The questions you're getting are the products you should be creatingMar 14, 2023
The process I have gone through to develop my online platform has been gradual and methodical. I wasn't operating on an artificial or rushed time schedule. I just pursued creating various forms of content that I thought would be helpful for others, then I learned how to deliver it.
I started by writing books, and soon after, I began recording podcasts. I didn't have a grand vision for what I was building. I was just trying to be a blessing to others. And that philosophy served me rather well because the more helpful content I created, the more questions and requests I received for additional forms of content.
One other thing I should note at this point is that I do my best to reply to every message I receive. I'm sure I've missed a few here and there, but my track record of replying is very good. When people message me about the content I'm creating and tell me that it has been helpful to them in some way, I pay attention. When others message me with suggestions about how to improve my content to meet their specific needs, I listen as well. Sometimes I'm able to accommodate those requests, and sometimes I'm not, but I'm definitely attempting to learn.
If you remain connected with your overall audience, and do your best to honor their requests and answer their questions, they will do you the favor of helping you refine what you're building. Their feedback will literally make everything you're doing better. And over time, you'll start to notice patterns emerging in their questions. People who don't even know each other will begin asking you the same things or making the same suggestions. When you see that happen, I hope your radar will be triggered because that's the start of a golden opportunity.
Let me give you a few examples of what I mean.
When I started self-publishing books, and those books began making regular sales, that got the attention of various friends and acquaintances. They wanted to know how long it took me to write a book, who designed my covers, how I was making my books available on Amazon, how I decided on the pricing structure, if I was writing under any pen names, and what kind of income I was earning from this endeavor.
This led to all kinds of meetings, webinars, and coaching sessions to help people learn this content. It also led to the creation of classes and courses that I was able to make available online.
When my podcasts started to grow in popularity, that became a subject of regular conversation as well. Those questions became especially prominent when my downloads numbered in the millions. My shows recently crossed the 10 million download mark, and they're quickly approaching 11 million even though the 10 million download milestone was just crossed.
Because of the questions I often receive about podcasting, I have spoken at conferences, created courses, hosted webinars, become a guest on other shows, offered coaching, and will very likely be producing a book on the subject.
As I received more and more questions about these subjects, I was also asked about related topics like marketing, social media, public speaking, online streams of income, traditional publishing, and more. When I realized that the questions generally fell under the umbrella of online platform development and monetization, I decided that I needed to create something bigger than a book or a course. I needed to develop a community where all these subjects could be discussed and where ongoing training, mentorship, and camaraderie could be offered. That's how Platform Launchers was born back in 2021.
So, you've heard my examples and can see what I'm creating, but what about you? What questions are you regularly receiving? What should you be creating based on the questions you're getting?
Inside the Platform Launchers Members' Club, we are blessed to interact with a pretty amazing group of message-based entrepreneurs. Our group is filled with people that have mastered a variety of subjects or areas of service. I pay close attention to our members' platforms, and I often wonder what questions they're getting from their audiences. And based on the questions they're getting, I wonder what products and services they should be creating next.
Let me give you four examples of what our members are creating and some of the ideas that cross my mind when I think about their platforms.
Lucas Marino recently wrote the book, "Monetize your Book with a Course." He has been involved with all kinds of coaching and training for years, and I suspect that he's getting a lot of course-creation questions. So what opportunities would he have to create products that help answer those questions? I see opportunities for courses about creating courses, coaching packages, additional books, and more. The good news is that he's already making things like this and following up on the questions he's receiving.
Charity Goodwin has been serving in church leadership for years, and a large focus of her ministry has been on helping the people she serves become emotionally and spiritually healthy. She recently launched the podcast, "Where Faith and Feelings Meet." Based on the questions I assume she receives, I see opportunities for coaching products, courses, online communities, and small-group curricula.
Greg Gerber is a seasoned journalist with a strong aptitude for telling stories and bringing inspiration to others. He founded the website ForwardFrom50.com where he helps men and women over 50 enjoy purposeful lives by pursuing things they are truly passionate about. I suspect many of the questions Greg receives relate to life after 50 and how to make the best use of the wisdom and opportunities that become available at that season of life. Books, a YouTube interview series, and an online community stand out to me as products that might fit very well with his platform.
Nadine Curless recently discovered she has a genuine passion for homeschooling. She never thought this would be a subject that interested her, but as the mother of two young children in the midst of a rapidly changing world, this is a topic that has gripped her heart. Nadine blogs at HomeschoolWithFlair.com. She has also developed a desire to come alongside other parents who are in the midst of their own homeschooling journey. I definitely see opportunities for her to create an online community, develop planning calendars, create her own curriculum, and become an affiliate for the homeschool curriculum that's already available through reputable companies.
If you're also creating content that will make the lives of others better, what kind of questions have you started to receive? Are you noticing any patterns? If so, that might be a helpful clue for you to discern which products or services to begin offering. Your audience is literally telling you what to do, and if you start producing what they're asking for, I suspect you're going to see the gradual growth of your platform as well as growth in your overall sales and income.
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