Sorry for sounding kind of negative right from the get-go, but I just wanted to talk about something that’s really frustrating about the online business education niche – the niche catering to people who want to learn how to run a successful online business.
If you’ve been around for any amount of time then you’ve surely encountered multiple pieces of advice that go something along the lines of: “You have to create a quality product and offer it to your audience.”
Well, the idea itself is great. Surely. But most of the time the execution is very poor.
Just to explain what I mean here’s an example: Samsung Galaxy S3 is a quality product. The iPad is a quality product. Amazon.com is a quality product in itself. Angry Birds is a quality product.
A 15-page PDF e-book with some advice on how to make money online IS NOT a quality product. It’s just a polished turd.
The main characteristic of a quality product
Yeah, I know, dozens of marketers all over the internet keep telling you that all you need is an e-book and you can take over the world. Not if you want to be an honest business owner you can’t.
And this is something the FTC decided to put an end to a couple of years ago. Back in the day, you could promote anything, tell people that they’re going to make millions of dollars, and then at the end of the page place a small disclaimer: “results not typical” … and everything was fine.
Not anymore. Now you have to present the typical results, or else your marketing message is fraudulent. Thank God for this regulation.
Now, if we look closely at this rule, it doesn’t put the truly quality products in any kind of trouble. For instance, what’s the typical experience of an iPad buyer? They simply have a great time with it. What’s the typical experience of Angry Birds buyer? Same thing.
On the other hand, what’s the typical experience of someone buying a “make money online e-book?” Absolutely no results at all.
And you know what, I don’t believe that it’s the customer’s fault… It’s the product’s fault.
Good products can deliver results regardless of the buyer’s attitude. Good products deliver the same benefits to everyone. For instance, you’re going to have a great time with Angry Birds no matter if you’re sad, lazy, full of energy, or even totally drunk at the moment … it’s still an enjoyable game.
What this means is that the FTC regulation about “results not typical” hits only the crappy products out there. Because if the marketers are forced to advertise only the typical results then they basically have nothing to advertise at all.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that a quality product is one that doesn’t depend on the customer to posses any kind of special abilities in order to be able to enjoy it.
And the most challenging thing about it is that creating such a product takes time. In plain English, if you’ve been thinking about making your first product a 15-page e-book on [BLANK] then just forget about it.
How not to take part in the art of polishing a turd
What I mean by polishing a turd is taking some general information, some used ideas (things that can be found on the internet for free), spinning it in some way, putting it together, saving it as a PDF, saying that it’s the best thing since ever, and offering it to the public for $47 saying that it’s actually worth $97.
… Just look at the above paragraph and reflect for a minute. Can a product created in such a way really be a quality one?
Now, I’m not an expert when it comes to product creation, but from my perspective, if you want to create something truly great, you should consider looking into the following steps:
1. Get ready to spend time and money
Sorry, but this is just the way it is. You can’t create a quality product overnight. And you can’t do it for free either.
If you don’t have the time, nor the money then this isn’t probably a good moment for you to enter the product creation space.
2. Focus on the typical result
Start your planning by defining what typical result you want to deliver to your average customer.
For instance, if you still want to create an e-book on making money on the internet, can you guarantee that at least 80% of your customers will be able to make a fulltime income implementing your advice? If not, you’re not creating a quality product.
(Remember the Angry Birds example. I’m pretty sure that at least 80% of people who have download it have a good time with it.)
3. Plan the creation process with the typical result in mind
This is the part where you have to do the main work – the actual creation process of your product. Up to you to handle this one in the best manner possible.
4. Start testing with a small group of people
This is the moment when you get to test if your product is successful at delivering the typical result to a small group of people.
You can pick that group individually or share beta access keys online on forums (if it’s an app or some other digital product).
Once you determine that the product indeed delivers the expected results then release it to the public.
Unfortunately, I don’t think there are any… Product creation always requires money, time, dedication, user testing, and a lot of work. You can’t skip any of these stages and still end up with a quality result.
To be honest, I too was guilty of believing that there’s an easy way. That you only needed an e-book, and that you could create it with minimal effort…
Well, you can create such a thing, and you can even sell it successfully, but it’s not going to be a quality product, and your customers will call you out on this sooner or later.
In a sentence: Polishing a turd is not a good product creation approach.