You don’t have to spend money to make money. In fact, as an entrepreneur your burn rate should be nice and lean.
The magic of a lean startup is praised throughout the entrepreneurial community, but you may feel like it’s more of a concept than a reality. That’s not true. One great way to test a viable business idea or product is to create a free infoproduct first that is like a sampling of your idea. You’ll use that infoproduct as your bait to test the waters in your market before sinking a lot of time or money into a business that might not be viable.
You may be tempted to think that even testing an infoproduct is outside your budget, but again, it’s not. If you’ve got $20, you can effectively test a product to see if it’s worth pursuing. Here are five steps to creating an infoproduct for $20 or less.
1. Write the product
Cost: Free to $10
This will either be your most expensive line item, or your cheapest. If you can write at all, I highly suggest you take the time and do the research to write your infoproduct yourself. You’ll only need two to four pages of written content to effectively test your idea.
Let’s say you have an idea about teaching a social media-marketing webinar targeted specifically to pediatricians. Before you do all the business setup, you want to see if this webinar or class would be something pediatricians would spend money to purchase and attend.
So you come up with a clever and compelling title for your infoproduct that’s similar to what your workshop will be, such as “5 Ways Social Media Will Create Clients for Every Pediatrician.” Then you can write a brief, but informative list of the five ways you can show pediatricians that using social media is going to get them business.
You don’t have to give away the farm here, but you’ll want some good content that is indicative, but not wholly inclusive, of all the content your workshop would contain. If you really can’t write, use a site such as Fivrr or Textbroker and do a request for the project. You can set the word count and budget to keep it at $10 or less.
2. Submit it on Fivrr.com
Cost: $5 to $10
For $5 you can get a designer to create a two- to five-page basic PDF design of your content to transform it into an infoproduct. I love using Fiverr for graphic design when you have a small, simple design need like for an ebook or brief infoproduct. Since you won’t be selling this piece of content, you need to keep your costs lean and Fiverr is a great way to do that. Depending on the page count, you may end up needing to extend the initial $5 order to get more pages, which could cost you up to $10.
3. Set up an email opt-in
You’ll need an email opt-in form to start tracking clients and to market your real product down the line if the free infoproduct test goes well. MailChimp is free for the first 2,000 contacts and 12,000 emails sent. It’s a great tool to test with and if you decide later to upgrade to a pay plan, or another email marketing tool, you can always export your list and import it into the new provider.
4. Set up social media accounts
You’ll need to set up, or use your existing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to start talking to communities and creating relationships. That means when your infoproduct is done and you’ve got it all set up on a landing page (more on that in step five), you can include the link to your free infoproduct as a post in your various Facebook communities and on your page without being “Spammy” or violating Facebook rules. You can also Tweet and post about it through Instagram as free marketing tools to help drive awareness, and people, to your infoproduct landing page.
5. Set up your landing page
Cost: Free for two-week trial
When you have your social media accounts set, your email service established and your final infoproduct done and in hand, you can establish your landing page to test out your idea. You can get a free two-week trial of ClickFunnel for your infoproduct. Since there is only a two-week trial period, you’ll need to have all your ducks in a row and ready to go when you sign up, or you’ll squander your free trial period and miss out on the lean test of your product.
When the pieces are assembled, sign up for a ClickFunnel account, easily implement your email integration for autoresponse and your infoproduct for free giveaway, then monitor the product’s success over the following 14 days. I always encourage people not to charge for the infoproduct because then you won’t have to sign up for a payment processor or shopping cart component during testing.
Remember to continue to promote and talk about your infoproduct through social media and ask others to spread the word, too. Of course, if your two-week test goes well, you can pay for a click funnel or look into another sales funnel option, such as a LeadPages account.