I want to talk to you today about a stat I’ve read that really fires me up:
According to the U.S. Census, 82% of women-owned businesses make less than $50,000 per year.
Look, I’m not saying that there is some magic amount of income that marks “success” for a small business. But, come on, we can do better than that. I personally want to destroy that statistic and I commit my work to helping professional women aim higher. Like real high. Like straight for 6- or 7-figures.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: Making more money means working more. How can I possibly work more? I’m already overworked (and approaching burnout). I can’t possibly make more money unless I put in more hours, right?
I’m proud to say that, as CEO of my business, I spend my days supervising my team, planning, creating and launching products and programs, writing newsletter articles, recording videos, and having about 3-5 phone calls with clients per week. I’ve made enough progress in my business that I can own my role as CEO instead of responding to constant demands from clients (I love my clients, but non-stop demands is no fun).
But, I’ll be honest, a few years ago, my days looked totally different.
In the early years of building my law practice, I was flat-out exhausted and not making nearly enough money. Business was booming and my rates were pretty decent, but at the end of my (incredibly long) days, I didn’t really have much in the way of profit to show for it. Not only was I not making enough money, I was overwhelmed with deadlines and never-ending client requests. I had very little energy left over to fulfill my CEO responsibilities– financial analysis, planning, marketing, etc. Worst of all, my days left me drained. They took a toll on my health and took away from my quality time with my family.
Here’s what finally changed for me: desperate for less stressful days and greater revenue I started looking at ways to make money with what I had.
I was running a successful service business, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t a demand for products in my field. And that, friends, was the answer. It was a bold move in the legal industry, but I created a product that changed my business completely (and that game-changing product is and continues to be Small Business Bodyguard).
So, what’s one solid step you can take towards your 6- or 7-figure future? You guessed it … create your own digital product.
Trust me, as a lawyer, I could’ve easily been discouraged by the prospect of making a product– that’s not what lawyers do, it’s too complicated to explain the law, no one will trust what I tell them. But that’s all bullshit, and I’ve got a record of the over $250,000+ per year sales bump that my product created to prove it. If I can make a hit product out of something as dry and complicated as the law, anyone can do it on literally any topic!
So let’s discuss several reasons why you should be creating your own product (besides the fact that it will significantly increase your income):
- Online education is a booming industry. As of 2015, online learning is a $107 billion industry (up from $56.2 billion in 2014; yes it doubled in a year — BANANAS!). It behooves you to get in the game. Online learning provides opportunities to people of a variety of economic backgrounds from around the world. My first foray into online learning was creating an e-course for lawyers called 21st Century Lawyer: Lifestyle Design with a Virtual Law Office in 2011. I’m proud to say that most of the lawyers that took my class have built their own solo law practices via the web, something no one was teaching folks how to do at the time. So not only did I help modernize the legal industry, I helped women entrepreneurs build their own law practices and make money to boot! The product game is a win-win.
- As a purveyor of professional services you already know how to teach. I don’t know about you, but in my job both as lawyer and business coach, I am constantly teaching my clients new things. Whether it’s explaining a complex legal scenario or particular business strategy, as professionals we are all teaching our clients as part of our services. Developing a product largely means taking information and organizing it into digestible chunks and simplifying it for your customers. Good news, if you have been working with clients, whether as an entrepreneur or in your 9-5, then you already know how to do that well!
- Low barrier to entry. You don’t have to make a huge investment to create a digital product. With the tech tools we have available to us today, you could develop your own product for less than $100 if you wanted to. This means you don’t have a financial excuse for not creating a product. However, this also means you want to make sure your product stands out from the crowd (you won’t be the only one getting in on the product game). I have seen a lot of digital products from behind-the-scenes and I’ll let you in on a little secret — most digital products suck! Like, they are really, really bad. People do not put enough effort into making sure their products solve a problem. So be sure to put effort into making sure that your product actually solves the problem your target customer has and spend some time mapping out the customer experience to make it magical, and you’ll slay the competition.
- Scalability is sexy. One of the biggest benefits of a product over a service is that you do not have to hire another human being in order to scale product sales. By setting up automated marketing sequences, content marketing and some Facebook ads, you can keep your product generating revenue for you week after week. You can quickly scale your product sales by simply increasing your Facebook ad spend or creating additional content. Other exciting ways to increase product sales include licensing your product out to other companies that have large communities of your ideal customers and hiring a salesperson to follow up and close sales with new leads. Creating a product out of the content that already existed within my business allowed me to grow the service side of my business as well. Less than six months after launching Small Business Bodyguard, I was able to hire my first employee.
Create a product that solves a real problem for your customer, grow your revenue, grow your team, take back your time and slide past that six- or seven-figure mark like a boss.
Still wondering if creating a product is right for you? Take the Product Creation Quiz right here. This tool will help you assess whether you should turn your particularly kind of expertise and experience into a product.
To your freedom (financial + otherwise).