Tips to Power Your Product Development Forward

At times product development can be an overwhelming challenge. Yet, the products you create are the very foundation for ongoing internet marketing success. After all, as the problems, needs, and questions of your client base change, your choice is to either respond with high-quality products that address these new concerns, or to watch as your clients go to your competitors for a solution. Creating the right products at the right time thus drives internet marketer sales and earnings. In this article we will disclose 4 tips to power your product development forward.1. Focus your product development on your strengths, skills and knowledge. Invest the time to inventory your strongest skills and abilities before you begin. Then to achieve the greatest success, focus your product efforts on those greatest competencies. For example, if you are an outstanding article writer, create an eBook or a video to help others learn article writing. Present your readers with the details about how to get started with article writing. Show them how to create a powerful article title. Suggest uses for the articles they create. You are an expert; your readers will gain precious article writing knowledge from your products.2. Enhance the quality and content of existing products. In many cases meeting the needs of your customers does not require the creation of a brand new product. Examine products you’ve already created as well other products being offered. Then focus your efforts on providing a product that is enhanced with new features and content. Your new product will provide your clients many more benefits. As a result they will be thrilled to purchase from you.3. Create one product by merging the content of two associated products. Do you have products online or awaiting re-launch that aren’t making you much money? Create a product package. Your clients will jump at the opportunity to purchase packaged products that together exceed their expectations. For example, maybe you have an eBook that is ready to go. Offer a related audio product in combination with the eBook. Sell them together for the price of only one of the products.4. Solicit information and feedback from your targeted customers. Successful product development requires you to know exactly the right products to meet the most compelling problems, questions and issues of your targeted customers. What better way to know what products they need then to ask? Use emails, forums and blogs to contact them. Then focus your product development on the feedback you receive.To your internet marketing success!

5 Easy Steps To Get Started Packaging Your Product

Feeling overwhelmed while trying to develop a package for your product? I’m not surprised. Packaging is the third largest industry in the country. In fact, there are more than 10,000 packaging manufactures in the US alone. The proliferation of material choices and vendors is extensive. To begin you will have to narrow the resource and material universe before you package anything. That is your first step because you can’t have a product without a package.

Which vendor is right for you? What is your packaging material of choice? Do you understand the differences between each material and what value each will bring to marketing your product? How do you sift through the mounds of information and resources to set started packaging your product?

Here are 5 easy rules to get you started.

1. Do Your Homework.

Before you decide how you want to package your product you need to see and understand what is already available in the marketplace. Even if your product is the greatest new invention out there, you will still have competition of some sort. Start by checking that out first. Visit outlets that carry similar products or products in the same category. For example, if you have a houseware product you should check out places that market housewares. Don’t just pick one outlet. Go to a variety of stores. You don’t want to develop a great new packaging concept only to find someone else is already doing the same thing. The more you look the better informed you will become. Be careful not to go into information overload by visiting every retailer outlet out there. This will only serve to confuse your decision making process.

2. Pick Your Packaging Material.

This isn’t as simple as it sounds because there are many external factors influencing why products are packaged in certain types of materials. Certain products lend themselves special merchandising. Some products can only be merchandised in certain materials. How the product is merchandised may dictate what type of package material you use. For example, if you need clarity to see the entire product then you are probably going to want plastic. The choice of material may also be dictated by availability.

Packaging materials are classified by their primary raw material. Two simple examples are paper and plastic. Within in each material type are numerous sub categories of different types of packaging. If you chose paper packaging it might be a box, a bag, a drum, a tube, a canister and so on. See the variety of choices? It’s easy to become inundated with options and hard to figure out what is the best choice. As products lend themselves to several different packaging materials, it’s best to start with what you know is working with similar products. Even if you choose the same material as a competitive product the package doesn’t necessarily need to look the same.

3. Optimize Your Package Profile.

This is what is called the retail footprint, i.e., how much space will your product take up on the shelf. Your goal is to have the smallest size or amount of packaging you can while optimizing the shape and design of the package. It’s important to understand the concept of the retail footprint. Retail space is at a premium so the smaller amount of space you use the happier the retailer will be. They may even specify that your product only be allowed so much shelf space. In any case, you need to understand the concept and incorporate that in your sales pitch to retailers.

Many times you can package your product in variety of different ways. This is where creativity comes into play. Your product doesn’t just have to sit on a shelf in a box. It could sit upright; it could hang or be displayed in a floor stand or similar merchandiser. There are many unique ways to merchandise any product. You just have to think outside of traditional ways of doing things. Look at other products from different industries. See if you can’t incorporate design ideas into your own product packaging.

4. Be Prepared To Take Advice.

I know you are in love with your product and you are sure you have ALL the answers, but you can’t be an expert at everything. Listen to what other people have to say about your product packaging. Don’t get so caught up in your own ideas that you make design mistakes or mistakes in merchandising. Get a reality check from someone who knows nothing about your product. See if your packaging concept is compelling to an outsider. By that I mean that they are interested enough to pick your product up off the shelf.

There are many resources available to you at little or no cost. Many vendors provide design expertise as part of the order. There is an unlimited amount of resource materials that can give you basic information that can save you many hours and costly mistakes. Be sure and spend time checking them out.

5. Think Big, But Be Prepared To Compromise.

I know your product is fantastic, but you may need to start out on a smaller scale than you envision. One of the largest obstacles might be finding a vendor. In general, custom packaging is relegated to large volume orders and you are probably not there yet. But don’t despair.

Look for stock items that can be customized. The stock container market has improved dramatically with innovation and new designs. In fact there are many companies now that provide only stock containers. You can customize stock on a smaller scale. With a simple label change, your package may there. Also ordering in a limited quantity allows you to change and modify your packaging as your sales increase. You don’t want to have 10,000 old packages on hand when you have a design change or need to change what’s on the package due to some regulatory issue.

The important fact is to understand that packaging is not static it evolves and changes with consumer needs and demands. It can even change because you have more business and can order in larger quantities. What worked in the past may not work tomorrow. You need to be innovative and creative in your thinking. Look for guidance and expertise in outside resources. Keep up with packaging changes and materials. Don’t get caught ordering too much stock that you can never use. Think big and start small.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Make packaging your first thought–not your last.

I get hundreds of inquiries a month asking how to package products. Most of the time, they are in crisis mode because they did not think about the package until crunch time. I just got a call from an entrepreneur whose packaging was a disaster. She never thought about the role packaging plays in her product’s success until her retailer said “NO WAY” to her product packaging. She had to start over. As a result, she lost a great deal of money in the process.

To help others learn that lesson before it is too late, I have come up with a basic workshop offering education on packaging products to sell. Whether you are an entrepreneur, inventor, work from home mom, or a small business person with an idea or product it is imperative to understand the role packaging plays in a successful product launch. Packaging 101…it is simple and offers the basics of what you need to know.

Why You Should Delay Upsells in Your Product Funnel

Most people immediately try to upsell their customer from one product to another. Here’s why you should consider delaying your upsell for 7-10 days.In this example, we’ll say someone purchases a $97 item, and they use it: read it, listen to it, whatever. They begin to get results.In 7 to 10 days later, I can offer them something that is a much higher ticket item than that first, initial item. At this point, there’s a great chance that they’re going to make that purchase. In fact, they’ll invest more with me after 7 to 10 days than they would have invested on the up-sell. What this does is this gives me an opportunity to market a $2k coaching program. Or a $1k online course.The psychology here is, let’s say, 10 topics in your niche that someone could learn about. And, really, they could learn about all 10 of these topics. Now, they could learn 1 topic from you. One topic from your competition. One topic from their competition. And literally buy products to learn from 10 different people.Give Your Customer a Chance to TrustPeople are not going to like everybody’s teaching style. Some people like my teaching style, some people probably don’t like my teaching style. Now, that’s okay! Because the people that do buy from me. And the people that don’t, it’s okay. They’ll buy from my competition and that’ll work. That’s the right teaching style for them.Again, someone buys your initial product. Let’s say it’s a $97 2 hr recording. They like it! They got great value! They were really excited about the fact that it was 2 hrs instead of 10 for the exact same content. They learned a lot. They were able to go out and implement it immediately.7 to 10 days down the road they’re thinking, “I need more information on this topic. I want to do more.” Maybe they’re looking at your competition. NOW you offer them a complete online course that contains advanced information on all 10 topics that they need.Because of the fact that they’ve just purchased from you, and they like what they’ve gotten from you, they’re very likely to be open to purchasing your much larger program than they would have been willing to trust you to provide on the up-sell.Because, remember, they were buying a $97 product because that’s what they trusted you, to be able to purchase from you. Until they consume that, their trust hasn’t grown. Sure, there’s some psychological evidence, I mean, there is psychological evidence that shows that somebody’s got their wallet open, and they make 1 purchase, then a percentage of them will make the 2nd purchase. Again, going back to the psychology, I’m really leaning towards you lose more in trust than you gain in total revenue over the life of the customer. What I’m concerned with is that life of the customer.Offering the UpsellNow we’ve got this $997 product that we’re going to offer 7-10 days later.Now, this is going to be the up-sell. Instead of on the download page for your initial product, this is going to happen in your email sequence 7-10 days later.This online course can be based on the same outline as your initial product – it just needs to be much deeper. Go into more depth. Give more practical information. Give more of a “system” for them to implement. What you’ll do exactly depends on your niche, but people like “step-by-step” and “drop-it-in” systems and information.Offer this product through your autoresponder sequence and see how that works for you. I highly recommend testing – both the immediate upsell and the delayed upsell. Sometimes you can do a combination – offer directly on the thank-you page. Then have an email sequence that launches a few days later.See what works for you, but I think you’ll often find that people buy through the upsell sequence after they’ve had a chance to use your product, find that it’s excellent, and build more trust in you.