us about the decision that you made two say, you know what I'm done with professional photography, and I'm going to run with this seed of an idea that I have because of the community that I've created around my photography, yeah well, I mean, the photography studio wasn't closed solely so that I could focus on what if it was actually closed in a large part because we're wedding photographers and our kids lives were happy happening on the weekend. We're missing, our kids lives, so I actually walked into the studio one day, I think it was twenty ten. I looked at my husband like, I'm done. I turn around, I walked out, and so I did exactly how I did it, actually twenty eleven and he's like what I was like, yeah, sorry, I'm out and so he had to find somebody. What if no, no, no, I mean, I was I was in, but I was I wasn't going to shoot anymore, so he founds one to shoot for me for the next couple of years until I was out out and then a couple hours later, he's, like, you know what? I'm out too, so it took us eighteen months, teo obviously run out of contracts and fulfill our obligations and yeah, never look back there, it did allow me to focus more time on what if, which is great, and I think my passion is, of course, I've discovered my passion is community building and education and facilitation and in person. The staff so it really does fit with my skill set and my particular likes but yeah, that was a big deal I think that's a really good point though that you made it took eighteen months to completely pivot after this yeah because that's I know that's something that people get really scared about it's like well, I've got these client lined up or I've got this money coming in and I can't just close one side of my business down to start a new one that's ok but by deciding that you're going to make that pivot you can start acting mohr intentionally and really start growing what's to come before you're ready to fully step into it well yeah if you just close with no backup plan you also have no money yes that's right? Yeah. I wrote a post on that recently about the you know, the things that you khun dio when one phase of your business is paying the bills but you want to move into another phase and there are lots of things that you could d'oh brand did you have something to add knows jennifer had something that yeah, just kind of more of a spin on that is kind of a future pivot thinking about what's you know what's possible say should the scrapbooking industry change so much, can I use the methodology I developed to do things and other industries or to be more of a lifestyle brand surrounding this ideas of having a purposeful life that's full of me time yeah, that brings up a really, really good point, which is to me at least for me the longer you've been in business, the more success you've had the longer it takes to make a pivot, I often get super jealous of people who could still spin on a dime in their businesses. I could not spend on a dime in my business there's too much riding on it, there's too much messaging that would have to go out there's too many changes that would have to make, which is great, and I am not bemoaning my own success by any by any means. However, I do miss those days when a complete pivot could happen in a weekend on dso now thinking about the pivots that I'm going to be making into the next year and realizing I can't make them all in gary don't worry, brianne, I will not make you fall in january, I'll make them in december, so you know, you know, thinking in terms of incremental change, an incremental pivot there was just deep, deep cannick in this room, all right? So if you discover you were mostly wrong, take the feedback that you've gotten and start fresh on guy started say, start fresh instead of start over because the best part of this process is that you never have to start over again you never have to start over again you are always learning when you do this process start to finish step by step by step you are learning every step of the way that's the heart of the lean startup methodology you have to learn every step of the way melissa something else that is so important tio take into consideration is your own feedback for example talking about pivots my very first online product I was my ideal customer avatar and I had interviewed a whole bunch of artisan creatives who were making their living doing their creative thing because I was curious how they were doing it and I pakistan up is a product that was an ongoing membership community with lessons and lola and I realized a number of things one I was attracting a bunch of starving artists who wanted to learn how to make a living from their creative thing and that wasn't what I wanted to give to the world I wanted to get people to turn their creative taps toe on and I also discovered that I really liked building things but I don't like maintaining things that I built and I'd built this thing and I was like oh my god now it feels like a ball and chain because it's not the thing that it doesn't excite me to create new content for this particular thing so my pivot was to change to figure out you know, who are the people that I really want to help and how do I really want to serve them and what is it that lights me up to create for them rather than you know, this thing that I just created so is sort of a multiple pivot yeah, excellent leave any other audience stories pivoting corey, have you pivoted in your business? Well, I've had several failed businesses okay count, but I don't know the business that I have now grew very organically and it's basically the same thing it was some years ago. Yeah, awesome no, I think going from, you know, expanding a business and had an original dream and then got off that and so is spending the last eighteen months recalibrate and getting back to the original vision by kind of listen to what you were saying listening to what I wanted to do and that pivoting says sometimes this shiny sparkly thing or the easy money is really a lot more work and so pivot and getting back to the original vision and having more experienced people on my team who could just go I don't have toe, you know, handhold in that process so that's what was a hard pivot but was great data to collect and now build a team of people that they could just go make their magic and I can focus on other things too yeah, I want everyone to hear what you said the easy money isn't actually less work heck no yeah yeah no that is really important because I think people get really afraid of well if you tear if you tell me to go make what people want to buy what if I don't want to make what they want to buy and it's like that's not that's not actually the answer to that question you want to figure out what people want abi so that you could make what you want to build fit that mold right and yeah that that takes some work but in the end it's going to be easier to sell it and it's going to be easier to build it and those are the two things that are most important it could be easy to sell it and not easy to build it would be easy to build it and impossible to sell it or you can do it right and make it easy to sell and easy to build and that's really where that that's really where the transformation with this process come is into place so I really appreciate you sharing that thanks any questions about iteration repositioning differentiation all that good stuff about the differentiation piece I totally get what you're saying but it's easy to get caught up in the final end of doing the analytics of your competition or the idea of who you think you should be uh and so that differentiation piece to how do you not get um sidetracked on that? You know, whether to two stuck into comparison or it may be even with the feedback piece to over even from a customer service perspective like trying to please everybody how do you you know, not get bugged to bog down? Yeah there's so much to say about that bridget lions and I were actually having this conversation after we wrapped yesterday about the fear people have around market analysis um and I think yeah there's a lot of fear around market analysis a lot of it comes from imposter complex and so I think that one of the things that you have to do to not get bogged down and to not go the wrong direction is to actually deal with your impostor complex I've mentioned in the past that my friend tanya geissler has, you know, ideas and programs and exercises some of it's briana blog's some of it is, you know, products that she offers but she's a real expert in kind of getting through that impostor complex, setting up your authority on this, making sure you know why you're on on expert and also making sure you know how you're still growing and changing and and learning yourself so I think that's really important is that the less you can listen to that nagging voice of I'm not good enough or I'm not you know I'm not like people enough where I'm not I'm not in this world enough the more you could do your own thing and the more you could do the research that doesn't get you bogged down yeah I'm thinking for me it's as much the scarcity piece I think is just in a field where there's all these should tze and I don't feel like a fitting that so I think listening to you talk I'm like no it's not as much scarcity is what I think everyone thinks a therapist should bor what and so no kind of an navigating on getting clear on one of those should and really busting out of that too right so actually identifying the should tze and going against them is how innovation happen exactly right so you know why is uber an innovative business model in an innovative idea it's because they took all of the should sze of the taxi industry and they did the opposite right that's that's how that happens that's what I did largely with quiet power strategy what what is the typical business course and how could I do everything opposite um and how can I do it most like me and so there's lots of tools that I recommend for that the biggest one and michelle's with me on this one is the fascination advantage assessment you confined that it how to fascinate dot com also talk about it a lot in bill to stand out business which is of course that we have from on created on creative live it's a twenty five day boot camp that you can work through to make your business or your product really stand out but the fascination advantage assessment can kind of pinpoint cem cem different ways to think about yourself and not just who you are but how you really add value and why people are really attracted to you and the ideas that you have in the way that you present them and when you know what those things are and then you could use those as guidelines for differentiating your product on dh positioning your product and a really really effective way. Figuring that stuff out for me was the difference between struggling with sales and struggling with marketing and making it ridiculously easy like the last sales page I wrote I actually posted in our fascination group on facebook this's the most maestro page I have ever written and maestro is my fascination archetype sorry to go completely geeky on you but you know this is this is the page that I've written that uses power and prestige thie absolutely most on I was really really proud of it still I'm really really proud of it and it's been a way to really differentiate what we're offering from other programs that are on the market was the sales page for the master class and so the masterclass is up against the whole lot of different other options just like quiet power strategy is and differentiation was key and it couldn't just be that format that was different it also had to be the message behind it that was different and it had to be the the idea behind it the purpose behind it the results behind it the value behind it all of that had to be different and so in writing that paige and setting up a context for how people were going to use this I was thinking about that difference the hole time and I was he using what I know is most attractive about my brand to do that as much as possible makes sense therapist or mystique but I'm kind of the outlier for that so it makes sense why I've had that rub and why did kind of still circle back and drill down to my service president really hang out in that part to where my intake process I should say so that's really helpful thank you absolutely any other questions on this topic so as I start to wrap up this segment now that we've completed the initial product development cycle, we'll learn toe optimize gathering feedback iterating repositioning differentiating is all about optimizing but we're about to go into the optimization realm at you know one hundred miles an hour at full speed pedal to the metal we're going to talk about howto optimize your customer experience so that it's not just hey this is a great product you should use it but instead it's an intentional well thought out automated process of helping people get the very most out of what you're tryingto offer them that's what brianna's gonna be teaching and then we're going to talk about automating the lead generation process so that you've constantly got new people coming into your world so that you know there's always a new audience willing tto toe look at the product that you're offering, which is huge and then finally we're gonna look at automating the sales process as well because this I think is one of the biggest sticking points and creating a product and really getting out of the time for money cycle really creating more time on more money in your business you have to learn how to automate sales. You can't just be on the phone selling one toe one all the time and in fact, if you've had sex best selling one too one, we're going to learn how to kind of take that and move that into an automated process because really there just one and one in the same there's just different ways you want to apply what you've learned over the year selling one toe one selling in your service

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

The Observation Engine - Multimedia Pack
Intro to How to Thing Like a Marketer - HD.mp4
How to Think Like a Marketer: The Who - HD.mp4
How to Think Like a Marketer: The What - HD.mp4
How to Think Like a Marketer: The How - HD.mp4
Create a Product That Resonates Workbook
Turn Your Service Into a Product Workbook

Ratings and Reviews


I love Creativelive and I watch a lot of good classes, but this course is mind blowing, I can´t explain how much Tara makes me rethink my business, and how this class clears up what are the right things to do to grow my business. This is especially important as I am a sole propriator and at times I am just completely lost about what to do. I love love love this course, and to be honest, the course worths so much more than what it is priced. Thank you Tara and Creativelive!


It was a great experience, thank you Tara! I have watched and own other classes. This feels to me like some kind of broadening of knowledge every time with you. It has been very inspiring 3 days. My service is not a product yet but on the way to become. Great people in studio, too.

Gloria Roheim McRae

Ever wondered about the roadmap to creating VALUE in your products? This Creative Live houses that roadmap. I just finished three full days doing this training and can say that it's Tara's best yet, and that my business in 2016 will not be the same because of it. We will be better connected to our customers needs, we'll have content that transforms their lives (for free), and as business owners we now have the toolkit to sell our products more consistently. Thank you CL and Tara Gentile for this gift. You make small business dreams come true.

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