Monthly Archives: September 2014

Is Building Your Product Killing Your Marketing?

RIP Coaching Program

Are you spending so much time on your coaching program that you have no time for marketing?

I have a friend who launched a life coaching program a couple of years ago.

He loves what he’s creating. He’s transforming lives.  He’s helping people live with more power and vision.

So what’s the problem?

He’s spending so much time fulfilling his commitments to his paying customers that he’s not able to go out and get new customers. Currently, his business is only generating $1100/month in revenue, and growing incrementally slow.

And yet he feels an obligation to follow through on his promises to his program members, and doesn’t want to short-change them by spending time selling his program.

We exchanged a few emails back and forth, and I got permission from him to share the gist of our conversation without revealing his identity. If you have some thoughts and experience to draw on, please share them in the comments section, below.

His message to me:

I love the product I’m creating, and it’s going to be a highly valuable asset indefinitely…but I need to figure out how to get unstuck and massively boost revenue and marketing BEFORE 7 months from now when I finally finish creating this one beast of a product.

Here’s the email message I sent to him:

Ultimately you have to realize that the marketing & business growth stuff IS a part of the product (and even makes your end product better). So time you spend building your list and getting new customers actually improves the product itself.

In the business you’re in, it’s all about joint ventures. Get on teleseminars and webinars with peers and make offers. When you can, get out and meet more people face-to-face at events. Relationships rule in this business! (Wonder where that tagline comes from?)

His reply:

The biggest challenge with doing what I know needs to be done (much more focus on marketing and biz dev in the ways you mentioned) is that I have committed to myself and my customers to do this monthly training and its sucking up all my time and only paying me $1100/month currently.

I could certainly stop doing it, and focus exclusively on biz dev, but then I shut off my already built (though meager) recurring revenue and come away with a half built product.

I can certainly repurpose what I’ve already created…but I really don’t want to. The vision I have for the product being a 1 year system is so clear and it is fulfilling its purpose perfectly. By finishing it I will have a highly valuable asset that I can market forever which is also the backbone of my framework.

So I feel stuck because I can’t see how I can possibly not create the rest of the training, but I also don’t see how I can make the appropriate time for marketing meanwhile.

This brings up an interesting dilemma for coaches and marketers of information products: You want to over-deliver on your product, so that your customers love you, you get more testimonials, and you fulfill your life passion / mission.

But isn’t part of fulfilling the mission of your business getting customers?  Won’t more customers validate what you’re building?

What if you spend all this time building a product, and then you end up with something that not enough people want (or are willing to pay money for?)

My point:  by not spending any time on the marketing side, your product is really suffering.  In the info-product world, marketing is part of the product!  In fact, it’s probably the most important part of the product.

It’s all just content, anyway. Content that only paying members get, or content that everyone gets (as part of the marketing funnel).

But that’s just one opinion.  Another could be, “If you build it, they will come.”

Coaches, what do you think?