BBO.SHOW #24 – Four ways to beat the competition in your new niche
Hey Harms here, thanks for watching today’s show, if you have not yet then…
What you will learn in today’s show:
The focus area is: Business niche.
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Only if you want to I guess,
Harms: Up to today you could have identified a niche market and a way to solve that market’s problem based on the exercises we have given you and the theory behind that.
We had you work out in which way to solve that market’s problem, how to provide value to them specifically based on typical value forms and again we’re leveraging the personal MBA Josh Kauffman’s theory behind this and we selected three for you to get started with.
Those three were products, subscriptions, and services in that order.
The reason for creating it in that order is this value ladder here.
Kyle: Remember this is the final step of the process of working out our business.
Today we’re going to be looking at what the competitors are doing, what they’re already provided to this market.
We proved that there is a market so now we’re going to be looking and seeing what value is already out there.
How are the market’s problems already being solved and we’re going to be using this as a jumping off point.
The whole idea here is we’re going to be looking at how our competitors are solving the market’s problems and we are going to be working through a series of steps to work out how we can better solve those problems.
How can we make it easier or faster for our customers and for the market to get to the end result?
How can we do better than what the competitors are already doing out there?
Then from that point, once we’ve worked out how we’re going to do better, wow we are going to more efficiently solve our markets problems then we’re going to start plugging these products and services, subscriptions into our first version of the value ladder.
Our hope is by the end of this guide you should have a very clear statement of this is the market, this is the problem, and this is how I’m going to solve it and have your value ladder with different products, subscriptions and services in place, all of which are going to be created in order to solve the problems of the people in the market.
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What’s already working? Don’t need to reinvent the wheel here
Harms: Let us identify what is already working because we don’t have to reinvent the wheel here.
Now if you are of a natural, entrepreneurial, creative tendency, a natural problem solver, the reality is you would have already gone out to solve something or by Wednesday, Thursday, you would have started to write down exciting ideas.
But let’s take a step back as we want to give you a structure and a system that works, and a way for you to again take the guesswork out of things.
The way we do that is by looking at what already is working, but some people may say that means I’m going to copy what they’re doing and the answer is no.
We’re going to look at what’s working, but answer the problem and provide a solution in a different way to help serve it could be the same customers or it could be customers that are currently not being served within that market space and that will help identify what you as in me or Kyle, you the person who is going to be starting a business can specifically bring in terms of a solution to the problem to the market.
That is how you start to differentiate yourself, let’s work through a process and a system to see what’s already working.
Kyle: By solving similar problems to what your competitors are already solving but solving them in your particular way, you’re automatically going to have a unique product.
You’re going to have different stories and backgrounds.
You have different ways of explaining and consulting or teaching.
Depending on what your product is. Myself I tend to create things that are extremely systematic and logical. That’s just my style.
That’s how I like to create products for other people it would be more emotional they’ll be able to engage their customers in an emotional way and even if I’m teaching or producing a product that is solving a similar problem, my product is going to end up being different to the product that somebody comes at it from a more emotional engagement point of view.
We will be solving the same problem, but our products are going to be totally different because of who we are and the personality we will personally put into our products.
Harms: you’ll also have a mechanism which you can improve on what’s already out there by using four factors which also doesn’t necessarily have to involve you.
Because the other argument is I have got my own personal way of doing something that is applicable.
But we may not know how to get that across to the customer, so we’re going to share with you four key mechanisms in which you can actually get across the fact that you are different to the end customer and you are different to what is out there in the market, without having to convince I’m a more systematic person, I will come at this in an engaging way.
All that they will start to see and my personal thought as the brand grows, that becomes obvious to them and future customers.
But if you’re starting this from scratch there has got to be more of a formulaic approach to how we do this.
The first exercise within the section to do is simply this.
We want to see what products are currently out there in the three categories we spoke about and those three categories are product, subscription, service.
Kyle what is the actual activity to do when looking within these three categories?
Kyle: We are just doing a survey at this point.
We want to see what the landscape is, how competitors are, how other people in the market are solving the problems of their potential customers.
For products pretty simple you’d head onto Amazon first so you’re looking for specific e-books, are people selling e-books?
You can search within the Kindle or the book section of Amazon and all you’re doing is plugging in, in this example, backyard chickens, or whatever your niche is and you will see all of the products.
All of the e-books and books that are being produced.
You can do exactly the same thing with courses and then for services and subscriptions you’d probably use Google, but all we’re doing at the moment we are not doing an exhaustive competitive analysis.
We are simply seeing what is out there.
We are noting it down with a rough price point, you may want to do a deep dive later but right now I recommend you just stick them on Post-it notes and start to group them together.
That’s all we’re doing at the moment it is a survey.
Harms: Then I recommend getting a piece of paper and drawing this value ladder out and you can do it in three columns, a funnel however you prefer.
Now title the sections product, subscription service because what we want to then do is take these Post-it notes e and start to put them and place them in different parts of the value ladder.
We mentioned backyard chickens. We identified that this is one potential profitable niche and when we say backyard chickens that applies to any niche that you’ve identified at this stage.
So start to put the Post-it notes in these particular sections so we can start to visually see the value ladder.
But not just your value ladder at this stage, but the competitive value ladder that is out there in the world, Amazon, Google. Again not a deep dive, but a quick search.
If it’s hard for your customer to find you don’t have to worry about it, so just look at the surface stuff that’s available on Amazon and Google.
Let’s assume they’ve got the value ladder.
They’ve done their quick scan research on product, subscription, services they’ve put it on Post-it notes and they’ve started to populate their own value ladder visually.
Kyle: As we’ve gone through we already know there’s a market already, people are already making money in this market, what may not have happened in this particular niche, there may not be a good value ladder in place.
What you tend to see is individual businesses will sell one product or they will sell one service, and they won’t necessarily be able to talk to the whole market and solve the markets problems in a step-by-step fashion which is something we talked about as a valuable way to address your markets problems.
Kyle: So when you draw out this chart. When you start sticking Post-it notes on what products and services, subscriptions are already out there, you will see physical gaps on the paper.
There will be parts of this value ladder that do not have very many Post-it notes.
They do not have many products or services addressing this stage of value ladder.
What you tend to see is lots of stuff at the low end and lots of stuff at the high end.
The mid-ground tends to be left out, but it’s going to depend on your niche and your market, you will see different patterns.
But we’re going to look at different ways to find gaps, but this is the most direct, it is literally nobody is doing a video course this year.
There are people selling a service to help you do this, but nobody is doing the course use and you can physically see that on the page.
Harms: The best way to start to see gaps is that if you look at these smaller words ebook, course, membership, digital subscription membership, physical subscription, events, group, consultancy, coaching.
Those were examples of what would typically fall into a product, subscription, service within that value ladder.
So now if you want to take this to the next level and start to identify the gaps quickly on paper start to categorise them into these elements.
Then you can start to see gaps within that value offering, I mean product, subscription, service.
The next phase of this determining on how we can better serve the market or how do we even enter the market in the first place is, now we’ve physically seen the gaps we can start to work out how to better serve the market.
Solving problems better than anyone else.
Kyle, how can we serve the market better?
Solving problems “better” than anyone else
Kyle: Before we can better solve the problems of our market, we need to know how our competitors are already solving those problems.
We need a benchmark.
That’s why we started by having a look at what competitors are doing.
We have identified big glaring physical gaps in the market in the value ladder and that gives you a massive focus area, but apart from that, we can also start to look at the reviews of the current products.
The feedback of the current products Amazon is a really good place for reviews just because they collect a lot of reviews for products in particular.
Trust Pilots are good for services and each niche will tend to have a forum or somewhere where the people in the market hang out and discuss things.
It might be a Facebook group but if you look up your competitor’s name, the name of the product plus review on Google, you tend to find people discussing the pros and cons of the various offerings.
Harms: A note of warning when doing this, which is something to be aware of is when analysing reviews, when analysing people’s description in forums, etcetera a good rule of thumb is to ignore the extremes.
You ignore anybody who is rating things five stars.
There are two reasons for that one is they’re very excited.
Yes, they love the product great. They love the product just so much that they can’t see anything bad with it, or maybe they just had a fantastic experience. But that’s one kind of extreme behaviour the whole five-star behaviour.
The other danger with a five-star review is it’s very easy to get fake five-star reviews, how do we know if they’re genuinely legitimate?
Amazon may have mechanisms, but there are very smart, intelligent people out there which can bypass things short-term to stack a whole bunch of five-star reviews.
The other extreme is the zero stars of one, two stars.
These people are typically classed as haters or somebody who is extremely upset and the reality is those people are exactly the same as five-star people. They just feel a different extreme.
They have either had a terrible experience, or they feel like they’ve been ripped off or they are again a competitor trying to claw down another competitor.
What I would say is very simply that for those particular reasons, avoid the one and two stars and avoid the five stars.
They are people who are either too happy which is a bad thing in this case or too angry, which is also a bad thing in this case.
Where to focus is in between the three and four stars where somebody is giving you a rational, realistic review.
That gives us pros and cons.
Kyle: The best ones are longer reviews where someone writes out their reasons that’s a goldmine for you entering the market.
If it’s a three or four star review it tends to be much more thought out because you have to go through a thought process before you give something three stars.
That’s where we’re looking to actually get useful, actionable feedback.
Harms: What can we do with these reviews?
When we are analysing this what are we looking for?
Now we know we’re looking at three and for stars or something more thought out, what are we looking for within this?
Kyle: The natural tendency would be to look at these reviews and then basically fulfil the requirement that the reviewer be suggesting.
The reviews have added these are two things you can do better. I would then do them as well.
The problem with that is that we are just chasing around people’s opinions and we are focusing a bit too much on the competitors’ product.
The whole point of looking at these reviews is not so that we are creating our products and services entirely based as a reaction to our competitors, instead we want to make the best product possible that solves the problem for the customer as quickly as possible.
We need to keep the focus on the market, not necessarily on our competitor and if we focus too much on our competitor’s products there is a tendency to forget that we are serving the market first.
We’re not in business just to destroy competitors if you’re focusing entirely on your competitors you’re ignoring the actual market problems, so don’t get too obsessed here.
All we’re looking for is starting points mentioned in reviews of things that might be ways to improve the products, that’s all we’re looking for.
Because we’re then going to go into a process of a deep dive of how we better solve the problems of our market.
How can we better solve the market’s problems?
Harms: Focus on the market not the competitor.
Yes, we’re going to look at it, but we’re not going to suddenly take 100& of our attention and become obsessed.
Let’s give you a framework in which it allows you to better solve the market’s problems but also allows you to analyse the competitors a bit better using the framework and these are four core elements.
Now let’s dive into this because this is where we can leave today with a way in which we can be better which we can provide the market something different, in which they may not have and then apply that to our value ladder.
To summarise we have the gaps.
We now have a mechanism in which to look into the gaps, reviews, forums, Google, Amazon now, let’s deep dive into this and actually work through an exercise in which we can solve the markets problems better.
Specifically we are going to be covering four different ways.
These include number one, can we do things and make the customers’ life easier and more convenient?
Is that one way in which we can better solve the market’s problem?
Can we better solve the market’s problem by number two just being more simple in the way in which we deliver, present depending on what your product is without overwhelming the customer?
Number three is can we better solve the market’s problems by being more engaging?
The final one is very simple, can we be faster?
Can we provide results faster?
Can we have the delivery faster?
Can we reduce friction?
That’s four ways in which to attack the market but there’s many other mechanisms, but these four will definitely get you started and help you start to categorise, even when you’re looking at people’s reviews when you’re looking at the discussion around the competition start to categorise some of the takeaways.
Rather than having a jumbled piece of list you can start to put it into easy, convenient, simple, less overwhelming, more engaging, faster.
Now you’ve got four mechanisms in which you can be better and solve the market’s problem better.
Kyle over to you for number one, which is how can we make things easier?
Kyle: These are four different ways to approach improving a product, there will be many more but the point is to give you a toolbox because ultimately creating a product or service is a creative process.
It’s going to have so many different factors listening to the market, listening to yourself, listening to what the competitors are doing.
There’s going to be so many factors.
All we can do right now is give you a toolbox and say, okay, these are ways you can negotiate this problem and come out with better products and services.
The first one is the market has a problem.
They want to get that problem solved.
They want to reach the end result. How can we make that journey easier for them?
So they’re going from A to B and we want to make that journey as easy as possible.
One which works really well online is a format upgrade.
Let’s say in your particular niche there are lots of e-books and there are lots of people buying e-books that tell them how to solve the problem.
The fact that there are lots of ebooks being sold, lots of reviews, lots of happy customers is good, that means there is a vibrant market we can serve. If there are e-books are there audiobooks?
Are there video courses? If not there’s a massive opportunity here.
Text is great. E-books are great, but if we can make the consumption of that information they require to solve the problem, if we can make that consumption easier then we’re going to better serve the market.
Audio is easier to consume than text because a lot of people commute. That’s a lot of time to be listening to an audiobook and that’s an hour and a half less each day to be sitting at home reading a book, so audiobooks are just easier than text.
What about video?
Video allows you to deliver material in a much more engaging fashion and they can fit into the lunch break while sitting on the phone, again a bit easier than getting out a book, reading the book. So can you upgrade the format?
If there are already e-books being sold if the e-books are doing well, but nobody is doing audiobooks and nobody is doing videos of this information, that’s a nice easy way, something you can do to make it easier for your market to reach the end result.
Harms: At every stage of the value ladder what we want to be doing is making people’s lives easier.
That’s, the key.
How can we make their life as easy as possible?
That’s a powerful question to ask because then one method is a former upgrade.
Harms: Another method is removing choice.
Now that’s a tricky one to wrap your head around.
But if you have way too much choice to consume one piece of content or you have way too much information in terms of available choice, it becomes very difficult to make a decision and start.
It becomes a lot more difficult for the customer to say yes, I know exactly my first starting point. This is why some restaurants limit their menu offering.
An example of a company who has removed choice or made it a lot less available is Five Guys. It allows them the ease of choice; it means there is one place for them to go to.
To allow that to be the case, there must be a strong gap where nobody else is fulfilling it, otherwise somebody else is also providing that choice.
So another way to make it easier for them is to remove choice.
Kyle: If a competitor has 20 different products at the entry level that gives you an opportunity to simplify the process for them, to basically say that is great, but this is the thing you need and then they can start on that value ladder journey with you.
Whereas with a competitor it’s overwhelming.
Harms: How does that translate to the online world?
Their website may have every product offering, every single headline, every banner and that is very common, whereas what we say is okay, take all of that away and just give them one choice.
How that translates to the online world is to go from a website to a landing page as an example if you’re interested.
But there is also the argument where you say actually, I want to maintain choice and I’ve got a great selection of products and they’re fantastic and there is a gap for this within the product range and I think I should be offering it.
Fine, that’s awesome.
What you must do instead then, is make the journey the meaning and the context of what you’re offering a lot easier.
Let’s look at some examples and I am aware of Gary Vaynerchuck.
He’s got a wine company and the wine store will have a lot of choices.
So what he did is made the customer’s journey/experience in purchasing wine a lot easier, he would have a tasting session live on YouTube maybe try one or two or three or four wines and say your first purchase if you are at this level is these two wines as a bundle.
Or this selection here is a great starter pack for wine versus trying to walk into a wine shop thinking where do I start?
The way to make the experience easier is maybe package it up in terms of an idea and meaning as a starting point.
Kyle: Marcus Sheridan, he more famously wrote a book called, They Ask You Answer which is educating your market in order to sell later. He did this in swimming pools.
Building a swimming pool is a big complicated project and he just produced a lot of content which made it easy, he gave people all the information.
That’s the first way you can do this, just ask yourself the question, how can I make it easier for the customer in this marketplace?
How can I solve their problem in an easier way to make their experience easier?
Now the next way to do this is by removing overwhelm working on the fact of how can I make my customers’ life simpler?
The first one was easy whereas this is simpler.
Kyle: People looking for ease have already started their journey, they’ve already made that first step, and now they’re starting to hit roadblocks.
With overwhelm it’s a bit different.
It’s when you approach a complex subject and there’s just too much immediately.
They give you too much stuff, it’s too overwhelming and that means you do not start.
You do not even get onto that value ladder in the first place whereas ease is about you’re on the value ladder, you’re on your journey, you’ve started to solve your problem but you keep hitting these roadblocks and we as business owners.
We want to remove as many roadblocks as possible.
This is connected to what we just talked about choice from a website.
If you have 20 different options for a product that makes it harder for the customer.
They need to go and research to find out what other people think they need to read reviews. It’s just a lot more work.
It’s more difficult, but it’s also very overwhelming to deal with that amount of information, which is why when we work with clients, we tend to use a sales page or a landing page.
It is one page that has one product on it and it talks you through why this product is right for you and they have the choice, they either buy it or they do not.
We haven’t got rid of the other 20 products.
We are just laddering you’re saying that this is the entry-level product you start with.
This is absolutely fine this will get you going.
This is the cheap $20 Bordeaux that Gary Vaynerchuck would talk about and then once you purchase this you’re using this and you understand it, you learn a bit more about what you like what you don’t like in this niche then the other products will be introduced.
You’re chunking down information that the customer has to go through.
So instead of throwing everything at them at the same time instead you say start with this.
This product will get you started and it will get you on your journey and then we start to introduce the rest of the products.
Harms: The other way to make things simpler and reduce overwhelm is by simplifying the information.
Think about providing an entry-level starting point in regards to information when solving some of these problems.
Because yes we’ve got a big headline which is a problem, but they may not be aware of the complexities of that or even be in a place to understand the complexities of that and I’m an example of that.
A great book called Thinking fast thinking slow is, that’s a great example of an entry-level book.
The actual contents of that book and the subject is a way more complicated and it’s been written, expanding on for decades and it’s complex.
It has the experiments, outcomes of the experiments. This book would feature early on as an entry point of information for a customer.
If they love what they read and they want to explore this deeper than they can move onto the more complex item.
Remember the concept that we’re talking about here is easing somebody in and the way we described it is answering sub problems that people have, which fall under the banner of the main big problem and that big problem will have smaller questions.
We help answer the question at different stages, so it’s simpler for them to absorb and simpler for them to take action on, simpler for them to solve a problem quickly and say right now I’ve got a new problem which needs solving, great the next item on your value ladder can help solve that problem.
This is easing them into the value ladder.
That’s a nice way to allow them to purchase more but also get better results, because the end products of that two-volume mega book it’s just not going to do it.
It’s not going to provide any meaning or context or even be understandable, digestible to most of the customers.
Kyle: From a practical action point of view is there any way you can look at what a competitor is doing and create a much simpler version?
A way to make it more appealing to a large amount of people and to ease them into that market.
So focusing on people that your competitors may not even be thinking of yet.
Harms: The fact that we are using a value ladder is already putting you at an advantage because most businesses and even friends you know who started a business or got a new idea they’ve just got this one product and it’s their premium product.
Now that means it sits within the service sector typically it’s a service but it could be a product which is at the higher price end with a physical item.
Not the entry-level so the fact that you have a value ladder or you’re exploring this gives you a massive leg up on the competitors.
Because most don’t have it, most will have the e-book, the one-off product and most will have a service they won’t have this step up in between.
So by doing this, this form of competitor analysis and saying how can I do it simpler?
How can I provide an entry-level point that sets you apart just by doing that one principle.
Kyle: Instead of thinking about the individual products and services, which is where most people focus, think about how these individual products and services are connected?
What’s a pathway between these different units of value that we’re giving the market?
Very few businesses think like this they’re thinking about one product at a time.
Harms: If we look at this as if we’re looking down on the surface of this business and looking at the value ladder and all the competitors, we can start to link some of the competitors value ladders in terms of the journey and what you’ll often find is the following.
They provide the products i.e. they’ve got 10,000 e-books that get sold every month, but they have nothing after that.
Or they’ve got a subscription service, but they’ve got no way to get people to learn about the subscription service, i.e. the e-books missing.
This is the most common one as they have the service here and they get hundreds and hundreds of customers, but they’ve got no e-book.
They’ve got no course introducing people, they’ve got no membership site, the lower entry point to their premium service.
That’s a real shame because there’s lots of customers still who have a problem that is not solved, and that’s a big gap and a big opportunity and all you have to do is just simplify.
Simplify the fact that somebody has a service but they don’t have a subscription or product.
Just simplify the process and allow more people to enter and in a weird way you’d be doing your competition a favour as well because you’ll be introducing them to them as a natural benefit.
But that’s okay because they would have bought into you and trusted you and that is a good thing I guess to do for the market to start introducing value ladders.
Harms: The third way in which you can better serve the market, better solve the problem is make whatever you’re offering more engaging.
Engaging can mean lots of different things.
Make it more engaging, make it more fun, make it enjoyable.
We’re not talking about making a fool of yourself, we’re not asking you to put yourself in an embarrassing position just to get clicks or attention, or the perceived element of enjoyment.
It is also not about making it falsely funny or wacky.
Of course this is going to depend on your personality, you may naturally be a hilarious person, in which case you’re not deviating from something that you’re already comfortable with.
So that’s fine.
But how do we want to do it instead?
Kyle: Instead, one really solid way to make something gauging is to add community.
The basic idea of engagement is we want to build mechanisms into our products, our subscriptions, our services which make the process of getting from A to B of solving the problem and getting to an end result.
It makes it more likely the customers are going to actually complete that journey.
That’s what we mean by engaging here.
It’s going through the process of completing, reading the ebook, going through the course or using the product they’ve purchased.
That’s engagement and adherence, so community is one of the quickest ways to do this; it’s especially powerful online.
We can build communities into our products, I’m talking about a Facebook group, a slack group, it could be a forum.
What community means is you’re getting all the people interested in this topic.
This is your market, you’re bringing them into one place and you let them chat to each other, you’re letting them have discussions, share tips, reviews, et cetera. It means a couple of things in terms of adherents in terms of engagement, the first one is accountability.
Let’s say you’ve written an e-book which tells people how to get started with beekeeping, for example, if you also add a community people can go to the community and say this is what I’m going to do.
A community is a good place for public accountability for finding your tribe and for getting support and positive feedback and positive peer pressure from the other people in the group. Which makes it more likely that you’re going to follow through from A to B.
The second thing is it communities allow you to break through roadblocks.
Everybody on the journey from A to B trying to solve their problem they’re going to hit different difficulties and their difficulties are going to depend on those personal situations. It’s very hard for you as a business owner to account for all of these in your products or services and your subscriptions.
However, if the customers have a place where they can go, they can ask a community of 40,000, 50,000 other people who have taken this journey with you then the community is going to be able to help them get through those roadblocks.
It means engagement and importantly this is engagement with your product with your service with the process that you are giving people, but it doesn’t rely on you to be constantly engaging people.
Instead, you are outsourcing engagement to a community of people to a tribe.
Harms: Where this typically can play out in your value ladder is within the subscription phase.
You can charge whether it’s paid or whether it’s free and they need an account or they need to be in a Facebook group which allows, I need to join this can you please allow me into the Facebook group, so it’s a private closed community.
Anything like that sits really nicely here in subscription.
If you think about the process so far we spoke about making things easier and also making things simpler.
Now easier and simpler very much fall into a great place to leverage the product opportunities. So if there’s a gap in the product area on your value ladder and there’s a gap here, think about how can I make things easier and how can I make things simpler, less overwhelming for the customer?
When we are talking about making it more engaging now we’re talking about naturally subscriptions.
If you find gaps in the subscription part when you do your competitor research think subscription just naturally.
Again these have overlapped but think subscription.
Now what about service?
Where can we best leverage this and introduce the service into the market?
This falls into the final way in which we can better serve the market, which is to be faster, quicker, which is to provide a result and a solution for the problem now.
Because what you may find is with competitors that they’re occupying phase one or phase two of the value ladder, the product and subscription, but when you’re having a look at the competitors nobody is helping the end customer get the result now.
As we know there’s a lot of people out there who like convenience, they want the result and they’re more than happy to pay for that result.
But your competitors may not be doing this.
They may have all the books in the world, but they may be missing a critical point in the value ladder, which is the service, or having a team of people who help you do that by providing the service.
Now that can also play out in the online world as well in many different niche categories.
When I say physical, it could mean literally you go to someone’s house and create and build a chicken coop that could be an example, but that can also be done via many digital mechanisms. You could provide services online.
Kyle: London muscle is a fitness niche about workouts, etcetera so their main product is a PDF e-book, which is expensive, I think about £50.
It is full of workouts and nutrition advice; the subscription is meal plans.
They team you up with a nutritionist, they also do a subscription product, which is protein powder and then at the end service they have training.
That can be online training or one-on-one in one of their actual gyms, so that’s an example of a company that has really nailed it down.
They have a product, subscription and the service. The service is going to be the most expensive, obviously, but it gets you to your end result faster because maybe you’ve already got the PDF, maybe you’ve already got their protein powder subscription but you’re not getting the results you want.
So that’s where this faster service comes into play.
It’s for the people who have the money and they’re impatient and want to get that result right now and that’s what you can do in your market as well.
If there are lots of people providing products and people providing some form of subscription or community, but nobody is saying okay, I know you’re ready, I know you want this, I’m going to guide you through.
I’m going to get you to that result now and then that opens up another area of the market that you can move it to where your competitors are not.
Harms: The reality is competitors won’t have this in place and when people come to them and say, hey, do you do this as a service, they may say yes sort of and they may be doing it ad hoc or becoming overwhelmed with that type of service they’re providing because they hadn’t planned for this within the value ladder.
There was no thought of I can provide this as a service.
The demand is going to be there as a service and the demand will be there as a service if you ease people in entry, middle part of the journey to the end part of the journey.
So just bear that in mind when producing your value ladder.
Don’t be too concerned the focus is not on what the competition provides; it’s identifying the gaps.
The reality is if one or two competitors provide the service there is plenty of room for more service providers.
People haven’t entered the market for various reasons or simply they’re just not aware of this value ladder, they don’t know how to escalate the customer through the value.
Kyle: If you are providing this faster service there are two basic ways to do it.
One is going to be consultation, coaching and mentoring.
If you are a personal trainer that’s what you’re doing, you’re giving people advice, making them accountable, guiding them through the journey.
You can’t ultimately do it for them though which is the second way that we can provide a very fast service, which is done for you.
Where we literally come in we take up the process and we handover the finished result, we hand over the finished product.
Obviously with something like weight loss we can’t do that.
We can’t just make somebody lose weight.
It needs to be a process when you’re working with the client with the customer, so depending on what your particular niche is and what problem you’re solving, you need to think whether this is a done for you service as in 100% hands off and you use the business to do everything for the client.
If so, that’s going to cost quite a lot of money or is it more of an ongoing consultation and mentoring with them to guide them through the process of solving their problems.
These are the two-basic way.
Constructing your value ladder
Harms: Now let’s talk about actually constructing your value ladder.
You’ve got all of this laid out, you’ve got the competitor analysis, you’ve got it on sticky notes, you’ve started to categorise things, you’ve started to think about can I provide things easier?
Can I provide things simpler without overwhelm?
Can I be more engaging?
Or help them get the result faster?
Again all of these fall into the value ladder product, subscription, and service.
When analysing the market you may find some real obvious gaps, some natural fits.
You may find there are lots of e-books on the topic but no video, great that helps you enter the market immediately.
You may find that there’s lots of people providing the done for you service, a premium product but nobody providing the do it yourself version of the e-book, the video course, the subscription element so that may be an opportunity.
So sometimes there are going to be these wide-open gaps which you identify and by going through the process within this particular topic that we’re talking about there will be gaps.
Just simply by following this process you’ve already identified niches that work. Now we’re just identifying how best to enter that gap.
How best to serve the marketplace better, rather than just copying what the competitors are doing, that’s not the purpose here.
We want you to stand up for yourself and the best way to do that when starting is easier, less overwhelming, more engaging and faster.
So that’s the critical way.
Kyle: Now we want to quickly guide you through an exercise which is the capstone.
It will help you come out of this week with a single piece of paper which basically has your business plan on it.
Business plans are much thicker but they tend to be less useful than what you’re actually going to have, which is a single piece of paper.
We started by defining what the market is. We then agreed we’re going to focus on solving our markets problem, we’re not solving our problems we’re solving their problems.
Now what we’re going to do is we are going to at the top of that bit of paper, write down who the market is and what their problem is.
At the top we’re going to write, I help blank to blank and the first blank is going to be I help urban 22,35-year-old environmentalists.
Let’s say that’s our market.
To raise their own backyard chickens for the purpose of eggs, that would be the problem statement. Their problem is I want to raise backyard chickens and get eggs I do not know how to. How do I raise chickens in my backyard in the city?
Then underneath that we are going to draw our basic value ladder and this is going to become the how, how are we going to help the who to do what.
How are we going to help these urban environmentally conscious 20 to 35-year-olds raise backyard chickens in their garden in order to get eggs?
The how is going to be our value ladder, so we recommend you start with the classic value ladder.
That’s going to be in your product, you’re going to have an e-book, a course and you’re going to have some kind of core product.
It might be a physical product or it might be a more expensive digital product. Then we’re going to have a subscription, then a service that is just five elements we’re going to be putting together.
Depending on your niche it’s going to differ.
Maybe you’ll have a different mix of products, subscriptions and services, but this is a nice place to start with right now, just with the five.
Each of these we’ve already gone through and had a look at what the competitors are doing. This is where we can stick all our Post-it notes onto our value ladder that you’re drawing out now, maybe you’re already drawn it that’s fine.
We’re going to stick our Post-it notes with the competitor’s products that’s e-books, courses, and physical products, we’re going to stick the Post-it notes on the different areas of our value ladder.
We’re going to do the same thing with subscriptions and services that’s going to tell us whether there are any giant gaps in the market that we can automatically go into, that’s fine.
But then for each of these value forms so the e-book, course, product, subscription, and service we’re going to run through those four areas.
The easier, simpler, more engagement and faster.
Then your answers to each of these and this is going to be a process it’s going to take a while.
Let’s say we’re running that process on e-book we will run through easier, simpler, more engaging, faster based on our competitive research.
We answer those four questions and the answers that we come up with is our response, our response to how we solve the problems of the people in this niche.
This is how we carve out our particular place within the niche.
It’s through all of this work that we’ve been doing, we’ve been giving you a lot of tools, but it’s going to be this final exercise going through and for each of these five e-book, course, product, subscription and service, answering those four questions based on what’s already available and coming up with a better solution.
If you go through and do this with all five units of value you have the basis of an online business, a strong online business.
Harms: Once you’ve come through this the answers will help you carve out your place in your niche.
That’s the key here and that’s where your creativity can come in, but what we didn’t want you to do, is fall into the trap of having all this creativity, but no direction to put that creativity in.
That becomes very dangerous and expensive, it becomes very time-consuming, so if you’ve got all the creativity amazing, but we’ve given you a framework to express that creativity within.
That way you’re going to get the results because we’re talking about a business here.
In summary number one is the focus.
The focus here is solving the market’s problem.
We apply our creativity into the area.
Number two is we provided a starting point.
What is already being offered by competitors is the starting point and then how do we improve that? That is number three.
A framework to improve and which to create and expand our product, our idea, our e-book, etcetera into.
By putting things into the three value areas which we defined as product, services and subscriptions into this value ladder here.
Then we’ve added the structure that helps customers flow in between that.
Then finally we’ve given you a method to refine this, so for each element we ask how can you make it easier, simpler, more engaging and faster for your market to reach the end result?
That’s the framework now you can go creative and have so much fun with this. That’s great.
Hopefully this framework has helped you get to your end result in the way you’re going to help your customer and the marketplace get to their end result.
By doing this you’re going to create a business that also helps you get to your end result which is I want the successes, I want the better income and finances.
I want the enjoyment of having a business and operating.
All those cool things that you may be entering the business for or have the idea of entering the business for you can achieve those, but by solving the markets problem first and it’s an exciting prospect.
There’s lots of work to do but once you’ve got this built and especially if you can get as much of this as online as possible it’s going to be incredible for you.
Kyle: So yes, this is where you turn on your creative juices as an entrepreneur, you start to think about what you can be creating but importantly we have a framework to slot these individual pieces into.
You don’t just have a hodgepodge of different products and services you instead have a business system.
If you get that piece of paper filled in for your niche that is potentially a business plan for the next year, couple of years and it doesn’t need to be a thick wad of paper with lots of Excel charts.
The actual thought of the structure of your business can fill one piece of paper and it will look a lot like that.
Harms: It is extremely difficult to do but the rewards are amazing like Kyle said a business plan for years and that allows you to focus for years which allows you to make money for years and have a sustainable business which is fantastic.
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