Product Development by Neil Stafford
--- Neil has kindly let me reprint this from the 'Internet
Marketing Review' forum which he hosts - details at the
bottom of this page ---
I recently received an email from an IMR Member (Anthony Woodridge)
and although it wasn’t an unpleasant email it was quite frank and
forthright telling me I was wrong to say that product development
and selling on the Internet was easy!
Well, first of all, what I actually said was product development
was simple, not easy! And simple it is, however, if it was easy
everyone would be doing it.
I’ve always said product development does take a bit of work and
effort but the rewards are tremendous.
Anyway to cut a long story short he ‘challenged me to produce a
product, that could be sold via the internet, on his hobby………..fish
Fish keeping was his hobby and he was convinced that I couldn’t
develop a product for that market…..never mind one that sells!
Did I manage it…..read on!
The first step I took was to go out and buy several ‘Fish’ magazines
to supplement the Internet research I would be undertaking.
I knew I didn’t want a ‘generic’ product on fish keeping so I
looked for a niche that was crying out for information/services/products.
I searched under many different keywords in the search engines
looking at web sites, newsgroups, discussion lists and ezines.
After a while I noticed (from the research) that the breeding of
fish was a topic that always produced a lot questions. This was
backed up by articles and letters in the magazines I had bought.
Had I found my niche?
Research showed that different fish have different breeding patterns
so a general ‘Fish Breeding’ product wouldn’t do. Back to a bit
Several of the newsgroups and email discussion lists had questions
about breeding Black Ghost Fish. Did you know that Black Ghost Fish
are from the Amazon and are best kept singularly or in groups of
up to 4 fish as they are very territorial? Anyway I digress!
Had I found my niche? I had to see if there was a market for a
product about breeding Black Ghost Fish.
Using tools on Overture.com and Wordsearch I found that over the
last couple of months 6000+ searches had been done on the keywords
‘fish breeding’ (including related words & phrases) and 1600+ searches
on ‘Black Ghost Fish’.That’s not including all networks. I had a
I spent the next couple of days compiling all the information I
could find on breeding and keeping Black Ghost Fish.
I then arranged this information into a logical order using my
handy formula and found that I had enough information to produce
an information product with over 200 pages!
What’s my formula? A simple one!
- Pick a topic
- Write down 25 Chapter Titles / Headlines
- Write 4 Sub Chapter titles / Headlines under each of the 25
- For each of the 4 sub chapters write 2 pages of information for
The result is a 200 page information product. 25x4x2 = 200 As it
worked out, due to the amount of information I had compiled, I had
over 250 pages of information including pictures, diagrams etc
If you’ve ever bought an information product via the Internet
you will have been offered a variety of bonuses to encourage you
to invest in the main product.
Often the bonuses are worth far more combined than the main product
on offer! What could I use for bonuses to encourage people to buy
my product at the price I set?
An important consideration is that any and all bonuses must be
of the same high quality and perceived benefit to potential customers
as the main product.
The first bonus I will offer is a report listing 100 top fish keeping
sites as I already have these from the research I undertook.
The second bonus is similar to the top 100 concept and will be
the top 10, 20, or 30 etc. Fish Breeding Tips.
I will also arrange to ‘interview’ an ‘expert’ on fish breeding
over the phone and have the call recorded. I have already identified
over a dozen people as candidates from my research, and it only
takes one! Why should they agree to take part?
Simple……I will explain what I am doing and that the interview will
give them exposure to the market, build up their credibility and
at the end of the interview I will ask them to tell the listeners
how they can contact them or their business for more information.
I will also send them a copy of the interview, on CD, that they
will be free to sell or give away as a product of their own. To
ensure the interview runs smoothly I will email/fax the questions
before hand so they can make any additions or amends if needed.
I now have my bonuses!
Pricing the Product
I have set 2 price points for the product and bonuses depending
on what the customer wants. Option One Standard Package
– This will be an electronic download only version and will sell
for £47.00 Option 2 Gold Package
– This will include an electronic download version (For immediate
gratification) Plus a printed manual in a 4 ring binder, the interview
on CD, a separate CD with the 100 top sites and Fish Breeding Tips.
I will also include free email updates as new methods of breeding
arise. Price £97.00
How did I determine the price?
I asked the market! I emailed a few of the sites from my research
to see what their reaction was to the pricing and also gained permission
to post a question on some of the Newsgroups asking for feedback.
With my topic picked, product produced, bonuses and pricing in
place I moved onto my marketing plan. How would I market this product?
1) Press releases/articles – Using the information I had already
gathered I will compile a short article about Black Ghost Fish that
is compelling, interesting and very beneficial to the people who
read it. I’ll then submit it to offline magazines and online ezines
with full permission for them to reprint it as long as my contact
details are given at the end of the article.
2) I have identified high profile websites and offline publications
that reach my target market and I will send them a FREE copy of
the product, with my compliments, for a review. Using this method
I will not only receive a review in the magazine I will also receive
feedback that I can use as testimonials in my sales letter.
1) Using the Pay Per Click Search Engines such as www.overture.com,
www.espotting.com and www.mirago.co.uk I will bid on keywords to
drive targeted traffic to my site.
2) Ezine adverts. I’ve Identified 4 ezines with a high circulation
of readers with an interest in Fish keeping and Breeding where I
will place adverts for my product.
3) Affiliate Program & Joint Ventures – Using the sites I found
in my research I will email the owner of each site showing them
how they can earn 50% commission on each referred sale by simply
telling their customers, prospects, visitors about my product. This
way I will have 100’s of web sites and ezines promoting my product
and I will only pay out when a sale is made.
What else can I do?
Free search Engine submission, Newsgroup and Discussion list postings,
contact Associations and Groups the list goes on! Repeat or Back
End Sales As a good Marketer or Product Developer you should always
be on the look out for repeat sales to increase your profit. I asked
myself what could I offer as a back end to customers who bought
my product. The list is literally endless.
I now know how to put together an ebook package about Black Ghost
Fish breeding, do you think I could do the same for other types
And do you think that a percentage of my existing customers would
buy that product as well? I guarantee it!
A ready made market!!!!!
I could sign up as an affiliate of other products myself and offer
them via email to my customers.
Plus, if I really wanted to, I could run a teleseminar about breeding
Black Ghost Fish. I would email my customers and prospects for questions
before hand and ask my interview expert to take part as well!
The opportunities are endless!!!
Going back to why I did this product and the Challenge set by IMR
Member Anthony Woodridge. Do you think Anthony is now satisfied
that there is a huge potential market within his hobby…Yes he is!
Did I give him all my research..NO WAY!
For Anthony to hire me to do all the product development for him
would have cost him a fortune on my daily consulting rate, but what
I did do was set HIM a challenge. I gave him a list of all the sites
I visited, magazines I’d bought and addresses of website owners
I also gave him the marketing plan, pricing points and bonus ideas
and then challenged him to have his product finished within 2 months.
It took me less than 4 days on and off to complete everything except
the telephone interview, I even gave Anthony the names of the people
to contact for the telephone interview.
I challenged him to produce the product, put up a web sales letter
and start taking orders within 2 months and I’ll even help him with
the web sales letter and order taking process!
If he doesn’t do it……..I’ll then go to market with my product and,
as a conservative estimate, make between £4000 and £7000 within
60 days of launch.
See……product creation is simple…..it’s not easy as it does require
thought, effort and most importantly a desire to do it.
What would you do?
Take my FULL plan and produce a product or sit back and make excuses
why it won’t work? Think how you can apply the above techniques
to your own hobby or interests…..
Remember that people will buy what they are interested in and
it doesn’t have to be about ‘how to make money’. The ‘Hobby’ Market
is huge! Find a niche, find what that niche desires and create a
product to fill that desire.
Author Neil Stafford - Editor Internet Marketing Review
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