Launching a new product can be SO daunting. There's a lot to do and a lot of factors to consider. But fear not, I'm here yet again to help you through it. That's just what friends do, right? 😉 I ran this webinar earlier in the year and figured I might as well share it on the blog, too, since this is a hot topic for creative entrepreneurs that are just starting out. If you're thinking about launching a new product, or maybe even your very first product, I hope you'll find these tips helpful and that they will propel your business's success.
If you rather listen to the webinar instead, head over to the replay.
Step 1: Identify Your Offer
To start off, let's figure out what your offer is. Make sure to be clear about what it is that you're going to sell, especially if it's a service (products are more defined so they're easier in that sense). Got it? Great. The next step can be both fun and not so much, depending on how you approach it.
Step 2: Market Research
When I say market research, I don't mean just looking at your potential competitors and what they offer. I mean going DEEP down the research rabbit hole, checking the forums, community threads, reaching out to your direct audience. The more you focus on this and the more sources you have, the better informed you'll be. And trust me, it will give you such a huge insight into how to make a product that is going to sell and who to market it to.
Publishing a new book takes so much research and preparation, but it's totally worth it. By doing everything that I'm telling you to do (yes, I do listen to my own advice...sometimes), I managed to land myself a few best-sellers. Check 'em out!
Step 3: To Niche or Not to Niche...
You've probably heard about niching from everyone by now, especially Tom Ross, who wrote an awesome guide all about it. Now it's time to figure out if your product's niche is too specific or if your product can be used for various purposes. Chances are that, unless there's an extremely high demand for a very niche product that is nearly impossible to find, it will be a lot more difficult for you to sell your product if its usability is limited. If you can, try to expand your horizon and think of how your product could benefit people that might not necessarily be looking for it in the first place.
Step 4: Research
I know we've talked about market research already, but guess what? It's time to do MORE research! This time, for your product. Try to gauge if the market is already oversaturated with the same type of item (launching a new fidget spinner is prooooobably not the way to go) and what makes YOUR product stand out from the rest. Another thing to consider is whether your offer will stand the test of time. Is it a product that will be used over and over for many years to come (or admired for years in case of works of art), or is it a more or less one-time use thing that will be easily forgotten tomorrow?
Step 5: Test Your Target Market
Let's imagine you've got all of that figured out. Next, you need to test your market - this is where alllll that research you would have done will come in handy because you'll know who to involve in this step. Offer samples to certain people, survey them to find out what they think about the finished product, ask for their feedback to see if there are any pain points or if you could improve the product before releasing it to the wider audience. Think of what big companies do with every single new item they put out - it's the exact same life cycle but just on a different scale. So who's to say you can't do that too?
Step 6: Spend as much time on presentation and merchandising as you did creating your offer.
This one might come as a surprise for some of you, but presentation is key. If you've spent aaaallllll this time developing an amazing product but are cutting corners on presentation, you're really doing yourself a disservice. Slow down, pay attention to your graphics, take some beautiful photos of your product, re-read your copy (you know, the WORDS, make them catchy, descriptive) and take your time. Don't rush it - I know it's hard to keep a secret, but it's worth it 😉
Step 7: Network
Only then, when you're truly ready, is when you can start promoting your creation. Find innovative ways to do that via networking. Guest blogging or emails, collaborations with other creatives, offers that tease the full product - you get the idea. Don't just stick it onto your product page and call it a done deal.
Step 8: Do this the entire time...
Now, let's talk about YOU. Yes, you. Believe it or not, but you play a bigger role in the launch of your product than you might think. Talking about your launch a lot (and I mean A. LOT.) and speaking from the heart will not only make the whole thing more real for you but will also engage your audience. It'll just be that much more personal, you know?
During this live webinar, I was accompanied by one of our wonderful Flock members, Kaleena Sorenson, to talk about how she managed to start her Etsy shop just by getting her head down, doing a ton of research and preparing PROPERLY. If you want to hear Kaleena's story (and I strongly advise that you should!), skip to 38:33 in the replay.
Wanna come back here to revisit all the tips and tricks? Pin for later!