Are You Solving A Problem Or Just Spinning Your Wheels?

Tell me how familiar this scenario is.

You come up with a great idea. You research it in great depth. You write a fantastic ebook on the topic. You edit, proofread and revise it several times. You even get a designer to create a lovely graphic for the cover.

You excitedly set up a website to sell the ebook, looking forward to a flood of sales.

And then, nothing happens!

You barely make a sale or two – or maybe even none. You are upset and angry and frustrated. You decide something must be wrong with the sales letter, or the website design, or the price. You tweak these things and try again.

You spend money on buying an ad, or drive some traffic to your sales page, or twist the arm of a friend who has a big email list to help promote your ebook.

Still, nothing happens!

You’re just not making any sales!

Ever had that happen to you? I have. A few times. It is NOT fun!

What’s the reason for this? Usually, it is one of four things.

1. Is There Really A Problem?

Nine times out of ten, the reason your ebook didn’t sell like hot-cakes is because it did not solve a problem. It’s easy to sell something that fills a demand or need in the marketplace. It’s almost impossible to create excitement and desire for something no one sees as being the solution to an existing problem or difficulty they are facing in their lives.

There are many real problems. Like a business owner wondering why his profits are sinking like a rock. Like a golfer worrying about his slice. Like a young man who is losing hair and growing bald. Like a parent with a child suffering from allergies or eczema. Like a dog owner unsure about what to feed his little puppy (by the way, meet Muffin…our new six week-old Lhasa Apso!).

Meet our new puppy, Muffin

So, does your infoproduct solve an existing problem? If it doesn’t, then YOU have a problem on your hands! However, if it does, you’ll definitely be able to sell your ebook… provided that people realize that they have a problem.

2. Do They Know That They Have A Problem?

Some problems are glaringly obvious. If your puppy is barking all night long, you have a problem. If your rose garden is barren and flowerless, you have a problem. If your advertisements aren’t getting clicked or acted upon, you have a problem.

And you are aware of it.

But there are some problems that aren’t so apparent. For instance, in the Internet marketing niche that I’m active in, recent changes with Google’s algorithm (called the ‘Farmer’ or ‘Panda’ update) have led to significant changes with ‘article marketing’. Things that once worked well stopped working so well, and require some changes to be made.

Not everyone is aware of this shift, though. There is a problem, but some people don’t know they have one. The same is true about other situations like substance addiction, health issues, financial problems, career progress and even relationships.

If this is the hurdle you are facing, there’s a way to overcome it. It’s called – Education Marketing.

You have to educate your prospect about the problem. Share information with them to highlight the condition. Make them aware of what could go wrong. Paint a dismal picture of the future if they do nothing about it. Show them how things could be better if they take corrective action today.

Then, they’ll start seeking a solutionwhich you have thoughtfully created for them!

3. Are They Looking For A Solution?

If you have an audience of prospects who know they have a problem and are actively seeking a solution, you’re halfway home.

  • Look for the frequency with which they are looking for answers on the search engines. If there are many searches for the keyword phrases that start with “How to fix…” or “Get rid of…” or “Cure…” or “No more…” and similar strings, then it indicates that your target market is proactively looking for ways to fix what’s broken.
  • On discussion forums and message boards, observe how often people post questions related to your topic. Notice if their questions are seeking solutions to a problem that your infoproduct solves effectively. See which ones are being repeated often, with multiple variations. Those are the issues your product must address – and do it well.
  • Look at the top blogs in your niche. See what topics are being covered by the bloggers. They are often good judges of what their audience is looking for. If you find many posts touching on points that you explore in detail in your ebook, it’s an indication that you’re on the right track.

Sometimes people are fully aware that they have a problem – but will blissfully carry on ignoring it. It’s hard to say why, but inertia plays a major role in this behavior. You’ve probably heard of the “boiling frog syndrome” – when you throw a frog into boiling water, it’ll jump out…but if you put it into lukewarm water and slowly turn up the heat, it will boil to death!

Your prospects may be in a similar state of apathy. It is your marketing challenge to shake them out of it. Agitate the situation. Highlight what’s wrong, or bad, or dangerous about leaving it for too long. Get them worried about having it fixed – before things go pear-shaped. If you do this effectively, you’ll have them clamoring for a solutionand they’ll consider buying the one you offer them.

4. Can They Afford A Solution?

This final consideration is actually of great importance when it comes to creating a profitable and successful information product.

You may come up with a miracle solution to a serious and painful problem, but unless your audience is able to afford to pay you well enough to make it worth your while, you’ll still be under-performing.

Let’s say you’ve got the most amazing collection of ‘cheats’ for the hot video game that’s being played by thousands of school kids. You may not be able to profit massively from it, because your market doesn’t have credit cards or the financial power to buy it from you.

Contrast this against a solution that’s directed to people who have enough money and are ready and willing to spend it to relieve their pain or take them closer to their dream, and you’ll realize that making your solution affordable to your market is a critical element of your infopreneur strategy.

To sum it up, you’ll create a best-selling ebook (or infoproduct) that will rake in wild profits and make you rich when you solve an existing problem that your audience is aware of, and already seeking relief from…and do it in a way that is affordable and convenient for them to order.

Dr. Mani

About Dr. Mani

Dr.Mani is actively engaged in spreading awareness about congenital heart disease (CHD) and fundraising to sponsor heart surgery for under-privileged children in India.

An ardent group of volunteers and donors have embraced this noble purpose that is bigger than any individual or group, and grown it into a global movement that has touched and saved the lives of 87 little children. You can help too. Learn how at

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  • Great post.

    This is one of the ways the I have started to niche research. I will type “how to ” into goolge and write down the 5 auto-fill suggestions it provides me with. I than write

    “how to a ” (to get topics beginning with a)
    “how to b ” (to get topics beginning with a)
    “how to c ” (to get topics beginning with a)

    I do not even need my own product with this method. If I put up a site ranking for “how to article market after panda update” I can usually find an ebook on CBank, or if the topic is extreme “how to get ride of allergies”, put up adsense and watch what advertisers are advertising the most on my site and than look to see if an affiliate product is available that I can push by checking out what the advertiser is offering my visitors.

    • Hi Exsuit,

      Don’t forget to research beyond. Typing “how to a” and using the auto-filling is not enough to figure out properly what niches are profitable.
      Use Google Keyword Tool or Market Samurai, etc. Whatever, but don’t forget to research competition.

      Dr Mani,
      Good post, thanks.

      • Of course 🙂

        I am actually in start-up mode and keeping tool costs to a minimum. I recently wrote a blog post for my method of assessing competition (after getting niche ideas as I suggested above) using free tools and excel.

        Of course the paid tools do more, and do it faster, but when my resource available to spend it time, I like looking for “budget conscious” alternatives 🙂

        • Market Samurai is really good, but it doesn’t do anything you can’t do for free. It’s not so difficult to learn how to it. If you have a budget don’t pay for anything you can get for free.
          If you want tons of free and good ideas I suggest you Smart Passive Income (dot) com by Pat Flynn and Joseph Archibald josepharchibald (dot) com.
          I don’t type the links because I don’t want to spam Yaro’s comments.

  • That the key of making any money online, is to solve a problem and bank the profits. But you must do research first before you can tackle any industry..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • I am having a bit of this problem myself. I feel like I am just spinning my wheels and am in a funk. Thanks for the motivation and thoughts. I gave me something to think about.

    • I’m sure when you get the idea of your business, your excited and adrenaline pump to your head. But the problem is, along the way, you’re getting slower when you meet some problems. That sometimes it makes you feel frustrated. Do you know what you lack? Sustenance.

  • Very applicable to my own situation. I have like a product (free ebook) but am struggling how to find my target group, and especially how to convince them of their problem.
    I guess this is another type of marketing funnel, getting them to enter by addressing a general problem, and then taking their hand to reach to the specific problem that your product solves

    Am I on the right track with this?

    • I suggest maintaining a blog with posts related to the problem, so that you can build that sense of urgency. Place an email sign up form on the blog and start collecting emails in exchange for your free ebook. Good luck.

      – Andrew

      • I think urgency is another important component that needs to be considered. Diet is a good example. Assume it’s the first quarter of the year and people want to look good until summer. Now, you as a marketer can push there buttons and make use of the urgency.

    • Remco, you wrote: “I have like a product (free ebook) but am struggling how to find my target group” – that’s a familiar situation/problem for many people… and not just those who are getting started. The reason is that it’s backwards. Mostly you’re better off finding your target group, and THEN writing a free ebook which helps solve a problem they already have, know about, and are seeking to have fixed.

  • I completely agree that if you are going to offer a product or service it should solve some sort of problem. People are willing to do just about anything to solve their problems.

    Education marketing is a brilliant term for letting people know that they have a problem that you have the solution for.

    Another route is to focus on people’s passion or hobby, because most of us will spend too much money on things we love to do.

    – Andrew

    • I am following both routes at the same time. I am building a production ready version of my work for businesses that have serious problems to solve, and I am using a more blue sky version of my work to build a game that can demonstrate the parts of it that are not yet production ready. Many people like games.

  • It also may not be a problem with your product, but with your marketing. Landing a few big time affiliates is key when promoting your own product. When Yaro launched his membership courses, he generated a lot of buzz by going after the other big time business bloggers. Having one or two big time people promote your product can be the equivalent of having 50 or 100 smaller guys promote it.

  • Excellent post.

    It’s that aspect of “finding the need” that really makes the difference. As many others I have learned the same lesson the hard way – it’s always better to find the need first and then create a product to fill that need than it is to create a product and then look for people who need it.

    Anyways, thanks for sharing this great post.


    • Of course it it and that is the same thing in SEO. Though most people just start a research, the first step and foundation should be proper keyword research. I believe this is where most people ultimately fail.

    • From observing many hundred entrepreneurs, and having gone through the experience myself over many years, I believe this is because it is far more exciting to create products, craft marketing copy, run promotional campaigns etc. than it is to research needs and wants. I still dislike the ‘keyword research’ phase of my niche planning – but when I look at my stats from successful projects and realize it’s solely the result of proper niche research, it’s hard to ignore that step and go beyond it.

  • this post is dead on Dr. people resort to the internet when they have a question: how, what, where, when, who . . . to me that sounds like a problem. if you have the answer to that, chances are “people” will be interested

  • Hi Dr Mani another great post wring by you. I agree with you, it’s all about solving the problem, just give what they want. that’s it.

  • Ann

    I smell rubber!!!

  • Dr. Mani, this is a great post again from you. I have read it lately. I agree with the points you covered. You just explained how to solve the problem. That’s Great.

  • Awesome post Dr. Mani. I’ve read your work before and your writings are sheer genius, I must say. I recall reading on Seth’s blog a long time ago that the easiest way to make money is to solve a problem.

  • I just always come to the conclusion that what I’m trying to sell is a load of rubbish so I normally start again. 🙂

    • Been there to. I’d recommend to do a least some testing before you make any changes or give up.

  • This is the most pity thing, when nothing happens and nothing sales after a huge work.

  • This is a fundamental problem a lot of beginners make. They just make a product without prior research whether there is actually a problem to be solved.

    Solving important problems always works. Just take a look at the health, finance and relationship products. There are tons.

  • I nodded several times for this article because you are definitely right Dr. Mani. In order for one to sell any business they must meet or even exceed what the customer needs. Everything will be put into waste if there will be no one supporting a product.

  • Good message and it really helps to solve people’s problems because then you know you have a demand to fulfill.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog dot Com

  • To have an successful online business, I agree. Its all about giving solutions to peoples problems. By offering real value, people will become to like and trust you and then you can make the sale. Offer solutions and value first. Make sales through sign up for your news letter and opt in forms.

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