John Lee Dumas is the host of one of the top business podcasts on iTunes, Entrepreneur On Fire. This episode of Freedom Fast Lane with Ryan Daniel Moran is a case study about John’s recent launch of a physical product. In month one of the launch, John had $300K in sales.
There comes a point in every entrepreneur’s life where you have to ask yourself, ‘How am I going to make this bigger?’ and take it from a niche cash flow business to a breaking through business. John knew that one of the pivots is to stop catering to a niche and broaden your market. This involves continuing to serve who you have been serving, but go much broader. John realized that in serving a small market of podcasters he was neglecting 98% of the potential market, so he released a mass market product, a journal, as an entry point in making a breakthrough transition, and he did it by leveraging his audience.
The Freedom Journal
John leveraged a channel that was not Amazon.com, and instead used Kickstarter; that was also an avenue to get him in front of fresh blood and allowed him to prove the concept of The Freedom Journal: Set and Accomplish Your Number One Goal in 100 days.
John has been building up his audience through his podcast, email list, and webinars for years. He stresses that you should create consistent, valuable, and free content to the audience, ask the audience what they are struggling with, and provide the solution in the form of a product, service, or community.
Ryan’s strategy is to take an audience, send them to a channel, and bringing the customers back into the fold. John applied that formula by taking his audience and sending them to the channel (Kickstarter), and as a result new blood came into the fold. As a result of the campaign, a lot of media have reached out to John asking for interviews, using a channel where there is already a lot of eyeballs.
You need to be producing content for a specific audience to grow the audience into knowing, liking, and trusting you. It’s one thing to have ‘sales’ but another to have ‘customers;’ you are not free if you aren’t developing customers.
Long-Term Strategy & Take Over the World Plan
When you first start as an entrepreneur, you have to find a niche where you can get traction. If you start broad, you will get lost in the noise and resonate with nobody. If you want to break through, then the process is bridging the gap between niching down and widening the funnel. This can be done with stories, widening the product base, and having different entry points for products and services.
Making the Pivot to Physical Products
John knew it was time to make the pivot when he realized not everyone should or can have a podcast or webinar. He asked himself what he could do for the 96% of his audience. He notes that you can ‘crush it’ serving the elite premium specific members of your community; however, he had already done that.
John felt there was a need for a laser beam-focused journal that would provide you with something to write in every day, but also have something you can accomplish by the end of it.
People Only Vote With Their Wallets
John asked his audience if they would pay for the journal. When he got a ‘yes,’ he then asked if they would be willing to pay $35 for it. He got 100 people to pay $20 in the first round, which was proof of concept that people are willing to pay for this type of physical product.
John has built his know, like, and trust relationship over the past three years, and has published more than 1,200 podcast episodes, so his audience knew he wasn’t going to scam them and run off with their money. People must be willing to give you money for the product and not just say they like it. If they aren’t, then you have to go back to the drawing board.
He used the same concept-proving approach with Podcasters Paradise, and wanted 20 people to pay him $200 to prove that people were willing to part with their money for the service.
You can never build a big business if you are always setting small targets and not developing audiences that listen to your message. These are the two major pivot points going from a small business to launching a breakthrough business. This is how you start to move out of the solopreneur game and build something much bigger than yourself.
If you don’t have those things in place, something that attracts a wider net of people, and the audience as an asset for you to launch further products and go in different directions, then you are essentially without insulation and are at the mercy of other channels.
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