Get those first paying customers and validate your offers
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Whether you’ve been in my world for a long time or whether we’re just met, you should know that when it comes to business projects… I’m a huge fan of starting small and building from there.
So far in this article series, we’ve talked about the bare minimum essentials of getting your biz “set up” online and starting to build your audience. If you want to catch up with the series, click here.
In this article, we’re going to chat about offering something for sale to your audience.
The importance of getting your first paying customer
This goes for your business as a whole and for each offer you create…
It is so very important to get money coming into your business through your offers. We want to get that first paying customer as soon as possible, and it isn’t necessarily only about the money.
Getting someone to pay us for our offer (product or service) means that we know we’re on the right track with our business idea.
It means we know that we aren’t wasting our time building up something big that we don’t know how to sell.
It means that we’re starting to earn money while we’re building our business and offers rather than simply spending money for however long we take to get things perfect.
The importance of offer validation
We want to validate our offers and offer ideas so that we know whether folks will pay us for it and if it’s something they want.
Offer validation only happens when someone gives you money for your offer. The amount isn’t as important, as long as it isn’t free. After all, how many freebies do you have collecting digital dust vs how many of those businesses have you gone on to purchase from?
Now think of how many businesses you’ve purchased from multiple times… once you purchase from someone, get to know their products, and like what you got, you’re more likely to be a repeat customer with them than to buy from someone else that you’re unfamiliar with.
Options for selling something if you don’t yet have any offers
Here’s the thing…
If you DON’T already have an offer:
I’m not advocating for you to go and create something right now to offer your audience.
I am advocating for you to pre-sell an offer to your audience.
This helps you validate your offer without wasting time creating something that potentially isn’t right for your audience.
As with anything, there are several ways to go about that.
However, I personally recommend starting with something low-ticket. If you’re very new to the online business space, that means your offer is something with a low price tag–and usually low-ticket offers are a much easier yes-decision for your audience if it’s something they’re interested in, compared to a higher priced offer.
If you’re not sure how to package up your ideas into a low-ticket course, I recommend checking out Elizabeth (Lizzy) Goddard’s Small But Mighty $9 Offers.
Will 9-dollar offers make you rich? No.
But they are…
- low-cost, low-risk, & almost always an easy yes,
- the perfect bite-sized entry point into your world, and
- a fun, low-pressure way to experiment and validate ideas in your business!
If you don’t have any offers yet, you could opt for a slightly bigger offer—for example something under $100, or you could start with something “small but mighty” like a 9-dollar offer to help get folks in the door and start testing and validating your ideas.
There’s nothing stopping you from validating an offer with a low pre-sale price, then increasing your price as you get feedback, iterate, build upon and improve your initial offer.
Another take on validating a low ticket offer is by offering it as a tripwire. What this means is that after someone opts into your list (like after giving you their name and email to get your freebie), they see an offer to buy your thing.
This is a low key way to offer something for sale and make some money, validating your offer idea while growing your list, without the stress of how to market and sell your thing separately.
And yes, you can pre-sell using tripwires as long as you’re clear in stating when the thing will be ready or available. Then make sure you follow through on that commitment.
There’s no one-way of doing things, and if you aren’t sure where to start, this could be a good starting point for you.
Easily delivering offers to your customers
You may also be wondering how you would deliver an actual offer to folks.
Let me tell you, this doesn’t have to break the bank either!
I know most of the big names out there usually have all their offers all glammed up. Fancy video recordings in picture-perfect studio-like offices… You don’t need all that. Pinky promise!
My favourite way to do simple course delivery is through using your email marketing platform.
Yup, that’s right… deliver your offer low-tech style using email.
It’s low-tech, quick and easy to set up, and as a bonus it’s especially perfect if you’re introverted. Extroverts, you still win with the other benefits 😉
It’s also cost effective, because you likely already have an account with an email marketing platform, right?
If you don’t have an email list started because you’re not sure which email marketing software to choose, get The Beginner’s Guide to Choosing Your Email Marketing Software by clicking below.
It’ll narrow down your choices and help guide your decision to choosing a platform that works for your business and your current situation.
If the idea of delivering a course with your email marketing platform makes your head spin, check out The Low Tech Course Delivery Course (super meta, I know).
This course is my own. In it I walk you through how to set up your course for email delivery. It doesn’t matter which software you are using, this course walks you through what to look for in your software vs being a software-specific tutorial.
If you’re going through the course and just can’t figure out how to make it work on your own platform, you can reach out any time. I’ve used most platforms out there and can either help you out or figure out how to help you out!
Email is by no means the only way to get a course out there and delivered to your customers without major tech or a big budget, but it is my favourite low-cost, low-tech way.
A couple other ways are with a live or pre-recorded video training, or putting up a beta version of your training on a password protected page on your website.
If you want to brainstorm alternative methods that you feel more comfortable with, DM me on IG or TT @msclarissawhite and let me know what you’re considering or absolutely won’t consider. I’ll personally respond with some suggestions.
In conclusion – begin selling to your audience
Selling offers to your audience is the backbone of your business, but it can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.
If you want to validate your first or latest business offer idea with a mini-offer, set it up for easy validation (ie sales or pre-sales) as a tripwire, or want to deliver an offer in a low-cost, low-tech way, scroll up for more info.
If you have any questions or want to chat, DM me on IG or TT @msclarissawhite.
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Read the Business Beginner Basics series
- 5 Self-Sabotaging Online Business Mistakes
- Does your online business have its own branded email yet?
- Why I don’t let my clients use copy-paste swipe files for Privacy Policies
- The reality about growing an audience and email list for your business
- Email marketing – connecting with your audience and nurturing those relationships
- Start selling in your business, even if you’re not ready yet (you are here)