People often ask me, whether they’re first starting out or perhaps just considering expanding beyond their first digital media product to others…
“Which platforms should I focus on first?”
“Should I put my courses up on _______?”
And occasionally, even
“How do I manage multiple offerings on multiple platforms?”
In truth, this is a tough question. And the most honest answer, I’m afraid, isn’t a very satisfying one: It depends.
Ultimately, where, how, and when you put your products is going to depend on a multitude of factors.
What do you teach? Where (if anywhere) do you have a strong following? What are your short term and long term goals?
Ultimately, however, one thing is almost universally true:
You Need To Be Available Wherever Your Customers Search For You
Now, let me make one thing clear:
I’m all for “The Hedgehog concept,” as described in Jim Collins’ book Good To Great.
After all, the reason a hedgehog does so well in nature (I think?) is because it does one thing, and does it well.
So, too, argues Collins, should a successful business.
For the purposes of our content creation businesses, however, I’d encourage you to take a broader view of what that “one thing” might be.
In our business, our “one thing” isn’t creating premium online courses – or even online courses in general.
Our “one thing” is to create media products that inspire people to be their best selves.
This broader view of what it is that we do allows us to venture into spaces that many of our competitors and contemporaries simply don’t touch.
We publish books. Digital, audio, and paper. We host a free, weekly podcast. We conduct webinars.
And, of course, we have a variety of courses ranging from entry-level affordable ($10-15) to unapologetically exclusive ($399-499).
I know what you’re asking, though:
Doesn’t This Mess Of Offerings Confuse and Frustrate Customers?
Quite the contrary.
In order to understand why, you need to first understand two things.
Number 1: Every customer has a certain “Willingness To Pay;” the amount that your content is worth to them.
This “Willingness To Pay” is elegantly illustrated by something you’ve no doubt seen before: The Demand Curve.
Generally, when you see a demand curve, it looks like this:
Willingness To Pay, then, is defined as all of the area under the demand line.
In other words, it’s all of the area at which people will buy a given quantity at a given price.
Now, here’s where most people go wrong.
By creating just one digital product – say, a premium $300 course on Thinkific – most people capture Willingness To Pay like this:
Sure, that big green box is pretty enticing… but you probably couldn’t help but notice a whole lot of “white space.”
That white space is made up of two different types of people:
People who are willing to pay money for your products – but not that much money, on the right side of the green box.
And on the left, people who want something a little more premium, and are willing to pay for it.
This, my friends, is where a diversified product offering comes in.
Let’s take a look at this graph again. But this time, let’s add in a $49 entry-level course, a $15 Audiobook, a $4.99 Kindle book, and heck, why not – let’s toss in a free weekly podcast:
Now, that’s more like it. Look at all of that area we’ve covered!
Nearly every customer – at every price point – is now being happily served.
Sure, we aren’t making any money on the “grey” folks – but that’s just fine.
It’s not all about the money, my friends.
And, plus, this brings us to the next big understanding I’d like to share with you:
Everything in your product offering matrix is a funnel of one kind or another.
When a customer downloads and enjoys your free weekly podcast, they’re more likely to pick up your $49 course.
When they pick up your $49 course, you’ll offer them a chance to join the $499 version at a discount.
And even if they’re already in the $499 version, there’s always private coaching…
This technique, known as “The Ascension Model,” is the real secret to building a multimillion-dollar information product funnel.
It’s why people like Lewis Howes and Michael Hyatt are making millions, and the vast majority of folks, well… aren’t.
In fact, using this model, we were able to grow our business well into the 6 figures in annual sales – before ever spending a single dollar on advertising.
As others in the space were racking their brains trying to get below $2 per lead on Facebook ads…
We were being paid over $3 per lead by the likes of Udemy and Amazon.
And better yet, when it did come time to add paid ads to the mix, we were able to do so all the more effectively, simply because we had already built up a strong audience upon which Facebook could begin assembling “Lookalike” audiences.
Not to mention the fact that it’s much easier to reach positive ROI on “Retargeting” ads than it is on completely cold traffic.
This should make sense, intuitively.
After all, if someone knows, likes, and trusts you from your awesome Udemy courses or YouTube videos, they’re going to be a lot more likely to purchase your premium products – aren’t they?
So, let’s sum things up:
Content Marketing Not About Being Everywhere for Everyone
You can’t be available on every platform, and you should certainly narrow it down and choose the ones that appeal both to you and to your audience.
If you are teaching senior citizens how to optimize their retirement spending, there’s no reason to build up a strong SnapChat following.
But, with that said, you shouldn’t consider additional platforms to be “distractions” or “brand dilution.”
Instead, figure out ways to make these additional channels add value – for both you and your audience.
Offer low-cost options for financially constrained customers.
Create enticing up-sell options for those without tight budgets.
And above all, never forget your primary objective:
To educate, inform, and impact the people you are serving.
If you place this objective above all, you’re much more likely to succeed…
…Whatever platform you find yourself on.How to Create a Content Strategy That Attracts & Converts Customers @entreprenewer Click To Tweet
Jonathan Levi is the creator of the blockbuster Become a SuperLearner series, one of Udemy’s bestselling courses of all time, and the host of the award-winning Becoming SuperHuman Podcast. His digital information products are used and enjoyed by over 100,000 people in 190 countries.