If you’ve read this blog before, you know what a fan I am of testing things and making changes. I’m basically a mad scientist when it comes to experimenting with business strategy, always poking and prodding and moving things around to see how they react – all I’m missing is a sweet lab coat and a humpbacked assistant!
So last fall, when I first launched my Social Brilliant program, I naturally couldn’t resist doing a little experimentation on myself. Because hey, what better test subject than your own business, right? Well, here’s what I found – and what it inspired me to do.
Social Brilliant is Born
The whole thing started last year, when I found that other entrepreneurs – including some of the brightest and most successful people I KNOW – were coming to me for social media advice. I’m talking about people who run seven-figure businesses, but didn’t know how to really leverage social media for building and maintaining an audience.
So last November, I launched Social Brilliant, a new course designed to give independent entrepreneurs the tools and direction they need in order to quit wasting time on sloppy strategies and change the way they think about social media marketing. And now, after five months or so, I’ve learned a lot from that experiment – and I’m using what I learned to make Social Brilliant better than ever!
So here’s my case study – an inside peek at what goes on at LKR, how a new product evolves, and what you can do to reshape your own business (even if you’re not a mad scientist like me).
Lesson #1: Don’t learn just from your mistakes…
I’ll admit it – I maybe should’ve seen this one coming.
When I first created Social Brilliant, I designed it as a no muss, no fuss solution to the social media marketing problem. You ever ask someone a question and not get a straight answer? It’s basically the worst, right? So Social Brilliant is designed to be the most straightforward answer possible, giving a step-by-step guide to putting together a strategy and sticking to it. Super simple, super actionable, just, “Here’s what to do and how to do it.” I put everything together in one big, tidy package, put it up on the web, and promoted the heck out of it.
And look, I’m not gonna lie – it went great. People were really into it, because just like all those entrepreneurs I know who had asked me personally what they should do, the people buying Social Brilliant were looking for strategy. Not a bunch of philosophical hooey, but real information they could really use to make social media work for their businesses. And giving them that strategy felt great! But there was one teensy-eensy detail I hadn’t considered – and man, those teensy-eensy details are the ones that always get you, aren’t they?
See, Social Brilliant is the the third major program I’ve created – Creating Fame and Social Media Marketer came first, and they really paved the way for it. When you look at the product pages for both of those programs, you can immediately notice what I did there that I didn’t do for Social Brilliant: Pricing options, right? It may seem like a simple thing, but it’s one that can make a HUGE difference – heck, even the fast food joint gives you the option of getting a bigger soda in your combo!
Both Creating Fame and Social Media Marketer come in different tiers, so that people can choose the version that suits their budget best – it makes them way more accessible for all different kinds of entrepreneurs. With Social Brilliant, though, the whole thing was just ONE product – there was one price, one set of training videos, one set of downloads, and so on, and you had to go all or nothing.
Were people into it? Sure – Social Brilliant really took off. But – BUT! – I’m sure that by skipping the tiered system that had worked for me for years, I missed opportunities. That’s why in revamping Social Brilliant, I’ve now introduced different tiered options, so people can order the version they need at a price that works.
And what does that mean for you? Well, don’t learn just from your past mistakes – learn from your successes, and repeat them at every opportunity! Did you run a promo that scored big with your customers? Did you offer payment plans, or different types of subscriptions? When it comes to marketing strategies, you don’t get points for originality – if something has worked for you in the past, stick with it!
Lesson #2: One size does NOT fit all!
Another thing I learned from the launch experiment is that while the people in your audience may have common goals, not all of them necessarily want to take the same path toward REACHING those goals.
Social Brilliant was originally designed as a sequential series of videos. Unlike Social Media Marketer, which is designed to allow people to jump around and focus on just the lessons most relevant to them, Social Brilliant is meant to be watched in full and in order. In theory, that makes perfect sense – the goal of the program is to provide you with a comprehensive guide to developing your social strategy and seeing it through. In practice, though, that didn’t leave much wiggle room for going at your own pace – you have to commit to watching each video. And let’s face it – while some of us can knock out an entire season of “House of Cards” in one sitting, binge-watching isn’t for everyone!
What I did in preparation for our upcoming relaunch, then, was ditch the one-size-fits-all model and revamp the program to make it more accessible. Now, Social Brilliant is available as an ebook that still comes with all of the worksheets and planners as the full version, so you can more easily take it with you and digest it at your own pace. And since the ebook is included for free with the full version, even if you prefer the videos, you can still refer back to the handy-dandy book version whenever you want – basically, a win/win situation.
When you’re selling a product or service, make sure that you’re thinking not just about the reasons someone would buy it, but the reasons that they wouldn’t. What might hold someone back? Does what you’re offering appeal to as wide an audience as possible? And what can you do to tweak it and eliminate those pain points that could make someone decide against making the commitment to buy?
Lesson #3: Everything changes over time. Everything!
After a few months of analyzing the response to Social Brilliant, I knew it was time to make a change – so I did. End of story! I revamped the product, as as of TODAY, we’re officially offering the bigger, badder version. Simple, right?
Well, like a lot of things, it’s only as simple as you make it. Because the one thing I see all too often is an entrepreneur’s hesitance to change what they’ve already put out into the world. It’s like the product that they’ve already released is the final draft, and it got turned in to the teacher already, so it’s too late to make any changes.
But you know what? That is NOT how this thing works. (Thank goodness!)
Everything changes over time. Products get retooled. They get BETTER. Apple sold its first iPod in 2001, and you know how many versions of that thing have come out since then? Twenty-five. Twenty-five! Because when you release something, you learn more about it – things that you can’t learn UNTIL you release it. That’s why I’m always advocating for taking your first step before you think you’re ready. If you don’t, you could spend your whole life just tweaking a product and never releasing it! If you’re hesitating to put your idea out into the world, whether it’s a product or a service or whatever, it’s time to stop. Because it’s not perfect, and it’s never going to BE perfect until you put it out there. And once you do, you have to be willing to recognize what’s working and what’s not, to make the necessary changes, and to start over again with an even better second effort.
Next Stop: Relaunch, Baby!
So now that you’ve seen how a product gets experimented on and re-released here at LKR…wanna see the results? The brand new Social Brilliant just launched today, and to celebrate, I’m offering it at a sick discount – but that won’t last forever! Take a look and see how we made Social Brilliant even brillianter than ever!