Build it – they will come

Photograph by Jean Pierre Dalbera

Photograph by Jean Pierre Dalbera Flickr

Does this hold true for digital products? Or must we market them –AS– we build them? Rome wasn’t built in a day – and I venture to argue that no digital product is created in a day either. I will admit the baseball field the title refers to may have fared a bit better though.

Many startups fall prey to perfecting a product before getting it to the marketplace. Then by the time it exists in front of the customer – no one is even looking for it, or anticipating its arrival. But how is a solopreneur supposed to create a digital product and market it at the same time? Simple – time management. Though the only ‘simple’ part is actually typing that sentence.

How is a solopreneur supposed to create a digital product and market it at the same time? Simple – time management.

I’m building an online course meant to empower business owners to create, maintain and promote their online presence. It’s at www.websitedesignbyannadoo.com and it’s just about ready for the official launch. I certainly haven’t done nearly as much pre-marketing as I’d like to and that will certainly impact the length of time it takes to get it into the mainstream conversation. In addition, it’s not perfect. Not all the elements I wanted to polish will be dust-free, not all the videos are pristine, nor are all the website pages populated to the level I was hoping to get to.

After months of planning and preparation, recording training videos, building pages and the website itself, all the intended content is ready for delivery. I have beta testers perusing the videos and the site now to ensure whatever glaring issues I’ve missed are at least addressed before launch. I’m hiring a transcriber to turn all the audio into text so I can repurpose it into blog posts. And I’m building my editorial calendar as I write this. Between all of that and life itself I haven’t been able to create the time to do the marketing. But the planning, the framework is in place. Pre-marketing execution is beginning to trickle and by next Wed will be in full force as the site will be fully ready for students to begin taking the course and offering feedback.

Pukini I'm ListeningI believe that’s the other incredibly important part of all this – user feedback. Sure I can make a digital product that I think is awesome and helpful and will solve the problem of wanting a website, not wanting to hire someone to do it for you, but not sure where to begin to make it yourself. Sure I can include all the details I think someone needs to know. But guess what…I’m human. And I’m good at what I do and have been in the website design and technology space long enough to easily use the lingo. So I have likely used some terms that are not normal speech and require explanation (a possible chink in the foundation). I may have glossed over a step in the process to purchase a domain name and hosting service (another potential bucket of screws missing).

Therefore I am not aiming for a perfect product before I launch the course. The goal is a solid education for people willing to take the information and create their own website and social media strategy. In addition, the goal is to listen, really listen to the entrepreneurs taking the course and implementing feedback as often as is necessary. I am looking forward to a product that is capable of evolving with the needs of the consumer willing to purchase it.

Then and only then will my baseball field exist. Until then, I’ll be building Rome brick by brick, day by day.

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