Stock Market Product LaunchIt’s 9.22am on Friday 28 January 2011 and it’s felt like a very long month so far!

I think there are two main reasons for this:

1. The dark, cloudy and rainy days here in London, UK.

2. I’ve been working super hard on creating a new product for the stock market niche.

Now, I could talk all about the weather but I’m guessing that you’d probably prefer to hear about the product creation process I’ve been going though.

I hope so because in this post I’d like to share with you how this product came about, what I’ve learnt so far and the challenges ahead as I move closer to launch.

Why Am I Involved In The Stock Market Niche?

First a disclaimer: Before I went full-time as an internet marketer in September 2010 I was employed in the financial services industry as a portfolio manager. I say this because I think it is fair that you should know that I did enter this niche with a reasonable amount of knowledge and experience of the relevant subject matter.

So, I guess you could argue that I did have somewhat of a head start with this particular project.

However, I truly believe that you absolutely do not have to have prior knowledge of any niche to achieve success. There are numerous examples of this and also several great techniques for “becoming an expert” (and crucially being perceived as one) in just a matter of weeks!

If you are interested in learning more about this then I’d highly recommend the excellent 4-Hour Work Week in which Tim Ferriss shows you exactly step-by-step how you can do it.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let me address why I really did decide to go into this niche.

As with many good ideas, this one had its genesis inside a bar! My friend John suggested that we could put together a home study training course and sell it online to people who are keen to learn how to start trading the stock market from home.

At first I was not keen. I know this might sound a little surprising but I had just spent many years in the financial services industry and had, only months before, decided to do something completely different in my life (internet marketing).

Despite this I thought carefully about the prospect and began researching existing stock market training products online.

Pretty quickly, I realized three things:

1. Most of the other courses on the market seemed to be based upon very similar types of trading techniques. It seemed like product creators were often sticking to similar investment strategies and were driven more by marketing than by actually providing innovative new ideas in their product offerings.

2. The majority of products seemed to be in text format. Either series of PDF files or physical hard copy training manuals.

3. Existing products were being sold in the $300-$1500 price range.

So I came to the conclusion that not only could we deliver a superior product to the market in a different way but this also had the potential for becoming a very profitable business venture.

To cut a long story short John and I teamed up and started to design our training course….

What Exactly Is The Product That I Am Creating?

As I mentioned earlier, the product is a home study stock market training course. It is aimed at people who have no prior knowledge of the stock market but are keen to learn how to trade profitably from home.

As most of the existing offerings are in text format, I decided it would be a great idea to deliver a video training series as well. I explained the virtues of video marketing in a recent video post and this seemed like the ideal opportunity to use video to make our product stand out from the crowd.

So the plan emerged to create a text manual alongside a 14-part video course.

What Were The First Steps In The Product Creation Process?

The first step was to create the entire course as a draft, like this:

1. I made a detailed plan of the course.

2. I split this plan up into what seemed like logical segments. These segments represented the individual chapters and video episodes which were required to teach the entire course.

3. John wrote the first draft of the manual and I created the first draft of the video course.

It is interesting to look back and see that steps 1 and 2 actually took around 3 weeks but step 3 only took 2 weeks!

Having never produced a course of this nature before I have realised that most of the work is in the planning. With all the foresight in the World there will always be things that need changing, moving around or – in our case – completely replacing!

However, once a plan has been developed then it is relatively easy to execute it. This is, of course, only the case if the plan is highly detailed, well thought out and complete.

How Am I Going To Promote It?

Separate to this project, the various niche websites that I own all exclusively rely on getting traffic from the search engines. In other words, you could say that they are a “one trick traffic pony” of 100% Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)!

In contrast, our stock market product is being promoted via Joint Venture (JV) relationships and almost no SEO is involved at all.

The point of forming JV partnerships is to overcome the fact that I do not have an e-mail list in the stock market niche.

Essentially, the deal is as follows: The JV partners promote our product to their email lists in return for a slice of the profits.

The amount of commission that is required to do this really depends upon factors such as the price, perceived quality of your product, the conversion rate (if it has been sold previously) and, of course, how well you can negotiate!

However, as with all information products there is a one off cost of production which you incur up front in the form of time and/or money when you create the product. It costs very little to sell an extra unit of the product so it really makes sense to offer a decent amount of commission to JV’s and affiliates to entice them to promote.

Keep in mind that this is the reason that commission rates tend to be so high for information products. It is not uncommon at all to see commission rates well in-excess of 50% on for example.

What Challenges Lie Ahead As We Approach The Launch Date?

rocket launchingAs things currently stand the drafts of the manual and video course are complete.

The next step is to launch the product to a small number of people (beta testers). This will be done by selecting a sample of previous customers from the email list of our main JV partner.

This will enable us to gain valuable comments on what we have created so far. We can then use this feedback to make refinements, fix problems and hopefully improve the quality of the overall training course.

In short, our job is to make sure that the value of our product is greater than the price people pay for it.

Although the beta testing will take a few weeks and effectively delay the launch date it is well worth doing as it increases our chances that we massively over deliver in the promises that are contained in our marketing.

As I type this post I am about half way through this product launch process. If things go according to schedule then I hope we can launch the product in mid-March.

Having never done this before, it’s a great learning curve for me. And I’m keen to share as much as I can with you.

For this reason I will update you on how things are going as we move closer to the launch date, so please do stay tuned!

In the meantime, if you have any questions or thoughts I’ve love to hear from you in the comments section below.