How Creative Entrepreneurs Approach Products And Pricing
Episode 6 of The 10k Creator is out now! You can watch or listen to the episode here.
This week I was lucky to chat with my friend Jay Clouse - founder of Creator Science and host of Creative Elements - on the podcast! This blog post will cover three things I learned in that conversation that directly apply to you and your creative business.
Too many creators just "wing it" - they think that the way to grow is to improve the quality of their work before ever trying to sell it or simply make more art.
I'm just as guilty as anyone.
So today, I want to break down:
- Your product basket
- How customers happen in your business
- Linear pricing
As long as you double the perceived value in people's minds and the way that you talk about these products, it all works.
What’s In Your Product Basket?
Jay's advice to me was to simplify.
I have (probably) too many products and offerings:
- BCC Newsletter (Free)
- Podcast (Free, and on hiatus)
- Craftsman Creative Blog (Free)
- Craftsman Creative Book ($20)
- Craftsman Creative Course ($150)
- Society of Independent Creators ($199/yr)
- Coaching ($250/hr or $1,000/mo)
- Consulting ($500/hr or $5,000/mo)
It's too overwhelming all at once, so Jay suggested I pare down to 1-2 core offers: an accessible one like the book and maybe the course or the community. And then Jay suggested I raise the price on that second offer.
Here's how I ended up with an overflowing product basket:
My “curse” - which is a harsh way of framing it - is that It's easy for me to create products and services!
I could create a new course in the next week. Spin up a product over the weekend. Write and publish a book in 4 months…
I can focus deeply on a new idea until a product comes out the other end, whether that takes days or a weekend, or a few months.
But none of that matters if I'm not selling those offers!
So, my goal is to pare down and then use another strategy to make it all work better.
How Do Customers Happen?
Jay asked this amazing question in the podcast. Luckily, I'd thought of it before and had an answer.
But, do you know how customers happen in your business?
Because even though I had an answer, it was kind of a crappy one. I hadn't done a good enough job figuring out what was working and what wasn't as far as awareness > engagement > conversion.
Meaning, how do people discover me?
- Social Media
- Advertising and sponsorships
- Appearing on podcasts
What can they engage with?
- lead magnets
- My newsletter
What makes them decide to purchase?
- sales pages
- product launches
My forever problem is that I have all of that built out, but not enough people are going through the system I've built to have any meaningful data (or revenue)!
If, for example, only 20 people a week join the email list, then I'd need a 5% conversion rate to my book or other products to have one sale, i.e. one data point.
So, priority #1 for me is to get the number of new email subscribers to 100+ per week, so that I have enough data to accurately answer "how do customers happen".
Once I have that info, then I can optimize by doing more of what works and less of what doesn't.
Otherwise, I’ll keep seeing the same results week after week, which I’m not willing to put up with anymore!
What Is Linear Pricing For Your Creative Offerings?
This was an eye-opener for me.
First, you trim the product offerings that you’ll put in front of your new audience members. Specifically, one offer. Then you think about what offer naturally comes next for that new subscriber.
For example, when someone gets your lead magnet, that could present your low-price offer, like an ebook or something else in the $10-50 range.
Then, that product should promote your higher-ticket offer, like a $250-500 course or community.
With the power of email marketing, specifically segmenting, tagging, and sequences, it would be very easy to drip out these offers at the right time based on how someone is interacting with your content and products.
The principle here is to sell to people who are seeking a solution, rather than trying to convince everyone that this thing you made is right for them.
Again, if you haven't had a chance to check out the conversation I had with Jay on the 10k Creator podcast, you definitely need to. Watch or listen to it here.
Now: Schedule a strategy call with me to discuss your business, identify the main constraint that's holding you back, and give you actions to take today to grow your audience and revenue.
1-3 Months: Learn how to build a six-figure creative business with my book, Craftsman Creative which outlines the principles and systems that help you grow.
This Year: Join the Society of Independent Creators, a new online community for supporting, teaching, and even investing in each other's creative projects.
(Your Business Here)
I've opened up a single sponsor slot in each week's newsletter. If you'd like to get your business in front of over 1,000 creative entrepreneurs and artists, head here to grab one of the remaining slots for 2022.
LINKS TO HELP YOU GROW
In this week’s Craftsman Creative Workshop, Drew Dillon, CEO of Burb.co will join me to discuss how to create an online community. If you’re looking to move your audience to a property you own (rather than have them all on a social media platform) a community is a great option. Come join us this Wednesday by signing up here (for free).
I dove into How To Dominate Twitter, a new course from Dagobert Renouf this week. Now, as someone who has taken half a dozen Twitter courses and has spent well over $1,500 to learn this skill, I can say without hesitation that this course is the best bang for your buck.
Dago was kind enough to give me a discount code, so check out the course here and use code DAREN_15 at checkout to save 15%
(And, if you're a newsletter writer, pair that course with ContentOS from Justin Welsh and you'll be well on your way to having a successful content engine that brings new people from Twitter to your site and your email list day in and day out.)
Some of my most often consumed content is when writers talk about how they write or their principles for writing. Two times this week I came across new posts, Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules Of Writing (h/t to Shawn Twing for sharing that one with me) and Nassim Taleb on How I Write (and thanks to Morgan Housel for that one!)
As I'm thinking through a fun event/challenge that I'm going to be announcing in a few weeks for 2023, I appreciated this breakdown of the Community Powered Learning approach from Charlotte Crowther.
Do you have your own newsletter? Check out the Sparkloop Partner Program. I've been impressed with how many new subscribers have come in from other creators recommending my newsletter. You can set your own price on what you'd pay per subscriber (I set mine at $3) and limit the payout per month. It was an experiment that's proven successful in growing my list.
The links above may include affiliate links, which means I get a percentage of each sale, which helps support this newsletter.