Step by Step Guide to Launching Your First Product in 72 Hours or Less
If you’ve been involved with affiliate marketing for awhile, you’ve heard the advice of other seasoned marketers:
Get your own product, ASAP.
They tell you this because having your own product does a lot of nice things for your business. For instance, you’ll get all the profits of what you sell, instead of just a fraction and you’ll have total control over testing and tracking.
This allows you to monetize your site for YOUR product, instead of other peoples’ products, which helps with how Google views your site. Once you establish an audience of actual buyers, you can start upselling, which is where the real money is.
If you want to learn more about the power of upsells and other expert level marketing tactics, check out Web Domination.
Bottom line is this… it’s good to have a product. But you probably knew that already. Trouble is, you’ve got no time.
Or do you?
If you can clear even three days time from your calendar – basically a long weekend – I’ll show you how to have a rockin’ first product ready to sell by the end of day three.
Sound good? Then let’s go:
Step by Step Guide to Launching Your First Product in 72 Hours or Less
Here’s the high-level view of what we’re gonna do:
- Define your audience and find out what they need/want in a product. Estimated time: 3 hours.
- Create an outline of the product’s content and figure out the easiest way to create and deliver that product. 2 hours, 5 hours total.
- Write the sales letter. 3 hours, 8 hours total.
- Create the landing page and product images, or hire them out. 3 hours, 11 hours total.
- Pound out that content. 6 hours, 17 hours total.
- Make that first round of content better and lay it out in the form its going to be delivered in. 4 hours, 21 hours total.
- Hook up the checkout and landing page. 3 hours, 24 hours total.
- Create your first ads and promotions. 4 hours, 28 hours total.
- Begin finding people to promote it for you. 2 hours, 30 hours total.
Here are the terms of engagement:
- You’ve got 3 days.
- You’re gonna work 10 hours of each day. That’s 30 hours all in. If you want to go crazy and work 15 hours for two days straight, have at it.
- You can do this with zero budget, but having even $100 will help.
- You’re probably not going to be able to create a high-ticket product in this timeframe (though it’s possible). But you will have an awesome $7 starter product, and you can probably pull off something that’s worth $30 or so.
Let’s get started.
Define Your Audience & Find Out What They Need/Want In A Product.
(3 hours, 3 hours total)
Ever heard the saying, “Begin with the end in mind”? That’s what we’re doing. When this is all done and you’re spending your own hard-earned money to promote it (much less the 30 hours of non-refundble time you’re about to invest) we want to be sure you’re going to have a winner. That’s why this research matters. Don’t just run with the first idea that pops into your head. DO NOT create the 17th version of the same product everybody else is pushing.
You need to have pen and paper, or a spreadsheet open while you’re doing this research, because you’re actually drafting your product right now.
Make a list of people’s most common questions and issues/problems in your niche. You want at least 15 of these questions/issues, with room for notes after each issue.
Now head over to these places:
Spend at least 30 minutes on every one of these sources, or your research will be skewed. Everyone knows to scour niche forum sites to see what people are asking, but Amazon reviews for products (and Kindle books) are also a treasure trove of insight. So are blog comments and social media, especially Facebook pages and groups.
If you don’t know BuzzSumo, it’s a free tool that lets you see what the most-shared content is for a search term or a website url. It will give you some great insights into what goes viral, but not necessarily into what people will pay for.
That’s the real secret to having a great product – a product that people aren’t just interested in, but that they will buy. Just answering the same old how-to questions available elsewhere will get you nowhere. You’ve got to solve the problems people have not been able to answer elsewhere, AND solve problems that people are willing to pay to have solved. That Excel table mentioned above will give you some very interesting insights after you’ve spent a few hours filling it out. Don’t cut corners here.
Create An Outline Of The Product Content
(2 hours, 5 hours total).
Take that Excel doc, choose the one problem or group of problems that popped out as best, and start blocking out your product. You can do that by creating an outline, or by writing out index cards, or however you like. By the end of these two hours you should have a very ugly draft of your product’s content. Remember, you were collecting “content” for your product as you were researching what people want to know.
Next, ask yourself: Should your product be videos? Text? Audios, like interviews? Consider two things for this question:
1) Which format is your audience most likely to want?
2) Which format is easiest for you to create?
Write The Sales Letter
(3 hours, 8 hours total).
What? We’re going to write the sales letter before we create the product? You bet we are.
Writing the sales letter will make you sit down and essentially write what is a love letter to your buyers. It will force you to decide what parts of the product will be most important to them, and it will give you a clear idea of what you’re promising them, so it’s ingrained in your head when you make the product. This will keep you focused on creating the product your sales letter describes.
If you just have to bounce back to your ugly product draft to give it some more details, because you had an awesome idea while you were writing the sales letter, you may do that.
Hint: Use the same words your audience used to describe their problems, especially if you found people repeating the same problem or question. It is okay to lift whole sentences from your research. I don’t advise lifting whole paragraphs, but phrases and sentences are okay.
Create The Landing Page
(3 hours, 11 hours total).
If you’ve got the budget, install OptimizePress and create a high quality landing page. If you want to head over to AwesomeWeb and get a cover made for you, that’s good too. If you’ve got no budget, use your favorite free landing page plugin. There’s a decent 3-D ebook cover creator here.
Spend at least half an hour of this time reading a few posts about how to make a good landing page. OptimizePress is a great resource, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Just don’t spend too much time, OK? We are in execution mode right now, not learning mode.
Pound Out That Content
(6 hours, 17 hours total).
“Holy %^&$!”, you say. “I can’t create the product in six hours!”
Oh yes you can. Because you already have 5 hours of work put into creating your ugly draft. And because – surprise – you’re not going to get this perfect.
No, you are not going to publish a perfect product. You are going to publish a product that may need an update. Because you are going to tell your buyers you want to hear from them. You will actively solicit their feedback.
If they don’t like something about your product, or if they want something more from your product, fabulous. You will make it for them. That way you will know you’re creating content for paying customers, instead of what you think (hope) they will pay for. So chuck all that perfectionism aside, brew up some coffee, do whatever you gotta do to crank it out, and start just making that ugly draft better.
Tip: If you have trouble diving in, consider using the Pomodoro technique. It’s where you work uninterrupted for 25 minutes, then take a break for 5-10 minutes, and then go back to another super-focused work session. There are Pomodoro apps for computers and smartphones. Some are free. It’s an effective way to just drop the anxiety and the second-guessing and freakin’ get down to work.
Make That First Round Of Content Better & Lay It Out In The Form It’s Going To Be Delivered In.
(4 hours, 21 hours total).
You’ll need a break after that marathon six-hour session. Maybe, perhaps, a night’s sleep? Then come back and just make what you’ve got a little better. Maybe re-read your sales letter, and make sure you’re delivering on the promises there. And hey, you might find yourself tweaking the sales letter, too. But remember – you’re on the clock. You’ve got four more hours to make this baby worth buying. So do it.
Hook up the checkout and landing page. (3 hours, 24 hours total).
Three hours may be more time than you need, but sometimes this phase of things gets tricky, so I wanted to give you some extra time to figure out a new shopping cart. Frankly, I love PayPal buy buttons. You can set up the whole checkout process in less than 20 minutes with a PayPal button if you know what to do.
If you’ve got extra time, go worry over your landing page a bit more. Have you, say, checked how it looks on a smartphone yet? On your buddy’s smartphone? Could you talk them into trying to place an order, and see what their impressions of your product are? You don’t necessarily have to do what they say, but a second pair of eyes can be helpful.
Create Your First Ads & Promotions
(4 hours, 28 hours total).
Again, this may be more time than you’ll need, but you will want at least:
- 3-5 versions of ppc copy
- A solo email promo
- Possibly a 3-5 email autoresponder sequence
- 3-4 banner ads or display ads
You probably won’t have time to get all those done in 4 hours, but pick two or three and give them your best shot. If you’ve got some budget, this is a great time to have a designer pull a few key sentences and phrases from your sales letter, add your images, and make you a bunch of nice ads.
Begin Finding People To Promote It For You
(2 hours, 30 hours total).
Extra credit would be to set up an affiliate program, say through SamCart. Or you can pitch 3-5 blog owners in your niche and offer them all the email addresses of people who buy via their promotion, while you keep the sales. Or you can start thinking about where you could best advertise this new product. Maybe you just want to add a finishing touch or two to your product’s content.
Whatever you do, give yourself some applause. Not only did you create a product in 30 hours, but now you know how to do it again.
If you enjoyed this post, check out my free report containing 115 content creation ideas!