Pre-selling is the practice of creating a private launch before your product is completely built and perfected. Why do this? Because it validates your concept and means you get paid for conducting market research. Because it allows you to sell your pilot products instead of offering them for free. Because it WORKS.
If you sink time, energy, and money into an endeavor, you want to be sure it will pay off. Unfortunately, simply asking your followers if they’d shell out for a program or class will not get you reliable feedback: Your fans are inclined to tell you what they think you want to hear, so polling yields dubious results. (What people say and what they do are often divergent.)
So to determine if an idea really has income potential, you need proof that people will pay. You need to build something you know you can sell, and then push it into the market and see how much it can earn. If it does well, gather user feedback and iterate on it. Improve it, revise it, and resell it. And then you’ve got a business model that’s predictable, reliable, and consistently profitable.
How should you decide what to build? Ask questions that gauge interest, and get people talking about their pain points. Don’t construct your offering around your own interests or expertise; Build it on what your people want and need.
(Join us next week for Part 2, where we dive into some specific pre-selling strategies for launching your next online offering.)