September 11, 2015 at 8:45 am #6957
I figured I’d share my progress here as well. Maybe it can serve as a log for problems I overcame or motivation for down the road.
So I had a hard time getting through the brand plan, specifically everything up to the budgeting section.
I had to start over three times, as the first two ideas hit roadblocks that made me realize that they weren’t the best of ideas to pursue. I probably spent more time idling than I should have, kind of waiting for a good idea to strike me. It kind of made me feel like a failure that I couldn’t even get through the first manual of eight, but I guess that if I was having trouble then I probably wasn’t alone. Well I eventually did find an idea, but the lesson I learned is that I need to hunt down good ideas, they probably won’t just come to me in a dream.
While going through the Brand Plan though, I can’t help but be… insecure about not having delved deep enough into the audience needs, frame of reference, benefits, etc. As if there is always something I missed that will either make or break this whole project. But I decided that it’s probably smarter to just keep moving forward and power my way through it, instead of letting unanswered questions stop me from making any tangible progress.
Anyway, as of yesterday, I finished my positioning statement! So happy. I’m about to start the budgeting section, then start building the site. I think (conservatively) that building the site should take less time than the brand plan did for me since I do have experience setting up wordpress sites. I’m generally good with the technical stuff. Although I haven’t even opened up the second manual yet, so I’ll see.
I’ll report back later on my progress.
September 11, 2015 at 8:45 am #6961
Just a quick update here.
I’m pretty deep into the “website” manual now and I’ve come across an issue that I think was not explained in the manual.
I’m using the google friendly theme for now, might hire a designer later.
Anyway I chose my fonts over at google fonts and placed them in the “Fonts” area of the customization options for the theme under “appearances”.
However, the fonts would just not render.
I’ll save you the details of how I spent hours trying to figure out why, but it turns out that you need to put some code in the header.php file of the theme for the fonts to work.
I found this page that explains it very well:
Hope this helps others maybe.
September 11, 2015 at 8:45 am #6962
Awesome man, subscribed for updates to your thread.
Btw, yeah it really sucks when you get stuck on small tech stuff like that. Fortunately you usually only have to fix them or learn it once and then you know for next time or don’t have to adress it at all later depending on what you are doing.
Anyways, progress is progress.
September 11, 2015 at 8:45 am #6963
Just finished manual 3. Well, not quite actually. I didn’t do the optional section after the presales introduction part, mainly because I want to choose a product first. Then I’ll come back and finish my presales page with all the right information.
I have to say, manual 3 was kind of a grind to get through. I ended up having 14 problem groups. It took me a while to organize and classify all the problems I wrote in the brand plan, and even then it’s hard to know if some of the groups are sufficiently different from one another. Time will tell I guess.
But the biggest problem I ran into came with writing the presales introduction. More specifically, I initially tried to write it without any idea of what kind of product I was looking to sell. However, after reading Bob’s example in the manuals, I opted to argue that the audience problems are caused by something less obvious, same as Bob argues that their back pain is caused by sleeping wrong.
Not sure if this was the right approach since it kind of pigeon holes me in terms of the product type I can sell, but I’m confident that I know my audience and it’s the solution they need, not necessarily the one they want. But once again, I’m still unsure if it’s better to cater to the audience fantasy or argue for what you know will work for them, even if it’s not quite the “quick fix” most are looking for.
This is also the same reason I’m not so sure about the product format I chose. I described the ideal product the audience would want (i.e. a magical pill that makes their problem disappear) but the reality is different… I’ll keep both in mind as I go through manual 4.
I’m starting the fourth manual right now. At first glance is seems a little more simple than manual 3, but I don’t know for sure yet.
September 11, 2015 at 8:45 am #6964
It’s been a while since I updated my progress, so here is where I’m at.
After going through manual 4, it quickly became clear that there was no product available that I could stand behind. I purchased 8 products in all and when they weren’t downright scams, the others were pretty lame, at best. I was actually flabergasted at the poor quality of the products available. My site is about helping to deal with a medical condition, and most products available are based on quackery or stuff that is pretty much scientifically proven to NOT work.
I have a background in science and I just couldn’t promote these products in good conscience. So I decided to create my own ebook to sell instead. Not sure if this is going to pan out as I’m really not an authority figure on the topic, although I have successfully dealt with the problem myself. Time will tell.
But just like Jim who delayed manual 5 partly because the lead page generator plugin wasn’t up to his standards and he had to redo it himself, I figured it was better to create something I could stand behind and proudly promote.
It ended up being about 150 pages (although formated in pretty large and easy to read font) and is pretty much exactly what I was looking for in an affiliate product, but couldn’t find. I know this probably slowed me down, but given that we’re all waiting on manual 5 anyway, I had plenty of time to complete it. Because of this, manual 4 was by far the longest to get through for me.
I followed the information in section 5.2 of manual 4 for setting up payment through paypal. But I hit a few roadblocks. The biggest one is generating a secure, encrypted download link for every customer after the payment is complete. I found a few plugins that seem to do this, and there are also a few companies that provide this service for a monthly fee. I still need to figure this out, but I don’t think it’s going to be a major problem.
So that’s where I’m at now. I’m eagerly, EAGERLY awaiting manual 5, now that I’ve completed the first four. I hope it’s not too far off. Has anybody heard anything about when it moght be coming? I wish we were at least kept in the loop as to what is going on with it, to let us know about when it might be coming. Is it a matter of weeks? Months? A year? The waiting is killing me… Hopefully, it won’t be too long.
In the mean time I’ll put the finishing details on my ebook and maybe create a “product glue” to add in as a bonus. But I’m really looking forward to get started selling stuff and get into the actual marketing stuff. I also could probably go over my pre-sales page again and try to improve it in some places. I feel like I could have been more creative in some places, instead of doing something that resembles the examples provided in manual 3.
September 11, 2015 at 8:45 am #6965
Hey man, great progress so far. Really inspirational to read.
Here are some thoughts that came to mind in regards to what you wrote.
Doing research like that is really good and for some reason I thought that you could absolutely use that for positioning your product against all the others in some way and could absolutely be used in tandem with your background from science in a story about how you ended up creating the product. This would sove three things:
creating positioning – how your product differs from other things on the market
authority – be able to explain in a way that you have had some experience and that you have a science background
story – blend those two things into a story about why you created the product and why this product could help someone
I’ve heard that some people just use e-junkie for a quick and dirty way to get started selling with a secure download link. This is like $5 a month, check out their pricing page.
I am really blown away that you actually created your own product.
September 11, 2015 at 8:45 am #6966
I actually found a wordpress plugin for 10$ that automates te process of buying through paypal and sending the encrypted link via email that expires after the number of days I set. It’s pretty cool and it was a one time cost.
To be honest, I’m kind of surprised too that I created my own ebook. I guess that by researching other products I realized that I could do a lot better, and given that I didn’t have manual 5 anyway, I had plenty of time to write it.
My concern right now is actually whether or not I will be able to position myself properly. While I do have a background in science, I don’t have much in the way of credentials, only a bachelor’s degree.
Anyway, time will tell. At least I can feel good selling it, unlike the crap most vendors put out there. And heck, if it does do well, maybe one day I’ll get it up on clickbank and get a bunch of affiliates promoting it too (getting ahead of myself, I know).
Overall I still just get the feeling that even though I’ve gone through all the steps up to now, that I haven’t done them “well” enough, so to speak. It’s hard to not look back and think that the needs you came up with in the brand plan are to generic or that the presell page isn’t good enough. Heck, I especially get that feeling with my ebook, that it isn’t well researched enough or lacks too many details to make it coherent. But I guess that’s normal and I can’t let it stand in the way of progress.
On a side note, I emailed Jim and he said that manual 5 should be coming in the next few weeks. Take this with a grain of salt though, I don’t want to put him on the spot or anything if it does end up taking longer…
September 11, 2015 at 8:45 am #6967
okay I didn’t mean that you have to stress your background in science that much, it was more about you actually having done the work and found a solution. That is the part that builds credibility and if you somehow could put that down in a story I think people will recognize it.
From what I read I think you have a starting point with your positioning already. You mentioned that all the others out there are really bad. That right there is a starting and working value prop or USP. Just enough to separate yourself from the rest.
It will never be perfect so if you somehow can become comfortable being uncomfortable and take action and see the results from each step, that is better than spending time doubting if people will actually like it.
This is such a headgame and it is almost always the same. You shouldn’t be the judge if it works or not. You should only do as best as you can. Take action. See what results it produces and then adjust.
The main difference being that it should not be your feelings or what you think you are adjusting accordingly to, it should be the results it produces.
As we go along you will have and get data to guide yourself on each step.
I really like this quote:
“once hard – now easy”
I usually tell myself this if I think something is hard and then just keep on plugging.
September 11, 2015 at 8:45 am #6968
Finally got my hands on manual 5 this week. The wait has been long, but worth it. I went through the manual in a couple of days and completed it (except for the hybrid page, the manual says to wait so that’s what I’ll do). Now the problem is that I have to wait again for manual six…
That being said, I have a hard time seeing why manual 5 took so much longer than the other manuals. It seems to me that manual 3 was a much more complicated process to break down. Now I’m not complaining here, since I don’t know what goes into making these manuals, but it’s just how it seems to me. A lot of the manual is about signing up for aweber and setting up the plugin, which is pretty simple stuff ultimately.
On the other hand, I learned some really coold stuff. The whole time continuum alone made the manual worth the wait. I had never heard about this before and I doubt I would have if I wasn’t a member of STM. Really cool stuff.
So now I’m back to waiting. I’ll probably read the section about setting up a hybrid page to see what it’s about.
September 11, 2015 at 8:45 am #6969
The wait for the last three manuals is killing me. Hopefully we get manual 6 soon. I just often find myself wanting to work on this project but can’t because I don’t have the bigger picture yet. I’m guessing this will be solved with maual 7 (followup), since if there is one thing that you can always do more of, it’s that. There are always blog posts or emails you can write that both give you a sense of accomplishment and help with progression. Ultimately, I think that is what I don’t have right now and why I’m so eager to get my hands on manual 6 and beyond.
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