Business Growth
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Lower cost options – Help all your followers.

You can cater to the rich, and I’ll take the rest; the good Lord made more of them.

Kemmons Wilson founder Holiday Inn

Not everyone can afford to spend a couple of thousands of dollars for a course. And it is likely that many of your followers fall into that category. They have been devouring your free content and would love to buy something from you. But $2000? That’s way beyond their budget. If you have built up a decent following it is possible to generate an attractive income from a $100 product or even a $10 product.

Jason Van Orden of Internet Business Mastery thinks of these varied product offerings as ascension ladder. He says it is foolish to only think of selling big ticket items. Instead, you must think about customer lifetime value. A customer spending $25 per month over five years is worth $1,500. And done right your marginal cost of serving this customer can be near zero. That $1,500 is pure profit.

And the folks who do buy your big-ticket items. will be interested in your lower cost options and they can certainly afford them.

In this episode we will look at some low-cost options you can consider.

Write an e-book.

A low dollar ticket item which is relatively easy to produce and sell, an e-book is the choice of many consultants coaches etc.  A typical e-book is between 12,000 words and 25,000 words. Writing 500 words an hour of quality content should be within the abilities of most folks, especially if you are writing on a topic you know well.  A commitment of 24 to 50 hours.

Self-publishing on Amazon gives you access potentially to huge audience. I say potentially, Amazon lists 33 million titles on its website, how are buyers going to find your book amongst all that noise? The good news? Sales of a few hundred physical books will get you on to Amazons top seller list.  Somewhat more sales are needed for e-books. Announcing the publication of your e-book to your email subscribers may give you right to call yourself a best-selling author. Of course, achieving best seller status will greatly increase the chances that a casual browser on Amazon will find your book amongst the other 33 million titles.

I did find an article on Observer.com where the author claims to have achieved best seller status in 5 minutes and for the cost of $3. For a link to that article Ctrl+Click here. Incidentally another website offered me the chance to read the same article for $14.95!

There are a couple of potential drawbacks with self-publishing on Amazon. Firstly, they do not share with authors the email address of people who buy their books. Which limits the potential to use your book to enhance your subscriber base.  Steve “SJ” Scott who has published over 40 books with Amazon puts links into his e-books which allows readers who want to learn more about the topic to assess additional information. The links take the readers to Scott’s website where he encourages them to join his subscriber base.

The second potential drawback is that Amazon has created a benchmark for the cost of an e-book, although as an author you are free to set any price you like. But folks have become accustomed to not paying much beyond $10.00 for an e-book. If your e-book contains particularly valuable content it may be more profitable to publish and sell the book on your own website.

Host a virtual summit

For another low cost offering, in this case free, for your potential customers, consider launching a virtual summit. I think these must be a hot topic these days. Researching for this show I found many sites purporting to tell you how to prepare and launch a virtual summit, but bombarding the viewer with offers to sign up for this and sign up for that. I guess the owners of these site had not been following the guidance of experts like Dorie, Michael Port etc. about giving advice for free and building a following.  

Why consider hosting a virtual summit?

The audience gets valuable information for free. Well for the price of their e-mail address at least. No email address – no access to the summit.

The presenters get exposure. Video is more personal than a blog or podcast, a good presenter can build a rapport with audience and build credibility much faster than with more traditional approaches.

Presenters will likely promote your event amongst their audience. Especially if you can snag an A list keynote speaker. They will be delighted to tell their followers that they are appearing with Ms X or Mr Y. Do not expect your A lister to actively promote the event. Rely on your B list presenters for that.

As the host you will seen as someone delivering value and as a thought leader. Afterall without you, the event would not have happened, and your audience will be appreciative of the information you have made available to them. And you will be building solid connections with speakers who are experts in your field.

I would not blame you if you were thinking this is a lot of work to do for nothing. There is a way to monetize your offer. It’s a twist on the freemium pricing strategy. Folks can watch for free while the summit is in progress, but if they want to watch again, or watch sessions they missed, they must pay for access to those videos. Often referred to as an all-access pass.

If you are thinking a virtual summit sounds like something you want to know more about I did find a useful article published by convertkit which contains helpful information without the annoying pop-up sales pitches. To read it Ctrl+Click here.

Build a subscription service.

When you provide regular valuable content you can consider a subscription service. If you have a large enough base you may be able to support it through ads. But you will increase stickiness, that is measured by how long people access your content, if you can make the service so attractive that people are willing to pay to visit your site. Use a variation of the freemium pricing strategy, folks get free access for a week or so. After that they have to subscribe. A great advantage of providing a subscription service is that it generates a more predictable income stream. A nice to have in the boom-and-bust world of entrepreneurship.

Build an Online community

They signed up for the information, they stayed for the community, That how Jason Van Orden describes his experience running The Academy. The key to creating an online community that is worth people parting with their hard-earned cash is active curation with an involved moderator making sure discussions are both civil and useful can encourage folks to subscribe and with automatic renewal the default you have a site which has a high retention rate. Typically, such sites charge $25 to $100 per month. Tip – offer an annual renewal at significant discount to encourage this option. Not only do you get the money sooner, but most folks will also not remember that their subscription is coming due and will renew automatically. Even if you take the more ethical approach and advise your subscriber in advance of their renewal date, you will find most folks will sign up for another year. It may even rekindle their interest in your site.

If you want to learn more on creating multiple income streams please consider buying Dorie’s using my Amazon Affiliate link. There is no additional cost to you and I will receive a small commission that will help keep this blog active. Thank you

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