Thinking about selling online? Whether it’s group programs, online courses, or e-books, here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you commit the time, energy and money to the process.
One of my amazing moments of insight came in 2016 when I realized I could take some of my private practice topics and turn them into a product.
Yes, those topics I talked about all the time and the questions I got asked in counseling sessions could be turned into a product that I could sell on my website.
My first product: The Nourished Child Blueprint.
In my mentoring and mastermind programs, where I coach and support other dietitians, I see a desire to sell online, but the idea of what to sell is a big question mark.
Or, a topic is being considered, but is already prominent in the marketplace.
Take picky eating, for instance. How many dietitians (and speech pathologists and occupational therapists…) are already selling picky eating courses? Books? Other products?
Yes, you can sell online. And to sustain a growing business in our increasingly online world, this is a strong consideration for you.
Here are 5 things to consider before you start selling online and devoting hours and hours and gobs of money to create a program or other product:
Is Your Product/Topic Unique to the Market?
While you may feel passionate about certain topics in nutrition, you must do the research to find out if there is competition.
For instance, if you want to support dietitians in media, you’ll find that there are a handful of different programs. Although this validates there’s a market for this topic, there are already a few cooks in that kitchen.
Likewise, if you look for business mentoring or coaching, there are a lot of dietitians offering support.
However, in my case, there are few that offer this specifically for pediatric dietitians.
(Check out my business mentoring options!)
If the market is saturated, think about other topics you have experience or expertise in that aren’t reflected there…yet.
Does Your Product Offer an Interesting Approach or Spin on the Topic?
All is not lost if your topic is already out there. There may be an aspect of your topic that you can highlight.
For instance, if picky eating is your topic, ask yourself (and do the research to find out), what’s missing?
Maybe a fresh angle, like a challenge or a case study approach, would be a new product in the marketplace that would fill a gap.
Additionally, think about your experiences, expertise, and the personal spin you can add to the product to make it stand out from the competition.
Does the Product Align with Your Brand?
Don’t create a product or program that is out of alignment with your brand. It will confuse your customer and dilute the brand awareness you’ve already built.
For instance, if you’re a pediatric diabetes specialist, you’d want to create products that align with diabetes. Not a program on puberty and PCOS.
How Does Your Product Get the End-User Results, and Quickly?
Online courses and programs are the hot trend right now, but is that the product that will serve your customer best?
Is it the best way to get transformation for your customer?
For example, my end-user is parents. They’re busy and not inclined to sit in front of a computer for hours. I know this about them, and have created a variety of products to serve their different needs.
Where does your clientele spend their time? Where and what do they spend their money on?
Even if you do create a course, think about the learner. Do they like to read, watch or listen?
Offer a diverse array of tools that satisfy the needs of your end-user so the learning experience supports the results.
What’s Your Plan for Marketing and Selling Online?
Just because you make it, doesn’t mean they’ll come knocking on your door to purchase it.
Personally, I think this is the hardest part of creating programs and services for customers.
Of course, the ACTUAL creation of a product for selling online is a lot of work, but the marketing and advertising is equally laborious, if not more so.
It’s natural to feel like you’ve accomplished a ton by just creating the product, but the work is not over. If you’re not actively promoting your products and services, you’ll have a hard time seeing sales.
You must have a strategy for promotion that’s geared to the future and steeped into your overall marketing plan for your business.
[Related: 9 Ways to Make Money While You Sleep]
Want Support While You Grow Your Nutrition Business?
If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, not making the money you know you are capable of making, or can’t seem to make the widespread impact your ideas deserve, perhaps taking the ‘big leap’ and hiring a business coach is your next step.
I’ve coached adult, family and pediatric dietitians in my two programs, THRIVE and STRIVE for the last 5 years.
Whether you’re in the early phases of running your own business, or have been doing it for years, I can help you see the possibilities, realize your goals, and keep you accountable along the way.
Watch my mini-trainings for newbie and seasoned nutrition entrepreneurs here!
My programs open in September each year and run for 10 months. If this is just what you need, schedule a discovery call with me today.
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