Lance meets Tracy Childers of WishList Products. Tracy has made multiple successful businesses using one tried and tested model.
Proven Product Model
Tracy has being working on line for the last 12-15 years in his ‘small software development company’. He’s always had an interest in technology, and in 2003 - 2004 he dipped his toes in the water with his first product the FLV producer. (Flash Video Producer). He analysed the gap in the market - whereby people were seeking an easy solution to put flash video onto the internet, and came up with an easy software solution that appealed to the masses.
This became the formula he was to follow for his career.
He found a problem and created an easy to use solution.
Shortly after he graduated from college he got into some database design using Filemaker Pro and was getting involved in some pretty technical stuff there, until he realized that if you wanted to get anything online you had to program code line by line - and so he applied his skills to coding for the web. He realised quickly though that he wasn’t in the same league as many other coders, but he was a better communicator. He found that there are tons of really good people out there who are fantastic coders, but don’t have a clue what to code - so yet again he applied his formula.
Find out what was needed, explain it to a coder and get them to code it for you!
Tracy feels that there are millions of problems out there just waiting to be solved that you can create a solution for at a relatively low cost, you don’t have to be a millionaire to solve it or start it.
In starting Wishlist Member, Tracy recognized that there were a lot of people who wanted to set up membership sites, but there were no economic solutions - one did exist but it was priced at over $4,000 - way beyond most peoples means. There was another one that was about $200, but it was complicated and did not integrate easily with this revolutionary new web creation system called ‘Wordpress’.
The solution people were looking for was ‘how can I make this membership site thing simple and integrate it into WordPress’, and this is what Tracy and his team focussed on. They built the first version relatively quickly, and it was rolled out via a special offer to a small targeted group of people. It was at least a year before any money was spent on advertising - promotion was being done through affiliates and word of mouth.
Lance makes the point that the buzz for a new product comes naturally from peoples discussion about what is wrong with an existing product, and what is right with this new product.
The biggest mistakes that Tracy sees new sites making is that people don’t really have a good method for rolling out their membership site. People think ‘If you build it, they will come’ - that worked in ‘Field of Dreams’, but it doesn’t always work in reality. Research is vital. The successful ones might already have a Podcast, they might already have a blog - in other words they’ve done the groundwork giving away free valuable content which builds trust in an audience and only then do they reveal that they have a membership site once the trust has been built.
Tracy Outlines How He rolled out his own site - ‘Wishlist Insider’.
* He had a list of people who knew about the quality he provided as he had been
* He launched a training course for these people and they all got a free months access to the site.
* Built up some content in the membership site
* Launched it to the public.
Sometimes people do not think through the longterm plan for the site and over the years both Lance and Tracy saw so many people fail. If you are asking people to pay a subscription each month, you have to provide value content to these people.
Some subscribers also go into a subscription thinking that they are going to get as much as they can as quickly as possible because they don’t think the membership site will be around for too long - this is another classic example of short term thinking versus long term strategy. Tracy believes when you are coming up with the price for membership, all you need to think about is
‘How much would you yourself honestly be willing to pay’
and if you can understand that you will nail how much to charge for your sites membership.
FIND OUT AND LEARN MORE
Wishlist Member: WordPress Membership Plugin
Wishlist Insider: The official community for Wishlist Member and Wishlist Products
If you have a question, comment, show idea or just want to get in touch with Lance, you can contact him here.
He loves to hear from his listeners!