Oh, yes. We are SO going there, lady.
Picture this: You've just spent months perfecting the appropriate product for your audience. You don't think they'll love it -- you KNOW they will. You're super excited. Your adrenaline is pumping. You set up the sales page, hit PUBLISH, and then...
Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Insert another word for 'zero' here.
Or, okay, let's say you DO get a few sales. Awesome! Congratulations!
But then they dwindle. And eventually, they disappear completely. Talk about OUCH.
If you've never been in this scenario, you probably will at some point. I don't suspect any entrepreneur can say that every single e-course launch or e-book release was picture-perfect. We all have our successes and failures.
So, the question isn't whether or not you'll fail: the question is, what will you do when it happens?
Will you give up, throw in the towel and go crawling back to your cubicle (to your parents' relief)? Will you keep doing what you're doing, even though it didn't work the first time? Or will you pick yourself up and try, try again, in a new way?
I hope you'll choose the latter. And that's where Plan B comes in.
WHAT THE EFF IS PLAN B?
No, my sexually active friend, I'm not talking about the morning-after pill.
Plan B stands for Plan Broke. AKA, the plan you never want to have to use -- but you might at some point. And if you get to that point, you need to be ready to take action so that you don't end up eating ramen for dinner and wiping your butt with cotton balls (not that I've ever done that or anything).
I was putting together my September report when I decided to face facts: I'm broke. And instead of whining about it to my (very kind) loved ones who would (very gently) tell me it's okay to give up and go back to a 'real' job, I decided (in true #loudmouth fashion) to do something about it.
So, what have I done so far? I'll tell you.
And, is it already working? Hell yes, it is.
Let's do this, sister.
BUT WHY AREN'T PEOPLE BUYING?
There are 3 reasons why peeps won't buy your shiz. It could be one or all of these, depending on the potential buyer. (There are 3 types of buyers too, and we'll get to that in a sec.)
Someone won't buy because...
- It's not something she needs (the product does not resonate with your current audience).
- She doesn't know enough about it (you haven't given enough free information to get her interested in a paid product about the subject).
- She hasn't found you yet (someone is out there who wants what you have, but she doesn't even know you exist).
I will give you 5 ways to solve these problems in a sec.
But first, here are the 3 types of buyers.
1. The non-buyers. I'd say 'freeloaders' but I'm not THAT snarky. These are the people that never buy anything from anyone. It doesn't matter if they need it. It doesn't matter if it's inexpensive. They won't even spend $1 to improve their biz. And that's just fine, because they will probably help promote your free stuff, which will grow your audience and attract the people who ARE willing to pay.
2. The shopaholics. These gals like spending money even more than they like saving it. They are your ride-or-die fans. They are the e-course junkies. They will buy anything that their favorite bloggers are selling. These people are awesome. Keep them, love them, cater to them like family. If you sell one copy of your book, it will be to one of them, and they will praise you until you're blushing.
3. The logical ladies. This type of buyer will only purchase if it's something she really wants or needs for her business -- AND the price is right. She's smart. She's willing to invest in her business, but won't buy just anything. These are the ones you need to concentrate on and convert. Most of your readers will fall into this category. The non-buyers will never buy anyway, but the logical ones might. You just need to figure out what they need and how much they're willing to pay for it.
By the way, if you caught my 'scope today, then you learned about the #1 reason why my past launches failed. The tip I shared is super important for swaying potential buyers that are in the middle. If you missed it, don't fret -- my VIP list is getting the replay + notes soon. Smack this yellow button to get in on it.
Okay, so now that you know which types of buyers make up your readership and why they aren't buying, here's what you can do about it. The beauty of having your own business is that it can always be changed. You have the freedom to do what you want with it. Isn't that cool?
1. TAKE DOWN WHAT ISN'T SELLING
For the longest time, I left up a few e-books that weren't really popular with my audience anymore. Over the years, my blog has transitioned from fashion to lifestyle to life coaching to business coaching. Many of the people that used to read my blog back in 2011 have either moved on to read others instead, or have left the blogosphere completely.
I was tempted to leave my old offerings up to make a few extra bucks here and there, but it wasn't worth it. It's like keeping clothes in your closet that don't fit anymore, but you hope that at some point they will. Whatever. Get rid of them!
But first, try to earn some last-minute cash. Instead of donating your clothes right off the bat, try to take them to consignment first.
Okay, enough with the analogies. What I did with these digital products was this: I marked them all down to $1, then made a big announcement to my e-mail list saying that they'd be disappearing forever in 8 hours. This gave a sense of urgency -- plus, almost anyone (besides the cheapos in category 1) will pay $1 for something they don't necessarily need. They may not waste $5 or even $3, but $1 for an e-book that could possibly be useful by a blogger you like? Who'd pass that up?
The result: I ended up clearing out my shop and making some extra dough. It was only like $15, but still. That's $15 I wouldn't have had if I had taken down those listings without doing a last-minute sale.
2. GIVE AWAY MORE FOR FREE
I know what you're thinking: What the what? I'm already broke.
I used to think that if I gave away too much for free, no one would want to buy my paid stuff because they'd think it was pointless. But remember, there are three types of buyers. The non-buyers will take advantage of the free stuff, the die-hard fans will want both paid AND free, and then the logical ones? They WANT to see what you have to offer for free before they hand over their cash.
So, really, you have nothing to lose -- unless you give away something that takes up WAY too much of your time and effort and you feel icky.
I absolutely believe that if you are some sort of service provider (a graphic designer, a copywriter, a coach) you need to go pro-bono at first to gain experience and have a couple good testimonials. But you should NOT be giving away your services for free forever. You should not use your main income-generator as your free opt-in. Does that make sense?
You need to develop other things that are of high value to your readers, like short e-books, mini e-courses, newsletters, 'scopes, blog posts, things that can show off your expertise. Your readers should feel like they robbed you, but you shouldn't feel robbed.
Save your premium packages for those that are willing to pay premium prices.
Oh, but speaking of free: one of our featured writers, Samantha, and I are hosting a cool webinar tomorrow at 3pm PST about transitioning from employee to entrepreneur. You should totally be there.
3. REPURPOSE + REVAMP
Wanna know another fun thing you can do with your digital resources that are no longer selling? Reuse and recycle. Break 'em up and turn them into blog posts or an email series. Revamp the packaging, give it a new title, and sell it as something else. Maybe it needs a new cover graphic or maybe you should expand it.
The reason why you're broke as heck isn't that you're a bad person, a bad businesswoman, or a bad blogger. And it might not even be because that product is bad. Maybe it just needs to be tweaked and changed or used in a different way. Think outside the box!
You know what I did with the 3 books recently removed from my shop? I turned them into a free, secret bundle that I've used as an opt-in (see #2). I wasn't making anything on them anymore anyway, and now I have room to create new goodies that my audience will be happy to pay for.
4. FIND MORE PEOPLE
If you have a product or program that's in line with your values and purpose but your audience isn't diggin' it, well... maybe you need a new audience. It's certainly not easy (I know from experience), but if you're transitioning into a different niche, you'll have to find readers who are interested in that niche.
So, let's say you're a fashion blogger but you really want to be a food blogger. Or you're a health coach, but you want to become a money coach. Your audience might like seeing your outfits but have no interest in your recipes. Your clients might love your nutrition advice but don't have the urge to budget right now. This means that you need to find those people that DO want the new blog posts and services you'll be offering.
There are many different ways to find new readers and clients. So many, in fact, that I should probably create another post about it. But the bottom line is this: you need to do what you've felt called to do. If you've already started one business and you want to transition into another, that's fine, but it does take time and effort to find that new client base.
The good news is, you will never run out of clients. There are 3 billion people on the internet. There are 7 billion people in the world. If you need to find new people, then you can.
And you might just need to find MORE people -- perhaps you're catering to the right folks, but you just don't have enough traffic yet. You'll get there!
5. DO BETTER NEXT TIME
This is all a learning experience, girlfriend. You will never know everything and you will never stop growing. Entrepreneurship is a constant adventure! Live it, love it, breathe it, be it.
Do your research and keep trying until something sticks. Or, better yet, get a coach or take an e-course by someone who's been there before. Learn from your mistakes and from others' mistakes.
I'm sharing everything I know in my 12-week e-course and coaching program, Quit + Commit: From Self-Doubt to Self-Employed in 90 Days. And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to work on selling it.