So I recently wrote an ad for my new book Ignition. It was all written text, and an amateur-looking image.
In it, I outlined a 3-step exercise to help people discover their perfect niche for their online business.
You can see it for yourself here:
It was working pretty well, acquiring new customers at break even on the first run-through of testing. However, I wondered if turning this tutorial-like post into an entertaining video would work better.
So I came up with this:
Struggling to choose a niche for your online business? Here’s a simple 3-step exercise which may help...
Step #1: Write down all the topics you’re good at, have expertise in, are passionate about or even just have an interest in. Also include your day job if you have one.
Don’t let the doubts creep in about whether these topics will be profitable or not yet, just write them down.
Step #2: Go down this list and put a star next to the items you already have expertise in. To identify these, ask yourself, “If somebody asked me for help on this topic, would I be able to teach them about it?”
A common mistake is that people think they need to be a world-class expert on these topics to make a business out of them. You don’t. You just need to know more than the majority of other people in your everyday life do, then they’ll PERCEIVE you to be an expert.
These starred items are important. They are the low-hanging fruit and will typically be easiest to build a business around, because you won’t have to learn much about the topic itself.
Or, if you feel you really don’t have any knowledge on any of these topics, put a star next to the items you’re most interested in and wouldn’t mind BECOMING an expert in by learning about the topic.
But of course, it’s not just enough to be knowledgeable about a topic—it should also be profitable, which takes us onto step #3…
Step #3: Now it’s time to see which of the items on your list are actually profitable. I call this process “profit validation.” Best of all, you can find this out in less than 10 minutes without spending a dime.
First, take the most promising starred item on your list and search for it using your preferred search engine (Google usually works best for me).
If one of your passions is something racy then be sure to use incognito mode and check over your shoulder to make sure nobody is watching you. “But it’s for work!” doesn’t usually cut it.
We’re not just looking for generic results here—we’re looking for specific profit-producing websites, not just hobby websites. So have a look through the results and try to find websites that are actually selling solutions related to your topic or have some kind of method to earn money from the site (called “monetization”).
For example, if I search for “mindfulness” and click through to the 10 highest ranked websites, I can see a few of them have a “store” or “products” section. Some of them even have coaching programs at high price points. This type of monetization is a good sign!
At this point, if you recognize the company and/or can see it clearly has a large customer base, you can safely assume it’ll be profitable for you too, if you use the right methods.
This 3-step exercise is actually a small excerpt taken from my new best-selling book, Ignition.
In it, I walk you through how to start an online business correctly from scratch, making a profit selling digital products and services, and grow that profit to six figures per year, step-by-step.
Because it recently reached best-seller status, we're celebrating by giving away thousands of copies for free.
You can get yours on this page:
Posted by James Francis on Sunday, June 16, 2019
Personally I was VERY proud of the video, and aside from it being more professional than the written post, I felt like it was the funniest video on Earth right now. So I wanted everyone to see it.
But something stopped me in my tracks...
After spending over $2,000 in ad spend trying to get this video version to work better, it just wasn't happening.
Despite getting a better click-through rate, the cost to acquire customers was much higher with the video version than the written version.
And that's when I had to succumb to the number one rule of marketing...
Don't let vanity get in the way of profit.
Even though I wanted everyone to see the video instead of the written ad, that obviously didn't lead people into making a buying decision as much as the written post did.
(Yep, despite the spelling mistake in it that I can't change without losing all the social proof, such as the "likes" and reactions.)
Heck, something I said in the video may have even put them off making a buying decision. It could also be that my audience prefers to read information like this, rather than sit through a six minute video. Who knows!
There have been many times when a more professional page has made more sales than a web page that looked like it was created by a 5-year-old child, but also many times when the amateur-looking page made more sales than the professional-looking page.
But the lesson here is, even though something may be more professional, sometimes the less professional ad or content will resonate with your audience better. And the only way of knowing that is by testing them both side-by-side in a split test.
Sometimes you have to follow the profit and drop your ego!
Have a great day,
- James Francis.
Founder & CEO, Digital Prosperity.