Planning Your Monetization Mix is covered in DAY 4 of the Action Guide. It is a critical GO/STOP step in the C T P M process. Get feedback on your chosen Monetization Mix for your new business; or get tips on which monetization options work best for your niche.

Moderator: Sheri from Uneeda

#1250804 by ken-admin
Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:12 am

I talked about a wish by an SBIer recently...

I need to be taught how to create and market a product.

I almost moved on with an "uh-huh anything else?" thought. But I kept coming back to it.

Why not?

As you know, I'm really NOT interested in writing about anything that I don't believe can be showed AND THEN DONE REPRODUCIBLY. At first, I thought this was one of those.

And yes, at one level, let's call it "The Edison Level," I don't believe anyone can be taught how to invent the next lightbulb. You either have that type of genius or you don't.

And it's just too expensive and time-consuming, not to mention litigious, to invent a new "physical world" type of product like the intermittent windshield wiper. Patents, prototypes, inventory (if you decide to actually make the thing).

And lots of lawsuits against the auto industry (in this particular case).

So we're not talking about "inventing-inventing."


What about coming up with something small that would fit in a wallet? Or digital products?

Can YOU come up with an idea for a salable product? Something new, different enough to sell and delivering enough value that your customer is happy to have parted with the dollars?

Why not?

Most marketable new products come out of a person's particular set of circumstances and life experiences. EVERYONE has those.

People tend to think that getting ideas is like a miracle or something. I thought like that before I had my first idea for a game. But...

Over the 10 years that Janice and I licensed our toy and game ideas, we sold 23 different prototypes to companies around the world, somewhere around 200 deals. And really, it's true...

Once you get over the thrill of the first marketable idea, it becomes fairly routine. Well, a really good one always WAS exciting (but was not always the one that got sold).

And it sure paid better than medicine, financially, letting the doctoring be the hobby that I enjoyed!

Heck, we retired when Yuki was born (I can't believe she's 22 already -- what happened? -- oh yes, that Internet thing ;-)

Even after that, my first venture on the WWWWW (it was called the "Wild and Wooly World Wide Web" back then), an experiment, was "an idea." It was based on a speculating hobby. And then look...

From THAT experience came MYSS!.

And from THAT came SBI!.

So trust me..

Ideas are already there, in your head.

They just need a little help. What type of help?

You tell me.

I DO have some ideas (no point in writing this otherwise!). But you go first.

What would you need to know?


As we explore new, higher-profit ways to monetize, the very pinnacle, true entrepreneurialism, is the development of your very own product.

Have you ever thought of it?

What help do you need?

What would you like me to include in an article?

Or is this just what a good old buddy of mine in the toy business used to call a "DFI"?

He was cruel, but you have to be cruel to be kind in the "new idea" business.

And no, I'm not translating that. ;-)

All the best,
#1250810 by Lisa from Onyx
Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:56 am
Have you ever thought of it?

What help do you need?

What would you like me to include in an article?

I would absolutely LOVE information along the lines of creating and marketing your own product. To the above questions I say:

Yes, I've thought of it, but that is about as far as it has gone for me. Don't have a clue even where to begin.

I need help with everything. How do I find out what people want? How do I go about creating something?

What to include in the article? As much information as possible from how you come up with the idea, to how to produce and sell it!
#1250813 by Tanya from Boomer
Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:08 am
As a graphic artist, I've found that the digital art aspect can be very profitable. I have a store on Etsy where I sell vector based clip art and it dovetails very nicely into my site as they both are of a similar theme. The additional benefit of digital products is the lack of overhead and, to a degree, less need to daily monitor my store in case of sales. I don't need to ship anything - the buyer can instantly download the product upon purchase. Etsy also has a place where you can add keywords to each product posted - therefore allowing me to utilize my Brainstormer keywords there as well as on my site.

After exploring a number of other online stores (ie; Zazzle, CafePress, and others), Etsy is the only one that really works for me. Other stores provide the shipping, materials, etc (t-shirts, mugs, and many other products) but they also take a giant cut of your profits. I found it really wasn't worth it. On the other hand, I get nearly all of the profit from my Etsy store and only pay a tiny fee to upload my files as well as run some advertisements (which are optional).

If you are an artist or can create a product, I'd highly advise checking it out. It's a really good companion site to your SBI site and, as in my case, is helping me earn a little bit of income while I wait for my SBI site to pick up speed.
#1250865 by Mary from
Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:06 pm
I want help in turning my recipes into a cookbook. I MOSTLY need technical help which drives me crazy to begin with. But, I need suggestions on what type of cookbook? How many books? Does several small ones work better than one large one? Do I include only site recipes? How do I find out what my viewers want and how they want it delivered? Where do I sell it... my site or others? How do I project sales before investing time and or money?

As you can see I know just about nothing on how to start. :(

#1250869 by Timothy from Glen Hope
Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:36 pm
Ken, we need resources. There are many "how-to" ebooks on the market for creating your own product. There are even ebooks in SBI. The problem is where to locate these resources. I spend a lot more time in the SBI looking for info on how to do things. I am pretty sure everything I would want to know is already in SBI, somewhere. A nice concise article pinpointing this information would really help.

#1250879 by Olga from Warman
Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:59 pm
Hi Ken,
Some SBI!ers already have their own methodology for the successful product launch and product development. I was coached by one of them. Given that I also read tons of flagship courses on how to do it from Rich Schefren and others, I still think the original method I learned from a person I met here on the forums is the best and the fastest.
Process of product development can be taught and reproduced. For a beginner, this process becomes a major roadblock to creating a successful online business.

The type of help IMHO people might need:
- product dev methodology ( many of its steps are addressed by SBI! materials, they just need to be put together in product-related sequence)
- overcoming self-defeating thoughts ( who will buy from me, I am not a <doctor, nutritionist, etc>. Internet is full of better <blogs,sites>. Everything is already <said, sold, printed>)
- selecting the angle and quickly testing it
- sales letter
- product launch process for various types of products.

#1250909 by Greg from Here
Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:49 pm
How coincidental that this topic comes up today.

I have been of the camp that firmly believes that increased chances of e-commerce success comes with having ones own products.

Digital products always leap to the forefront, however that is not necessarily the panacea for all.

Many years ago (in a galaxy far, far away) while working for The Phurst Corporation, I invented, designed and built a proto-type for a residential fire suppression system, specifically to protect against chimney fires involving fireplaces and wood burning stoves.

To say that there are a lot of milestones to check off along the way from idea to salable product is the epitome of understatement. (And we haven’t even gotten to marketing and distribution yet!)

But I have to say that it is important not to overlook the things we already know.

So the question I want to put back to you is this.

Do you really have to have to invent a unique original product?

Here is where this may get a little exciting for some of you…
(But first a little story to set the background)

In another lifetime, I was standing on a dock of Chicago warehouse where they were unloading the truck next to me that contained totes (bulk containers) of pickles.
What they did next has never left my mind.
They opened up the totes and began dumping them into 5 gallon buckets (with their own brand label affixed) and then loaded it all up my tractor-trailer.
The irony of the story is that the load was going to Maine’s Food Service in Binghamton, New York. The truck that shipped the pickles to Chicago for the “bucket exchange” had picked them up from the Norwich, New York - only about a 45 minute drive from Binghamton.

But this company figured out how to sell someone else’s pickles, use their own brand name AND make a profit in the process.

So what if you bought a tangible (non digital) product and relabeled it?
What if you had it private labeled for you at the manufacturer (You’d be surprised how often this takes place)

Let that concept sink in and it just may give you a new perspective on things.

You can’t go head to head with established competitors -on the same terms- or you will be eaten. But what if you offered a different product size than the competition but at a better price point?

When you think about the exorbitant cost of shipping hard goods, what about a smaller product size that you could put it in a priority mail envelope or small box?

As far as coming up with some new kind of tutorial for this is kind of like reinventing the wheel, IMHO.
There are many paths, so many success stories to model already. One just has to get off one’s duff and go find them! BAM!

Let me say that again for those is the back row

(snarky comments deleted. I had to get it out of my system... but ultimately I did a self edit :lol: )
#1250914 by Peter from La Coste
Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:04 pm
What about information to actually source your own product. By this I mean obtaining a product and selling it on with no drop shipping or affiliate. I would love to have information on how to source a product, the way to negotiate with the manufacturer, ways to sort out sending your product on to the buyer.

Information on protecting your self with this, particularly if you are selling food items or medicinal treatments.


PS Whilst Greg's idea is interesting, what if something goes wrong if you re-badge a product. This just seems wrong to me and a bit of a shady or dark practice. Aren't there any laws about doing this sort of thing?
#1250928 by Greg from Here
Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:49 pm
This just seems wrong to me and a bit of a shady or dark practice. Aren't there any laws about doing this sort of thing?


Most "store" brands that you buy in your local supermarket are made at the same factory/bottler as the name brand items.
It is called private labeling Peter, Your neighborhood grocery does not have their own factory to can green beans or make breakfast cereal.

As an example of one product, Sorrento Cheese sells their own award winning Italian cheese with their own label and also private labels for many store chains in the northeast,
Why? It is just as easy to make more and reduce their overall cost, so why not? They merely change out a roll of labels and keep the machines running. Think about it.
What do they care who's name is on it?
They already made their profit.

You see, sometimes one needs to start OBSERVING and not just merely looking. You have to take any idea (even the ones that come from people you don't care for) and hold it up to the sun like a diamond and turn it and look at it to see every facet, consider how it could be applied to other things/ideas/circumstances.

How to source a product?
What sectors are expanding (and what is bombing) Start by reserching manufacturers and trade associations.

Everything is negotiable, you negotiate with the manufacturer the same you would any other vendor/customer.

Thank you for your continued support.
#1250933 by Peter from La Coste
Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:03 pm
Most "store" brands that you buy in your local supermarket are made at the same factory/bottler as the name brand items.
It is called private labeling Peter, Your neighborhood grocery does not have their own factory to can green beans or make breakfast cereal.

Thanks Greg

Yes, I am aware of this practice although I thought you were alluding to buy a brand then re-badge yourself without the original manufacturer being aware. :wink:

#1250988 by Claude from
Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:54 pm
I have been a ham radio operator since 1974. One part of the hobby I most enjoy is building my own antennas and various accessories for my radio station.

I am in the design and planning stage of one of those projects. While taking a break for coffee, I had a quick look at my traffic stats . . . and then it struck me :shock:

Once I will have built a working and fully documented prototype for my own use . . . :idea: why not go one step further: build more units and sell them?

I just know that some of those hundreds of ham radio operators who visit my site every day would probably buy my little thing-a-ma-jig, either built or in kit form.

But I do not want to be bothered with . . .

- buying the parts (as per my specs)
- packaging kits or building units (as per my specs)
- shipping
- handling returns
etc, etc, etc.

Soooo . . .

I need to know:

- How to find a firm that will take care of "all that stuff" for me when I send them the coordinates of a customer who has just bought something from me.

- How to negotiate a win-win deal with the firms I find?

- What to watch out for?

- Most importantly, I need to know how to protect my interests! I shudder here at the potential cost of this aspect alone!

In short, I know how to go from an idea to a working solution (analyze, document, prototyping, building final solution) . . . and SBI! has taught me how to successfully market myself on the Web.

I would love to know how to connect the dots and take the next step . . . to sell my stuff :wink:

#1251040 by Leyla from France
Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:55 am
Hi Ken,

I love this idea!

I have a number of ideas for products but in most cases no clue on where to start (note the questions are from a rank beginner in this area).

One is a physical product, quite a simple one really. Here are some of the questions I'd love to have answered:
- how do I find a cheap source of the basic item
- how do I get it branded
- how do I merge these two processes to get it manufactured
- how do I sell/distribute/promote it
- what are the pros/cons of a physical product
- how do I set up a process to allow others to sell it (licensing, affiliate programme etc)
- how do I set things up so they work as a funnel/template ready to launch the next and the next product after that

I've also thought of an app but had no idea how do find a developer. Yes, of course, the standard advice is 'go to elance' but what do you DO when you get there if you don't have a clue? How do you write up an ad when you don't even have the vocabulary? What skills/expertise would I even be asking for? All I can do is describe in simple words what I would want the app to do... How do you protect your idea from theft?

Finally, info products. I've written a book (quite a good one, according to reviews and word of mouth) but I failed to launch it properly. I worked with an online publisher who knows a bit more than I do but not a huge amount. Should I have gone with him? Or sought a 'real' publisher? Or self-published? There is so much information out there that I've simply tuned out. I have other books in me but after the disappointment of the first one I'm not sure I'm ready for a second go. Still, there are many infoproducts that could/would sell and clear actionable guidance on how to market them would be welcome - I'm thinking of a 'grouping' of things. For example, let's take my book: I could spin it off into a webinar, a course, smaller reports, a membership site... I can find (too much) information on each of those processes individually, but which one is best for my situation? How do I decide? What criteria do I apply? Once I decide, where do I go for the best, most succinct information? The bane of the Internet is the abundance of information and the inability to sort what is good from what isn't.

Anyway - these are initial thoughts on what I would like to learn concerning my own products. This is an interesting avenue and I'd love to try at least that first physical product... :-)

Thank you for asking for our feedback! Leyla
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