Can you really double your sales of a product you've created a while ago?
And why are satellite products so very useful to clients and profitable to your info-product business? In this episode we look at info-products as we'd look at a piece of software like Photoshop.
Find out the magic that already exists within your info-product and why you don't have to keep crazily searching for newer clients all the time.
Most people have never heard of the Knoll brothers, but they've certainly heard of the program the brothers invented.
That program was Photoshop
Developed initially in 1987 by Thomas and John Knoll, it wasn't the sophisticated program like the modern version. Back then it wasn't called Photoshop, but was named “Image-Pro”. It was only when the Knoll brothers decided to sell the program in 1988 that they changed the name to Photoshop.
As the story goes, no one was really interested in the program, except for Adobe. Adobe saw the potential and purchased all the wholesale rights, and by 1990 the first version of Photoshop was released. Today, Photoshop has gone through thousands of changes and 27 versions.
Every time a version appeared on the market, two sets of customers bought the product: new clients and existing ones. And in that version history is a lesson for almost all of our information products.
Photoshop is no doubt, built by its programmers, but who comes up with endless suggestions for the improvement of the program? A large portion comes from the users themselves. And who buys the newer version of Photoshop? Once again, it's the existing users of the program. Today, Adobe has a subscription model in place, where all upgrades are automatic, but for at least 20+ years, the newer versions of the product were purchased by existing users.
A similar concept can be used to sell your own info-products
It's not common in the information products world to think of books, videos or courses as they do in the software world. Most information product creators write a book or create a course and it stays in its original format. Yet your target profile is always looking for an improvement.
At Psychotactics, we create newer versions of info-products too.
As you're probably aware, the Article Writing Course is now in Version 2.0. So is the First Fifty Words course and The Brain Audit has seen many versions since we first released it in back in 2002.
Bear in mind that not all courses or info-products need constant revision, but instead of simply dashing madly into yet another information product, you might want to take a look at how versions will help sell info-products to an existing, as well as new audience.
Listening to the target profile can also help you create more in-depth versions of your products
Take the Article Writing Course for instance. It's an extremely comprehensive course and clients love it—they really do. At first the course existed as a standalone, but the target profile—or clients, in this case—kept asking for in-depth sub-courses.
For instance, writing headlines is already covered in the Article Writing Course, but now we also have a separate eight-week headline course. The opening of the article, or the First Fifty Words as we call it, is also part of the Article Writing Course, but it's also a separate 8-week intensive course. What you're learning from the above example is that even when you have like what seems to be a complete info-product, clients are more than happy to buy in-depth versions of the components of the products.
To make this clearer, let's break up the Article Writing Course into components
– First Fifty Words
– And so on.
When you look at the list above, every component could possibly become a separate and more detailed information product or course. Some might be shorter, or take up fewer pages in a book, but they all have the propensity to break off from the mother ship called the “Article Writing Course” and become satellites of their own.
And clients tend to want more of the same good stuff you're putting out. If you go deeper into the satellite info-products, clients are more than happy to buy into your offering. We know this to be true because of what we see at Psychotactics. A client will do the headlines course and then do the Article Writing Course and possibly the First Fifty Words course.
Or they may start with the Article Writing Course and then move to the headlines course. The satellite courses don't cannibalise the main course. And this concept applies to any sort of info-products whether audio, video or text.
And you know this to be true because of the music industry
At some point, we've all bought music in some shape or form. Some of us may have had the pleasure of buying cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs and then signed up to Spotify, Pandora or Apple Music. The fact that we already have access to all the music we need doesn't stop us from listening to it on the radio or YouTube, for that matter.
If the musician rolls into town, we're reasonably likely to pony up anywhere between $100-$500 for concert tickets. In short, all versions and satellite versions work and the client—your target profile—wants you to create updated or at least deeper content on the very same topic.
The target profile is a great boon for a business
If you have a target audience, you can't really do much. If you have some persona stuff, again you're just stabbing at some made up stuff. However, the moment you have a real client in front of you, you are able to learn so much more, because a real client speaks, complains, gives feedback and yes, buys your info-products. Even so, a target profile can be a distraction as we've learned on this target profile trip.
So let's summarise what we've learned so far:
What have we learned so far?
The Knoll brothers: John and Thomas Knoll. We learned they invented Photoshop. But besides that very important point, we also learned:
1) How to create an information product and why you need to leave the target profile out of it
There are times when you might want to include the target profile, but that product might end up like a lot of me-too products on the shelf. To go rogue, you might need to sit down all by yourself and create an information product that is based on how you see the client getting from A to B.
To put this fact into perspective, think about Photoshop itself. No target profile created that program. Instead the Knoll Brothers worked out what was needed to get clients from A-B and off they went into generating that awesome piece of software.
The Photoshop me-too products were largely constrained by the boundaries of Photoshop itself. In short, the me-too were more a sort of target profile driven info-product, while Photoshop itself was a creator's dream.
The target profile is not completely excluded from the creation-process, though. Once you've gone through the early stages and have your content past the early drafts, the target profile becomes extremely useful. I tend to send the draft to the target profile to get their feedback. There's almost something that I have left out, things I've not explained, examples that need more detail, etc. And the target profile will give me that very pertinent (and often, persistent) feedback.
However, the target profile does play a role in pre-selling the info-product.
2) The target profile and the pre-sell
While you shouldn't really get the target profile involved in the early stages of creating the info-product, you should get that client in very early in the landing page/pre-sell process. The reason why the target profile is invaluable in the pre-sell stage, is because you get to know what motivates the client and the main problem they're facing.
Once you have the biggest problem clear, you can create your sales page to tackle that issue. The target profile interview becomes utterly invaluable when you're in the sales/pre-sell phase. To understand more about how the target profile plays a role, pick up your copy of The Brain Audit and read the chapter on target profile yet again.
3) Finally, the target profile plays a significant role in in a version or satellite product creation
Users usually want a sort of upgrade. They'll ask you to fix this and that in your info-product. Most info-product creators nod glibly and do nothing. They simply don't bother to create a newer version of the info-product.
Admittedly not all products need an upgrade, and any sort of update can be as much, if not more work than the existing product. Even so, you're able to sell an upgraded product to existing as well as newer clients.
The other aspect is the creation of satellite info-products
Just because you have a complete and detailed info-product, doesn't mean your target profile won't hanker after even greater detail. This is when you create a satellite info-product. The Article Writing Course has satellite courses, and even The Brain Audit has satellite products.
In short, the user is asking you to create info-products that help them understand your information differently or in an intermediate format. Paying attention to the target profile makes for loyal clients and substantial profits from an existing clientele. Instead of scrambling all over the place to get new clients all the time, you can use this concept of satellites products and versions to run an extremely profitable business.
The target profile is crucial. Or not.
It depends on the activity and the stages of your info-products.
What’s the one thing you can do today? There’s no one thing. This is all about stages.
1. Write the product you want to write to help the customer get from point A to point B.
2. Once finished, have a target profile review it for feedback. Make changes.
3. Interview target profile to help create a sales page:
– Find out the problems they're having and use those problems in the sales page.
– Find out their solution, objections, testimonials, risk reversal and uniqueness. Use on the sales page.
Next Step: If you missed the first part of this series, here is the link: Info-product Creation Part 1: When to Leave The Clients Out (And When to Include Them In)