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How to Build a Product You Know Will Sell

by Tara Gentile
money & life

How to Build a Product You Know Will Sell Tara Gentile on CreativeLive

Building a new product often seems like a crap shoot.

My goal for you is to have every idea you bring to market be used, loved, and adored. Your customers will be thrilled. You’ll make money.

And you’ll waste less time wondering if what you’re doing is actually going to pan out.

There are 3 key pieces of building a product you know will sell—but they all start with resonance.

What’s resonance? Resonance is that feeling you get when a product or marketing campaign just makes sense. It’s something you’ve been waiting for even if you didn’t know you wanted it. It’s a feeling of rightness that comes with our favorite ad campaigns and launch events.

The good news is that resonance doesn’t have to be elusive. It’s something you create to connect your product or idea to the people who need it most. Once you’re aware of the part that resonance plays in how others understand what you have to offer, you’ll start working it into everything you do.

The result? Simply irresistible products.

Piece #1: Your Customers’ Present Reality

I work with a lot of idea people. Many are service providers moving into asset-based businesses where they need a product to immediately grab the attention of the people who find out about it.

How to Build a Product You Know Will Sell

And these people have one big flaw in common: they love their ideas too much.

Okay, so that’s not exactly a flaw. But it does pose big problems when it comes to creating products people want to buy.

You see, the first step in making sure people want to buy your product is forgetting about your idea and your perspective.

Instead, you need to focus on where your people are at right now. What’s their present reality? What frustrations are they facing? What goals are they reaching toward? What questions are they asking?

What are they saying, doing, thinking, and feeling on a daily basis?

Once you’ve got a clear picture of that, you can figure out how your idea fits into their lives and what need it addresses.

Piece #2: Your Insight & Unfair Advantage

Whatever need you focus on, I guarantee your prospects have already been trying to fill it. Even when they don’t know what the real problem is, they’ve been attempting to fix what they perceive is wrong.

That means there’s a lot of competition for attention. But it also means there’s a huge opportunity for separating your product from the crowd.

Your Key Insight is what you know and your customers don’t know. It’s why your product works when others have failed. It’s why the magic happens.

Your Unfair Advantage is what about your work or your process is unique, special, and, well, advantageous. It’s how your work or product is different from everything else out there.

When you’re clear on your Key Insight and your Unfair Advantage, you make sure your product stands out in a busy market.

Your Key Insight and Unfair Advantage create resonance through contradiction. They often break through the fears, misconceptions, and assumptions people have about their problems.

Piece #3: Testing

I talk to way too many business owners who spend months or years building a new product without testing it.

Creating bits and pieces to test (blog posts, social media updates, free sneak peeks, minimum viable products) allow you to, as Eric Ries writes in The Lean Startup, “see which parts are brilliant and which are crazy.”

Build a Product You Know is Going to Sell with Tara Gentile on CreativeLive

No matter how careful you are observing your customers’ present reality and leveraging your insights and advantages, you will make mistakes. It’s better to know which parts of what you’re building are brilliant and which are crazy as quickly as possible.

I’ve personally tested a product idea by writing a blog post about the key concept. I’ve helped clients test an idea by simply creating a landing page and asking for an email address. I’ve worked with clients to create a sales letter for something that hasn’t yet been built to see if they could get some sales.

This kind of testing shows you what you need to rethink and which pieces of your product are most important to your customers. Then you can iterate and create something better—before most people even know the idea exists.

Each time you iterate or improve your product, it’s an opportunity to make it resonate even more with the people who should buy it.

Don’t just build a product because you think you have a great idea. Build it to sell. Your ideas deserve to be used, loved, and adored—not to sit on a shelf somewhere.

Want to learn more about building a product designed to sell?

RSVP to my next CreativeLive class and you can download a free, 18pg workbook called 13 Steps to Build Products That Resonate. Click here and then click the big blue RSVP button!

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Tara Gentile

Tara Gentile is a creativeLIVE instructor, business strategist, and the creator of the Customer Perspective Process.