This isn’t about selling t-shirts, but rather the lesson we can learn from t-shirt sellers that will put money in our pocket before we even create the product.
When you sell shirts on T-Spring, you’re not committed to investing any money until you have the orders in hand. Let’s say your goal is to sell 50 t-shirts at $15 apiece. You advertise on social media and buyers commit to purchasing the actual shirts.
But until you reach the 50 order mark, or whatever number you’ve specified, you’re not obligated to pay for any shirts. Once you hit 50, the customers are billed and the lot is created and shipped. But if only 49 people pre-ordered, then the t-shirts are never made.
Why don’t more marketers use this business model for their own products?
You could open a course for “x” number of people and presell it. The course will start in 3 weeks time, but only if all the seats are filled. Or you could outline a product and presell it. If you get enough orders for it (whatever number you deem that to be) then it will be delivered on the date you’ve specified.
The point is, you are charging for a product prior to creating that product. And if you discover there isn’t enough demand for the product, you simply refund the orders that you’ve received and try it again with a different product.
The benefits to launching this way are two-fold: First, you find out up front whether or not people are willing to pay for the product you propose to create. This way you will never again create a product only to discover no one wants to buy it. Second, you get operating capital up front. If you need to outsource the creation of the product, you can simply use the money from your advance orders to get it done.
Of course, the one thing you need for this business model is a good reputation for delivering on your promises. If you’re completely unknown in your niche, this might not work for you. You’ll need to at least put out some great content and create a following before you use the T-S method for pre-launching your first product, but it will be well worth the effort.
Two more benefits of this business model are the ability to head off problems before you do a full-blown launch, as well as getting proof that your product works. By doing a pre-launch to a smaller number of buyers, you can get feedback on what your product lacks, what might be confusing or anything else you need to improve your product before doing the full-scale launch with affiliates.
And you can ask your first buyers for their testimonials as well, which will help you to sell more of your product once you launch it full scale.
I can’t see any downside to using the TS method to launch any virtual product, while there are tons of benefits to doing it this way. And yet, most marketers won’t do it. Why not? Maybe it’s because they have a belief that things can only be done a certain way because ‘that’s how it’s always been done in the past.’ Which is nonsense.
Just because most everyone else spends a month or two creating a product before they even know whether or not it will sell doesn’t mean you have to be brain dead, too. (Too rough?)
Let me tell you a quick story and then I’ll close with one last thought:
When my cousin’s daughter turned 16, she wanted to get a part time job to make extra money. I suggested a method that I knew for a fact would get her a job in 48 hours, but she flat out refused to do it because, “No one else does that.”
I dutifully drove her around anyway and she put in applications at a dozen or so businesses. A month later, not a single one of them had called her in for an interview, much less offered her a job. I asked if she was now ready to use my method, and she reluctantly said yes.
That’s when I helped her write out a letter that told a little bit about herself and her qualifications. Then we added something like this (I don’t remember the exact wording we used):
“I realize that since I’ve never held a real job, it might seem like a gamble for you to hire me. That’s why, to prove my worth, I want to work for you for 2 weeks for free, to demonstrate to you what an asset I will be to your business.”
I again drove her to about a dozen businesses, where she filled in the applications and attached a copy of the letter. Within 48 hours she had 5 interviews scheduled, and within 96 hours she had 5 job offers and requests for 3 more interviews.
That is the power of doing things differently from everybody else.
If someone tells you that you MUST create the product FIRST before you launch it, just know they have been as brainwashed into ‘right’ thinking as my second cousin.
Frankly, I think it is often best to ignore ‘established methods’ so that you can find a way that reduces risk, increases results and in this case, saves you from creating a product that won’t sell.
A few tips on selling your product prior to creating it:
• Choose a topic you’re familiar with so that you can make the product quickly.
• Outline the product prior to offering it for sale. This will make it super easy to write your sales offer.
• Include plenty of enticing bullet points in your offer.
• Make it super clear that the product has not been created yet but will be available on “X” date.
• Also make it clear that if there is not enough response, they will be refunded and the product won’t be made.
If possible, promise to have the product ready no more than two weeks ahead of when you’re making this offer. If you have a list of your own and you’re fast at making products, reduce this to one week. For example, you make the offer on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with the product becoming available the following Tuesday.
If you offer something like group coaching with one call a week for six weeks, you only need to get the first call ready.
Let them know they are your beta group and you’ll be looking for feedback from them, as well as offering more personalized service. Solicit their questions and comments so you can improve your product prior to doing your full launch.
One last thing… Oddly enough, tests show that conversions for lead magnets are generally HIGHER if the lead magnet is not yet created. I don’t know if this is also true for products, but it may be. I think it’s the allure of a brand new, totally up to date product (or lead magnet) that no one (NO ONE!) had yet to get their hands on.
Action Point: Make a list right now of products you’ve considered creating but you weren’t sure they would sell. Choose one and write an outline for the product and a simple sales page. Then send an email to your list and see what kind of response you get. Start to finish, you can probably do this in less than two hours and begin to see orders come in shortly thereafter.