Build Breakthrough Business Offers with Online Business Mastery Framework
Last time, we discussed Online Business Mastery framework as a whole, which consists of four key areas. Offer, Traffic, Conversion and Support Systems. The framework captures everything you need to know to get started, grow and scale your online businesses. Of course, you have to be willing to put in the required work upfront to make this real for you. If you have not watched the introductory video, I strongly suggest you do so before this one to build some context.
Anyhow, today I am going to discuss OFFERs. OFFER means a product or a service that you provide to your target marketplace. With online businesses, you want to focus on niche products and niche markets, i.e. markets that are not too big and not too small. Now, these products or services could be your own or you could be promoting other people’s products as an Affiliate where you earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you help make. Now, with affiliate marketing, you don’t have to build the product, you simply monetize your traffic by promoting others. Well, that’s also the downside of affiliate marketing is that you didn’t build the product you’re promoting so you don’t get to control product quality or customer experience. Anyhow, for online business products, I’d suggest that you start with an income goal in mind. You may ask why? Because there is a big difference in building a 5 or a 6-figure business versus a 7-figure business. As an example, self-publishing business with Amazon Kindle would allow you to build may be 5 or a 6-figure business but I have yet to know one person who makes 7-figure income with an all-Kindle business. On the other hand, with Amazon FBA, your odds of building a 7-figure business are much higher because there are enough people out there who have done so– in fact, in one of the recent interviews, Jeff Bezos claimed that FBA has over 100,000 sellers with each turning over $100,000 in yearly sales. Now, if FBA selling works for you, then that carries much higher odds of creating a 7-figure business. Anyhow, in order to build a great business, you need to either build or buy a great product. No amount of funding or marketing spend will buy you market success with a bad product, if anything, it may actually help it fail faster. Now, you may not have read or heard a lot about of failed products, because as a society, we have programmed ourselves to only celebrating successes. But there have been many epic failures and belly flops from small businesses (or startups) as well as large corporations. Let me give you some examples. You may have heard about Apple’s Newton PDA from the early days of web, HD-DVDs peddled by Toshiba, Facebook Home app, Windows Vista, Watermelon Oreos, and an all-time winner Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Now, speaking from my own experience, I recall my very first online business product was a miserable failure with only two paid customers and it only lasted about two months before I shut it down.
Building great products is hard and there is no training available that would turn you into an entrepreneur who only cranks out blockbuster products. Just because you use a lot of products and have opinions about them, doesn’t qualify you to be a great product builder. There are no hard and fast rules to building great products, however there sure are some principles and practices that you can follow to improve your odds of success. So, what are they? Numero uno (Number one), build a product for which there is a market. You may say, thanks for the breakthrough thought Afaq. Let me tell you that it is not as straightforward as it sounds. Why? Because as humans, we have an innate tendency for wishful thinking. So, once you feel you have a great product idea you need to come up with your product vision – i.e. your product core values or benefits, who your target audience is and how your product will impact them, i.e. problem solution what have you. Remember, your observations matter but you are not your own customer. You need to sidestep your biases and put yourself in your customer shoes. What am I talking about? Intuition is not enough so validate your product with your target market. Ask your customer, if he or she would use your product and more importantly pay for it. If initial in-person customer interactions are positive, you can cast a bigger net using online surveys and gather more data and facts to fine tune your product research with your customer base.
Now, let me walk you through two very different but related examples, one for Amazon FBA and one for Amazon Kindle. Let’s say you want to build a brand around Yoga products, i.e. yoga mats, blocks and what have you. Now, I am using this example just to get my points across, any major product relating to yoga is not a “niche market” as far as Amazon is concerned. Anyhow, based on your own intuition or in-person observation (or perhaps you analyzed Amazon product reviews of major yoga brands), you come to conclusion that yogis are not satisfied with the existing yoga mats, Why? Existing mats are not reversible, not thick or long enough. Cool. So, What would be the next step? You might wanna drop by your local yoga gym to do some face to face interviews to discover if your hypotheses are true or not. If they are, you would want to craft a survey or set of questions and post them on yoga Reddit (/r/yoga) or another forum or internet board of your choice for validation. You can also create a Facebook page and buy some Facebook Ads targeting yogis to run those surveys. Regardless of the approach, based on what you find out in those responses, you need to prioritize the most urgent problems first. After you have all the necessary product research data, you need to carefully analyze the competition and your odds of carving out a space based on your brand or product differentiation. To complete this example and assuming your odds were positive, you can now go to Alibaba to find suppliers who can build those custom mats for you and place a small trial order. For your reference, this product would be known as Minimal Viable Product or MVP. The purpose here is to allow you to establish product/market fit, something we discussed in detail in the online business mastery framework introductory video. Now, just for fun, “yoga mat” as a keyword, is searched on Amazon about 200,000 times a month so that is NOT a niche product OK. Building a successful business involving physical products, Amazon or using your own website, requires you to deeply understand your product use lifecycle, average return/refund rates, inventory management and what have you. Now, let me summarize. Most businesses make or break on researching the product idea or getting to a product/market fit. Amazon FBA with physical products requires upfront capital so stakes are higher. Avoid mainstream markets and focus on creating strong brand and product differentiation within niche markets. You must private label your products, as price arbitrage is nothing but race to zero as far as your margins are concerned on Amazon. Success with Amazon FBA also requires deep understanding of your product cost structure so you can anticipate your profit margins. Moving on.
Now, let’s say you want to publish a kindle book on Yoga. With Kindle non-fiction publishing, key is to find a profitable niche or a gap which you can bridge with something valuable for your target audience. So, for yoga, during your research, you want to focus on long-tail keywords that would offer you just the right amount of competition, not too low and not too high. Why? Just like FBA, your goal is to dominate a niche, which in case of Kindle means to have multiple books that are featured within the Top-100 best sellers for your categories. Amazon Kindle is very different ball game than FBA. With FBA, you can find the sales volume with a lot more certainty using the inventory or stock available by a given seller (or use a tool such as JungleScout that allows you to do so). For Kindle, there is no definite way to correlate Best Seller Ranks or BSRs to a corresponding sales volume. At Private Label Mastery dot com, Our Kindle Niche Hunter Tool allows you to make an educated guess at the sales volume along with bunch of other analytics using our proprietary algorithm that you may find helpful. Now, during your keyword research, just play around with various keywords such as “yoga for <blah>”. During my quick research for this video, I found multiple long-tail keywords such as “yoga for seniors”, “yoga for beginners”, “yoga for children”, “yoga for healthy aging” with search volume of around 500 to 1000 a month or so. You can also combine those keywords for finding sort of niche within a niche, say “yoga for beginner’s seniors”. Common traits of a good publishing niche include categories where answers are not black and white and there is space for more than one solution, such as “Business and Money” or “Self-Help” and where best sellers do not have very low BSR values (or very high sales volume). Once you have settled on a profitable niche and a topic, you need to craft a credible manuscript that is written and edited well. Of course, you can always use a ghostwriter and a professional editor to perform those tasks for you. In my view, “Business and Money”, “Health, Fitness and Dieting”, “Self-help” and “Travel” make for best niches for non-fiction self-publishers. I’d stay away from fiction, unless that’s your calling and you consider yourself a literary genius. Now, let me summarize. With Kindle publishing, it all starts with a profitable niche with a right amount of sales volume, coupled with solid execution on manuscript and publishing a fit and finished book. There are zero upfront capital requirements with Kindle eBooks, which makes it a perfect offer for starters. Single biggest mistake that you can do with Amazon Kindle is to rush your product without due diligence on manuscript and or formatting or perhaps publish it with a lousy cover. Whether you do Amazon FBA or Kindle publishing, you must remember that positive “Reviews” are lifeline for sales on Amazon, and likewise negative reviews are kiss of death. What does that mean for you? You must have a strong product offer and a review system in place that helps you earn positive reviews and of course complies with Amazon TOS.
Now, last but not least, I invite you to come and join me on this journey by checking out my Online Business Mastery Course where I teach these principles and practices including Amazon FBA and Kindle offers so you can also build your financial dream and begin to live the Life on your own terms. I wish you best of luck and look forward to seeing you on the inside. Thanks.