I am really passionate about this.
I have tried both ways and what most people tell you to do is simply bollocks.
And what are most people telling you?
Build a brand…
Create an audience…
Probably spend the next six months writing your business plan, getting your logo done, building your website, get on every social media platform as you possibly can (read burn-out)
All this before you make your first penny.
And it is absolutely ridiculous, taxing and most importantly it isn’t paying your bills.
I did this and I struggled to get my first paying client.
I had not only accustomed my customers to expect free products and consultation from me but also cheap pricing.
It was difficult for me to change my pricing.
I tried changing my brand and it was a long and taxing process, eventually I shut down the doors and called it a day.
Now, I know this has worked for some people.
Spend time creating and building a brand before then later on create products and services.
But I am willing to bet the one’s it worked for either had a large team or had financing to do this. And it must have been a steep climb.
I personally do not want you falling for the same sewage ridden gutters.
Why you should market first product
Position yourself as a business
You start creating and harnessing an image for yourself in your client’s brain as a business. If the client expects to pay to receive a service from you then you are building a certain rapport.
If you go to your local kiosk and ask for Panadol, don’t you expect to pay for it?
Well, then that kiosk owner has positioned themselves as a business. That kiosk owner started o market first product to know what people in that area need.
So why as an artist or freelancer are you allowing yourself to be used by big agencies and companies in the name of exposure (or whatever vanity metric they will give you in the name of payment)?
Create an image in your client’s mind that if they want to receive a certain level of value from you they have to pay for it.
Positioning yourself as a business also enables you to build authority in your field.
You get to find the perfect and ideal audience for your products and services.
The moment you start off with a product you get to perfect your ideal client’s persona.
This will enable you to listen directly to your paying customers. Not people fishing around for more freebies but people who have invested in your products and services already.
I remember when I first started out I gave unlimited consultations. What a waste of time. Most of the people who came for the free consultations or picked the free consultations never paid me to provide the services they required or they expected cheap pricing and with flexible payments.
This leads me to…
In business there are many freebie hunters.
Whether online or offline.
And most freebie hunters happen to be the most demanding and most painful clients to deal with. They have multiple change requests.
They will pester you night and day.
And turning them into paying clients is not the most ideal task.
They will say how expensive you are or they will trash what you are offering and say they can get it free elsewhere.
So why waste your time with this lot? You need to market first product to reduce on the number of freebie hunters you attract.
Always remember a business without revenue and profit is just a hobby at the end of the day.
You will probably be wondering… now that no one knows about me, how can I start monetizing my blog by creating a product.
Simple, first provide at most free value to your ideal audience.
I know I have bashed giving free products, but listen.
What you do is provide value on the what and sell the how.
Share what causes a high bounce rate and slow site and sell how to reduce your bounce rate and increase your site load speed.
Share what causes sinking dry or cracked cakes and sell easy to do recipes on baking moist cakes that will make you look like a trained culinary chef.
You get what I am saying?
You are selling the solutions.
So yes you delivered value by telling someone what caused the cakes to sink and if they don’t want to experience the same in future you are offering to sell them a recipe book.
This is the same method you use to start your subscriber list.
So once you get your subscriber list to 100, it is time to sell to them.
Try and convert 10% – 30% of that list into paying customers.
These now converted buyers list will help you shape your brand and create future products.
And because you are still new in the market and establishing your authority, let your first product be a low priced priced product.
Something below $100.
Something that within your target market audience will be considered an impulse buy.
Definitely surpass the value they expect from the product.
But the client feedback from this launch will help you in growing your blog and future products.