Tell me if this sounds familiar. You begin to write a blog post, and before you know it, your “quick update” has turned into a rambling, 3,000 word novelette that covers everything from where to find a graphic designer to how to design a business card.
The same thing can happen when creating digital products. You want to pour every ounce of knowledge into each product and every point covered brings up a new point to be addressed. Down the rabbit hole you go.
Logo design leads to business card formatting.
Business cards lead to taglines.
Taglines lead to ideal client avatars.
Avatars lead to…well, you get the idea. The point is, when you strive to provide the very best information for your audience, it’s easy to want to include one more important detail. Soon, you’ve outlined an encyclopedia’s worth of content that overwhelms not only you, but your clients as well.
One Problem, One Solution
Most people don’t need or want an answer to all of their problems at the same time. They need help on one problem and the best solution helps them solve it in a straightforward way. If your client wants to learn how to identify their ideal client, including information about using the latest email software might seem relevant, but it’s really just a distraction.
Worse, if you try to cover too much material too quickly, you run the risk of overwhelming your customer. If that happens often, she’ll log out and never return—for this or any other course you create. Not because you’re a bad coach, but because she’ll be convinced she’s a bad student.
Here’s another issue with trying to include multiple solutions in a single product: Depth of knowledge. When you try to include too much information, you end up with very thin coverage of a lot of different topics. It will be challenging for your client to learn how to truly resolve the problem she is trying to solve.
By focusing your course on a single problem and a single solution, you can dig deeper and present ideas and information that won’t be found just anywhere, you can use:
- Case studies
- Planning documents
- Multi-media content
Your audience will happily pay a premium for these materials, because they cannot find them elsewhere. When your digital product resolves a single problem, you have the leeway to create these and other resources. If you try to solve many problems simultaneously, you’ll be forced to take a broad approach and end up scrimping on the “extras.”
Make no mistake—there is still space for that all-inclusive, massive online course. One look at powerhouse coaches such as Marie Forleo and her massively popular B-School will tell you that. Keep in mind, though, that courses and products of this magnitude require real discipline to present and teach solutions step-by-step. They break down larger issues into multiple mini-courses, each of which tackles one problem.
If you are just starting out with creating digital products, aim to keep it simple. Focus on a product (a course, a workbook, a video training) which will help your customer solve one problem. A smaller, single-problem course is easier to design, easier for your customer to commit to and easier for her to complete and be successful with.
When you are very clear on both the problem and the solution you will be able to design, market and sell digital products which bring your customers – and you – great success.
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