I freely admit that I suffer from shiny object syndrome – and I’m always thinking about the next thing I’m creating for myself or my clients.
But a few weeks ago I was listening to a webinar where the speaker talked about reinvigorating sales of evergreen products. And he suggested re-launching the same product multiple times. Rather than creating yet another thing, take what you have, revamp it and re-launch.
I first published my Minima Guide to Launching your Site back in late 2015. 18 months in the online world is a long time, and while most of the content was still relevant, I knew I wanted to update it with the latest info. I’m using a few tools that weren’t around back then – and I’ve added more items to my master checklists based on the last 18 months of launching client sites.
Digital strategy note:
I know not everyone loves e-books because they can be considered “low value.” But I love e-books for a few reasons:
- They’re fairly quick to produce.
Pressing publish feels like a huge accomplishment. This can be a huge mindset shift when you’ve got fear of producing your own products – and yes, everyone has fears of being judged about what they’ve created!
- The Gumroad service makes it dead simple to sell and manage.
I’ve created a lot of courses and products for clients, and no matter what system is used, there are a lot of moving parts. I have my own courses in the works – but I’m currently committed to a few projects and I have to focus on what takes the least amount of energy to support.
- Low price = low barrier to entry.
You can quickly prove that people are willing to pay for info on the subject before you invest a lot of time creating something they don’t want.
- The audience gets to know, like and trust what you have to offer.
When my buyers see how much care and attention I put into an e-book, they know the kind of value I’ll offer in my courses and strategy sessions.
- It serves as a lead generation tool into higher-priced offerings.
In my case, e-books have led to consults, strategy retainers and trusted affiliate product purchases – so the ROI goes way beyond the initial price of the book.
- Generates ongoing goodwill.
I gave all previous purchasers a copy of the latest guide for free and several wrote in to thank me!
How I updated the guide
I started with the guide I created 18 months ago and reviewed what I needed to modify or expand. I’d say I updated about 25% of the content. The first version of the book was my first ever time using InDesign. My skills have vastly improved since my first go – so I also wanted to up level the look a bit.
Note: You don’t have to use InDesign to create an e-book. There are plenty of other programs that will work including Canva, Pages or even Google Docs.
I spent about 4 weeks going through and making changes, letting it simmer, then sending it off for review. I cannot emphasize enough how many times you need to send things out for review! You will miss things. My assistant (and a few friends) reviewed the technical info and my mom reviewed for grammatical errors. (FYI, any and all mistakes are all mine – mom warned me about my split infinitives and I chose to keep them).
How I sell the guide
Previously, I was selling the book on an all-in-one hosted membership and sales platform and it was a bit overkill for the guide. I found it hard to do things easily like create promo codes or affiliate links. Plus at over $100 a month, it didn’t make sense to keep it there just to sell e-books when I’ll be using other software for my future courses.
A few months ago, I launched my other book, The Minima Guide To Getting Paid Online on Gumroad and I loved the experience.
What I love about Gumroad
- Low monthly fee.
- Direct deposit to my bank account.
- Direct payment to affiliates.
Other programs make you do this manually – but Gumroad does it for you. Genius.
- The Gumroad app.
This thing is SO cool. Watching those sales come through on my phone is a bit (ok a lot) addicting.
- Easily update versions.
Inevitably, there were a few typos that I missed. I simply had to reupload an updated version – and anyone who purchased it would have instant access to the newest version.
- Easy to setup.
Since I already had a gumroad account, it was a snap to upload a few new images and create my new product.
- Simple to understand dashboard.
I can see at a glance where my sales are coming from and what I made that day. Plus I can download comprehensive .csv of all my transactions.
The sales page
I knew I wanted to create a full-on sales page for the guide, but I’m in the midst of re-doing my own site and branding. I needed to quickly design something simple and effective.
Since I’m using the Genesis Framework for my site theme, it’s easy to create a page with no header, sidebar or footer. Then, using my newest favorite plugin, Beaver Builder, I was able to create complex page layout in a matter of minutes. Rows and columns, callouts and icons are all included in the plugin – the hardest part (as always) is coming up with the copy.
Images sell, so I made sure to take a screenshot of a few of the interior pages of the book so people would know exactly what they would be getting in the guide. Best part? When I was done with design of this page, I was able to save it as a template and apply the same design to the sales page for my other e-book.
Marketing the book
Normally I’d do a series of teaser posts to let people know the product would be coming soon, but this time I just put it out there and announced the revised guide in my last newsletter. In my newsletter announcement I offered a limited time discount code. While I’m not a huge fan of discounting products, limited time offers will spur sales. Caution: you don’t want to train people that they can expect to always get a discount – because then they will wait to take action.
I posted a graphic to my FaceBook business page (and then shared on my personal wall and Instagram). The post got re-shared by friends and clients – and led to 20% of the first day sales.
A dear designer friend Shay Bocks then wrote this amazing post about the guide that drove tons of traffic (and sales) a week after launch. Do not discount the power of quality referral traffic! That’s the beauty of evergreen products – one post from a strong referral can re-invigorate sales and interest
After the launch
Because it’s never really over! Here are a few things I’ll be doing in the in the future to promote and track my results.
I setup a value goal in google analytics to track purchases and user flow. This will inform me as to what actions people took to get to the sales page and ultimately purchase the guide. (Here’s a how-to from gumroad on how to setup this tracking.)
I’ll be playing with FaceBook ads and Pinterest posts to see what kind of long-term traction I can get. I look at these products as experiments to see what works and what doesn’t (and I’ll be sure to share the results in my blog).
I’ll be sending purchasers follow-up feedback forms to learn what I can do to improve their experience. Feedback forms (especially anonymous) can give you so much valuable info that you’d otherwise never know about. You’ll find out what people liked (and more importantly, didn’t like) so you can continually refine and improve your offerings. I love using wufoo.com to create simple feedback forms.
It’s still a bit early, but I’ve already sold enough to finance my spring trip to Italy. And while it won’t pay off my mortgage, the book continues to generate leads for my list, consults and ongoing work. The best part? Gumroad features your other products not only to your customers, but to customers searching for similar items. This led to more sales of both my guides and gave me exposure to a wider audience.
The hard work of creating is over – now to the harder work of ongoing promotion. For more on this topic, read my post on the art of promoting evergreen prodocts.
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