Create A Creative Business That Celebrates Your Ideal Life
Today’s episode is sponsored by my brand new roadmap – 57 Ways To Monetize Your Gifts and Create True Security For Yourself! Includes access to four bonus templates called the Creative Entrepreneurs Path to Cash and map your journey to an ideal business that celebrates the life you want to live.
Download your free roadmap today at getpaidforyourcreativity.com/57waysgift
Episode 013 Show Notes
In episode 11 of the podcast (3 Lessons from My First 60 Days of Running The Podcast (and how you can apply them to every project you create) I talked about the power of choice and the importance of choosing well.
If you missed it, in Lesson 3, I talked about a newly released book I just finished reading called, Choose: The Single Most Important Decision Before Starting Your Business by Ryan Levesque
My initial impressions of the book, these are my key takeaways:
- Get clear on the market, and the audience you want to pursue before you start creating offers. You want an audience with a proven track record of purchasing products and services similar or exactly like the ones you want to offer
- Keep an open mind about your initial offers, even with all of the research and testing Ryan suggests in his book ultimately you’re going to have to rely on your intuition so it’s best to approach your initial projects from what the author suggests “a practice business” mindset.
- I think this is key because as creatives we tend to become overly attached to our offerings and if an audience doesn’t respond the way we hoped it can be debilitating and stunt us from moving forward on a potentially good idea made better with some tweaking.
- This leads to another key takeaway from Ryan’s story, first, he didn’t try to reinvent the wheel, he didn’t try to build a different mousetrap, he just took an existing offering with obvious flaws and using his intuition, made his iteration better. In this case study, it was an info product on how to make jewelry with scrabble tiles.
- Second, he didn’t rely solely on passion. Ryan didn’t have a passion for scrabble tile jewelry making. Actually, he was introduced to the idea from his wife who dabbled with the craft in her spare time. She’d purchased an info product from someone on Etsy and when Ryan saw it he assessed that he could improve it. He didn’t have to go in search of a proven market he had that, what he wanted was an opportunity to serve an existing market with a better offering.
So moving forward that’s the focus of this episode, how to find a market with a proven track record of purchasing the creative products and services you want to create.
Ryan calls this “a sweet spot market”
To do this he suggests conducting a series of self-assessments to first get clear on your interests and how you might be able to pair your talents and skills to a viable market.
To aid in this self-discovery process the authors created a generous bundle of handy worksheets to accompany the book, you’ll find the URL peppered throughout the book.
One of the worksheets I’m a particular fan of his Business Idea Brainstorm Worksheet, here’s a brief overview of the framework of this particular worksheet.
First, Ryan suggests when exploring particular markets you might be considering by completing this statement.
I want to help people ______?
I want to help people learn how to watercolor paint
I want to help people bake sourdough bread
I want to help people learn how knit baby caps and sweaters
I want to help people design a blog with WordPress or Squarespace
I want to help people Self Publish their first or next book
I want to help people take beautiful photos with an iPhone
According to Levesque, the completion of your “I want to help people” statement becomes the basis for a foundational Keyword that you’ll use to conduct further research on Google, Google Trends, Amazon, and some of my own personal suggestions of other tools you can explore as you’re doing your research. I’ll talk more about in a moment.
But first, you want to check in with yourself on your level of interest and/commitment before you start investing a lot of time on research. So for each of your “I want to help people” statements Ryan’s created this worksheet with a self-assessment checklist to determine your level of commitment to truly serve people based on your responses.
Those 4 areas are:
- Would you “Die on the Hill” for this?
- Are You Passionate About It?
- Does It Suit Your Personality?
- Can You See Yourself Still Doing This in 5 Years? (I spoke more on the five-year commitment in episode 11 of the podcast)
TOTAL (Tally Your Ticks)
At the end of the assessment, you’ll take your top three and those become your three Keywords areas you’ll reference as you conduct your research.
A particular question that I liked from Ryan’s book is, “Would you “Die on the Hill” for this?”
For example, when considering investing your time, talent and resources to a project ask yourself, “Would I die on the hill to teach people how to bake a beautiful loaf of sourdough bread?”
“Would I die on the hill to help people teach people how to beautiful images with their iPhone?”
It might sound a bit drastic but, when you think about it, it takes a lot of work, commitment and dedication to start a business so if for nothing else you gotta admit the question cuts straight to the chase.
When you download the bundle which you can get on a secret URL provided in Ryan’s book you’ll get the following bonuses:
-> Market Brainstorm Worksheet (This Worksheet is a starting place for you to begin thinking about the market you might want to focus on.)
-> Ryans 25 Profitable Niches Ideas
-> Business Model Brainstorm Worksheet (Ryan has a high preference for educational products and services (digital products, workshops, masterminds, etc)
There’s an infographic Ryan calls the (In, Up, Max) One Page Business Model
*In (entry level product) could free or paid, and usually under say $500
*Up (second tier level of service of product) in the $1000 and up range
*Max (highest touchpoint level of service) these can in-person experiences like workshops, tours, retreats, etc.)
This infographic was the only area where I had a little trepidation. Personally, I’m not particularly a fan of the “In, Up, Max” model because I think it’s been so over and/or missed used for two reasons.
The first, some creative entrepreneurs may feel they either can’t charge a premium price point, that their market won’t support it. Or if they can’t figure out what to offer at a higher price point finding themselves stuck consistently underpricing themselves.
On the other hand, if you can figure out what to offer at a premium price point and can sell your offering on a regular basis, why make customers go through tiers to ultimately get to your premium offer?
Start with a premium offering and reverse engineer your entry-level offerings something for free or very low-cost like a mini class, ebook, downloadable templates or something similar.
A brilliant feature of Ryan’s work is his red light, yellow light, greenlight process for determining if a market and potential audience are truly viable and worth pursuing.
He’s designed a specific worksheet to aid in this process to aid you as you’re conducting your research.
So a moment ago I said that the completion on your “I want to help people” statement becomes the foundational Bullseye Keyword that you’ll use on Google, Google Trends, Amazon, and some of my own personal suggestions of other tools you can refer to as you’re doing your research. I’ll talk more about in a moment.
This worksheet is where you’ll record your findings. Using three checkpoints total you’ll enter one of your top three keywords and enter into Google and Google Trends to see if there’s what Ryans calls a sweet spot level of interest to continue researching the viability of the market related to that keyword.
So let’s say that one of your keywords was teaching people how to paint with watercolors (may not yield the best or any results in Google Trends just typing “how to paint with watercolors” I entered “watercolor painting” and got better results.
According to Ryan specifically what you’re looking for in Google Trends is an ranking area on the graph in the middle not so high that it’s too much competition making it tougher to get a piece of the saturated pie or so small where’s just not enough interest to make a go of it as a business.
If you find a trend in your area of expertise that’s not too high or too low then Ryan marks that as a Green Light. If it’s too high mark it as a red light, it’s too low it’s yellow.
So assuming we search resulted in a sweet spot area on Google Trends as we did with “Watercolor Painting” then we can move our research over to Amazon and enter the same keyword in Amazon Search and again according to the author what you’re looking for is between 3 and 7 sponsored listings on the first page in Amazon.
He says if it’s a zero to 2 that’s a yellow light, meaning the market may too small and to proceed with caution and if it’s an 8-9 or higher that’s a red light meaning there may be too much competition.
Again anything between 3 to 7 is considered a sweet spot so for our watercolor painting example, on my initial Amazon research I found 6 sponsored listings for books on watercolor painting meaning (according to Levesque) that particular result is considered a sweet spot.
I feel what the authors created here is a perfect roadmap to helping creative entrepreneurs discover their sweet spot. It’s my sincere hope that you’ll use Choose to help you make the best possible business decision to support your creative expression and bank account.
Resources Mentioned In This Episode:
The book “Choose” by Ryan Levesque available on Amazon
Keywords Everywhere (Google Chrome Extension) that reveals in your Chrome Browser popular related keywords and bid amounts
Udemy.com (to explore if courses on the topic you’re considering exists and if so begin copy stalking)
Skillshare.com (another option for researching potential markets and do some copy stalking)
Episode 011: 3 Lessons from My First 60 Days of Running The Podcast (and how you can apply them to every project you create)
Episode 007 : How To Create A Creative Products Business w/Jane Button
Ask: The Counterintuitive Online Method to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want to Buy & Create a Mass of Raving Fans & and Take Any Business to the Next Level by Ryan Levesque
Bonus Video Tutorial:
Research Your Next Profitable Idea Using Google Trends, Google, Amazon, Udemy, and Skillshare
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