Do your homework
You need to understand what you’re getting involved with. You need to know the market. Know the people who are buying. Know the people who are selling. And you need to understand fundamentally what people want and or need.
Have realistic goals and expectations
Look at the price points, the amount of sales other creators are getting, and get a feel for where the market is and what it’s craving. Then decide on what you want to accomplish, formulate a plan, and work the problem until you have a solution. That solution is your product.
Don’t launch until you’ve done your due diligence on you’re own product. Header images formatted correctly? Videos all loading? Are your course materials actually there? Don’t trust someone else to handle your job. Check everything and then check it again. You lose a lot of trust when you launch and something isn’t working right. Don’t take a chance.
Design products for one person, not everyone
This sounds counterintuitive, but solving everyone’s problem is the same as solving no one’s problem. If you solve a well defined problem for one person you will solve it for others as well. But when you complicate instead of simplifying you add to the problem instead of taking away from it. Bells and whistles are great when you already have a working product, but launch with a solution, not something that’s just eye candy.
Treat every customer like they’re your last
Every interaction with one of your customers is a chance to build a relationship, make a friend, help make someone’s day a little bit better. You want to leave them better than when they came to you. And you never know what one customer can do to influence your entire business. So don’t take any interaction for granted. Go out of your way to make them glad they reached out to you.
Get involved after the launch
Don’t let your product page turn into a ghost town. I’ve been guilty of doing this myself and it’s not good. People want to know that you’re involved and that you stand behind your work. They want to know that you’re thinking about them and that it was a good decision to trust you with their money. So update your products. Add new pictures. Add new features. Let them know you’re there to help if they need anything. Just do something to let them know that you haven’t taken their money and abandoned them.
Products should only exist to perform a valid function. And that function can’t just be to make you money. You don’t just want to create a good product. You want it to be the best product you’re capable of creating, but in order to make that happen you have to help someone. It’s about shifting the focus from yourself to others needs. Talk to people. Get out of your cave. Ask them how your product could be better and it will be.
Make good art
This one’s pretty simple, but people get so wrapped up in the business side of things that they forget why we’re all here in the first place. To do good work. To create things that help change people’s lives. To make our experience with Blender a better one. Why do we grow so fast? Why are all the other commercial apps and magazines forced to pay attention to us? Because we have the best most passionate community in the 3d graphics industry. We really care about each other. Not just about ourselves. And guess what? The world has noticed. So make good art, and products, and people will see you for who you really are.
Selling is about trust and relationships
This is probably the one reason why so many products are a flop. People try to sell other people. If you’re making great assets or great add-ons then you don’t really need to do a lot of selling. What you need to do is clearly present your solution and then work at building value and giving that out to people. That’s why so many people who are successful give so much away for free. Because they understand that before anyone is willing to buy they have to have a relationship with the seller. They have to trust you and to a certain extent be a fan. First demonstrate your value, then ask for their money.
Create what you know
No matter what your market research tells you it won’t do you any good to create a product solely based on the idea of making money. If you aren’t passionately involved with what you’re creating to sell to other people, and I mean down to your core, then you shouldn’t do it. You need to weed out all of the bad and mediocre ideas and push yourself to go after that one really good idea that you keep coming back to. Don’t settle, always set the bar high and you will come out on top.
The Short of It
People are looking for ways to make their lives better, easier, more fun and so you have to realize that it’s about building trust. This is built through consistently showing people that you know what you’re doing and that you can make their lives better by solving problems. And it’s important not to try to solve everyone’s problems. Start small. One problem. One idea. Simplify the issue. Put yourself into the middle of your product. Because people don’t buy things, they buy you.