Selling information for money – it’s such a beautiful thing. It’s what so many of us love talking (and blogging) about. It doesn’t take a huge office, lots of inventory, and once it’s done, you can almost set it and forget it – right? Well, it all depends. Allow me to explain . . .
Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been working on building my Biology Website. It has been a huge undertaking. After reading Crush It, by Gary Vaynerchuk, I was convinced that the way to grow my website was to release videos almost every weekday (three to five times a week). Each video would teach one concept in biology.
I also decided to use YouTube as one of the main ways of getting traffic to my website. It was interesting to see what happened next – my traffic increased significantly and has been increasing every month since I started, with my videos receiving anywhere between 1,000 and 1,500 views every day. I’ve also started getting people sending me testimonials and Thank You emails almost EVERY DAY (254 since January – yes, I counted), it’s such an exciting feeling.
Then I reached the stage that many internet entrepreneurs reach when they realize that their site is getting decent traffic – the stage where the site is demanding for more resources – a stage that starts to cost more and more money (upgrading servers, outsourcing more tasks, etc). It’s the stage when you know you need to start doing things to start making money.
Since I was satisfied with the level of traffic I was getting, and with the amount of value I was able to share with the world, it was time to take it to the next level – releasing a paid product.
I had many ideas about different products I could release and eventually narrowed it down to what I thought was the best idea – I could take all of my free YouTube videos and create a DVD package. After consulting with an internet marketing friend of mine, we both came to the conclusion that it was the best idea for the following reasons:
Doesn’t that just sound like a great deal? Wouldn’t it make a lot of sense for me to develop a product like that? Yep, that’s what I thought too, until I made a quick decision to do something very simple that proved to be very valuable. What did I do? I’m glad you asked . . .
Right before I got ready to start putting together the DVD package, I decided to send out a short survey to my audience. I wanted to know whether they would be more inclined to buying a DVD product or a Digital product. My assumption was that they would prefer to get a DVD, and boy was I wrong. The questions on the survey were the following:
This survey answered a number of questions that have helped me shape my product that I’ll be releasing over the next few weeks. Allow me to share some of those important answers with you:
When I saw these results, I was very happy. No, it didn’t tell me that 88% of my audience would actually buy, but at least I had a good idea that they thought the idea was worth looking into.
I’m not sure why these results surprised me, but I was indeed surprised. I was thinking that most people would find more value in a physical product, but the results indicated something different – only 9% was in favor of just a DVD. Everyone else were in favor of either all digital or a combination of both. This showed me that if I were to choose one to start with, digital would be the way to go.
When it really comes down to it, knowing that my audience thinks that having a product is a good idea doesn’t paint a full picture. What really matters is whether or not they would actually buy. This told me that 62 of the people that took the survey would at least consider spending money.
This was a very important question for me. I was struggling to decide on a price point. Seriously, I was. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted discussing this question with one of my Internet Marketing buddies over the phone. Now, I know that 74% of the people who took the survey would at least think about paying anywhere between $47 and $197 to get a product relating to my content.
The results to this question really amazed me. I’d always thought about adding a paid membership component to my website. However, I always told myself that it wouldn’t work for this non-internet-marketing crowd. Now I know that 55% of the people who completed this survey would at least think about paying a subscription fee to access the resources I could easily make available.
There are certain things you can do to enhance the likelihood that you will get a decent response to your survey. Here are some very useful tips:
I decided to set up a membership site that will provide video downloads in two formats (for computer and mobile device), in addition to an MP3 that they can take along with them and listen to even while they are driving in their cars. It will be a paid membership of $47 for six months. Yes, I know it’s a low price point, but I want as many people to benefit from it as possible without having a high barrier of entry. Plus, I know that a significant amount of my audience is at least willing to consider paying that price.
I will also produce DVDs, but not right now. The plan is to eventually make them and offer them at a discounted rate to upgraded members.
Do I know that it will be very successful? No, I don’t. The fact is – a Paying customer is only a paying customer when they’ve actually paid for something. Filling out a free survey saying that you will spend money is much easier than actually spending the money. But you know what – that’s what the “Entrepreneur’s Journey” is all about.
What I do know is that I will gain experience from what I’m attempting to do, and I will report back to you in as much detail as I did in this post. Why? Because I want us to learn together. It’s much more fun that way 😉
So what do you think? Do you think doing a survey was a good idea? Did I make the right decision based on the survey? Have you used surveys to help you decide what to do in your online business? How did it work for you? If you haven’t used them, how do you think it would help you to start? Let me know in the comments below.