If you want to create something for money, there’s an easy framework for quickly figuring out all the decisions you need to make in order to go from start to finish:
That’s it. Those two points can guide your development plan, your launch strategy, your content marketing, everything.
If you’re not sure who you’re making something for, you’re bound to try to fill it with too many things. “What if teachers need this? And developers? And doctors? And construction workers? And…” AND STOP IT.
Make what you’re making for one specific, narrow group of people. A group that has common pains and is motivated similarly to fix those pains. That’s it. Expand later, if you even want to at that point (with another product or a separate and later launch).
Think about this. Say you’re making an online course about email marketing and you’ve got a lesson on getting people to sign up for a mailing list. Now, consider who your course is for. If it’s broad, you’ll have to abstract your lesson out so far that it’s not very actionable or valuable because you’re considering how teachers, developers, doctors and construction workers could use the information. You also have to consider teachers, developers, doctors and construction workers when marketing/pitching your course. Your content for your sales page and lessons is now 4x longer.
A specific audience should guide your decision making, like alaser beam. As in, if your email marketing course is for construction workers, you only need to consider them in what you’re creating, teaching and marketing.
Narrowing in on who your product is for is scary because, HOLY SHIT, now it’s not for EVERYONE ELSE. It may seem like you’re leaving money on the table too – money from those teachers, developers and doctors (all of whom, in your mind, are rich and eager). If only you’d have considered them as well, you’d be 4x richer! 4x more money fights! 4x bigger yachts! But math (and life) doesn’t work that way, because the less focus there is on what you’ve made, the less people will be interested in actually buying it.
Thankfully, having a specific audience means you only need to consider one, small group of people. And focusing on that specific group helps you make decisions quickly. What lessons to include? Easy, only the lessons that include the most useful knowledge for construction workers. What to say on your sales page? Easy, just the points that construction workers would care about if they wanted to take an email marketing course.
Getting specific isn’t just good for selling products. It’s also good for momentum because it’s the lens through which all your creation decisions can be made. If an idea or portion of what you’re considering you want to make doesn’t fit or benefit that one specific group, then it’s easy to leave out.
Now, let’s consider outcomes.
It may sound like shady or insincere “marketing speak” but the only way to sell what you’ve created is by telling people what their life will look like after they’ve consumed what you’ve made. This is a good thing, not marketing thought leader bullshit because the outcome is the whole reason you made the thing in the first place.
You made what you made because you want to help people learn how to do something better or help them accomplish something. And focusing on this is how you sell your creation.
Let’s look at an example: What statement seems more powerful to someone on the fence about buying your construction worker email marketing course?
“Learn segmentation, automation, onboarding, funnels and A/B reports.”
“Using MailChimp costs you money. Knowing how to use MailChimp’s features properly will make you money.”
The latter seems better, because it focuses on what a student will be or have once they’ve purchased the course – in this case, money! The former is just a list of things in the course – if you don’t know email marketing, you’ll be like, “WHAT THE HELL ARE THOSE WORDS, AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?!” It’s also boring, since there’s no connection between what those topics will do for you, the person potentially interested in the course.
Focusing on outcomes is also useful because people need the dots connected. You know why what you’ve made is valuable because you made it. You know this stuff inside and out. But newbies, beginners and currently uninformed folks don’t necessarily see the relationship between what you’ve created and how it will help them. That’s why you need to show them. Not because they’re stupid, but simply because you want to take them from beginner to expert (like you). This happens when the dots get connected. When you show construction workers specifically how and why email marketing will help their bottom line – and not just a bunch of buzzwords that are included in the course.
Who is it for? What will they get out of it?
When every product you create, every decision you make and every launch you have considers those two points, getting what you’ve made out there is faster and easier. And thinking about who it’s for and what the outcome is will hopefully net you more than 4x the return. You can always make an email marketing course (or whatever you’re going to make) for teachers, developers and doctors next. From your 4x bigger yacht.