build

Welcome to the BUILD phase of the course. Everything from this stage forward is going to be about creating the marketing and infrastructure on your website to sell your information product. So step one: get a website.

If you don’t have a website yet, I strongly recommend just purchasing the web hosting (I have tested and recommend Site Ground for people starting out – but I also use WP Engine for all of my sites). Then you’ll want to find a clean, simple theme for your site and Theme Forest is a great place to look. You don’t have to have everything installed on your site to complete this course and you don’t have to be actively blogging either. But I do recommend at least having WordPress set up so that you can go in and implement these steps in real-time and ask questions as you go. It’s one of those things that becomes much more clear once you start digging into your own site and setting up, rather than talking about it abstractly. From this point forward I’m going to assume that everyone has some kind of website started.

Add Your Product to Your Website

In Day 3, we talked about creating an offer for our product with the main options being: bonus, freebie/upsell, cross-format and tiered. There are two ways to handle adding this product to your site — you can either add it directly, “get my book here!” or just add the freebie/upsell item, “get my free report here!” with the user getting emails down the road about your product later.

So that’s the first question: do you want to offer something for free to get them to sign up to your list? If YES, you can add this at any time and it will be discussed in Day 13 (we’ll also be talking about list builders too). The big question you’ll have to decide is whether or not to make your regular product available for sale on your website.

Option 1: Freebie but no obvious link to the products page (see the free course in her top menu):

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-7-11-59-pm

Option 2: Freebie but all courses are listed on the website (see free course in the menu but then the slider links to “for sale” products):

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-7-13-11-pm

 

You don’t have to decide now, but it’s just the difference between offering your product on your site verses only offering the freebie and mailing list sign up. There are some reasons to cloak the product – for example you might want to avoid people evaluating the product solely on a one-page description and price. You might feel that this is a relationship-driven product that requires trust. If you’re positioning yourself at the top of your price range for your product you might want to take this approach. By hiding your product until they’ve signed up for your newsletter or mailing list and have gotten a series of emails from you plus your free product – you have the opportunity to present content to them without it feeling like a sales pitch. You’re casting a wider net. The relationship building helps convert more people. It’s a solid strategy, but typically only if your product costs at least $100.

It has some pitfalls – if you don’t tell people about your product, they might leave without even knowing you have it. Especially for products that do not require a huge investment – you definitely want to cash in on the impulse purchases. Someone thinking about buying a $12 ebook might just get it “in case” they need it, and if they aren’t convinced pretty quickly by your description and title that they need it, it’s unlikely many people are going to be massaged into buying it because you spend 6 emails introducing yourself and your work. It’s either worth $12 or it’s not. The price sensitivity isn’t as high as a $300 purchase.

For this portion of the course I’m going to proceed as if you are dealing with a straight-up product pitch, no freebie/mailing list required. On Day 13, I will explain how to implement this as well, but you still need to create all the same product pages. We’ll just be adding the mailing list offer on top of the existing infrastructure.

Creating Product Pages

There are many tools that will let you create beautifully designed pages in WordPress but there are two things I think are most important: it must be easy and it must look great on mobile. I use this plugin for my WordPress sites:

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-7-31-01-pm

Once you download it and install it, it will give you a new tab in WordPress when you create a new PAGE. It looks like this:

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-7-33-44-pm

When you click on the tab that says “Page Builder” it shows you this:

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-7-35-30-pm
The page is built by composing rows, adding specific widgets (like photos or text or video). We will get into all of that, but first you need some marketing content — your sales pitch and your product image. We’ll be jumping into that tomorrow. For today just get that plugin installed.