#61 Never Be Afraid To Hit The Reset Button

iniartworksmallWhen running your own business you often need to change strategies all the time. You need to never be afraid to hit the reset button.

Sometimes in business and in life you just get an intuitive sense of things, and I have often found that if I acted on those intuitions, acted on that feeling, then most of the time good things will come about. Occasionally, you would believe something or believe that you have felt something and you would realize to discover that it was not true. But the majority of the time, you get a sense of something without fully understanding the entire picture, and that is what happened to me today.

I understand the importance of sending out email broadcast to my list. It is not something that I remember to do on a regular basis. I am trying to do it consistently on Wednesdays, but today is Friday and I had not done one yet. I was listening to a podcast or something and they were talking about email marketing and I am like, “I have a list of 10,000 people. I need to send something out to them. I need to communicate with them, and I need to market my product – my suburb research course.”

I am in the fortunate position now that I have been paid by Ben and I am not in a cash-strap position, and so I do not need to send a thousand-dollar worth of this course within the next week in order to survive or to not have to pull from savings. So I am in that good position, so I decided – I wrote an article, I did an episode about what really drives capital growth or the appreciation in price of a property.

And so I just created an email broadcast about that with the marketing message at the in saying, “If you want to learn how to find areas that are likely to grow, and then check out my course.” And also, if they actually went to the article or went to the episode and watched it, then there is a call to action in that as well. And I sent it out and you know, fairly decent response in terms of opens and click-throughs and stuff like that. But how many sales? Zero.

I got a sale for the suburb research yesterday I think that kind of came out of the blue that may have come from one of my episodes. But all in all, not many sales for this course and I sent out this email, and within a couple of hours I had this intuitive sense that this course is not going to do as well as I have thought. This is not something that I can just market to my list and they will automatically buy. And this is something that is very specific to their situation. And then I have an idea.

I had an idea to reach more customers with my courses because I feel like these courses focused on a particular aspect or particular skill of investing in property, and by keeping them single courses I am only appealing to people who are looking for them right then and there. So if for example the suburb research course, I am only appealing to people who want to go ahead and do suburb research immediately because they are looking at buying a property right now.

So the people who are researching and looking to buy a property right now, that is going to be a small segment of my population, of my user base. So you have property owners, people who have invested in a lot of property, who feel like they know how to research suburbs, they do not want to pay a hundred dollars for a course. And then you have people who are not quite ready to buy yet so they do not feel like it is worth signing up yet. So really, it is just not appealing to enough people and so I had this idea and I realized I was not going to sell this course as much as I thought.

So I decided to do some data diving, which is looking into the data and traffic for my website to begin to understand why are people coming to my website; what do I need to create to sell to people who are then going to buy this suburb research course.

I discovered that a large percentage of my audience were coming to my website looking at things around building a property; and something that I learned through a video series with Ben, who is my buyer’s agent, and we talked about the ins and outs of building a new property. At the end of the course, there was a call to action to getting contact with him and organize a strategy session. And for all the people who went through that course, we discovered that not many people were actually ready to buy, ready to take action, ready to invest; that a lot of these people were actually just in the research phase of their journey and just researching about building a property. They were not necessarily ready to buy one. So this means there is a lot of traffic coming for this particular term, but there is not a lot of money actually being spent by these people, so it is a very small portion of the audience that actually wants to go ahead and buy property.

So I was thinking, “Okay. We have this audience, a large audience that is researching this topic. I know there is not a lot of good information out there because I have written some of it and I have also done the series with Ben. I just know my space, so I know there is not a lot of information out there. So I was like, “Maybe I could take what I did with Ben and create an eBook out of the key aspects of what we talked about and what I learned: so the ins and outs, the most important things to know when building a property.” And so I was like, “Okay. Yeah.” Create an eBook. I could sell this for maybe $9.95 to these people, and I have thousands of people coming each month around this topic. And so I thought $9.95, this is a great thing that I could market.

I could probably sell a couple of these a week. I was not really thinking about how many I would sell, how much I would make for a year, but I was like, this could be something. And I was thinking about what would I include in this eBook, and I wrote down an outline and I was like, I could create a mini-video course, not as high production as I usually do, but that would actually create the content that would then get transcribed, which I could turn into an eBook.

That would be the fastest and the easiest way for me to do that. And so then I am going down this avenue and I am thinking I will sell this eBook with a free course attached to it because that is a value-add. The course will be available for free anyway, but I will package it up and say, “You get the eBook and you get a free course.” And then for some reason – I cannot actually remember the exact moment, but I had the idea in my mind that this course is an extra course that I want to create. All of a sudden I am starting to get quite a lot of courses! I have How to Find Positive Cash Flow Properties.

I have the Suburb Research Course. I am about to create a Property Evaluation Course. I will then have this course and I was thinking, what other courses could I do? There is one on Saving a Deposit, which I get a lot of traffic from, and there is a bunch of other courses that I have thought of; mini courses like How to Increase the Cash Flow of Your Property, How to Do Renovations. There are just so many things that I could create courses on.

And so this is how my thinking is going, how my thought pattern is progressing. And then I am like, this could be a really good membership site in the way that James Schramko talks about it, which is a membership site is kind of like a supermarket. You go to the supermarket and you are never going to buy everything in a supermarket in one visit. However, you know everything that you need is at that supermarket and you often go back to that supermarket over and over again to get the things you need as you need them.

And so in the same way you can create a membership site that is a buffet, that is like Netflix, that has all of these potential things that you could want and you can then just go in as a customer and you can just access the things that you need. And I was thinking about this and thinking about the courses that I wanted to create and I am like, this would be awesome to get people over the barrier, who do not need a course in their specific situation right now. So I am thinking, people who do not need to do suburb research right now might not buy the Suburb Research Course but they might buy access to a membership site that has a whole bunch of courses in it including Suburb Research.

So Suburb research adds to the value of that membership site but they are not buying it for that specific situation. But then you also have people who want specifically to learn about how to do suburb research, I can say. “Look, this course is available inside this membership site. You just sign up and you get access to the course that you want.” So it kind of reaches out to people who do not necessarily want that exact course right now. And then also, it serves the purpose and the need of the people who want to get access to that course and want to solve that problem. So that is a massive plus.

And then I have also been thinking about the thousand true fans theory, which you guys may have heard of. If you have not, simply google thousand true fans, and this is the idea that an artist, that a creator does not need a massive global following in order to generate a decent income. If they have a thousand true fans, and these are the people that would come to every one of their shows, buy every one of their albums or artworks or whatever it may be. If someone had a thousand true fans that they could get to spend $100 a year with them, that would be $100,000 a year, and that would be a decent income. It is not a a multi-million dollar business but it is a decent income for a lot of people.

And so I have really been inspired by these thousand true fans, and my passion really does lie around providing high quality, low value products to the market. I get off being generous. I get off on pricing my products low. I get off on people saying, “Why are you charging so little for your products?” And I get off on just shocking the market because I can and because of who I am as a person, that I can give generously and I can do it because I do not need the money. And so in an ideal world for me, I would offer everything that I offer in On Property, the listings, the tools, all of that sort of stuff.

In a perfect world, I would love to offer everything for just $10 per month, and to have a thousand true fans and $100,000 and bygones be bygones, and then that would be it for me. I do not have the ability to do that at the moment because of the revenue needs of my business as well as the revenue needs of my family. But definitely if my site scaled to a point where I could do that that would definitely be something that I would want to do.

But then I thought, “Hey, if I tack this course onto Property Tools, which is my Property Calculator, where people are already paying $5 a month; and I have about 75 members that I have built over the last 3 or 4 months in there. If I added the courses onto this, change of pricing from $5 a month to $10 a month, then that is the exact amount that I would need to work towards that thousand true fans. And so that is exactly what I did. Today, I changed my sales page. I changed my pricing, and I set up the membership site to also contain these courses. And I launched the new version of Property Tools.

I did not tell anyone about it. I updated my homepage; just put an announcement on my homepage announcing the new version of Property Tools where you get access to all of these. And I am happy to announce that I launched it, as I am recording this – it is 8:30 PM; it probably went live about 4:00 PM. I have made my first sale within a couple of hours. My first $9.99 per month from one of my one thousand true fans has come through.

That was super exciting to see, super exciting to get that feedback and to get that instantaneous customer. And also, I just feel like I am passionate about this. I feel like this is really valuable. I feel like I know what I am offering is awesome, and as I build this up and as I build up more and more courses, really, you do become like the Netflix of the property industry. That would be something that could be really, really exciting. Netflix in Australia, I would not go with anyone else because Netflix just has such a wide variety of things. They have awesome documentaries. They have awesome Netflix show.

There is no point going with anyone else. I think if I can build up this repertoire of property information at such an affordable price, eventually people would be subscribed and they would be, “Why will I go anywhere else when I have access to all these information from Ryan at On Property and all the courses in there for $10 a month. Why would I pay $2,000 to do a course? Why would I go somewhere else when I can stick here?”

So within the space of a day, or a couple of hours, I went from trying to promote a course to completely changing the pricing model and the way that I am selling my products. And really, it is a move back to what I previously had in On Property where everything was bundled in there, which is a bit strange because I just moved away from that a couple of months ago and unbundled everything. And now I am bundling it all back together again. The listings are still separate but everything else – the teachings and the tools, are now bundled together.

So maybe in the future I will unbundle them again, once I add more and more courses, and if the community grows, then I could unbundle the tools again. But at the moment it is good to have the tools bundled in there because it is just  a better excuse for people to stay subscribed for $10 a month because that is the only way they could get access to that calculator. They cannot just go in, download all the content, and then leave because then they will not be able to use the calculator. So by having the calculator in there is encouraging people to stay and as I have said, like eventually if I get enough courses in there and it is Netflix where there is this buffet of content available, then maybe I can unbundle it again in the future.

But that is where I am at now, I am very excited, hoping to drive this forward. I am glad I do not need revenue straight away, and so I can work towards getting more and more customers at this $10 a month price range and work towards eventually getting a thousand true fans and a thousand customers at $10 per month and make about $100,000 a year. I will be very, very happy with that. I could go on and live my life and would not have to worry about things. So that is where I am at.

I hope things are moving forward in your business. One of the things me and my wife always say to each other is to never be afraid to hit the reset button; and in a way that is what I have done today. So I just want to encourage you, no matter how far you have gotten down a path in terms of your pricing strategy or the products that you are creating, never be afraid to hit the reset button, or to backtrack, or to change strategy. So I wish you the best of luck in your business and until next time, if you want instructions, go and buy some furniture.

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