Reputation is one of those elusive, hard-to-define aspects of our businesses. As Ben Franklin said, it takes consistent effort to build a good one and very little to lose it. One of the ways in which an entrepreneur builds her reputation is through the quality of the programs and products she provides to her clients.
“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”
Today’s article looks at the planning process for creating a new program or product. Following are three things to consider when planning for a new product:
Who is your intended audience?
What do you want your client to accomplish?
How are you going to address the many learning styles of adults?
Consideration #1: Who is your intended audience?
When creating a program or product, you need to know exactly who you want to reach.
So, consider the following:
Who are your primary clients? Newbies to creating a business? Women who recently moved from corporate to working for themselves? Professionals who went out into practice on their own? Mothers creating a business using skills they perfected prior to having children? Women who have been in business for several years who are ready to up level their businesses? There are similarities and differences between each of these groups, but the most important thing is for you (and them) to know exactly who your product or program is for.
Determine the common issue or skill you want to address before creating your program or product. In addition, you will vary your presentation depending on whether or not your intended audience is familiar with the concept you will be discussing or if they have heard the terms a few times but have never applied them to their own business.
Consideration #2: What do you want your client to accomplish?
Remember those in-service trainings you used to go to while on the j.o.b.? One of the first things you would find in the handouts would be a list of goals and objectives. You need to create this yourself as you think through your next product.
So, have you thought through your how your product will help your clients achieve their goals?
For example, your product could help your client identify her niche. Or your product could focus on how she develops a marketing program for the first three months of the year.
Start your planning for any product with an overall objective and then break it down into five or seven steps with associated goals. If you aren’t clear about what you want to accomplish, you can’t give your client a clear path to follow from beginning to end. Without a clear path, your client will never get to the end – or will get to a different destination than you had in mind when you created the program.
Consideration #3: How are you going to address the many learning styles of adults?
And what about adult learning styles? Adults learn in a variety of ways. Some depend on reading something new, pen or highlighter in hand so they can mark up the material as they go. Others only have time to learn while on the road and depend on audio files. Many need access to both. Some adults are very intuitive and get frustrated with the addition of too many details. Others need to have every step clearly explained or they give up before getting started.
Give some thought to how you are going to present your topic so that people with different learning styles can get the benefits of your product and use it successfully. Where ever possible, offer audio recordings, text/print documents and checklists, and visual diagrams or process maps to help as many people as possible get the full impact of your work.
A well-structured and organized product will lead your client to success. A successful client will extoll your virtues as a coach, make more referrals, and stick with you for future programs and products. A client who gets lost in your materials and gives up before finishing them will not only choose to spend her money elsewhere in the future, she won’t hesitate to tell others not to waste their money buying anything of yours.
Mary Lou Stark created Your Info Product Development Gal to help speakers, coaches and therapists increase their income and strengthen client loyalty. As an Information Product Strategist she mines her clients’ brilliance to help them develop powerful and profitable information products. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary Extraordinary Products, Extraordinary Results Exploratory Session.