By Andrew Neitlich

Products: Are you taking action?

By Andrew Neitlich

This blog piggy backs on the last Sitepoint Tribune, specifically an article by Brendan Sinclair about taking action. In that article, he describes how he has generated over $1 mm from selling products over the Internet. The key? Taking action and testing.

While his article still leaves one wanting examples and more specifics (e.g. what products? what marketing tactics), the point about taking action is key.

Here’s my point of view: Technology today is largely a commodity. You can get coding services just about anywhere dirt cheap. Open source has only accelerated this trend.


If this assertion is true, then when it comes to products, here is the 3-pronged way to succeed:

1. Testing. Knowing how to test products and services in ways that minimize your downside risk (e.g. test inexpensively and expand what works while eliminating what doesn’t).

2. Being agile. Be fast, and keep testing until something takes off.

3. Marketing. Learn how to market in a way that makes people want to buy from you. The most successful professionals will differentiate themselves by marketing. This applies to service and product firms.

The above applies to products. What do you think?

Part Two: In terms of services, #3 (marketing) still applies. However, the keys to NOT being a commodity when it comes to providing services include:

1. Developing long-term relationships with clients.
2. Communicating your value and edge, in terms your marketplace understands.
3. Going deep into a specific niche market.
4. Taking action to get visible in your market.

So what do services and product sales/marketing have in common in a world where everything is becoming a commodity? My answer:

Taking action via solid marketing.

The above will not sit well with those of you who assume your skills are great and people will automatically come to you. You have to get out there and spread the word proactively and creatively. Sorry.

  • I think the key is for your firm to be flexible. This goes back to some of your other writings about finding a niche. Every web design/dev firm can produce a fixed price website. How can a potential client decide between 10 firms that are all offering basically the same thing? What if one of those 10 firms has standard prcing for a set package that is advertised and marketed as such? In most cases, they would have an advantage because the potential client knows what to expect upfront. They have been shown examples through the marketing of this product online or in print. And what if this product is designed for the potential client’s industry? It’s a slam dunk.

  • This post just elaborates on the phrase “Move or get Moved”, its a pretty simple concept if you look at it but not quite as simple to put into action, especially if you were a single chap trying to mobilize things.

  • This concept was true even before the internet. Many potential business owners are never able to build a business because they sit back waiting for the “perfect moment” or perfect idea. Get your feet wet now and your business will be in the position to make the money when that big moment does come.

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