overcomplicate thingsI’m not one for making outlandish predictions but in this post I’m going to make an exception.

I predict that you suffer from the same trait that I do:

The ability to take a simple idea and vastly overcomplicate it to the point that you never get it done.

Even though I’ve successfully created, published and made money from over 10 online products, there are far more products, blog posts, emails, upsells and general promotions that have never seen the light of day because of my ability to overcomplicate things.

It’s not good, it’s frustrating and also costs money!

The good news is that I’m steadily getting better. Although I know of no overnight cure I hope that some of the ideas I share with you in this blog post will help you with this too (like I said, I’m assuming you suffer from this too!).

Let’s take things back to basics and assume that you are just starting out with a brand new web business with no products and no email list.

Goal number one is to build your list because that’s the fastest route to ongoing, consistent income online ever.

To do this you can either:

1) Drive traffic to a squeeze page and give something away for free such as a report, interview, cheat sheet etc

2) Create, license or outsource a product and sell it. All the buyers go onto your list.

Let’s assume you decide to take the second option and look at how you could do this the easy and fast way verses the over-complex, slow way:

Over-complex and slow way:

  • Look to build a multi-module training course that is the best on the market
  • Aim for a mid-tier price point at around $97-$297
  • Worry about whether you are really enough of an “expert” to be doing this anyway
  • Plan your time out over the next 2 months split between research and writing/recording videos etc
  • Spend time considering which WordPress theme and membership plugin to use
  • Get fatigued about the content creation process after a few weeks and find it tough going.
  • Is this really going to sell anyway?
  • Decide to shelve the project “for now” and consider your options.

The fast and easier way:

  • Look at popular products already out there in Clickbank, JVZoo, etc
  • Buy a few and get a feel for the hot topics and issues that exist in the market
  • Think about how you can get something created fast along the same kind of lines
  • Think about a simple, low priced (e.g., $8-$27), easy to produce product that serves the primary purpose of putting buyers on your list
  • Forget membership plugins and premium WordPress themes. Instead decide to deliver your product as a zip file which can be handled automatically by affiliate networks like JVZoo, WarriorPlus, Clickbank

Hypothetical Case Study

A few days ago I noticed a new and popular product by a very well known marketer which is all about getting more people on your list to open your emails and click on your links.

It’s essentially a 1 page PDF with a list of short tips on writing headlines, body copy, link anchor text and so on.

It’s sold cheap (around $10) so it’s ideal for list building purposes (i.e., sell ’em cheap = more sales = more buyers on your list).

Now, is this the first product on email marketing? Absolutely not! This topic has been cover countless times by other products in the past.

Equally, it won’t be the last product on email marketing either. It’s a topic which has evergreen appeal and people are always interested in learning extra tips, tricks and fresh, more up to date information.

So, based upon all this here’s a plan:

STEP 1: Write a template email asking for “your top 3 best performing email tips/tricks over the last 12 months”.

STEP 2: Send this template email to 30 top email marketers (from any niche) and offer them a link to their site in the product as a thank you for their contribution.

STEP 3: Compile the responses in Word or Open Office and save as a PDF.

STEP 4: Create a sales letter explaining to prospects that they can get their hands on “30/40/50 of the very best, top converting, money making yet staggeringly simple email secrets that have helped these 10/20/30 email professionals earn hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past 12 months”. You can outsource the copywriting if you prefer but it’s a good skill to learn yourself. Push the benefits, tell the story of the project, use bullet points to hint at some of the email tactics etc.

STEP 5: List the product on JVZoo or WarriorPlus and price it low, $7-$12 perhaps and offer at least 75% commission to affiliates – remember list building is the priority!

STEP 6: Create a new list in your autoresponder (I use and recommend Aweber). Integrate this list into Warrior Plus or JVZoo (takes minutes and is straightforward).

STEP 7: Zip up the PDF and have JVZoo or WarriorPlus deliver it directly to the customers. This way it’s easy for them and you don’t need to worry about WordPress themes and membership plugins.

STEP 8: A week before launch contact all the contributors to your product. Offer them a review copy and ask, “Do you think your subscribers would be interested in the product?”. In my experience quite a few will come back and agree to promote. Others won’t respond and some will be on the fence (e.g., “I’m not sure whether I have room in my mailing schedule” and similar excuses). For the ones on the fence, reply and say “thank you for considering, it would be great if you could make a recommendation but I appreciate your schedule is tight so here’s your affiliate link and I’ll also bump up your commission to 100%”. In a lot of cases this is enough to tip them off the fence and I’ve done it a number of times 😉

Now this is a general plan which can work for all sorts of different products. But the key advantages are that:

  • You don’t get bogged down in long winded product creation (a certain killer if it’s your first product)
  • You don’t have to be an expert in anything (experts provide the knowledge and you can leverage their successes instead of yours)
  • It can be done pretty quickly – I’ll let you gauge this but do you think you could do it in 4-6 weeks working part time?
  • The promotional side is built into the model (i.e., encourage the contributors to promote plus it’s high commission encouraging other affiliates who may wish to join the party!)

I hope this example helps to see things a little more clearly in terms of how important it is not to over complicate things.

As I said, I do suffer from this myself and I plan on continuing to get better. If you are starting out it’s ever more important, crucial in fact, that you do the same. there is plenty of time later to take on big projects with more fancy technology but why not keep it super simple to start with?

My recommendation is that when you feel the vortex of complexity start to drag you in you simply do what it says in the title of this post:

Stop and ask yourself, “How Can This Be Done Faster & Easier?”

If you are interested in more help and support with product creation then check out our new Product Creation Central section within the Gain Higher Ground members area. Loads more detail, examples and real life cases studies there too. If you aren’t currently a member and would like to find out more, here’s the sales page.

Would love to hear your comments and thoughts on this topic! If you found it useful please SHARE/LIKE/TWEET and use the form below to air your views… Kind regards, Rob 🙂