Tell The Right Story & Sell A Lot Of Product – Part 1
Tell the right story and sell a lot of product. Easy to say, not so easy to do. When it comes to selling a product the messaging and marketing direction has changed over the years, traditional marketing methods can still work with large organizations who already have market penetration, supply chain dominance, and established distribution channels where they can often force their way onto the store shelf because they literally own the shelf space. But what about the smaller entrepreneur, how does he compete? It starts with telling a great story.
Not every product is the next best thing since sliced bread, not every new product is going to make you a millionaire. But most products can make money if you manage it right. Luckily for the smaller guys, online selling channels like Amazon, FB and others are the big counterpunch to the retail giants (who remain) who dictate the terms around traditional retail. When you can cut out the traditional bricks and mortar retailer you can make the bulk of the profit, which means, you can afford a higher per piece cost for your initial low-volume production run. This modern-day advantage to selling your product relates directly to your ability to be a better storyteller by being able to test your story early on before you get to big. Change the story where needed, enhance the story in certain areas, grow your story over time.
Today let’s look at one aspect of storytelling, how to start developing your story when you are not a good storyteller. Here are a few thoughts for those who may struggle with messaging. First, an important point, make sure your IP protection is in place before you take my advice 🙂
Make Your First Production Run Fast – As soon as you are able to, make a low-volume production run. It might be 50, it might be 1000, it might be 10,000, Whatever number makes sense for your project and your budget, get cracking. You need production product to help develop your story quicker. Up until you put yourself out there, the story of your product likely only lives in your head or within a very tight circle of trusted confidants. The story you and your team have created up until this point may be good, bad or just random bullet points of your product’s features that are not really a story.
You need to get the real product into the hands of your end customers to start getting feedback before you start investing larger dollars into any aspect of the development of your product. Early feedback will tell you things that you never even considered.
Give some product away to friends and family and ask them in return to use the product and give detailed feedback. Make it easy for them by creating a simple questionnaire and allow them to write any summary they want. Explicitly tell them to be brutally honest with you. A few free samples given away is a very cheap focus group. Their feedback can be the basis for shaping a better story.
Another advantage to giving product away to family and friends is that many will be very open to being models in your promotional videos, and you need promotional videos. Online channels need video to convey the story of your product. These early videos will be the basis for your more polished video presentations for when you eventually are ready to tell your story to bigger retailers and distribution channels.
Better storytelling for products starts by understanding your product completely. You can’t do that in a bubble, you need outside help. So make your first production run fast to help you get the feedback and data points you need to tell a great story.