11 scary steps to launching my 1st product

11 scary steps to launching my 1st product

Yesterday, I did something super scary.

I put up a product and attached a price tag to it.

It’s a 5 day course on how to define your writer’s voice WITHOUT writing for months.

But this ISN’T a sales page. I promise.

I want to share my process with you, because for some reason, putting something up and CHARGING for it feels really different than offering opt ins for free.

Here’s what my process looked like:

1. I started blogging.

When I first started blogging, I didn’t really know what my focus was going to be. I just knew that I loved writing, and that I would be happier if I did it regularly.

For the first month or so of blogging, I wrote every single day. I would just write about whatever felt right to me at the time.

2. I started to narrow my focus to blogging about writing.

I realized that I love teaching, and I love writing, and that I was naturally drawn to teaching people how to write better.

Part of narrowing my focus was coming up with an idea map of all of the topics I could cover about writing.

One of these was adding adjectives to your writing to spice it up a bit. But when it came to writing that post, I was kind of bored by it. I realized that I really wanted to write about developing your writer’s voice.

3. I did research to see if people wanted to read about developing your writer’s voice.

I googled “writer’s voice” and came up with a bunch of posts. Some of them had a few hundred shares. I was especially inspired by Jeff Goin’s post that has about 2K shares and 170 comments.

In my mind, that was evidence that people want to read about finding their writer’s voice.

4. I wrote a post that took a unique stance on finding your writer’s voice.

The post looks at 2 bloggers I admire, Rebecca Tracey and Leonie Dawson, and breaks down a few ways to define your writer’s voice without writing for months.

At the time, the post was the most popular one I had written. Some people even shared it on Prismatic and Scoop.it, so I thought I had tapped into something that people would want to read about more.

5. I developed a free mini-course on defining your blog voice.

I knew I wanted to teach a free course in February.

At first, I had planned to teach something more general, like “Nurture Your Blog,” which would cover all different aspects of having a successful blog, from purpose to audience to consistency.

But then I realized that getting very specific would be really helpful.

I got an email about teaching a Skillshare class in which they suggested to be as specific as possible, and I decided to apply that to my course. Since I had gotten a lot of traction with my blog post, I narrowed my focus to be about defining your voice.

I chose to deliver daily worksheets in PDF and Word format, along with daily audio, as well as having a private Facebook group where people could share their process.

6. I wrote a LOT of posts about defining your writer’s voice.

In the 3 or 4 weeks leading up to the course, all I wrote about was the writer’s voice. I created one post with an infographic that contained 20 quotes on the writer’s voice.

I wrote another post about the process of defining your voice.

The idea was to get people interested in signing up for the course.

And it worked! My goal was to get 20 people into the course. 30 people signed up.

7. I taught the course and learned from my students.

This was one of my favorite steps. As I mentioned above, I LOVE teaching. It was really awesome to go through the process with my students.

Some of them posted in the Facebook group every day, and it was wonderful to see their learning.

I also was able to reflect on what I would do differently next time (for example, posting the daily office hours in the Facebook group).

I delivered the course each day via emails and on my website. I also had links to the course in the Facebook group.

8. I replaced my course opt-in with an opt-in for the workbook.

I didn’t want to continue offering the course for free, but I wanted to have a valuable opt-in on the website, so I offered the workbook instead.

I had some doubts about doing this, because I knew I would want to charge for it eventually, but I figured I might as well offer something that I had already created.

9. I converted the course into a fully packaged PDF with the audio, Word workbook, and Facebook group links embedded into it.

I am taking a fabulous course from Rebecca Tracey called Hey, Nice Package. (Affiliate Link) She walks you through the process of creating packages for your services that people actually want to buy.

The entire course is contained within the PDF you download. There’s no logging into her site to get the materials – it’s all right there.

Inspired by Rebecca’s example, I embedded all of the audio and materials directly into my course PDF to make it super easy for people.

This also makes my life easier, because I don’t have to worry about getting people onto my site or creating a bunch of emails with all different files in them.

10. I changed my free opt-in to be just the introduction and first module of the course.

This way, my opt-in provides value to people and will also hopefully encourage them to buy the full course.

11. I uploaded my course onto Gumroad and put it up for sale.

Gumroad is a super easy way to sell digital products. You can offer coupon codes, and they automatically deliver the product to your customers without you having to set up something with Mailchimp or another email provider.

NEXT STEPS:

I need to put up a legit sales page, and figure out how to “launch” this thing.

At first the launching part was keeping me from putting a product out there. I was afraid I would do it wrong, that I didn’t know how to launch a product, etc. etc.

But then I talked to my Mastermind group, and they told me to just put it out there. They said I could figure out the launching process, and what works for me.

11 scary steps to launching my first product - Facebook

So there it is. From no blog to paid product in 11 steps.

I won’t say it was easy. Because it wasn’t. It took a lot of work. I blog 3x a week, and spend a LOT of time sharing and talking to my audience.

And the hardest part?

Getting over my fear of selling something online.