No matter who you are or what you do.
Creating things that people want and need is most likely one of the goals that you have.
But how do you get the attention of people in the first place?
According to The Conversation, 3.2 billion images and 720,000 hours of videos are uploaded online daily.
Stats like this would always make it seem as if your content or product don’t stand a chance.
But it does.
In this article, I am going to be talking about what it takes to create products that people would pay attention to.
It does not matter if you are creating a digital or physical product.
You would learn what it takes to build it the right way.
One of the most scarce and golden things on the Internet is Attention.
And most people try to get this attention by focusing solely on what they believe they can offer people.
That won’t work.
Yes, you know the deep secrets of the world and have a product that can give people eternal life, but you will find it hard to sell that product if people don’t trust you.
The problem here is knowing how to reach people.
The solution is found in building trust with them first.
Now you might be asking,
Why do I need to build trust first, can’t I just create a great product and run ads to promote it.
Yes, running ads work.
But ads are best used to scale a working product.
It is important to take the first step of building the right product first and that is best done with a community-driven model.
Before I go on to teach the steps that it takes to build a community-driven product, let me give a basic definition.
What is a community-driven Model?
The community-driven model operates with the fact that people are in a better position to tell you what they need help with as opposed to you creating what you think they need.
You stand a better chance of creating something remarkable if you let people partner with you in the product creation activities.
This is also the most efficient way of creating products.
With that said, let’s examine the different things that you need to do in order to create a community-driven product.
Teach As You Learn
No one knows it all.
In order to build for people, you would have to learn a lot of things.
What many people fail to understand is that the teaching process doesn’t start after you have mastered something.
The teaching process starts once you start learning.
There is one thing that you need to understand. The key to winning people’s trust is hinged on them seeing you as an authority.
Authority is built by sharing valuable content.
Trust is built by consistency doing this.
The content that you put out is a mirror of your state of mind. The more you share the right content the more people would come to trust you.
The mistake that many people make is trying to build this overnight.
A reason why many people don’t share content is that they feel they need to have a degree to do that.
But anything valuable that you learn can be shared with others.
You need to understand that you are both a student and a teacher.
And it is for life. You would keep learning and teaching for the rest of your life.
Mastery is not a point but a Spectrum. As long as you keep learning, you will keep getting better and better at what you do.
So there is no point in waiting for a particular point before you start teaching.
If you want to attain mastery before teaching, the world will never hear from you.
Sell Your Sawdust
I have been teaching about the concept of selling your sawdust for years now.
And the summary of it is this.
You need to share the process of what you are building.
Another name for it is building in public.
This does not mean that you should share every secret that has to do with your work, but it is very important that you let people in on your process.
People connect with your product more, when they feel that they played a part in its creation.
As you teach what you are learning, also let people understand what you are trying to build.
I never fail to let my audience know that I am building a content ecosystem that would help them build and monetize their brands.
I always share the process that goes into this and the step that I take along the way.
What teaching as you learn and selling your sawdust does is that they help you know what people really need help with when it comes to your niche.
You have heard about user-generated content.
You also need to learn about user-generated products.
The Bestselling book for last year globally on Amazon was Atomic Habits by James Clear.
It is a book that has resonated with millions of people.
James didn’t achieve that feat just because he created a valuable product. He was able to achieve that because he created frameworks on productivity that people actually needed.
How was he able to do that?
He created content regularly on his blog and Newsletter and found out the ones that people connected with the most.
Then he took those topics and packaged them as a book to sell.
You too can do the same. Create content on topics related to your niche regularly and take note of the ones that resonate with people the most.
Drive further engagement on those topics with things like AMA’s (Ask Me Anything), Twitter Spaces, Instagram Live sessions etc.
As you interact more with people, you would start seeing patterns and know the real problems that they are facing.
If you don’t know it before now, people rarely buy vitamins, but they would always buy painkillers.
You know that Vitamin C is good for the body, but it is very rare for you to wake up one morning and take a trip to the Pharmacy just to buy Vitamin C.
However, the moment you have a Headache, you are looking for where you can buy paracetamol.
You should keep this in mind when creating products.
People don’t buy products just because it is valuable, people buy products that cure a headache for them.
A failure to understand this has led to many failed product launches.
Give Out Valuable Content
It is not everything that you should monetize.
Part of the way of building trust is giving people valuable insights that they can apply and get value from immediately.
The quicker people win after connecting with you the better.
I could have easily packaged this article as an ebook to sell and sold it in a way that would make them see the importance of buying it.
But here you are reading this for free without having to pull out your card.
Yes, the concept in this article is valuable and can make the difference between a flopped or best selling product, but I don’t necessarily have to put this up for sale.
There is a balance to this and with time, you would gain better insights on the kind of things to give out for free and the ones to monetize.
But the summary of this is that the best thing to monetize is things that lean towards your personal experience as opposed to things that are easily retrievable elsewhere.
Connect with Other Communities
There are a lot of people out there doing amazing things.
You shouldn’t build in isolation but make sure that you connect yourself with others building like you.
The better you get at this, the more you would learn what it takes to build for people.
Also, you should not be afraid to introduce your communities to other helpful communities.
Contrary to what you might think, it is impossible to create products that meet every single need of your community members.
You should be open to Introducing your community to other communities.
People need to see you as resourceful.
You Need To Be Consistent
David Perell is someone whose content has helped me a lot when it comes to learning how to create content online.
And in his guide to creating Newsletters, he made a comment about the right way to put out Newsletter content.
Aim to get an A in consistency and a B in content.
And what he was saying there was that you need to place more focus on being consistent than creating content.
It is better to publish a 100-word article every week than to publish a 400-word article once a month because you’re aiming for perfection.
The best way to get better at your craft is executing consistently and not pulling back to wait until you become perfect.
The key lessons in this article are :
- Building an Audience gives you the first pool of people to sell to.
- Building trust is hard so it is best done over time, but once people trust you, selling to them is easy.
- Building in Public increases your luck as people are sure that you are worth your salt
Examples Of Community-Driven Products
My WhatsApp Domination Course was created after Months of building an Audience on WhatsApp, and it is helping hundreds of people make money on WhatsApp.
TypeShare was created by Nicolas Cole after years of creating content online, and now it helps writers create powerful social blogs.
Nebula was built by a Community of Youtube Creators who wanted to give people a better platform to get quality videos.
Are you building a community-driven product?
Or do you know other examples of community-driven products?
I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.