Getting online to earn a living can be confusing and complicated.
There are many directions you can go – and most people start out being an affiliate and recommending other peoples’ products.
But eventually, if you’re finding that people listen to your recommendations and advice, you’ll want to create your own product – and that creates a different set of self doubt concerns.
Some Comparison to Others Is Healthy
Sometimes the fact that we compare ourselves to others is enough to cause defeat in our mindset and prevent us from moving forward with our product creation. We glance around and see what everyone else is doing and immediately feel inadequate.
You’re not giving yourself a chance to see if you can compete, and you’ve already quit the race before it’s even begun. You never know if you might be able to do things better than your competition.
What happens if you fall short? Does the world come crashing to an end? No. You find ways along the road where you can make improvements. You don’t have to hit it out of the ballpark each and every time – the key is to work on serving others with your knowledge.
Don’t waste time and work yourself up into a panic by looking at someone else’s launch and thinking things like, “Their graphics look way more professional than mine,” or, “I wish I’d thought of that topic – now mine seems stupid,” or, “Look how many followers they have – nobody will care what I have to say.”
Everyone started out where you are now. As long as you get going and improve over time, that’s all that matters. You have to believe in your ability to earn your place in the market.
How can you do this? Create a product that fills a gap in the marketplace. Is there a topic everyone’s asking about but nobody’s created a comprehensive guide to yet? Is the stuff already out there outdated or different from the way you do things?
Provide a unique slant on things and your audience will love you for it. Just brainstorm a list of topics or ideas for your niche and then compare it to what’s out there. Analyze what others did and then look at ways to set yourself apart.
Are there good courses, but they’re all text eBooks? Create a video course or membership that people log into and get more inspiration. Find the people who promoted the other courses and let them know you have something new and different!
Don’t Worry About the Volume of Competition
One thing that always causes self doubt among online marketers is not just who else is competing, but how many other people are competing in a niche. Even some gurus will warn you to steer clear of too much competition.
Nothing could be further from the truth! If a topic is selling, that means there’s a hungry audience for it. That’s all you need to know. You want to put blinders on when it comes to counting up how many products are on the market, or how many websites are already discussing the exact same topic.
Consumers love learning from more than just one person. Think about yourself, for instance. You’re learning online marketing, right? Do you just learn from one person? Probably not.
In fact, there are probably dozens of other marketers you learn from on a regular basis. Maybe you learn copywriting from one person, and paid ads from another. Or perhaps you have one specialty you like learning about (such as blogging) and you devour tidbits from a dozen or more marketers who all have something to offer you!
This is true in every niche, not just marketing. For example, a pregnant woman will buy several books on pregnancy – not just one comprehensive book. They might buy “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”
But then they also might buy a book on nutrition for pregnancy, one on keeping the romance alive during your pregnancy – another on how to baby proof your house. And these all might come from different authors in the niche!
It’s not just about information, either. Sometimes people like to learn from a variety of others with different teaching styles. Maybe your product will directly compete with someone else’s, but you’re offering video and they only have text – or vice versa – the customer wants to read, not watch video.
Learning styles are a big reason why people develop a preference for one marketer’s products over another. Maybe you teach everything step-by-step, but another marketer generalizes and gives more theory than specific information.
The right thing to do is to worry if there’s not a lot of competition in the marketplace for your niche topic. It might (rarely) mean that you’ve scouted out an untapped resource – a goldmine of opportunity.
More often than not, it will mean it’s not a buyer’s market. People simply aren’t spending money to learn this particular topic. If that’s the case, you’re better off going into a highly competitive market online.
With billions of prospective customers on the ‘net, it’s easy to find your target audience and develop a brand with loyal followers. If your concentration is on helping others, you’ll set yourself apart just for the quality you provide, alone!
Ever Consider Partnering Up?
One thing that might help you ease your self doubt is to consider not taking the solo route, but partnering up with other marketers, instead. You’ll want to do this carefully, but it could take a lot of the pressure off of both of you.
You need to find someone who has skills to bring to the table, and make sure they’re opposite of whatever skills you have to offer in the product creation process. For example, you might have very good writing skills – while the other person excels at graphics and video.
That’s the perfect pairing for a joint venture. Or maybe you are capable of creating a product, but you don’t know anything about launches. You could partner up with someone who has the right connections, knows what a sales letter should include, and has a large list of ready buyers.
You can sometimes find someone in your niche who is willing to take you on and mentor you for a cut of the profits. It means you do the work, but they guide you in it. You share the revenue with them upon the launch.
Strong joint venture partners are going to be very blunt about what you do and don’t need to do to make this a success. Instead of getting offended when they’re blunt, be appreciative that they’re not wasting your time trying to coddle you and prevent hurt feelings.
Time is money on the ‘net, and nobody has time to waste softening the blow. If they come back and say, “Your sales copy isn’t professional,” then thank them and implement any ideas they have, along with researching how to write better copy to level up your game.
If you go the partnership route, make sure you don’t get taken advantage of in the process. You have to ensure that whoever you’re connected with has ethics intact and doesn’t have a reputation for treating customers, affiliates or partners poorly.
Don’t rely on a partner for every launch you do – but use the concept just long enough to get your bearings and discover the right process for product creation through the launch process.
That way, you’ll feel confident from that point on, tackling whatever issues come up. Try learning during the process. Don’t just let them handle things. Ask why and how – to get an idea for how it all works.
While they may not spend time teaching you everything, they might point you in the right direction. For example, if you say you’re impressed with the videos they created, they might say, “Thanks! I used Camtasia to do that.”
That would then spark you to download Camtasia (or the freeware version – Camstudio) and start learning how to do that yourself for future launches. This is how people learn and improve their skills over time.
Elements of a Product Creation That Oozes Success
There are some products that knocks peoples’ socks off – and some that leave people scratching their head about how it got launched in the first place. The first place to start is in hiring someone to create professional graphics.
Since our eyes see things before we can read anything, you want everything from the product to the sales copy graphics to the affiliate tools to look good. You can invest in a professional graphics person or even find a quality provider on Fiverr.
Another thing you want to do is make sure you’re using an affiliate-friendly platform. One that allows instant commissions, like JVZoo or Warrior Plus, is always welcomed by affiliates.
Put your mind at ease about potential profits by creating a product funnel instead of just a front end only product. A funnel not only gives you ample opportunities to make money, but it helps affiliates earn commissions, too!
As you dig into the product creation process, take time to conduct thorough research. You don’t want to put something out there with misinformation or information that is outdated.
See if you can find a new twist on it to entice both buyers and affiliates alike. That might mean coming up with a new slant – or pairing it with another topic. For example, instead of just creating a course on eating healthy, you could pair it with the stress niche – eating healthy in times of stress.
What this does is opens your product up to sales from marketers in two different niches – dieting and stress. This is a good way of putting to rest your fears that there won’t be enough buyers for all of your hard work – and you’ll be able to recruit more affiliates for promotion.
Have a sales copy strategy in place. If you’ve never written copy before, it can be intimidating. Emulate others who do it with a lot of success, and buy copywriting books that can help you learn how to get inside the mind of your customer.
One way you can create products with more confidence is to make it a multimedia products. While it might sound intimidating at first, using a mix of text, audio and video is a great way to ensure more affiliates sign up to promote you.
During the creation of the product, be careful not to plagiarize anyone else’s work. Don’t rewrite things or create a knock off of other peoples’ work because it can only come back to bite you if you do.
Let your personality shine through. Don’t be afraid to personalize your product so that people remember how much they enjoyed taking your course. This sets you up for more sales the next time around.
To alleviate any worry about dealing with customers, make it your motto that you’ll deliver superb customer support both before and after the sale. There are many marketers who don’t do this, and it’s one reason why so many people feel they’ve been burned.
Timing Your Product Launch to Minimize Competition
If you’re worried about all of the other products that get released, and how yours won’t even have a fighting chance, just make sure you time it right. First, check launch calendars like those on MunchEye.com to see what’s releasing on what date.
Schedule your launch far enough in advance that you maximize affiliate recruitment. They need time to create bonuses, but they also book up their promo calendars weeks in advance – and many will only promote one item per email to their list.
Give yourself plenty of time to create the product without rushing through it. You don’t want to schedule a launch for a week from now if it’ll be a tight race for you to finish in time. Factor in the product creation, but also the editing, affiliate recruitment, sales copy, technical launch setup and more.
Make sure you price your product competitively so that you’re balance between giving yourself a fighting chance – and allowing yourself room to grow. You don’t want to undercut yourself too much, but you might not be able to price your product the same as someone more established with a proven track record.
The best way to alleviate self doubt in product creation is to not only give it your all – but to go above and beyond with every step. Deliver more than what’s expected of you. Be better than everyone else when it comes to taking care of your customers.
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(Part 4 of a 6 x Part Series of Helpful ‘Self-Doubt’ Articles)